Biff Rambles on About … Breathing for Dummies, Are We Having Phone Yet?, and Weather Roulette 

Biff Hiking #4


It’s been quite a week here in Biffville (population:  restive).

O Breath, Where Is Thy Spring?

My spring allergies have been in overdrive.  For those of you who don’t suffer from allergies, what a blessing for you!  I have suffered from seasonal allergies since my 20s.  They have not gotten any better over time, even though you would think that your body would build up a resistance over time, especially when you are exposed to the thing you are allergic to every hour of every day for decades.

But apparently, that’s not how our body works.

It likes us to suffer for as long as possible.

And even though I have suffered from allergies for decades, I just assumed that they only resulted in sneezing and sniffling and bleary eyes and running noses.

However, I have recently found out that they can perfectly mimic the symptoms of a heart attack.  My breathing has been so compromised for the past 6 weeks that I have been having tightness in my chest, numbness in my hands and arms, a heartbeat so strong that it would wake me up at night, high blood pressure, and dizziness.  However, after a couple of visits to the doctors to ask them if I should go ahead and make out my will, they instead fixed me up with some industrial-strength sinus de-cloggers.

I have been able to breathe now for almost a week and it has been a wonderful experience.  I highly recommend it to one and all.  All the symptoms I mentioned above are all but gone and I can now put off making my will until it is time for autumn allergies.

Phoning it In

I recently had to get a new phone.

My old one was six generations old and though it was in good shape physically, technology had so moved on that it had become virtually unusable.  The memory was full of bloatware and crapware that I could not delete because they were locked by my carrier.  The internet had gotten so slow that it reminded me of dial-up.  The battery life had gotten so short that it pretty much had to stay on the charger all the time.

Even still, I did not want a new phone.  Upgrading to a new phone is one of the most frustrating ordeals one can go through.  It’s like they set out to see just how frustrating they can make the process.   They obviously want to punish us for waiting so long to upgrade.

First off, just selecting a phone is an ordeal.  They make it so complicated!  So many models!  And each of them so subtly different from each other that it is hard to discern why this one costs a hundred dollars more than that one when all the specs look the same, only to find out that one of them has a color that is just one or two Pantone shades different from the other one.  Why the heck would I pay an extra hundred dollars just for a phone color that I’m going to cover up with a protective case?

Anyway, I’ve been using my new phone for a week and, frankly, I hate it.  Yes, it does everything faster than my old phone.  The screen resolution is eye-popping.  The internet is faster.  But nothing is where it should be.  And the phone does everything in its power to thwart my efforts to put things where I want them.  And every button I tap pops up a window asking me if I want to upgrade to an even better service.


I do not.

I hate technology.

I hate it because, rather than trying to make our lives better, it has become nothing more than a way to up sell us on every little thing.  It is just a marketing tool that we invite into our lives to constantly try to sell us more and more services for more and more money.

It makes me long for the days when a phone could only make phone calls.

Hot and Cold Running Weather

It is springtime in Dallas.

That means we have no idea what the weather is going to do from minute to minute.

A typical day this time of year means sleeping under an oscillating fan because it’s warm.  Then, waking up shivering, so getting up and turning on the heater.

But leaving the fan on.

Then sweating while shaving in front of the bathroom mirror, so going to turn down the heater.   But then stepping into the shower and screaming because the allegedly hot water is ice cold.  Then getting out of the shower shivering, so going to turn the heater back up.

It means leaving the house in a jacket and gloves and running the heater in the car.  But stripping off the jacket and turning down the heater as the sun beats its way into the car.

Then, at lunch, driving with the windows down because it’s so nice.

But then running the air conditioner on the way home because it’s boiling.

Then going for a walk after dinner because it’s so nice.

But then cutting the walk short because it’s getting cold.

Then having a nice warm beverage when you get back home to warm up … while the air conditioner is running.

Then turning on the heater before going to bed.

But turning on the fan beside the bed to stay cool.

But I’m not complaining.  In just a few weeks it will be 100 degrees with no hope of it getting cooler until September.  So, give me this crazy, oscillating weather any day.  Just spare me the tornadoes and hail.

The Dismount

Have a wonderful weekend!  And may you have beautiful weather.




  1. Your phone comments remind me of picking up an Amazon tablet. I paid a little extra so it wouldn’t have direct advertising. What they don’t tell you is they designed their version of the Android operating system to funnel you into the Amazon site. It took a while to figure out how to disable most of that. I still may sideload a different launcher on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The phone companies and phone providers, like other malicious viruses, have evolved to attack us and to drain our resources in more and more subtle ways. They have even conditioned us to not only thank them for attacking us, but to pay them big bucks for the privilege.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate on so many counts in this post. The allergies are something I never developed until I lived in Erie for about five years. Now I have a solid handful of months during the year where my lungs feel like they’ve shrunk to a fraction of their size. I don’t necessarily get the clogged sinuses, but I have headaches, and because the lungs are compromised, I cough when I talk. Amazingly, I can still sing with ease. I guess I breathe differently for it.

    I love getting new phones but hate the ritual that goes along with having to decide which notifications pop up and which don’t, whether to save downloads to the phone or to my SD card, which apps go on the main screen. #firstworldproblems But I seriously love my Samsung Galaxy S7, which is still going strong after almost three years, and won’t replace it until I have to. I do everything from work to play on it but still manage to not be available 24/7.

    The weather here is so up and down this time of year that I don’t even get my hopes up anymore. It’s much like yours, only on the colder side of things. Then all of a sudden we’ll realize it’s June and we have three days of summer coming soon before the snow threatens again, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry to hear about the allergies! I can definitely relate. I feel fine as long as I am sitting and not exerting myself. But if I try to do anything beyond that (like vacuuming or whatever), suddenly I feel like my heart is about to beat out of my chest. Hopefully, as spring passes into summer, we will both get some relief!

      You are so spot on about the phone changing ritual. I don’t mind the new phone so much. It is just the process of getting it up to the same level of functionality and convenience as my old phone that is such a pain.


  3. I’m one of the few adults in the developed world to have never had a mobile phone. I think it would probably last about three weeks before being broken. I think I was too well trained as a teenager to make short phone calls, or perhaps I’m just odd! I have borrowed my husband’s mobile on occasion when travelling, but generally can’t see the point on being permanently available. Plus the signal round here until very recently was very patchy. Improved a bit recently for emergency services’ use.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. I hate being permanently available. And I hate that soul-less corporations are tracking my every move and keystroke. I very often just leave my phone in a desk drawer and go about my business without being tethered to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, on the allergies. I generally don’t suffer, but this year has been different. So far, my record for consecutive sneezes is nine, but I’m hoping to break double digits soon.

    My phone just broke, and I had to confront the distressing fact that Samsung no longer makes the model I was using, so an upgrade was necessary. However: upgrading a Samsung flip phone is not the same as upgrading a ‘smart’ phone. For about $150, I now have a phone that not only places calls, but also can do texts. However: it still requires punching a key from one to four times to get the desired letter. That’ll reduce your texting impulses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry to hear about the allergies. Nine consecutive sneezes is pretty impressive!

      And your phone story sure brought back memories! I used to have a flip phone with the multi-button-press texting “feature”. I don’t particularly miss that. Sometimes I think I would like to go back to a simple flip phone, but I do enjoy having GPS and a camera in my phone. I also occasionally need or enjoy the internet if I am stuck waiting somewhere, but I could probably even live without the internet connection.

      Liked by 1 person

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