Thursday, April 20, 2017

Even Chocolate is hard to eat when ...

... you have to suck it.

Yesterday I had the polyp removed from my mouth and am now supposed to eat only food with a custard-like consistency.  After 24 hours of diet shakes I felt that I needed a little treat so bought some Lindt Chocolate balls and found that the urge to bite into them was almost overwhelming and somehow they are not the same when sucked.  I had no desire to scoff the lot which is my usual reaction to the chocolate balls.  As DT would tweet, "SAD".

I cleaned up the inflamed incision on my leg and found that there was a bit of suture sticking out (supposedly the dissolving sort and inserted on 17th February) and pulled it out.  It was all in a tangle but slipped out easily; not so the other side of the incision   It also had some suture sticking out but I was not able to remove it and it seemed to be attached somewhere down my leg so I have covered it with Fixomull Stretch to prevent it from catching on my trousers and tomorrow morning I have an appointment with the dermatologist.

 I have a bad feeling about this and unless he can somehow pull it all out I may be faced with re-opening the incision and sitting with my leg up for another three weeks.  Not a happy prospect and just when I thought that I was almost done with this gradual whittling away of my person.

Back to COTA today and my first client had the most peculiar set-up on his laptop.  It looks like Windows 10 and he thinks that is what he has got but it was installed by a friend and I suspect that it is an illegal copy and it acts very strangely.  The tiles do not work as they should and when we tried to open a text document all he had was Wordpad. 

I like Wordpad and all its works so we opened and saved a blank document on desktop. closed it to demonstrate filing, naming and saving and when we opened it found that it had morphed into a spreadsheet and every time we tried the same thing happened.  However, we found another text app  -  one which I have never seen before and we are going to have to work with that.

He wants to sort his pictures but when he opened the Pictures App he had a page full of duplicate photos of a red truck filling the whole page.  I gather that this was a present from the friend who installed Windows 10.  I really need to spent time working on the computer myself.  It is very hard to teach someone how to do things on a computer containing a multitude of weird things and with no clue as to what is there.  I think that next week I might take over for the time it takes to get into My Computer and see just what has been installed before handing it back to him to do some editing.

His homework is to open a new text file and add enough text so that I can show him how to edit but I am not holding my breath that he can, or will, do it so I will take in a flash drive containing something from my web pages or we might find ourselves spending the whole hour trying to install enough text to actually teach editing, saving, naming and filing.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Post-departure Pictures

Early in this last week I attended the funeral of one of my friends from the time when I worked for Mental Health Services and who was a member of the Lotto Lunch Group which has been running from the time I retired.  Gradually the whole group has retired but we still meet every two months, albeit we are a member short at the moment.

It was a beautiful funeral  -  totally secular and without a lot of the to-ing and fro-ing usually seen at these functions.  Part of the proceedings was a slideshow of photos from her life (she was stunningly beautiful with red hair and a lovely bone structure) which got me thinking that maybe my kids might want to do something similar so I hauled out the three CDs of family photos which were mostly taken by my father and which were collected by my brother and me and put onto CDs.  However, when I tried to transfer the pictures to my computer they refused to transfer and it took me most of the afternoon to work out how to save them all on my hard drive  -  not made any easier by the fact that I had to do each one using a different method.  I cannot blame Windows 10 for that  -  I tried on my Win 7 computer and it gave just the same result

The hardest to transfer was a large assortment of photos taken when my children and I were younger and far more beautiful  -  in my case, at least and which were professionally transferred from colour slides to CD professionally and which were designed to be easily copied so that I could send a copy to each of my kids.  Copied onto CDs perhaps but not to a hard drive.  So now they are all there on my computer ready for my funeral slide show  -  and they are very interesting as they show my daughters as children and me without wrinkles.  Perhaps I should make a selection  myself but hopefully that will be jumping the gun a bit.  I will put them all onto a flash drive and hope that the technology outlasts me.  I am going to have to rename them so that the names of the people are not forgotten  -  as so often happens.

I have returned to spinning and am pushing ahead with a colourway called "Bruised Ego" in superwash merino.  I think that I will have enough for a sweater with quite a bit over so I am spinning the first 200gms much finer than usual with the idea of knitting a lacy scarf and I will knit my favourite  "Kimono Sweater" with the rest with, hopefully, enough left to make another beanie for the homeless.  I have already knitted two and one of my Knitting Group has knitted another for me to donate.  The Group mostly knits squares for rugs or dolls to be given to children in more deprived countries so perhaps beanies will be a change for us.

I am having another bit of me cut out of my mouth on Wednesday, after which I will be eating custard for a week but hopefully it will be like most of the previous dissections  -  totally normal and non-lifethreatening.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Nightmare scenarios

As my boy cat carefully walked behind my computer and monitor avoiding with some precision all the cables and connections before realising that there was no way either forward or back and I could see that some damage to my connections was imminent ( I picked him up by the scruff and removed him forthwith) it made me think about unpremeditated actions which could lead to dire consequences and what has been going on in the world over the last couple of days.

When a man with almost unlimited power and the nuclear codes suddenly decides, without warning, to bomb another country for no particular reason (OK chemical weapons, but …)  and is left with the aftermath and no plan, the excrement is going to hit the propeller in a big way.  Did no-one try to stop him; did he even discuss it with his closest advisors?  What is he going to do now? Escalate or creep back into his hole and declare the whole thing to be FAKE  NEWS?

Is he planning to try the same tactics on any other country which does not please him?  He doesn’t like Iran but Russia does, just as Russia likes and supports the Government of Syria.  He has already threatened to bomb North Korea which would put China off side, not to mention anything or anyone who gets in the way, such as Japan and South Korea.  Are we facing WWIII as some people have already suggested  -  and we have bases here in Northern Australia.

Some people have said that it was the right thing to do and maybe, in the circumstances, it was but what is going to happen now?


Meanwhile my boy cat carries on unchastened and unrepentant.  He tells me that he will do it again when I am not there to stop him.  I love him dearly but he seems to have a sort of death wish; there are tooth marks on the cord of my IPad recharger and he could only have got to it while the charger was switched on.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

And I was about to resign, too. Oh, well ...

COTA seems to stumble from one unforseen disaster to another.  Two weeks ago there were no staff there  -  no-one in reception even and therefore I had no idea who my clients were going to be and no sheet on which to fill out their details.  I used a blank sheet of paper and which got lost so I had to start again last week with the one client who returned.  The other one has not been back and I can hardly blame her since the only computer I had with Win 7 installed was not working properly and the only way that we could close files and folders was by going to Task Manager.  Not a good look ...

This week I arrived to find a new client waiting for me and then the one I was expecting arrived for his third lesson.  I had been double booked.

The client who was there for his third lesson had not charged up his battery  -  he brings his own computer  -  so we had to use a COTA one and the clipboard was not working properly .  Luckily the one which had been sent for repairs was back and it works although it had some funny little ways which we were able to work around.

After the second class I was told that another client had arrived 20 minutes late so I was doubly booked for both my classes.  The receptionist passed both extras over to the boss lady so I do not know what arrangements have been made for them.

My second client had her first three lessons with Himself and we used the newly renovated Boardroom 1 computer for her last lesson so all went very well and she wants to come back for some more lessons.  We appear to be booked up until July (I can't believe that considering the state of the computers) and she can not get another set of classes until then.

My friend The Shrink who was diagnosed with a brain tumour about a year ago died a couple of days ago and her funeral is next Tuesday.  I checked public transport to the cemetery and there is none.  Big cemetery; lots of funerals; and no buses or trains.  So I will be taxiing and will have to miss the knitting group when we are supposed to be teaching 8-year old kids to knit in two hours.  I was looking forward to it but it is not to be.

I started knitting a scarf from the remnants of the Chunderup sweater and I love it so maybe it will lift the tone of the sweater which certainly needs something to help it out even though I will wear it with pride as it is the first time I have incorporated a pattern into a knitted article and it emboldened me to knit the lacy possum cowl which I love.

I am still eagerly following American politics but the wheels seem to be starting to fall off and it will probably settle down to the usual ho-hum politicians doing ho-hum things like most governments do.  Maybe it is time to get back to writing up my family history, warts and all.

Monday, April 3, 2017

D. is leaving at the end of the week :(

D is the person who cleans the public spaces in apartment Blocks A & B and we are going to miss her.  Not only is she super-efficient but she always has time to stop for a chat, help anyone who needs help and battles with the Administration when things are not working as well as they ought to.

A group of us had a send-off for her today at KokoBlack and it was a fairly raucous occasion.  There were eight of us, all from Block B except one lone soul and it was a lot of fun.  D. outlined her plans for the rest of the week; she intends to crash and have a 'nanna-nap' on the couch on level six sometime and on Friday she is going to have a swim in the pool over in A Block.  The event is scheduled to start at 10.00am and we are all invited.  Since the forecast is for showers I do not think that many of us will be joining her in the water, even though it is a heated pool.

Earlier in the day my life was livened by a plumbing company coming to change the anode in my hot water system and, from the look of it, it was not before time.  The appointed tradesman arrived half an hour early which was good because of the party to farewell D. but he took one look and pronounced that my apartment was very different from the rest (which I already knew) and said that he would not be able to lift the clothes dryer off the wall on his own so he called up a mate who arrived an hour later. 

They unblocked the overflow and showed me the anode which they were replacing and from the look of it was another cheap alternative because the anode which they put in could not possibly have corroded that much in five and a half years.  And, bless their hearts, they asked for a mop and bucket of water so that they could clean under the washing machine which is too heavy for me to shift and rescued all the cat toys which had lodged underneath.

They are replacing the anodes in any apartments where the owners put up their hands and we get a discount if enough people do so.  From the look of my anode all 150 apartments need new ones as I live in the newer block  -  four years younger than Block A.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Our Two Days of Summer

While the Eastern States sweltered in above average temperatures, here I Perth we only had a couple of days of summer and already the leaves are turning, * 'the pre-session of the equinox has proceeded according to precedent' and the days are drawing in.  This afternoon I turned on the heating for the first time for ages.  Queensland is on cyclone watch for one of the worst cyclones on record, expected to cross the coast tonight and there have been floods Down South and Over East and several people have drowned in the flood waters.  All in all it has been a very funny summer.

The three weeks which I spent with my leg propped up prevented me from doing anything but reading, knitting and following  American politics and I admit that I have managed to develop an addiction to the goings-on in Washington and some of the very funny news and YouTube offerings which sadly seem to be  tailing off since the defeat of Trumpcare.

I am back to doing yoga and am extremely stiff as a result and yesterday I resumed spinning despite worsening arthritis in my thumbs.  I am knitting a second version of the 'Go With the Flow' jacket but have broken off to start knitting a few things for the homeless with the leftovers from various sweaters.  At the moment I am knitting a diagonal scarf with the remains of 'Chunderup' the sweater which featured large a few posts ago.  I have already knitted a beanie and will do a few more.  I think that it is going to be a cold winter so hopefully something warm and woolly will be of some help to those people sleeping rough.

I finally removed the last of the steristrips from my leg since they were grimly hanging on and the adhesive was getting sticky and I don't think that they would have fallen off by themselves.  The incision has healed well but there is a dent in my leg, where the SCC was, so quite a bit of tissue must have been removed.  I am glad that it is gone but think that I might be developing another one on my arm.  It is small and I am keeping an eye on it so hopefully it will not need such drastic excision.

Himself is away for a few weeks and I am back to battling with the COTA computers but thinking of resigning.  I am tired of trying to teach on computers which are never upgraded and do not do what I ask of them.

*I have been rereading my Terry Pratchett books with their extensive and nonsensical Discworld endnotes so have decided to acknowledge the above quote as an endnote.  It is from "The Elephant's Child or How the Elephant got its Trunk" by Rudyard Kipling.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

OMG, Custard?

I had an appointment to see an oral surgeon a couple of days ago because Oral Surgeon Mk.1 said that I had a 'nodule' in my mouth and that she was not qualified to remove it so she would refer me to Oral Surgeon Mk.2.  The poor man had to sit through me venting about perfectly healthy pieces being chopped out of me with no explanation, after which he carefully looked at the nodule and told me exactly why it needed to be identified  -  so I am to have a biopsy in about four weeks after which I have to eat custard and foods with similar texture for a couple of weeks.  I figure that avocados would qualify and maybe very finely blended soups because I don't think that I would survive on custard for even a couple of days ... I don't do sweet but there are some recipes on the net for savoury custard, a sort of quiche without the ham and onion.

My leg is healed but the steristrips are still in place so I have a few weeks breather before the next round of evisceration.  The problem I have now is that my enforced rest got me interested in what is going on politically in America and the first thing I look at in the morning when I turn on my computer is the news.  Our ABC has a category classified as "Trump's America"  -  and of course there is Facebook which is very Democratic unless I am looking in the wrong place.

Our politics is marginally better and therefore less interesting but we have just had a State Election and there has been a change of government which was expected  -  so no surprises there except for the huge swing to the other party.

I bought a 'going away/thank you/housewarming' present for D. the woman who cleans the common areas in both apartment blocks and we are all going to miss her.  She knows everyone, keeps an eye on the oldies and always has time for a chat and to let us know what is going on (or not) with Management.  I bought her something from DJs which has a warranty and any gift with a warranty, if you let it be known that it is a gift, gets a special 'gift' receipt which allows the warranty to be activated without the recipient knowing the price.  That is the best thing that I've come across in a while  -  its great! (sorry  -  couldn't resist).

However, I needed some new undies and DJs arranges things so that the pretty, expensive and tiny sizes are easily accessible but the common and garden knickers are right down near the floor so I spent some time on my hands and knees looking for my size which is in short supply and they are no longer available on-line.  The bras are now in EU sizing so I had to try on a heap before I found my new size which translates to my old size and my size, once again, was down near the floor.  It is a good thing I wasn't in a hurry because there is no-one to help so it means getting dressed each time one wants to experiment with a different size..  Grrrrr!