Odds and Ends No. 49


Looks like it hit 119° F this afternoon.
I had a late lunch after my massage at
noon, so I’m eating a late dinner as

well. It is a little after seven. High
temperatures didn’t change much for
me. I made a simple ramen soup.

Chicken flavor. With peanut butter,
grape jelly, and a slice of Pepper Jack
on wheat bread. This is one of my

standard eat-by-myself meals and a
favorite of mine. The sweetness of the
jelly and the heat of the Pepper Jack

plus peanut butter being peanut
butter go well together. A little sweet.
And a little zing. Why the soup? Well,

In the hot summer months we keep
the house at 79° F during the day. Not
very cool, but cool enough for me that

soup is an easy choice for me all year
around. And, oddly, ramen noodles are
a substitute for a rice fix that I don’t

have as often as I’d like. Cooking for one
is no fun, so I don’t cook major meals as
much as I’d like. Windows Pro 10 had

installed a major upgrade. With Firefox,
Word, and Excel open at the same time,
I had a hunch that my CPU was running

hot. So, I installed Core Temp and
SpeedFan. Critical warning Core 0! I
promptly closed Excel. I returned to my

work in Word. About six warnings
followed in as many seconds. I closed
Firefox. Still too hot. I installed Chrome;

and uninstalled Firefox. When in doubt,
press restart. It got worse no matter
what I did. Software froze or wouldn’t

open. I saved my work in a nick of time,
as they say. Then, I held down the power
button. I closed the cover. My laptop

could be used as a hot plate. I let it sit
until the next day. The night was short.
My brain woke me up a little before four.

I installed openSUSE Tumbleweed again!
And I tweaked my book manuscript in
LibreOffice. Lunch came and went. And

here I am. I was so busy with this OS
mess this morning, I missed my second
cup of coffee and neglected to put it in

my thermos. I wanted something fresh,
flavorful, and strong. That is when I
remembered my espresso beans. One

cup for me at nine (We ate breakfast at
five.) and the rest in the thermos for
lunch. It made an excellent cup of

regular coffee just like the package
said. Not just for espresso. And the
hazelnut creamer made it amazing.

It looks like my trusty old laptop can’t
handle Windows anymore. I can’t be
OCD with operating systems anymore.

Core 0 is at 64° C; Core 1 is at 60° C.
Linux is it until my next laptop (which
is long overdue). Gets warm but not hot.

I didn’t need the computer drama, but
at least I’m back on track and writing
again. But wait! Windows 7 is good

until 2020. I’m thinking factory reset.
(Just kidding.) Paying for Office 365
and running Linux doesn’t make sense.

How about a clean Win 10 Pro install
without any other intruders? Tada!
Is this my next computer challenge?

 

Odds and Ends No. 39


I was hoping for a haiku today, but my life and
the chaos whirling around me is bigger than a
haiku. The forecast for today was strong winds

and clouds of electronic chaos dissipating in
the late afternoon. She wanted Office back.
After getting her set up, I realized I wanted to

stay in my peaceful Linux world. I didn’t need
any more electronic chaos on the pile. Oddly,
my hand cramped while writing in my journal.

(Was that a sign?)

I tightened the screws on my bullet journal;
but when I looked at it, it didn’t look the same.
It may well have belonged to the Mad Hatter.

Not me. My brain couldn’t follow it. I gave in
to my electronic side and revisited Nozbe. I’m
there today. I wrote about my dilemma in my

journal. It looked more like something Poe
would write. I needed the chaos to come out
of my pen onto the paper. That is when I

thought about Nozbe again. Expensive? Yes.
I needed to come out of the storm into the
calm and float in electronic peace again.

(I need to type! Be right back. I want to see
what it feels like to type in my journal instead
of writing by hand. I love my pens but my

brain is moving faster than my pen can move.
I need to type.) Why is typing for me so
therapeutic? I feel better already. It felt good

to blister the keys and ramble on. Much like
I’m doing here. They texted her when they
landed. This time they landed in Mesa

instead of Phoenix. Add to that a stop for
an In-N-Out burger; they won’t get here for
another hour or so. Not quite dinner time

our time; after dinner time their time. They
left around three; got here around four, so
with the time change, they are starving.

Too many components. Too many places
to track data in the bullet journal for me.
Yes, I can make it the way I want, but

the computer geek in me doesn’t think
that way. I need to give it a rest for a few
days while my brain clears and this cold

goes away for good. Tonight is the last
night of my ten-day antibiotic run. My
throat is still sore; I hope I’ll wake up

Saturday with nothing. I still have to
use an inhaler for a few months. I hope
my body gets the message: No more

illness. My feet haven’t swelled for a
few weeks. A little pain, but no swelling.
Walking Thunderbird is in my future!

(Yes, another sign!)

I think I’m pulling out of being brain
weary. I feel like I’ve been in a fog far
too long. Could it be my breakfast?

Friday is Wally day. I made Gevalia.
That coffee is so good. Oddly, I have
had Cheerios (1 cup) for breakfast

every day for about two weeks. With
canned peaches. I love canned peaches.
A leftover memory from my Army

C-ration days. I put the 2% milk in
at the last moment before I sit down.
Soggy cereal is not an option.

Dinner is still up in the air. We’ll wait
until the kids get here then go from
there. There are good things ahead.

I’m already looking forward to coffee
tomorrow morning. I’m more relaxed.
Writing does that. I’m thankful for

what life brings today. And tomorrow.
And for the little things like openSUSE
Tumbleweed and Nozbe. All is well.

Odds and Ends No. 32


I stared at this blank page long enough.
A lot going through my mind but not
getting through to the page, so I went

back to my openSUSE Tumbleweed
desktop and played a game hoping it
would jar something profound loose.

I just spit my gum out. She had a pack
on the counter. I had eaten a simple
sandwich, three radishes, and three

olives not caring if my stomach virus
and nagging cold go berserk. Maybe it
was the Dijon or my mild cup of tea,

but I thought a stick of gum would
help. It didn’t. It was like a burst of
sweet chemicals in my mouth and

in minutes turned to rubber that I
could no longer chew. That quickly
reminded me why I don’t chew gum

anymore. I thought the game would be
a great alternative to thinking. I was
wrong even though the pieces started

falling faster at Level 3. This is the
only thing I do right-handed as the
arrow buttons are on the right side of

the keyboard. Surprised I can play at
all. But by Level 6 I was still shaking
my head about events in Paris and

the ongoing anal political events with
North Korea wondering if world stupidity
would prevail. I couldn’t concentrate

any longer and crashed.

Score 1739980
Lines 61
Level 7

Respectable score even though I
feel like crap. Just as well. I believe
good writing (or art forms) are just

that: Good. Not driven by an agenda
or filled with hate, anger, abuse, and
the like. I came close to the edge up

there thinking of world events. Well,
I do have views, opinions, and yada
yada, yada. Many things. But rather,

the Apostle Paul told the Philippians,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable, whatever is

just, whatever is pure, whatever is
lovely, whatever is commendable, if
there is any excellence, if there is

anything worthy of praise, think about
these things.” She just got home. I
helped her in with a few things; decided

to eat a carrot. As I walked back to my
red desk, I asked, “Did you get your toes
done?” “Yes,” she said. Walking back to

her, I said, “I forgot to look; let me see!”
A beautiful Bougainvillea color. “Very
pretty!” Back at my desk, I wished the

carrot was a cigar because I don’t smoke
anymore. Not since 1976; but the desire
still lingers. Listen, I want you to have

hope, not fear. Hard to do in the chaos of
the world today. Paul continued, “What
you have learned and received and heard

and seen in me—practice these things,
and the God of peace will be with you.” A
carrot, cigar, or world news can’t top that.

Mostly Minutiae No. 31


It is later than yesterday; the end is near.
Not of everything, just some things. So,
I’ll start closer to the end. We just finished

watching Department Q, the third in a
series. Amazing work by Nikolaj Lie Kaas
and Fares Fares in this intense movie.

I’m just starting to breathe again! Earlier
we ventured out for lunch in between
rain storms. Chinese. We took a few

moments to decide from the lunch menu
which isn’t good on Saturdays. The waiter
had us regroup looking at a combo menu

instead. Her dish was on it; mine was not.
She went with chicken and broccoli spicy
and brown rice. I only eat brown rice if

I have to. I went with kung pao chicken.
You know, a spicy brown sauce with
onions, green peppers, water chestnuts,

and peanuts (luckily this version was light
on the peanuts). And a small wonton soup
for me. We sat at a small table for two.

Vietnam war memories still linger, so I
would have preferred to face the door,
but I rather sit in a stiff chair then a soft

bench. She faced the door. I faced the
wall and a large TV screen with no sound.
An infomercial about make-up. The screen

was so big all the models had lips the size
of my head. The food is always fresh and
good here; not that we eat out often.

The morning had an odd start. Did I hear
her first or did I feel her touch my arm first?
Not sure, as I was asleep.

“Do you want to get up?”

I could barely function. I opened one eye
and aimed it at the alarm clock I never use.
06:04 means it is really 05:56. Why does

she keep it eight minutes fast? For what?
“Why do you want to get up at six?” I turned
my head back to the ceiling in the dark.

“I want six o’clock coffee.”

“What is wrong with seven o’clock coffee?”

“Then I’d regret I missed six o’clock
coffee.”

How could I argue with that? I got out of
bed. The kitchen was behind from last night.
I cleaned things up to make way for six

o’clock coffee. Joe day. “O crap, it’s 06:39,”
I thought to myself, “a few minutes to grind,
ten minutes to brew. We can get a sip in

before it turns into seven o’clock coffee.”
We sat at the table and she sipped. Bagel
for me; toast for her. She smiled at me

and said, “It is six-thirty coffee, not six.”
I protested in that we were drinking it
before seven. Made before seven!

“Six-thirty coffee is better than seven,”
I smiled back. I went to sleep thinking that
Microsoft was sucking the life out of me.

So, I cleared my desk to study; put my PC
on the file cabinet and loaded openSUSE.
Writing to you in Opera as we speak.

With exception of the browser, I’m Googlefied
again. Notification drop-down still won’t work
in Chrome or Chromium. WordPress checking

it out. We needed paper towels; bought
some on the way home. And a piece of pie
in the freezer section. You need something

sweet after Chinese. Getting dark again.
Dinner won’t happen. Popcorn. Nearing the
end. (I did say that, you remember.) Nearing

the end of year I am happy to see go. Tough
year. I hope to leave some horrid memories
behind and not take them with me into the

new year. Nearing the end of this post and
the lovely writing challenge from Maja. Thank
you, my dear. The pleasure was mine.

When we believe in God, we get to decide
to believe another new day, another new
year. I’ll bring hope into the new year.

As Joyce Meyer wrote, “As children of God,
one of the privileges we have is believing the
impossible.”

Happy new year everyone.

Mostly Minutiae No. 11


It’s another three cookies after
lunch day with the cooling
embers of my hot tea.

This is actually a “start-over.”
I wrote about how Linux fonts
were making me go blind and
some other nonsense when
I saw the garage door go up.

Then, her little white car zipped
in the garage. I carried in two
24-packs of water and a few
other things.

(She is stocking up for the grand
kids visit next week. I can tell.)

I asked, “Did you have lunch?”

“No, did you?”

“No. How about a burger?”

So, in a flash I had her turkey
burger and my two small beef
burgers going. (Yup, same as
yesterday for me. Fine by me.)

Five minutes a side for me; but
seven or so minutes a side for
her. She likes hers pressed
with a spatula, dead on arrival,
no fat, no surprises, nothing
moving on the plate.

I’m a few dabs of ketchup. She’s
yellow mustard like icing on a
cake. Lovely lunch with my
sweetheart. We talked on and on.

I could tell she wants to run an
errand. She has that look. So, I
told her I’d do the clean up.

She was like a sprinter in the
starting blocks waiting for me to
take my last bite. Bang!

She was gone! I did the dishes,
etc. I looked at what I wrote just
before she returned. Yuck!

That is how I got here today. So,
where am I? Back in Windows.
I felt that my machine with Linux
was possessed.

It was on my mind when I got out
of bed at four this morning. Why
sleep when I can change to a
different OS?

Are you getting tired of me changing
operating systems? (Well, so am I.
I’m done. I’m staying put. That is it.)

Here is the big one. Almost forgot
to tell you. Earlier when I helped
her unload the car I had this goofy
grin on my face.

She said, “I know why you are
grinning like that.”

“No you don’t,” I said, grinning even
bigger, “See, I shaved.” Got her;
she hadn’t noticed.

She flicked on the hall light. “My
goodness, you did!”

Mid-morning, I stood in front of the
mirror, when I heard the inner me
say, “You need to shave.”

So, I’m happy to report that I am
back. Shaved head and goatee only.
I feel like myself again. It is the little
things.

(And for me the power of EMDR. If
you know EMDR, you know what
I’m talking about.)

It’s Sunday. Lighten up. Do
something for yourself today to
make you feel good about yourself.

God doesn’t make mistakes. He
made you, didn’t He? So, you are
good to go. And you deserve it.

(So… what did you do?)

Mostly Minutiae No. 7


Didn’t sleep well. Got up anyway.
(You probably guessed that.)
Can you tell I’m in a hurry?
Been in a time crunch all day!

Breakfast was early; but lovely
as usual. And we had the usual.
Except her bread was too much,
so she tried another for toast.

She is singing, “Mango, mango,
mango” this morning, mango
being her favorite jam. Was out
for a while. Made her day.

Haven’t used Linux for a while.
Trying to remember stuff. Like I
was scrolling through packages,
and the old ScummVM was there!

I installed it soon after breakfast,
and started to watch the comic-
book-like intro to the”Beneath a
Steel Sky” game I played eight
years ago on Linux. Holy Smokes!

My second cup of coffee grew
murky and cold. Cold Coffee-mate
is the pits. I have to cut out those
rich dairy creamers for now.

Installed ClamAV and searched
the net for its GUI, ClamTk. In the
middle of my being lost in Linux,
she stuck her head in, “Isn’t your
appointment at eleven; it’s five
after ten.”

She couldn’t believe how fast this
old infantry guy moved. Shaved,
dressed, out the door in ten
minutes. (Haven’t done that lately.)

Got to fly now. I was supposed to
start dinner twenty minutes ago.

Who says it’s too late for coffee?
I’m having coffee. Can I breathe
now? (Wrote this post in amazing
time! I am good to go!)

Mostly Minutiae No. 6


Distressed, I awakened a little before
five; got up to face the cool morning
before the dawn.

O my goodness, the first stanza
sounds like a BBC drama. That’s it!

I dreamt about the drama we watched
last night before bed. Innocent enough
on the screen; a killer in my dreams.

I didn’t want to disturb her, so I
grabbed my heavy robe in the dark.
(Not a problem, I always hang it in
the same spot.)

I keep a spare toothbrush and bottle
of eye drops in the guest bathroom.
(You guessed it. Not the first time
for a “can’t sleep” scenario.)

Desk lamp on. Door closed. Laptop
on. Journal open. I typed the time
and one line of text only to hear her
in the kitchen.

Turns out, she didn’t sleep well
either and for the same reason.
The dumb drama.

She got to the coffee pot first.
I cut our cheese, her toast in,
and we were munching and
crunching in no time.

We analyzed it. Why such a
disturbing sleep over an award
winning drama? No idea. Too
early to think. Need more coffee.

We let the drama go. Another cup
of coffee cured the “not enough
sleep” headache. We changed
gears.

I mentioned, “It is a different
season of my life. Time to let
LinkedIn go,” Just a nod, no
comment. (Expected when I
talk “tech.”)

I thought to myself, “No point.
I haven’t been thirty-something for
forty years. Network, schmetwork,
who cares!”

I’m reading a mega spiritual
self-help book. About to finish the
first chapter. I thought I’d read it
first thing after breakfast for a
change in routine.

I went from dismal to depressed.
I hate it when my life mirrors both
the male and female examples in
a self-help book.

She looked lovely today. She drove
to work; I walked down the hall to
my desk. (The coffee was working
its magic. Dismal had to go. Good
is on the way.)

Then, as I slugged my way through
an openSUSE forum. Christmas
came early. I found the answer.

In moments, WiFi printing was up
and running. Nothing to print but
the test page; well, it is up.

I wonder what we’ll watch tonight.
Do we dare watch episode five?

What on earth makes me think I
can be entertained by other
people’s dysfunction?

(We do it all the time.) Back for
more? We’ll see. I have enough
trouble with my own issues!

(And, I just closed my LinkedIn
account.)