I think that “That Was Then” needs a break. the A to Z Challenge is taking up time and trying to stay ahead of it requires that research, type and think about what’s coming next. The break will give me time to learn a little more about my family and do some checking about the times to refresh my memory. I especially want to add cultural bits with the post. A lot of you weren’t around then and it’s like looking inside a time capsule, only this time it’s my brain.

Speaking of brains, the front room of my apartment is getting a visitor Wednesday. It’s the lady who owns a bookstore that picks up books. I talked to her on the phone and she wants to look the mess collection over. I’ll give her anything she’ll take. Then I press on to secondary options for disposal. I don’t want to throw them away but our local library doesn’t put donated books on the shelf. They have a book sale that seems eternal. I don’t want to cram them into the ersatz mailbox with books and a package will attract Homeland Security. The bomb squad detonating a case of books is interesting but not funny.

The clear out will give me access to three defunct TVs that have traveled with me. April is Electronics Disposal Month so it’s time for the to move on having fulfilled their electronic destiny. Now to find someone to take them for a ride. My car’s too small, the landlord might not want to and I don’t want to pay for another trip to the dump.

There’s a cleaning theme here, notice.

Got a phone call Friday from a functionary at the VA Hospital. She informed me that all my appointment would be delayed until I was strip searched for bed bugs. It’s demeaning and I’m pissed. I have appointments that I have to keep. Okay, story first. My feet swelled up. I’m diabetic and have high blood pressure. I retain water. While I was being seen by the doctor a bed bug smaller than a flea crawled on my ankle. Because of the swelling I chose a ratty pair of socks with blown out elastic in the ankle part. They were stored in a bottom drawer. I hadn’t seen a bed bug in a couple weeks. The doctor noted this. When I went for an EKG I was told I could not visit the hospital until the bugs were gone. Thus the call on Friday. I’ve been with the VA since 1971. I’ve had a few appointments cancelled because of “emergencies” usually another patient or the caregiver having a conflict. I accepted them. What could I do? Another thing there are over a thousand vets (conservatively) in this country who are homeless or living in less than Ideal conditions. Some of the might be infested. Are they turned away? And there’s a Christian element here. Did Jesus tell the lepers, crazies and possessed to step away from the rest of the faithful so as not to infect them? Monday morning I’m calling the functionary. I’m going to state my case:1) A strip-search is demeaning 2) Denying or delaying medical help is not exactly in keeping with what the VA Healthcare System espouses 3) Some appointments have been delayed to the point a visit is necessary, if not imperative. I have a letter stating the bugs are gone. Lastly I want my doctor to call me. I want to deal directly with her. If she decides not to call. I’ll have an e-mail composed to my U.S. Senators and my Representative. A little research into the hierarchy of the VA will find someone I can bring my case to. And if that doesn’t work I’ll find a vets advocacy group.

During channel surfing today I came across “Cat’s Eye” the movie that tie three Stephen King stories together with a cat. The part I caught was “Quitters Inc.” James Wood and the cat were nice but the late Alan King was masterful. He managed to transfer the curmudgeon he played on-stage into a wonderful villain. He was calm, controlled and with just a soupcon on menace.

See you tomorrow.