2002 Firth Notes

Rev. 2002-11-08

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2002-03-09 Beginning the year late on these pages. And then I made a paragraph of notes and the computer locked up and now they are gone.

2002-03-31 Easter is being very quiet (except for the large pickups with noisy engines and sound systems parading out of the park down the street.) It is typical of Texas that we had temps in the 80's on Friday, 3.5 inches of rain in the 24 hours ending last midnight and have a beautiful sunny, if coolish (60's) day today. I keep rain reports for the back yard and it is amazing how much of our rain comes in 1-3 day blasts with 3.5-4.5 inches of rain. It is also amazing how quickly the soggy ground drains dry.

I am going to try to make a good set of notes here and mail them off to people who don't get on my site or can't.

Here at the house, most of life is going moderately well with a few minor and continuing breakdowns. My Lyme disease has sparked back up with especially numb feet after a lower grade battle with antibiotics about the turn of the year. Dolly, Gigi's current guide dog has come down with something in the knee that was first thought to be torn something requiring surgery and 6 weeks off work, but now may be bone related and less critical - bone scan on Tuesday. Bianca and Blackie are doing fairly well. The house needs attention outside, for painting, and inside for the piles of papers that need sorting and filing. Both of our computers are having problems, mine more serious so am considering a replacement.

We still don't have a car, although there is one in the driveway to deal with getting Dolly to various vets and Gigi to airport. G and Suzanne Whalen are going to the Seeing Eye forum which is in Morristown this spring. Suzanne is going early and will be demonstrating her work with Caddo and her power wheel chair. Caddo, a Seeing Eye dog, was retrained at Southeastern Guide Dogs, to guide with Suzanne in the chair. While SE has trained several dogs to work with wheelchair bound blind people, this is the first time a working dog as been retrained. And Caddo is very, VERY, good. Suzanne is president of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) and Gigi is Secretary. Suzanne has become a focus for publicity about blind wheelchair users (delicate issue at SE) and has heard from a LOT of people about needs. SE is not a large school and is booked in this part of their program five years down the road. Meanwhile, the number of people who are possible candidates for this kind of independence has risen over a hundred. Suz and G are working on the Seeing Eye and other schools to add the program and their activity has been a wonder to behold.

The camera continues to be fun and useful. One of the most surprising consequences has been the speed of response from the city. I go out and take electronic pictures, come back and post them with comments on the DALLAS web page and send an e-mail to the city with the URL to the page. This seems to result in action much sooner than repeated voice or unreferenced e-mail complaints. On my page now is a traffic signal that has been unrepaired for over a year; after posting and an e-mail to our new mayor, it got fixed in a week!! Trash piled at the curb, too early for our monthly pickup has often sat, in spite of complaints, until the time of the pickup. With a photo and reference, it goes in a couple of days.

2002-05-22 12:15 am  It is a lovely night outside - everything I want to do involves making noise or having a lot of light or both.  
The house is quiet and too warm.  My 4 bitches are asleep (cat, 2 dogs and a wife).  I dozed for an hour or so after riding bike home from work and fell asleep after eating, so wakeful now.  Gigi's leg is still bothering her more than she would like, but getting slowly better, her hand seems to hurt less (small thrombosis from IV insertion.)
  My computer is sick and locks up once or twice a day while being used; will probably get a Dell to replace it, like Gigi's.  For a person who started with 1K RAM and 1 MHz and graduated to 48K and 1MHz - spending a fraction of the money for 1 GHz plus 128 Meg of RAM and 20 Gig of hard disk is still mind bending.   I have to replace the blower on the attic vent and I am thinking of getting a serious blower that will move all the air in the attic every few minutes.  It certainly got too hot with the other.
   We have been having weird weather, nice usually, but weird.  We are over twice the average level for rain, 8 inches instead of 4, but the good stuff has been that it is much cooler than average.  We average 63 and 83.  This month we have had a lot of lows in the 50's and highs in the 70's.  We matched the record low a couple of days ago.  In riding my bike to work, I have had the thrill of a cold north wind in the morning and a brisker south wind in the afternoon, both as headwinds, of course.
  Now I am yawning, so I will bid good night.

2002-07-05 Gigi is off to the NFB Convention in Louisville and I am attacking some of the damaged spots in the house, mostly water stains from the storm that hit while redoing the roof (mmummble, mumble years ago) and cracks in the sheet rock from leveling the house down through the years. This year I took a week of vacation to work on the house, and do other stuff, when it didn't work to try to doing stuff on the house while she was out of town while I worked during the day.

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