...the Elevated Record

Blog from the Hill


Happy Hallowe'en! 

After church, we received an invitation to return to Suzanne's for lunch and Mah Jongg. I saw the invitation just in time, for when we had just parked at Rise 'N' Shine Cafe, I picked up my phone which I had left in the car during church, and saw a text from Suzanne. We accepted the invitation and left our parking place, drove home, changed clothes, picked up the Mah Jongg tiles, and left again. We had Tuna Melt open-face sandwiches, Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, pickles, olives, and finished with a dessert of Flourless Chocolate Torte and Ice Cream.

Mr. Wyatt, "my favorite blonde cat in the world", decided the tuna smelled very fine, and he sidled up to me to suggest I share mine with him (he never eats people-food, even if we give it to him, so I didn't). When I "didn't get the hint", he started pawing at my arm, and when that didn't work he tried to reach onto the plate to grab the sandwich for himself. He has no claws, so even if he had reached it, he couldn't have gotten it off the plate. At any rate, he only got scolded and pushed aside for his efforts.

Mah Jongg was a success. I won the first hand, Becky won the second one, Suzanne won the third and I won the last. 

Nearly the end of October and it's the day when we children in SE Indianapolis started to run around the neighborhood in costume "Trick-or-Treat-ing". It wasn't Hallowe'en, just yet, but it was close enough for us to feel the excitement of neighborhood (and beyond) costume parties and shared candy wealth. we didn't just use a small, plastic Jack-o-Lantern to collect the candy in, but the shopping bags that our mothers paid a nickel for at stores like L.S. Ayres. I used to imagine that I could fit inside one handily, but even when I was 8 years old, that would not have been possible. I also used to imagine the bag to have been filled completely with candy at the end of the weekend, and to my mind, Hallowe'en always came on a weekend! 

How times have changed. Children don't go out on the 30th anymore. Costumes are bought, now and not made, and "Trunk-er-Treat" is more the norm today. I cannot imagine the same energy of fun and excitement being generated by going to the trunks of cars of those who are pre-disposed to giving candy to children. But then I'm not 8 years old anymore - closer to 80. I don't think I have that much energy for fun and excitement anywhere within me, anymore.

We drove to Candler, NC, for a lunch-time meeting with a representative of MASA, Medical Transport Solutions. Should we need ambulance services in the future, as we have three times in the last two years, if we get billed for that service, we send the bills to MASA, and they negotiate with the provider and then pay what is left over to be paid. Naturally, since I'm still young and indestructible, I was inclined to pass up the opportunity, especially since we didn't get charged for the last three ambulance rides we took. Becky, on the other hand, being married to someone with a partial blockage of the coronary arteries and an aneurysm, said that we would put it on our charge card, then get in touch with our Financial Assistant at the bank and transfer some of our retirement cache to pay off the card. I deferred to her wisdom. We bought the family plan, because if I ever crash the car, I'm not going to do it halfway, but put both of us in jeopardy.

Since Becky no longer has Thursday Shots, we have filled that time slot with a Tai Chi class at Gold's Gym. The first session proved to be quite interesting, unlike the Sun or Yang styles we had been learning. Instead, the instructor, Jeanne, has devised her own mish-mash of styles, so there's going to be a lot of unlearning as well as learning for us. I'm looking forward to the challenge.

After Tai Chi, we met Jim and Carol at TGI Friday's for lunch. Becky and I got Cobb Salads, ate about 1/3 of them, then took the other 4/3 home with us for future meals. Jim and Carol had their new Philly Cheesesteak Burger. Jim ate his completely, while Carol took half of hers home also. We had a wonderful discussion, as we had used to have before the Great Separation.

This morning we responded to an invitation to meet with representatives of United Healthcare (UHC) at Gold's Gym. It wasn't the Gold's Gym that is just 3 miles from the house, but the one in South Asheville. With our Medicare account already being handled by UHC, there wasn't much to speak with them about but to verify that we still had Membership through their implementation of Silver Sneakers. With that confirmed, we started speaking with the Manager. When he started talking about a personal trainer, I told him that we had been using a gym for the treadmill for me and a stationary bike for Becky, followed by a Tai Chi class. We were introduced to Harbison, Jeanne, their Tai Chi Instructor. She said that she teaches Sun and Yang styles, both of which we had been trying to learn since 2005. I'm hoping that her instruction style will be a good alternative for the instructors we had trained with before, and I have a feeling it will be.

After that, we drove to Weaverville to get our Moderna booster shot. We were a bit early for our appointments, but instead of taking 15 minutes each, which was allotted in the appointments, we were both inoculated within only 15 minutes, total. Quick and easy, we were assured that the reaction to the shots would be similar to what we had experienced with the first two shots: Muscle aches and low-grade fever. He recommended lots of water, rest, and Tylenol if needed.

Afterward, we med with Fr. Mike at the church for the last of the "reunion" meetings. This one was for those who have been worshipping at Grace Church for 1 to 4 years. Becky and I will have been there six years next January, but we missed the meeting we should have attended last week. We had a good discussion and got to know one another. Fr. Mike got to know us and our likes and hopes for Grace Church.

Today, having gotten my 2TB HDD to work, I decided to empty that drive, as much as practical, into the SSD in my refurbished HP Computer. I did so manually, selecting files and moving them from one drive to the other until I got down to photos that I had posted on facebook or files of no consequence. Those I deleted. There was one rather large file of 43 GB that couldn't be deleted and shouldn't be moved to the other disk. It was a backup file. I had to open the archive and delete the files category by category until there were none left. I would have just formatted the disk, but try as I might I didn't find a way to accomplish that task. So the three partitions remain, two rather small ones which contain the replaced MX Linux Operating System and the one rather large one containing two empty folders that cannot be deleted. Perhaps I'll ask for some help from living sources rather than trying to find the just-right solution online.

Bible Study, last week, failed for us because the sound was playing through the back of the monitor, not through the external, forward-facing speakers. As I reported, I did some research and learned how to move the sound output to the desired speakers. As a result, today's Bible Study was, for us, a success. We could hear everyone quite well, even Fr. Mike's more moderately quiet voice. We were also able to participate successfully.

After that, we were invited to lunch and Mah Jongg at Suzanne's. She had said she had some health-related news to share with us, and added, "You aren't going to believe it!" It turned out that yesterday had been a particularly painful day that had her contemplating death. At a critical point, before anything happened to advance those contemplations to action of any kind, she received a phone call from one of her friends. After a fairly brief conversation was concluded, she felt very tired and laid down on her bed to sleep. This morning she awoke without the pain that has been building for the last eight years or more. She said that she wasn't sure how to go through her day without the pain that had defined her for so long, but that she would try to remember how it used to be. (I may have embellished that statement, just a bit).

We had a particularly successful Split Pea Soup with Tuna Melt Openface Sandwiches, played a recent record of six hands of Mah Jongg, three of which I won to make up for the last three sessions in which I didn't win any. Suzanne won two, and Becky won one. Quite a successful day.

When we got home there was a package on the porch from Amazon. It contained the replacement BluRay player (our old one refused to work last Thursday) and an enclosure for the 2TB Hard Disk Drive from my failed computer. Since the BluRay player was the same model as the old one, I unplugged the power cord and HDMI cable from the old, plugged them into the new one, and it worked. Then, of course, I had to log in to YouTube again. The HDD Enclosure was ridiculously simple to open, insert the big drive, and close it again. I hooked it up to the computer and power, but it didn't work. I opened up the instruction book and found the source of the failure. There's an on/off switch that I hadn't pressed. The second attempt worked really well, and I now have all the data from that drive that I was fairly sure had survived the death of the computer itself. All in all, then, the success of the day just kept on growing.

Another Sunday, another morning in church, and another day of Choir Practice and practical application in worship. We found absolutely NO pumpkins left in the yard, everything was sold but the hay bales. I hope the money will help Haiti work its way out of its situation even if it's just a little improvement.

After a brunch, we headed home for some restful snoozing, one of our favorite pastimes.

Happy LunaVersary!

We were all set to share our LunaVersary day with Suzanne, Jim, and Carol. Then Suzanne got a cold, sore throat, and other maladies that she didn't want to share with others and really didn't want to try to work through. With that cancellation as the impetus, Becky and I made plans to meet Jim and Carol at Applebee's for lunch. That plan would have worked, too, had Jim and Carol not gone to TGI Friday's, where we used to meet quite regularly. When they didn't show up at Applebee's at the appointed time (or 30 minutes thereafter), Becky and I ordered our lunch. I had wracked my brain to try to remember exactly what I had sent to Carol spelling out the time and place of our lunch, but it wasn't until we returned home that I was able to access the message, which was exactly as I thought I had remembered it. Carol called, not much after we got home, to say that she, too, had tried to remember the message, but found upon her return home that she should have reviewed it before their departure to TGI. She was apologetic, and I expressed my relief that it was not an accident or not being able to leave their neighborhood due to the construction. As they say, It's all good. 

I went to the store to replenish our supply of ice cream and was pleased to find Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. As is my usual habit, I didn't read the label closely enough. It contains pieces of pie shell. Becky and I compensated by melting each bite on the tongue and discarding the crusty bits. It worked well and tasted good, too.

Today was triple-star day at Starbucks, so naturally, I had to purchase a couple of drinks in favor of the day. A free drink looms on the horizon! 

I have been reading the Dune books. I'm in book two, presently, and so far I have kept up with the action and most of the characters. I guess it helps having seen the movies previously. The only reason I started reading them is that the actress slated to play the part of Jessica, the Bene Jessurate, claimed that she didn't read the books "because they are hard to read". I took it as a challenge, and I think I have proven her wrong. It took me over a year to finish The Hobbit because I couldn't tell one character from another. I had the same trouble in the Fellowship of the Ring, and only read about 1/4 of The Two Towers before I gave up on it. If Dune is a hard read, I'm Paul Atreides!

We were sitting in the living room, reading, and "all of a sudden the phone rang." Doesn't it always ring suddenly? Well, it sure did this time. It turned out to be from the Allergy Partners, telling Becky that the serum for her other shot (the one she hasn't gotten for the last month, or so) finally arrived. They also said they had a 3:30 appointment that she could have if she wanted to come in then. Naturally, she did. So she's not only getting shots only once a week but back to getting two shots at each visit.

Other than that, I guess the only other news was that I got a good nap in during a phone call from Melinda. The call had interrupted our watching of Jeopardy, and I was irritated by the background noise in the call, so I leaned back and relaxed. Becky woke me up in time to say goodbye.

Becky got her Tuesday Shots at the usual time, and on the way home, we stopped at Starbucks for our usual cuppa, then drove through the Zips Carwash. Returning home, we found a package lying on the front porch. I realized that it was the two movies we had ordered from Amazon. One was Fried Green Tomatoes, which was had seen recently with all the little bits skipped over to pack in enough commercials to cram it into the three-hour time slot. The other was the Men In Black Trilogy. We had watched MIB just the other day, but now we had MIB-II and MIB-III. I was setting up to watch MIB-II and Melinda called. Normally she waits until the movie is started to call. Nevertheless, when the conversation drew to a close, we started watching MIB-II

I've been trying to find an app that will let me respond to text messages from the computer, and Suzanne pointed me to MightyText, free and works in browsers, so most computers can use it. I put it on my Linux Laptop so that when I'm watching TV or whatever in the living room, I can answer the text on the computer instead of trying to accommodate the mini-keyboard on the phone. The problem is that notifications pop up on the screen, so if I'm typing, I'm distracted and have to stop and dismiss the notification from the screen. I contacted the developers of the app to see what I could do about it, and they have been giving me suggestions, none of which have worked yet. It'll be an ongoing struggle, I guess.

I had a bit of trouble this morning. During Bible Study. Becky and I could not hear the priest when he spoke. Since that was the most significant part of the study for me, and since she was having trouble hearing the rest of the participants, also, we turned Zoom off. I went on a tare trying to find why Zoom was playing through the back of the Monitor and not the speakers facing us on a shelf above the monitor. Everything the tutorials suggested I try increased my frustration because they all started with clicking on the member Icon and selecting Settings. When I clicked on that Icon, all I got was a way to log off! In the end, I learned how to select the right speakers to play through, and it only took me 90 minutes!!! 

Then I got a call from Suzanne. Her PT was there this morning and basically forbade Suzanne to walk, like ever again. She needed a Transport Wheelchair, and all she had was a phone number of a Medical Device Closet from which she might be able to borrow one until Medicare can procure one for her. Would I make the call? Of course, I did. As we expected, I had to leave my name and number and wait for a callback within 24 hours. Four hours later I got the callback, an hour later I was at the church with the Closet, and 30 minutes after that, we delivered the chair to Suzanne. Hurrah!

I got up this morning, removed the bandage from my forehead, took a shower, then applied some Polysporin and a fresh bandage. I forgot to take a photo of the hole in my head, though. Maybe tonight I will remember. 

As we were heading out the door for church, Becky said that her stomach didn't feel right. I've learned that her "stomach" incorporates anything below the ribs and above the pelvis, and she wouldn't elaborate on the area. When we got to church, I went up to the choir room to robe up for choir, but when I came down, she asked me to drive her home. Dressed in my Cassock and Surplice, I did as she asked, then returned to the church - and was still in time for choir rehearsal. We warmed up on the hymns, then rehearsed the anthem, and we learned that "several" people (likely one or two) mentioned being uneasy with the choir singing in procession, even though we were in masks, so as a result, we will not process. We just will sit in our chairs not making a sound during the prelude and announcements. Other than that, the service went really well. Rev. Milly opened her homily with a joke, though she said her husband told her she's a really bad joke teller. She proceeded to demonstrate her ability to ruin a joke by critiquing it during the telling of it. After the demonstration, she told the joke. 

"A man was lying on his deathbed and called his two friends to stand close by him, one on his right and one on his left. They asked him what he had to tell them, but the man said, 'I don't have anything to say. I just wanted to die the way Jesus did, between two criminals!'" 

Anyway, when I got home (after waiting for nearly an hour to buy two omelets to take home (the Cafe was slammed!), Becky's stomach was feeling much better. It turned out to be her "lower abdomen" that was uneasy. 

I tried to create the method that one of the members of the Linux Users Group had posted to the Group for creating QR Codes. Naturally, it didn't work. BUT - and that's a big BUT - I was browsing through the Kubuntu Repository and found something called QtQR. I fired it up and found that it will create QR Codes more easily than the home-grown cobble. Now all I have to do is figure out how to incorporate them in - anything useful, actually.

I started the day with a 9:15 AM appointment with my new Dermatologist, Dr. Cash. I was very impressed with her right off the bat. She wasted no time getting to the reason for my visit, dismissed the item of my concern, a rather hard growth high on my left forehead, yet expressed concern about the discolored spot above my right eye. After checking my face, head, arms, back belly, and underarms for worrisome blemishes and finding none, got to work to excise the one item that concerned her. She injected my forehead with a local anesthetic, cut the spot out of my flesh, cauterized the cut flesh, and applied a small bandage with some antiseptic gel (Polisporin), then sent me on my way.

Shortly after my return to home, I received an invitation to dinner at Suzanne's. Her brother, Brian, having lost track of the days of the week, had prepared Sunday's dinner today. We drove up for a pre-dinner game of Mah Jongg, but as we entered the house, we knew something was wrong. Suzanne was on the floor, bleeding from damage to her lips, and crying because of the agony she experienced from falling, face-first, onto the floor. Her brother, Gregg, and I each got her under an arm and raised her from the floor to a stool that was behind her. Not only was her upper lip and nose hurt in the fall, but her right knee was badly bruised. She didn't eat dinner with us because of her very sore mouth but sat with icepacks on her knee and lip until the ice had softened to the point of ineffectiveness. She put the icepacks back in the freezer and went to bed while we sat with Brian and enjoyed the meal he had prepared. It was a very tasty meal, and would have been much more enjoyable without the preceding accident.

We got to Becky's bi-weekly allergy shots appointment this morning, and she was told that she has been on "Maintenance" since her dosage was increased, so she doesn't need to get shot as frequently. From now on we'll only be going in once a week. That will be a relief in and of itself. Naturally, we had to stop at Starbucks for a celebratory cup of coffee.

I, on the other hand, have had a headache since our chiropractic visit. It responds slowly to Tylenol, but since it comes back, I'm pretty sure it isn't caused by a lack of Tylenol. I suspect it's TMJ dysfunction on the left side, which I have been treating with Voltaren since this morning. I hope it works.

Friday the 13th came on a Wednesday this month!

We started the day with a visit to our chiropractor. One of the old-guard CAs who used to work there when I had the Neuropathy treatments has returned. When she saw me standing in the office, she called out, "Socks!" It was the nickname she and the other CAs had given me because I always wore some unique socks when I went in for treatment. We both wanted to share a hug, but of course, with the Covid restrictions in place, she was constrained and I restrained myself. Golly, it was good to see her there again. As for the adjustment, it went just fine. The majority of my spine yielded to some very gentle pressures, while my neck and lumbar region required a little more persuasion. Becky had a lot of tension in her neck and shoulders, but like mine, the joints moved and released the tension without too much of a fight.

In the evening, we met at the church for choir practice. Our Director of Music, who usually has a 15-minute drive to the church, met with so much traffic along his route that it took him 50 minutes to get there. We arrived a few minutes after he did. While he got the music down from the library on the second floor, I moved the Clavinova Piano-wannabe from its corner of the choir area in the apse to a place of prominence before the choir. We rehearsed three pieces of music. The first two were no trouble, while the third required some intense re-introduction. We had actually sung it three years ago, or at least we had sung through it in rehearsal, but almost none of the singers remembered it. I did a good job of faking it while at the same time sight-reading the music. It went much more easily than I had anticipated. I learned, though, that I can read Latin and Music at the same time, but English and Music? Not so much. Go figure!

This morning started out really rough. Melinda called, weeping, in lots of pain and feeling as though she was going to die. Why she calls us instead of 911 or her own physician is anybody's guess. If she wanted sympathy, she didn't get it from her sister, today. Becky told her that she should at least call someone who could do her some good, physically, guide her through the events leading up to the feeling of impending death, maybe even send an ambulance to her house if the situation warranted. It turned out, later in the day, that she had skipped some of the medications her doctor had prescribed, and after she took it, she felt much better.

That was about the time I found two emails from Suzanne that she had sent about four hours earlier. The first one said that her OT and PT had just left the house (by accident they had both arrived about the same time), after droping the bombshell that they were sending representatives around to evaluate her and her house for wheelchair use. The second one said that she needed an attitude adjustment. Becky and I paid her a visit, took a bag of Snickering Monk Candy Bar Coffee and a box of Pistachio Halva to her. We played five hands of Mah Jongg (more than our usual four), and the winners were Suzanne, Bill, Bill, Suzanne, and Becky. The Halva was gone by the end of the game, as was the pot of coffee she had brewed. Then she fixed a gluten-free Greek pasta dish, served us large servings, and we sat around chewing both pasta and "the fat" until the food was gone. Then, because I had said that I enjoy pumpkin spiced coffee as long as the flavor is not overly spiced, she brewed a pot of that and sent me home with a thermal cup of it. I worry about her, because she has a compulsion to be an excellent "hostest with the mostest", and I fear she's spending energy she doesn't have. With that being said, we do appreciate her and the meals and coffee she prepares.

This morning started with taking the Recycling & Trash to the street, followed by my morning awakeness games, then the usual computer "idleness" of looking up useless things while listening to Minnesota Classical Radio on the computer.

At 10:25, we logged into Zoom to "attend" the Monday Morning Bible Study. To be honest, I wasn't that keen on the Bible study but wanted to become more familiar with our new Rector when she accepted the call a little over a year ago. Since then, I've had a love/hate relationship with Zoom, as well as the way in which the gathering is conducted. I seldom got to say anything in the beginning because, like happens to me in real life, I think so slowly that when I know what I want to comment or ask and I press the "Press-to-Talk" spacebar, someone else starts talking at the same time. I've tried raising my hand and have left it raised for up to five minutes at a time without acknowledgment. Then ten minutes later someone would say, "Bill, did you want to say something?" by which time if I could even remember what it was I wanted to say or ask, the topic of discussion had changed five times, and nobody would understand why I was bothering to speak. Anyway, this morning, after more than a year of practice, I got to make a few comments. Maybe I'm just getting better attuned to how Zoom works (or doesn't). It's still irksome, though. 

After our Zoom study was done, we went to lunch at Applebee's for their 2 for $29 Bourbon Shrimp & Chicken lunch (hold the Cajun spices). We ate the shrimp and mashed potatoes but left the majority of the chicken for carry-out and later consumption as an oven-baked chicken and veggie dish that Becky likes to make. Lunch was delicious, after which we drove to a Gluten-Free bakery only to learn that they weren't a point-of-sale place (like a store), but that their bread is sold in several grocery stores in the area. Next, we drove to Ingles Supermarket and found a loaf of Eat More bread in their cake-freezer (they are sold via Ingles' bakery shop). It's a small loaf (aren't all of the GF loaves about the same size, which I find disappointing), but has 14 thin slices. It makes excellent toast, and maybe in the morning, I'll try it for a bacon-n-egg sandwich for breakfast.

The rest of the day was pretty much restful, though neither of us took the naps we wanted. We thought we would watch a program on TV, and as often happens the phone rang after ten minutes. We then would pause the program, talk for as long as needed, and will have forgotten that we were actually watching something. When I would finally recall the program, I'd turn it back on, thus initiating another telephone call - and so forth. We finally got the program watched, but by that time the urge to nap had been forgotten, much like the programs had been.

This morning at church, I was assigned as intercesor - to read the Prayers of the People. My first reaction is that I didn't want to read the list of names that we always include in the Prayers, but to my surprise the for I was to read was a modified Form 1. I would read only the general prayer category and the congregation would respond per the form, always the same response. I even practiced reading the Form, and found no difficulties with it. Then, when I got to the church, I went to the Lecturn and read through the Form again and found two changes toward the end. Apparently two of our members had died, so an extra prayer was included. Fortunately I knew how to pronounce their names, so that was no problem. Then one word was changed in the next to last prayer, removing the pronoun and substituting God in its stead - pretty standard. Naturally, the Clergy brought my attention to the changes, and I assured them I had read through the Form and it would be no trouble at all. It was, in the end, no trouble at all.

Our lunch at Suzanne's was of our own supply. There were leftover ribs at the church's Pig Picking last night, which I had bought, and on the way to Suzanne's, I stopped for some Potato Salad and Cole Slaw. The five of us enjoyed the ribs, and Suzanne and we ate the remainder of our Chocolate Chunk Halva. The meal was delicious, after which we finished a third game of Mah Jongg (I didn't win any, being bested by Suzanne twice and by Becky once. Then we changed to Harry Potter Trivia. Normally I'm not a good trivia player, nevertheless I won! That took away the sting from losing at Mah Jongg.

Tonight, the Men of the Church held its annual Pig Picking in the parking lot of the church. The tables were full, the food sold well, and while I didn't count the money (I was at the Rackateer's table raking in the dough), I'm sure it was in the thousands - at least I hope it was. Almost nobody accepted change for whatever over-abundance of money they handed me (one man "pshaw'd" my saying his family would eat for $25, and he handed me $100!), so the intake to outgo ratio was pretty steep. When the meal was over and folk were leaving, I went to see what was left over. I found that 5 of the 23 ribs meals were left, so I bought them.

With nothing on the agenda for today, I did my morning mental mending games, then, building on yesterday's success with the Francis Poulanc CD, I started downloading and formatting pieces by Oscar Castro-Neves, one of my favorite Brazilian musicians, whose CD I had bought over 30 years ago. Since we have that CD in the car's CD Changer, we've become very familiar with the songs contained thereon. We will now have a new, home-burned CD with 15 songs on it, most of which I have never heard before, with one carry-over from the older CD - by accident, of course.

Ok, we went for allergy shots again, stopped by Starbucks on the way home (got enough stars for a free cuppa on our next visit) and pretty much stayed home. Yeah, I know. I'm writing differently. We've just watched the pilot of Ghosts on CBS. 

Actually, when we got home from our Thursday Constitutional, there were three HUGE turkeys in our front yard, grubbing around. They were unconcerned when we drove onto the driveway, but when we stood out of the car, well that was just too much for their bird-brains to contend with, so they left. I'm pretty sure the leader was yelling, "Run away! Run away!" 

This afternoon, just as they said they would, UPS delivered the package that I had taken to the UPS Store yesterday and asked that it be returned to the company who sent it to me. I cought the driver just before he got into his van, explained the situation to him, saying that it was to return a failed computer part, and he said that he would take care of it from here. 

As if that weren't enough, I spent the better part of the afternoon downloading from YouTube a dozen Francis Poulenc performances. I burned them to a CD so that now we will have over an hour of some really good music to listen to in addition to our other CDs of really good music of different genres. 

And then there really was that Ghost thing I might have mentioned earlier. Sorry about that non-sequitur.

I guess I just didn't know how UPS works. I took a package to them today to return the SSD to SkyTech, the failed one that shipped in my referbished HP EliteDesk computer. Later the same day I received an email saying that my delivery has been rescheduled, and that I should expect it tomorrow. What did the agent not understand when I said, "I need to return this package"? I wanted it sent BACK to the SENDER, not to the RECIPIENT, for crying out loud!

Other than that, today was a pretty good day, for a Wednesday. I started doing laundry at 8:14, or so, and finally got done about 9:30. It was only about 13 hours later. Most of the time I was either at the computer, out of the house, or so engrossed in stupid television shows to realize that my alarm had sounded and I should check the laundry. Anyway, I now have clean clothes to wear again.

We had another invitation to an afternoon at Suzanne's. It her mother's Yahrzeit: Memorial Anniversary. She didn't want to be alone and greiving, so she asked us up for some Cheesecake and Mah Jongg. "Of course, you'll have to bring the Cheesecake." We did. We knew Sandra, Suzanne's mother, and were very fond of her. We used to bring her the Sunday newspaper each week when we went up for Mah Jongg with Suzanne. Becky would take her to medical appointments on the days when Suzanne could not. We were with them at Hospice when Sandra ate her last bit of food, Cheesecake. She loved it, as she always did, but she was always mindful of the calories it brought to her. That night, she ate two slices with abandon, smiling all the while. 

As soon as Becky's allergy shots were administered, we drove to Publix in Weaverville to get the Cheesecake and coliflower pizza crust, again by request, then drove to Suzanne's. Upon arriving, we saw a car in their lot, and I thought, "When did Gregg's car turn from black to blue - and when did it change from a Kia Soul to a Honda?" Gregg was at work, of course, and the car belonged to Suzanne's physical therapist. She hadn't expected us so early. It didn't matter. The therapist finished her ministrations and left, and we were there with the goodies. Suzanne prepared two wonderful pizzas with the crusts, adding the five-cheese tomato sauce, mushrooms, peppers, bacon, ham, parmesan, romano, cheddar and asiago cheese - as if the cheese in the sauce wasn't enough - then some green and kalamata olives. OMG! What a pizza. We brought the remainder home for supper at Suzanne's insistence. Naturally, we had the Cheesecake, topped with crushed pineapple, brown sugar, and a squirt of whipped cream, for dessert.

We played four hands of Mah Jongg; Suzanne won the first two, I won the third, and Suzanne won the last. After an hour or so of conversation in the living room, I was fading fast, and I could sense that Suzanne was wearing, also, so we drove home again, glad to have shared in Sandra's Memorial Day.

I was pleasantly surprised that the Solid State Drive (SSD) I was expecting to arrive today, actually arrived today. When I unpacked the item, I got another surprise. Instead of a part-for-part replacement of the 128 GB SSD, I received a 256 GB SSD. It's the same size as the one I had bought, thinking that I would have to clone the Win-10 Pro partition and insert onto the larger drive. All I need to do now, though, is to swap the drive, verify that Windows works correctly, then install Kubuntu in a separate partition. That should be easy, right?? 

This morning we attended church in person instead of on line (which let us down two Sundays in a row, then last Sunday we had Becky's medical emergency). Naturally, it felt odd attending the service in person and sitting in the congregation (the choir's on hiatus for another week). Nevertheless, we appreciated the organist's music and her accompaniment of the hymns as we sang. I had a super dyslexic moment during the reading. I was reading along with everyone else, but at one point, for one entire line of the Psalm, what I read didn't come out as English words - or any other intelligible words - maybe glossolalia. It has never happened to me before, but I was quite startled. I had to stop speaking altogether, relax, then find the place in the reading and start again, which then came out as standard English. WOW!

After church, I bought two pumpkins from the church's Pumpkin Patch. One of them came home with us, but the second one went with us to Suzanne's house. She loves to decorate her home for the season, and since we have ready access to the Patch, It's been my pleasure to supply a pumpkin for her. Besides, she had made a "mess of beans and sausage", which we enjoyed, along with five hands of Mah Jongg. She won the first three hands, the Becky and I won the last two. 

First thing this morning I was working my wake-up puzzles, and when I got to the Daily Crossword, I decided to disable the touchpad on my laptop. I had done it routinely in the days before Kubuntu, but to be on the safe side, I checked how to do it in my new operating system. I went into Keyboard Settings, as shown in the file, and clicked on touchpad. There I disabled while writing, but the cursor was still active, even after I clicked Apply. So I unchecked the box that said Enable Touchpad, and that switched it off. When I got done with the crossword puzzle, I went back to the settings and reversed what I had done. After I clicked Apply, the touchpad was still DEAD! By trial and error I gound a way to use the keyboard to shut the settings page off, and then to restart the computer. (Big Mistake - tell you later). The touchpad was still dead. I tried to use a mouse, but sitting in my recliner, there's no way to do that with any accuracy to speak of. 

I called the Geek Squad and while I was waiting for them to answer, I decided to hang up and get online to make an appointment for an in-store visit. I got there before my appointed time, of course, and the tech at the counter listened to my woeful story, booted up the computer, and - you guessed it - the touchpad was working. 

After I had enabled the touchpad, I had restarted, not rebooted, so naturally the setting did not get reloaded, and naturally when the technician booted it up, it worked. Sometimes I feel so dumb!

Happy October Fools Day!

Yesterday I finished an entire month of perfect scores on the Microsoft Solitaire Daily Challenges. The score board is all GOLD!

Today, I cenebrated by purchasing a WiFi Dongle to replace the failing WiFi Adapter in my Lenovo computer. Some computer components aren't designed to endure 6-10 years of abuse, and that is one of them. Naturally, I made a mistake while installing it - I read the directions. "Install the software on the CD first," it said. The software would not install. There were two items to install, and the first one installed right away, but the second one was still trying to install 90 minutes later. I called the Geek Squad. Four hours later ( ! ) the dongle was working very well, indeed. The drivers are now in place and all is right with, urm, my computer room (Seomra Ríomhaireachta - SHOM-ra REE-var-ach-ta).

I now have two usable computers again on my desk: an HP EliteDesk (Kubuntu Linux), and a Lenovo (Windows-10 Home). Monday, the new drive for my refurbished HP should arrive, giving me Windows-10 Professional, and then I get to learn about dual-booting computers. I'll keep you posted, of course.