Monday, August 29, 2016

That’s One

Sunday’s visit to the nearby University was a bit overwhelming because of the size of the campus.

It was huge!

There were lots of university types here/there playing Pokémon, but I felt a bit uncomfortable because the campus is so huge that people were spread out. That meant I ended up in areas where no one was around.

Feeling not safe … and hot because the sun was blazing, I hit only a few PokéStops (there were more than I could count available) and headed for the car when, all of a sudden, I heard someone call my name.

It was the woman from the running group – the one who’d invited me to do a 5K Pokémon hunt a while back.

Sounded fun, but I’d declined to do so because we were having triple digit heat at that time, and because I didn’t see how our pairing up would work with her being only 35, a runner, finishing in 25 minutes, while I, considerably older, walked the 5Ks and took at least an hour or more.

Since then, she’s facebooked suggestions that, “Since we live so close we should …” this/that/the other but, though flattered she wanted to hang out with me, the loner in me never took her up on anything.

Now here I was, on this huge campus, feeling unsafe, with the likelihood of running into someone I know being nil to none and who should appear but she and her young daughter, with her saying “I know the campus in and out because I use to live here; my husband works here. We should team up.”

There’s safety in numbers, so looks the small circle of friends I actually hang out with, in person -- which is NONE since my bff of 10 years, mentioned in an earlier post, and I grew in different directions, has expanded to ONE.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Here’s hoping this early morning walking weather continues because, committed to a doable 100 miles this year, because of the heat, I’ve only been able to complete 57.76 miles, compared to over 400 last year.

This morning’s 2.33 mile walk netted a new Pokémon.

And, as soon as I recharge the phone and gather my breath, I’m out again -- heading for the University because I hear the entire campus is a giant PokéStop and I need to replenish the 20 balls I wasted trying to catch a wild creature this morning that would not be caught.

Even the new capture cost me quite a few balls, because it fought, took too many balls to capture, broke free, took more balls to recapture, broke free a second time, more balls and a couple raspberries before finally registering as a capture, so I really need to load up on game tools if this is how it’s going to be now that I’m a Level 8 player.

You can, of course, purchase game tools, but I'd rather hit up Stops and load up for free.

As a postscript to yesterday’s post about the BlackandBlue domain name I let slip through my fingers -- because I didn’t learn of the need for domaining a site’s name until way late, my curiosity as to its current status was peeked, so I checked.

Inasmuch as this event occurred during the period when dot com moguls were raiding the internet, buying up every unregistered domain name they came across for profit, I assume that’s who bought it because the domain became the site of a clothing boutique that specialized in only black and blue outfits. Looking at the domain now, I find it’s blank and on sale for $22,000!!!

Except for the missed opportunity to benefit financially from the domain name, I have no regrets because blackandblue was descriptive of how my life was during those rough years, as witnessed by the text of the about page.

The current domain name is descriptive of how life has been since working my way through -- the now life of a survivor who has learned, overcome and grown into a stronger person.

I’ve noticed quite a few variations of BootsandBraids online. Though no one has offered me $22,000 for it, looks like a lot of people want the name, so it’s a good thing I obtained that domain before it too slipped away. Consequently, I’m thinking it’s also a good thing I opted for BootsandBraidsGo and will be utilizing that site as well.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Leaving the complex this morning, to drive two cities over to Sprouts – because they carry products I use and cannot find in the local markets, I noticed the new downstairs neighbor has added cute little garden stones to the area outside her patio.

One says, “Look for the angels in your life. They are everywhere.”

I couldn’t agree more, but I fear the garden stones won’t last for long. Either Nurse Ratched is going to spot them, lay down the law “Dirt area outside patios are complex property … remove them before I give you a lease violation” OR the less savory residents, who abscond with anything not tied down, will sneak them away some dark night.

Either way, the stones are doomed.

Also doomed is the beautiful garden like patio new neighbor has so painstakingly put together – plants, flag, dream catcher.

It’s just a matter of time before Nurse Rached sees it all and announces several lease violations: 1) Do not attach ANYTHING to railings 2) No more than three plants 3) Draining pans under each plant.

I hope the rules and regulations tongue lashing new neighbor is in for doesn’t chase her away, because she seems really nice and, judging from the dream catcher and garden stones, is spiritually minded.

Funny how it is that Nurse Ratched, saying "I don't want this place to look like a ghetto", will hone in on pretty things, such as the garden stones and lush greenery beneath me being violations, but not violate her Maintenance Supervisor about the pile of clothing that’s been on his patio since the week of August 8.

A week after the meeting in which next door neighbor complained about the mess in her view, the pile was still there in addition to a tool having been added to the mix.

Then, yesterday, I noticed the clothes were finally gone, but the tool is still in place, to which has been added the children’s drum set – which they play with on the patio.

I guess the thinking there is ... if it's tucked neatly into a corner, it's not "ghetto" and doesn't count.

Hopefully, whatever that tool is, is not something the children can harm themselves with next time out on the patio.

So, anyway, arriving at Sprouts, I turned on the cell phone, set PokémonGo to alert me to anything in the area, and BAM!

It was a gold mine of PokéStops, Pokémon, Gyms.

I’d walk to one PokéStop and another would appear, along with a variety of other characters.

It was such good hunting in that location (9 stops in total) that I had a brainstorm having to do with one of the saddest books I’ve ever read, “Bridges of Madison County” -- the movie was even more of a tearjerker, but the idea was ... how about I set up a website “PokéStops of Inland Empire” ... no words on the site, just photos alerting players to where the Stops are.

Not sure if I wanted an actual website or to use my Instagram instead, I quickly registered – because when you snooze on an address you loose on the world wide web. (When I was in my down period due to various work place abuses subjected to, I blogged on a Geocities address as Black and Blue. When I later decided to obtain BlackandBlue as a domain name, even though I'd blogged from 1998 to 2010 under that name, the actual domain had already been purchased and I was sol. To this day I wonder if the owner copped my idea or came up with that url on their own.)

Now that I’ve registered BootsandBraidsGo, I’m thinking more along the lines of just adding photos to my Instagram, but I’ll hang onto the URL -- maybe test it out, ask other players I run into what they think, before I decide.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thou Shalt Not Trespass

Because of recent accidents and complaints of persons on private property, Pokémon Go updated its software to caution users not to play the game while driving and to not trespass.

The majority of my 72 years of life has been that of a nerdy avid rule follower -- except for having flirted with a few minor rules of law in the late 60’s/early 70’s when I was “finding” myself, so I wouldn’t dream of taking my eyes off the road to play Pokémon and, of course, I wouldn’t trespass onto private property.

Or so I thought.

Up early this morning to 70° weather inviting me out, I suited up and headed for 3 miles around the golf course.

I’d recently read that golf courses are plush hunting grounds -- graveyards as well, but I’m too afraid some ghostly apparition might follow me home, so nix the graveyards. However, it was true about the golf course – there were literally dozens on the path. Probably a lot on the greens as well, especially around the lake recently constructed in the center. The wire rope surrounding the course could easily have been stepped over to check the greens and the lake but, then again, that would be trespassing, which was out of the question.

Or so I thought until close to the end of the walk when the cell phone alerted me to a Poké Stop nearby.

It was some sort of statue over in the distance, fairly deep onto private “Members Only” property, in front of the Club House Entrance (marked with the red star).

Valuable game items are in those Poké Stops, so I was tempted enough to debate scooting over the wall and breaking the law – just this once.

Then, I noticed an open driveway gate a few steps ahead on the path. Quickly ran in, stood in front of the statue, activated the Stop, and was rewarded with a few Poke Balls, Raspberries and was outta there.

Raspberries made it worth the trespass, because Pokémon can fight capture and even break free once caught. I’ve had that happen a time or two and was stunned they had that capability. I’ve since learned the fight and run goes out of them if you toss them a Raspberry – theory being they eat it and are lulled into submission.

Interesting interactive game, is it not?

So anyway, I’m sure the golf course has captured me on their security cameras, as have the cameras at the Stops I visit couple-times-a-week … Seventh Day Adventist Church, Dog Groomer Place, and The Gathering Place Church. Though I’ve not trespassed the first two -- because the module is close enough to be accessed from the sidewalk, and the third requires a drive through the parking lot, stop in front of the church doors, get what came for, drive out of the parking lot. Technically not a trespass, in my book.

Thing is, I’m pretty sure these places don’t know they are a Poké Stops. All they know is their security cameras show this woman continually pulling up in front of their business -- in the case of the church, driving through the parking lot in a white car, pulling out her cell phone, does something suspicious with the phone, aims it at their business and, to their minds, is taking photos, casing the place for some future criminal activity.

I would not be one bit surprised if the police did not trace my vehicle license and show up at my door one day to question my suspicious behavior.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Had a Dream

A few nights ago -- think it was Saturday night, I dreamt of baking low-calorie cookies.

Didn’t think anything unusual about the dream, because I figured it was triggered by having earlier in the day clipped a recipe for zero-guilt peanut butter cookies using natural peanut butter, honey, an egg, dark cup chocolate chips, and ground flaxseeds.

What’s unusual is that, taking a nap yesterday afternoon, I dreamt I was eating the cookies I’d made in the dream of a few nights ago, but not exactly the same recipe.

There was another person in the dream who critiqued the cookies saying, “I prefer the apple.” That confused me in the dream because I didn’t remember making apple, only lemon, and I wasn’t totally happy with the look of the lemon because they’d spread.

Thinking I probably needed to add baking powder or flour next time, I was just about to taste the lemon cookie – had one in my hand, up to my mouth, about to bite when the cell phone woke me from the dream, jerking me to reality.

It was the doctor’s office saying “Your doctor has ordered a mammogram and bone density. Would you like to schedule those appointments now?”

“No, I would not. I told her I wasn’t doing those.”

Can you believe it?

Are they on crack?

Not only did I decline to the doctor but, at the end of Monday’s visit, her nurse looked at the chart and said, “She’s ordered a mammogram and bone density.”

“She did? I told her I wasn’t doing those.”

“Okay. I’ll have them removed.”

Since I’m not being heard and the calls have gone way beyond annoying, this is me setting the phone to block all calls from the medical center.

Finding myself awake at 5:30 this morning, energetic, ready to seize the day, I noticed the Honeywell registered 83°. Not perfect walking weather, but the coolest it’s been for some time and there was a breeze outside, so I suited up for a little exercise walk and set the phone to alert to Pokémon.

Evidently, the Pokémon weren’t awake yet because I’d logged in over a mile before coming across a fierce rhyhorn.

It felt so good to be able to get out walking again that I posted 2.44 miles before the sun shut me down, some of which walk was an attempt to reach the top of Shandlin Hill.

I failed – not even close, but I’ll keep at it because success determines whether or not I deem myself fit enough to -- for the fourth year in a row, handle the 5K hike up the steep killer mountains of Bonelli Park at this year’s Halloween Spooktacular in San Dimas.

Lastly, one of the residents in the complex caught me yesterday and said she'd told her 8-year old visiting grandson -- who was heading out of her unit to Pokémon hunt the complex on Sunday, that there was a woman here who also was into the game.

She says he got excited and wanted her to ask me to show him where the Pokéstops are and hunt with him.

She told him no.

Later, as his mom picked him up and they were leaving the complex, his grandma saw me taking out the trash and said, “There goes the lady now.”

He begged his mom to stop and let him talk to me.

She told him no.


I wouldn’t have minded at all. In fact, I gave his grandma my telephone number telling her to call when he next visited because I’d love to have a partner. I can show him where the stops are; he can show me how to battle.

So Pokémon is not just promoting exercise, it’s bridging the generation gap.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Full Morning

After a quiet weekend, with nothing pressing to do, no place pressing to go, it was up early this morning to get granddaughter to her 8:45 doctor’s appointment.

Inasmuch as my doctor is at the same facility and has had her office bugging me to come in because “The doctor hasn’t seen you in a while”, I’d managed to kill two birds with one stone by getting an 8:30 appointment.

I almost cancelled several times during the week – in fact, I almost cancelled this morning because I didn’t understand why I needed to see her if nothing was wrong.

I regularly check into one of the facilities for blood pressure check, blood pressure medication refill, flu shots, fasting blood test but, as near as I can figure, the last time I was actually in the doctor’s office, speaking with her face-to-face, was late 2014 when my right hand was hanging like a wet rag because of what I thought was carpel tunnel.

Turned out to be a simple case of tendinitis from too much Candy Crush.

She sent me to the Cast Room for splint support to allow the wrist to heal.

I still managed to position my arm in the splint so I could continue to play Candy Crush and, since then, I’ve been fortunate enough not to hurt myself.

What few aches and pains I get, being more into the holistic side rather than conventional medicine, I head to the acupuncturist in Korea Town. So this morning’s appointment felt unnecessary.

Already annoyed by the constant calls from her office, and the fact that at one point -- a month or two ago, I received notice the doctor had taken it upon herself to set up an appointment FOR ME, which appointment I promptly unset up, I walked in the required 15 minutes early with an attitude.

“So, why are you here to see the doctor today?” asks her nurse.

“Because her office keeps bugging me to check in”.

“Oh, okay. The doctor will be here shortly. You’re her first appointment”.

There was no location signal in the little room, so I was further annoyed ... and bored because I couldn’t catch any Pokémon.

Then the doctor didn’t show up at the appointed 8:30, still hadn’t appeared by 8:45, at which time granddaughter called to say -- since she’d been early, they’d already taken care of her and she was ready to go.

I angrily replied, “Still waiting … doctor is late … didn’t want to be here anyway … going to get up and walk out”.

I stood up, grabbed my bag and the doctor appeared.

She was so smiley face and pleasant that I calmed down, let her talk me into the new pneumonia shot, and got out with a clean bill of health, except for the pep talk to lose weight.

I've tried, says I, my metabolism is dead, thin is not necessarily well.

I suppose I should be happy the doctor is so caring about her patients as to insist they check in with her, but color me skeptical that it might have more to do with meeting co-pay quotas and trying to talk me into medication and exams I don’t need or believe in.

After driving granddaughter to Baker’s to pick up breakfast, dropping her off at her workplace, I hit three PokéStops -- where I collected Poké Balls, miscellaneous items to be used for wounded and fainting Pokémon, and lucked up on two new captures, which captures propelled me to Level 8.

Then, I stopped at Starbucks for coffee – where I insisted on paying for a fireman’s moca something-or-other saying, “After the week you guys had, you shouldn’t have to pay for anything”, stopped at the market for groceries and was back home, totally done with errands by 11:15.

It’s now a little after 1:00, the morning’s gone, dinner is in the crockpot, remainder of the day is television and needlepoint.

OOPS … spoke too soon. Granddaughter just texted for a ride to Walmart after she gets off work.

It takes a village.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Time Flies

It’s incredulous to me how fast time is flying.

Checking in with folks in the Community Room this morning, I learned Tuesday is the birthday of one of my favorite residents – The Seer.

It felt like just yesterday when we’d planned a surprise party for her last birthday.

I could care less if anyone acknowledges or celebrates my own birthday -- in fact, I prefer it that way; but, for a lot of the seniors here, they bring the date up well in advance … over and over and over, so word can get around and we won't forget to "surprise" them with a card or celebration. The Seer is one of those.

Apache is taking her to the casino about 10:00 Tuesday morning, and the Baker is planning a cupcake party late afternoon.

Originally, I was going to repeat last year’s Subway Gift Card, but then I thought about a casino gift card.

While looking online to see if there was such a thing, I had a brainstorm and ended up making a card using Avery Half-Fold Greeting Card material from my scrapbooking supplies. Inside, I wished her happy birthday, wrote “Bucks for Luck at the Casino” and included ten single dollar bills.

Patting myself on the back, because feeling clever about coming up with that one.

Carpet did not get shampooed yesterday, but I did haul the shampooer out this morning, and got that job taken care of after making the greeting card.

Feeling like my hard work should be awarded, I headed to the market for a snack.

Evidently, my snacking on potato chips and Ben & Jerry ice cream was frowned upon because, as I placed my choices on the conveyor belt, the cell phone vibrated -- signaling a pokémon nearby.

Actually, it was on the belt … scowling at my choices.


In my defense, the chips were low fat and I’m sure shampooing the carpets worked off the Ben & Jerry calories.

Looking off in the distance towards the fire yesterday, the smoke in the background appeared to be turning black.

I can't imagine.

Where are all those people who've lost homes, cars, campers going to go?

The sky looked clear today, no fire trucks racing down the avenue, fewer helicopters in the sky – though I did capture one heading back to base after a dump.

The good news is my former coworker friend’s cabin escaped destruction. They miraculously lost only one cabin at the lake.