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Eight days ago I admitted to myself that I probably had a cold and began my hot bath routine for getting rid of it. Just an hour ago I took my last hot bath and even it was just a precautionary one because I haven’t coughed up more than a teaspoonful of phlegm total today. That phlegm is the residue of the infection being cleared out by the body, and the total amount coughed up during the whole cold episode is a good measure of how sick you have been. I haven’t coughed a single time for several hours so I am declaring myself cured. I was never sick enough for anyone to notice, and after I began taking the hot baths I don’t think I was breathing out any germs. I did avoid shaking hands with everyone or sharing cups and other intimate things like that.

I did have a stressful week, however! Four full-grown Ponderosa trees fell within striking distance of my house, but only one hit it. The damage wasn’t enough to make our house uninhabitable, and today two roofer guys were up there tearing it apart. That made a lot of noise, but a week from now things should be upgraded to modern standards and be even better than they were last week.

One of our backyard Ponderosa trees fell into our neighbor’s backyard; fortunately, it missed everything except the fences so the only major expense is removing that huge tree lying there. It may be there for a week more because many trees fell here in Bend during the storm, and this one isn’t causing much inconvenience so it is low on the arborist’s removal list.

Fortunately, we are required to have homeowner’s insurance so much of the expense will be picked up by the insurance company. How much they actually cover remains to be seen, and we may need to make an initial payment before the reconstruction begins.  Then there will be the deductible. Ultimately, there could be a substantial out-of-pocket expense and it may be months before we know just how much that will be.

All of this is within our ability to cope, but it is stressful. I like to get my stress in the form of solving weird problems. And these last several weeks it has been creating a presentable argument for the Seven Sages of Ancient Greece mosaic buried in Pompeii in 79 AD being about the geometry of the Roman Empire. Once I publish that analysis here on this blog everyone will gasp at my spending so much time on something so long buried and so trivial. It’s rather like the Case of Who Murdered Otzi the Iceman – who cares? I just hope I can maintain my enthusiasm for my coming book (?) The Laugh Out Loud Diet. That will take at least a month to write up and may create an even deeper yawn in the public’s mind than my previous efforts. Who cares?

The cure for the common cold and beyond into the long dead Roman Empire.

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