I just wanted to start today off with a Happy Tequila Friday Birthday wish to our daughter’s boyfriend, Rob. They’ve been together for a couple of years now and seem to be handling the working from home together during the COVID Home Alone period well. That shows a lot about their relationship doesn’t it?
So, in the loving Riley spirit, let’s all give him a big “Hooray for Rob!!” Happy birthday and Cheers!
And, as you wash your hands today, sing your Happy Birthday song to Rob.
What’s that line on my window pane?
“I’ve had a heck of a morning!” Mom told me when I called to check in on her.
So, at 96, every day is a day for optimism, but imagine you wake up and roll over to look at the day outside your window. You see something that seems odd. It’s a thick black line going up your window pane. Your brain tries to match what you’re seeing with some plausible explanation of what you’re looking at. You rub your eyes to improve your focus. You look again at the black line and follow the line down to the window sill. There you see more black and squiggly. You roll over in bed a little closer while before you figure it out.
SNAKE!!!! Holy SH*T!
Now, remember, you’re 96 and can’t afford to fall, but you don’t feel like you can afford to make a slow retreat either. Carefully you move to the other side of bed and dismount, locate your walker and make a beeline for the door, closing it behind you. You breathe a sigh of relief and say out loud to yourself, “Damn! Why does all the crazy stuff happen to me!”
You pick up the phone and call the main line at The Home. You excitedly tell the operator that there’s a snake IN YOUR BEDROOM! And you need help now.
The operator handles this frightening call calmly as she was trained. She wisely urges you to stuff a towel under the door to keep the snake IN YOUR BEDROOM! And, she will send security immediately. Don’t worry.
Right. You’re 96. What’s to worry about? It’s just a two and a half foot or so snake. IN YOUR BEDROOM!
The doorbell rings and the man dispatched from security is standing there. You’re thrilled. He is a big towering man, just what you need when there’s a snake IN YOUR BEDROOM!
He inches open your door to the bedroom and the snake is still on the window. Sunning maybe. Who knows. As the security guard slowly enters, you realize that he seems nervous. He’s sweating. And breathing heavily. It’s not like he works for the DNR and trained in capturing animals. He’s a security guard at a senior citizen community. And this snake is in a 96 year old woman’s BEDROOM.
Mom told me that she didn’t watch. He had closed the door behind him. But she heard a scuffle. A couple of huffs and puffs. Then, calm. The snake lost. And there was blood. On the carpet. IN HER BEDROOM. Just to help her remember the day’s events.
My tale of voting by mail
One of the upsides to voting by mail is how much better voters we became because we got to spend time with the ballots. We actually studied the candidates, going through each race including down to our state and county races for judges and commissioners. It was easy to go online and review each candidate, their resume and their vision for the job they are running to hold, made us better voters. Yes, in the past we would review the ballot, usually on the League of Women Voters website, but never to this extent.
Now, to mail it in. Hmmmm. That’s an entirely different story. The three steps to voting end with a bullet point that specifically instructs you to make sure that you use “Sufficient Postage” to mail in the ballot. And therein lies the quandary. What is “sufficient”? Why doesn’t it just say, use one (or two, whatever is necessary) first class Forever stamps? I mean, the State designed the ballot, the envelope. Could not the state weigh and determine the necessary postage based on federal postage rates for size and weight?
I searched online at the official Georgia.gov website and found more non-specific information, just the reiteration of “Make sure that you use sufficient postage.”
Now, how do I do that without going to the post office. What if I didn’t have a car? It surely seems like adding one more bump in the road to voting…on purpose? Or through ignorance?
Anyway, we decided to drop it off at the County Center three miles from home. It’s located, ironically, across the street from the post office.
LATE BREAKING NEWS
We drove over to the County Center. I masked up and walked into the building. There were signs about the upcoming early voting on the doors, but nothing about where to drop off a ballot. All of the offices inside were COVID CLOSED. I walked the length of the main hallway. Still no sign of a dropbox for ballots. Disappointed, I walked back to the car, got in, hand sanitized and told Julie we needed Plan B. Cranked her up and drove by the front of the building to get to the street. That’s when I saw what looked like a mail box wrapped in a flag decal. I backed up, drove back around the circle and there it was, the signage I’d been looking for.
After I deposited our ballots as I walked back to my car I saw a young woman walk inside with a ballot in her hand. I went back to the entrance to the center and she was walking back down the long hall confused like I was. “Excuse me, are you looking for the absentee ballot drop off?” I asked. “Yes I am.” It’s right around the corner in that stars and striped mail box.”
“Thank you so much. I don’t think I would ever have seen that.”
My point exactly. They made it take diligence, whether by accident or on purpose.
Another Mac has moved on
My nine year old iMac has gone potentially kaput. It will no longer complete its boot up after making its way tantalizingly close to finishing its path to opening up. There it sits. Grey screen. Apple logo. Progression bar all filled in.
Apparently, it can’t find the hard drive. After working with Apple support chat and using the utilities program, my Apple Tech determined that it was in need of a hands on exam. She set up an appointment at a nearby Simply Mac for the next day. I bagged the iMac in a black plastic bag to protect it from the heavy rain that had popped up and lugged it to the store. When I got to the store it was raining even harder. I picked the computer up, the plastic making it quite slippery and unwieldy, dashed over to the store, one arm clutching the computer, the other opening the door. Once inside, only two customers were ahead of me. I waited 15 minutes more than socially distant from the counter and customer during which I removed it from the bag. The customer finally learned what he needed to know and it was my turn. I place the computer on the countertop and explained the situation. He then explained more of my situation. They, Simply Mac, do not work on “vintage” machines. They don’t stock the parts. And, he said, Apple should know that and yet, they still send folks like me there who are trying to keep their investment working. Arggggg. As I rewrapped the machine in the garbage bag, he gave me a compliment. “Smart move protecting it from the rain. No need to ruin the processor.”
It continues to amaze me the short life of a highly designed, well crafted machine which is “vintage” in the vernacular of the industry at the young age of nine. I mean, a Mac is not a throwaway creation. It runs counter intuitive to my nature of taking care of expensive quality products and getting maximum use.
I also lost the operability of my HP flatbed scanner, which I bought about five years ago, to scan slides and negatives. One day last year, the software stopped working, specifically for negatives and slides. It would still scan a photo or document. What caused this? After a lot of online searching and a call to HP support chat, I found out HP no longer supported the scanner with software updates. That meant that as the Apple OS moved forward, it left behind the HP scanner driver. I could revert back to the older version of the OS just to use that scanner. That seemed dumb. So, I had to buy a new scanner. ARGH. This time, Epson. We’ll see how long that works out.
Quote of the week from my sister-in-law, “I’ve washed my hands so much I’ve uncovered crib notes from a 7th grade exam!”
So, one more tip of the hat to Rob on his day. And to you, remember…