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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Say "No!" to an MRI Involving a Gadolinium-Based Dye │ Also Say "No!" to a Voluntary Stent Procedure


Very soon after my wife Jack showed up last evening to spend the night, I let her know that our chequing account was in danger of being around $200 short if both the monthly mortgage debit and a credit card payment I had mailed on Sunday were to strike today.

So she told me to go ahead and make a transfer from her account.

Well, I did ─ I transferred $210, leaving her with just $6.84.

The mortgage was debited today, but as yet the cheque payment for the credit card has not been negotiated. The chequing account will only have a $9.36 balance remaining once the payment is taken.

I hate living like this.

I had thought that Jack would involve one of her sons in covering our shortfall, but she did not.

I will receive my monthly pension sometime next week. So unless some further money turns up, I will be unable to do any shopping whatsoever until then.

I sat up later last night than I normally would have because I had tuned in YouTube on our Android TV Box to show Jack, and we watched a succession of our videos that were filmed by us in Thailand at least as far back as 2005.

I have them in my YouTube account. Watching them on a large T.V. screen made them so very much more enjoyable.

Both Jack and I looked younger back then. We even spoke differently with one another ─ we were 'cuter.'

It was a minute or two before 1:00 a.m. by the time I was in bed; Jack followed suit at 1:17 a.m. at latest.

I tend to sleep a little worse than normal on those nights when Jack and I share the bed, for I try not to disturb her. 

Then came a point when I heard her eldest son Tho knock sharply upon the bedroom door and call to her. Apparently he did not have a ride available from his co-worker this morning, so he was getting his mother up to drive him to the SkyTrain instead of having to get there on his own like I had to do for many years when I had to work for a living. 

She sounded so weary and disappointed ─ surprised, in fact. He evidently did not forewarn her last evening when she went out somewhere with the two boys for an hour or more.

My suspicion is that she took them out because her youngest son Poté has his 20th birthday on the 24th, and Jack will not be here ─ she spends most of her weeks somewhere in Vancouver.

It was raining, sure; but he would have done this even if it was a sunny Summer morning.

I checked the time as Jack dressed in the dark ─ it was 6:04 a.m. 

My night had also ended; I waited until Jack exited the bedroom, and then I rose and dressed.

She of course was to return home and go back to bed after taking Tho away, but I had the morning's assignment of content supply to meet at the post I am constructing at one of my six hosted websites.

My eyes were not rested due to my poor night's sleep. And so when I had the assigned workload discharged around 9:00 a.m., soon after that I headed over to my working younger brother Mark's bedroom and covered up with the comforter on his bed to seek a nap ─ earplugs and blindfold in place.

Eventually I felt sure that I could hear Jack up, so I rose to verify it. I had only been abed for an hour ─ my eyes still felt unrested.

She was downstairs in the kitchen, finishing up preparations of a coffee. Soon, she was upstairs to shower.

And by about 11:00 a.m. ─ Poté rose while his mother was showering ─ she was ready to drive off somewhere. I am sure she said in Thai where she was going to Poté, but since she deigned not to venture any such explanation to me, I did not bother to ask.

This has afforded me the chance to begin work upon this blog post. It is 11:47 a.m. at this very moment.

I want to quickly bring up two health-related topics that may or may not be pertinent to you or a loved one.

The first concerns the dye often administered to patients undergoing an MRI

Chuck Norris is making headlines because of the fight he has undertaken to save his wife from the effects of this dye ─ if this is news to you, here are two reports about it:

HSIonline.com

Mercola.com

Apparently here in Canada where I live, there are eight gadolinium-based dyes that are sold and commonly used in MRIs because Health Canada authorizes them.

Just because the government or a doctor endorses something does not ever mean that it is perfectly safe.

The other topic concerns stenting to keep open something like a blood vessel that may have become blocked or clogged.

Again, here are two reports about the latest findings that are raising big alarms about the procedure:

JacksDailyDose.com

Mercola.com

In my 68 years, I cannot recall ever having undergone an MRI, nor have I any need for a stent procedure, so neither of these apply to me ─ nor anyone in my immediate family.

But if the application was there, I would definitely pay heed.

Here to close today's post is an old journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I was 27 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting in a private home located on Ninth Street, and not more than two houses up from Third Avenue.

A weekend had just passed without any entries in my journal ─ a sure indicator that I had become involved in something that undoubtedly kept me from my room the entire weekend, thereby preventing any updates.

The previous weekend, I had seemed to have finally broken up with my 20-year-old girlfriend, Melody St. Jean, after she openly pursued Chris, a co-worker of my younger brother Mark. 

Yet all week I pined for her, and would have embraced any opportunity for reconciliation if she had contacted me and offered it.

For over two weeks, she had been living in the bachelor suite of my old friend William Alan Gill after quitting her job ─ she even had us move her furniture into his suite, which was maybe four blocks from my room.

The two had hatched a plan to seek accommodation where the three of us could live, for all I had was a cluttered room.

I didn't even have a telephone.

Bill was employed (I was not) and had a car, whereas I had only begun to take driving classes at John's Driving School ─ I had never owned a car nor a driver's licence.

Before the end of the first week of Melody and Bill living together, the 30-year-old man had fallen in love with her, and began resenting having me visit.

Melody was not interested in poor Bill (who weighed well over 300 pounds), but he abetted her in her fraternization with Chris, who happened to own a big, flashy pickup truck.

Both Chris and Bill had CBs in their vehicles, and in that era of no cellphones, the three of them got a kick out of chasing around and communicating via their CBs. 

It was now a Monday. 

On the Friday, I wrote that I was going to hike out to the home of my mother Irene Dorosh and her husband Alex, for they had gone on a two-week vacation.

Their little home was in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey; and although the house no longer exists, its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue. A fast-paced walk to get there from my room would take about 1½ hours.

The plan was to hike out there (I had access to the house ─ and it was my main mailing address); and then later, hike over to visit my younger brother Mark, who I believe may have been renting a duplex unit located on Semiahmoo Road, just a short distance from where it adjoins Old Yale Road.

So my written record on Friday afternoon that I was leaving for my mother's home at 1:20 p.m. was the last thing I wrote before my next update on the Monday after the weekend.

Note that the Vargas ─ Al and Marie Varga ─ had an apartment in New Westminster. Mark and I had been invited over for a deer roast ─ a cut of wild game that Mark had given them.
MONDAY, November 22, 1976

Friday night I had a filling supper with Mark at the Vargas.

Bill phoned there a couple times, and after talking to Melody, Al learned that her old boyfriend, Gary, broke into the place that night; Chris was there, and between him, Bill, and tenants, Gary was subdued till the police arrived and took him away.

Bill got punched near the nose.

Anyway, we were to meet up with the 3 of them at the Scottsdale Inn (Melody agreed she & Chris were going together when Al asked her on the phone).

Jasper drove the Vargas and Mark & I; he was down all night.

I conducted myself very cheerfully, though it really hurt to see Mel & Chris together; I hope I impressed her.

After closing we shook hands good-bye; she & Chris were apparently heading for a week-long drive that night to take them as far as Prince George and Jasper Park

They left, and our group went to Nell's awhile.

When we returned to the Vargas', Mark & I tried to get hold of Bill, but couldn't.

He & I returned to Nell's, and stayed.

We never could get hold of Bill.

*****

After dark Saturday night, Mark & I picked up the Vargas and a divorcee friend (Glennard-Lee, I believe, Westbrook; she works in Manpower) and went to the Cariboo for a few; from there we went to the Port Arms till closing.

We returned to the divorcee's apartment (oh yes, Ken went with us all too), and I remember little more till awaking the next day; Mark & she were in bed.

*****

We stayed there all day.

He & she have a sexual affair going.

He & I didn't get back to his place till after 11:00 p.m. Sunday.

There I stayed the night, and rode into town this morn with Mark on his way to work.

I must win a lottery; I need Melody (no, I'm not really hurting badly for her), but that is the only way I'll ever be able to successfully compete with other guys for her.

I hope I'll always love her.

And may she grow disenchanted with Chris, perceiving his every flaw, to my credit; I hope she learns she really cares for and misses me.

I wasn't able to vote Saturday, being stuck out at Nell's; at least I acquired a fairly good pair of steel-toed boots from them.

I never could contact Bill; he was supposed to have phoned the Vargas Sunday when only Wendy & Cathy were there. Did he follow Melody & Chris?

*****

I tried unsuccessfully to locate Trapp Road out near the Queensborough Bridge so I could apply at B.C. Hydro; on my way home I blew $4.49 at Woodward's on peanut butter and granola.

And all morning I've been keenly missing Melody.

At mom's on Friday I found my 2nd Loto-Canada ticket and a postal notice saying they were holding a registered letter for me; too, I had a short letter from Jean, my first in about half a year.

I hope Thursday's or Friday's lotteries favour me; Melody will see me rebound like she could never imagine.

This afternoon I typed a letter to Terri which I'll mail on my way to mom's.

I have to hand in my unemployment claim today, so I can't head for Surrey till at least 3:00 p.m. I've decided against seeing about the correctional officer training program.
"Nell's" was the large household of my maternal Aunt Nell Halverson, who was likely still renting in Surrey somewhere on 60th Avenue, and possibly around 132nd Street ─ but that's now a guess.

Her home was often the scene of weekend-long parties, for three of her sons were into their 20s. I mentioned one of her daughters, Wendy, as well as Wendy's school friend Cathy ─ a beautiful blonde lass who dressed like Li'l Abner's Daisy Mae, yet had no idea how fantastic she looked to the young guys.

And me, too! 

I had forgotten about that incident of Melody's recurring boyfriend, Gary (Foreman?), breaking into Bill's apartment. I had met Gary a number of times before Melody successfully got me involved with her after trying for about three years, and I quite liked the fellow.

Melody seemed to have a knack for getting young guys stuck on her.

I think that Bill really did go trailing after Melody and Chris on that long, long drive. Chris would have needed to be careful not to let Bill lose sight of them, for Bill couldn't even navigate Surrey much without help. 

He'd have been doomed 'way upcountry if he lost track of Chris's truck.

In association with the Vargas, I mentioned Jasper and Ken (whom I previously wrote was Al's nephew, I believe), but I now have no recollection of either chap.

I do remember the involvement Mark and I had with divorcee "Glennard-Lee Westbrook" ─ her apartment may have been in the same building as the Vargas'.

I doubt I have her name spelled correctly, for I would only have been recording by ear.

I had actually been the one charming the heck out of her in the beer parlours or bars, and Mark was just hanging on in the sidelines. 

But by the time we had gone back to her apartment, I froze. My old insecurities all surfaced ─ no job or prospects, I didn't drive, etc.

I had no future that I could see to offer to the woman. It was not in my nature to try to just take advantage of her for a sexual episode. To tell the truth, Melody was the first lass with whom I had experienced sex and allowed myself to climax.

The only other lass I had any sexual experience with was a lovely gal named Pat back around 1970, but I was just too inhibited to allow myself sexual release then. 

Both Pat and Melody had essentially seduced me into relationships.

Anyway, I froze socially with the divorcee once we were back at her apartment, and Mark then took over the bantering conversation with her. I remember going heavy on the beers at her digs because of my withdrawal and utter uncertainty, wondering why I had gotten myself into such a mess.

I believe I drank until I finally passed out, and was entirely uncommunicative until then. I remember that the poor gal was perplexed by the total change in the openly gregarious guy she had enjoyed exchanges with at the bar.

The end of my journal entry mentions two different American pen-pals I had back then: Jean Michelle Martin (née Black) and Terri Martin. 

They were not related, and in fact lived many states apart. 

I located some old photos that apply here:


Those are Al and Marie Varga in a photo I took on New Year's Day 1977.

This next photo shows my Aunt Nell cavorting with Bill, to the amusement of her eldest son Randy who is looking on ─ the photo was taken on May 10, 1975:


Finally, here are Melody and Chris:


Well, here in the present, it is now 3:40 p.m., and still my wife Jack has not returned. I am going to proofread this post and get it published and out of the way.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Rainy Day at Home in Surrey, B.C.


I made it to bed last night right around 11:00 p.m.

I had been expecting my wife Jack to be home to spend the first of a couple nights, but there was no sign of her ─ she never even texted.

She normally spends most of the week somewhere in Vancouver.

Neither of her sons said aught to me ─ I am sure both have been in regular contact with her ─ so I have no cause to fear anything to be amiss.

The youngest lad, Poté ─ whose 20th birthday is coming this month ─ even came home in the mid-evening with a pizza, so it was clear that he knew his mother was not going to be around.

She generally brings us food when she comes home, and does some cooking.

But since I knew nothing, I retired with both earplugs and blindfold just in case she did yet arrive ─ it was a measure to try and prevent a disruption of my sleep by her.

She had best come home this evening, for I need to alert her that our chequing account might be short about $200 tomorrow if both the monthly mortgage and a bill payment that I mailed off on Sunday strike on the same day ─ the mortgage will definitely be debited tomorrow, but I do not know the status of the credit card  payment I mailed on Sunday.

Thus, we need a cushion of safety in the account.

She would then impose upon one of her two working sons to make up the potential deficit.

I sure do wish that the last third of my night could include far better sleep than it ever does anymore.

I think it was around 2:30 a.m. when first I was awake enough to get up and use the bathroom. Sleep was most difficult to obtain from that point.

When I checked the time at 6:10 a.m. this morning, I was relieved to be getting up, for it had become almost torturous lying in bed. In fact, for whatever reason, I felt physically abused.

It was as if I was a mass of aches and pains, yet I did nothing unusual yesterday.

I don't need this.

As I dressed upon rising, I became aware that a vehicle had shown up out front; and soon, my eldest stepson Tho was involved in putting his carrying bag into the vehicle, and then climbing in himself.

It was his ride to work.

His younger brother Poté was still in bed, but he soon enough got up, and I believe that it was right around 7:30 a.m. when he also headed away to work.

My younger brother Mark had left for work long before Tho, so I was home alone.

It has been a very wet day with a steady enough rain.

I fulfilled the morning's assignment of content supply at the post I am constructing at one of my six hosted websites; and then because it was not yet quite 10:00 a.m., I went back to bed.

I enjoyed just over 80 minutes there, and found it distinctly difficult to pull myself from it ─ lying there was so profoundly pleasurable.

Clearly, last night's sleep was not just insufficient, but somehow brutal as well ─ I was eager to be free of the discomfort of being in bed this morning, yet lying in bed after the nap was a luxurious sensation.

As I wrote about yesterday, I had done some local grocery shopping and bought some vegetables that I intended to prepare for the process of natural fermentation ─ since this past March, I have become a huge fan of this easy involvement into both home probiotics and prebiotics

I had bought a cauliflower, a celery stalk, maybe half-a-dozen beets (just the roots, for I could not find any with tops), and about as many red carrots ─ I have never seen those in a store before.

Here everything is lying in the kitchen sink to enjoy a very lengthy soaking of several hours:


Now here are those same vegetables all chopped up:


Next I practically immersed them in water, and then sprinkled a liberal amount of Himalayan salt over the whole top:


I am not going to buy sea salt any longer, for it and regular table salt are riddled with micro-pellets of plastic ─ it had become impossible now to avoid ingesting the pollution that plastic has become.

If you were unaware about the plastic having been found to be contaminating salt, then check out this article at TheGuardian.com: Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show.

In contrast, Himalayan salt was deposited long before Man began polluting and otherwise destroying our world.

After I had chopped up my vegetables, I located some spinach in the fridge that had been there awhile, so I incorporated some of that, as well.

I'll mix the batch in another day or two; and it should be ready to begin enjoying servings of by Friday or Saturday.

The fermentation process somewhat softens root vegetables, and makes eating them raw much easier.

But returning to today, and the period immediately after my nap, I put in some further work on that post, and actually added an extra half-morning's quota of content supply.

I had done the same yesterday, so that meant that I contributed three mornings of work during these two days.

I had lost an entire day prior to that because HostGator had shut down the five websites I have hosted with them, charging that my websites were consuming too much data on the shared server my account is hosted on.

I implemented a couple of their suggestions, and one of them proved to be a blessing ─ it stopped WordPress constantly interfering with my post dashboard as I would work on a post.

Between WordPress constantly auto-saving the work of the posts that I am labouring on, and what I suspect is Zemanta constantly refreshing itself to the detriment of my efforts, the post editor field was an infernal nuisance causing no end of problems.

Now, my editor fields are dead still. I can go away for a goodly length of time, and my cursor will not have moved, nor will highlighted text become un-highlighted.    

This has vastly sped up my ability to supply content.

Sure, the morons behind WordPress preach that defeating the auto-saves puts one's un-plublished work at risk, but that's sheer tripe.

I work in Firefox, and if as sometimes has happened, the browser ─ or even my computer's power ─ crashes, the Firefox add-on Form History Control has allowed me to retrieve the lost data.

I used to use another add-on called Lazarus, but it ceased working in Firefox.

I honestly believe that most of the developers behind WordPress do not themselves use the product.

Anyway, after I added that extra work to the website post, I watched some YouTube videos on T.V. via our Android TV Box.

And then I used a shaver to reduce the stubble on my face and scalp.

That seemed to limber me up enough that ─ by the time I had changed into a pair of cut-offs ─ I was able to venture out to the backyard tool shed and perform the day's pull-ups that are this 68-year-old's main tool to stave off muscle and strength loss.

And here we are!

It is 5:15 p.m. I will proofread and then publish this post.

Maybe I will even find some time to work even further on that website post.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Risks of Lyrica │ Knee Osteoarthritis: Three Simple Tests to Gauge Capacity to Handle Daily Walking Therapy


It was after 11:00 p.m. before I was in bed last night, and the usual night's sleep followed ─ that is, a great initial block of sound sleep, and then the broken segments.

My younger brother Mark is always the first in the house to rise for work, for I don't believe that his alarm is set any later than 4:20 a.m.

I may have heard him this morning ─ I usually do not, for I tend to wear earplugs.

I definitely heard my eldest stepson Tho later, using the bathroom beside my bedroom ─ it was around 5:45 a.m.

By then sleep was much too elusive for me, and had he not been still home, I would have risen. So I bode time until he left ─ but that seemed to take longer than usual.

He usually leaves around 6:00 a.m. or soon after, but he was still making noise at 6:18 a.m. I rose anyway, and dressed; and just as I opened my bedroom door, he headed out the front door.

His younger brother Poté was the last to get up; and he was gone before 8:00 a.m.

We're still having rain, but it is very light.

As I usually do, I worked on the post I am constructing at one of my six hosted websites. But I wanted to get out and do some local grocery shopping at Deepu's No Frills market, maybe four blocks away in the Cedar Hills shopping plaza (128th Street & 96th Avenue) here in Surrey.

I wanted mostly to buy some vegetables for fermenting, for my current batch is running low and I have been partaking of the fermented mix fairly lightly.

It takes at least four days ─ five seems to be ideal ─ before the vegetables have fermented enough to start enjoying.

Or so has been my experience.

Gloomy weather is ideal for me where venturing into the public is concerned; and it was 9:05 a.m. when I headed away.

I only started fermenting my own vegetables back in March, I believe. And I always felt the need to include something very leafy, like bok choy or cabbage.

But my last batch proved that this is not essential.

So this time, I bought celery, beets (there were none with tops, or I would have bought them), cauliflower, and red carrots ─ I've never seen red carrots in a store before, so I could not resist.

Anyway, I'll be chopping them up at some point this afternoon and setting them up to ferment ─ they are presently soaking in the kitchen sink.

I performed the scheduled amount of content supply on the post I was working on, and I could have added more. But my eyes had grown weary, and I believed that a nap would serve.

But instead, I became wayward and frittered away time in shameful engagement here at my computer before finally tearing myself away and seeking bed-rest.   

By then the morning had advanced so much that I was too uneasy to sink into a nap, but at least I rested deeply.

By the way, yesterday I lamented feeling myself utterly ripped off by Just Host, a website host with whom I have one of my six hosted websites.

My subscription to keep the website online runs out after December 2, so I had submitted an enquiry to ask how to go about putting the website onto a monthly subscription instead of the two-year contract that it has been on since December 2009.

Back then, I still had a salary, and was not yet a pensioner with a limited pension income.

As I said yesterday, someone replied back and said that if I got in touch with them on December 2, we could work out the process of changing how my account was set up.

Well, just a couple or so days later, I received notification that a new two-year subscription had been set up with a hit on my credit card by Just Host.

The hit for two years' worth of online hosting was $323.76 U.S. ─ which converts to $414.69 in Canadian currency, according to an exchange check that I just ran.

I was aghast!

I replied back that I would remember this nasty trick, for there is no way that I can manage that much of an increase onto my credit card whose balance I struggle to deal with as it is.

Well, this morning I got the following response:
Thank you for your reply and apology for the inconvenience.

Before I proceed with cancelling your account, please confirm the followings:

1. Have you kept backup of all your website files?
2. Is the credit card on the file is active?
3. Please confirm that contact email address on the account is active.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Help us improve our service by answering a quick survey: http://survey.justhost.com/s3/ba4fa44b34c8

Thank you,

Pratheeksha
Level I Tech Support Engineer
Justhost.com
I replied back that I do not have a backup of the website ─ having one would be useless to me, because I could not afford to get it online with another host. I was willing to kiss it good-bye forever.

But the other two questions merited affirmative responses.

I also pointed out that it was never my intention to cancel my account ─ I had only wanted to convert to a monthly subscription, for I would be able to increase my credit card payments by that little increment and thereby keep things under control.

I have not as yet (1:05 p.m.) gotten a response. What has me concerned, however, is that they might just go ahead and cancel my subscription, yet keep the entirety of the two-year charge they took from me!

Obviously I will be having more to say about this.

That's pain, but let's get into the topic of physical pain.

I don't suffer from any that makes me feel the need to take any kind of medication for it, but apparently lots of folks do have prescriptions for the drug Lyrica.

Apparently the maker of that brand is losing its exclusive rights to the compound, and in a year or so it can be produced as a generic drug.

So the originator of the drug has come up with a new version that they can market and keep the rights to for some further years while the profits keep piling up.

You can read about that in this short article:

FiercePharma.com

Unfortunately for many people, Lyrica has proven to be a crippling nightmare:

HSIonline.com

I question the existence of the Facebook account supposedly called "Lyrica Survivors." I sure couldn't find it ─ only lots of references to it by people who never bother to link to the Facebook account..

I did locate one reference that called it a "closed Facebook group - LYRICA SURVIVORS."

If it does exist as a closed or private account, how are the excluded public supposed to benefit from it if it cannot be located?

But I have my own problems ─ this fortunately is not one of them.

Another topic I came upon today concerned three simple tests that supposedly predict whether somebody is a candidate for the development of knee osteoarthritis.

I feel I may have it ─ I certainly know that my knees have the cartilage badly worn away. By the time I was forced to stop running around 1993, I was so crippled that I couldn't even  hustle across a street to avoid traffic, nor even hop up onto a curb.

Climbing into the high cab of a truck, or the box of a pickup, was approaching the impossible.

I'm much better today, but I still don't run. I have nowhere to do it in privacy ─ I would love to do it on occasion.

Anyway, the three simple tests seem to me to be ludicrous. If they are designed for people with no knee osteoarthritis, and are to be used to determine a healthy knee's potential for the condition, then why can I breeze through them?

No, I didn't try them all ─ just the sitting test. But I have no doubt that the walking tests would not be any kind of issue, either.

See how feeble they are for yourself in these two reports:

JacksDailyDose.com

APTA.org

The second reference makes clear that the study even involved people already with some knee osteoarthritis ─ the test's purpose was apparently not to predict candidates for the condition, but rather to predict whether the test subjects would be able to handle walking 6,000 steps a day as a therapy.

How far is that?

Well, see for yourself at TheWalkingSite.com: 10,000 STEPS A DAY.

If 10,000 steps are nearly five miles, then 6,000 steps ─ ⅗ of 10,000 steps ─ would be nearly three miles.

I definitely don't walk that much, but I can easily enough do much more. I just don't. I have no purpose to be going anywhere; and it is too unpleasant for me to be out in the public for no reason other than the walk, braving traffic-choked streets and populations of people.

I crave privacy outdoors, and there is none for me within reach.

I do not drive, so I remain home voluntarily housebound, except when I have a chore to be met that requires me to hike someplace like today.

By the way, I am 68 years old, so I am actually a little older than the average age of the participants in that study.

But enough walk talk.

This will probably be the final collage that Google Plus will be making this year of photos from a Google Plus album that I created after my wife Jack came back from a visit to Thailand last year to see her mother.

Her trip was during October / November 2016.

The collage I spoke of was created to commemorate this date a year ago, but Jack's camera's date setting had not been changed, and we here in the Pacific Time Zone are about a half-day behind Thailand as time is reckoned.

So the photos may well have been taken on November 21 and not November 20 that year.

Here is the collage:


Let's now check out the original photos ─ I will begin with the left column:


That is of course Jack ─ and I see that it would most definitely be the final collage Google Plus will be making, because Jack is taking the photos at Suvarnabhumi Airport, awaiting her lonely and long flight to bring her back to Canada.



Now the second column:



It makes me uncomfortable to think of her doing that long haul all alone ─ and particularly those airport waits.

I wish that I could afford to go with her when she makes those trips, but there is added debt enough to our burden with just her going.

Debt notwithstanding, though, her mother gets another year older with each passing year, after all. So the day will come when the mother is no more.

And on that sorry note, I shall bring today's post to a close. Perhaps I will be able to add another half-morning's worth of content to that post I was working on this morning, bringing it that much nearer to completion and publication.

By the way, I got in my backyard tool shed pull-ups this afternoon.

And I have just checked and see that Just Host has not gotten back to me about their mistaken belief that I wanted the website I have hosted with them cancelled, when all I had originally asked was to be put onto a monthly subscription plan instead of taking the crippling hit that a two-year subscription entails.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Website Woes: Just Host Cash Grab


Last evening not only saw me watching T.V. all by myself ─ my younger brother Mark typically spends Saturday nights at the home of his girlfriend Bev; but even my two stepsons went out and stayed overnight elsewhere.

I opted for a movie, and settled on choosing a comedy featuring an attractive actress, but I didn't have anyone specific in mind.

Then I saw a movie title that I could not help being curious about, even though there were absolutely no details on the feature such as plot or cast: Assault of the Killer Bimbos.

I could immediately recognize that it was something of a vintage production ─ as that Wikipedia article I linked to declares, it was produced or else released in 1988.

The characters were all clichés, but I enjoyed the show, and rather sorry to see it finish ─ I was growing comfortable being vicariously with the three main characters.

And unassuming Lulu (Elizabeth Kaitan) was unusually fetching ─ her beauty and innocence were irresistible to me, making me wish that I could know her, or have met someone like her years and years ago.

However, the lass is now 57 years old, according to Wikipedia. Time does its job on us all, alas.

Anyway, I could have gotten to bed quite early ─ well before 11:00 p.m. ─ for I only enjoyed one beer over the evening. But instead I succumbed to that viler side of me and sat up here at my computer for at least two hours before rallying and calling the nonsense quits.

If I remember right, it was 12:46 a.m. once I was in bed.

By morning, my sleep was breaking as of 5:00 a.m. at latest; and after seeking further sleep that only came in snatches, when I checked the time at something like 7:18 a.m. (again, at latest), I rose for the day.

It had begun raining last evening, and that seemed to have carried on overnight. At times today, it has been rather seriously bad weather out there for anyone afoot.

After HostGator shut down the five websites on Thursday that I have hosted by them on a 'baby' account, and which I got back online yesterday after some effort to reduce bandwidth usage that I talked about in yesterday's post, it was rather nice getting back to work this morning on the construction of a post at one of those websites.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with HostGator's Baby Plan, it allows an unlimited number of domains or websites to be set up on that one account.

Their Hatchling Plan only allows one domain or website.

There are other more involved plans above the Baby Plan, but I cannot afford them ─ I shouldn't really be wasting the money that I am on web-hosting as it is. 

But then I discovered something this morning that really hurt. It involves the web-host (one called Just Host) where I have my sixth website.

That particular account was due to expire after December 2nd, and I have been paying up front to keep it active by enacting two-year contracts.

I wanted to see about getting a monthly subscription instead like I have with HostGator. That way, if I need to give up having websites, I won't be out a lot of cash.

Well, I sent this enquiry about it to them on November 16:
My hosting subscription expires as of December 3. 
If I select to manually renew, will the option to have a monthly subscription set up present itself? 
If not, how can I arrange to have a monthly subscription take over after December 2nd?
The following day, I had this response:
Thank you for contacting us.

You will have to change the hosting term manually by contacting us. You can contact us on December 02, 2017 to change the term of your hosting plan to monthly option.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Help us improve our service by answering a quick survey: http://survey.justhost.com/s3/ba4fa44b34c8

Thank you,

Namitha
Level I Tech Support Engineer
Justhost.com
That was a little confusing ─ I can change it manually? But I would have to do so by first contacting them on December 2?

Whatever, I decided I would wait.

What I discovered this morning that was so hurtful was the following message that actually arrived for me yesterday:
Your web hosting service for latinimpressions.com has been renewed for 24 months, taking you from 2017-12-03 thru 2019-12-03.

To access your receipt and payment history, please follow the link below:

https://my.justhost.com/cgi/billing_history

Thank you,
Just Host Support
justhost.com
I decided to check out that payment history, and saw the following.

When first I set up an account with them back on December 3, 2009, the charge for two years was $118.80.

It was the same two years later when I renewed on December 5, 2011. I think I must have forgotten to renew for a couple of days.

Then I signed up for auto-renewal.

For whatever reason, auto-renewal kicked in early two years later ─ on November 18, 2013 the charge was $215.76.

Then on November 18, 2015 the charge was $263.76.

Well, the damned thing got renewed yesterday, as the E-mail said, and this time I was hit with a $323.76 charge.

These are U.S. dollars, understand. According to a Google check I just did of currency exchange, that amounts to $413.49 Canadian.

I can't bloody afford a hit like that, for Pete's sake!

I was furious.

I responded to Namitha's E-mail claiming that I would be able to contact them on December 2 to switch to a monthly subscription, and I ranted that if I had known this was going to happen, I would have terminated my account.

That website is the poorest of the six I have where visitors are concerned. Anytime I check its statistics for a 28-day period, there are always gaps where there have been days with absolutely no visitors.

I have never earned a cent from the website. I don't need it.

And now this.

It is not going to happen again ─ if I am still around in two years.

Actually, my credit card expires next July, so I simply will not update the new card's information when I receive it.

The buggers.

Yes, I'm one damned unhappy customer.

I see that it is now 2:08 p.m. Despite the rain, I want to make the four-mile round-trip hike to the government liquor store at 108th Avenue and King George Boulevard in Whalley.

I'm only going to buy a dozen cans of the usual beer ─ a rather strong (8% alcohol) brand.

I also have a bill payment to mail which is due on Wednesday, so I will do that at Pearl Photo / Canada Post at Surrey Place (Central City), the halfway point in my trek.

The rain sounds very light at present. Thus, if this holds, I should fare reasonably well.

*****

It was at least 2:41 p.m. when I headed away on that hike. And at the outset, I had myself concerned, for the rain was on the intense side for quite a spell.

I only wore a denim jacket with a denim vest over that; and they covered a sweatshirt and a tee-shirt.

I certainly got wet, but once the intense rain subsided, the light rain was tolerable.

There was nothing else about the trek that was of note, and it was 4:02 p.m. by the time I was back home and into the house.

I had increased my initial pace considerably over what I normally would have set, for the hike generally takes about 1½ hours. I had shaved off just about 10 minutes from that time.

I am going to close out now with an old journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I was 27 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting in a private home located on Ninth Street, and no more than two houses up from Third Avenue.

It was now a Friday, and since the weekend just past, I had seemed to have broken from my 20-year-old girlfriend, Melody St. Jean, who had openly involved herself with Chris, a co-worker of my younger brother Mark.

Melody had been getting very abusive of me, and it had seemed that a couple or so times before we had broken up, but I always submitted whenever she made her overtures of reconciliation.

But it was almost three weeks since she had moved ─ with her furniture ─ into the bachelor suite of my old friend William Alan Gill, who was renting maybe four or so blocks from my room.

The initial plan the two had was that they would find some manner of accommodation where all three of us could live, for my room was naught much more than a cl;uttered storage area.

I had no telephone. I did not drive (but I was taking classes at John's Driving School).

And I was unemployed with no prospects nor skills. But at least I was collecting some Unemployment Insurance (U.I.) from the federal department of Manpower and Immigration ─ whose local offices I often visited to check out the latest job postings.

The best thing for me was going to be a clean break from Melody. Unfortunately, though, I often found myself longing so keenly for her that I was always at risk of making up with her again ─ thus, it was healthiest if I had no contact with her until I had undergone full withdrawal from the addiction I had for the girl.
FRIDAY, November 19, 1976

I arose 6:10 a.m., but did awaken no later than 5:30 a.m. 

Mark last night said mom left a note for me at her place; I could sure use her promised cash gratuity.

I'm going to try and get to Manpower when it opens, then continue out to Brunette Ave. and apply at Pacific Veneer and Domtar, if possible; returning home, I hope to shop at Woodward 's for a large jar of Sunny Jim peanut butter.

*****

Though I passed Bill's before 8:30 a.m. on my way to Manpower, his car wasn't in sight.

I'm leaving for mom's about 1:20 p.m.
And there the entry ends. Obviously I was to be involved in other doings later that day that prevented me from updating my journal entry, and I possibly never even came back home until the following day.

Pacific Veneer was apparently affiliated with ─ or a subsidiary of ─ Canfor.

Bill had badly sprained an ankle a few weeks earlier, and had been off work due to the crippling injury. However, he had been medically cleared to return to work that week.

I guess he did not, however ─ probably under Melody's influence.

Whatever the case, he reportedly had phoned my mother Irene Dorosh during the week and claimed to be suspended from work for two weeks.

My mother and her husband Alex had left the previous morning on a two-week vacation, so I was anticipating spending a lot of time at their wee home.

That little house no longer exists, but its address in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey used to be 12106 - 90th Avenue. The hike to get there from my room would take about 1½ hours at a goodly pace.

I just checked my journal and I see that the next entry is for Monday ─ it entirely skips past the weekend.

Whatever I got up to must have been most involving! 

But I shall await November 22 before delving into that specific account ─ I do not read ahead, for I enjoy the daily surprises about my early life.

Here is an old photo that my mother or her husband Alex must have taken at some point on one of their many trips over the years that they were together:


I cannot guess when nor where the photo was taken; but to speculate when, I would at least venture that it was most likely taken during the decades of either the 1970s or the 1980s.

Now back to the present ─ I have as yet eaten nothing today. However, my pants are quite wet, and my sweatshirt is a bit damp in places ─ and so I am starting to feel rather chilled.

I believe that I will resort to my bed for awhile to warm up and to also recover from that rather trying trek.