Jeran’s All Growed Up & Diane’s New Phone

I’m a couple of days behind reporting that Jeran has finally attained his 18th birthday and has ushered in the time when all of my Daughter’s children are grown up. His birthday was on the 11th in case you want to send him money, or something.

He evolved from this …… to this …… in the blink of an eye.

He will graduate from High School in June and somehow wrangled an acceptance letter from Corban University in Salem, Oregon. Since he’s currently still living at home the reality of that aspect of his life has yet to be realized so it’s business as usual for now. Too soon, however, he will embark on that journey and we’re all excited to find out where it takes him. His initial goal is to be ordained and work as a Youth Pastor. Somewhere.

In addition to Jeran’s remarkable feet of turning 18, so soon after Lydia turned 19, we’ve had some excitement here at home.

Most of it revolves around Diane’s washing machine. After 25 years it finally bit the dust. It entered a state of nirvana where it simultaneously pumped water from the tub and filled it with fresh water. We might not have noticed except the pumping was a bit slower than the filling resulting in a situation where the water level went halfway up the door. It’s a front-loader so that’s not a good thing. The pressure was too much for the water and the load of jeans it was washing. When I got to it to investigate the “little bit of water” Diane noticed coming from under the washer, the bottom of the door, which doesn’t lock, by the way, was sprung out and water was doing a Niagara thing onto the floor. Water was everywhere. I was able to push the door in and stem the tide, but figured that wasn’t a viable solution for the long-term. Eventually it occurred to me that I should turn the water off, which I did. This allowed the pump to empty the tub and spin the jeans to the point where the dryer would accept them for the finish.

We went to our local Sears store and purchased a new set which will be delivered tomorrow.

In preparation for the delivery, we’ve been carving a path from the lower patio door to the laundry room to make the delivery easier. I’m going to take the old W&D out, leaving the laundry room empty, so I can cover the bare studs that Diane’s been looking at for the past 11 years. She deemed it was time to “make them pretty.” So, I will do my best. Toward that end, I took a trip to the local lumber yard and purchased some bead board. I will also build a drop down folding table. Since there isn’t one there now (never has been) I need to work out the dynamics of how she’ll be able to use the toilet when the folding table is down. It’s going to be tricky because the table will cover it completely. I suppose it I had the table high enough, and she used it while folded in half, it would work, but doubt that she’d be happy about that. I’ll think of something and take a picture for your approval.

Just a little while ago a couple of young ladies from a company called “Enjoy“, a pretty nifty delivery service, visited to deliver Diane’s new iPhone 8 Plus. It’s a red one. I ordered it just before 2 pm this afternoon and it was delivered by 3:30 or so. Amazing.

Anyway, the ladies sat Diane down, had her unwrap her new phone, and proceeded to help her through the process of making her new phone look a lot like her old iPhone 5S. We all had a nice visit and it was really nice to have an expert on hand to take care of things correctly.

Now it’s time to stop and eat something.

Broken Bones, Birthday’s, TV, and A Trip

It’s been a week since my last post so you’d think I’d have a lot to say. Like normal, however, I’m at a loss for words as I begin this. Again, like normal, however, somewhere during the course of sitting here I’ll find that I have more to say than is really interesting to most normal people.

8th – served at senior center with Jean & Sue while Diane went to physical therapy and her hand doctor. Then we had dinner with Diane’s Mom, Jean, who turned 90 this day. Diane got a cake for the occasion. Mom’s kindofa humbugger about such things and didn’t think it was a big deal like everyone else.

Me serving old people.

9th – Golfed with the Peal brothers. Did a terrible job, but had fun doing it. Took Panzee to see Dr. Freese in the pm for a checkup ($400). She’s doing just fine, all things considered. Liver functions are a little more elevated, but we expected that.

10th – Missed MELCA coffee with the guys because I had an appointment with a VA ENT specialist. Interesting that, even though I was referred in an effort to resolve an illusive issue, the doctors seem to fail to see the point about me visiting with them because I don’t have symptoms they can see. Consequently, I generally get a quick once over, a figurative blessing, and instruction to go forth and carry on. Interesting.

11th – Nothing happened this day so I chose to uninstall my heart monitor a day early and package it up for return to the vendor. Hopefully the sore spots obtained from those stick on receptacles will heal up quickly. They itch like crazy. I think I’m allergic to the conductive jelly they use.

Jack and Wynette returned ‘home’ for a short stay because somewhere in Idaho Wynette tumbled and broke her right arm just below the shoulder socket. She was in a lot of pain and the only short-term solution was to take pain meds. Docs in the ER said they couldn’t cast it so they put her in a loose sling. The son of a friend of Jack’s, who knew someone who knew an orthopedic doctor confirmed the need for the arm to hang loosely. Second opinions are always good. Both Jack and Wy slept on the recliner couch which works well for them both. Normally only Jack sleeps there, but Wy can’t lay down with the arm. Jack is taking good care of her. Their insurance company wants them back in AZ so a orthopedist in their plan can follow her from start to stop. The appointment is next Monday, August 21st. So, the break will be 10-days old by the time she sees a doctor.

Some more news from Idaho revealed that Jim’s wife, Donna, broke her foot in June. So, Diane broke her wrist in May, Donna a foot in June, and Wynette an arm in August. Somehow July was missed and were kind of concerned about our other sister-in-law, Ruth, in Connecticut. All the breaks just got worse over time so she must be in for a doozy. We hope not, of course, but the odds are not looking good for her.

12th – I was supposed to send the monitor back today but Diane turned it in yesterday. So, I visited Lydia’s Envoy and made another attempt to resurrect it from the semi-dead. I was moderately successful. It still has no power, but more than it did before. Next up is to replace the catalytic converter.

13th – Church as usual. Mom didn’t want to go for the second Sunday in a row so everyone who did attend ate her cake that Diane got.

14th – Packed up and headed out to Armitage County Park in Eugene right on time about 3 pm. We were supposed to leave at noon, but you know how plans can change. This will be the first trip we’ve taken with a car in tow. Had to use the tow dolly. Worked great. Here we are, stopped in front of Diane’s Mom’s house.

I’m happy to report that the Toyota followed us all the way to the park without falling off even one time. We found the park and our spot before dark. Everything hooked up and working great. They have an off-leash area for dogs so we took them to see what happened. There were other dogs there, but they were of no interest to Ziva who was more enthralled with smelling where all the dogs before her may have stepped, sniffed, peed, and/or pooped. She was in heaven. Ozzie, not so much. He was in more of a mood to be held and cuddled, so Diane complied.

15th – Ziva didn’t get the memo and got me up at 0532, like normal. So, I took her and Ozzie (who begged to come along, too) outside into the freezing cold morning. Diane said it was about 50, but it felt like 9, or so. Very chilly. Then I hunkered down on the sofa for another couple of hours. Kinda like being at home. It was OK. Later in the day Diane drove off to get some essential items at WalMart* which was only 7 minutes away in Eugene. One of the essential items was a small can of propane for the BBQ because I totally forgot to bring one of the two very large spare propane bottles we somehow acquired. From where is a mystery. Once she returned with the propane, and a couple other bags of ‘things’, I fired up the BBQ and cooked the steak we brought for that purpose. Diane made a salad, reheated fresh beans, and made some fake mashed potatoes. It was a wonderful meal in part, I think, because the meat was done nicely. Tasted great.

While Diane was busy shopping, and aggravating her injured, but reportedly healed left wrist, I fiddled around with the Dish satellite system and the RV’s AV features to the point where absolutely nothing worked at all. It was a bit frustrating, to say the least, but I persevered and found a solution by removing everything from the little tiny cabinet that houses everything, then stuffed the satellite things in there and hooked them up. It worked just fine.

Perhaps some of you remember my first foray into that little cabinet. It was kinda like that all over again.

What we don’t have is a connection to the surround system of speakers that live in our ceiling, but they quite working the first time I stuck my arm in that cabinet. The fact that they still don’t work isn’t an issue right now. I’ll figure that out at a later date when it may become important. I can’t get the radio to work, either. Perhaps I should have just left all that stuff alone when it was working. But, I just can’t seem to keep my hands off of stuff that has wires attached. It’s a ‘thing’.

Now it’s time to relax some more, after I share some photos with you …

While getting things ready to roll with the RV, Brooklyn and Kaiah from next door appeared with Alice in a car seat on a hand truck. She looked pretty comfortable. None of the straps were tight so she could have escaped any old time.

I took this photo the other day thinking that Breezie was laying on a bunch of sharp rocks. Well, it was just a trick of hers. I looked at it again after she got up and saw that there were no rocks where she was laying. Apparently she pushed them all out of the way before laying down. Tricky cat.

Finally, these two Transformers landed in our yard a week or so ago and have just been staring at each other since landing. I keep waiting for one of them to make a move but, so far, neither one has flinched. I’ve seen kids from the neighborhood playing on and around them, and no one has been hurt, but it’s just a matter of time. One day soon they will rise up and destroy all the ground around them. I’d like to be there for that.

By the way, the weather in Eugene is magnificent.

Appliances That Talk To You

Today I’m going to get excited about techie stuff. I’m doing that because I love inanimate ‘things’ that are capable of sending emails. Like our smoke alarms, for instance. Yes, they talk to me on a regular basis.

We have three of them in the house and they are all part of a Nest network that includes an internet connected thermostat, and a camera.

The smoke alarm that’s in charge, the one in the basement, I think, sends an email once a month to alert me that it’s going to test the system and to not be alarmed. It’s only a test. But, the will be noise. A few minutes later each of the three alarms are activated, one after another, with a lower volume than normal.

The thermostat doesn’t talk but it allows me to change settings from anywhere in the world. I’ve been known to fiddle with the temperature when one of the kids are house sitting for us during one of our infrequent absences from the premises. Keeps them on their toes.

My newest addition to my smart appliances is my CPAP. Yesterday morning, much to Diane’s delight, I had a 0730 appointment at the VA Medical Center in Portland for them to check my CPAP. It was routine visit at the end of which the tech gave me a new machine. I’ve had the old one for well over 10 years but it still works so she let me keep it as a spare should the new one fail. That was good because now I can just leave the old one in the trailer and not worry about having to move it from the the house. Moving it isn’t a big deal unless I forget to also move the power supply. Which I’ve done. More than once. Let me tell you – that isn’t a good thing to do if you’re trying to impress your spouse about how hard you’re working to ensure her vacation is going to be stress free, and quiet.

Now, the problem with not taking the new CPAP wherever we go is that by using the old unit I won’t get credit for using the new one and it sends me an email, every day, to tell me how great I’m doing. This thing even has an Airplane Mode so you can use it on an airplane. I have to admit that I would have never been tempted to do that.

The thing about having the Airplane Mode is that the unit automatically connects to the internet. All by itself. I find that interesting because our internet at home requires a password, but it connects anyway. So, I’m thinking that the NSA may have something to do with the people who own the company so they can keep tabs on me. The tech told me that the unit only transmits via internet, but it cannot receive. She told me that when I voice a concern that someone random hacker could get to my CPAP and suffocate me. I think she was truthful, but you never know.

I think that’s enough of that.

Today has been another good day because it’s almost supper time and I’m still wearing my pajamas. The reason I’ve been allowed to remained dressed in this manner is because I elected to (finally) do our taxes. I took it as far as I could but can’t finish until I get a question answered by one of the financial institutions with which we do business.

Now I’m going to get engaged with March Madness and watch basketball games.

Jerrie

 

Wondering about Stuff, Quilts, and a BLT

This morning as I lay trapped by a cat on our couch, I got to wondering. Not about anything specific, but about things in general. I find that life is much less stressful if I generalize everything and don’t dwell on specifics. Specifics require concentration and knowledge about actual “stuff”. It’s much easier to just make up things … for instance …

I was released from the mother ship just a few days ago and when I got home I couldn’t wait to get to my computer to tell everyone about that incredible experience. It was really awesome. But, as soon as I touched my computer things started going haywire in the electronic world and finally ended in the demise of my treasured Apple iMac computer. I fiddled with it for a couple of days before giving up and seeking the help of the Best Buy Geek Squad. I was so distraught (ask Diane) that I took the old iMac to the store without first making an appointment, like Apple Folks do at the Apple Store, but they took it in hand with the promise that they would extract all the data they could find and export it to the 1TB drive I provided. Knowing, deep down in my heart, that I’d never see the old iMac run properly again, I purchased a new one to take home. Like all Apple products, it wasn’t cheap, but it’s really nice and I’m used to it. So there.

Anyway, once home I extracted the new iMac from its box, found the new keyboard and mouse, got new batteries for both and proceeded to get it all set up. The first problem I encountered was with the keyboard. It’s wireless, but there’s no place to put the batteries. As a matter of fact, the HDD is about half as thick as a AA battery and just a little thinner than a AAA battery. Discovering this prompted me to turn the mouse upside down, which I did, and noticed right away that there isn’t a battery cover on it, either. A mystery, but quickly solved when I noticed the Lightening port which indicated I was dealing with a futuristic mouse like the ones the aliens use. A more thorough investigation of the keyboard revealed the same port on it. That would, I surmised,explain the presence of the brand new lightening cable that was packaged with the keyboard and mouse.

Setting those two items in front of the new iMac I turned on the power, trusting that the keyboard and mouse were truly already paid like the instructions said. They were and things worked just great. All that’s missing is all the data I had on the old iMac. It’s gone into the ozone, headed for a fiery demise on a journey to nowhere. Sad. I had 42,000+ photos on that computer, as well as about a ton of documents, that I’ll never see again. Thankfully, I uploaded all the photos to my iCloud server a couple of weeks ago, but just hadn’t made it to uploading the documents. I know, however, that those documents are lurking around here somewhere on a wayward thumb drive, or on the My Cloud drive I used to use for backing up the old iMac. Regarding the latter … it quit backing up recently and apparently convinced this 4TB drive that there wasn’t anything on it. I know that’s a lie but I can’t yet prove it because of login issues. Yes, I’m having those. Something about not knowing the password. That information, of course, was on the old iMac.

Now I’m sitting at this new computer that’s really, really fast … mainly because there’s really nothing on it. Yet. I do have it hooked to my iCloud, wherever that is, and you’ll all be happy to know I can see all those photos. They are safe. The really big item I’m missing is the spreadsheet I made using Excel that provides all the details I need to be debt free in three years. It took a while to make it because it has a bunch of formulas in it that I’ve added over time. If I can’t recreate this thing then I’ll never get out of debt.

I was going somewhere more interesting at the start of this but it’s gone, now. So, I’ll stay with the computer for a while.

Diane took me to Portland yesterday to give up the old iMac for the work described, and on the way home we were stranded on Highway 30 for a couple of hours to accommodate the actions of an idiot driver who thought it would be OK to pass a bunch of people in the center median – a big no-no. When trying to regain the lane he apparently hit a van and caused it to flip over. For those of you familiar with Highway 30 this happened near the weigh station. We learned today that no one was injured in the accident except for the hundreds and hundreds of motorists trapped in the requisite traffic jam going both ways for miles. Nifty. Thankfully, both Diane and I are retired, and it was a bright sunny day, so we just relaxed and enjoyed the view, one of which was a flock of geese that landed in the overflow lakes from the Willamette Slough. We watched them paddling north, our direction, and we couldn’t keep up. It was OK. We finally made it through and made it home. The dogs were glad, but they’re glad to see us when we come back after a 3 minute walk to get the mail. It’s like they thought we’d be gone forever.

This morning the Geek Guys called to report that they were unable to extract any data from the iMac because it looked like it had recently been restored. I’m pretty sure that’s something I did while fiddling around trying to figure it out on my own. That’s what I get for thinking I know stuff, ya know?

After absorbing this information we made another trip to Portland to retrieve the failed unit and get the $80 refund for the fee charged to transfer data to the new HDD I mentioned earlier. That drive, by the way, is really tiny and it hardly weighs anything. But, it’s got enough room to make continuous back ups on this new iMac. It’s amazing.

Going back to last week, there’s more fun stuff that happened. The 37th Annual Quilt Show was hosted at Bethany by the WELCA ladies. It’s quite an event and this year was the best in many years. Here’s what our humble little church looked like for last Friday and Saturday …

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These photos were taken before the doors opened to the hoards waiting for access. Sadly, I wasn’t around to get photos of those folks. I think I was home sleeping. No! I was home trying to get that iMac to work. That’s it!

This is Angela and Diane (my 1st wife) working hard to wrap things up so the drawing for the quilt winner could commence.

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To end, here’s the BLT Diane made me for lunch yesterday. It was awesome.

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Now I must quit because my eyes burn. A lot. I need eye dropsThe font size on the new iMac gets way smaller than the old one. Really, really tiny. I like it that way so I can get lots and lots of open windows in view.

Tile Tracker

For Christmas I bought us these Tile Tracker gizmos because we (me, mainly) are always looking for our phones or car keys. The Tile seemed like a good option to try defeating this recurrent search routine.

Whats really neat about them is that using the phone you can find the Tile that’s on your key chain. Conversely, you can use the Tile on your key chain to find your phone.

Sounds like a great idea, right? Sadly, there are no instructions on how to find either the phone or the keys if you can’t find either one. Logic says just use the house phone to dial-up the cell phone, like we used to do. But, when you have the Tile, that’s not allowed. It’s against the rules.

Now I must wait until one or the other reappears before I can be a fully functional human again.

My stupid iPhone made me do it

Please forgive me for using a tragic 2014 “accident” in Dallas, on Christmas Eve, as the basis for my first 2017 post. But this caught my eye and it won’t get out of my head.

A little 5-year-old girl was killed by a driver who was distracted while using Facetime on his iPhone. Now, two years later, the parents of the little girl they lost is suing Apple for not configuring the iPhone to disable Facetime while traveling at highway speeds. The police confirmed that Facetime was still active on the driver’s iPhone when they found it.

It boggles my mind that Apple could potentially be held liable because the offending driver was simply stupid. Many states have outlawed cell phone use while driving but Texas isn’t one of them. So, the offending driver was legally using his phone and apparently wasn’t cited for it, but he was charged with manslaughter because he caused the death of the little girl.

I’m stunned that this is a lawsuit that will apparently be going to trial.

Thanks for ‘listening’.

My Ear, and DISH Satellite

Here it is August 4th already, and the days are noticeably shorter and the nights longer. Longer nights haven’t yet confused the Little Black Dog (Ozzie) because he still  wakes me up promptly at 0500. He either has a terrific internal clock, or he can read Diane’s alarm clock.

Yesterday I spent a few hours with my dermatologist who concisely excised a 10x15mm piece of skin from the top of my right ear that was home for a herd of basal cell carcinoma things. It was done using Mhos Surgery. I believe I mentioned a couple of days ago that this was going to happen. I was prepared to spend the day because the process involves taking small bits of flesh, biopsying it, then taking more, if necessary. The biopsy part takes about an hour so requiring multiple scoops, as Diane calls them, could take a while. I was lucky as my doc got it all with one scoop and we were hope by 1030, not quite three hours from the 0745 check-in time. Now I an adorned with an impressive mass of what was called a “pressure” bandage but is, in fact, not putting much pressure on the wound. Diane had to augment the nurses efforts with the large piece of tape because it was almost flapping in the wind. This is the way I went to coffee this morning with my friends Larry and Larry.

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After coffee I went to ACE for some things Diane put on a list for me then came home and fiddled with the DISH receiver in our trailer. Diane, Jennifer, Lydia, and Jewel shopping in Portland, leaving me unsupervised but with stern instructions that I was not allowed to do “anything” in the way of labor that involved exertion of any kind, doctors orders. Apparently there’s a mild possibility that one or more of the 12 stitches might give way allowing my ear to spurt blood all over the place. I don’t think that’s something the dogs would clean up for me and it would certainly create a bad situation for me once Diane got home. So, I remained in my Coffee Clothes, boots and all, and mosied back and forth to the trailer getting our DISH receiver set up as a DVR. All I had to do was add a hard drive to it and have the service activated. I called the first time and thought I’d made myself clear, but the service wasn’t activated. So, I used their handy CHAT feature and accomplished the task.

The external hard drive I used the one sitting behind my computer that used to be my back up drive. It was originally installed in an Apple Time Machine that had an electronical problem that occurred well after the warranty period. So, I ripped it apart and installed the hard drive in a case that I purchased somewhere and continued using it at my Time Machine drive. Worked great until I got a Western Digital 4TB MyCloud device. Then it just sat there. Ignored. Until today.

After getting the DVR service activated I plugged the drive into my 211z DISH receiver and it went to work formatting the drive for me. I’ll be curious to see how well it works. Seems to have adapted to its new job OK so far.

You needed to know all that.

Now I must stop and watch Olympic Soccer.

If I get in trouble, for any reason, once Diane returns, I’ll be back to share it with you all.

Later …

Diane and Jewel returned home safely with a really good sandwich for me from the Virgina Cafe. I’m afraid I gobbled. The I talked Diane into removing all that padding from my ear which I was quickly beginning to dislike immensely. It still hurts, but now I can get ice closer to the offending area. Relief is in sight. If necessary, I know where the rum is.

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