Sunday, September 24, 2017

Reading Round-Up

As usual I've been reading away and felt it was time for some quick reviews.  It took me a while to get through Skippy Dies   by Paul Murray, but I'm glad I stuck with it, what a weirdly, wonderful book.  It takes place in an Irish boy's school and opens with the death of Skippy, one of those boys.  It then tells the what happened before and after the death.  It's full of science, horny boys, diet obsessed girls, teachers of all kinds and several mysteries.  Loved it.  I'm sure it will end up on my Top Ten Reads of 2017.

I also read Children of God by Mary Doria Russell, the sequel to The Sparrow.  The Sparrow told the story of a Jesuit mission to a far galaxy and what happened there, I gave it 5 stars, a very rare score for me.  The follow-up is about the return to the planet and what was going on since Father Emilio Sanchez left.  Not quite as good as the first book, but full of surprises, it almost made me cry in parts.  I gave it 4 stars.

Finished Brideshead Revisted by Evelyn Waugh and liked it very much.  The arrogance of youth and the tight hold of the Catholic Church.  Poor Sebastian, and such a messed up family. A 4 star read.

Another sequel I read was Me After You by Jo Jo Moyes.  It was the sequel to Me Before You which I loved.  Well I hated the sequel.  Hated everyone in it and didn't care what happened to them.  Had to force myself to finish it.

Worked my way through two more Bill Slider mysteries by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  Just love her writing.  These two were Shallow Grave and Blood Sinister.  The mysteries are just ok, I usually figure out who the murderer is long before the end, but the dialogue is so good I could just keep reading forever.

Now I'm reading A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer and as always with her books I'm enjoying it.  Not great literature, just a good read.  Remind never to go to stay with people who don't like each other, it might be dangerous to my health.

Also Under the Harrow by Flynn Barry, I'm not far enough along in it to know if I'm going to really like it.  A woman is on her way to her sister's house for the weekend and finds both her sister and her dog dead.  She then begins to find things out about her sister that she never knew.

And my last book is The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin.  It is the third book in the Broken Earth trilogy.  The first two in the series ( The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate) each won a Hugo as the best science fiction book of the year.  This is a post apocalyptic world that sounds like our planet, but it's inhabited by some very strange people.  My daughter, who is friends with the author, predicts that this one will win a Hugo too.  A triple win is almost unheard of.  I'm certainly enjoying it.

So that's what I've been reading lately.

Friday, September 22, 2017

How Did It Get To Be Friday Already

Oh where has my week gone.  Let's see, Wednesday, can I remember Wednesday, (this transferring information from short term to long term memory is getting harder), sort of.  I remember cleaning out the refrigerator (we were going commissary shopping on Thursday), cleaning toilets (I forgot to do them on Toilet Tuesdays---mnemonics help), weeding and cleaning the pool.  Why is it that negative memories stick around longer than pleasant ones?
Then yesterday was grocery shopping, we hadn't been in a while so there was a lot that Mac had to carry upstairs.  But it's done!
Today the morning was spent dusting blinds.  Of all the dusting I do this is the one I hate the most.  Even using a Swiffer duster that captures the dust I end up with dust in my eyes.  I did all of the blinds downstairs except for the master bath and the 3 behind the couch in the family room---I didn't feel like shifting furniture or putting a ladder in the tub, they're high windows in the bathroom.
Still, I dusted 10 windows and way too much chair rail and baseboards.  Now I feel itchy.
Earlier this week Mac did something rather special for me.  Our grandfather clock hasn't been running in years, in fact I'd almost bet it's been 30 years since it ran.  Well it's running now, I won't tell you how, but it involves duck tape and a couple pencils.   He polished up the brass and set it to rights, except for the chime.  The clock stands against a wall that backs onto our bedroom, ao no chimes.  But I love to walk by and hear it ticking.
Earlier this morning we gave Miss Kitty her flea treatment, a few drops of medication on the back of her neck.  Does anyone else's cat act as though you're trying to murder them when you do this?  She is such a drama queen.
Beautiful day here except it's too hot, oh fall where are you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Better Day

No phone fights today, but received a nice email.  With all the hullabaloo around Hurricane Irma we forgot to cancel a room reservation we'd made in Atlanta to celebrate our anniversary.  So after the storm a charge showed up on our charge card for almost $200, they were charging us for one of the nights, RATS.  So Saturday Mac called the hotel, it's the Renaissance Concourse Hotel at the airport---we like to watch planes, and talked to Lakeisha.  She said we weren't the only people this  had happened to, but the bookkeeper wasn't  there on Saturdays.  She took our number and said they'd be in touch.  Monday Mac called them back, again talked to Lakeisha who asked for our email address.  Later that day we received an email showing they had refunded our money, how nice, so a big thank you to everyone at the Marriott Renaissance Concourse Hotel.
Today it was back out to the garden to uncover civilizations covered by weeds.  It was hot, we're supposed to be almost 90º today so I was only able to uncover the Victoria garden, perhaps tomorrow I'll uncover the Georgian garden.
Watched a rather quirky little movie the other night, The Trip with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.   I think it was actually a tv show in England, but Netflix presented it as a film.  Quite funny in a low key sort of way.  They play themselves, Coogan has been asked to tour 6 restaurants in Northern England and review the food.  He'd planned on going with his girlfriend, but they'd split up, so he asks his friend Rob to go in her place.
There are 2 more series of it where they go to Italy and Spain, I will be looking for them too.
We've watched the episodes of Midsomer Murders so often we've memorized the dialogue so we decided it was time for something new, so we're trying Hamish McBeth, which we like, Pie in the Sky, and Doc Martin.  The last we're just not sure about yet.  Too much drama and not enough comedy, but we'll see.

Changed my header today, it's time for pumpkins, love this painting by Mac, feels so autumnal.

Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Monday in the Swamp

I promised myself I'd get outside and do some weeding, but that didn't happen.  I did phone chat and online chat with my internet provider who kept sending me in circles.  At one point a lady with a strong, non southern accent, asked if she could help me with anything else and I replied that since she hadn't helped me with anything that would be hard for her to do. Frustrating phone calls amp up my sarcasm level and it's never very low to begin with.
I filled out a survey from Apple today about their support and it was a real mixed review I gave.  At the end when I was asked how the support could be improved I told them that their tech people need to listen more, break their advice down to a nontech person's level and really go step by step.  When I was working with them yesterday we were using my computer and my phone and they would tell me to do something but not tell me which device to use.  It was quite frustrating.

Now for something completely different.  I use to wonder how whole civilizations disappear.  But looking out my window at the weeds in our garden it's easy to picture it disappearing.  I got out there twice last week and Mac was there today, but it's still a mess.  Maybe tomorrow.

Warm day in the swamp 88º,  too warm, but walking this morning wasn't too bad.  But now it's time to go exercise so we'll see how that goes and which body part squeals the loudest.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Oh The Trials and Tribulations of New Technologies

I got a new iPhone 7 this week and opened it up yesterday to get it all set up.  We generally buy Apple products because they're so easy to set up.  Well not this time.  All I had was a plastic instruction page written in silver that was impossible to read without strong light and a magnifying glass.  Ok, found the on/off switch, turned it on, attempted to make a call.  Of course not.  So I then attempted to go online, it refused to recognize my password.
At this point I called Apple.  The 12 year old who answered attempted a few things to reboot it and then decided maybe, even though it was a brand new phone it need some updates so he had me go to iTunes on my computer, hook my phone to the computer  and look for updates.  There were some, but did the 12 year old tell me how long this would take?  Of course not.  So through the 40 minutes it was downloading he tried some other stuff and then suggested I call my carrier, ATT to make sure my SIM card was activated.  He set up a case for me, assured me that someone would call me back and I hung up.
I called my local ATT store, but they told me to call the main ATT, which I did.  The man there, the first adult I'd talked to at this point, wanted me to take the SIM card out----WHAT?  Checking with the internet and getting Mac, we got the little bugger out, but the man at ATT said the system didn't recognize the number on the card.  He said I'd have to take it into my local ATT store.  I thanked him and hung up.
Apple actually called me back and there was a slightly older than 12 young lady on the phone who tried to help me.  She showed me how to allow her to see my computer screen.  Even with her looking at it she couldn't help.  At this point I did some yelling and screaming for which, when I calmed down, I apologized for.
She set me up with an appointment for today at noon, a tech would call me, sort the problem or have me mail the phone back.  I agreed.
I fixed lunch, mumbling to Mac the whole time and then last night I fiddled with it some more and low and behold it agreed to make and receive calls.  But still no internet.
This morning I figured out the internet problem and was able to go online.  YEAH  for the old folks.
Still wouldn't get my mail though.
So first I called ATT and talked to a youngster  there to make sure my old phone was deactivated and the other activated, after reading from his manual he assured me it was ok.  And then because we have an overseas trip coming up I priced minutes for that, he had that info in his manual too.
Then I called my local internet provider to find out why I couldn't access my email from my phone.  I spent 10 minutes going round and round with another young lady who finally said, " You mean you don't want to set up an email account?"  I about crawled through the phone, I just wanted to access my existing account from my new phone.  Oh, well she couldn't help with that, the email, though provided by them, was a 3rd party company, and so not their problem.  I hung up.
I have a plan, but it will have to wait until tomorrow, I'm all through dealing with children this weekend.
But by the way, Apple did call me back today, they had all the notes on my case, and were able to help me access iTunes.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Wrap-Up

It seemed like a long week.  Still cleaning up in the yard, the county will start picking up storm debris on Monday if it is curbside.  So Mac is out there shifting it around and making sure no branch is too long.
I've been in the pool twice, we're talking cold here, in order to get stuff up out of the bottom.  I'm hoping we can vacuum the rest of it up.
Today I had to get my B-12 shot and I needed it.  Definitely low energy.
Stopped by the Dollar store to stock up on paper plates, cups and plastic silverware so we won't have to worry about doing dishes the next time we don't have water.
I ordered a new I-Phone yesterday, not the 8 that just came out---my God, $1,000 for a phone, but last year's model at a greatly reduced price.  It's supposed to be here today.
Also dealing with the Equifax hack.  By checking with them I found that yes, our info may have been compromised.  So I had our credit frozen.  What  a pain.  Really like the way the directors of the company dumped their stock before announcing the breach.
Now that Irma is gone we're watching Typhoon Talim that will be moving through our daughter's area of Japan.  To say nothing of the idiot in North Korea firing missiles over Japan.
Then this morning the IED on the London Underground.  It's a scary word we live in.
I guess all we can do is hope for the best and keep on keeping on.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back to Normal

The water didn't stay long, started receding about an hour after it came in.  Once the tide went out on the Ogeechee River it took our water with it.
Our electricity was out for about 10 hours, from 6:15 am until 4pm, not bad at all.  We have an electric coop and they're great at  getting us up and running again.  While it was out we used the new generator to run the refrigerator, a fan and the tv.
Once our water came back on, our community is on a well, we had to boil the water to use it, just as a precaution.  Today they said our water was ok.
We needed to go to the store yesterday and a tree was leaning over the driveway so Mac had to cut it down.  Then he spent yesterday afternoon cleaning the yard.
Our satellite tv wasn't working exactly right so I called DIRECTV up yesterday and they straightened things out quickly.
So we're doing well.  Hope life returns to normal for the folks down in Florida.

It didn't break the panel, just knocked it out.