PermaLink I didn't want to write about 9/1109/12/2007 10:58 PM
I didn't want to join the usual chorus of people recalling 9/11 this week, so I won't.

But lots of other stuff has been going on, so I'll talk about that instead.  

My back hurt like hell this week. I initially pulled something when hauling around large bags of catfud and rabbitfud a week or two ago, and somehow a nerve in there got pinched and it refused to let go.

Peppers... to the rescue.

I discovered that one thing that helped a lot was cutting open one of my jalapenos and rubbing the juice into the area of my lower back. I'd noticed the numbing and warming effects of these peppers a week or so ago when I was dicing them up for salsa (salsa that was and is very tasty). My fingers were warm and slightly numb for several days afterward, so I figured I'd try it out on my back. It did help a great deal, though it was temporary. As of tonight, things don't seem "pinched" any longer, but the muscles do feel sore and worn-out.

Last weekend wasn't pleasant. Nora and I took Ben up to a Flemish Giant show in Cortland, New York, and I drove the entire 700+ miles up and back, on rough Pennsylvania highways, and it was nasty on my back. Ben wasn't being shown, he was just along so that he could meet others of his kind.

And boy, were there others. 143 giant rabbits in every possible color, all of them enormous. We took Ben into the show barn and he was just beside himself, trying to look at everything. Among other things, he got to witness two large fawn-colored wabbits being bred, and his eyes were enormous. Like, "am I supposed to see that???" He was just amazed. He did get to sniff several big wabbits, and nipped one of them. They, in turn, seemed curious about him. It was as if they were envious that he wasn't in a 2x3 enclosure with an ear tattoo.

We stayed for a barbecue and socializing afterward, during which time it rained like hell. We drove all the way back overnight, through the rain, and stopping a couple of times to snooze. Nora made it back in time to go to church, where she was supposed to read. Me, I slept, badly, with several pillows wedged behind my back.

I've finally gotten around to hacking my AppleTV. The day I bought it, I also picked up a Seagate 160Gb drive to put in it, and in addition to sticking that in there to replace the lame 40Gb drive that was already full within two weeks, I applied a few hacks to do things like enable Apache on the thing, ssh (so I could telnet in and talk to the box), and a few other things, not all of them yet successful. I suspect most of the hacks for AppleTV (there's a link up at the upper right on this page) were designed for the 1.0 AppleTV configuration, and the 1.1 update broke some stuff. There's probably a 1.2 update coming soon, now that there are strong rumors that Apple is going to make it possible for AppleTV to talk directly to the iTunes Wireless Music Store. They introduced that September 5, when they released a metric assload of new iPods, including the wireless-equipped iPod Touch.

Speaking of iPods, some bastard stole some stuff out of a number of cars in the valley before Labor Day, and among other things, they walked off with my iPod 60, Nora's iPod 30, and my little Nikon L3 digital camera. And the ashtray from my Volkswagen.

What the fuck do they want with an ashtray? I mean, I understood why they snarfed my prescription bottles out of the door pocket, since they were probably stupid kids and didn't know that they won't get much of a buzz off my high-blood-pressure pills, but why my ashtray?

I found a replacement iPod 30 for myself on Craig's List by noon the next day, and gave Nora my old 3rd-generation iPod 20. I also installed a new stereo in the Volkswagen, an Alpine with the iPod-connector option. The sound is much, much better than the old cassette-adapter thing I'd used with the factory stereo. Kudos to Crutchfield once again for their flawless adapter and installation kits. This one went in as perfectly as all the other Crutchfield head units I've installed in cars over the years. And no, the bastards didn't steal that stereo, nor did they grab my GPS or my work Blackberry. Just after the iPods and the drugs, I guess. And the ashtray.

Ben is getting enormous. He doubled his weight and size in four weeks. Max is getting larger, too, and mellower, but he can still be a brat. He's spent most of this evening chasing the older cats around and tackling them. I'm pretty sure they think he's a pain in the ass. We like him just fine, though, and Ben really likes him. They wrestle practically every morning.

My stepmother seems to be doing OK after my father's death. She remembered to send me a birthday card last week, which surprised me and which I didn't really expect at all, given everything that's been going on. August was indeed a bad month for parents and such... a friend of mine's husband lost his mother after an illness. And unexpectedly, someone from my long past died at age 83 out in Eugene, Oregon. I hadn't seen Russell Reed Benedict in almost 25 years, but he was the sort of character you don't easily forget. A full explanation of where he fits in my life would take a lot more space than I want to spend right here and right now, but I'll write about him someday soon. It would be worth it.

I'm all registered for Lotusphere, but am unfortunately wait-listed for the Dolphin. Damn if I'm gonna stay in Swan... rooms almost always open up, though, so I'm sticking with it. Only a few short months away now, though you'd not know it from my Gonzo Lotusphere 2008 site. I am being rather lame and easily-distracted.

I apologize.

Blame it on my back.

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1. Turtle09/26/2008 02:09:08 AM

Barbara Benedict: would you please email me privately? I didn't even realize until tonight that anyone had read this post, let alone replied to it. I do have some Russell Stories, and if you want them, they are yours. Email me at turtle (at) weightlessdog (dott) com.

2. Barbara C. Benedict 09/26/2007 09:14:42 PM

Hello Scott,

I was searching my recently passed Dad's name in google and found your comment:

>>And unexpectedly, someone from my long past died at age 83 out in Eugene, Oregon. I hadn't seen Russell Reed Benedict in almost 25 years, but he was the sort of character you don't easily forget. A full explanation of where he fits in my life would take a lot more space than I want to spend right here and right now, but I'll write about him someday soon. It would be worth it.<<

I hope you do write something about how he fit into your life. I am part of Russell's West coast family -- his middle daughter Barbara (47 years old). I was not raised by my father, but he was the only one I had. I had very little time with him over the years -- he usually lived quite far away. I did spend two summers in D.C. while he was there -- didn't see him much but was able to experience a bit of his world -- once when I was 16 and another when I was twenty six. I was in close contact with him these past several years though as he began his battle with cancer.

I have heard many a story about him over the years, and especially recently as we were forced to face the fact that the man who couldn't be killed (several near death incidents over his lifetime) was ultimately taken by cancer --though he never surrendered even for a minute. I'd love to hear about your encounter(s) with him. As with most stories I've heard, I expect it/they might be quite unusual or perhaps even more dramatic, most are.

He was indeed a character. There were many great parts to him, and many really amazing good works, but "the Russell stories" are how I know him best. I'd be grateful for whatever you would be willing to share.

I noticed in quickly scanning your blog that you lost your father recently too. I'm very sorry.

Barbara C. Benedict
Escondido, California

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