Size Doesn’t Matter

IMG_8111I put on a rarely-worn wristwatch yesterday. It’s a Casio quartz that caught my eye on Amazon because unlike most Casios it’s old-school analog, and the price was less than $30. How could I not snap that up?

Looking at the photo, it’s a normal sized watch, no? In comparison with my other watches, though, it’s small, so when picking a watch for the day I usually pass it by.

Checking out vintage watch listings on eBay, most are smaller than this Casio. Men’s watch sizes have grown over the years. Back in the 60s and 70s, men’s dress watches ran 34-36mm in diameter. The Casio in the photo is a 38 and would have been considered huge. But that was then and this is now. My other watches range from 40-44mm in size, so it’s a bit of an adjustment seeing a 38 on my wrist. After a couple of hours, though, I get used to it and it seems just fine. And hey, $30. Okay, add a nice aftermarket strap to replace the crappy one it came with and the total jumps to $45. Not even a tank of gas.

Just back from a mostly-wasted drive to Davis-Monthan AFB. I switched my prescription provider from the corner Walgreens to the base pharmacy a couple of months ago. Military retirees get prescriptions free on base, which is a hell of an incentive, but the deal comes with some GI rigamarole: when refills run out, they don’t call the doctor, you have to; there’s a four to five working day delay before new prescriptions and refills are ready to be picked up; there’s no way to find out about surprise closures before driving across town to the base (in our case nearly 20 miles one way).

Surprise! The pharmacy was closed and I’ll have to try again Monday (no weekend hours being part of the GI rigamarole cited above). With gas at nearly four bucks a gallon, it’s more than a slight annoyance. Was the Medicare/Tricare co-pay at Walgreen’s that bad?

But! The trip wasn’t a total waste, because the base gas station was open. Gas on base runs a few cents per gallon more than at Costco, but they have windshield washing stands by the pumps and they keep the fluid clean and the paper towel dispensers stocked. Don’t know about you, but a clean windshield makes up for a lot of aggravation.

Oh wait! Donna looked at my gas receipt just now and tells me base gas is a lot more than Costco gas. Like 40 cents a gallon more. It’s not supposed to be that way … isn’t there some DoD regulation tying the price of on-base gas to prevailing prices off-base?

I swear, I think the military has a secret plan to divest itself of base exchanges and commissaries entirely, at least at bases in the continental US. They’re doing it by making them less of a deal for the troops than they used to be.

We’re cleaning the living room today for book club tomorrow. Later, Donna and Polly will prepare Halloween-themed snacks for the meeting. Only three members have RSVP’d, which is … discouraging. Members have been slowly drifting away since the pandemic.

Speaking of which, I still mask when I go for haircuts and pedicures. My barber doesn’t, but my pedicurist does. And I still mask up when I go into Costco, mainly because it’s always crowded, with other customers pushing up close and getting inside my bubble. When I go to the corner Safeway or the exchange on base I can manage to keep some space between myself and others and no longer feel the need to mask there. Costco’s a madhouse by comparison.

So far, no one’s given me lip over masking, even when I’m the only person in sight wearing one. Neither Donna nor I have had so much as a cold since the beginning of 2020. I wish I could say it’s because we still mask more than other folks. Polly’s lived with us since July 2020 and in that time has had four jobs, only one of which (the Amazon warehouse job) enforced masking at work. Her more recent gigs have been in grocery stores where pandemic guidelines have largely vanished, and in fact she’s had three or four colds (even walking pneumonia, once) from working in those stores. Which she brings home to us. And we don’t mask at home. So just dumb luck? Whatever, we’ll take it.

God damn, I’m glad Joe Biden is president and not that other guy.

Stay fresh, cheese bags!

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