Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hearing Voices

As I was getting gas yesterday, I began hearing fast-talking voices that sounded like they were coming from nowhere and everywhere.

Looking up and around I caught glimpse of a screen in the middle of the shiny new pumps the gas station had just installed.




I was getting news, weather and entertainment while I pumped.

I didn't notice it at first because, ever since there was a rash of credit and debit card information being stolen from gas stations a few years back, I go inside and pay cash.

At any rate, gas station television. What a novel idea, and how fun, I thought as I walked away from the pump, around the car to stand in front of the screen.

It was mesmerizing.

After hearing the click indicating the gas was done pumping, I released the pump – eyes still on the screen, and was bummed out to learn that action of release turned the screen off.

After replacing the pump, I drove across the street to the walk-in Starbucks.

I generally drive in the opposite direction to the drive-thru Starbucks in the mornings but, since this location recently became a PokéStop, I'll be running my errands on this end of town from now on.

Lucky for me that’s as far as I drove because, returning to the car, I saw I’d neglected to replace the gas cap.

So now I’m thinking gas pump television, with its distracting us from focusing on the job at hand, might not be such a good idea after all.

Monday, August 29, 2016

That’s One

Sunday’s visit to the nearby University was a bit overwhelming because of the size of the campus.

It was huge!

There were lots of university types here/there playing Pokémon, but I felt a bit uncomfortable because the campus is so huge that people were spread out. That meant I ended up in areas where no one was around.

Feeling not safe … and hot because the sun was blazing, I hit only a few PokéStops (there were more than I could count available) and headed for the car when, all of a sudden, I heard someone call my name.

It was the woman from the running group – the one who’d invited me to do a 5K Pokémon hunt a while back.

Sounded fun, but I’d declined to do so because we were having triple digit heat at that time, and because I didn’t see how our pairing up would work with her being only 35, a runner, finishing in 25 minutes, while I, considerably older, walked the 5Ks and took at least an hour or more.

Since then, she’s facebooked suggestions that, “Since we live so close we should …” this/that/the other but, though flattered she wanted to hang out with me, the loner in me never took her up on anything.

Now here I was, on this huge campus, feeling unsafe, with the likelihood of running into someone I know being nil to none and who should appear but she and her young daughter, with her saying “I know the campus in and out because I use to live here; my husband works here. We should team up.”

There’s safety in numbers, so looks the small circle of friends I actually hang out with, in person -- which is NONE since my bff of 10 years, mentioned in an earlier post, and I grew in different directions, has expanded to ONE.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Postscript

Here’s hoping this early morning walking weather continues because, committed to a doable 100 miles this year, because of the heat, I’ve only been able to complete 57.76 miles, compared to over 400 last year.

This morning’s 2.33 mile walk netted a new Pokémon.



And, as soon as I recharge the phone and gather my breath, I’m out again -- heading for the University because I hear the entire campus is a giant PokéStop and I need to replenish the 20 balls I wasted trying to catch a wild creature this morning that would not be caught.

Even the new capture cost me quite a few balls, because it fought, took too many balls to capture, broke free, took more balls to recapture, broke free a second time, more balls and a couple raspberries before finally registering as a capture, so I really need to load up on game tools if this is how it’s going to be now that I’m a Level 8 player.

You can, of course, purchase game tools, but I'd rather hit up Stops and load up for free.

As a postscript to yesterday’s post about the BlackandBlue domain name I let slip through my fingers -- because I didn’t learn of the need for domaining a site’s name until way late, my curiosity as to its current status was peeked, so I checked.

Inasmuch as this event occurred during the period when dot com moguls were raiding the internet, buying up every unregistered domain name they came across for profit, I assume that’s who bought it because the domain became the site of a clothing boutique that specialized in only black and blue outfits. Looking at the domain now, I find it’s blank and on sale for $22,000!!!

Except for the missed opportunity to benefit financially from the domain name, I have no regrets because blackandblue was descriptive of how my life was during those rough years, as witnessed by the text of the about page.



The current domain name is descriptive of how life has been since working my way through -- the now life of a survivor who has learned, overcome and grown into a stronger person.

I’ve noticed quite a few variations of BootsandBraids online. Though no one has offered me $22,000 for it, looks like a lot of people want the name, so it’s a good thing I obtained that domain before it too slipped away. Consequently, I’m thinking it’s also a good thing I opted for BootsandBraidsGo and will be utilizing that site as well.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

BootsandBraidsGo

Leaving the complex this morning, to drive two cities over to Sprouts – because they carry products I use and cannot find in the local markets, I noticed the new downstairs neighbor has added cute little garden stones to the area outside her patio.




One says, “Look for the angels in your life. They are everywhere.”

I couldn’t agree more, but I fear the garden stones won’t last for long. Either Nurse Ratched is going to spot them, lay down the law “Dirt area outside patios are complex property … remove them before I give you a lease violation” OR the less savory residents, who abscond with anything not tied down, will sneak them away some dark night.

Either way, the stones are doomed.

Also doomed is the beautiful garden like patio new neighbor has so painstakingly put together – plants, flag, dream catcher.




It’s just a matter of time before Nurse Rached sees it all and announces several lease violations: 1) Do not attach ANYTHING to railings 2) No more than three plants 3) Draining pans under each plant.

I hope the rules and regulations tongue lashing new neighbor is in for doesn’t chase her away, because she seems really nice and, judging from the dream catcher and garden stones, is spiritually minded.

Funny how it is that Nurse Ratched, saying "I don't want this place to look like a ghetto", will hone in on pretty things, such as the garden stones and lush greenery beneath me being violations, but not violate her Maintenance Supervisor about the pile of clothing that’s been on his patio since the week of August 8.




A week after the meeting in which next door neighbor complained about the mess in her view, the pile was still there in addition to a tool having been added to the mix.




Then, yesterday, I noticed the clothes were finally gone, but the tool is still in place, to which has been added the children’s drum set – which they play with on the patio.




I guess the thinking there is ... if it's tucked neatly into a corner, it's not "ghetto" and doesn't count.

Hopefully, whatever that tool is, is not something the children can harm themselves with next time out on the patio.

So, anyway, arriving at Sprouts, I turned on the cell phone, set PokémonGo to alert me to anything in the area, and BAM!




It was a gold mine of PokéStops, Pokémon, Gyms.

I’d walk to one PokéStop and another would appear, along with a variety of other characters.

It was such good hunting in that location (9 stops in total) that I had a brainstorm having to do with one of the saddest books I’ve ever read, “Bridges of Madison County” -- the movie was even more of a tearjerker, but the idea was ... how about I set up a website “PokéStops of Inland Empire” ... no words on the site, just photos alerting players to where the Stops are.

Not sure if I wanted an actual website or to use my Instagram instead, I quickly registered BootsandBraidsGo.com – because when you snooze on an address you loose on the world wide web. (When I was in my down period due to various work place abuses subjected to, I blogged on a Geocities address as Black and Blue. When I later decided to obtain BlackandBlue as a domain name, even though I'd blogged from 1998 to 2010 under that name, the actual domain had already been purchased and I was sol. To this day I wonder if the owner copped my idea or came up with that url on their own.)

Now that I’ve registered BootsandBraidsGo, I’m thinking more along the lines of just adding photos to my Instagram, but I’ll hang onto the URL -- maybe test it out, ask other players I run into what they think, before I decide.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thou Shalt Not Trespass

Because of recent accidents and complaints of persons on private property, Pokémon Go updated its software to caution users not to play the game while driving and to not trespass.

The majority of my 72 years of life has been that of a nerdy avid rule follower -- except for having flirted with a few minor rules of law in the late 60’s/early 70’s when I was “finding” myself, so I wouldn’t dream of taking my eyes off the road to play Pokémon and, of course, I wouldn’t trespass onto private property.

Or so I thought.

Up early this morning to 70° weather inviting me out, I suited up and headed for 3 miles around the golf course.

I’d recently read that golf courses are plush hunting grounds -- graveyards as well, but I’m too afraid some ghostly apparition might follow me home, so nix the graveyards. However, it was true about the golf course – there were literally dozens on the path. Probably a lot on the greens as well, especially around the lake recently constructed in the center. The wire rope surrounding the course could easily have been stepped over to check the greens and the lake but, then again, that would be trespassing, which was out of the question.

Or so I thought until close to the end of the walk when the cell phone alerted me to a Poké Stop nearby.




It was some sort of statue over in the distance, fairly deep onto private “Members Only” property, in front of the Club House Entrance (marked with the red star).

Valuable game items are in those Poké Stops, so I was tempted enough to debate scooting over the wall and breaking the law – just this once.

Then, I noticed an open driveway gate a few steps ahead on the path. Quickly ran in, stood in front of the statue, activated the Stop, and was rewarded with a few Poke Balls, Raspberries and was outta there.

Raspberries made it worth the trespass, because Pokémon can fight capture and even break free once caught. I’ve had that happen a time or two and was stunned they had that capability. I’ve since learned the fight and run goes out of them if you toss them a Raspberry – theory being they eat it and are lulled into submission.

Interesting interactive game, is it not?

So anyway, I’m sure the golf course has captured me on their security cameras, as have the cameras at the Stops I visit couple-times-a-week … Seventh Day Adventist Church, Dog Groomer Place, and The Gathering Place Church. Though I’ve not trespassed the first two -- because the module is close enough to be accessed from the sidewalk, and the third requires a drive through the parking lot, stop in front of the church doors, get what came for, drive out of the parking lot. Technically not a trespass, in my book.

Thing is, I’m pretty sure these places don’t know they are a Poké Stops. All they know is their security cameras show this woman continually pulling up in front of their business -- in the case of the church, driving through the parking lot in a white car, pulling out her cell phone, does something suspicious with the phone, aims it at their business and, to their minds, is taking photos, casing the place for some future criminal activity.

I would not be one bit surprised if the police did not trace my vehicle license and show up at my door one day to question my suspicious behavior.

Seriously.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Had a Dream

A few nights ago -- think it was Saturday night, I dreamt of baking low-calorie cookies.

Didn’t think anything unusual about the dream, because I figured it was triggered by having earlier in the day clipped a recipe for zero-guilt peanut butter cookies using natural peanut butter, honey, an egg, dark cup chocolate chips, and ground flaxseeds.

What’s unusual is that, taking a nap yesterday afternoon, I dreamt I was eating the cookies I’d made in the dream of a few nights ago, but not exactly the same recipe.

There was another person in the dream who critiqued the cookies saying, “I prefer the apple.” That confused me in the dream because I didn’t remember making apple, only lemon, and I wasn’t totally happy with the look of the lemon because they’d spread.

Thinking I probably needed to add baking powder or flour next time, I was just about to taste the lemon cookie – had one in my hand, up to my mouth, about to bite when the cell phone woke me from the dream, jerking me to reality.

It was the doctor’s office saying “Your doctor has ordered a mammogram and bone density. Would you like to schedule those appointments now?”

“No, I would not. I told her I wasn’t doing those.”

Can you believe it?

Are they on crack?

Not only did I decline to the doctor but, at the end of Monday’s visit, her nurse looked at the chart and said, “She’s ordered a mammogram and bone density.”

“She did? I told her I wasn’t doing those.”

“Okay. I’ll have them removed.”

Since I’m not being heard and the calls have gone way beyond annoying, this is me setting the phone to block all calls from the medical center.

Finding myself awake at 5:30 this morning, energetic, ready to seize the day, I noticed the Honeywell registered 83°. Not perfect walking weather, but the coolest it’s been for some time and there was a breeze outside, so I suited up for a little exercise walk and set the phone to alert to Pokémon.

Evidently, the Pokémon weren’t awake yet because I’d logged in over a mile before coming across a fierce rhyhorn.




It felt so good to be able to get out walking again that I posted 2.44 miles before the sun shut me down, some of which walk was an attempt to reach the top of Shandlin Hill.

I failed – not even close, but I’ll keep at it because success determines whether or not I deem myself fit enough to -- for the fourth year in a row, handle the 5K hike up the steep killer mountains of Bonelli Park at this year’s Halloween Spooktacular in San Dimas.

Lastly, one of the residents in the complex caught me yesterday and said she'd told her 8-year old visiting grandson -- who was heading out of her unit to Pokémon hunt the complex on Sunday, that there was a woman here who also was into the game.

She says he got excited and wanted her to ask me to show him where the Pokéstops are and hunt with him.

She told him no.

Later, as his mom picked him up and they were leaving the complex, his grandma saw me taking out the trash and said, “There goes the lady now.”

He begged his mom to stop and let him talk to me.

She told him no.

Why?

I wouldn’t have minded at all. In fact, I gave his grandma my telephone number telling her to call when he next visited because I’d love to have a partner. I can show him where the stops are; he can show me how to battle.

So Pokémon is not just promoting exercise, it’s bridging the generation gap.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Full Morning

After a quiet weekend, with nothing pressing to do, no place pressing to go, it was up early this morning to get granddaughter to her 8:45 doctor’s appointment.

Inasmuch as my doctor is at the same facility and has had her office bugging me to come in because “The doctor hasn’t seen you in a while”, I’d managed to kill two birds with one stone by getting an 8:30 appointment.

I almost cancelled several times during the week – in fact, I almost cancelled this morning because I didn’t understand why I needed to see her if nothing was wrong.

I regularly check into one of the facilities for blood pressure check, blood pressure medication refill, flu shots, fasting blood test but, as near as I can figure, the last time I was actually in the doctor’s office, speaking with her face-to-face, was late 2014 when my right hand was hanging like a wet rag because of what I thought was carpel tunnel.

Turned out to be a simple case of tendinitis from too much Candy Crush.

She sent me to the Cast Room for splint support to allow the wrist to heal.





I still managed to position my arm in the splint so I could continue to play Candy Crush and, since then, I’ve been fortunate enough not to hurt myself.

What few aches and pains I get, being more into the holistic side rather than conventional medicine, I head to the acupuncturist in Korea Town. So this morning’s appointment felt unnecessary.

Already annoyed by the constant calls from her office, and the fact that at one point -- a month or two ago, I received notice the doctor had taken it upon herself to set up an appointment FOR ME, which appointment I promptly unset up, I walked in the required 15 minutes early with an attitude.

“So, why are you here to see the doctor today?” asks her nurse.

“Because her office keeps bugging me to check in”.

“Oh, okay. The doctor will be here shortly. You’re her first appointment”.

There was no location signal in the little room, so I was further annoyed ... and bored because I couldn’t catch any Pokémon.

Then the doctor didn’t show up at the appointed 8:30, still hadn’t appeared by 8:45, at which time granddaughter called to say -- since she’d been early, they’d already taken care of her and she was ready to go.

I angrily replied, “Still waiting … doctor is late … didn’t want to be here anyway … going to get up and walk out”.

I stood up, grabbed my bag and the doctor appeared.

She was so smiley face and pleasant that I calmed down, let her talk me into the new pneumonia shot, and got out with a clean bill of health, except for the pep talk to lose weight.

I've tried, says I, my metabolism is dead, thin is not necessarily well.

I suppose I should be happy the doctor is so caring about her patients as to insist they check in with her, but color me skeptical that it might have more to do with meeting co-pay quotas and trying to talk me into medication and exams I don’t need or believe in.

After driving granddaughter to Baker’s to pick up breakfast, dropping her off at her workplace, I hit three PokéStops -- where I collected Poké Balls, miscellaneous items to be used for wounded and fainting Pokémon, and lucked up on two new captures, which captures propelled me to Level 8.







Then, I stopped at Starbucks for coffee – where I insisted on paying for a fireman’s moca something-or-other saying, “After the week you guys had, you shouldn’t have to pay for anything”, stopped at the market for groceries and was back home, totally done with errands by 11:15.

It’s now a little after 1:00, the morning’s gone, dinner is in the crockpot, remainder of the day is television and needlepoint.

OOPS … spoke too soon. Granddaughter just texted for a ride to Walmart after she gets off work.

It takes a village.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Time Flies

It’s incredulous to me how fast time is flying.

Checking in with folks in the Community Room this morning, I learned Tuesday is the birthday of one of my favorite residents – The Seer.

It felt like just yesterday when we’d planned a surprise party for her last birthday.

I could care less if anyone acknowledges or celebrates my own birthday -- in fact, I prefer it that way; but, for a lot of the seniors here, they bring the date up well in advance … over and over and over, so word can get around and we won't forget to "surprise" them with a card or celebration. The Seer is one of those.

Apache is taking her to the casino about 10:00 Tuesday morning, and the Baker is planning a cupcake party late afternoon.

Originally, I was going to repeat last year’s Subway Gift Card, but then I thought about a casino gift card.

While looking online to see if there was such a thing, I had a brainstorm and ended up making a card using Avery Half-Fold Greeting Card material from my scrapbooking supplies. Inside, I wished her happy birthday, wrote “Bucks for Luck at the Casino” and included ten single dollar bills.

Patting myself on the back, because feeling clever about coming up with that one.

Carpet did not get shampooed yesterday, but I did haul the shampooer out this morning, and got that job taken care of after making the greeting card.

Feeling like my hard work should be awarded, I headed to the market for a snack.

Evidently, my snacking on potato chips and Ben & Jerry ice cream was frowned upon because, as I placed my choices on the conveyor belt, the cell phone vibrated -- signaling a pokémon nearby.

Actually, it was on the belt … scowling at my choices.



ROFLMAO!

In my defense, the chips were low fat and I’m sure shampooing the carpets worked off the Ben & Jerry calories.

Looking off in the distance towards the fire yesterday, the smoke in the background appeared to be turning black.



I can't imagine.

Where are all those people who've lost homes, cars, campers going to go?

The sky looked clear today, no fire trucks racing down the avenue, fewer helicopters in the sky – though I did capture one heading back to base after a dump.



The good news is my former coworker friend’s cabin escaped destruction. They miraculously lost only one cabin at the lake. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Geek Wear

Yesterday was somewhat productive.

Using a black tee-shirt, iron-on transfer paper and an image commandeered from the web, I put together my PokémonGo team shirt.










I had to rotate the image horizontally because the transfer irons on face up. I also had to scissor out all the white, which was such a pain that I dispensed with the letters … for now, but I kept them just in case I change my mind later and decide to add to the back of the shirt.

The end result suits me to a tee … no pun intended.




Heading to the Residents’/Management meeting at 3:00, the smoke cloud from the Blue Cut Fire had yet again bloomed.




I’m beginning to think this fire can’t be beat. It’s going to go until it burns its own self out.

The meeting started 25 minutes late, because Nurse Ratched sent her assistant back to the office to put together and print out a sign-in sheet.

You’d think they’d have taken care of it in advance, but that’s our muddled management for you.

Quite a few residents were in attendance and someone actually did bring popcorn.

LOL.

I brought a magazine, which I not-so-surreptitiously read when Nurse Ratched bored me going over the same issues, was making the same excuses, backtracked or double talked.

I did learn the garage fire was due to the resident “Working on a car -- not even his own, AND smoking!”

So the resident was working in an enclosed garage, with flammable materials AND smoking on a no-smoking property. It's a wonder he didn't blow himself up.

“I was at home watching television and had to come back at 9:30 in the evening” Nurse Ratched went on to say.

I didn’t voice it out loud, but in my head I was going “Boo Hoo”.

On second thought, I think I did whisper it to the woman sitting next to me.

“The fire department had to chop through the garage door.”

I’d assumed so when I saw the board put in place.

Needless to say, his side business having been discovered in such a public way, the resident involved will not be working on cars any longer-- at least not on these premises … and, the other resident who works on equipment in his garage, has been ordered to clear it out and was observed doing so last two days.

After that, the next twenty minutes was about how rules and regulations “Must be followed!”

“Garages are for parking cars, not working, not storing furniture!” and Nurse Ratched announced she's cracking down on unauthorized residents (I doubt it. She’d been promising to crack down on that for ages), cracking down on parking in carports residents are not paying for, and hours and use of the pool.

She’d had to chase away a man and a woman -- who’d somehow entered the property on a motorcycle and helped themselves to swimming in the pool.

The adult building next door had to chase a homeless man from their pool.

Plus, she said residents had reported unattended children in the pool and jacuzzi late evenings when 1) visiting children are to be accompanied at all times to the pool by a resident and 2) children are never allowed in the jacuzzi because it’s harmful to their internal organs.

Nurse Ratched did not have my full attention, because I was reading at the time and listening with one ear, but I’m fairly certain I heard her say that children can “cook” in a jacuzzi.

True or not?

I’ll have to google that statement.

She also once again went over patio and balcony rules -- no more than three plants, draining trays under each plant, only patio furniture.

This visibly riled my next door neighbor, seated at the table opposite me.

She’d been complaining to me, and others, about the unsightly patio directly across from her unit, and the child in that unit.

This is the patio we use to open our blinds in the morning and see pretty seasonal decorations.

Now we see a variety of items that don’t belong -- mop, broom, boxes, grocery bags filled with who knows what, baby car seat, back pack, a small child playing on the patio. This last week it’s just been clothing piled neatly in a corner.




I myself had more appreciation for the view outside my window when the elderly couple occupied the unit, can’t understand why Nurse Ratched allows a young family with children to reside in a senior community, but it isn’t impacting me personally so, not sweating the small stuff, I don’t really care.

That’s not who next door neighbor is.

A former State Commissioner, she’s accustomed to setting policy, being large and in charge. Here at the senior complex, that background translates into being a crusader, always stirring things up, enjoying drama, loving to complain and an incessant need to be heard and to hear, "That's a great idea".

Just before the meeting started, she’d dropped off a letter of complaint to the office about the unsightly patio and the child. So, already having worked herself up, when Nurse Ratched once again brought up the patio and balcony rules, next door neighbor took the floor and went on about having to look at unsightliness directly across from her unit every time she opens her blinds in the morning, and the fact a young child is allowed to play on the patio, could possibly squeeze through the bars, fall and hurt himself.

Nurse Ratched’s response was an adamant, “Rules must be followed! Rules broken will result in a Violation leading to a 3-Day Notice to Quit. I’ll take care of it!”

Really?

I don’t think she realizes the unit being complained about is occupied by her own handsome Maintenance Supervisor and his young family.

Is she going to violate or evict her own hire for not following the rules?

On tap for today?

I’m thinking I should shampoo the carpet, but we’ll see.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Smelling Smoke

My day indoors almost didn’t happen when granddaughter called asking for a ride to Walmart.

Of course, I said “Sure”.

She called later to cancel because she’d heard the freeway had been closed due to the fires.

I did hear fire trucks racing up the street last few days, knew they were heading towards Devore for the Basin Fire but, inasmuch as I don’t watch the news all that much, I didn’t know the wind had shifted and spread to what they’re calling the Blue Cut Fire, necessitating closure of the 15 and 215.

The direction we’d be travelling to the local Walmart, though taking us nowhere near the fire, would put us directly in line to where traffic was most likely at a standstill from being diverted off the freeway, onto the streets, and folks trying to find alternate ways around.

So good on her that she caught yesterday was not a good day to drive in that direction.

I later did watch the news and learned the entire community of Lytle Creek was under mandatory evacuation.

That’s the location of the cabin I was to visit last weekend!

If I ever get another invitation, I don’t think I will.

I don’t like the idea of going somewhere difficult to get into or out of in an emergency situation and, looking at the map, there doesn’t appear to be any options in or out other than one road and the now clogged and closed off freeway.

That’s why I’ll never go to Hawaii again.

A coworker friend and I treated ourselves to a Hawaiian vacation back in 1988.

When we arrived at the airport for the return trip, there was a problem I don’t specifically recall, except that it caused an overnight delay before we could catch a flight. Having already checked out of the hotel, we had to spend the night in the airport.

That’s when it hit that I was trapped on an island, surrounded by water, couldn’t just rent a car and drive my way out, couldn’t walk out, had no options, and was at the mercy of others – in this instance, the airlines.

Not being able to help myself wasn’t a good feeling; thus, the decision to not get into any situations where I don’t have options so, if invited again up to the cabin, I think not.

On the other hand, that may be a moot issue because, after receiving a blast message the medical center sent to its members advising us to stay indoors because of smoke from the fires, I began to think of the former coworker friend that had invited me up. She doesn’t live in the area so -- though I was sure she was anxiously watching the news, keeping an eye on the cabin situation, I went outside to capture a photo and touch base with her about the situation.




And yes, the smell of smoke was strong, but not strong enough to require a mask.

I messaged the photo saying, “The wind has shifted. It’s heading towards Lytle Creek. That entire community has been ordered to evacuate. Is your cabin safe?”

Her reply didn’t sound too hopeful.

“I went twice in the last 2 weeks. I just hope it's all ok, but I honestly doubt it.”

So many have lost so much this fire season, but hope springs eternal.

I went outside this morning to reassess and found I couldn’t see the fire from my location. The wind had shifted yet again and the smell of smoke was gone.

Later, heading out for gas and coffee, I could see where the wind had shifted to -- deeper into the Lytle Creek area.




On tap for today is another Resident’s/Management meeting.

I’ve already got my coffee. All I need now is to some popcorn for what's sure to be a show.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fool Me Once

A few years ago, while browsing the internet via laptop, I received a pop-up from my provider asking me to click on a link because something or other needed updating.

It looked totally legit, so I made the grave mistake of clicking the link which, of course you’re probably ahead of me and have figured out, was a virus.

It cost me $350 to have that virus removed.

Sunday, I was browsing via cell phone and received a pop-up from the provider that my cell phone battery was badly damaged, click on link to repair.

Once again, it looked totally legit, but I’m a quick study, not about the make the same mistake twice so, looking legit or not, I hit the return button to get back to the previous page.

Nothing happened.

I was being held captive by the pop-up.

After attempting different maneuvers to free myself, the pop-up message changed to … “Your phone has 3 viruses, click this link to repair” and then the threat, in big bold letters, “IF YOU IGNORE THIS MESSAGE, LEAVE THIS PAGE, YOU WILL BE BLOCKED!”

Unable to break free, I shut down and, when I rechecked, I was indeed blocked -- with supposedly the only way to get unblocked being to accept a download being offered.

Who ARE these people?

Why do they do it since nothing seems to be gained?

So annoying, but at least they didn’t fool me twice. The phone was otherwise okay, I just couldn’t access the internet.

Expecting record-breaking triple-digit heat yesterday, I was so hoping not to have to leave the unit for any reason but, of course, I had to head to the provider’s store to get unblocked.

It wasn’t a big deal … something to do with certain apps, which apps were deleted and problem solved.

Under the category of learning something new every day, whether you want to or not, did you know that when you browse the internet via cell phone and eventually exit the net, the pages visited do not leave you?

There is a little space top right of the url, with teeny tiny numbers I never noticed before. My number was 12, which was signaling I had 12 pages open in the background.

Cell phone guy instructed that, by clicking on the number, I could access the Tab Manager to manually delete pages which I thought were gone and, to my mind should have been gone, when I left the page and/or exited the internet.

He also said, “Your phone can’t get a virus”.

Good to know.

No cost for the service, plus there were two poke stops right outside the provider’s store.

On tap for today … the plan is once again to stay indoors, out of the heat.

We’ll see how that manifests.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Over It

Saturday’s unhealthy lunch of candy and coffee didn’t taste nearly as good as I’d expected … as good as I remembered from when I was in the throes of being addicted to sugar.

The thrill is gone.

The flavor is gone.

I think I’m finally growing out of that addiction.

Pokémons were a plenty at the mall. Unfortunately, it was captures I already had and clusters of the same creatures; except, I lucked up on Pikachu.



It was just the night before when the much desired Pikachu crossed my mind and I began to wonder if I’d ever come across him. In fact, I googled “where to find Pikachu” with no helpful results but then … there he was, the very next day.

That’s the second time this week a thought became a reality. First was when the Universe got me out of Friday’s commitment, now its Pikachu.

Is it coincidence or did I somehow tap into a beneficial stream of consciousness?

Time will tell, because I’m thinking like crazy about how nice it would be to win the Powerball and/or MegaMillions.

Returning to the complex, I ran into Apache, The Seer, Younger Sister, and another resident in a huddle.

Something was up.

“Did you hear about the fire last night?” asked Apache.

“Noooo. Where? On Little Mountain?”

“In one of the garages … 9:00 last night. Four engines from the fire department were here and Nurse Ratched was called in.”

“I didn’t hear a thing … I miss everything … I wonder how the fire could have started.”

“They think it had something to do with the guy working on cars in the garage.”

“Ohhh. I can see that happening.”

There is a resident, on the back side of the property, who (unbeknownst to management) ups his income by working on cars in his enclosed garage. There is also a resident, closer to my side of the property, who finds, likewise fixes in his enclosed garage, and sells items like motorbikes, bicycles, gym equipment, etc. On the other hand, it could just be a side effect of the shoddy work/poor quality products put in place during the so-called $4.5 million renovation when this property group took over.

We're old, but we're not stupid so, at the time of the renovation project, seeing the poor quality of what was being brought in and the hap hazard workmanship, us residents seriously wondered if $4.5 was going into the property or people’s pockets.

Sure enough, a lot of what was done during the renovation malfunctioned, fell apart, failed in one way or another within a year and had to be fixed/replaced.

It’s entirely conceivable the garage door’s mechanism could just be another casualty of that joke of a renovation.

I took a stroll over to the back garages to see if the fire was as bad as Apache was making it out to be.




Looks like it had been.

Hopefully, cars in the adjacent garages escaped damage.

I don’t suppose we’ll ever be told what actually started the fire, but the blame will probably be placed on the resident, resulting in an inspection of how all garages are being utilized, new rules/regulations.