...the Elevated Record

Blog from the Hill


June 30, 20/20

Happy June Last!

It's Half-way Night! My submarine shipmates would understand that. For those of you who weren't privileged to serve of FMB Submarines, Half-way Night was the middle of the patrol, and was marked by a Surf 'n' Turf meal (Prime Rib and Lobster Tails), which was followed by a "Talent Night".  Some told jokes, some played guitar and presented songs they had composed during the preceding 30 days of boredom. One time, I performed an original magic trick in which I made a coat hanger disappear. One of my shipmates piped up and said, "That's nothing. Dave Schmuckatelli (ficticious name in lieu of the real one) can open his mouth and make his head disappear!" I think we can all point to politicians who can perform that same trick.

Toonight, though, we're half way through the year, and we have that many days again to live through if we intend to see the end of 20/20. We're starting to slide down "...the rusty razor blade of life..." as Tom Lehrer wrote in one of his songs, which is to say the year has gained enough momentum to carry us along in its wake until we hit the bottom of December without brakes, and go sliding uncontrollably into 2021. Even so, come New Year's Day!

As this is the last entry for June, as usual, I will start building a case for July, and at the end of this week I will change the default page to July. So, if you want to read about my impression of June, you'll have a few days left to do it. Otherwise, you can still do it, but you'd have to select June from the menu at the top of the page.


June 29, 20/20

I had another Trigenics session with Dr. Reilly, this morning. It wasn't as intense as the first time, but I think it was as effective. I have found that my shoulder is much stronger and healthier than when we started. I have three more sessions before we're finished, and I feel that once again it was a good investment in my physical wellbeing.

Last night, just before our daily Compline service, I was informed that I have been made an Editor of the church's facebook page. It took me a long time to orient myself to that page, but I eventually found all the buttons I would need to officiate the Order of Compline on Mondays, starting next Monday evening. I'm not at all nervous about officiating the service, because I've officiated lay services many times before. What winds my clock, though, is having "dynamic control" of the church's facebook page. I will have to be very mindful of the responsibility of what happens to the page when I'm logged into it. In addition, our new Rector, Mother Milly, will be "in attendance" and it will be an introduction to her, in effect. She will see me, "warts and all", along with my four months of extra hair. I don't think I've ever been nervous about meeting anyone, before. It's a new experience for me.

June 28, 20/20

There was a snafu this morning, at church. There was nothing starting on YouTube at 10:30am, so I opened YouTube on my computer, thinking that the television presentation thereof might have a lag in gaining the program, as has happened before. Still no church service was available. At 11am, i started surfing through my own facebook, and I ran across the church service being live-streamed from a cell phone. It was 46 minutes into the service, just before the Eucharist. We watched from there to the end, then logged into the Virtual Coffee Hour. There were already three people there, and they were excited to see us join, and with a group that small, we each had ample chance to talk about what was happening in our lives, and soon Fr. Gary joined us. That was when we learned that someone had shut down the computers at the church, and when they were switched back on at 8am, they went into Update mode, and were still updating when it was nearly time to start the service. Gary sent an email to the membership, informing us that the service would be live streamed on facebook. Well, I hadn't even checked email, but I had checked the church's facebook account and found nothing happening there. When Gary gave his iPhone to the person making the live stream, it was already logged into Gary's facebook account, so that's where the stream flowed, into Gary's Video page.

During the discussion at the Coffee Hour, we heard about the last sermon our new Rector preached at the Cathedral (last week) had delt wonderfully with the scripture where Jesus said, "Think not that I have come to bring peace to the earth." That had been a stumbling block for me way back in the middle 70s. So I looked up last week's service at All Souls, and we listened to her sermon. I was blown away from how she interpreted that passage so that even *I* could understand it. I am convinced that Grace Church has called the correct priest to be our Rector.

June 27, 20/20

Today was another live streaming event, but at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. Back on January 20th, our friend, Hank Laliberte returned home from work to find his son, Jason Henry, lying on his bed, deceased. Naturally, they had to wait for aupotsy reports before they could even think of arranging a funeral for him.

And then Covie-19 happened with its necessary restrictions, postponing the funeral. Three times, dates were sent, and the first two times couldn't happen. Today was that third date.

With arrangements made to use the chapel at Fletcher United Methodist Church, invitations were verified and accepted, for the most part. Suzanne couldn't attend for two reasons: She is in extreme pain due to a ventral hernia; and she is in strict isolation as she awaits major surgery to remove said hernia. She had written an eulogy which she could not deliver, since she could not attend. I had my cell phone with me, and having recently been schooled on the workings of Facebook Live (a.k.a. live streaming video), I mentioned to Hank that I would be streaming the service so that Suzanne could watch it in real time, and/or after the fact, on my facebook page.

and at the appointed time, 2:00pm (or about 10 minutes after the hour to allow one late arrival), the service began. The minister officiating was Mike Russell, Hank's husband and Jason's step-father. There was a reading by Hank's sister, Claudette, our friend, Elizabeth, read Suzanne's written eulogy, then there was a video tribute to Jason, accompanied by the song, Forever Now, by Michael Buble. Hank's other sister, Muriel, read another reading, time was made for other personal memories, and after a moment of silence for personal reflection, the service closed with another song, To Where You Are, by Josh Groban.

June 26, 20/20

Today, we witnessed the marriage of Megan Brittany Cser and our nephew, Lawson Sidney Smith. The wedding was done at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia SC. Naturally, due to restrictions put in place by both North and South Carolina's Governors, we were pleased to watch the Rite of Holy Matrimony on the Internet by virtue of live streaming. The ceremony was straight from the Book of Common Prayer, the soloist who sang the prelude and various parts of the liturgy, had a very clear, high soprano voice that projected through her face mask and came across the broadcast really well. Alas, when she read the first lesson, though she was before a microphone, her voice was not picked up for the live stream - but no matter. We pretty much knew what was going on, for the scripture reading is fairly well prescribed in the BCP.

There were two things that were done when Becky and I were married, way back when (2001) that were not done here. The priest who married us "Tied the Knot," which is to say when we joined hands for the "...let no man put asunder" part, he removed his stole and tied it loosely around our joined hands. Also, the wedding ceremony being a service of worship, communion was served, to us, first, then to the witnesses, then the congregation. Those parts are, of course, optional, so their absence did by no means negate the marriage of Megan and Larson.

For perhaps the first time in my life, I got a little emotional with an uncharacteristic lump in my throat. Perhaps it was because I'm just getting old and sentimental, but for whatever reason, there I was, unable to respond right away to Becky's question or comment at the end, at least until I could swallow and relieve the laryngial paralysis.

June 25, 20/20

Today was the big day! Several people from church got together on Zoom along with our Interim Priest, Gary, for the purpose of learning how to manage the Facebook Live Compline services. I had already learned how Facebook Live works, I guess, because he didn't tell me anything new. He didn't spend much time on the "mechanics" of the broadcast, but spend the better part of the hour discussing how to read the Order, which I had learned from having not only attended every night since the Great Isolation began, but I had Officiated Compline or Evensong every Wednesday evening for several years at a different parish. So the whole instructional period was review for me.

It's just as well I didn't have any questions, too, because as soon as I logged in, I was told that Becky and I sounded like Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Naturally, I logged back out, had trouble logging back in, so I opened a different browser, got logged in again, and had the same trouble. Now, I've done the Virtual Coffee Hour on zoom, after Sunday go-to-meeting on Youtube, and never had a problem before, so this was baffling. After the Instruction was over, though, I got onto my Facebook page, fired up Facebook Live, and recorded a video of Becky and me reading/reciting things as an audio example to send to Gary to show him we don't always sound like mice.

It turns out there were six or seven of us present for the training, and since there are only six evenings when we will be saying Compline, there will be five Officients other than the new Rector, Milly, who will Officiate on Wednesdays. Our Director of Music will continue on Thursdays, Becky and I will take it on Mondays, which leaves Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. I have forgotten who is assigned to those evenings, but a couple of them said they would alternate on one night. We'll have quite a few spare Officients, should something untoward happen to one of us, technically or physically.

June 24, 20/20

I had my second session with Dr. Reilly concerning my bone-spurred left shoulder. After Laser therapy, which again is very warm and pleasant, and this time I felt a new sensation. I cannot put it into words, but I'll give it a try. I felt as though the bone spur was saying "Ahh". After the laser timed out, I went in for some Graston therapy (Myo-Facsial Release), done with steel tools that are stroked along a muscle or tendon and relieving the fascia from its contents so the contents can move more normally. It isn't pleasant, and causes some bruising, but the outcome it worth the discomfort.

On the way home, since this is Double Stars Day at Starbucks, I stopped in for a couple cups. The drive-thru line reached to the main street, but I had entered the parking lot by the side street, and I new I'd have to wait for three cars to pass before I would be entitled to enter the cueue. However, when the line started to move, the fellow driving the pick-up truck closest to me waved me into the line in front of him. I was surprised, but very appreciative. The line always moves very slowly, so it took several minutes for me to get to the ordering kiosk, and then a few more minutes to get to the delivery window. When I got there, I paid for my order, then told the cashier I'd like to pay for the vehicle behind me, too. When I got my coffee, I pulled away, and out onto the street. Pretty soon, the pick-up rolled out of the lot, and as he turned away from where I was, he honked three times and waved to me out his window. I acknowledged his wave with one of my own, and had to laugh because it was so much fun!

June 23, 20/20

Happy Anniversary!

Becky and I celebrated our 19th Wedding Anniversary today.

First, we went to allergy partners for Becky's shots. On the way home, we stopped at TGI Friday's for some Carry-Out food. Becky got Sizzling Chicken & Cheese, one of our favorites before the Great Isolation, with a side of mashed potatoes. I got a half-rack of Whisky-Glazed Ribs, one of my favorites before the GI, with a side of mashed potatoes and a second side of cole slaw. We each had half of our bounty for lunch, saving the second half for inclusion in our supper. We didn't enjoy the dishes as much as we had when we could actually get them IN the restaurant, but there you have it - or rather, we had it. I had driven to Publix and bought a gluten-free chocolate/cream cheese cake. That was not disappointing, though it was as very rich as ever.

June 22, 20/20

This afternoon, I went to the store, and for the first time since the Great Isolation started, I was able to purchace Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage! There were two packages of it on the shelf, and I took them both. I felt a little guilty about taking the last of it, but after almost four months of not having any of it, guilt didn't sway my decision, but it did go away in seconds.

As I left the store, which was in Weaverville, I passed the West entrance to I-26, which was the wrong direction for home. There were two police cars there, and two crunch-mobiles. Apparently someone had tried to enter the off-ramp instead of the on-ramp, at the same time as someone was exiting the off-ramp. As we all know, two cars cannot occupy the same bit of road at the same time, so there had been a head-on collision. I was thankful I hadn't been involved. Then I go to the East I-26 on-ramp, and when I had accelerated to highway speed, there was a red pickup truck trying to back up the on-ramp. I had to enter the highway earlier than the lanes indicated I should, as did the car behind me, for the pickup was not yielding to anyone!

June 21, 20/20

Becky and I were assigned as Readers, today at church, and as such, we were required to actually attend in the church building instead of watching the YouTube live video. So we got cleaned up, dressed a little more presentably, drove to the church, put our masks on and made a good showing. The priest was there, of course, and our Director of Music at the organ, his wife as Cantor, and then we as Readers, and another woman as Intercessor. That's six, so far. There were two people to run the video equipment and two children to represent the others at Children's Time. That's ten, all that were allowed in the building.

I read the Old Testament Lesson from Genesis, about Abraham sending his servant, Hagar, and her son (his son) away with a skin of water and some bread. It isn't one of my favorite stories, and it was the first time I have been required to read it in church. I also had to lead the communal reading of the Psalm. Becky read the New Testament Lesson from Romans concerning whether we who have accepted Salvation should continue in sin so that providence can be demonstrated, or something to that effect.

After we got home, we watched the YouTube video, just to see how we came across in the readings. We both read well, but what struck me was how very old I looked and sounded in that video. I thought I was still 27, but apparently I've slept since then.

June 20, 20/20

I really ought to learn to write up the day's entry on the day.

Today, I sat out on the porch and listened to distant thunder as I finished the third book I had read this week. What is it with me and reading? I didn't used to read, not since the 3rd grade, anyway.

There I was, standing in the savannah grass, watching the tips of the grass swing and sway as the lion walked slowly through toward his prey, Suddenly i was aware that the class was taking a spelling test. Our teacher was pronouncing the words for us to spell, and everyone else was writing them down. I panicked, took out a pencil and a piece of paper, misspelled the last two words of the test, and felt trouble arising from the incident. As I handed my test paper to the teacher, I asked her if I might stay after and take a make-up test. "Absolutely not!" she said. My heart sank to my socks!. Then, after a pause, she added, "I'd much rather my students be reading a book than taking a stupid spelling test." Yeah, I was off the hook, but the damage had been done. I never again lost myself in a book, and within three years, didn't read anything I wasn't required to read.

It wasn't until 1999, a friend of mine recommended a book to me, The Butcher Boy, by Patrick McCabe, that I got not lost, but somewhat absorbed in a story. I was jerked from the story by the telephone asking if she could speak with Mrs. Smith. I, having just read a wonderfully written account of the title character going insane, replied in a not-so-nice tone of voice, "There is no Mrs. Smith, and Mr. Smith doesn't wish to speak to anyone who doesn't know that!" I think I hurt the caller's feelings, as indicated by her response, "WELL, I'M SORRRRY!!" before she hung up. I had been, though, nearly about to miss the beginning of choir practice at the church, and fortunately there was no traffic on the road, because I really should not have been driving in that state of mind.

I didn't read for a few years after that incident, as well. Now, I really wish I could get into books like that again. I'm making progress, though. Recently I found I had to take a few days off between books so one story have a good chance to get out of my head before I read another one. This last week, though, it was one right after another, and about two days per book. Wow.

June 19, 20/20

Happy Juneteenth!

The end of slavery was proclaimed, about 20 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Who was it said the wheels of Government (or was it Justice) grind slowly?

Again, I had nothing to do, and did it well.

June 18, 20/20

We had a session with our Financier Advisor from the bank, this morning. He reviewed our investments, then reviewed the state of the stock market, and concluded that our investments are just where we need them to be. He made no recommendations, other than to say that we have enough liquid assets to pay off our credit card debt, thus cancelling the 7% interest charge each month.

After lunch, Becky and I drove to Walgreen's to buy a battery for her watch. I had left my glasses in our office, and so couldn't read anything on the back of her watch. I handed it to her to try to see some numbers. She found them right off the bat, and we bought a battery with that number. When we got home, I put my glasses on - and still couldn't read any numbers on the back of the watch. Oh, well, I changed the battery and the watch works, now.

June 17, 20/20

Another day when we had nothing to do, and we did it quite well, indeed.

Realizing that I had, in a moment of weakness, volunteered to Officiate the Ancient Order of Compline in the near future, I decided to play around with Facebook Live Streaming. I needed to see how it worked and how I could actually make it work in our cluttered Office. The first thing I did was to make sure that the test videos I did would not be "Live" on the internet, and until I read that it wouldn't be posted until I pressed End, I was reluctant to click on Go Live! But with that stumbling block out of the way, I made a test video which showed that our voices would be picked up well enough. Then I found an old bedspread in the closet, printed with a Celtic design, which makes a very nice backdrop to the "Video Studio" and hides a multitude of ugly. Then I realized that I hadn't tested the playback on my laptop, which receives Fr. Gary's voice just fine, but when Jim and Elise Officiate, Jim is quiet and Elise is nearly silent. I didn't want that to happen when Becky and I lead the prayers. I had posted the test videos to my Timeline (with the permissions set to Only Me), but I had deleted them immediately after hearing them, so I had to make another one. I read one of Michael Hudson's Songs for the Cycle, which are meditations on the Gospel readings of the day. When I played it back on the laptop, it sounded little better than when Jim led Compline, but it would have to do, since the WebCam is the only microphone hooked to the computer, at this time. The only thing I didn't test was how to get the video "Live" while we're doing it, rather than waiting until I press End. I guess Fr. Gary will have to train me on that aspect of it.

All of this is, of course, so that there will be at least two people who can Officiate after Fr. Gary leaves his post and we get our new Rector, Rev. Milly Morrow. The plan is to continue Compline throughout the Great Isolation, substituting physical proximity with more chances to be "together" in worship.

Yeah, I said we didn't do anything today. I may have stretched the truth just a little.

June 16, 20/20

We didn't do much, today. I finished reading a third book, each one lasting only two days before running into the last page. I never used to read for long periods of time without a break, so now, when I finish one, I think, "What am I supposed to do now?"

The weather, today, was moist. It rained off and on, and the temperature stayed below 69 all day. Our air conditioning didn't run all day. We didn't get any mail. Just another wonderful day in paradise.

June 15, 20/20

Beware the Ides of June!

I visited with Dr. Reilly for the first of my repair treatments for my left shoulder's bone spur. First I had laser therapy, which is always very warm and comfortable - at least in the past it was. Today, while not totally uncomfortable, I did feel when the laser passed over the spur and the damaged muscle. It didn't hurt, but felt a bit odd, momentarily, and then the sensation passed as soon as the laser moved away from the spot. The laser is to warm and soften the "soft tissue" and promote healing.

Next I had Trigenics Therapy, which is a process of reminding the muscles how they're supposed to act, a kind of remedial education, in hopes they will obey better. It was quite a lengthy session involving each muscle in the rotator cuff in almost every conceivable motion, stretching the muscles that needed to be stretched to try to eliminate the "traffic jam" through the cuff and to see if they can play well with others again.

I'm scheduled for six additional treatments, some involving Graston Technique to break up existing scar tissue.

Our taxes were prepared, with the notable exception that we hadn't included the 1099R from the Navy. I was able to find the form I had downloaded from the website, so we took that to the tax prep office, and within 15 minutes, we had signed our lives away, and were free to go. Now all we have to do is wait for two weeks until the refund is added to our Emerald Card, and then we can buy carry-out more often, like until the Emerald has lost its shine.

June 14, 20/20

We had a wonderful worship service, this morning, and afterward, when we attended the Virtual Coffee Hour, our Interim Priest let us know that July the 19th would be his last Sunday with us. Our new Rector will not be here until the first Sunday in August, so that gives us one Sunday with either a supply priest, or we have a lay leader officiate Morning Prayer. Either way, it will clear the palate, so to speak, so that Rev. Milly can start from scratch.

Afterward, we decided that neither of us was energetic enough to prepare a meal, so I got online and ordered a rather large meal from Chipotle. Neither of us had ever eaten at Chipotle before, so we didn't know what to expect. The meal was basically a salad - with carnitos, sauted onions and peppers, and some guacamole. One salad was enough for both of us, but when Becky stopped halfway through hers, I "sailored" on to the end of mine. It was pretty spicey, but not overpowering for me. I suspect that Becky was thankful it was so large so she could stop eating the spices early. I really enjoyed it, though.

June 13, 20/20

Friday the 13th came on Saturday this month!

This morning, when I rolled out of bed, the temperature was in the 50s! I decided it was a good day to mow the lawn, but having arisen at 6:30, I figured I aught to wait until normal people were awake, so I read until 9AM.

At nine, I dressed in my grungies, moved the cars onto the driveway and gased up the mower. I started in the back yard, since I hadn't mown it for a few weeks. I got done with that pretty quickly (though I admit I didn't clear the fallen limbs - again), then moved to the uphill side yard, then the downhill side yard, then took a break. The last thing to do was the front yard (with all the slopes), after which I was pretty much tuckered.

But as tired as I was, I felt pretty good, and the yards look much better.

June 12, 20/20

Becky had an appointment at Allergy Partners to see if she is still allergic to Penicillin. It was supposed to take two hours. She would be given scratch tests, first, and if she passed those tests, then she would be given an oral dose of penicillin, and if she passed that test, she would be declared NOT ALLERGIC.

She got the first scratch test, and after the required time to see if she reacted, it was found that she didn't react. So they gave her a second scratch test, a higher concentration of the drug. Again the wait, and again no reaction. Then they gave her a half tablet, and waited, and then they gave her a full dose, and waited some more. Two hours and 45 minutes later, she was declared free of that allergy, and we went by Starbucks on the way home in celebration of her good result.

June 11, 20/20

Today I started trying to get LocalHost to run on my computer so I can play with websites locally instead of online. That way, maybe I could learn a few things about building templates, rather than relying on those I've already built using a template maker (which doesn't work on Linux) or templates I've downloaded (for free) from various sites.

I found many sites with tutorials that said, "This will work on any linux installation." Step one worked (a download), but step two and beyond would not work (downloads, also). Then I found a site that had combined apps necessary to run Localhost, but they all had a file type I had not seen before, .RUN. It took me a long time and a few inquiries before I learned how to execute a .run file. When I finally got that information, I was able to run the installation file and load it into my system.

Can I use it? No. Before I can use it, I have to get three processes to run, and the third one requires the use of a channel in the computer that is already in use.

Back to square one, I think.

June 10, 20/20

Since I missed the first 10 minutes of the 15-minute Compline last night, I looked it up this afternoon and played the start of it. Fr. Gary started by announcing that we (Grace Church) now has a Rector, Rev. Milly Morrow. I would have loved to have heard that last night and not been shocked by a prayer for her shortly after joining the rite already in progress. We are pleased to hear we have a new Rector at Grace Church, and sad that we have to wait until August to meet her.

Already I'm being asked what is my opinion of our new Rector. How can I have an opinion (unless I'm prone to prejudice, which I'm not, usually)? I'm as pleased to accept her as my Rector as was the Vestry to have called her, and as she was to accept the call. I will do all I can to be acceptable to her as to accept her.

June 09, 20/20

Becky went to Allergy Partners for her bi-monthly shots, which were no problem, today. They also spoke to her about her allergy to penicillin, saying that they have ways to treat such an allergy, and that many times not having been given any for several years, the sensitivity goes away. She has another appointment with them on Friday, which will be a 2-hour affair. The first hour, they will test her for penicillin sensitivity, and if found, will start treatments for it. If not found, they will give her a shot of it, then monitor her for an hour to see if she reacts at all. If she does, they will stop the reaction, but if not, then that will be it, and she can stop telling her doctors she's allergic to it.

On the way home, we stopped at Starbucks for some coffee, then drove through the car wash to make sure there's no pollen on the car anywhere. It was my second time taking the car through, and the first time since buying the monthly anytime membership. I wasn't sure how it would work, but their equipment scanned my windshield sticker and passed me through the gate to the wash tunnel. I didn't have to touch anything!

June 08, 20/20

Becky and I saw our chiropractor, this morning. She was adjusted first, and it turns out she was the one needing the adjustment more, especially in her hips.

Then it was my turn. We started talking about the orthopedist's findings (bone spur and muscle damage from it), and Dr. Reilly recommended a 3-week course of sonic shock, laser and trigenic therapies. The sonic shock is like lithotripsy (that is used to break up kidney stones) and will soften and reduce the size of the bone spur, the laser will reduce scar tissue and promote healing of the damaged muscle, and the trigenics will retrain the muscles to work in the way they are meant to work. He said that if he doesn't see improvement by the end of the second week, then he will refer me back to the orthopedist for surgery.

I had some good news to share with the doctor. The other day, I decided to practice a bit at the organ, and I realized that the distal joint of my right pinkie was not in pain! When I tried to flex it, it flexed about half of its prearthritis travel, and still no pain. Dr. Reilly asked what he had done to it, and I told him only laser treatment. He started grinning, knowing that he now had another success story to add to his files. Then I laid ont the table to be adjusted, and while my hips required a little attention, most of the rest of me made almost no noise. There were a few very quiet snaps with almost no pressure from the doctor, and for a change, my neck moved very easily - like soft butter. I was very pleased.

June 07, 20/20

Happy Trinity Sunday!

Things happened today that had never happened to us before - well, almost never.

We got our bread and wine ready for church at 10 AM, then waited until 10:30 when the service would start. The wine (Muscat Canelli from Biltmore Winery) smelled delicious, and my throat was parched, but I resisted the urge, waiting until it was consecrated for the Eucharist. Finally it was 10:30 and - nothing happened. Then a few minutes later, a notice appeared on YouTube saying there was some technical diculty, and they would start the service at 10:45 - on Facebook!

More waiting and a change from YouTube to Facebook, and then at 10:45 we finally got the notification that the church was "Live". Clicking on the link, Facebook came to life and the service - was already a few minutes done, but no matter. The camera was hand-held, and the hands were trembling, but after a few minutes it got suitably steady. After each shift of position, it took a few minutes to steady out, but by not actually watching the video, it didn't matter so much.

Then, just after the Passing of the Peace, the audio in my laptop became inaudio. No sound. It took me several minutes to realize I could bring up the service on my cell phone, so I did that and was able to hear the rest of the service.

Then, to cap the goose, we learned why the Interim Priest was there when our Priest Associate was celebrating. Bob, our Priest Associate, and his wife, Jeannette, our Deacon, announced that they had received a call from the new Bishop of Georgia, and that this was their last Sunday at Grace Church. So with that bombshell ringing in our ears, we shut down the laptop and went to the desktop to get on Zoom for the Virtual Coffee Hour. Those in attendance discussed the departure of our friends and leaders, but it wasn't a somber discussion. We shared the good times and determined that we would survive.


Then, after lunch, I decided to see what I needed to do with the laptop. I checked the sound card and learned that my present sound card was "NONE". There was an alternate sound card, and when I designated that as Present, the sound worked again!

June 06, 20/20

I did a lot of searching on line, but somehow I didn't find a single thing I was looking for. I would search for a named item, and it would show me something either very close in name, or completely on the opposite side of the alphabet. That's how my online searches usually go. Other people can search with the same words I would use and find the very thing they were seeking at the top of the resultant list. I feel abused by the search engines.

Even though I changed away from Brave Browser to FireFox, somehow my computer always defaults to Brave. I've just set FireFox to default status again, and when I open that browser I will set it as default there, too (if it isn't already), then I'll see what happens. That's it for today. Nothing else exciting happened.

June 05, 20/20

Today I started to think about the time when Uncle Joe (actually a cousin) was showing off his newest musical instrument acquisition - a Zink. It was tubular, less than a foot long, blown like a small horn and fingered like a fife. He handed it to me after a brief demonstration and said, "Give it a try." I looked a little confused, until Dad said to blow it like I did the garden hose.

I have to admit that I was somewhat good at playing the garden hose. I was convinced that nobody inside the house could hear it, because it didn't make much sound, but apparently Those inside the house could hear me playing every melody I could think of. I think I was about 12 or 13 years old, at the time.

So I pressed my lips against the end of the tube, stopped the finger holes and played a very out-of-tune scale. Joe gave a good-natured laugh and took the Zink back from me.

I wanted to see if I could find any reference to it on the Internet, and found the Zink and it's somewhat larger extrapolation, the Cornetto. I found them priced anywhere from $700 to $1,400, and decided I would likely not purchase one. I did, though, find a youtube tutorial about how to make a "very cheap" saxophone from a PVC pipe.

I probably won't build one of those, either.

June 04, 20/20

Today was a nap-day for me. I spent a lot of time snoozing, strill trying to make up for our 2 AM bedtime the night before last, when I was updating my slowest computer.  I was led astray by the local weather guessers - again (I should know better) who said this was a "Westher Warn" day, which is their ignorant way of saying they were warning us about violent weather today. There were about five minutes of misty precipitation early this afternoon. But, having been warned of the weather, I didn't think much about the unfinished back yard mowing from when I ran out of gasoline the other day. 

June 03, 20/20

I received a notification that MX-Linux 19.2 is available for download and use. Since I have been using 19.1, I decided to get the update. I downloaded the .iso last night, then today I put it into my USB Multi-Installer and have installed it on my Toshiba Netbook. It was seemless, of course.

Since the Toshiba was updated so well, I also updated the Asus laptop. It is now up to date, and no problems were encountered. This update went a lot faster than the Toshiba because, well, it's a much faster computer.

Faced with two successes, I went into the third computer, my HP Desktop. Right off the bat, I knew I would have trouble with it, because (as I was about to "remember") it could not be loaded from a USB stick, but insisted on a DVD loader. Then I had to remember how to make a DVD loader, which was as simple as burning an audio or video disc, except it was called burning an image to the DVD. The ISO file was the image, and it used the same software as burning any disc (which I had to remember), Xfburn. With the DVD made, then, I started the installation, for that's what this update was, an installation of the latest and greatest OS. Again, there were no problems, and now all three computers are full of the good stuff.

June 02, 20/20

It was one of those days. I decided to drive to the carwash to scrape off the six-months of dirt and, more recently, pollen from the paint of our new Toy Yoda. Once there, I found I had left my billfold at home, so I backed out of the line, called home to alert Becky to my chigrin and unability to pay - or even identify myself. She met me in the driveway, gave me the billfold and house keys, and I returned to the carwash. I found that Zip Carwash has a membership arrangement, where for a monthly fee, you can get the car washed whenever you want. The basic car wash is $8, the membership is $15, so two washes in a month pays for the membership for that month. Naturally, if I were to get the car washed every week, then each wash is less than $4, or by extrapolation, if I wash it every day it would be $0.50 each time. Of course, in a year's time, I'd have no pain left on the car, and the paint shop would never be able to match the color.

When I left the carwash the second time, in a clean car, drove next door for to Shell and filled up my gas can, then went home, gassed up the mower and started to trim a shrub (??). I raked the fallen twigs toward the curb, fired up the mower to mow three swaths by the curb so I could put the twigs on freshly mown grass. Then I finished mowing the front lawn and the uphill side yard (leaving the downhill side to grow a little more so I could, maybe, tell where I had mown.By that time, the temperature being in the upper eighties when I started, i was exhausted, so I went into the house (the sun was fully on the porch, by that time) to cool off. When I was breathing slowly again and cool enough to think again, I went out to "put the mower away," and after rinsing the undercarriage and moving the mower into the garage, I saw that I still had the electric trimmers to put away, so I moved Becky's car back into the garage, reclaimed about a foot of driveway by trimming the shrubs on the other side of the driveway. Then I rolled up the electric cord and hung the trimmers on the hook again, pulled Yoda nearer to the garage door, and that was the end of the lawn "maintenance" for the day.

We had Baked Ziti for supper. I loved it!

June 01, 20/20

Happy June Fools Day!

I did some shopping, today. I found some dried pineapple, and it's nothing like what I was expecting. It's thin, but tough to chew, it's not sugared, but is full of natural pineapple sugars. I'm not sure I like it. I don't think I'll buy any more of it.

I was supposed to buy six things on the list, but I left the list at home, so I bought two items I remembered were on the list and two others besides, then went to Sams Club.

Sams had the 16 oz. bags of potato chips that we like, so I bought those. They also had a 24 count box of Klondikes, so I picked those up, too, as well as a package of 36 rolls of TP and some dietary supplements I needed. And I even filled the gas tank. I had forgotten to carry the gas can for the lawn mower.

After lunch, I went to Ingles - with the list - and finished shopping. I forgot the gas can again, so I guess I won't be mowing the lawn today.