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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Leigh Porter, RIP

     Previously, I wrote about a high school friend, Leigh Porter, who died in 1999. I knew little about Leigh’s fate, beyond the fact that he had become a chemist, that he studied at UCI, and that he died in 1999.
     I really liked Leigh, and I wanted to learn something about his life and death. I found some publications in chemistry journals, authored by Leigh and one Robert Doedens. I determined that Doedens, age 78, was a chemist at UCI (now retired), where Leigh earned his Ph.D. in 1984. I found Doedens’ email address, a UCI email address. I wrote:
Hello. My name is Roy Bauer; I teach Philosophy at Irvine Valley College. I've been attempting to track down some of my friends from high school (Villa Park High here in Orange County). One especially important friend was Leigh Porter. As near as I can tell, he died in 1999. I did a search and his name seems to come up with yours on some publications from the late 80s (chemistry?). Were you a friend or associate of Leigh's? Any information you could share about Leigh—how and why he died, what he was doing with his life, etc.—would be much appreciated. If not, could you direct me to anyone who knew him? Leigh and I were friends, briefly, in high school. I recall few decent conversations in those days—the Nixon years; the few I had were with Leigh. I remember him as a smart and sensitive guy. I do regret not having kept in touch with him. [1/13/2016 4:05 PM]  
—Roy Bauer,  Irvine Valley College
Today, I received this response:
Dear Roy, Leigh finished his Ph.D. degree under my supervision in 1984 after earning B.S. and M.S. degrees from Cal State Fullerton. He was a bright and independent graduate student and we kept in touch for some time after he left. He held a few postdoctoral research positions, of which the most important were at Argonne National Lab and at Texas A&M University. He did good work at both places and his supervisors had a high regard for him. He was then hired as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas in El Paso. He seemed to be doing very well there, but I learned later that there was some tension between him and one or more of his colleagues and that he had at least one significant episode of depression. He left UTEP after a negative tenure decision. After a few short-term research positions he was hired as a postdoc at the University of Utah. Within a year or so, I received the sad news of his suicide. I have never learned the full story of the events at El Paso and Utah.  
— Bob Doedens, UC Irvine

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

UCI c. 1973-1975

Just imagine the acoustics! A vast plastic barn.
     My time at UC Irvine started in the Fall of 1973, just after high school graduation (at Villa Park High). The UCI campus was relatively simple and incomplete in those days--not like it is today. The library seemed small, the campus, with its vast central park, often felt nearly empty, and the "commons"--I never asked why it was called that--was cavernous and noisy and furnished with shitty plastic chairs and faux-wood tables.
    I came across these photos of the commons in those days:

Actually, I don't remember these booths. I do remember the shitty lighting and the hideous linoleum.
     In one of my courses, students were told to form small discussion groups that would meet informally somewhere on campus. I recall being in one such group--I don't recall the course's discipline--that met inside the vast and noisy commons facility. My hearing was probably sound in those days; nevertheless, I do recall having some difficulty carrying on a conversation in that place, what with all the harsh, smooth surfaces, including much glass. I think I did all right joining in on these discussions with my colleagues.
     Nevertheless, in those days, I was very shy--pathologically shy--and I did not make many friends. I remained pretty isolated through those early years, and I seem to recall struggling with that and with my utter inability to have, or to create, a social life. I was clueless. This state was essentially a continuation of my high school years, though, at Villa Park High, I did manage to have good friends and a fair number of acquaintances. No dating though. Not much socializing. I would visit with my best friend Mark and I would have long and somewhat fulfilling conversations with a few individuals (with Leigh, not with Mark, who was very OC Republican, as were his folks). 

That's Verano Place in the background
     Eventually, Kathie and I moved into Verano Place--in about 1980 or 1981. We stayed for many years (until perhaps 1988 or so).


     In those days, at the end of Verano Place (as one walked away from campus) one encountered an old farmhouse and some fields. Pretty wide open.




     I eventually got into the habit of staying on campus, in the library, to study or simply to read. The library was cold and empty-seeming, not a social gathering place by any means. So, in a sense, it was perfect for study, especially in the basement.
     I could have been more studious than I was, however. I recall chasing after various whims in the stacks--reading about politics, history, and so on. Eventually, I learned to drop by the periodicals room and check out all sorts of cool journals and magazines.



     UCI tended (in my experience) not to be terribly nurturing. It was more a "throw 'em in the deep in of the pool" kind of place. I typically did fine, but the experience always seemed institutional and cold. I didn't really know what other students were doing or experiencing; never comparee notes with them. There were some exceptions.
     I was, however, very interested in my studies. I recall being dazzled by my exposure to linguistics and history especially. I recall occasionally getting the sense that all of my studies somehow pointed to surprising unifying themes, such as "free will."


     I recall making friends with a guy named Dave P in my Metaphysics class. He was all about dating and socializing, and he was attracted to me, I guess, because I was relatively engaged in the material and pretty serious. He wasn't any of those things.
     He wanted to befriend me and I offered very little resistance. I recall driving to Long Beach to his parents' home. It was in a fairly crummy neighborhood. He'd drag us to "clubs" and bars, looking for women. I did that a couple of times but found it to be appalling, and I slipped away from Dave somehow.
     A year or so later he sent me a postcard from Aspen or some such place, bragging that he was now a ski instructor. He had his eyes on the babes, he said.


     I recall commuting to and from UCI (lived in Orange at the time) in my '66 Bug. I installed a 6-12 volt converter, which permitted installation of a cassette tape player. Used to play Mott the Hoople. Loved that band.


     I recall really liking a girl in one of my Philosophy classes. She seemed very nice. Commuted, I guess, from Riverside. I hated Riverside (I still tend to view it as foreign and unpleasant). But I liked her. I recall having opportunities to get to know her. But I failed.


     I recall taking some small elective course concerning library research. The teacher, a librarian, would yammer about how one must read "books" to learn, to be learned, and so on. She offered cliches, mostly, and I guess I didn't think much of her. I recall saying that I was not that kind of reader (it's true; I was never into novels, though I did read much non-fiction). When we turned in our research projects, she singled mine out as some kind of model of wonderfulness. I was surprised and amused; I did the work in one afternoon, essentially. I recall having a conception of what a good presentation would be and relying on that, not on actual research. It seemed obvious to me how to present the research even though I hadn't really done any.
     The teacher marvelled at my work; she was amazed: how can a non-reader, such as this odd Bauer fellow, be this good with research?
     I didn't know what to think of the situation. The victory of BS over substance. I had some inkling that I had abilities in presentation; I wasn't sure what they were. They flowered a bit, much later, during my editor and publication (newsletters, etc.) days.


     One time, I was driving in the parking lot adjacent to Humanities Hall, and I came across this girl in her Karmann Ghia. Her battery was dead and she couldn't start her car. I stopped to help her. Soon, a cop drove up and ordered me to get behind the wheel of her Ghia. I did so and the cop then used his cruiser to push me very fast--I was alarmed--through the parking lot. I popped the clutch and the engine started right up. The cop left it at that.
     I told the girl to let the engine run for a while. She was grateful. Another opportunity. I dropped the ball. Off she went.


     I recall attending a Kinks concert at UCI. Must've been the Spring of 1976 (the "School Boys in Disgrace" tour). Saw the same concert at Long Beach Auditorium.



     Things improved for me in my last two or so years at UCI as an undergraduate. I got to know some of the other Philosophy majors, including Kathy Leonard (nowadays she goes by "Blanchard"; she's a veterinarian in San Bernardino). Kathy knew the popular and charismatic Professor Nelson Pike (only later did I realize that Kathy and Nelson were sleeping together) and, through Kathy, some of these majors, including me, ended up at Nelson's place on Arch Street(?) in Laguna Beach on Friday nights. This situation did not really lead me to a social life, however. I was always awkwardly alone, different, albeit prettty good at the philosophy thing (for an undergrad). I guess that's why people put up with me. That, and just being a nice guy.


     Even now, I feel a great coldness and emptiness thinking about my undergrad years. I don't blame anyone. It's just the way it was. It's just me.
     I used to use the term "medieval" to describe my childhood. I would remember it as empty and grey and harsh in some ways--though I wasn't mistreated. I was a sensitive child, as they say (though my folks never said it; I'm sure they would have described me as a "normal" kid). And, when I went to college, I just didn't have the tools to live or flourish. I was very frustrated, essentially unhappy, albeit ambitious in a certain way. I think that largely continued to be the case thereafter. Essentially, it is the case now.
     I often think that my friends should be bold and tell me what I'm doing wrong. (Well, sometimes they do, but it never helps.) But I guess they don't see me the way I do. They seem to think that nothing's wrong. How very odd.
     I'd fight back, master the obstacle, give it the old college try. But, now, I feel too old.
     I know that's silly. 

 * * *
     Situations and events that just roll off some people produce syndromes and complexes in others. I recall my dad often coming home from work in a dark mood. He wasn't violent. He displayed no explicit signs of his poor mood. But I knew he was unhappy, dissatisfied. Something was wrong, I knew not what. He brought his darkness home, and I felt it as if I'd been suddenly led into a dungeon made of cold blocks and iron bars in a foggy, misty moor. I felt dread. And, yes, it is as though I feared violence until sleep; the morning seemed brighter.
     Was it me or him? It was both.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Trabuco Oaks general store, c. 1955


Where I found this photo, the caption reads: "General Store circa 1934" -- Maybe these musicans are an old cutout they've got standing there, 'cause this picture wasn't taken in 1934. It's recent.
Nowadays

Sugar factories, Santa Ana

According to the Times, "James Irvine, the Orange County mega-rancher, didn't like the price he was getting for his sugar beets, so in 1911 he formed a co-op and built his own sugar factory just outside Santa Ana." It was later owned by Holly Sugar. Demolished in 1984. (See below.)
In about 1964, Annie and I visited this facility on a school field trip. I recall seeing some pipe break open and watching tons of sugar rush onto the floor. Annie, natch, remembers it differently; some elaborate and dramatic yarn.
"Preservationists sued to protect the building as a historic monument but failed. The plant was demolished. Nowadays the only trace of the old factory is in the Embassy Suites Hotel that succeeded it, right. The building was designed to suggest the sugar factory's architecture."

Monday, January 4, 2016

The bull, the horns, the blind

Mr and Mrs Nixon's "chairs" at El Adobe, Ma's favorite restaurant
     There’ve been several episodes of hospital stays for Ma in the last two or three months.
     A week ago (Monday), I received an early-morning call from Pa, who stated simply that Ma was “bleeding from her v……” That sounded pretty bad. Essentially, the blood-thinners, medicine to help prevent stroke (the #1 bugaboo), had led to bleeding in the intestines and, possibly, also owing to hemorrhoids. (Ma and Pa were mistaken about the source of the bleeding.) And so off we went to the hospital.
     Ma was finally released on Friday. 
     As you can imagine, these hospital episodes are taxing on everyone, for the obvious reasons and perhaps for subtler reasons as well. Part of the problem is that a senile loved one’s hospital stays tend, I think, to leave one at sea regarding visits: how often, how much, etc. Must someone always sit at the loved one's bedside? It is not obvious (at least to me) that, in this kind of case, constant visitor presence is best for patient or family. But, owing to uncertainty, etc., Constant Accompaniment tends to become the default response, which produces long hours of mostly fruitless bed-sitting by all, or almost all, concerned. The matter is made worse, of course, by the suspicion that an organization such as Kaiser tends to accumulate mechanisms of CYAery that yield unnecessary tests and hospital stays. Sometimes, the CYAitude is as plain as the nose on you face. Bauers, I find, are less infected with the prevailing blindness to, or tolerance of, this kind of CYAery than most.
     This morning, Annie arrived (at Ma and Pa’s) to give Ma her 9:00 a.m. shot—just as Hilda arrived as usual—and there was then quite a fuss over newly-discovered rectal bleeding. Evidently, Pa declared that it was “only hemorrhoids,” and that there was no need to take Ma to the hospital. Hilda was definitely of a different opinion. Annie called one of the on-call nurses at Kaiser and was advised, natch, to take Ma in. Pa, when not declaring that Ma wasn’t going anywhere, insisted on doing the driving to the hospital. That put Annie and Hilda on edge: both are of the opinion (I share it) that Pa shouldn’t be driving at all. So I suggested that we (excluding Annie) get going. “I’ll drive,” I said, to which a relieved Hilda responded with “Thank you.” Ma was pretty loopy (that comes and goes these days) and was barely able to walk, which alarmed Hilda, but we soon loaded into the car and were off.
     Long story short: Ma’s blood is much too thin, and that has caused intestinal (not hemorrhoidal) bleeding. Ma will have to stay in the hospital for a few days so that they can thicken her blood and raise her much-too-low blood “count.” She’ll require a blood transfusion, among other things.
     So, it’s back to the ol’ “hospital watch” for us. 
     Ma's sudden decline has, of course, been tough for all of us, but particularly for Pa, who struggles with denial (as they say) with Ma’s mental condition. In conversation, he has occasionally implied that his goal is to return Ma to lucidity. That ain’t gonna happen, and I (and Annie) have told him that. At some level, I think, he understands. “She’ll have good days and bad days,” we say. But the old Ma is gone for good.
     OK.
     At the same time, Pa clearly struggles with his sense of himself as the “mentally healthy one.” His judgment is in decline (as this morning’s episode demonstrates), and he is often barely able to process fairly simple information. On occasion, he betrays an understanding of his diminished faculties. On the other hand, he’s almost always “there,” if not all there, and he will certainly be at the core of (shared) decision-making, about Ma and everything else, for the time being.
     Under the circumstances, I think he’s doing very well. But he can’t go on like this much longer.

[Phone interruption.]

     I just got off the phone with a Kaiser doctor (of internal medicine, Dr. G), who urged me to finally get 24-hour care for Ma. He said that, with Pa taking care of Ma much of the time, it was “the blind leading the blind.” That mustn’t go on, he said. It is time to finally “take the bull by the horns.”
     Yep.

     Oh boy.

1/6/16 update:
     Yesterday (Tuesday), Ma was given another colonoscopy, and, as with last week's test, "matter" obscured the view. They're looking for the source of her bleeding, of course. (At one point last week, I was told that the test that had been given allowed inspection of about 85% of the colon; at the time, that was judged do be adequate.) But obscurity has again prevailed, and so she is being prepped for a third test. Sheesh.
     The doctors are so concerned about the bleeding (which has largely stopped), that they've decided to cut out her blood thinners entirely, which puts Ma at risk for strokes.
     Sounds petty dicey.
     Meanwhile, Southern Cal is being hit but a series of rainstorms. Yesterday, up here in the mountains, we got battered pretty good, and today seems to offer a repeat.
     It's cold and it's wet. And everything feels unsettled.
     Pa is definitely worn down by this latest hospital stay. When I dropped him off at the hospital this morning, I said, "Hang in there." He replied, "Every day it gets harder." (I'll being spelling he and Hilda at 4:30 today, a repeat of yesterday.) He does sound pretty feeble, easily confused.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"God, Honor, Fatherland": Poland lurches to the right

Meanwhile, Germany strains for moderation
     Naturally, we Bauers, or at least some of us, have a special interest in Poland, a place we visited back in 2011. While there, we witnessed some street protests in Gdansk, though we didn’t know (and didn’t ask) what they were about. Possibly, Pa made some inquiries.
     There was some talk among Poles about a recent airliner crash involving the leader of the country. I do wish I had paid more attention to such things at the time. In truth, those days were very challenging in other ways.
     Today, the New York Times reports on a very unfortunate development: Poland's government is swinging rightward. A general trend in Europe?

As Poland lurches to right, many in Europe look on in alarm
By RICK LYMAN and JOANNA BERENDT/THE NEW YORK TIMES

WARSAW, Poland – In the few weeks since Poland’s new right-wing government took over, its leaders have alarmed the domestic opposition and moderate parties throughout Europe by taking a series of unilateral actions that one critic labeled “Putinist.”
     Under their undisputed leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, they pardoned the notorious head of the security services, who was appealing a three-year sentence for abuse of his office from their previous years in power; tried to halt the production of a play they deemed “pornographic”; threatened to impose controls on the media; and declared, repeatedly and emphatically, that they would overrule the previous government’s promise to accept refugees pouring into Europe.
     But the largest flashpoint, so far, has been a series of questionable parliamentary maneuvers by the government and the opposition that has allowed a dispute over who should sit on the country’s powerful Constitutional Tribunal to metastasize into a full-blown constitutional crisis – with thousands of protesters from all sides taking to the streets.
     Countries across Europe have seen nationalist movements rise in popularity, particularly in the wake of the refugee crisis and the terrorist attacks in Paris. But Poland’s rightward lurch under the newly empowered Law and Justice Party is unsettling what had been the region’s strongest performing economy and a model for the struggling post-Soviet states of Eastern Europe.
     “I am very agitated and depressed,” Andrzej Zoll, a former president of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, said in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza, one of the country’s leading newspapers. “Twenty-five years of democratic Poland is coming to an end.”
     On Saturday, anti-government protesters marched peacefully through central Warsaw chanting for “democracy.” On Sunday, a pro-government “March of Freedom and Solidarity” drew a somewhat smaller crowd of peaceful participants and featured chants of “God, Honor, Fatherland” and the singing of patriotic anthems like “Let Poland be Poland.”
     At Saturday’s protest, Ryszard Petru, leader of a new opposition party called Modern, bemoaned the moves of the new government and its leader. “Kaczynski has managed to divide Poles yet again,” Petru said. “And he has done it in just one month.”
. . .
     Yet the leadership has often seemed to confirm its critics’ worst fears. After some opposition members called for a EU investigation of the new government’s actions, Kaczynski described them as traitors.
     “In Poland, there is a horrible tradition of national treason, a habit of informing on Poland to foreign bodies,” Kaczynski said. “And that’s what it is. As if it’s in their genes, in the genes of Poles of the worst sort.”
. . .
     “Their attitude is that every four years there are elections, but afterwards the party that has won the election should have full power, practically unlimited,” said Alexander Smolar, president of the Stefan Batory Foundation, which promotes civic issues. “They want very much to enlarge their power and weaken the institutions that control the political process.”
     For eight years, while Law and Justice was in the opposition, it agitated repeatedly for fresh investigations into the 2010 crash of a plane in Smolensk, Russia, that killed Kaczynski’s twin brother, Lech Kaczynski, then the country’s president, as well as dozens of other top Polish officials. [Back in 2011, at least one of our guides referred to this event.]
     Some party officials, including a few with top positions in the new government, suggested that the crash might have been orchestrated and covered up by the Russians, perhaps with the connivance of Civic Platform and its then-leader, Donald Tusk, who is now president of the European Council in Brussels.
     These conspiracy theories were rarely raised during the recent election, but now that Law and Justice has assumed power they are back in the public discussion in a major way.
     The new foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, called on Russia to cooperate in a fuller investigation of the crash. “Either they solve this case amicably, or it will become necessary to hand it over to international tribunals,” he said.
. . .
     A top government spokeswoman, Elzbieta Witek, said in a television interview that a state tribunal should investigate Tusk, too. That was just her “personal opinion,” she said.
. . .
     But the most significant dust-up came over the composition of the country’s top constitutional tribunal. In the runup to the election, Civic Platform appointed five new judges to the 15-member panel, even though two of the vacancies would not occur until a new government took power.
In response, Law and Justice refused to seat any of those five judges and, instead, appointed five judges of its own.
     The constitutional tribunal ruled this month that Civic Platform had the authority to appoint only three judges and it declared unconstitutional large parts of new legislation covering the tribunal introduced by Law and Justice.
     But the new government continues to insist that its five judges – and none of Civic Platform’s – be admitted to the tribunal. Confusion about how this will play out, and who actually has ultimate authority over the constitution, has unsettled Polish politics and raised passions on all sides.
. . .
     While Law and Justice champions socially conservative causes, including opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion and even in vitro fertilization, it also promised voters such traditionally left-wing policies as a rise in the minimum wage and a lowering of the retirement age.
     “The transition phase between communist and post-communist Poland was very painful for a large part of the population,” Smolar said. “For a lot of people, especially the older population, it was perceived as a catastrophe.”
     Now there are concerns that the party, simmering in opposition for so long, will seek to redress a litany of grievances, even if it means bending the constitution.

     “This is not the problem in Poland only,” said Alexander Kwasniewski, Poland’s left-wing president from 1995 to 2005. “This is happening in countries across Europe. This is the problem of democracy in general. Traditional democracy is in crisis.”

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Infarctions and Kalashnikovs (and false alarms?)

Catch-22
"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.
"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.
     Things seem to be OK with Ma.
     Today, after class, I dropped by the folks at about 12:30 just to check in. It seemed to me that Ma's speech was much more slurred than it was yesterday. Further, the right corner of her mouth drooped subtly. So I tried to get this crew to think hard: has there been some change? Am I looking at something that's been going on for days and days or is this something new? It was like pulling teeth--plus herding cats. Pa had trouble focusing. Hilda seemed pretty fuzzy.
     I emailed Dr. N, the neurologist (I haven't heard back). Then I got on the horn with the Triage Nurse (or whatever) over at Kaiser. She gave me precisely the load of CYA I figured I'd get. She asked me a series of questions. In the end, she advised bringing Ma to the emergency room, the usual default.
     As I got ready to round this crew up, the nurse called right back: “call 911. That's my recommendation,” she said.
     "Yeah, but I can get my mom to the hospital a lot faster than those guys."
     "No, call 911, that's my recommendation. Do you understand?"
     "Yeah. I'm driving her over right now."
     So I did, leaving Pa here to keep things going (he wasn't ready to leave, too many loose ends). I urged him to just stay; I said I'd call him soon. I implied or said that we were just exercising an abundance of caution, etc.
     So off we went. Got there fast. Ma seemed pretty danged good, aside from the slurred speech. Hilda was good company for Ma and for me. She's from Juarez, murder capital of the world. I joked about the nature of medical care: "poking and guessing," I called it.
     So we hung around like people do at the Emergency Room (Ma got a private room right away). After a while, they X-Rayed her chest, and that didn't show anything. Then, after an hour or two, they Cat Scanned her skull, I guess, and that didn't show anything. So they were getting her ready for the final test, the MRI.
     At that point (about 5:00 p.m.), I drove Hilda back to her car and picked up Pa, and we headed back to the hospital. It was about 6:00.
     Soon after we got back, the doctor said that the MRI showed that Ma did indeed have a small stroke. Later that night, we were told it was an “acute infarction.”
     So she's staying over at the hospital tonight. Drat. 
     I'm back home again—to get meds, feed cats (including TigerAnn, since Annie took her ill-timed trip this weekend), etc. I'll be heading back to the hospital at about 9:00 to pick up Pa.
     So things aren't terribly worrisome, as these things go. She's had these little strokes before (this latest one isn't the nasty hemorrhagic kind). I'm hoping they'll turn her loose again tomorrow. We'll see.
     Meanwhile, Ma has been in great spirits all day. She did a fair amount of talking—with me, with Hilda. I got her to describe her trip to Poland, etc. It was good.
     In the hospital room, at one point, I turned on the TV, where we encountered non-stop news about those terrorist attacks in Paris today. You know how that is.
     Sheesh.

P.S. [Saturday, Nov. 14]: Got a call from Pa who was at the hospital. According to him, "the neurologist" (not Dr. N) came in, took a look at the various images, and declared that they had been misread and that Ma had had no stroke. "There's no reason to keep her here," declared he (according to Pa). I waited for hours at the house for Ma and Pa's return, but nothin' doin'. 
     Later, I learned that Ma had become agitated, raising her pulse and blood pressure; hence, she was not stable enough to leave the hospital. No doubt, she is upset because she's in the hospital. If she were home, she would not be upset. And so she can't go home, where she'd cease to be upset, 'cause she's at the hospital, which makes her upset. 
     It's Catch-22, the best catch there is!
     Ron told me, "This hasn't been a good day for Ma." (I joined him, late in the day, for a couple of hours. Ma mostly slept. Ron and I mostly talked about the decline of the Honda Motor Corp. and the oddness of needless, forseeable, yet unstoppable, calamity. Aren't we clever.)

P.P.S.: [Sunday]: at long last, Ma was released. Ron, who had stayed with her overnight (Susan and the kids are away in Northern Cal), drove her home by about midday. She seems good, but very weary. I made her her favorite lunch (spicy ramen). She resisted efforts to get her to exercise. Still, all is well. Maybe. I left the three of 'em in the livingroom, with Ma sleeping, Ron doing something on his computer, Pa doing I know not what. 
     Back to the "Hilda" routine in the morning. That's good.
     Unclarity about what happened to Ma this weekend. "Acute infarction"? Or no? I think I'm less likely ever to call the "Triage nurse" again. Sheesh.
     It's just started to rain. It's cold. Teddy says "hey."


     Roy