Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bookmarks and More

It’s been a productive few days insofar as rebuilding the most important of what I’d lost when the Vaio died.
A little behind in scrapbooking, I’d been collecting photos to be sent out for development in a folder on the computer and, fortunately, just that morning, had forwarded to Walmart for prints.
Something then told me to backup that which I’d not backed up for a while -- like the budget spreadsheet, a document tracking dates and occasions of those photos, and image enlargements of the current cross-stitch project with the areas completed marked out so I don’t get confused.
I didn’t take the time to do that backup and, later that evening, when I couldn’t open the computer, regretted not doing so when prompted to do so.
Though photos kept in files are lost, I don’t suppose it matters as I do have prints but henceforth, instead of a tracking document, I’m reverting to my mom’s method of writing on the back of prints.
There are quite a few photos waiting to be scrapbooked and, except for the 5Ks where I can identify the occasion by the bib, it’s difficult to recall specifics. That’s where the blog is coming in handy in allowing me to go back, connect photos to occasions and dates.
Inasmuch as I’m only a month into the new cross-stitch pattern, it wasn’t a whole lot of work to re-scan, enlarge, update work done, so that’s taken care of.
As far as the budget, it was only this year’s budget to-date that was lost, as last year’s had been backed up on flash. Rebuilding this year’s budget was doable but tedious, because every dollar spent is meticulously logged into my Franklin Planner on a daily basis, making it a matter of tediously looking through the planner, reentering daily data into a new spreadsheet.
I’ve even managed during the week to locate some of the blogs whose bookmarks I’d lost. These are blogs not on my reading list, but which I’d browsed up on, found interesting, and would occasionally lurk.
Is that the correct word … “lurk”, when one occasionally reads but not leave a comment?
At any rate, I’m now thinking of adding those to my reading list, instead of just bookmarking, so as to not risk losing again.
What’s the protocol on that?
Do we leave a comment asking permission, or do we just add?
There’s one set of bookmarks I won’t be looking to recover -- a list of senior communities to look at should I find I won’t be allowed to recertify for this restricted-income complex end-of-year, because of that windfall.
Online search for an affordable area, that’s not restricted income, led me to Henderson, Nevada.
Believe it or not, until that search, I’d never heard of Henderson. Now, all of a sudden, every time I turn around, I’m hearing, seeing or being given something relative to “Henderson/Lake Mead”.
Beginning to think it a sign, I’d bookmarked several 55 and Over Communities -- some new, some under construction.
No point bothering with looking those up and re-bookmarking now, because I heard on the news the Oakland Raiders are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas.
That announcement is going to push prices up on everything in and around the Las Vegas area, to on par with what’s going on in and around this area.
Henderson still might be a fun area to live if I absolutely must move. I saw the senior communities are close enough to the Strip to be able to enjoy that activity, the University of Nevada if I want a campus to roam for Pokémon, there’s a Costco, Kaiser, Home Depo. So though I don’t want to end up paying an arm and a leg for housing, it may be worth the price.
We’ll see come October, when recertification time rolls around.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Night the Computer Died, Part 2

Feeling a little better about how the so-called “advancements” in technology have inconvenienced me – making complicated that which was previously a breeze. And I definitely have to set up an appointment with optometry for new glasses, because the writing on the keys is so tiny that I have to use a magnifying glass to delineate the newly located home key from those surrounding it.

Thinking perhaps I’d made a mistake in choice of pc’s, I went online last night, read pros and cons for others I’d considered, and came to the conclusion I’m good.

Change is not something I enjoy or normally look forward to. Consequently, it does take something drastic before I submit to change, even when it’s a good change.

Seven years was a good long run with that Sony Vaio but, truth be told, there were problems indicating it probably should have been replaced some time ago.

But that’s me. As long as there’s life in an old material thing, I don’t see the necessity of replacing it with something new.

In fact, it’s kind of prophetic that, when the cable technician was here last week about that modem, he’d remarked that my computer was slow booting up “Because it’s an older model”.

“I love this old girl, and I’m going to run her until the wheels fall off” said I.

A week later, the wheels did indeed fall off.

Now I’m a crossing my fingers, knocking on wood, erasing those words because I’ve said the same thing about the car.

I’m also feeling a little better, except for those frustrating instances my fingers head to the location they’re accustomed to finding backspace, delete, page up, page down but now find something else, because the fingers are doing better at knowing where to go without my looking down, and getting there a little faster.

Lastly, I found an online photo editor that makes it easy to crop and resize photos, even easier than the online editor I was previously using (when I had to go outside the old computer's photo editor, now no longer part of the package) – the online editor whose bookmark is forever lost inside the old computer, as are bookmarks to other sources of information and items of interest.

At any rate, now that I have access to an editor, here are the two photos captured when I found myself in front of the Inland Center.

The area is a mixture of businesses on one side of the street, homes on the other.

Can you imagine hearing/seeing, what is normally seen on the news as happening in other countries, happening in one’s own front yard?

And here’s a photo of the sleek new HP.

I’d actually intended to replace the Sony Vaio with a new Sony Vaio, but learned they are no longer in production.

I'm accepting life is full of change, but can't help but wonder whatever happened to the part which said “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and “Don’t mess with a good thing”.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Night the Computer Died

It all started Friday night with “your pc did not start correctly/disk error”, which led to a “diagnose your pc” to “automatic repair” to “AR could not repair”.

I could not wait for morning to come so I could head to Geek Squad for fixing.

However, when I awoke Saturday morning, practical me had taken over and, much as I loved my 7-year-old Sony Vaio, I couldn’t justify a boatload of money in repairs on an old pc, so off I go to Best Buy to purchase a new laptop.

After giving myself a headache from assimilating all the tech-speak, and realizing how far behind I’d become, i.e., keyboards are completely different now, with numbers to the right; Office separate, apart, and has to be downloaded, I settled on an HP Envy.

Leaving her with the Geeks overnight, to do everything that needed to be done so all I had to do was plug her in and go, I took possession this morning – only to realize, after driving all the way back home, getting undressed and comfortable for the day, that my wireless mouse ant stick was too big for the port.

The touch thing was driving me crazy, so I redressed and drove all the way back for a mouse.

It being a nice day for a Sunday drive, I took the scenic route back on an avenue I’d not driven before and found myself in front of the Inland Regional Center – location of that Terror Attack.

I took photos of the memorial, I also took a photo of the new pc, but find I have no picture manager.

I had a bookmark to a free online photo manager on the old pc but, taking advantage of a free consultation on the return trip, even the Geeks were unable to do anything with the old pc so I could at least capture bookmarks, recent documents, recent photos I’d not gotten around to backing up on a flash.

With the loss of Photo Manager, and the new keyboard significantly diminishing my typing speed --- it's hunt and peck, my enthusiasm for blogging, online since 1998, is waning.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Day the Scale Moved

Well pleased with myself am I, for having managed to clear out three more containers during the week.

Set aside for donation are belts, tote bags, more tops, and this cool Star Trek Dr. Spock hoodie that I really wanted to keep but know in my heart I’ll never wear again.

Notice the Spock ears.

So cool.

Alas for the librarians, I’ll be creating more work for them as I found five more books – The Tao of Pooh, Feng Shui for Apartment Living, Using Feng Shui, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui and Feng Shui in 10 Simple Lessons. However, as I type this out, something tells me to hold onto 10 Lessons, so it’s a take back on that one.

That does it for inside, next area to tackle is the patio storage area, where I fear there might be more books – a collection of Edgar Cayce's, some Dream and Horoscope Manuals.

There’s also a container full of country western cd’s and cassette tapes.

Even though cassette tapes are passé, I already know I’m not ready to let go of anything in that container.

A notice was posted to our doors that the big deal tax credit inspection found vehicles parked on the property that did not display current registration tags. Evidently, that’s something connected to the property keeping its tax credit status, so management has been phasing folks into the office to show proof of current car registration and current car insurance.

I’m up-to-date, and today was my appointment to bring in proof.

Walking to the office through the front entrance, I saw quite a group of residents in the Community Room, stuck my head in and learned I’d failed to notice, on the calendar, that today is Arts and Crafts – scrap paper Easter Wreaths.

I stuck around and participated.

Speaking of participating, a sign-up sheet for “volunteers” was being circulated.

Surprisingly, 13 residents signed up for lunch with the Complex Manager about volunteering for an Activity Committee. None of the 13 are the two complainers, and I fear most are interested in “lunch” than actually following through with volunteering.

The individual circulating the sign-up sheet approached me, and got “Unh un, no, never no more am I volunteering”.

I was told no one showed up to proctor last Tuesday’s Pizza Day, and the event turned into “a free for all”. Consequently, Activity Director is now asking for someone to go down on “a consistent basis”.

“You get consistent first” thought I – insofar as if and when, instead of inconsistent delivery times and mixed message depending on whom, in the process, one asks.

Heading back to my unit around noon, I made a pit stop at the scale in the Game Room and, to my great delight, the scale moved.

For months and months and months -- actually all last year and this year, I’ve been stuck. And though I felt fortunate to have not gained weight, the goal was to lose, which just never happened no matter how hard I tried.

Having given up on weight loss, the focus now being to not eat anything that will cause my gut to rebel, the scale actually moved down a few pounds.

Color me excited, hopeful more weight loss is to come.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Rain Again, What?!

That nice warm summer weather was great while it lasted.

It’s hard to believe it went from being so uncomfortably hot that I was running the A/C to keep cool, to running the heater to stay warm the very next day, but so it is as it rained all night.

Not knowing what we’re in for this time around, insofar as how long and how hard it’s going to hit us, I rushed out to fill up the tank with gas, and made a stop by Trader Joe’s, just ahead of the change in weather yesterday afternoon.

I’ve been eating clean since Monday, my stomach feeling better every day I get further away from the wheat flour in those Girl Scout Cookies that set off the angry gut, and I’d gone to Trader Joe’s to add Himalayan Pink Salt Crystals to my determination to eat healthy.

Salt is salt, but the Himalayan Crystals are supposedly rich in minerals, better for the body than iodized sea salt and beneficial in strengthening bones, lowering blood pressure and detoxifying the body of toxins.

We shall see what a pinch here, a pinch there does for me.

I was shocked to see a security guard at the entrance of Trader Joe’s, especially in that upscale area of town. When I expressed to the checker how odd and out-of-place it seemed, he advised there’d been a rash of purse thefts inside the store and management was taking precautions.

Good on management, but color me shocked and glad I always wear a fanny pack.

After hearing about the thefts, knowing the area was no longer all that safe, instead of turning on the cellphone to hunt Pokémon while walking back to the car, I kept the phone off and paid attention to my surroundings.

I did see a young man and young woman sitting in their car, looking out-of-place and with the car parked backwards for a quick get away. I also saw that some poor soul was having a very bad day.

How does something like that happen?

At any rate, there were no incidents while I was inside the store or on the lot, and looking online later to see if the purse thefts had been reported in the local paper, I learned this preying on the elderly has been happening at Trader Joe’s all over, in other states even.

The world is so crazy now, which is probably why the weather is following suit -- out picturing this crazy collective consciousness.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Cleaning on Steroids

Friday’s Ice Cream Social turned out okay, and the ice cream caused no more gut problems than I was already experiencing.

No surprise that neither of the two complainers showed up for the event. This would be next door neighbor and Loud Mouth, who complained so long and so loud about the lack of activities.

Watching a few episodes of Hoarders during the week inspired me spend Saturday, Sunday, Monday and today going through stuff I wasn’t able to let go of last time I minimized. Things like a container of electronics, where I found several car chargers and adapters -- I don’t even know how I ended up with so many, but which are now set aside to head to a donation center, along with a selfie stick I could never figured out and, consequently, bought one easier to operate.

Something like 36 books were dropped off at the library yesterday, 25 of which were health and diet related cookbooks, some from the 60’s/70 -- like Adele Davis Eat Right to Keep Fit, Diet for a Small Planet, The Pritikin Program, Ayurvedic Books, Macrobiotics, Raw, Edgar Cayce Recipe Guide, etc, all the way up to the more recent – Fork Over Knives, Skinny Beoch, Skinny Beoch in the Kitch.

You name it, I had it, tried it, learned from it, moved on to the latest health craze unable to let go of the old, but which all of a sudden I realized were no longer of value to me because my stomach problems require I go in a different direction, so I was at last able to let go.

The librarians are probably upset with me because the library was closed, so I dropped the books into the book return slot, creating a lot of extra work for the ladies.

Next on my list is to go through a container of Infinite Way Study Materials, shoes, clothes, and then there is a mountain of t-shirts.

For like forever, I’ve been planning to make a quilt out of the many t-shirts I’ve collected over the years at various races. Thinking I should probably donate them, but would regret doing so later down the road, I purchased a T-Shirt Transformation Ruler so I could declutter the container by transforming the shirts into easy-to-store squares.

So that’s what I’ve been up to last few days, plus there was a mountain of paperwork to fill out, documents to obtain, in order to claim that windfall.

I got a kick out of the plan administrator asking me for my Employee I.D. Number.

“Lady”, said I, “I left that job 19 years ago. I have no idea what my I.D. Number was. This whole thing is a surprise, a pleasant surprise, but nonetheless a complete surprise.”

I’ve often pondered the bible verse, “I will restore the years the locusts have stolen”. I knew what “the locusts” meant in my life but, after so many lottery ticket fails, wondered about the restore portion … until now. Having retired 6-1/2 years ago, it's like getting to retire twice.

I'd still enjoy a massive lottery win -- for the purpose of making life easier for family members.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Since the recent DNA test shows 9% Scandinavian, instead of the Irish I’d been led to believe, I’m not as excited about this day of green bagels and green beer as I've been in the past.

We’re having an ice cream sundae social this afternoon, which I should probably skip, but inasmuch as I’ve been eating healthy, yet having stomach troubles every single day this week anyway, I figure what the heck … a sundae can’t make it any worse than it already is.

At least I hope not.

I got a kick out of a little birdie saying I should attend yesterday’s meeting and report back because inquiring minds want to know.

I did attend and, planning to stay detached from the proceedings, not get involved in the fray, took a Woman’s Day crossword puzzle to work on if I found myself rising to the madness.

I did work the puzzle, it did distract, but the meeting was quite civilized. No one complained about the high cable bills. The Community Room television came up, the outcome being we will have service again soon.

The big deal tax credit inspection turned up areas of erosion caused by the heavy rains. Consequently, there is to be another big deal inspection next year to ensure repairs are made and no other issues have come up.

Another highlight is that something the seniors have been asking to have reinstated since Nurse Ratched took it away has finally been approved -- a Bazaar/Rummage Sale.

I don’t imagine it will be a huge moneymaker like in the past, when it was publicized in the newspaper and people came from all over. It will just be us, so not worth my trying to sell items I’ve recently set aside for donation.

The new Community Manager’s not lying to us, working with us rather than against us, as Nurse Ratched did in coming up with creative reasons why everything had to be “no”, is probably why the meeting was so copacetic.

So, if the meeting was so civilized, so copacetic, why was I distracting myself working on a crossword puzzle you ask? Well that’s because two of the seniors were annoying. The two just babbled on and on and on about things that did not matter, even complaining about things they didn’t realize had long since been resolved. So, to keep from becoming irked out of my detachment and screaming, I worked on the puzzle during those times they needlessly babbled on.

The two are known for putting on a performance, making their opinions heard about how things should be done, and you should see their body movements while doing so -- shoulders strutting, looking very pleased with themselves; but it’s all smoke and mirrors, just a whole lot of complaining just to be complaining.

For instance, it was particularly irksome when the two -- next door neighbor and the other woman, let’s call her Loud Mouth, began complaining about the lack of activities.

True, we do have few BUT next door neighbor rarely attends the few we do have and Loud Mouth never ever attends. So it bothered me those two, of all people, were the ones to complain so long and so loudly about the lack of activities.

To top it off, the Community Manager, and not for the first time, suggested we do not have to rely on the Activity Director, who spreads her time between seven other senior communities. That we can establish our own Activity Committee.

Loud Mouth was all for it, interjecting it’s what we originally had before Nurse Ratched brought Activity Directors on board, and that she (Loud Mouth) had been on the committee. Next Door Neighbor was also in agreement, as it’s something she’s been suggesting for a while.

Actually, the whole room became electric at the idea. BUT, when the Community Manager asked for volunteers, saying she would set up a date for them to have lunch with her and work out a plan, Loud Mouth and next door neighbor suddenly became silent.

It was very telling that all you heard was dead silence in the room which had been so electric with excitement second earlier.

People complaining just to be complaining, not wanting to get involved in resolution.

Speaking of volunteers, I sat with The Baker who said the woman who took my place at Pizza Tuesday was “not happy at having to do it”. That delivery didn’t happen until 11:00 and that everyone “just wooshed in”.

“Do you think she’ll do it again?” asked I.

“I don’t think so”.

Oh well.