email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Old Year 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR   HAPPY NEW YEAR   HAPPY NEW YEAR   HAPPY NEW YEAR
HAPPY NEW YEAR   HAPPY NEW YEAR   HAPPY NEW YEAR   HAPPY NEW YEAR

Yesterday...  Had accumulated points at the grocery store worth 90 cents per gallon of gas expiring yesterday, so I HAD to go shopping to use them.  And since I was there...

Happy OLD Year,
Happy OLD Year,
I couldn't let this go this year.

I wanted to end 
The Old Year right
So Grocery-Shopping off I went.

Happy OLD Year,
Happy OLD Year,
I couldn't let this go this year.


"Loaded up the big store cart.
Went for all the stuff I love
Though at Winter prices, not that smart.


Happy OLD Year,
Happy OLD Year,
I couldn't let this go this year.

Didn't bring a list this week
Depended on inspiration
Got the bill, it made me weak.

Happy OLD Year,
Happy OLD Year,
I couldn't let this go this year.

But I'm happy now at home
Admiring my treasures.
Steak, hot sausage, cordan bleu.

Marinated artichoke hearts,
Even fancy oliveses.
Aparagus, fresh brussels sprouts.


Long seedless cucumber

Even went for cheddar cheese
(Not my favrit, but seemed right).

Grape tomatoes firm and sweet.
A bag of Navel oranges.
Had to have some apples too. 

What's an apple without a pear.
Good ones, ripe.  Those are rare.
Got to have a melon, too.

Dead of Winter, so I cared
To buy some soups of hen and beef.
Pop-top soup is all I dared.

Wanted a lobster but even fer me
There are limits to my budget.
Shrimp are very much the same.

Got butter for the melting,
Made my own coctail sauce,
Ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice.

Now I just have to eat this stuff 
Sometime in the next 2 weeks.  
Trying not to put on pounds...

Happy OLD Year,
Happy OD Year,
I couldn't let this go this year.

 -----------------

Not exactly a poem, but I had a great time shopping and it registered the event.  I'll discuss packing stuff away tomorrow.

But goodbye 2014...


 




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December

Why is December such a hard time on cats?  It seems so many leave for The Bridge in this month. 

Is it the short days that depress them? 

Less time outside for those who DO go outside?  Or just fewer sunpuddles for those who stay inside?

Do the longer nights just suggest going into "forever"?

It seems to me that we lose more cat-friends in December than any other month, and I don't know why...

The short days sadden ME.  I have to fight it; I get depressed at this time of year too.  But I know WHY.  Maybe its harder when you DON'T know why maybe they just get saddened and all.  Who knows the minds of our cats.  We try, but as close as we feel toward them, we cannot ever truly understand their thoughts.

I just know that December is a real hard time on cats. 

And so, for myself, and for the cats, I keep the house brightly lit, I keep them active, I stuff them with food, and I keep them on my lap as much as possible.  I don't know if that makes the slightest bit of difference. 

But it makes me feel good to try...  Special places to make them happy.

My lap.
Good places to sleep at night.
Interesting new spots.
Anything I can do...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Winter Holidays

To All My Friends -

The shortest days of this season have caused people the world over, of all times and cultures and beliefs and philosophies, to create reasons for celebrating the lengthening days. 

From ancient pre-history days when the Winter Solstice was celebrated to recognize the first longer days, to the old Persian Sadeh ("to defeat the forces of darkness, frost, and cold"), to Malkh (a celebration of the Sun in the Caucasus Mountains), to the Saturnalia of the Romans (Saturn was their god of plenty, wealth, and renewal - with exchanges of gifts), Yalda of the Iranians ("the turning point"), Modraniht of the Saxons ("Mothers Night" - and I'm guessing there was a fertility festival 9 months earlier), to the celebrations of Hanukkah and Christmas in the modern religions, this time of year has always been celebrated in some sense of renewed life.

I tend to think of the initial causes of all these celebrations as the Winter Solstice and think of that day as my holiday.  There is no unique belief associated with it, as it is a natural function of the Earth's rotation and axial tilt.  Holidays established to recognize this event vary mostly on the precise date due to historical calendar changes.  Another reason I prefer the Winter Solstice itself...  That event is consistent.

So to everyone, whatever your reason is to celebrate at this general time of year, Celebrate and Be Joyful!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Meat

Not sure why this came to mind, but I suddenly remembered this vaguely, and I had search far and wide to find it again.  Its why we haven't been contacted...


Imagine if you will... the Leader of the fifth Exploratory Force speaking to the Commander In Chief...

Leader:"They're made out of meat, Sir."
Commander:"Meat?"
Leader:"Meat. They're made out of meat."
Commander:"Meat?"
Leader:"There's no doubt about it. We picked several individuals from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."
Commander:"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars."
Leader:"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."
Commander:"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."
Leader:"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."
Commander:"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."
Leader:"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made out of meat."
Commander:"Maybe they're like the Orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."
Leader:"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take too long. Do you have any idea the life span of meat?"
Commander:"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the Weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."
Leader:"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads like the Weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."
Commander:"No brain?"
Leader:"Oh, there is a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat!"
Commander:"So... what does the thinking?"
Leader:"You're not understanding, are you? The brain does the thinking. The meat."
Commander:"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"
Leader:"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you getting the picture?"
Commander:"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."
Leader:"Finally, Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."
Commander:"So what does the meat have in mind?"
Leader:"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and information. The usual."
Commander:"We're supposed to talk to meat?"
Leader:"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there? Anyone home?' That sort of thing."
Commander:"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
Leader:"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."
Commander:"I thought you just told me they used radio."
Leader:"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."
Commander:"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"
Leader:"Officially or unofficially?"
Commander:"Both."
Leader:"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome, and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in the quadrant, without prejudice, fear, or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."
Commander:"I was hoping you would say that."
Leader:"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"
Commander:"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say?" `Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"
Leader: "Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."
Commander:"So, we just pretend there's no one home in the universe."
Leader:"That's it."
Commander:"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"
Leader:"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."
Commander:"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."
Leader:"And we can mark this sector unoccupied."
Commander:"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone else interesting on that side of the galaxy?"
Leader:"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."
Commander:"They always come around."
Leader:"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold, the universe would be if one were all alone."


I don't know why this one got dredged out of my memory, but I'm sure glad I found it again.

The Other Special Decorations

The other decorations are so special.  Some on the tree this year, so not.  And for reasons.

Of the special ones on the tree, this is among the best.
It was a housewarming present from Mom when I bought my house 28 years ago...  This tiny 3" decoration has my name, and a the mailbox open to suggest receptiveness.  Sometimes, when I don't even have a tree, I dig this one out of the box to set it up on the table.

And it shows up nicely in the dark too...

The ones I haven't used this year are the glass icicles.  I have dozens.  But with the built-in white lights on the tree, it didn't seem to me that they would show up, and I don't like to over-do a tree.  I'll save them for next year with a real tree.

Instead of 1,000 white LED lights, there will be glass, reflecting strings of blue lights.  And after after that, strings of red and green lights.  Its good to have changes.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Decorations Up Close

 It's not your usual tree...

Well, lets see the close-ups of the ones I used this year...  The cardinals always have to be there.  I love Cardinals. 
A general view of one side of the tree.
The bird nests are favorites.  And yes, those are real bird nests.  The eggs are painted wood.  
I love my apples.  They are at least 40 years old. 
I didn't even remember these.   Glass pine cones all covered in glitter!
A view of another side of the tree.
A glass hummingbird.  I have 6 of pairs of colors.  I LOVE those.
And of course, what is a tree without a cat?  This is an old decoration from Mom.  I think there used to be buttons for eyes that got replaced when she (Mom) was young, by ink.  I hope to pass this one (and others) along some day.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Tree

Start To Finish...  And a long one; as someone said, "grab a beverage", LOL...

I was initially discouraged by all the branch and stem and twig adjustments needed.  It sat there with just the base opened for a week (I seem to have lost THAT picture sadly).  I dithered about returning it and buying a real tree, the amount of work to adjust all the ends was daunting, but adding all the lights to a real tree is no great fun either.

It seemed so balanced either way... 
But my earliest jobs required a lot of repetitive work, and I WAS good at that, so I considered managing all those bendy branches from a repetition work point of view.  They were assembled in a way, they must open in a way.  I found a pattern.  The internal branches go "left, right, up, down" just to fill in the background.  Its not like you are going to hang ornaments next to the trunk of the tree.
So I just started spreading the tightly packed stems and twigs.  The instructions said "10 minutes and you have a lovely tree".  HAH, HAH, HAH!  But 3 hours and I did!   just had to actually stnd there and DO IT.  The biggest annoyance and time-waster, was that the outer "new-season" twigs were flat on one side and full on the other, and they were almost always upside down.  Easier for the poor people constructing the trees I assume, but poor quality-control at the end of the production line.  I'll bet I had to turn over 1,000 stem-ends.  But only once.  Next year, I won't have to.

It helped to wear thin "driving gloves".  Those plastic needles can wear on you after a while.

So it was a good-looking tree after all the set-up.  It looks better than I expected, actually.
Then I turned on the built-in LED lights...  WOW!

With camera flash...
With slow-synchro camera flash...
With camera flash OFF.  The lights really shine that way.  And it looks the same with the room lights off.
And decorated!!!   With flash on...
And off...

Hmmm. ..  Didn't notice that one cardinal was fallen over...  Well, everything can't stay perfect.

I love real trees for the smell and reality.  And you don't have to arrange the branches.  And I'm not sure tree farms harm the environment.  They produce oxygen.  And I know one cat who survived under them until finding a Forever Home...

But fake trees have advantages too.  One lasts for a decade or so, they have 1,000s of built-in LED lights, they don't require watering so they are safer.  And in theory, they can fold up "OK" with the branches spread (but folded up, if that makes sense).  Well, let's just say it wouldn't fit back in the box, but it will take up less space than as currently spread out.  All the branches are on hinges.

I always hate to say this, given my general sarcasm to "Martha Stewartism" but this IS a Martha Stewart Tree...  (According to the box and I didn't know that at the time).  All I knew at the time was that it was a pretty realistic-looking fake tree...

But what finally decided me on keeping the one I bought was that the branches are sturdier than real trees and I have a lot of rather heavy ornaments.  Ornaments that I could not keep hung on real trees stay on this one.

But I have a lot of very light ornaments too.  So I think I will alternate between live trees and this one.  Best balance I can make.

Tomorrow, close ups of the decorations...  I forgot to use the macro setting and they were all blurry up close.  So I need to take new pictures.

But the close-ups are great, so tune in tomorow.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Coincidence and Memes...

Its a small world after all.
Ita s small world after all.
Its a small world after all.

Its a small small world.

Now get THAT out of your head...  LOL!

And I was actually there to hear it originally...

The weirdest thing about the trip to the 1964 New York Worlds Fair (I was 14) was that we stopped to have lunch at some exhibit (I want to say "Wisconsin" but don't hold me to it) and there, just several places down these long tables, by utter coincidence, were our neighbors from up the street..

It WAS a small world after all.  According to a display, there were only 175 million Americans at the time.  If I recall correctly (but then, I WAS only 14 and memory is tricky).

And I'm STILL trying to decide whether to keep the artificial tree or buy a real one...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday Tree

I should have known not to buy an artificial Holiday Tree!  I don't like artificial things all that much.  And I didn't even go shopping to get one.  I was at a DIY store to buy furnace filters weeks ago, and there were all these nice-looking artificial trees so nicely decorated.  Two thoughts came to mind.

First, I recalled memories of younger days with the family decorating the tree, and I thought a nice artificial one would be "satisfactory", convenient, and cost-effective over the years.

Secondly, I had had to empty the attic a few months ago to have the attic sealed and additional insulation sprayed in, so I had all these boxes of Holiday decorations stacked up in the cat room.  The decorations were on my list of things to keep or donate.

So I was looking at the trees in the store and thinking of the all the decorations I'd collected over the years and ON IMPULSE I bought an artificial tree.  Impulse purchases are not my habit, but by definition "impulse" is not planned.

I opened the box today, and it was NOT what I expected.  I EXPECTED a box of a dozen or so stacking rings of perfectly formed branches that would be ready to go with a simple plug-in (and me adding special ornaments and my bubble-lights.  Foolish me!

Instead, there are only 3 sections (of branches that DO hinge down, to be fair).  But each branch is as tightly squeezed into a tube-like shape as wrapping paper.  Each individual stem and twig has to be bent out into a realistic shape.  A quick estimate suggested there would be 100 branches of about 20 stems per branch and 20 twigs per branch (= 40,000 if you really do it right).

A sample branch of the middle section took 2 minutes to make look realistic.  So, 2 minutes times 100 branches = 200 minutes (or 3 hours and 20 minutes).  And adding in some time for discomfort caused by handling the prickly plastic needles, hand-cramps from all that bending of stems and twigs, and back-cramps from being bent over and around reaching them, I decided that was more than I wanted to do in order to have a Holiday Tree!

I re-evaluated my concerns over killing live trees.  I guess if I am perfectly willing to have chickens and turkeys raised just for the purpose of being killed for my eating pleasure, I can stand having a real tree grown and cut down for my decorating pleasure.  At least trees just use sunlight and produce oxygen.

Hey, I can rationalize my decisions with the best of them, LOL!

That's IF I get a real cut tree...  I probably will, but it's not definite tonight.  I haven't bought one for a decade, so there may be sticker-shock involved.  I have to think about this.

Its not like there are children or visitors who would see my tree.  But it HAS been years since I decorated and I DO have all the boxes of decorations out of the attic already.  And none of the cats has ever experienced a real tree in the house and that might be interesting.  Skeeter and LC (and the cats who came before) always seemed to enjoy them.

I could justify buying a real tree just for the cats, I suppose...  Hmm, yeah, that could work.  A tree just for the cats.  And they wouldn't mind if I decorated it with cheap plastic ornaments at the bottom where they could reach to whap them.  They'd LIKE that...  I'll put the "good" stuff higher up.

And the birds would like it too.  I used to dig a hole in the backyard to set the tree in after I was done with it inside.  The tree leaves a bare spot under it even when it snows and the birds LOVE picking at the seeds I toss under it.  I had almost forgotten about that.

So, well of course, I'm not buying a live dead tree for ME, I'm doing it for the cats and then the birds.  What could POSSIBLY be more noble?

Oh my goodness!  I better go shopping for a real tree ASAP.  The cats are waiting, and the birds will be happier into the New Year, and the New Year is something to celebrate too...

Mark

Friday, December 12, 2014

Men Are From... Camo?

I was shopping at Walmart yesterday.  I had a list.  I shop at Walmart for some brand-name items they happen to sell cheaper (cat litter, non-prescription drugs, vitamins, printer ink, calendars, etc).  I rarely buy anything not on my list (I am a relatively disciplined shopper).

But pushing the cart past the shoe department, I was stopped in my tracks.  I'll try to do a Ron White imitation here (I love his off-beat, low-key style)...*

They Call Me Camo Slippers

"So I was in the Walmart, the other day, and in Maryland, they can't sell liquor, so that was a bit weird.  But the printer ran out off all the ink at the same time, and I needed to print out Holiday cards and the Staples store wasn't open yet.  I'd been up all night destroying the Pogo.com Scrabble bots, and suddenly I felt a need to go buy kitty litter.  Yes, there was wine involved, isn't there always?

So there I was in a Walmart that doesn't sell wine in a State that doesn't allow it, and I carted past the shoe department and put the brakes on the cart.  There were slippers!  Now, I love my feet.  They mostly keep me upright, and with enough wine, that's a good trick!  I appreciate that...

I own a few pairs of slippers.  My favorite ones are the Hobbit slippers.  Bigger footprint - better standing up ability...

But these were CAMO!  I checked my internal inventory list and I was pretty sure I didn't have any camo slippers.  Then I checked my internal inventory list a 2nd time and it agreed with the 1st list.  Internal consistency in wonderful.  Not something that happens all that often for me.

Yep, I didn't have any camo slippers...

I HAD to have a pair.  Now, Walmart usually has only 2 sizes of anything.  XXL and small.  Fortunately, and as my several ex's have commented, "small" is about right for me.  You can argue about size all you want, but you can't fake shoe size and I'm a 7.5 (or an 8 with really thick socks).

Sorting through the 1,000 dozen XXL slippers, I found the 1 pair of small , and tried them on.  Which was rather easy; my favorite type of shoelace is "velcro" and my shoes mostly use those.  You can be too drunk to tie a shoelace but you can't be too drunk to use velcro.  Even a close try works.  It may have been invented for that purpose.  Sure, NASA says it was for astronauts with clumsy gloved hands, but I know better.  The astronauts were sniffing the fuel tanks for a lack of wine...

So I tried them on.  They didn't fit - they were actually too small, and I'm not used to that!  I bought them anyway.  Fortunately, there was paper stuffed in the toes.  Not unlike what I do with my pants personally when I go out to bars.  That can get awkward at times, but usually doesn't alter the course of the evening.

But I bought them because they were CAMO, and "camo" is to guys what "pink" is to women.  It defines us small macho types and suggests what is not really there.  Like pink lipstick, and rouge and all those things the women use to suggest what is not really there.  You KNOW what I mean...

I'm wearing the camo slippers now.  I feel MANLY!

Never mind that I am hardly invisible in the house because of the camo slippers.  You can't be invisible when you are wearing bright green golf pants and a red plaid shirt just because you are wearing camo slippers.  But you can PRETEND to be.  You can THINK you are invisible.  

Let's say a lion has crept into the house.  He knows you are there, SOMEWHERE.  But he can't find you because you are wearing your camo slippers!

So that's when you grab the ever-sharp Ginsu knife and slit its throat!

And THAT'S why I bought the camo slippers..."


* Everything except the camo slippers is completely fictional... 
Everything except the camo slippers is completely fictional...
Everything except the camo slippers is completely fictional...

This started by me wondering why men love camo clothes (and I do) and sort of took on a life of it's own.  And there IS something about camo that men love.  Hope you all enjoyed it... 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Missing Skeeter

TBT:  Today, 6 years ago, my heart cat passed over the Bridge.  His name was Skeeter and he was the best cat I ever had. 

He slept under the covers hppily without dsturbing my sleep, he sat on my lap without feeling heavy, he licked my hand without roughness.  He happily ate whatever I provided (especially tuna), played wand toys any chance I gave, and was a kind and protective big brother to LC who arrived the year after he did.  He protected LC from Mean Old Tinkerbelle. 

He patrolled the yard endlessly to make sure there were no introoders.  He was a dedicated and talented Mouser.  He was always relaxed in in himself, by which, I mean he knew who he was and never had to pretend to be otherwise. 

Skeeter was Skeeter all the way. 

He had a hard start.  I found him in a small local pet shop alone in a cage where the whole store was being beaten apart loudly.  I had gone in looking for a Siamese, I came out with him.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

He never quite recovered from the horrible noise and dust of his kittenhood, and I protected him from that all the days of his life.  When LC came along from the same store, he welcomed her.

Skeeter was MY kitty, LC was his...

Skeeter once grew to 16 pounds of mancatly hunter.  I saw him jump once 6' high to catch a sparrow.  He was all muscle!!!

In his last years he lost weight down to 14 then 12 pounds.  He was still a great hunter.  There were fewer voles and mice his years than any years before or since.

In his last year, he lost weight and muscle.  I had never had a cat who lived to 16 before.  The Good Vet explained about kidney failure and we did our best for him his last months.  The vet said he would start to loose balance at the end, but would not be feeling pain, but that I should bring him in at that point. 

"That Point" occurred on December 9, 2008, and I brought him to his final vet visit Dec 10th.

He left my world at 3:45 PM, in my arms, as I told him much I loved him...

I brought his body home and laid it out for LC and Ayla to sniff.  I wanted them to know (as best they could) that he gone, not wandered off.  LC understood, I think.  Ayla was young, but she seemed to understand.  They both sat next to him for a while.  Then the both slowly walked away at the same time.

I brought him out to the spot he had last seemed to enjoy and dug a 2' deep hole for him. 

I love Ayla, Iza, and Marley very much, and I am deeply glad for them.  And I am glad for the ones who came before.  But Skeeter was the first cat who lived his whole life with me and had me send him off to the Bridge. 

His first moment home...
 
 In his prime, and just look at those fur patterns..

On his last day...
Oh Skeeter, I miss you so much.

You would be proud of the Cat's-Who-Came-After.  Marley keeps the peace as you did.  Iza and Marley are great mousie-hunters.  Ayla remembers you (and LC), and is the great hunter you taught her to be.  Your hunting skills have lived on from one generation to the next...

I just KNOW you and LC are romping through the fields over the Bridge together.  We will meet again one day...










Friday, December 5, 2014

Officially Old

I had another "I'm Officially Old" event today.  I got my shingles shot...

I had been thinking of it for a few years, but I figured I would have it when I visited my regular Dr for an annual physical.  Only I keep not doing that.  The Dr I last visited left the area and I just keep not finding another.

Part of the problem is that I am, as my friends say, "disgustingly healthy".  I haven't had a cold or flu since I was 12.  And even then, while my brother lay sounding like he was dying of flu, I was only mildly annoyed.  I even had to heat the thermometer over the heat vent to get it high enough to stay out of school an extra day.

I only got my first flu shot when Dad was living here in 2012 because I read that you can be infected but not show signs of it yourself, but can infect other, and I didn'r want to kill Dad inadvertantly, so I got a flu shot.

I got it at the local grocery store.  The shot was so good I couldn't even tell he had done it without looking.  The same in Dec 2013.  Dad had moved to an assisted-living facility by then, but I decided I should probably get the annual flu shot for the safety of others. 

So I got the flu shot again this year and probably will each year for the rest of my life.  Not so much for me, but in case I can carry it without symptoms, getting the shot seems socially responsible. 

No pain, $30, no big deal and I get a 10% off coupon for the days shopping.

This year, I got the shingles shot.  Its not covered by my (or darn near any)insurance, but it seems to be something that attacks 1 of 3 people my age who had chicken pox as a child (and I did).  Mom had it and it drove her crazy for weeks several times.  So I sure didn't want to go through that.

I actually felt the shot!  The previous flu shots were nearly undetectable, but I felt the shingles one.  The Pharmacist said it the larger amount of injection.  Well, 1 second of mild "ouch" isn't much to complain about.  It was just that I was surprized.

The Pharmacist insisted on putting bandages over the injection sites "because they bleed.  I told him not to bother because I heal oddly fast.  But he had to according to "the rules".  I took them of as soon as I got home and there wasn't the least drop of blood on them.

They never believe me about not bleeding, but I don't fight about it.  If it makes them happy to put a bandage on, fine.

I probably don't need the flu or shingles shots for myself.  They are both viruses and I seem to be immune to viral  infections and colds.  Maybe I should contact a testing experiment.  I suspect that because I spent 30 years in carpools with young mothers who both had sick kids AND went to work when they were sick themselves. 

If I can't get sick around sick carpool members an hour each way in an enclosed car while the sneeze  (and sometimes did worse), I probably can't get sick.

Not to say something new coming along wouldn't kill me next month...

I think it is genetics.  Ancestors from all over Europe, into North America  (Canada and US and likely some Native American).  Wish I had a bit of Asian ancestry too.  Viruses aren't going to kill me; smoking will...

Bet I catch something awful just because I've mentioned all this...