573: Unacceptable Risk


In America these days, there is no acceptable risk for something someone does not find useful to themselves.

We all get in our modes of transportation on a nearly daily basis, and willingly take the (rather significant) risk that our routine daily trip will not, this time, come to a horrible, bloody end. It does happen that way for many people the world over. We take that risk with nary a qualm.

We take other risks with insouciance, too.

Have you actually read the warning labels that come attached to most small appliances these days? Seriously? I think we should just improve the gene pool and leave these labels off, thanks very much. WHO showers while using their toaster? Or tries to dry their hair while still in the shower? The awful part is that SOME one obviously did it, or there would not be a warning label for the rest of us…who don’t actually need one, thanks.

I remember the prenatal class I took during my first pregnancy. They were very careful to warn us moms-to-be not to have sex (immediately after delivery) while we were still in the hospital.  I’m not too sure about the other moms, but that was a totally unnecessary warning for me – any man who got anywhere near me immediately after delivery had better have had a shot of morphine, not sperm. It wasn’t actually an experience I was looking forward to beginning all over again at that point, believe me. It took me nearly three YEARS to forget about how much better it felt going in than coming out. Once again, this warning prompts the question: WHO did such a thing, and was she conscious at the time? And as for risk, pregnancy and childbirth are still (even in this modern age) statistically pretty high risk endeavors, and still women do it all the time.

Risk. Actually, I take lots of risks when I get out of bed in the morning. Your home is full of mortal dangers: the electrical circuits, the bathtub, ceiling fans, the stuff crammed on the top shelf of the closet, the pets that weave in and out between your feet, assorted cleaning chemicals which can’t be combined (that bleach  and ammonia thing gets a few people every  year), food left on the counter, or saved a few days too long in the fridge….you  just don’t know all the stuff that can kill you once you take the risk and get out of bed.

Let’s just understand that risk is part of living. The only way to eliminate risk is to die – and then you have to hope that the funeral home dude isn’t a necrophiliac. You just don’t know – and at least, at that point, you just would not know (or care much, either).

Let’s get on with the business of living – and be mostly careful, without being nuts about it.


323: Maintenance man?

In the small residential compound where I rented a casita in VeraCruz, Panama Pacifico, Panama, we have a head groundskeeper cum security guard cum maintenance man, who handles the basic maintenance items. They call in a specialist for complicated stuff.

One fine evening, I was sitting in my living room, sewing. See, my little house (casita) is half of our duplex. The  maintenance man, Luis and his family of five children and his brother, live in the other half. I was quietly sewing when there was a tremendous BOOM. I thought the house had been shot – I not only HEARD the boom, I FELT it.

Mi casita

Mi casita

In moments of crisis, my husband immediately, with no hesitation, swings into action. I freeze and consider first. There are advantages and disadvantages to each reaction, depending on the particular circumstances.  I concluded fairly quickly that it was not a gunshot. When I went to the kitchen, I caught the overwhelming odor of chlorine bleach.

Our complex is ocean-side. The business that is between our complex and the road is a fish farm. I thought briefly that THEY had an explosion of cleaning equipment or supplies – and then I heard someone next door coughing from the fumes.

I went out and around to the front of the house, and asked, in Spanish, if everyone was OK. Apparently (I figured out later) Luis or another family member had poured chlorine bleach down a drain (stopped up or NOT) and it EXPLODED. Fortunately, none of the five family members was in the room when it did it, so no one was burned or harmed by the exploding bleach – just some coughing as they opened the doors and windows to let the powerful fumes escape.

Think I will handle my own repair jobs from now on, thank you very much……………

208: The Return (yet again) of the Black Slime

a href=”https://dirtdaubber.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/stupid-006.jpg”>Anti-moisture, anti-mildew paint....right. Anti-moisture, anti-mildew paint….right. Sort of – we painted the mildewed walls of our Moroccan masonry-built apartment with moisture-resistant, mildew resistant paint. Well….I can claim a partial victory…sort of like Vietnam. The stuff is growing back: ding dong, dad gum it. AAAUUUURRRGGGGHHHHhhhhhhhh.

Bathroom, too

Bathroom, too

*sigh* After all this work. OK. I messaged my dad in the US (handyman extraordinaire) and asked him how to moisture-proof a mansory structure so it did not condensate so badly on the walls. He’s got 70+ years of experience doing that sort of thing, and is still getting around and about with alacrity and agility. I should be so lucky!

Other than periodically attacking it with bleach solution, I am pretty well just stumped.