Diary 4/24 to 4/25/19

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

Captain Marvel

{4/24/19}  Weight 221.0.

A dream just before I got up:  I was at an enormous swimming pool, about half a football field in size, and the place was extremely crowded.  I found a large camera like a news photographer’s video camera, and I looked through the viewfinder as I walked around.  I was with two men and a boy, probably my son when he was about ten.  We came to a few rooms where I found a machine with a large screen like a television.  It was for creating DVDs.  I took a blank disc from somewhere and put it in a slot like dropping in a coin.  I think it then popped up.  Possibly we left and arrived at home, or possibly I just put the disc back in.  In any case, we were watching a video of something more or less like what I had seen through the viewfinder.  My son may have been sitting in my lap while we watched.

An earlier dream had a boy very interested in my right ear.  I dug at the ear as though to remove excess wax (I often have this problem with my right ear).  I think the boy said something like, “I thought it was dirty but it isn’t.”  When I woke up to pee, my right ear was clogged as it often gets, though it’s clear now (7:00 am).

I woke a number of times last night, starting around 11:00, and one time it was rather cold (I had left the swamp cooler running) and the wall heater was going.  I turned off both.

At 3:00, as I returned to bed, I saw the light from a fire illuminating my bedroom curtains.  It was a queen-sized mattress and box spring that had been lying by the dumpster for a couple of weeks, fully ablaze.  This was less dangerous than it probably sounds because there was nothing close to the fire except a shopping cart.  I thought about calling 911 but didn’t.  A minute later I looked again and someone was walking around taking photos or a video of the fire on his phone.  I tried to sleep as the fire continued, but I kept thinking about the possible dangers, like, what if bits of burning bed flew up into the air and landed on the roof or something?  The fire was dying down as I thought, then, that there was probably dry grass in the field west of my place that could easily catch fire.  But by this time a fire truck arrived, lights flashing, so calling 911 was no longer an option.  The flashing lights made sleeping unlikely, but after a couple of minutes they stopped.  I looked out the window and saw that the fire was out and the area around it was wet.

I got paid today.  I plan to buy a portable air conditioner, a thing I didn’t even know existed until last year when I was thinking of buying a swamp cooler and someone told me about it.  I checked online [at the time] and found them available for I think $150.  I don’t remember why I didn’t buy one, but probably because I thought that the heat was over.  At Home Depot yesterday I asked and was directed to an area which had enormous refrigerator-sized machines, but nothing like I was looking for.  I have absolutely no good place to put such a thing, and the windows are mostly less than ideal…I decided last year that I’d have to put it in my postage-stamp-sized kitchen on the already overcrowded counter, or possibly in the bedroom.  In any case, I’m sure it will be very awkward, not at all powerful, but something that will help just enough to make it worth having.

I went to Home Depot to buy batteries for the remote controls of my bike alarms—two different manufacturers, but the use the same tiny 12v battery that no store seems to carry.  I believe I tried five stores:  Walmart, Target, Office Max, Home Depot, and a drug store.  The HD guy suggested CVS Pharmacy, but I’m thinking that a camera store might be worth a try.  I’d just buy it online but I’d like to avoid waiting for it in the mail, because I don’t dare use the alarms until I have new batteries, because one went dead while the alarm was armed, and if it got set off I wouldn’t be able to shut it off.  I was able to disarm it by using the battery from the other remote.

Annoyingly, one of the remotes had tiny screws, Phillips-heads that had been stripped and so were unable to be removed.  I had to drill them out.  I ran into the same thing with a cheap flashlight that D had given us at the Hemlock Club.

Cheapest portable AC I found today was $199, most start over $300.  Spent $70 on books and DVDs via the Internet.

Now I’m planning to go see Captain Marvel in the theater again, this evening, unnecessarily, because Avengers:  Endgame opens tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll watch Avengers:  Infinity War tonight also.  I like this plan (including dinner at the theater), just because.  I’m listening to the soundtrack even now.

{4/25/19}  Weight 222.2 at 3:00 am, 221.4 at 7:09.

So I saw Captain Marvel again, including dinner, at a cost of about $35.  Dinner consisted of three carnitas mini-tacos, popcorn, bottle of water, and a pint of butter pecan ice cream.  I also bought a package of “cookie dough mini-bites” but didn’t open it until I got home; somehow, I managed to eat less than half of that.  I think next time I’ll just get the ice cream.

The movie was at least as much fun this time as last, primarily because Brie Larsen is nearly as good in this role as Robert Downey, Jr., is as Iron Man—that is, pretty, funny, and about as believable as a forgiving viewer could ask.  Given that CM is an origin story, the emphasis is as much on character as on action.  The theater was not completely empty, I presume because of the upcoming Avengers movie.  It’s a pity that it would be considered pushy to talk to other audience members, but of course most of the audience was with someone, unlike poor me.

Reading A. E. van Vogt:  Empire of the Atom, a rarity for vV in that there is a lot of attention to character and little or none to ideas.  It’s set in a post-apocalyptic distant future where radioactive elements are worshipped and independent colonies exist throughout the solar system.

When I woke up this evening I realized that I had been dreaming about CM and as I tried to get to sleep I kept thinking about the very complicated formulas that I want to put in my checkbook spreadsheet, the basic function being to look up a value based on a category and create a total for the category.  Unfortunately, my VBA book doesn’t list “category,” “lookup,” or the keyword “Vlookup” in the index, and the built-in help function in Excel gives you basically just syntax unless you’re online.  I had this problem solved in Apple’s Numbers program, but I haven’t solved it yet in Excel.

Major confusion resolved:  a formula in Excel has nothing to do with VBA!  There’s no point in looking in my VBA book to write a formula in Excel.  Well, seriously, DUH!

Major breakthrough in Excel:  use named ranges!

5:23 and back to bed.

Amazing—I got Excel to do exactly what I wanted, and with named ranges, the crucial formula was much simpler than I’d expected.  Yay!

Avengers:  Endgame released today, so I went to the bus stop at 11:00 to go see it.  While there I called the theater and learned that it has a runtime of 3:15 (yay!) but has special showtimes today, so I’ll go tomorrow.  Now I’m at Valley Plaza [mall] to use the Internet; then I’ll go home

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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