“Great day in the morning!” Except for pollen and news horrors…

Personal Posting by Jim Lantern, Sunday morning 10 July 2016 [edited and updated]

“Great day in the morning!” – Apparently old southern slang, and the name of an old 1956 movie (same year I was born). First time I heard it was in a 2-part movie-like episode of the old TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, when a character saw something amazing and shouted that exclamation.

I said it this morning when at sunrise I stepped outside into a very refreshing 68F with a slight cool breeze. The days have been starting out in the mid to upper 70’s. The difference is only a few degrees but it felt like a much greater difference – more comfortable. Made it easier for me to get some early morning shopping done at Homeland grocery store – riding my bicycle over there. I filled up the front and back baskets of my bicycle.

The weed pollen is very high today – has been recently – even with the recent heavy rains failing to clear out the air. Every time there’s heavy rain nearly flooding the area it causes a new major invasion of roaches in the apartment building I live in – they invade the second level where I live. So I’ve been fighting another bug war. Anyway, here’s the Pollen Forecast for Norman Oklahoma – enter your zip code there to get your forecast. Usually only tree pollen in April causes me to have the allergy symptoms I’ve recently been suffering from – itchy watery eyes and severe rapid sneezing attacks. I’ve never got that before in July – not here in Norman. However, I now live on the west side. I lived on the east side from 3 May 2008 to 2 May 2015. When those trees that get the white flowers for only a month, usually early in April, that’s when I usually get those symptoms. Since I arrived in May 2008, the first time for me here was April 2009. Several OTC allergy meds first tried failed. I discovered those tiny Loratadine Tablets get the job done for about 12 hours, but the maximum recommended is one 10mg tablet every 24 hours. So it is a good thing the April symptoms from tree pollen is usually only during the mornings – never got it evenings without the meds. I’m not sure what kind of weed pollen here in the west side is causing the same symptoms, apparently ragweed, but the med fails after about 10 hours (from taking one at 6:00am – and so the weed allergy then also gets me when I go outside to check for delivery of US Mail about 4:00pm. My bronchial asthma has also been bad during the mornings – when I let in the “fresh” air of the cooler mornings, or go out on errands. I take Primatene Tablets for the asthma attacks.

I bought a 5oz can of StarKist Chunk Light Tuna – price marked down to less than a dollar, for my roommates, a couple of cats abandoned by a past neighbor. I normally put out dry food they can eat whenever they want to, like snack food for them rather than intended main meals, and they appear to appreciate that. I snack a lot, so I decided they should have that right too. Most of the main meals they like are the wet cat food – those Meow Mix cups variety pack of 12. Once-in-a-while I share the right kind of human food with them. I dumped out the 5oz can of tuna on a dinner plate, divided it into two piles.

The cats get along real well with each other – eating side-by-side, an old male cat followed around by a younger female cat. It’s funny, they bump foreheads when greeting each other. I’d never seen that done by cats before. Also, they like to greet me that way too, when able to jump up on my lap and reach my forehead – especially when I’m leaning back on the couch or using my new “Zero Gravity” recliner chair.

Anyway, they polished the plate. I get the impression that’s their favorite meal – the tuna intended for humans. I can do that for them about once or twice per week. They like chicken and turkey too.

My food choices have changed some this month – actually began last month. I’m buying more deli food. The 8-piece fried chicken deal is a favorite – 2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 wings, 2 thighs. Good for 4 meals for me. I’ve started buying the “Chef Salads” with the light green crunchy lettuce – I don’t like the dark green leafy lettuce, plus diced ham, turkey, chicken, cheese, bacon and tomatoes, with a cup of Ranch dressing. Sometimes I get Thousand Island dressing. I’m also buying the white meat chicken salad sandwich spread at the deli – mainly the Walmart deli. The Walmart deli food is fresher and more time on Use By dates there than from the Homeland grocery store deli. I mean food that is packaged and put out for sale, rather than orders over-the-counter from a deli worker like at a restaurant. I do have to be extra careful I don’t get mugged when opening a container of the white meat chicken salad – having noticed the look I get from the cats when doing so and they smell it. Big eyes, mouths hanging open.

I modified the dining room window, set low to the 2nd level stairs landing outside my front door, for them to come and go at will all day and night. I believe cats appreciate that kind of freedom as much as people do. I turned the rectangular screen sideways – like from landscape to portrait, repositioned it inside with the window raised up a few inches – forming a square opening of about 9 inches. The blinds provided by the landlord are raised up that high. I added sheer white curtains yesterday – one curtain side covering the opening from inside – limits flies getting in and any loss of heat in winter and air conditioned cold air in summer. Forms a kind of flap for the cats to easily move aside when going in and out.

The cats like to sleep in the space under my couch, mostly during days, and especially run under there during the really loud blasts of thunder during recent evening and night storms. There’s a couple of ladies, retired, in different apartments at the ground floor level, who have also been helping to feed the cats during the past few months. Now the cats are spending more time at my apartment, maybe because I’m usually home all day now and run the air conditioner. I know they don’t like being out in the heat – especially with the heat index going over 100F+ during some afternoons recently.

I’m presently partly watching a movie on my 26-inch TV. Titled “UNKNOWN” – “During a business trip in Berlin, Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) falls into a coma after a car accident. When he awakens, his wife acts as if she’s never seen him before and a stranger claims that he’s the real Martin Harris. With the help of a mysterious woman, Martin begins to unravel the conspiracy being hatched against him.” – excerpted from TV Guide online. Good movie – worth the time to see again. Even so, not so focused on it this time like the first time.

Multitasking – while partly watching movies on my 26-inch TV I’m monitoring CNN or FNC or MSNBC on my nearby 13-inch TV – sound muted except when I notice something major is happening – being reported in the news. As is, one horror story after another. It’s possible the heat of summer is contributing to the violence. Maybe “global warming” will eventually cause humans to kill each other to death and beyond.

The RNC coverage begins a week from tomorrow, and the DNC coverage begins two weeks from tomorrow. I expect there will be more violence at the Republican convention July 18-21 than at the Democratic convention July 25-28. Apart from those, and leading into those this coming week, likely to be ongoing protests and riots with more conflicts between protesters and cops in major cities across the country – mainly because of white cops shooting black citizens, and the revenge killings of cops by psychotic citizens who will only make the bad cops worse then they already are. If it does get worse, martial law could be declared, with the National Guard sent in to help keep the peace. Mix in the ongoing horrors of terrorism for this summer of death and violence.

As for me, it has so far been an unusually good month. Best month so far since moving into this apartment back in November 2015.

I have the 13-inch TV on my 4-foot round dining table now in the living room over by the French doors to my private balcony facing south. I’m using the table as a desk, where I’m now using my HP Notebook. I’ve added a 3-speaker sound system plugged into the notebook for when I like to watch and listen with good sound to various music videos. The larger TV is on a TV table to the right of the French doors. These amount to my “four windows” to the world – the two TVs, the notebook with Internet access, and the view through the windows of the French doors. And – WOW! – a Red Bird just landed on my balcony railing. Entertainment for the cats, no doubt.

I just bought a new black leather office desk armchair, adjustable height (good for the keyboard), swivels (I can spin around real fast if I get too bored), and can lean back (ah yes). Ordered via Amazon on July 1, shipped July 5, received July 7. Was about $60 – and I get free shipping for anything over $50 total. Some assembly required – was easy. Worth it. My main chair now – probably use it an average of 8 hours per day.

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