Maybe you are as shocked to see a new post from me here as I am. Maybe not.
It has been a long time since I even considered posting here on this longest running of all my blog attempts. It’s not worth the time to rehash or go back and try to analyze what was going on. It’s best to see my posting this entry as someone walking in the door and calling out “I’m home.” The only salient fact is that I’m back, not how long I was gone or for what reason.
Life has moved on for me, but I am back here and vocal again. For better, I hope, or worse, if need be.
Why am I home again? If I answer that honestly, I’d say it’s because I took a look at WordPress.com again, and I was delighted by the improvements that the Automattic team has made to the interface for writing a blog. Everything is easier to do than it used to be. I can focus on adding the content and what to say, and pretty much whatever I want to do (at least so far) I have been able to do intuitively and with remarkably little effort. I so liked the interface, I decided to use it for this entry.
Ever since I came back from New Mexico, I’ve had a running battle with the squirrels that live around here, but it’s their fault. They started it by deciding to set up housekeeping inside the walls between me and my neighbor. They just tunneled in and started reproducing.
I ain’t washing tomorrow. Oh, I’ll take a shower, but I mean I’m not washing clothes. Nope. I’m getting that done today.
Not that I really believe that old legend commonly thought true (audio version by yours truly) by those adults in my world when I was growing up that if you wash on New Year’s day, it’s bad luck and someone in your family will die during that year. Not that I believe that, but at my age, I’m really hoping that none of my relatives feel an urgent need to start the new year out right by cleaning up all their dirty laundry.
It can wait one more day folks. Give it a rest, please!
And maybe you and I both will celebrate next New Year’s Eve.
The visitors have gone. Recycling to do. Stockings no longer hung. Crumpled wrapping paper in plastic bags everywhere. Managed to enjoy ourselves amidst and despite the stresses of the season wrapped as they were in a whirlwind schedule nobody could control. Ate, drank, sang, laughed, talked together. Exchanged gifts as seen on TV. Played with toys. Wasted almost no time on sleep. Wallowed in the pleasures of having visitors whom I love in my home.
Not unexpectedly, acquired three almost-certain-new clients for my tech support help who were no doubt sent by Life to help me learn even more patience.
Thanks All for giving me the gift of your visit to my home.
Something about the simplicity of this video really appeals to me.
It does a good job of simulating how daughters and sons learn to cook from watching their fathers and mothers. Learning to cook is more about trying things than it is about following a recipe. As I typed the first sentence of this paragraph, I was aware that not just daughters, but also sons, learn not just from their mothers, but also from their fathers, how to cook. It serves to remind me that as time goes on, roles and families evolve.
For instance, my son Mike who lived with me from his 14th birthday forward learned to cook by participating with me in preparing our meals. Today he is the primary chef in his home and he enjoys the role. A funny aside from Morgan the other day was the one in which she asked, “Mom what did we eat before Mike was here?”
He has said he’d like to run a restaurant but I’ve always heard that is a terribly demanding occupation. Maybe Mike is channeling my uncle Pat Ross who ran Pat’s Place there on Main Street in Stone Mountain from my earliest youth until he passed away. Uncle Pat was almost always at the restaurant. I never knew of him going to a baseball game, or to a dance, or to church or going hunting or fishing with my dad; in other words, I don’t think Uncle Pat had a hobby outside of his restaurant. I suppose that is why it had better be a labor of love if one chooses to open a restaurant.
Mike posted this milestone moment on his Flickr photostream, and as a proud grandpa, I almost felt entitled to snap it up and post it here too without asking, but I did the right thing and called Mike and got his permission to post it. I’m sure you’ll find it one of those “Awwww, moments.”
Note: Please leave a comment if for any reason this video does not play for you. It is designated as “Friends and Family only” on Flickr, so I’m unsure whether everyone will be able to play it here on my site. So let me know, please. Thanks.
Looking out my office window, I can’t help drifting off into the memory that Carole and I were married on August 25, 1962, a mere 47 years ago today, at the Decatur (GA) First Christian Church. Dr. Charles Schwab performed the ceremony during which, in a move similar to that of Chief Justice John Roberts who muffed the oath of office to President Obama last January 20th, he asked me “do you Nelson Perry … etc.” But despite that glitch the sun shone brightly on our wedding day.
We left the church in the car that had been “decorated” by our friends but we switched cars a mile or so away from the church before leaving for our honeymoon in Gatlinburg, TN. And there we stayed for a few days at, where else?, the Ogle Cabins.
Our first night together , however, was spent at the Riviera Motel on Peachtree at I-85 in Atlanta. I failed to take note of the room number, I’m now sorry to recall. It’s funny to me that details such as that are interesting this far removed from the event. The remaining details of our first night together were buried with Carole on June 10th and my memory grows dimmer by the moment. Yes, I know, but I ain’t tellin’.
So today I’m going to celebrate the anniversary of my wedding day by painting my ceiling. I’m a Romantic, don’t you think?
Last night I attended a board meeting where in an attempt to discuss some financial issues several of us huddled around one fellow’s laptop to try and see the spreadsheet he had worked on. He had done a nice job on the spreadsheet … I’m sure. And if we could have seen it, I’m also sure we would have all been duly impressed and greatly enlightened. However what that experience impressed on me was that even with a group as small as four, huddling around a computer monitor to try to look at content is at best unsatisfactory and at worst a frustrating waste of time. That’s why I’m excited about a solution I’ve found to that problem.
Take a look at this 69 second video demonstration of what I’m talking about.
As you may suspect from watching the video, my original reason for wanting to show my PC screen on my computer monitor had nothing to do with the problem I encountered at the board meeting last night. Originally I wanted to take advantage of those times when my computer was displaying my screen saver by having my big screen HD TV in my great room serve as a ginormous digital picture frame, cycling through my collection of photographs. But what I realized last night at the board meeting was that it would be a great solution for that issue too. I had previously thought of it primarily as a decorative scheme for my house that I am remodeling but now I can see it as being utilitarian too.
The technology involved is the InternetVue IV-2020 receiver. This device connects to the computer wirelessly but it must be plugged into the TV on which you wish to display the image. There are both video and audio connections that you attach to the TV. If your network router is close enough to the InternetVue wireless receiver, you can connect them directly with an Ethernet cable. I’m sure that is the most desirable way to make the connection since it eliminates the vagaries of the intermittent strength of the wireless signal to the network. So I expect to make that change when the renovation is closer to the end.
Another way I’ve anticipated using this setup is to demonstrate things in an instructional setting. It would also be awesome if I could get GotoMeeting to project onto the TV for a group. Had I discovered this tool last year, I would surely have used it as a digital scoreboard and feedback display for the call center I ran. The cost is minimal and the payoff in what you can display is high. It would have been very helpful and I regret I didn’t think of it then. For a couple of hundred bucks you can use all of that TV screen real estate to show a blown up version of you PC’s display. While I’m sure this isn’t the only way to accomplish this goal, and maybe it’s not even the best way, but it does work.
It seems to me the seventh is jinxed. Oh, I know it’s superstitious to say that, but that’s the way it seems.
Carole learned her breast cancer had come back in her liver in November of last year. On the seventh of June she died, only about six months after hearing that news. When I returned from New Mexico on the 15th of May, I anticipated spending the last year of her life with her. In fact, I had already arranged with her three sisters that I would be a part of the four-week rotation of those who would stay with her one week a month for the remainder of her life. I was going to experience, explore, and, if possible, even enjoy a year of saying goodbye to her. As Life turned out I spent one week of the last month of her life with her instead. There’s a Life lesson there. The time you actually have is shorter than the time you think you have. Those who wait to the last minute to do things often find that the last minute is harshly sudden, and those last minute intentions become the stuff of regrets.
On July 7th, just one month to the day after Mike lost his mother to cancer Cheryl, Mike’s wife, lost her mother Sandy to cancer too. Sandy’s funeral was held on July 10th, one month to the day after Carole’s. Mike and Cheryl suffered a left hook followed by a right cross, both of which landed squarely on their emotional jaw. Once again the end for Sandy came suddenly, though it was anticipated. Another Life lesson is that Death, though anticipated for everyone, arrives suddenly.
Today is August 7th. I’ll admit that I’m hesitant to get out of bed or leave the house. It seems to me that the seventh is jinxed.
You may remember that I wondered a couple of days ago whether you were permitted to and if so, how you might go about setting up more than one Twitter account. The answer, as I read the service agreement, is that it is permitted primarily because it is not expressly prohibited. My reason for wanting to know that information was so that if it were legal and possible, I wanted to create an account to post updates on my friend Paul Moor’s condition. I have now done that. It is called FriendsofPaule and it is open for anyone who chooses to do so to follow.
I was able to get around the fact that Twitter wants a “different” email address for each Twitter account you create by using Gmail’s flexibility. Gmail permits you to append a suffix, for instance, “+ TwitterPaule” between your email username and the domain name, i.e. Gmail.com, and still Gmail will treat it as if that suffix wasn’t there. There are many clever uses of that feature, but for yesterday’s obstacle, that did the trick. So I created the feed for informing Paul’s friends of any “little bits” of news I might have about him as illustrated in the following photo.
Two of the three of those so-called “tweets” are exactly 140 characters long which is the maximum allowed. I enjoyed immensely thinking to name myself, the author of that feed, Paul’s amanuensis because that is essentially what role I am performing. At the moment he can’t access, or possibly even absorb, Twitter, but as his amanuensis, I can convert what he tells me into tweets. And thus his friends, if they should be challenged to cite on what authority they may have declared something to do with Paule, may simply say a little birdy told them so.