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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I’m no longer cool, I no longer own a Jeep

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Yesterday I finally got it together and went to the local Chevy dealer to buy a new Spark.  I had the title and spare keys to the Jeep with me.  Turns out that there is not a Chevy Spark with a stick shift to be had around here.  I ended up with this 2014 Mazda3.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about getting rid of the Jeep, but I definitely know I need something that gets better gas mileage and that Mom and favorite neighbor can get in and out of.  This does all that.  It is also fun to drive.  The three of us went driving around last night looking at the Christmas lights around Mesa.  The Mormon temple does things up really nice with the Christmas lights.  Next year we will go earlier and walk around rather than just driving by slowly.  The key point for me now is that I can take more than just one fairly agile person with me when I go places.  Time will tell.  I actually did have the thought last week that I would no longer be cool.  This implys that a) I ever was cool just because I drove a Jeep and b) the Jeep is/was the sum total of my coolness.  Still, it is the passing of a part of my life, that lifestyle that I thought required 4WD and off-road ability.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Enjoying Open Live Writer

I know I am late to the party, but I do have to admit that using the Open Live Writer instead of the Blogger editor is a nice way to post.  I can start a post and wander around and do other things and come back later and not worry if I lose connection.  Those of you who have used Live Writer all along are going ‘duh’. As a computer professional (read:  inflated ego) I felt I had to use an html editor in order to be ‘real’ or something.  Result was that I didn’t post much.

I think the thyroid medicine is starting to wake me up a bit mentally.  Yesterday I saw mention of on-line courses on Canvas.net that are free.  If you have read much of my earlier blog you might remember that I am really into the idea of free on-line education.  At one point I played with the idea of putting together what I thought my version of an on-line secondary degree might look like, which was not an original idea.  Heather, Wendy Usually Wanders’ daughter was doing that waaaay back when.  I loved the idea.  That was as far as I got, though. 

I do feel like I have some major gaps in my education.  Math has always kept me back as I didn’t like most of the math instructors in my high school and therefore never took geometry or any further classes there.  That held me back when I sent for my technical degree, and is why it is a technical degree and not an engineering degree.  I have signed up for the free Math101 at canvas.  I got a 97% on the pre-test, so some of the college pre-calculus stayed with me.  However, I’m going through the videos anyway filling in the the gaps.  They seem to use Khan Academy videos for this, so I may just slide over to Khan to work my way on up from here.  It would be so awesome to actually understand the calculus I faked my way through in college.  It was interesting to stretch a bit mentally taking the pre-test, and probably what my mind needs to feel less foggy.

I did something special today, but I’ll wait until tomorrow to tell about it.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Day After the Day After

I looked at last year’s post count, 35, and thought how pathetic that is.  Granted I don’t do much to write about anymore, but still…  So the goal was (is?) to beat that count, an easy New Year’s resolution last January.  I’m going to have to post a bit more to catch it.  That says as much about my life as it does about my sitting down to write about it.

Some of my wishes for the next year are to use up/get rid of a lot of the stuff around here, get into better health, and trim my finances so I can make some headway.  I look at all the food I have sitting around, and I started today to cook some of it into things I can take to work instead of my usual frozen dinners.  So far my rice pudding is really tasty rice in coconut milk, raisins, almond slivers, cinnamon and ground cardamon.  It is not pudding.  I added a beat up egg at one point.  Still just rice in coconut milk.  So, ye who know the magic of how to cook, how does one get a nice, creamy pudding?  I don’t tend to use cows milk mostly because I keep as much shelf stable stuff here as I can.  I do have instant milk if that would help.

I have also made some pasta and tomato sauce that not only used up the some of the pasta but also a can of tomato sauce, a small can of mushrooms and various spices that I really need to use up and replace with fresh.

Next up is some rice with the Tasty Bite Indian various things I have.  I figure I’ll eat it one night and take it in to work the next day.  I buy the Tasty Bite stuff by the case, usually.  I really love Indian food.  I also bought a 25lb bag of rice at one point.  Costco for the win!

I didn’t realize this Open Live Writer doesn’t have a spell check until Al mentioned it.  Expect mis-spellings to abound.  I just checked one word by opening a new email and typing it there, then correcting it here.  That works if I realize I’ve spelled it incorrectly but can’t figure out the right way.  Some things just float by and I would not realize it until I see the red squiggly line telling me to stop and go back.  You have been warned.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Late Merry Christmas

It is early evening Christmas Day here.  After I got off work yesterday Croft and Norma had a few of us over for a Christmas Eve sit around the propane campfire.  Mom and I and Favorite Neighbor were then joined by Sandie and Jim Dixon.  RVing stories came out and good food was stuffed into my mouth. 

Today Mom and Favorite Neighbor and Croft and Norma and I all went to the pitch-in dinner at the club house here in the park.  Lots of food.  I waddled home and fell into a nap that ended up lasting all afternoon.  Mom has said I need to come and get some of the left over food that she had taken.  I’m gaining weight just thinking about all the food the past few days.

Hopefully tomorrow I can start some projects around here.  The usual sorting and getting rid of clothes and papers and such.  I’m also wanting to trade off the Jeep for something smaller and better on gas.  I will need more motivation than I’ve had today, that is for sure.  I’m thinking Mom’s Christmas cookies won’t help in that department.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Trying again

I tried posting a picture and changing to a scheduled time to post that was set to the time I was creating the post.  For some reason it scheduled it 8 hours out from that according to the Blogger editor side.  I also got the 403 error.  I set up the blog again as if it was a second blog, but used the same info (shows twice in my blog is in Open Live Writer), and the picture posted.  We may get the original post without the picture later on, not sure.

I’m going to try to post this with a picture to see if it fails on the second attempt to post a post with a picture.  The problem is somewhere in the authentication level, I just can’t find it yet.  Sorry to spam my own blog…

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Again, just more pictures from my time in Honduras.  I have more pictures from there than I do any place else.

Testing some more

Other folks who post a lot more than I do are still having issues.  I’m going to play a bit here to see if my success was more of a fluke, or if I just by habit pushed the right buttons.  I’m a geek.  This is what geeks do.

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This is a picture from my c: drive, pictures library.  It is a tree in Honduras Christmas tree at the hotel in Honduras a few years ago.  I put a 5px margin on it, and aligned it such that the text is on the right.  If I keep doing this I’m going to have to start taking pictures again just to have something to play with.

This time I also set the publish date for today.  I noticed that on other’s blog lists my post didn’t show up very quickly.  I notice that with some folks blogs in my own sidebar, they always show up down in the list, even though I have read the ones posted above them.  If that makes sense…  It is like it knows when it was posted and puts it in the line there, but doesn’t show it for awhile.  So, it is never the latest post.  I’ll see if this helps.

Got the 403 error…

Friday, December 18, 2015

Trying to use picture straight from my computer…

While I’m playing with this, I may as well try all the new gadgets.

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Ok, this iis a picture from the park in Honduras.  I didn’t upload it first to Photobucket.  I’m guessing that this is how you folks can put so many nice pictures easily in your blogs.  I’ve always downloaded from the camera first, then uploaded to Photobucket, then added into the Blogger editor.  Which is why I don’t have a lot of pictures on this blog.  I also managed to add a margin to the picture so the text doesn’t line up against it.  I’ll attempt to publish now.

Testing photos

I’m going to insert a photo from Boyce Thompson State Park that I already had uploaded to Photobucket.

So far so good…  Let me see if I can move it and resize it.

  I didn’t set any margins when I put this in, and I can’t figure out how to get back to that part of the editing.  Sizing is easy, though.  I could play with this and make it better, but this is a test post anyway.

 

If folks have issues with pictures, you can always try using Photobucket.com for free online photo storage.  I’ve used them for years to hold my blog pictures.

I’m going to hit Publish and see what happens.

Testing the new Open Livewriter

I have always just used the Blogger editor to post to this blog.  I play enough with HTML that I can pretty much get what I want by using whatever big hammer I need with that.  However, with all the discussions I decided to try this new toy.  I try open source software much more than I do Windows software, so here we go.

Cool, I can preview from here, and it gives me a ‘souce’ tab to use my hammer (HTML) directly if I want.

Not saying I’ll post more often, but new toys are fun.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from me and the kitties

I'm at work.  I told my team lead to go ahead and schedule me on Holidays as Mom and I can celebrate anytime before or after.  Because he took me at my word (  :)  )  I'm missing two really good dinners today.  I don't get off until 8pm.  They will deliver us a dinner with all the trimmings from some local place in a couple of hours, though, so I'll get plenty to eat.

Since I came into work later than usual I was able to sit in my chair with my feet on the footstool and my coffee in hand for awhile.  I ended up with both kitties on my lap stretched out for a nap.  Felt cruel to disturb them, so I kinda took one as well.

All else is going well in my world.  Hope it is the same for all of you.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

It begins

I took my first Levothyroxine tablet this morning.  I was really, really worried that I'm not supposed to eat for 1 hour after I take it.  Mom gets up in the middle of the night to take hers.  Turns out I can have black coffee, just no calories.  So, I'm good.  Now I wait and see what it fixes.

I want to welcome new readers and thank the on-going ones for reading and commenting.  Little/BigFoot, HermitJim's Sis, the usual suspects who I have started to feel are like family, and any others out there.  I write for myself and anyone who wants to follow along.  I am surprised and humbled that others actually want to read what I write.  It is a nudge to have a life worth writing about to know that there are some who will read.

I have been engaging in some retail therapy lately.  Most of it will be useful, even if not really needed at this point.  Many months ago I mentioned that I am attempting to find my 'look', clothes and such that I am comfortable wearing, and that I don't feel like I'm 'that' old lady.  I don't mind being the one who wears purple and a red hat that doesn't go, as long as it makes me feel good.  I am tending to standardize on black/beige solid color bottoms and jewel tone mostly solid color tops.  Loose pullovers.  The picture from Vegas told me to veer very far away from tight tops.  The rolls showing there are mostly from slumping, as I've lost most of the weight I gained in Honduras and am a normal (for my height) 125lbs.  As I've said, I need to strengthen my core so I stand up straight.

A blog that I enjoy reading to give me ideas (not usually at her price point...) is http://www.theviviennefiles.com/ which is kind of like adult (not THAT kind of adult...) paper dolls.  No dolls, but she picks out color combinations from art or scarves or other things and builds a simple wardrobe around them.  It has me thinking about clothes in a whole different way.  She turned me onto http://www.uniqlo.com/us/ which has basic clothes that are inexpensive (usually). 

Another blog I was reading from her sidebar, http://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/ had me going to http://www.6pm.com/ which has inexpensive (again, for some values of inexpensive) shoes as well as clothing.  What can I say, at work sometimes I need escapism.

Who knew I'd be waxing on about fashion in my blog ever!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sounds of Silence

Silence here doens't mean that I've fallen in a hole.  I just haven't had the energy to do all that I need to do in real life (whatever that is...) so I haven't blogged either.  So, quick re-cap:

Two weekends ago I went to Las Vegas for 4 days.  Big surprise there, eh?  One of the highlights was meeting two sisters from Australia on the bus going to the north Outlet Mall.  They were a lot of fun to talk to, had done a meet and greet with Donnie and Marie Osmond among other things.  Hearing they like shows I offered to use one of my monthly sets of 2 tickets to get them into another show.  I've not used any so far anyway.  So, we met later and they ended up going to Legends.  I'm still waiting to hear about it (hint, hint if you are reading this :) ). A couple of times I ended up in conversations with folks on the bus.  Seems I've been there enough that I can provide directions to the new folks.  I drove up this time, and didn't lose much at all.  Since I get a free room, and I use points to pay for the majority of my food, it is a cheap-ish vacation.  I also got a free purse because of some promotion. 

Last weekend TurtleLady and her husband Bill and a traveling companion Dennis stopped by for 3 days.  We had fun catching up.  There were on the tail end of a 6 week driving  vacation the included Northern California down the coast visiting National Parks, swinging over to see me, and they should be home now.

The same evening that TurtleLady showed up, Favorite Neighbor and her son and daughter-in-law also showed up.  It was FN's 89th birthday, so the list above also ended up including Mom and Rod and we went to Organ Stop to celebrate her birthday, then went back to her place and had cake and ice cream.  She was totally delighted to have so many to celebrate with, and I'm so glad that it worked out that way as TurtleLady also really likes FN.

(hint to anyone around Mesa area:  we will celebrate Rod's birthday Sunday evening.  Email if you want to join us)

The other thing that is gong on is that my statement that I got a clean bill of health was a bit premature.  The further investigation of my thyroid issues had me going for a needle biopsy yesterday.  I have nodules on my thyroid that feel like a lump in my throat (which it is...) and it part of what sent me to the doctor after so many years.  I have a prescription for synthetic thryroid hormone (I'll get well versed in knowing it's real name, I'm sure) that I'll get filled today.  So, most likely I'll take this the rest of my life.  Surgery is not on the table for at least 6 months, depending on what the biopsy found.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Odds and Ends

The newest news is that I am ow wearing contacts (again).  I needed new glasses, so decided to try contacts as well.  I'm in multifocal lenses, which means that I can read as well as see distance without glasses.  In a perfect world I would have clear vision 'at all distances' as the marketing writeups claim.  It is a work in progress, but these lenses are pretty close.  Now to see how much I can get glasses for on-line.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I did go to Mexico for glasses, but didn't like any of the frames.  I haven't liked any of the frames around here, either.  So, I'll see what I can find in the world wide web.

Getting a clean bill of health, especially for my back, has left me with no excuse to not exercise.  I have not been back to the gym as that was what seemed to accelerate the pain issues in my back.  I am trying to remember to do the Step 1 of the Convict Conditioning exercises to start getting my core stronger.  It does tend to involve a lot of watching the videos of the guys demonstrating the exercises on YouTube.  They seem nice.

With yesterday's rain the triple digit temperatures seems to finally be gone.  I've started cleaning the massive amount of dust off of things on the screened porch, and even swept my walks and carport.  I continue to get rid of a few things here and there, and hope to get the piles of papers scanned and/or shredded.  Staying home on weekends until the first weekend in November when I go to Las Vegas again. 

That is most of what is going on.  Mom is fine, the cats are healthy and happy.  Work is...  challenging.  Less said about it the better.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

First Day

Actually I'm on the 3rd day at this point.  The picture I sent in the previous post from when I was in Las Vegas is my Before picture.  Let's just say it was a bit of an awakening.  I don't see myself that way.  So, now that my back is not hurting so much I'm on a major makeover.  I'm back to walking more as it is cooling down a bit here.  I've added some more supplements suggested by my doctor. 

And, let's talk about my doctor's appointment.  I'm in better shape than I thought in general.  Just a bit of arthritis in my back which is fixable to some degree, my cholesterol is below 200, osteoporosis is just barely starting to register.  I do have a nodule in my throat area to have checked out, and basically just do weight bearing exercises to get my core strong for my back and my bones.  Hense, the first days of the rest of my life.

Financially I'm going to really, really tighten up so I can see an end to my work life and a start to retirement.  I will continue to weed out stuff and get rid of things.  That has been going well, but I'm at a bit of a slow point where I've gotten rid of most things that I knew I was ready to let go.  Time to get tougher with this.  I'm cooking more at home for health and financial reasons.  It is just time to start attending to the many details that life had gotten in the way of handling up to this point.

So, I may or may not post 'in transition' pictures.  However, it is good to remember how to post via email for the times I'm on my phone and want to just post a quick picture.

I'll call this a 'before' picture. Since they gave me a free room for 3 nights, I'll advertise for them. This was taken at one of the free selfie kiosks in Las Vegas last week.

Testing email posting

Testing to see if this still works, posting from email.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Coming up for air

Mom and I went to Laughlin for 2 nights, on Harrah's dime.  We took the bus from Surprise.  It was about 4 hours each way.  It was an ok vacation.  Not a lot to do without any transportation.  I enjoyed the river taxis and am in awe at how personable the guys are to everyone.  I'd be done quickly dealing with folks all day like that.  The casinos, none of them, were paying anything.  I don't think I'll go back anytime soon.

This trip had been planned when I was on nights to coincide with my nights off.  When I went to days it was with the stipulation that I still got those days off.  I accidently scheduled the trip to start on Labor day, so I got holiday pay for that one, and comp time for the other holidays I'd worked this summer to round out most of the rest of the time.  It irks me that they now have so many of us on days that we were all pleaded with by our team lead to please take some vacation.  So, I ended up with the rest of the week off.  Meantime, my former night partner is working alone because the one they put with him in my place is off for surgery.  I'm not bitter much.  Long story.

So, with the heat still on, but cooling a tad, and the casinos not paying and work not fun at all, I've stayed quiet.  I am still sorting and getting rid of stuff.  No pictures of the damage from the storm here  at the park for a couple of reasons.  Since most of the damage was of lost awnings and carports and skirting, unless you knew how it looked before it just looks like we have a bunch of newly arrived mobiles here.  The ones with more damage I just find really sad and don't feel like putting that out to the world.  Mom and I were blessed with very little damage, and that was cosmetic, fixed with a few screws tightened here and there.

I did finally get to a doctor.  So far I've had blood work done and my back x-ray'd.  I have some more tests scheduled, then I go back for a look-see at what was found.  My back is getting worse, but the pain is moving around.  All lower back, but it seems to be traveling up down and sideways.  I'm getting back to walking.  Found a fitness routine called Convict Conditioning that starts out really easy, so I'm easing into that.  The name is obviously a marketing thing, but if you check YouTube there are all the directions.  I watch them a lot.  I need to get the movements right, ya know.  The guy demonstrating may or may not be especially motivating to me.  :)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Electricity is on

Life looks and feels much cooler now.  Amazing what more than 24 hours without electric in Phoenix in late summer can teach about dealing with things and what my limits are.  The cats and I were about at our limit.  More later.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Shelter from the storm...

We had a bad storm last night, heavy rain, strong wind and hail.  Mom and I had only very minor damage that we've found so far but there was a lot of damage to other mobile homes in the park.  The only issue now is that several light poles blew over at the main street and we have no electricity and therefore no air conditioning.  So far so good as there is a bit ofa breeze aand it isn't too hot yet.  I'll get us and the cats aotel room if it gets too bad.  Pictures once I'm on the computer rather than the phone.  Forgive the typing errors please as I'm not good on this phone key oars.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Controling what I can control

Given that my life will be turned upside down (again) when I go on days in August, I decided the only thing I can do is exercise control over those things I can control.  I was (am?) tired of my body hurting when I moved very much at all.  I was backing away from things because I was afraid to put my back all the way out instead of just hurting a little as it was every day.  So, I joined Planet Fitness.  I joined that gym for several reasons.  No contract, low buy-out fee, gyms near both where I live and where I work that are open 24 hrs., and low monthly fee.  Gypsy (On the Road Again) has been my inspiration (see side bar) for just how much better life can be if I just take control.  Also, when I started back walking every day my back pain started to minimize.  So far so good.  I've gone 3 times, and the constant pain is pretty much gone.  I'm easing up to the machines, but so far so good.

Also, like most everyone on the internet I've been reading a lot about the decluttering and storage methods of Marie Kondo.  I haven't read the actual book yet.  She recommends putting all of a like item (such as ALL your clothes) in a pile and picking up each item and asking if it sparks joy.  I haven't gotten that courageous (or fool-hardy!) yet, but I did fold all my tshirts the way she recommends and it does make a difference.  For one thing, I can see each and every one of them when I open the drawer.  It makes me feel more at choice which one I decide to wear that day.  It isn't just what was on the top layer.

The decluttering is part of a deeper plan to get free of having so much stuff.  The amount of stuff I own has driven so many of my life decisions in a direction that wasn't optimal for what I really wanted.  Stuff costs money to own.  It costs emotional energy to maintain and store.  So, I'm in deep decluttering mode in order to move forward.   A friend at work has a place to donate household goods so I'll be going through all my cookware, pots, pans and skillets , mixing and storage bowls, spatulas and mixing spoons, small appliances, and so forth.  I have a lot.  Hopefully within the next few weeks I'll have less.

All this is part of the plan not to be dependent on work.  As I get rid of stuff I can look into being more mobile.  As I sort and shred paperwork I can clear my mind and get my resume and job-seeking skills honed.  I'll control those things I can control as I move towards moving to a space of choice rather than a space of taking whatever I can get.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Still kerfluffering

About the time I thought things were settling back towards the middle again, a new wrinkle has appeared.  I'm being moved to days, weekdays at that.  I'm not to see it as a punishment, but an 'opportunity'.  Right.  Turn my world upside down and expect me to act grateful.  I am on nights to get away from a mid-level manager I do not get along with.  He likes to prod me and pick fights.  Things settled down when I got away from working with him at all.  Now they are making me go back.  But, it is not a punishment.

I am looking around for more stuff to get rid of.  Looking for more ways to save money to pay off the debt.  I am about a year from being really able to make a move.  I hate being this vulnerable, work enjoys that they have me caught by the... uh... have me caught.  I will work on my resume tomorrow night.  I have been spitting mad for 4 days, my eyes burn like I've been crying except it is that I am just so livid.  I made myself sick the last night of work this week.  My partner is going to try to push to keep me on his shift as we work well together.  However, the powers that are want to show me they can, uh, mess with me whenever they want.  I don't hold much hope.

So, I haven't posted, until now.  I'm still so angry. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Just when I think things are going ok

A kerfluffle in the works.  Nothing major, but request good thoughts.  I'm getting tired of how difficult all this work stuff gets over stupid things, but that is how it goes these days, I guess.  More push for me to just get rid of things and downsize again, this time to an RV.  Pondering retirement as a real option.  Not sure how realistic it is right now, but folks are living on less than I have.  Hope this is just a dip in a life that was starting to get settled in for once.  I have on 'good authority' that 'no one' will hire me because I'm 60yo now.  May have to test that opinion that was handed to me as a bald fact.  I'm just tired of the games.

Not one of my better posts.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Geek Alert - proceed with caution

I think I mentioned that I got a new laptop:  i7 fifth generation CPU, 12G of ram, 17" screen.  Windows 8.1 (I'm slowly circling closer to it, still don't particularly like most of the changes) with Dragon speech recognition software.  Kinda cool to just say "hey, Dragon, shut down the computer" as I walk away and it does!  Other commands, not so much.  Just realized I should have done this post by verbally dictating it to the new laptop, but I'm still on my old(er) desktop for pretty much everything but what I bought the laptop for.

What did I buy it to do?  Well...  In my job I need to get more conversant in databases.  To be specific, Oracle, Sybase, Netezza, and SQL databases.  I say conversant because I'm not creating databases, designing them, tuning them or anything else an actual DBA would be doing.  This actually totally frustrates the actual DBA folks who work with me.  However, I need to know how to peer into the belly of the database and diagnose the symptoms presented to me in the form of incident tickets.  Oracle does a fantastic job of making itself available for download free in the form of virtual machines (files that when opened in proper software look and act like actual separate computers) and I needed more horsepower to do that.  I want to try things before jumping on Big Customer's production servers and running commands that could cause another big market crash if I caused the server to incinerate itself.  Seems like a good idea anyway.

Oracle is covered, or will be when I get over my rising panic to actually open up one of the downloaded virtual machines and start playing.  The really nice thing about this setup is that it is just a file.  If I incinerate it, I just load another copy of it and off I go.  I need something similar, or maybe at least a good recommendation on books or videos on Sybase, and maybe an introduction to Netezza.  To be honest, I haven't done much research to see what is out there.  I've kinda been occupied with the Oracle side.  I was hired, or rather moved over to this side, based on my SQL knowledge, but we haven't taken that over yet.  It is just a matter of time, which I need to use to brush up on  the details of the interface.

These are the things that try to keep me off the street and out of trouble.  I did manage to wrestle the laptop to the ground and get a backup image of it before downloading the virtual machine software to it.  There is a nice, free utility online called Rufus.  I was able to get a thumbdrive  to format as a bootable device and then use my imaging software to image the original setup of the disk on the laptop.  That was step one.  In case I end up incinerating the entire OS.  The process wants tweaking in that I want a larger thumbdrive (128G...) so I can put the image on the thumbdrive instead of needing an external usb drive also hooked up to take the image.  Too many drives available and it is just a matter of time until I try to take an image of itself and incinerate the wrong thing.  This is the voice of experience.  There is a reason I'm so paranoid about backups.

I warned you.  This is the side of me I don't write about much.  I haven't done much in several years is another reason.  This is actually fun stuff for me.  I'm weird in other ways as well.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rainy day in Algodones

The backup pair of glasses I've been wearing for the past couple of months because they are the only ones I can see out of now fell apart again on Thursday.  A problem with having the only set of glasses that I can see out of break is that I can't see to fix them.  I went into work using a pair that I can see distance sort of ok, and pleaded my case with my younger co-workers.  One of them got the lens back into the glasses and finangled his way to getting the frame tight enough to hold it.  I knew it was time for new glasses, though.

I decided to head to Algodones early on Tuesday.  It means that I have to switch to a daytime awake slot, but that is the only way to get anything done.  I got to the casino at the interstate turnoff to Algodones around 6am and did pretty well at the machines until a bit after 9am, when it was time to head on down.  I looked out and it was raining.  I'd hoped that it would just stay cloudy with just a spit or two of rain, but my luck didn't hold.

Deciding again that it was best to just get wet (I don't do umbrellas) I walked over into town.  I had enough cash for glasses and maybe a dental appointment if the new dentist I want to use was available, and if I could find her office.  I was immediately escorted by the extremely helpful and friendly guys at the crossing into town to the first optical place inside the gate, and checked out their frames while discussing price.  I just didn't find any frames that tripped my trigger.  I extricated myself (not easy once you are inside usually) and started walking.  Constant friendly young(ish) males kept attempting to guide me to the best/cheapest dental/optical places.  It kind of creeps me out that there are so many combination optical/dental offices.  I guess it makes sense for there, but I'm thinking that jack of all trades, master of neither is what comes across.

I managed to get far enough into town that I was basically left alone, and found a place that looked a bit larger than most of the optical places.  The doctor and receptionist were busy helping an older, hard of hearing gentleman get the idea that if he was not happy with his current medical doctor in Yuma, that the optician was recommending a good Mexican doctor.  The gentleman was loudly repeating his woes with his US doctor, and the optician was gently bringing him back to the piece of paper with the Mexican doctor's information on it.

I took the time to check out their frames.  Nothing was grabbing me, but I was able to get a good feel for the options.  Once I had their attention, the doctor and receptionist checked out my glasses and told me that because of my somewhat complex prescription using the lightweight polymer lenses and with all the coatings I wanted it would be $300.  They don't do contacts like I want.  I do believe them (and not just because I was told the same thing at another place) because they were not really interested in wheeling and dealing.

Basically I decided to go ahead and get my exam here in Phoenix and try for the new contacts to see if I can wear them comfortably.  I may go back for glasses in Mexico, or order online.  I feel I would get a good exam at the place I checked in Algodones, but I couldn't get contacts in the US from his prescription I don't believe.  So...  back at square one for the  glasses.

I found the office of Dr. Eva Urena, the dentist I think I want to do my implant.  She is basically out of the office until August.  Makes sense that this would be her vacation time as the gringos who make up most of the customers in Algodones are fewer and far between in the summer.  So, I'll call them early in August to start that process.

It was still raining as I made my way back across the border and to my Jeep in the parking lot.  I dried off as best I could and headed home, via the Paradise casino in Yuma.  It is hidden (don't let the sign at the interstate fool you as it fooled me).  My GPS managed to find it, and I now know where downtown Yuma is located, as well as the old prison. I lost what I was ahead from the other casino, but overall walked out even for the day.

By the time I got home I had been up for over 24hrs.  I slept for about 4 hours, got up as long as I could stay awake, and after sleeping (cat napping really) all day I got up at my usual time this evening.  I'm thinking work will be difficult to stay awake for tomorrow night.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Taking a break

Everything is ok, I'm just taking a break from blogging.  I am making some changes, and trying to learn some new things, or more that I'm learning the same things in a deeper way, for work.  I bought a new laptop with bunches of memory and a state of the art cpu and it is kicking my butt just trying to get a backup of it in my usual way.  I also truly hate Windows 8.1.  And Skype won't let me log in with my account info, it demands I create a Windows account for ALL my stuff.  No.  There are other video chat programs out there.  When I can get a backup of the original install of this Windows 8.1 I'll take the laptop to Linux, or make it dual boot or something.  But, I digress.

I lost a good friend lately.  He was one of the folks I wrote this blog for.  He didn't comment, but I would get an email right after I posted.  He set me up for a lot of the adventures I ended up having, both in the Virgin Islands, and later because of that travel when I was open to Honduras.  Rest in Peace, Dave.  I'll drink a bushwhacker for you in St. Thomas overlooking the bay at some point.  I'm picturing you waiting at the bar in Dayton, holding the table for the rest of us as we straggle in to get our yearly steak dinner at the Hamfest.  At one point I had hoped this year would have been a reunion for some of us who haven't been back for a few years.  Won't be the same any more.

So, I'll be back sometime.  Just need to shift gears and hibernate for a bit.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Back in the Groove

My sleeping is back on track, solidly on nights now.  I'm actually looking around the mobile and starting to slowly make some progress on projects.  Not the throw, though.  2 rows in and I need to rip back yet again.  I was ready to give up, but upon consideration I'm going to keep at it till I end up with an afghan, or the yarn is worn out, whichever comes first.

I'm starting to take interest in things again, music and reading and studying Spanish again, and generally just waking up.  Been a long time coming.  My back even stopped hurting.  I'm taking multiple walks each night on my nights off around the mobile park here.  Just listened to the video on Lloyd's blog (sidebar) of Willie and Merle singing 'It's all going to pot', and was bouncing and smiling along.  Good to see them still enjoying making music.  Lots of their outlaw co-horts are not around anymore to sing a chorus with them.  I felt them there, though.  Johnny, Waylon, et. al.

I had dinner with Sandie and Jim Dixon and Paul (?) on Tuesday night.  It was fun getting to know them.  Well, I think I got kinda wordy and did most of the talking.  Once I wake up now its Katy bar the door, get a drink and get comfortable.  On Monday night Mom and I went out with Favorite Neighbor, her son and daughter-in-law.  They left for parts North on Tuesday morning.  So, the park is officially quiet now.  At least this street.  I ended up putting the trash cans out a day (night?) early, and then figured who cares at this point.  The summer folks are a live and let live group.  Both nights I went out we ended up a Farmer Joe's Grill down on Ray Rd.  Good food, and nice outside seating.  Now that the snowbirds are gone (or leaving...) it is quiet there, as well.

Cats are fine, Mom is fine, all is well.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NIce time in-between

This is the best time for me as a year-round Arizona resident.  Most of the snowbirds have winged their way out of here.  The park is basically quiet, I can get to the laundry room with no wait at any time and neighbors on both sides have left.  Favorite Neighbor is still here until next week.  The weather is still sweatshirt weather after dark and warms up during the day.  From what I hear.  I'm asleep during daytime hours.  I did hear the wind at times today when I would wake up.  It is a breezy time of year here.  All in all, very nice.

The repairs on Mom's mobile home continue.  I helped her figure out that her gas oven does work.  She was worried that when it didn't flame up immediately that she was flooding the place with gas so turned off the control.  I got down and turned on the oven and the pilot was working, but no gas.  While I was explaining that the issue was the opposite of what she had thought, the thermocouple finally got hot and turned on the gas and she now has a working oven.  Guess I have to give her back the frozen pizza she gave me that she thought she couldn't cook.

My sleep patterns are straightened out to sleeping all day again.  In fact, I've been sleeping almost 12 hours each day on my nights off.  Makes for a boring life, but feels good after all the stress of moving Mom here and getting the mobile liveable.  It is 3:46am here right now, and I'm fully awake with no undue reliance on coffee.  I'll head to bed in a couple of hours and get up around 4pm to start the process of getting ready for work.

I thought I almost had another throw finished in a really pretty yarn that I was given.  However, the pattern I was winging I didn't wing very well, and as I neared the end I realized that I had managed to accidentally decrease over 6" in width.  I was just double crocheting across as it is a bulky, wavy type yarn that is difficult to see what I'm doing, and I'm not good at figuring out how to end and restart the rows.  Really not good at it.  So, I'm starting over again, doing 2 single, 2 double crochet.  I'm making it a bit wider as well since I have more yarn than I realized.  No finished project pictures as I had hoped to show.  I'm not happy with the last 4 rows after starting the neck on the sweater either, which is why I had moved to the 'easier' crochet throw.  I will get both finished.  Sometime.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Roll With It, Baby

It has been awhile since I updated the blog.  It has been a busy and physically stressful time around here lately.  I know, it's sad when folks need to read Rod or Croft's blogs to know what I've been up to.  The primary reason is that I just don't bounce as well as I used to.  The chorus 'Roll with it, Baby...' came out of the radio at me while driving to work the other night and I decided I need to stop trying to bounce and start rolling.

Since Croft and Norma have been here we have been out to eat a few times.  These have been covered in Rod and Croft's blogs.  Rod is now back in Kansas with his issues there, and Mom has moved here.  Last night Croft and Norma, Mom, and Favorite Neighbor and I went back to the Organ Stop pizza place since it is probably the last time I will get to spend much time with them before they leave for points north.  It was fun, although the organ music was late getting started because the organist had car issues and got there late.  He made up for it, though.  Mom enjoyed it as I knew she would.

I flew out to Missouri a couple of weeks ago and we loaded up Mom's stuff in a U-Haul and hooked her Kia on a dolly on the back and I drove us back here.  She bought a mobile home here in the park.  Since we got back she has been busy cleaning and unpacking.  Physically, my back is so weak that I can't do much, and I even put it out again this morning putting a shelf into the kitchen cart she gave me.  I really need to get to a gym, the fitness room here at the park really only has treadmills.  Between getting back on nights from her visit, then going out there and driving for 3 days to get here, then spending the rest of the vacation days getting back on nights, I'm not sure if I'm awake or asleep.

That is a quick overview of what has been going on.  I may go into some of it more as I go along.  I just wanted to get this first post out of the way.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Canadians are here

Apparently this time of year in Mesa overlaps with the snowbirds still here and baseball spring training that others  come to town to watch.  This fills up the snowbird rv parks completely, or has this year at least.  My park is more of a +55 mobile home park with empty spaces being used for monthly rv rental.  Croft had contacted me that he and Norma were looking for an open spot to hang and I gave him the info to come here.  They arrived and I got to meet them.  I wandered over with my first cup of coffee when I got up yesterday afternoon and woke up while talking to them as Croft was tuning in their satellite dish.  Hopefully we can get Rod over here and get out for the Supper Club before he heads back East.

The big news is that Mom is moving out here.  She has arranged to buy a mobile here in this park.  She came out for 2 weeks last month (part of not writing, too much going on and my sleep schedule is out of whack...) and finalized everything.  In a couple of weeks I fly back to MO and we load her stuff into a big truck, hook her car on back and make that drive from there to here.

Sleeping is an issue for me now.  I want to sleep when I can't (work, at night) and can't sleep very long at a time during the day.  I'm working on it.  My mind is fuzzy and I have little ambition other than to just do day to day stuff like dishes and pet the cats and such as I sleep walk through the days.  Again, this is the main reason I haven't written.  I'm hardly coherent when I am awake.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Food

I tend to jump around in what I focus on when I'm attempting to improve.  Lately my attention has been on food.  I may have mentioned that I want to take my supper (lunch?  food I eat at work) from things I have made here at home rather than continuing to buy pre-made meals.  I am so out of the habit of cooking that it is difficult to remember to fit it in.  Yeah, really.  I live alone, so that is my excuse.

This past week I took my lunch all 4 nights.  The weeks before I averaged between 1-3 nights of home made food.  I'm throwing out a lot of questionable food from my fridge.  That leaves room for the fresh stuff.  One day a couple of weeks ago I bought a Costco rotisserie chicken.  I pulled the legs off and put the rest into a ziplock freezer bag and shoved it in the freezer to be dealt with later.  It was really good (perhaps not healthy, but that is step 2 (or 3 or 4).  On my first night off  this week I took it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge to defrost.  This being my last night off I realized I need to do 'something' with it.  So I pulled all the meat (well, most of it, this is a learning experience) and put the bones and skin in a pot with water on low heat on the stove.  I hope to have what the new kids call 'bone broth' these days by the time I have to go to bed.  I'll strain it and put it... somewhere.  Probably the freezer until I can do something else with it.  The meat will be made into chicken salad and I've already had a chicken fajita.  Last week the menu was based around a can of salmon, this week chicken, the week before chili.  I'm about ready to cycle back to chili.  However, some pork chops with some mashed sweet potato also sound good, so maybe another trip to Costco and Ranch Market are in order.

I made lentil soup last week, and added some curry powder (a bit too much) for the first time.  It morphed into dal, so I made some rice and that was supper for 2 nights.  I took some to Favorite Neighbor an she wasn't impressed.  It was the first time she had ever had curry.    I don't think we will be hitting any Indian restaurants on our evenings out.  The rest went into the freezer.  Maybe in a couple of weeks I'll be ready for it again.  The freezer is getting full.

Last night Rod and Favorite Neighbor and a couple of other neighbors who we scooped up to go along went to a Mexican restaurant on the back side of South Mountain called Los Dos Molinos.  It was a nice place and kinda fun.  Food was good, company was even better.  A fun night for some of us who don't get out a lot.  I'm enjoying the Supper Club as I've called it.

On another note, Mom will be here in a couple of weeks to visit for 2 weeks.  More on that as it progresses.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

WIP - Baby blanket done



I'm lazy tonight.  I don't think that the image is clickable,  and it is very dark.  However, this is the baby blanket I've been working on.  As soon as it is dry (tomorrow?) I'll box it up and send it to the new mother-to-be.  Yarn is I Love This Yarn from hobby lobby.  It is nice and soft, but had some knots in the middle of the skeins that were not appreciated.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Meeting update

I'm still employed, the meeting with the manager was just a formality to say he was releasing a survey to me to fill out that goes to upper management.  Part of the plan that 'engages' employee satisfaction as one of the core values.  He did say that I seem to be doing fine and in March we will talk about officially moving me to the DBA section and get my raise going.

My back was killing me last night and I would have come home if I hadn't needed to stay for the meeting.  I came home and slept 7 hours straight, not even moving I don't think.  I feel a lot better now.

That's all that is going on for now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Super club and other updates

I am a loner, especially the past 5 or so years since I left Nashville.  I just haven't been any place long enough to settle in and find a group of like minded folks.  I read blogs, and my most consistent friends are all online these days.  Working nights doesn't help in that.  When Favorite Neighbor came back with family (son and daughter-in-law) in November I was swept up and made a part of their family.  I kinda remembered what that was like.  I had been commenting on Rod's blog : http://retiredrod.blogspot.com/ and we had emailed back and forth, so while making plans to go out to eat at a local place I got in touch with him and he joined the family.  Now that it is just Favorite Neighbor and Rod and I we still go out and find neat places to have supper.  Luckily both of them are night owls so the accommodate the fact that I eat late-ish.  Both Rod and I drive Jeeps, and Favorite Neighbor is 88 and shorter than I am.  We found the key is to put her in the front seat where there is a grab bar on the dash, and to carry a small stool for her to step up on.  She is game to go for it and hops right in.  We are currently in search of some spaghetti that she had at a catered talk here at the park.  It may take us a few tries to find the actual restaurant.   The address is scribbled on some paper somewhere in her home.  When Rod gets back from the Q we will try again.  We may even see if more folks want to join in.  So far everyone is a winter resident except me.  I'm thinking it will seem even quieter around here next summer.

I would like to make the Blogger get together in Q on Saturday, but I'm working.  Well, I think I will be.  I got a call from my supervisor asking me to come in a half hour late as the manager wants to talk to me Friday morning before I leave, which means we meet at 6am , the time I usually leave.  I'm hoping that he will be telling me how great I'm doing against what everyone thought I'd be able to do, and that I'll get a raise.  Reality is such that as a precaution I'll empty out my locker that night anyway.  This is something I do before every manager meeting.  He just shakes his head.  I made a big leap, knowledge -wise transferring from the Systems side of things to the Data Base Administration side.  I'm enjoying it, but who knows how it is going in the scheme of corporate America where I work.

I will have the baby blanket I've been working on finished in about another hour.  Then I will go back to working on my sweater.  The blanket has ended up being pretty.  I hope the lady and baby it is for enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed making it.  Pictures will happen.  Really.  I found my tablecloths that I want to use as background to set off the things I knit.  No more beige sweaters photographed against a beige carpet...

I'll let y'all know what happens Friday morning at work. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

It's a start

When I got home from work this morning I decided to try something I read about on a message board last night, making caramelized onions.  I've been wanting to make some things that use onions, and I have 2 that I bought awhile ago.  Previously I just used the dried kind you get in a shaker at the grocery.  I'm basically a heathen when I cook.  But, I wanted to actually use the onions I had and not throw them out like I did the majority of the vegetables I bought at the same time.

I came home and chopped one onion, put it in the small crock pot I have and poured a generous glug of avocado oil over it all, stirred it, turned on the crock pot and went to bed.  I have indeed turned out with caramelized onions, ready to put into the meatloaf and/or salmon patties and/or muffin tin egg casserole I may or may not make.  I portioned them into some of my silicone muffin holders (they aren't 'papers' as they are silicone...) and put them in the freezer for now.  I'll put the individual portions into a baggie (hopefully) and I'm rocking the cooking thing again.  For now.

My sleep patterns are still messed up from my time in Las Vegas, and I'm due to head back again on Monday, a week from today.  I may just stay on the split sleeping pattern that has me getting up in the middle of the day for awhile.  I need to do some shopping that has to happen when stores are open anyway.  Otherwise I just lay in bed for 12 hours and don't really sleep and then I'm trashed while I'm at work that night.  This shift is totally perfect for where I work, but is not so great outside of work.  For now I'll go with what works for work as it is so much better than it was before I transferred.

And so this is the mundane trials of my current life.  I laugh when other bloggers apologize for not having exciting lives to write about.  I think we all pretty much have boring lives on a day to day basis, with periods of excitement thrown in to make us appreciate the boring times.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Not so forward progress

So, I did not cook yesterday, and ended up going to the grocery on the way into work after all.  When I went to record the amount spent on the food, the receipt said:  $6.66.  A reminder to me that in self improvement, the Devil is indeed in the details.  I came home and put the salmon in the oven and started oatmeal to take for breakfast.  The vegetables are too far gone to bake, so it will be the frozen broccoli.  I came in a started playing computer games, forgetting the oatmeal.  Luckily I remembered in time and I was able to use all of it after all.  I made 2 bowls of it, and I use old fashioned oatmeal that needs to actually cook, along with cinnamon, cardamon, craisens, almonds, and I'll add blue agave syrup before leaving tonight for work.

I am going to remove a few of the blogs from my side bar.  One hasn't been there long.  I enjoy his somewhat rough writing, but in his title he used some vulgar language.  It is one thing for me to have it in the blog if the writer wishes, but the title is a a bit too public for me.  I do still enjoy his blog, but I try to keep this place family friendly.

In other changes, I've had a comment of mine on another person's blog removed.  I used to say that I am much nicer online than I am in person, but perhaps this isn't true so much now.  I'm not good at social situations, and apparently I'm also not good at knowing what to say when.  Some folks only want a certain type of comment, and I don't pick up the ques it seems and overstep the bounds.  Not the first time this has happened.  So, to be sure not to offend the folks whose blogs I read I probably won't be commenting much anymore.  Not that I was doing a lot of it anyway.  I'm still here reading.  I'm not mad or anything, their blog their rules.  I just am not sure anymore how I'm perceived online and I think it is best to keep my mouth shut in other folks' homes.  My own blog, and on message boards where I hang out that encourage discourse, I'm still gonna be myself.

Oh, I finally got around to fixing the 'I'm not a robot' foolishness that blogger put in.  I don't like the passive aggressive way they came in and changed how I had it set up but the platform is free and until I get around to programming my own blog interface (which I may at some point...) I guess I play by their rules.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Year, New Day

My goals this year are pretty undefined in the specifics.  I have a  general idea of where I'd like to end up on many issues, and a basic idea of how to start the process to get there.  It involves a lot of getting off my ass and doing things, moderation in all things, and just doing the next right thing.  Forward progress is the plan.

At 4am on New Year's Day there isn't a lot of activity in the park here, other than me and my cats.  I walked down to get a gallon of water from the 25 cent dispenser and most mobile homes and rv's were dark, except for the ones that usually leave some kind of light on all the time.  It is damp and chilly and no good reason for walking around so I came home and took off the coat and got sedentary again.  Remembering my above goal I am now updating here.  I did finish dishes earlier, and put away the laundry finally.  If I can get motivated I'll cook the last of the frozen salmon from Costco, along with some potatoes and either yams or brocolli, I have both.  Probably, though, I'll just keep eating the cookies Mom sent and end up taking bean and cheese wrapped in the tortillas I got yesterday to work tomorrow night.  A goal is to take my supper more often.

I have begun work on a new expense tracking template.  I am wondering where my money goes and where I need to back off of spending (other than the obvious...) and my 10 year old template has been reworked so much as my categories have changed that I decided to start fresh.  It will be a work in progress, done in Open Office 4's version of excel, called calc.  I also want to download the Pimsleur lessons to my new phone now that I have room.  May as well kill the down time at work working on my Spanish as well as knitting.

I did end up with a new phone.  I am being totally assimilated into US culture.  I ended up with the top of the line Consumer Cellular smart phone (not counting the i-stuff).  I'm sort of happy with it, but some things I need to tweek.  It would be the same with any current phone as 'they' like to change the basic stuff that worked just fine in prior versions.  It is nice to have the maps function work correctly.  I am not too happy that everything wants access to my location, including games.  Big Brother has arrived and knows where I am at all times.  That is, when I remember my phone, which is still an issue as it just isn't that big a deal to me.  I use email and Skype mostly and got the smart phone more as a game/e-reader/podcast & music machine.  It just also happens to have a phone and messaging on it.  With the 4G data I blew past my normal $2.50/mo allotment and ended up 2 levels up at $10/mo in the first hour of playing with it.  I have moderated my excitement with data and will hopefully level out someplace in between.

And so my resolution to post more frequently gets off to a good start.  I'm going for quantity, not particularly quality, as is obvious.