Monday, September 28, 2015

The Naughty Corner

The cats were being particularly annoying yesterday evening.  Poppy was lying on the Big Persian (a rug, not a cat) angrily thumping her tail while Parsifal, as usual, was trying to swing the pictures, walking around and around the TV and yowling at the top of his voice.  I was trying to read.  Then Parsifal got annoyed with Poppy, responded to her invitation and pounced on her.  I gave them a burst of the water bottle which stopped things for a few minutes but soon they were at it again so I picked them both up and put them out on the balcony with both the doors shut.

I let them back after about ten minutes, fed them and then ignored them while I did my yoga.  There is nothing which cats hate more than being ignored and they have been both quiet and good ever since.  At the moment they are curled up together asleep with not a swung picture or a thumping tail in sight.

I have finally located the shelf where Coles keeps split peas (see "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud ..." ).  They are in a small section with the dried fruit and also have Moroccan and Mediterranean flavoured cous cous.  The proper cous cous is on the shelf with the pasta.  Don't ask ... their logic defeats me.  I have tried the Mediterranean flavour and don't like it all that much  -  I prefer the plain, wholemeal sort to be honest.

Being tired of buying and eating tough meat I took myself over to Lady Kitchener and bought their last meat tenderiser.  It is a most lethal implement, being metal spikes on one side and a flat wooden hammer on the other.  The only proper butcher around here is at The Boatshed in Cottesloe where they hang the meat for the requisite time and are willing to cut the skirt off a beef carcass for me.  But that involves a five-minute train ride and I am getting lazy with so many shops just down below.  Farmer Jack has better meat but, like almost everywhere nowadays, it all comes packaged, albeit vacuum sealed if it is in bulk.  Mostly I only go there to buy my coffee beans but should really explore the meat section more thoroughly one day.  They do have nice sausages, I know that and if the need arises that is where I buy them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

All about Windows 10

I have reached a stage with Windows 10 where I think that I can use it as my day-to-day computer if pressed.  I haven't even considered my genealogy research; that will have to wait until I have mastered all the basics.

I spent yesterday going into the ramifications of my Outlook email, especially in relation to folders, contacts and groups.  I had some problems with creating a Group as the instructions are far from clear but I made notes which I have saved on One Note.  Having actually created a new group for the email I send to the Ds every morning to let them know that I am still alive, well and living in Claremont I typed in the name of the group only to be told that I already had a group of that name - and sure enough this baby had synced itself with my main computer and there it was.  Not obvious because the contact list has hauled in my contacts from all my email addresses, lumped them all together and hidden them.  No doubt I will get used to that in time; Windows 10 is full of surprises ...

My main computer, Hex, which has been getting more and more desperate to download Windows 10 and which I have been determined to delay until the last possible minute to get it for free is now resorting to offering me an upgrade to Windows 10, leaving all my programs and settings in place.  This, to me, is a far better option and when I have embraced the difference I might go down that path. 

I should be at COTA today but my client - who has booked for a two-hour class - spat the dummy because he thinks that he should have been notified last month.  On one level I agree with him but the system is rather odd with the Tuesday volunteer receptionist in charge of the bookings and one of the admin staff notifying us if we have any clients or not and notifying the clients the day before their class.  Unfortunately she is on holidays at the moment so things have gone a bit confused.  Anyway, the Wednesday receptionist took it upon herself to notify the clients and received a blistering earful for something which was not her fault.  Himself has the wife for the same two hours so it will be interesting to see - if the turn up next week - if he is polite, masterful or just plain nasty.

Watch this space!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What to do when COTA sends me no clients

I am typing this post from Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3 which has a smaller keyboard than I am used to so it is slow going as I tend to hit the wrong keys if I try to go fast.  I am slowly working my way through my 'to do' book for Win 10 but it is very much a case of trial and error because Aminata  doesn't always agree with the book.  One Note is a case in point; I have two versions - the App and the one which comes with my Office Suite.  To confuse things even further I have a different version again on my main desktop computer.  I am getting a little bit confused as to which one I am using but no doubt I will sort it all out in time and be ready for anything my clients throw at me.

While I am on the subject of Win 10 I have found that Microsoft Office is exactly the same as Microsoft Picture Manager for editing pictures so I am very happy about that and will not have to try to download Picture Manager from the internet as I did with my Laptop which has Classic Shell installed.

Anyway  -  to get back to my unexpectedly free morning, It was a lovely warm, sunny morning so I did what I had been putting off for a month - I loaded the cats into the Kitty Carriage and took them over to the Vet to have their teeth checked to see if they needed a general anaesthetic and a clean and scale.  Fortunately for all of us their teeth were in good condition but Poppy hissed and spat and generally made it clear that she disapproved of the whole procedure.

As a treat afterwards I walked them down to the park where they lazed in the Kitty Carriage in the sun.  Parsifal climbed out for a short while but a couple of dogs appeared and although they were very well behaved and were far more interested in the school kids having a sports lesson that the cats I thought it prudent to zip them in for safety.

I have also organised GB2'as pocket money for the next year as it is her 12th birthday today and wrapped her present.  One day in the distant future D3 and entourage will make their way over here and I can present the presents and D3 can sign the last of the 'end of life' documents.  It is not an important one but I would like to get the thing all finalised and forgotten until needed. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Thumbs down to Windows 10

I was able to download Windows 10 onto my surface pro 3 and I have spent two days trying to come to terms with it.  I no longer have a desktop with pretty icons on it and it refuses to allow my internet provider's email.  It has allowed G-mail and Yahoo, neither of which I use all that much.  I tried going private/local instead of The Cloud but it wants all manner of details which I do not have so, at this stage, I will still use email in this computer and wait until I have a need to call in Techie to sort things out for me.

After two days of playing with it I am getting some idea of how it all works but there are new symbols which cover a multitude of options and I am still finding my way around them.  The only consolation, if I find myself having to teach it, is that I am probably marginally ahead of any terrified newby who fronts up for lessons.

So far I haven't come across anything which it does better than Classic Shell.  It doesn't seem to have the facility to create shortcuts but since there is no desktop as such I guess that figures.  From the book I gather that 'favourites' still works but I have never found that nearly as useful as shortcuts.  I suppose that I will have to get used to it; and I seriously doubt that it supports MS Picture Manager but I haven't even tried that yet.  I downloaded it onto one of my Windows 8.1 computers so maybe that will be possible when I am forced to use Win 10 but I intend to stick with Win 7 on my desktop computer if I can.  I actually haven't started looking at "Pictures" yet.  I can save documents into 'My Documents' so that is one thing sorted but I can't see myself loading photos onto a tablet when I have a wide screen on my main computer.

I suppose that we can get used to almost anything but the only good thing I can think of is that MS has promised to simply update rather than devise new versions  in the future.  But I am not holding my breath.

EDITED to say that MS has just done an upgrade and I now have a desktop with pretty icons, an MS button in the left-hand corner of the screen which WORKS and I have my iinet mail which I must admit took a while to connect itself but I think that I can now send emails from it  -  and it can certainly receive because I have just deleted mail going back to last May.

Much happier  :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Where not to barf.

A couple of evenings ago Poppy ate her 'mush' which is an evening treat of something soft as the cats' diet is almost exclusively kibble, went to have a drink from their fountain and vomited up everything into the fountain.

I had to take the whole thing apart, clean the pump, replace the filter and wash the whole thing. Yuk!

After Himself and daughter expressing shock and horror at the thought of legally setting out my 'end of life' wishes, Herself has decided that she wants to have an Advanced Care Directive of her own  so I have given Himself a copy of my ACD and the paperwork explaining the options and the situations in which the options are to be enacted.  In her situation I would be wanting to do the same.

She is to be moved on to a half-way facility, Himself is going to visit the Independent Living Centre and an occupational therapist will be doing a home visit to assess what needs to be done to the Self's house if it is possible to have her at home; at this stage it is not an option but Himself says that she is still improving; she can now transfer from one chair to another with only one assistant.  Not good enough.  She has been having intensive physiotherapy for two months now and is still unable to support herself on her right leg which has me somewhat puzzled.  That is her good leg ...

I am in the process of trying to download Windows 10  onto my Surface Pro 3, the computer which has probably got less on it to damage, destroy or otherwise mess up.  I will leave this desktop computer for as long as I can and probably ask Techie to do the download for me as there is all manner of things which I would be upset to lose.  The Pro 3  is about 30% downloaded at the moment and I know of one person who successfully managed to complete the download so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can get it onto Aminata so that I can become familiar with it as I am eventually going to have to teach it.

I must admit, though, that I am a bit fed up with COTA and all its works.  There are serious difficulties  with connecting clients' computers to the internet, the boss is leaving at the end of the year and the administrator is on holidays and we are not being notified when we have clients.  Shambles is the best way to describe it at the moment but maybe I have just switched off now that all the legal stuff I have been doing is almost finished.

Friday, September 4, 2015

But after all ...

I sent a copy of the Enduring Power of Attorney off to my stockbroker (the one I normally deal with has gone to play buses for two years  -  unfortunately) only to get a curt message on my answerphone to say that I had to send a Certified Copy and that an ordinary copy was not good enough.  Every Thursday evening my local library hosts a Justice of the Peace so I trotted over the road and had a new copy certified (I had to take the original out of its binding to copy it) but I can't see any reason, other than general interest, why they need a copy at this stage as I am not planning on fading out any time soon and when I do then D2 can show them the original.  So I am being anal about it and will keep the certified copy with the originals until my temper has settled down somewhat  -  which may not be any time soon.

The cats are no longer allowed to sleep in the dirty clothes basket because the day before yesterday I lost Parsifal.  Poppy was very agitated  -  she always tells me when Parsifal has got himself shut into a cupboard  -  but I couldn't find him anywhere until I heard a yowling from behind the washing machine.  The space was too narrow for him to jump up to the top and the gaps on either side were too narrow to squeeze through so I had to haul the washing machine out to rescue him.  It is very heavy so once is enough and I have reclaimed the wash basket and they are back in one of the many cat beds which are scattered around the apartment.

Himself cancelled his first computer lesson yesterday because he had to attend a family meeting to discuss Herself's progress.  The outcome is that she will be moved to a half-way house and the team think that it is very unlikely that she can ever go home again.  Poor Himself had to come to COTA and conduct a lesson after that news; goodness knows how he got through it.  His brother is over here from the Eastern States for a week so he has some support at home and his daughter is very involved but busy with her work.  The situation is tragic and he is not coping well.  Hopefully now that there is a definite plan, however unwelcome, he will be able to come to terms with the reality and start rebuilding his life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Finally ... !

At last I am almost done with the legal stuff.  All but one of the documents has been signed.  One slipped through the net and D3 still has one to be signed and witnessed.  The documents for Landgate have gone back to the lawyer and my Advanced Care Plan has been copied to my general practitioner and MedicAlert.  I am getting a new MedicAlert bracelet and a black and silver dog tag to add to my bling; I wear a lot of black.  And a copy of the Enduring Power of Attorney has gone to my stockbroker/financial advisor who has promised to give D2 any help she needs whenever it is needed.

My general practitioner read through my Advanced Care Plan and said that it was what she wished for herself which is reassuring because Himself and his daughter are horrified that I would like to be allowed to die naturally rather than be kept alive just for the sake of some doctor not losing a patient.

Anyway, the document still to be signed by D3 is merely for Enduring Guardianship so unless I lose my mind between now and when I see her it won't matter and her two sisters can do the honours.

The cats have taken to sleeping in my dirty washing basket so most of my dirty clothes end up on the floor of the laundry because it is so peaceful when they are both asleep that I haven't the heart or the courage to turf them out.  I need to take them to the Vet to have their breath tested to see if they need to have their teeth scaled again but that can be done any time by a veterinary nurse.  Parsifal's breath is perfect but Poppy's teeth may need a bit of attention.  Her breath isn't rank but there is a slight tang of fish about it so next week, when I don't seem to have much on, we will go and pay a visit  -  weather permitting.

Himself came over yesterday, lured by the promise of me buying him lunch, to get some tips on Windows 8.  He is not coping very well with Herself in hospital but his brother flew in today and will be staying for a week which should cheer everybody up.  Herself thinks that she can move her left foot a bit but I am not holding my breath that it heralds any major improvement  -  yet.  However, she is now able to eat proper food and on Saturday evening  she got dressed up and she and Himself went to a concert, albeit in a maxi-taxi, and had a great time hearing the choir which she used to sing with.

GB2 and a friend took the puppy, Osku, for a walk in the park last weekend because he has now had all his immunisations and is allowed to meet and greet other dogs.  He was tugging hard on the lead so she removed it and it was only SIL's intervention which got him back safely.  She doesn't always think things through but she is not quite twelve yet so hopefully she will mature.