...the Elevated Record

Blog from the Hill

September

Happy Thomas GR Smith Day!

If he had lived, my dad would be One Hundred Twelve years old today.

As there was nothing on our calendar for today, That's just what we did. Well, not exactly all that we did. I got a wild hair up my nose and opened up the old, failed computer, and I extracted its hard drive. I did not remember taking the failed drive from it or installing the new, 2 Tera-byte hard drive (HDD) a few years ago. I remembered that I had done it, but I didn't remember doing it. Still, I knew just what I needed to do to remove the HDD Cage from the computer and the HDD from the cage then reinstall the empty cage, and I did it just as I must have done it once before. Now that I have the drive separate from the old computer, it can be up for grabs by anyone who wants it for parts, or it can be scrapped altogether.

Now that I have another HDD on hand and a rather large one at that, I decided I needed another External HDD Enclosure. I got onto Amazon and ordered the desired item. I suppose it will arrive Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Normally they tell me when to expect delivery, and normally I read that date, and normally I might recall the date. Whatever!

Happy September Last! 

First thing, this morning, Becky had her regular allergy shots, and when we returned home we read, on Facebook, that Suzanne had a very rough night. She awoke with the feeling that her bed was shaking so violently that it was scooting back and forth on the floor. It wasn't an earthquake, but her own body quaking from lack of blood sugar. When she was finally able to find her glucose meeter and BP cuff, she found that neither of them sensed anything. She had tanked. Becky called her and asked if there was anything we could do, like come up for a visit (I suggested that we could tell her some awful puns and raise her blood pressure), and she said she was going back to sleep, but would call us later. 

At 10:30, after Suzanne's return call, we drove to her house with a stop at the Chinese Restaurant, Golden Wok, to pick up some Egg Drop, and Wanton Soups. Shortly after our arrival, her brother, Brian, returned from his shopping trip. I helped to bring in the bags he had left in the trunk of the car, and then we sat out of the way while storage was arranged for the newly bought groceries. 

Of course I had to pay some close attention to my feline admirer, Wyatt, who has been, reportedly, acting out today. He certainly seemed out of sorts, not really wanting to cuddle at first, but yowling for some reason. After a while, I walked over to him as he stood on the dinette table, and he did cuddle a little. He stuck his nose up against my neck and sniffed, loudly, and I know from past experience that a little "love nip" would be the next thing on his mind. I backed away, just to be sure I didn't get nipped like the last time. He seemed to resent my backing away, likely not as much as I resent his little nibbles. I don't really trust him that much. Later in our visit, he did let me pick him us, and while he was on my lap, he did nip me a little in the neck, so I held him back and told him, "No neck biting!" He then turned around and bit my wrist a few times before jumping down in discust. He didn't hurt my wrist, but just wanted to show me that I had offended him. (Too bad). 

Anyway, Suzanne has recovered and is once more recording sufficient blood pressure and blood glucose levels, so we came back home.

Today was a whirlwind of activity, mostly for Becky during the day, but for me starting in the evening. 

First thing this morning, Becky met with our Primary Care Physician concerning her possible cardio-scare Sunday morning. He ran some tests and concluded that she is in no immediate threat, much the same as the ER Doctor said. Then he scheduled her for an Echo-Sonogram in December to further assess the structure of her heart as well as a nuclear stress test in January to determine the function of her heart. In other words, they're putting her through the wringer, and in the end she will more properly be diagnosed as surviving.

After lunch, Becky visited her dentist to have her temporary crown replaced with a more properly colored permanent one. Now it looks just right.

I'll admit I have been calling it by the wrong name. I had ordered a Dell OptiPlex, and that's what I assumed I had received. As the song says, "It ain't necessarily so!" It's a HP EliteDesk. That part doesn't matter to me, much. What mattered is that on the fourth day of ownership, the Solid State Drive (SSD) failed completely. They're sending me a new drive, again with Windows-10 Pro installed. But today, a little after 4 PM, I lit out for BestBuy to pick up two items that I had ordered online: a 1.5-foot HDMI cable for my new computer-to-monitor connection; and, a 240 GB SSD for the new (refurbished) computer. The one that failed was 120 GB, and I assume that's the size they will replace it with. The reason I bought the larger drive is so that I can have both Windows and Linux installed on it. 

When I got the new SSD home, of course, I had to install Linux on it (the only operating system I have that can be installed, at present) so I could use the replacement HP. It was a learning experience to get the computer to read the USB Drive that had the Linux ISO on it. Three hours later, I was finished and running a bare-bones Kubuntu Linux installation. I'll know how to do it next time.

I fired up my laptop, went to Amazon and was automatically signed in. The account didn't get shut down, after all. So that problem was solved by default. The next battle started when I received an email from TigerDirect, inquiring if I had received the computer. Their return email address said, NoReply! I guessed it was a rhetorical question, so I called their Service email address, told them that the computer had stopped working after three days. The guy hung up on me. It's just as well, because his accent was too strong for me to understand, and I'm usually pretty good with accents. I called back, got an agent who spoke more understandably, and he gave me the number of the refurbishing place in Canada. I called that number and spoke with a very soft-spoken woman (with a French-Canadian accent) and within 20 minutes and a promise that I could handle the task, I had the promise of a new "hard drive" in the mail, and I would, when I receive it, return the broken one to them.

(Sigh! or relief).

I got an email from BookBub which offered a book I wanted to get (for free), so I clicked on the Get It link to Amazon. I couldn't log in. I tried to reset my password, but circumstances unknown prevented that from happening. I called the Help line, and found that I couldn't adequately answer the verification questions I was asked. The man said that they might have to terminate my account. This was after having to reset nearly every password I use daily, knowing I would have to transfer them by hand to my other computer. I was frustrated, so I told the guy to shut it down, if he had to, and I would deal with it tomorrow.

This morning, as I was doing my morning puzzles, Becky called me from the bathroom. She was sitting on the bench in the shower, looking somewhat ashen. I helped her out of the shower onto the commode, and she she said her chest hurt, a pressing pain radiating into her head, I called 911, described the symptoms and followed his directions as he assured me the ambulance was on its way. The first vehicle up the hill was Fire/Rescue with 5 EMTs in it. They got her vital signs and collected information from us while we waited for the ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, they ran an EKG (which showed no abnormalities). They loaded her into the ambulance and transported her to Mission Hospital. By that time, the 4 baby aspirins I had given her while I was on the phone with 911 had taken effect and the pain had subsided. The ER Doctor said she was not in immediate danger, no indication of a heart-attack, and of course told her to call our Primary Care Physician and let him decide how to handle if going forward. 
Then, as a celebration, we had lunch at Suzanne's (Beef and Shrimp Fajitas) and played four hands of Mah Jongg. Becky showed that she was well by winning the first two hands. I won the third and Suzanne won the last one. 
On the way home from Suzanne's, my car alarmed showing that I needed some fuel. I had about 28 miles left in the tank, so I drove to Ingles in Weaverville and filled the tank. We took the scenic route through the town and then home. I monitored the fuel consumption readout on the way home, and it got up to 54 average MPG before we started the climb to the house. Once we got parked in our driveway, I took the attached photograph of the gauge, and thought I would share it. That was after about a mile of uphill climing, about half of it on the battery, the rest on the engine. Have I mentioned how much I like my hybrid toYoda?
 
20210926 GasMileage
 
The day started out pretty rough, but it evened out and now we're back to our normal, happy selves.

When I awoke at 8 AM, the outside temperature was about 46, according to the weather report on my phone. That meant it was likely about 50 here. At any rate, I decided that if I were to mow the lawn today it would be after the temperature reached 70, which happened about 1:30 PM. I mowed the front and both side yards, but when I entered the back yard, I noticed that running the mower over the grass made no difference. I did see some taller grass toward the rear of the yard, so I clipped them, then decided I had finished. Afterward I was moist, but not dripping, so I chose not to take a shower. It was more that I was quite tired after mowing, but for the first time in many years my feet weren't sore or cramping from following the mower around the yard. 

As I was sitting and watching television to rest up from my subtle exertion, an advertisement came on about wine, and how "Just Because" is reason enough to enjoy a glass. I took that as an omen and poured myself a good glass of it. It help to lift the tiredness and allowed me to feel relaxed. I might have napped a little afterward.

Before I went to bed in the wee hours of the morning, I spread our fleece blanket on the bed. We awoke to an outside temperature of 48 degrees and an inside temperature of 72-and-rising. The furnace was running. Awakening at about 7:30 AM, I decided it was a day to do little in the way of actual work, so instead I installed XAMPP in my computer so that I might be able to start learning Joomla!4, the latest and hopefully greatest itteration of my Content Management System of choice. I actually did get XAMPP running, once, but after loading Joomla!4 into a testsite folder, XAMPP would not start again. Well, DANG!

 

Happy Lunaversary! 

Becky and I went to Allergy Partners again, then celebrated another month of married happiness with an Avocado Melt - Avocado, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Cheese. Yummy!

While the instructions said I had to run the Setup routine before I could use my new computer, it rejected every password I put into it, thus failing to complete the process. Fortunately, it stopped trying to set itself up, and I've been setting it up as well as I can as I go along. I've placed numerous calls to their help line for assistance in setting up, but "the person you are calling is unavailable." I even sent them an email asking for assistance, and that email has gone unanswered, so far. So far, though, the computer is quite good, and I'll pretend I've gotten it set up correctly.

Wouldn't you know, somehow and at some time, the start of autumn changed from the 21st to the 22nd. Maybe the world is slowing down just to make me think I'm going faster? Nah, that couldn't be.

Becky and I got haircuts today. I was surprised that the barber actually trimmed my beard and mustache, as well. The last time I used that particular place, they wouldn't do the beard because of the Covid pandemic. I guess they've decided to do the job and sanitize their hands afterward. We were masked, of course, for the majority of the cutting, but not for the beard. That would have been a bit difficult.

From there, we went to lunch at Applebee's. We both got the Bourbon Street Chicken and Shrimp. It came with mashed potatoes and extra sizzle! We had ordered that they hold the hot spices, and they did just that. What was left was delicious. The shrimp were riding on the chicken, which was nestled on a bed of sauteed onions and mushrooms, while the potatoes stood alone.

When we got home, UPS came to the door with my new Refurbished computer. It came with a keyboard, mouse and external power supply. I didn't really need the keyboard or mouse (I have extras), but they're very nice, so I'm using them. I had to go to the store to buy an adapter for the HDMI cord, because the computer came with a DataPort, now a usual HDMI one. Then I couldn't find the HDMI cable I had used on the now defunct HP, so I thieved one from the BluRay player. I'll go get a new one before we miss it, I'm sure. Setting the computer up has me baffled. It wanted me to sign in by giving my email address and my MS password. They refused to accept the password. I couldn't get through to the help line that came with the computer, so I shut it down for a while. When I fired it up after supper, it asked me for my phone number, and when I typed it in, it said it was invalid. So all y'all been callin' me on a busted line, you know.

But now I'm using the new computer and enjoying it. My next step will be to attempt an installation of Kubuntu alongside the Windows-10 Pro. Woosh me luck!

Happy First Day of Autumn! 

Yes, I know everyone is now saying the 22nd is the first day of Autumn, but Autumn starts on the 21st, and this is a day, so 'nough said! 

Becky and I started the day with a trip to the Allergy Partners for her twice-a-week "fix", then returned home via Starbucks. It was raining pretty much all the way there and back, but more of a nuisance drizzle than actual rain. We understand the rain that will fall tomorrow will be more substantial, but I'll wait to pass judgement on it until it gets here. 

In the early afternoon, I went shopping. I bought a sliced ham and some garlic/dill hummus at Aldi's, several boxes of tissues at Walgreens Drugs, then came home and hade ham sandwiches (open face, because we only had three slices of bread in the house, not counting the moldy ones that are still around, but lying in a shallow trash can awaiting final disposal). I slathered some of the hummus on my slice-and-a-half of bread and used Mayo on Becky's. Like Eeyore would say, Is isn't much of a lunch, but it's all we had. Besides it was already 2:30, so it held us over nicely. 

I had installed CCleaner (Computer Cleaner) Pro into Becky's computer because it was so slow it couldn't be used. After removing 64,429 trackers and 1,8xx junk files from her computer, updating her drivers and fixing the registry, she has a well-oiled machine once more. Then I realized that CCleaner has a deal where one can use it on up to three computers. Since we have two and are getting a third (refurbished) Windows computer, I emailed and asked how I could upgrade. They refunded the purchase price and gave me a tremendously discounted good deal on the 3-fer, so we're set!

I awoke at 5:00 AM when I rolled over on my left arm and it hurt. I tried to go back to sleep, but since I have a heart condition, my mind was consumed with the possibility that I might have to use a nitro glycerin sublingual that the cardiologist had prescribed. I didn't feel any gross discomfort in my chest, so I didn't use the drug, but I didn't go back to sleep, either. I finally got up at 7:00 AM to take the trash out to the street. After my morning cup of coffee, the discomfort in my arm faded. It then felt like a muscle soreness the day after a workout. I called the cardiologist at 8:00 AM, and spoke with his nurse. She said it didn't sound heart-related, but she would present my concerns to the doctor and call me back with his findings. Sometime after 5:00 PM, the doctor called me back to clarify his understanding of my morning awkening and assured me it didn't sound like my heart had caused it. He said I should monitor it, and if it happened again I should call him back and he would bring me in for a stress test. My last stress test was three years ago, so it might be a good thing, I think.

Suzanne called this morning to report that she was in depression that was likely brought on by a change in her medications. Naturally, we drove up to give her some morale support and play Mah Jongg. Yeah, it was an errand of mercy, and it really did cheer her up. She won the first three of the five hands we played. Becky won the fourth and I won the fifth. That was fun. While we were there, I loaded CCleaner into her computer and cleaned up the drive and the registry, and even updated 28 of the drivers in the computer. The result was that her computer now runs faster than when it was born - not nearly as disappointing as when she bought it a year ago, I hope. 

 

Sunday morning, and my throat is a bit sore, so we thought we would stay home from church. Our church is still streaming the services on YouTube for those opting to stay home to protect themselves and others from whatever symptoms or disease we might be carrying. Whereas last week we got only a dozen or so minutes of the service before the stream froze, this week we got video but no audio. We switched the TV off after 15 minutes and drove up to Suzanne's for some Mah Jongg and lunch. When we returned in mid-afternoon, I looked up the church service on my computer and found that the audio came on after 30 minutes of mute streaming, just in time for the last two sentences of the Gospel. I hope they get the staff trained on how to operate the system, or if it is YouTube's shortcomings it can be straightened out before too many other disappointing Sundays.

I got a late start today having slept in until almost 8:30 AM. Yeah, I know it's slothful, but it's also Saturday, so I took liberties. As we were getting ready to think of having our "breakfast" at almost noon, Suzanne called with a request. She needed to get her pain medications from the pharmacy and had no way to do it. We ate a hurried brunch. It was too hurried because Becky had some intestinal distress from it. I left her here and went on the errand of mercy alone. Suzanne had thought we would both come and, as she usually does, prepared for a longer visit than I was willing to have when Becky was at home not feeling well. She said that we should come back tomorrow after church and have some of the Blueberry Crumble that she had just put into the oven for us to have today. She sent me off with a travel mug of Dark Chocolate Toffee Coffee. 

This evening, after talking of the phone with Melinda, we realized that it was 7 PM and we hadn't considered supper yet. We drove to Ingles and got a roast chicken dinner take-out supper, then came back home and enjoyed it.

I finally got Wednesday's Laundry finished today. Wednesday, I had just forgotten to do it when we returned home from the chiropractor. Thursday we were gone in the morning, then gone again right after lunch. When we returned from our really long drive to the eye doctor, I wasn't thinking of anything but resting/napping/eating supper. This morning I had no excuses, so I reluctantly did the deed. 

This evening I got a series of photos from my sister-in-law, Melinda. She had noticed what she thought were eyes looking out from her camper which sits beside her front porch. I downloaded the photos, enhanced them, and saw what she was talking about. To me, though, they appear to be headlights from passing cars on the road in front of her house. I based that opinion on the fact that the right hand "eye" in two of the photos appears ON the window frame, not beside it, as it does in the third. The road is about a city block distant from the house (or so - I'm no judge of distance) and lined with trees, but there are places where the house can be seen from the road and at those places, headlights could show through as well. I cut/pasted the four photos onto one page and emailed it to her, her son, her brother, and her nephew so that they can evaluate the photos and render their own opinion to us. I don't think there's anything in the camper.

Becky got her shots this morning. I realize I've been typing that same sentence twice a week for a long time, now. It seems like years! After we got home, I went to the store to buy some groceries. We have been using Amy's gluten-free frozen meals quite a bit because they're small, handy, and for the most part delicious. We found out, by trial and error, which ones are too spicy hot for Becky's palate and have eliminated them from the field of choices. Recently we eliminated those meals with pasta in them and further thinned the choice of meals. Apparently many other people have started buying the same five meals that we will still use, which leaves all the hot and spicy ones and the pasta ones on the shelves, along with the one with Black-Eyed Peas, which I hadn't been buying because of my lack of fondness for the main ingredient. Today, though, that was the only option on the shelf, so I bought them. I also found other items that will work quite well, and so far the Boomerang Garlic Butter Shrimp is a winner. 

As we were finishing our lunch (Shepherd's Pie), I received a call from our eye doctor's office. My new glasses were in and I could come in for fitting and delivery. We set up an appointment time of 2:30. At 1:50 we left the house, knowing it took less than half an hour to drive to their office. An hour and a half later we arrived in the office, having called and announced our slow progress. There had been an accident on I-26 which had shut down the eastbound lanes. Naturally, we had to pass that portion of the highway. ANYWAY, we got there, I got my new glasses and found they are likely the finest correction my eyes have ever had.

Becky and I went to the chiropractor this morning and after a great adjustment, we came home feeling much better. This evening my neck has remembered its morning ache, though. My lower back, thankfully, has not. 

I started to wonder whether it might be worthwhile to rebuild the old HP computer that has failed, using components more suited to Kubuntu. I should have to consult with some of the more engineering-oriented members of the Linux Users Group to see just what those components might be and where I might be able to find them. I don't imagine it would be inexpensive to do it, but in the end, I would have a newer computer if not completely new.

Becky had her shots this morning; however, the new, stronger dose was not yet in store, so it may be a week or two before she starts getting the upgrade shots. The rest of the day was pretty relaxing. 

At 6:00 PM, I had a Zoom meeting with the Men of the Church. It was the briefest MOC meeting we've ever had because, A) we didn't have drinks to start it, and B) we didn't have dinner. It was just a business meeting, although one of the "attendees" did have a glass of beer with him. I was pleased to see that my friend, Don, was there for the meeting. In May of 2020, he had gone into the hospital for a double lung transplant which saved his life. He was quarantined and aside from his apartment and the hospital, he went nowhere. In June he came down with Covid-19 and nearly lost his life. The hospital saved his life for the second time. Now he's home and still quarantined. When he went into the hospital he weighed 212 lbs, now he says he weighs 157. He's always eager to say that, even though he's a shadow of his former form, he's living. 

Friday the 13th came on a Monday this month. 

First thing this morning Becky drove to the dentist to get her temporary incisor replaced, or so we thought. Instead, they extracted the temp, made impressions, and put in another temp. She will return in two weeks to have the "permanent" one installed. Hopefully, that one won't chip so easily. After she got home, we went to Applebee's for lunch. When we got done eating, we went to World Market to buy some syrups to sweeten her coffee (I drink mine black, by order of my physician). Once home again, she struck out again to see the Allergist for her annual "Howsitgoin". Turns out everything's going well, so he's upping the potency of her injections to increase her immunity.

I, on the other hand, got overexcited watching a movie and had a slightly elevated temperature, just over 99 degrees. My more usual body temperature is around 97-point-something. I took some Tylenol, and within minutes it had dropped to 98.5 and I felt more normal.

Since today really is Saturday, I went out to mow the lawn, but first I had to drive to the store to pick up a couple of things that I didn't get the last time. In addition, I got a gallon of gasoline for the mower, otherwise, I would have mowed less than 1/3 of the front yard before using everything in the tank that was left from the last mowing. When a full tank of fuel, then, I made the rounds, as it were. After only 90 minutes of mowing, I was done. I don't know if I'm getting stronger or what, but it used to take over two hours to mow both the front and back, and it always before had involved a 15-minute water break. What I think made the difference was that today the temperature hadn't even reached 70 degrees before I had finished.

Becky and I got our Flu Shots today, also. Our arms are sore, of course, and I've been sitting here for 20 minutes lamenting the fact that I'm feeling a little under the weather. Well, DUH! I'll sleep with Tylenol, tonight, and be right as rain upon awakening.

All Day I had thought it was Saturday. I was discombobulated to discover at 9 PM that it was only Friday. 

Anyway, I slept until 8 AM, got up, decided not to mow the lawn, and went to the computer. Last night I had started to create a Recovery Flash Drive. When the process started, it had to gather all the files to add to the mix, and after four hours, it said it was ready to go and asked me to insert the flash drive and sent it on its way. That was at 10 PM. I went to get ready for bed at half-past midnight, leaving the computer running. This morning, then, I came to the computer and found that the Recovery Flash Drive (RFD, but not the Mayberry kind) was ready for use. I used that excuse to do my morning mental exercises, and for the first time this month, I was unable to win the fifth game. All was not lost, though, for this evening I tried it again (for the sixth time) and won. For the last 10 days, now, I have won all five challenges. (I'm an excellent solitaire player, slow at the computer!).

This morning, Becky visited the Allergy Partners again, and on the way home, we stopped by Starbucks for our Consolation Cuppa. I went to the computer to start my morning games and got a text from Jim Farmer, my computer Guru friend in North Charleston. He had offered to troubleshoot my computer to see what was giving me RunDLL pop-up errors. He was going to be delayed until he got back from the store, so I had time to do today's games - and yesterday's games, which I had deferred for some reason. At 11:30, then, the troubleshooting began. For some reason, TeamViewer, the app we were using so he could control my computer remotely, would not transmit my voice, though my WebCam's microphone was working well. 

It was after 4:00 PM when he finally stopped grooming my computer and we said our goodbyes. I still get the RunDLL pop-ups, but I'm sure the computer is running much more freely than it did before. It had a lot of "Bloat-ware" that didn't need to be there and is not there any longer. In addition, there were about 255 Registry errors that were corrected. 

Then Becky and I went to the bank, cashed the check, and went out to "breakfast!"

Suzanne invited us up for brunch, and though I needed to go to the bank to cash or deposit a check as well as to the store to replenish our food supply, we opted to accept her invitation. Besides, she needed us to pick up something at the grocery store. We spent about four and a half hours, eating, playing Mah Jongg, and just chatting. When we left, it was too late to go to the bank or grocery shopping, so we came home. I tried to get online to check a few things, but the internet connection was down. I rebooted the modem and router, which brought it back to life, but it took so long to do it that we didn't have time to check anything before we left for choir practice. When we got to the church, there were no other cars in the parking lot. We stayed until time for practice to start, then we left to return home. It was only when we got home that I had a chance to check my email. Sure enough, there was one from our Director of Music saying that choir practice will be on Sunday mornings only until further notice. Covid is flaring in Asheville again and church and choir members are being infected.

We had a busy day, today, at least as compared to yesterday. We had appointments with our Eyecare Doctor in Hendersonville. The first thing she said to me was, "Wow, you've lost weight." That just goes to show how long its been since she saw me, I guess. I'm pretty sure we've been there every other year. Anyway, I had one of the best visits I've had in her office, and I believe I will get the best prescription of all time for my lenses. My macular degeneration is progressing slowly, and doesn't show any signs of become a problem in my lifetime, and the largest floater in my right eye (the better of the two) is larger than I remember seeing it on the retinal scans of previous visits. Still, it isn't causing any real trouble at the time, and hasn't been since a year after it formed. My left (dominant) eye has increased astigmatism this year, so I'm getting new glasses in about 3 weeks.

Becky also had a good checkup and there wasn't enough change in her eyes to require new lenses, so we got off light this time, not withstanding that the cost of eyewear, like everything else, is skyrocketing. Do you think we'll get a COLA because of it? Fat chance!

Afterward, we enjoyed a good lunch at Applebee's and brought half of it home, as usual. We didn't stay home long, just to drop off the leftovers and head out to Becky's allergy shots. On the way home we got the car washed to get rid of some of the dust and accumulated residue from the rainstorms.

Happy Labor Day! 

I have supposed that it is not proper to labor on Labor Day, so I shall not belabor the point. TTYT.

It was Fr. Mike's first time Officiating and Preaching unaccompanied by "adult supervision." With that in mind, I was assigned to read the lessons and lead the Psalm. Not that I've never done that before, but wouldn't you know it, there was a page-turn that wouldn't. The Epistle was just winding up to a crescendo when I turned the page and saw only the Prayers of the People. I turned the page back and found the page I had just read. I tried to get the pages separated, and it took about fifteen minutes (three seconds). When I finally got them separated and turned only one of them, I said, "I knew there was another page there, somewhere." There were a few chuckles, and then I concluded the reading, and no harm done.

Then Fr. Mike read the gospel where Jesus stuck his fingers into a deaf man's ears and said, "Be Opened," or words to that effect. After that reading, he went to the pulpit to preach and said, "I like to call this lesson 'The Sanctification of the Wet Willie.'"

Becky and I drove to Suzanne's for lunch and Mah Jongg. We had Tuna Melts and played four hands of MJ. I won the first, Becky won the second, Suzanne won the third, and toward the end of the fourth hand, we were each one tile from winning. Suzanne wanted to win two in a row, of course, but someone discarded the one tile that would complete my rack of tiles, and I won. (Hooray for my side!).

Jim Farmer, a friend of mine from Charleston SC, the one who dropped out of grade school at the age of 16, knows more about computers than most of the people I know. When I first got onto a Cable Modem, and the speeds were still the same as they were on a dial-up connection, the Comcast technician couldn't fix it. Jim sent me a very small module, said to upload it to my computer, which I did, and suddenly my speeds were "blistering" (by comparison to dial-up, that is). Anyway, he saw that I was having trouble with my Lenovo through my posts to facebook, and he has been "bothering" me all day, offering to help me fix the RunDLL error that has been popping up many times during a computing session. Since I don't live at my computer all the time (contrary to appearances, some days), It's been a disjointed conversation. In the last message I got from him, he asked me what do I use for Video-Conversations. I don't use FaceTime or Skype, and I suppose I could use Zoom or some other meeting thing, but I don't usually have video conversations. I've since noticed Meet on Gmail's Webmail page, and I told him I thought that would work. We'll see what comes of this when something actually happens.

Lenovo is not on my list of good computers anymore. They don't work the same way other computers do, in that their own procedure for booting up into Recovery Mode doesn't even work. All it did was reboot my computer into its normal mode. I was trying to boot from a USB stick, once, and couldn't get it to recognize the USB as a boot device even though I had a bootable Installation file on the stick. I had to search for a way to boot from USB, whereas all the other computers I've used are very straight forward in that regard.

We awoke to 59-degree weather and survived the "heat of the day" (somewhere near 80). We had nothing to do all day, and we did it quite nicely, I'd say. Well, that isn't true, exactly. 

I got online to see if my credit card had been charged for a purchase I made on August 27th, and sure enough, it had. Since I still did not have the use of the software I had purchased, I called the bank to see if I could refute the charge. "No," they said, "you'll have to call the vendor and work it out with them." The problem was that Lenovo, the manufacturer of my computer and the seller of the software I had bought, had no customer service links or phone numbers posted on their website. I searched the Internet trying to find such a means of accessing them and found five phone numbers. Two of them gave me an option to be transferred to other numbers which tried to sell me things. Two of them were out of service. One of them could not be reached "as dialed." I searched the Internet again and found another phone number which put me in touch with an agent in India who was most willing to cancel the sale and refund my money but wanted to know why. When I told him that the sale was contingent on me registering my computer, and each time I tried it was rejected because the serial number was "wrong". He offered to register my computer if I would give him my serial number. I gave it to him and he sent an email to the Sales Department to register my computer manually and send the software. He said they would notify me when the registration went through so I could then retrieve, install, and use the software. 

All that, and I didn't even yell at the agent! Not even once! (What a good boy am I!)

Today was Shots Day for Becky again. After that, we spent the rest of the day watching past episodes of Homestead Rescue, a new episode of the Samantha Bee Show where she suggested she should be the new Jeopardy Host because, well, they tried everyone else. We also watched the latest podcast of Friendship Onion, where Dominique Monaghan and Billy Boyd (hobbits Merry and Pippin) interviewed Sean Astin (hobbit Sam) - part 1 of 2. It was a long day, for almost every time we started to watch something we would get a phone call, or so it seemed.

Happy September Fools Day! 

I went shopping for a couple of hours this afternoon, and in the evening we attended Choir Practice at the church. It sounds, on the surface, like a dull day, but there's more.

After the traffic on Future I-26 became a crawl at 2 MPH, my Garmin told me there was an accident reported ahead and routed me around it. Then, on the way home, I let out the sound of a Star Trek communicator, and the Garmin told me to give it a command. I had forgotten that it was paired with my cell phone, and I hadn't known that the communicator sound would activate its Command-Line.