Time to squeeze in one last post this month, although as I look back a lot of this month has consisted of repetitions of various events. For example, as I write this we are getting more snow, the removal or at least organizing of which is starting to become a problem. At least we had a few days of relative warmth which melted some of the previous accumulation.
The news also seems a bit repetitive. Headline News is breathlessly hashing over Charlie Sheen's latest troubles, which are just his old troubles, and discussing whether CBS can/should fire him from Two and a Half Men. I tend to think CBS will keep him around, if only because the show is still a success. The fact that his character on the show is only about two steps behind his real life might also actually help him keep his job. It's not like he's ever been a role model on there.
I find the Egyptian turmoil a bit familiar as well, perhaps because it's the Middle East. Let's not forget that Mobarak came to power after Anwar El-Sadat was assassinated for talking peace. It also reminds me of some of our Cold War follies, when U.S. support of some pretty unsavory characters because they were anti-Communist blew up in our faces. I did find it interesting that an eyewitness from South Dakota who was still there said that that most of the protests were in a small area in Cairo, and that no one had threatened them.
One personal event was also a sequel. My wife got to take another ambulance to Sioux Falls after the local hospital spent two days not figuring out what was causing her chest pain. The local ambulance service decided the roads were too bad for a non-emergency transport and refused to take her, so an ambulance from the Sioux Falls area (Brandon, to be specific) came and got her, which delayed her arrival by about 5 hours. On a positive note, this time an actual diagnosis (stable angina) with a strategy for treatment was reached. In my wife's case, while the affected blood vessels are too small for the standard installation of stints, her condition is treatable with medication and cardiac therapy. They also found that a blockage which had been discovered last time is now gone, which vindicates her previous regimen and makes the idea of paying the upcoming bills a bit more palatable.
Even our income tax refund was partially a repeat, in that we always designate part of it for the same thing; payment of property taxes. (I think of this bit of irony every time I see debates over tax cuts/increases; you always end up paying someone.) This year we had enough left over to buy a much-needed new bed. It had been many moons since I shopped for one, and I was surprised to see how much thicker mattresses had gotten; our sheets barely fit the new bed despite it being the same size as the old one. Overall, though, it has been a vast upgrade, as well as an opportunity for me to dispose of another remnant of my previous marriage.
One item that was new; Grandbaby had her first early childhood screening. This was partially motivated by concern over an allegedly developing lisp, which I had never seen and was attributing to her often-displayed and apparently congenital (although I am frequently blamed for this despite the lack of a genetic connection) Stink Pot Syndrome; she was probably just goofing around to see how it sounded. The testers also found no evidence of any speech impediment. In fact they were quite impressed with her abilities in that area, especially her use of relatively complete sentences, which they said was well above her age. She scored well in almost all the tests, the exception being cognitive skills, which was mostly attributable to her unwillingness to participate in a drawing test, probably because she didn't like having to draw on the same paper as the tester (see above Stink Pot Syndrome).
On that good note it's on to February. Hopefully if this repetitiveness continues there will be more positive.