Some of you inquired online as to whether I continue to exist as a going concern. I can understand your curiosity since I’ve been absent here and mostly absent elsewhere for more than a week. Let me assure you that I do still live, albeit in a rather feverish and mucus-filled fashion.

As near as I can tell, I don’t have influenza. That’s a very serious disease. That last time I caught the flu—the real it-can-kill-your-ass flu—I went to the hospital for several days. Thankfully, I don’t remember much from the whole ordeal. That was back in the 90s.

What I possess now is an uncommon cold. I call it that because a more humble infection just annoys for two or three days. This one knocked me flat for more than twice that and won’t seem to let its foot up off my chest without draining me of strength and will first.

At least it started out as a cold. While not the flu and not life-threatening, it’s certainly moved on to more than just occupying my nasal cavities and now appears to building a summer home in the more southern parts of my body.

So it might as well be the flu. Even if it’s more prosaic.

The worse part of this experience is that not only am I not writing or programming, but I have little desire to even amuse myself with the vast library of movies, television programs and books I long ago prepared for just such a sickness.

So I sleep. And drink water. Lots and lots of water. Whole bottles of water. Which, besides the cold itself, is why I can’t remain sleeping for very long. Sooner, rather than later, I need to return the deposit on those beverages. Which means my record is about three hours of sleep at one time. And the average is half that.

My advice? Don’t get sick this winter. There are some annoying creatures out there besides the flu. One of those jerks is staying with me now.