Goings and Doings and Hats

Oh, my.  It’s fooled around and gotten cold on us again.  I feel almost guilty because the northeast is taking such a pounding, and we’re just not even all that cold here.  Still, we’re more than cold enough to suit me. Here’s our five day forecast: And for the Celsius crowd. . .We’re having a “blew” norther.  Mostly it’s just windy and cold.  Again, for perspective, my town is at roughly the same latitude as Casablanca, Morocco — Africa!

I was going to do a blog post sooner, but I got to playing around with a little scenario about three days ago, and the first thing I knew, I had three pages of characters and two chapters.  Sometimes I publish little short pieces in my blog.  I haven’t published any in this iteration, but there are some here from my blog archives.  There used to be a website call Magpie Tales where the lady would post a picture or photograph and we would have to write something inspired by it (Mag Challenge).  She went on to other things, so I’ve been challenging myself — although it’s not much of a challenge since I pick pictures that fit things I’m in the mood to write.   I have no interest in trying to publish anything; I write because I like doing it.  I enjoy the process.

My left knee has been hurting pretty badly.  I broke that kneecap in 1991, and had two surgeries on it — one to repair the kneecap, and one to remove the hardware — and I’m sure my current pain has something to do with that.  I’ve had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder, and I have two pinched nerves at my second cervical vertebra on the left from reinjuring that shoulder trying to lift a 40-pound (18.6 kg) bottle of water onto a dispenser stand.  I saw my VA provider (a physician’s assistant/nurse practitioner) (she’s both) when it happened, and saw her again last week because lately both my shoulder and my knee have been hurting so that I was having trouble sleeping.  Predictably, my VA PA said, “Lets throw some pills at it and see what happens.” She prescribed me some diclofenac and put me back on gabapentin.  I do have to say that both medications are working, for once, and I’ve had a great reduction in my pain, which has immensely helped my ability to sleep.

I had to go out today, and when I reached down to put the key in my car’s ignition, I saw the odometer read 11,444.

I’ve been knitting men’s hats and reading, but haven’t finished anything.  I’ve just been like the dormouse at the mad tea party, having difficulty staying awake.  Mostly, I just want to crawl into my teapot and hibernate.

I’ve finally figured out why the fat(cat)boy likes to sleep on this one particular spot on the bed, especially when I’m not in it.  That’s the precise spot where hot air blows out of the air vent onto the bed.  If you want to know what the best seat in the house is, it’s the one the cat’s in. . . .


Blogging By The Columbus Method*

My desktop computer is ailing. It has a wonky fan in the power supply, and my computer guy has it.  About ten minutes after his pickup (This is TX, remember) pulled out of the driveway with the tower in the back seat**, I started to go into withdrawal.  But then I thought, “I have a tablet . . . with a keyboard . . .!”  But, like the man says, “Nothing is ever simple.”  

In the first place, it’s not much of a tablet.  The only reason I even got it was that it has a bigger screen than my Kindle and, of course, it was on sale — which practically goes without saying.  I can take it to knitting group, and when I access knitting patterns off Ravelry or my knitting blog, you can actually read them, and the Kindle app can display a whole page at a time.  Plus, the case I found that fit it came with a little Bluetooth keyboard.  (N.B., A Bluetooth keyboard versus a touchscreen keyboard is technically the lesser of the two evils, but not by much.)  

So, OK, I can blog from the tablet.  E’ bene.  Pezzo di torta. . . . . Uh, nope. I can get to my blog on the jive brower this thing has, but all I can do once I’m there is look at it.  Wait, maybe there’s a WordPress app. . . yes!  I down load the app, cudgel my brains for my WordPress password, and . . . I’m in!  

I’ve been wearing glasses since the age of 6, but the vision in my right eye (What chart?) is actually very sharp at reading distance, and I typically read without my glasses.  I can read books on the Kindle app on this tablet easily without having to put on my glasses.  I quickly discover that I can’t read text on this stupid WordPress app unaided because my nose is too long.  So, I roll the reader table out of the way, move the fat(boy)cat, get out of bed, get my glasses, get settled back in bed, roll my table back into position.  The fat(boy)cat gives me a dirty look, walks all over my legs lookin for that spot he’s gotten all nice and warm, finally finds it, gets it all schooched back out the way he likes it, finds his place in that nap he was enjoying before he was so rudely interrupted, and picks up where he left off.  Now!

Let me just say that for someone who has been touch typing for 4/5ths of her life on a big girl keyboard, and is used to being able to type pert’ near as fast as I can think up what I want to say, using either of this tablet’s options for text entry (touch screen keyboard or Bluetooth keyboard) is like trying to run a marathon with your pants down around your ankles. It’s not quite as bad as having to revert to Morse code, but it’s as near as dammit.

So, my computer guy can’t access me another power supply until Monday, and it may take a week for him to get one in if he can’t get one locally and has to order it, which is just as swell, actually, as I am in serious snowflake mode at the moment with a Wednesday deadline bearing down on me and I was smart enough not to give away my originals when I made copies of the snowflake patterns I printed out to take to knitting group last week (some of us are ambicraftous).

And that’s why this post only took six hours to do.

*The Columbus Method (going east by sailing west) is a complicated, time-consuming, PITA method which you are forced to use to perform what should be a relatively simple, straightforward task because reasons.

**In TX, if you see a man driving a pickup with a crew cab, it usually means he’s married, and he’s having to drive hers to go get the kids. In this case, they’re both retired, she got tired of having to haul herself all the way up into and down out of her pickup and made him get her a Subaru — which he wouldn’t be caught dead driving.  Since her pickup was newer and got better gas mileage, they sold his, and he’s driving hers.

Firefox Quantum is a Quantum of Schmaltz

— In the literal sense of the word “schmaltz,” meaning “chicken fat.”  I got really tired really quickly of piddling with Feedbro and RSSOwl, neither of which was as easy to use as NewsFox (which Firefox “Quantum” broke).  Finally, I just said (among other unrepeatable scatalogical and blasphemous utterances) the heck with it and rolled back Firefox to version 56.02.

I also left a comment on Mozilla’s Facebook page to the effect that I was really pissed off that they broke NewsFox while they were putzing around trying to soup up FireFox and that I was not going to upgrade to Quantum until they fixed it so that it would work with NewsFox.

I just now reinstalled Firefox version 56.02, which is the version before they broke it and have it set to ask me before it updates.   That means I can go back to NewsFox, which is the most useful and efficient feed reader I’ve been able to find.

Call me weird, but updates are supposed to make software better, and I cannot see how changing Firefox  so that the best feed reader out there no longer works  with it, makes it better.

I probably follow about 50 different blogs, 15 Tumblr sites, and about 30 different webcomics, and NewsFox organizes, tracks and updates them very efficiently.  When I open the update, it displays the actual webpage, not just the content, which means I can easily sign into those blogs that require it for commenting.  There were several blogs that neither RSSOwl, nor Feedbro would display in any form that would allow me to sign in so there was no way I could comment.   Also some of the blogs and Tumblr sites are artists’ sites and neither RSSOwl nor Feedbro would display their artwork or the webcomics except as thumbnails you had to click on to go to the website to view — which in Feedbro’s case meant opening another browser tab.  Neither RSSOwl nor Feedbro can hold a candle to the overall performance and user friendliness of NewsFox for viewing textual content, artwork, and photography easily without making you jump through a bunch of hoops to do it.

I don’t have the time or patience for that.  I’ll stick with NewsFox and the old Firefox version 56.02 until Firefox comes up with something that works with NewsFox, or until someone comes up with a better product than either RSSOwl or Feedbro, thank you very much.

Done All My Kitchening For the Week

So, yesterday, I cooked a package of small elbow macaroni and made some pasta salad with chicken, made a pitcher of tea, emptied the dishwasher, and washed up the dishes from making the pasta salad.  The pasta salad was my standing recipe — elbow macaroni, chicken, canned peas and carrots mixture, chopped black olives, chopped kosher dills, chopped white onion and Hellman’s mayonnaise.  The pickles and onions give it a nice crunch.  I’m tucking a bowlful into my little kisser as I type.  Scrums.

My friend LB has two more chemo sessions left.  However, they are going to be pretty rough, especially the last one.  She starts the next to last one today.  We are all heartened by the information that her blood work seems to indicate she has a shot at remission.  It is fervently to be hoped for.  Her daughter A is a professor in theater arts at our big University, but she has taken a semester’s sabbatical to help get her mother through this session of chemo. This time at knitting group, LB brought this hat knitted in scarlet red yarn to show.  She does such beautiful work.

The young Hispanic man came back to the group this time.  He’s been before.  He’s trying to learn crochet.  We had, in fact, three crocheters this last time, but most of the knitters in the group also crochet (including me).  We are an inclusive bunch, and we do not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, political affiliation, or craft.

This time, KC brought a whole box full of cakes of fine weight yarn to give away.  She had them given to her, but she had no use for them. Most of the yarn had two cakes of the same color, and I got four cakes, two each of the same color.  It may be too fine for socks but maybe not.  If it is, I’ll think of something to do with it.

I started this post a good deal earlier this morning, but when I tried to upload the yarn cakes picture, I discovered I’d used up all my free picture storage space, so my solution to the problem was to rename that blog “The Owl Underground Archives II” and start this one.  I thought if I changed the URL and blog name for that one, nobody would have to make any changes to make the transition to the new one, and that it would be simpler to do it that way, but apparently not.  In retrospect, what I should have done was set up a new blog as an archive and migrated all the posts to it. Oh, well.  Sorry about that.  Since I had to start from scratch again, I’m trying out a new theme, and I think I like it.  In the course of all the rigamarole of sorting this out, I discovered I’ve been blogging since December of 2005.

My mom has “broken” her computer again, bless her, and the trained chimpanzee (yrs trly) is going over later this afternoon to find out what she was trying to do and do it for her.  It has something to do with 400 emails that won’t go away.  There’s no telling . . . . .

My BFF came over Sunday and I “fixed” her Kindle again. (She has gotten the idea lodged in her brain that her Kindle is full and won’t work any more.  It was, but I fixed it and got it working months ago.  Last week, she asked me to fix her Kindle because it was full and wouldn’t work.  It was still fixed and still working from the last time I fixed it — except in her brain, apparently, where it is still broken.) She is slightly more technologically competent than my mother (which isn’t saying a whole lot), but she also has strong Luddite tendencies and her relationship with technology tends to be adversarial.  She also has a very, very low frustration threshold, which doesn’t help.


Here We Go Again

It appears I used up all my free picture storage, so I shifted all the posts that were on “The Owl Underground” to “The Owl Underground Archive II.”  If you’re looking for a recent previous post, you’ll find it there.  Have a little patience while I reinvent the wheel and get everything all sorted out again.

I renamed that iteration of the blog and changed the URL so that I could keep the main “The Owl Underground” URL as the “leading edge” of the blog and nobody will have to change their links (I hope!).

Not exactly what I wanted to spend most of the morning doing, but there it is.