Saturday, April 30, 2016

So many things to stress me.

I have had a stressful week with a migraine thrown in just to help matters along.  To begin with, the quote I received for some house cleaning was very peculiar and told me nothing at all.  What it did was to list one hour of cleaning for one operative together with the cost of cleaning the windows and balcony and the cost of cleaning the carpets, added the 10% GST and totalled them all to just under $300 dollars.

When I emailed back objecting to what was, in essence an invoice I was told that the two operatives working together for two hours was actually two operatives each working for one hour.  All very odd and I can imagine that if the quote didn't put people off then halving the amount of time worked would just about finish them for good but maybe they had signed a contract or were too  polite to say anything.

And, of course, Microsoft still hasn't fixed the mail app and there are complaints coming from all over the world while MS claims that everything is running smoothly.  I spent an hour with two of their help and fix men last night and the conclusion was that they were unable to fix whatever the problem was.  I went online because I had received an error message saying that was preventing my mail app from upgrading itself.  What I found was that someone had traced to source and that it emanated from Microsoft's server in Virginia, USA. Is it a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing or is it a big cover up while they get their server up and running again or was the person who discovered the source of blu406 telling fairy tales.

Anyway, a couple of links on my Outlook-Mail site have brightened up although they don't actually do anything  -  so I am living in hope that all will eventually be fixed.  In the meanwhile I am using Office's mail, Outlook  -  but hate it and its format.

I removed the picture which Parsifal was forever trying to swing and he was very upset about it, keening and reaching up to where it used to be.  So I have hung a small oil painting (which has no glass to shatter) in its place.  It does not hang as low and he can't reach it so he spent last evening stretched up the wall and wailing.  Poor baby but I can't let him knock a picture frame with glass off the wall; I was lucky that the glass over Jerusalem didn't break but I can't blame Parsifal for its fall.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Decisions, Decisions

I have finally decided that I no longer want to have to cope with the floor tiles in the main room of my apartment.  Even the thought of cleaning them makes me feel tired so, at the recommendation of our unofficial facilitator (she cleans the public areas of the two apartment blocks, knows all the residents and managers and lets us all know what is going on) I have received a quote from  a cleaning company which already services several apartments within the complex.  Two people -  needed to lift the Big Persian  -  for a couple of hours per fortnight to do the floors, dusting and a bit of wiping with the option of having my carpets cleaned and the balcony and windows cleaned as one-off extras.

I haven't accepted yet but will do so as the time will come when I need help with the apartment and it will give me more time to do the things like spinning, knitting and reading.

Parsifal is back to trying (sometimes successfully) to swing the pictures and 'Jerusalem' fell down last week with a resounding crash when the fishing line broke under its weight  Parsifal was not able to reach that one so it was a natural disaster but not so bad  -  the glass did not break.  I have been out to Bunnings and bought some heavy-duty picture wire for Jerusalem and some lighter weight wire to reinforce the others.  I intend to move the two floral watercolours to my bedroom and install a couple of more robust oil paintings by Maynard Waters in their place.  One of the Maynard Waters fell down soon after I moved in but it was in a windy spot which was more than the fishing line was able to cope with.  The watercolours both have glass which, broken, would not be good for the cats' paws while the Maynard Waters pictures are unglassed and painted on ply wood.

I am not sure if COTA took me seriously when I said that I was resigning but the computers seems to be working now so I am happy to continue if they want to have me.  The boss was not there when I left on Thursday so I left a message with everyone else there and hopefully I will have some clients next week.

Microsoft seems to have stuffed up their mail server which is easier to work and understand than Office Outlook.  It has been giving error messages for five days now and was told that they were developing a new format which would take up to 48 hours to get up and running.  There is a map online of the outages around the world and it fluctuates with most of Australia back online  -  but not me.   Not 48 hours and not yet at least; maybe never.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sometimes I just want to sit down and cry

Finally, finally, after I had to threaten to resign from COTA I managed to get someone to come and have a look at the computer which I am supposed to teach on and which has been refusing to connect to the internet.  How am I supposed to teach computer skills on a computer which not only refuses to connect to the internet but which refuses to open some programs.  MS Word can be opened from a shortcut on the Desktop but not from the start menu  -  that is wrong.  Students should not learn to rely on shortcuts on the desktop because they probably do not have them at home and if they do not know to connect through the Start Menu they have a problem and we are not giving them their money's worth.  And if they cannot open a program through the start menu but only from a shortcut what are they to do?

So the administrator/computer service people were contacted and now, I was told before I left for the day, that not only is the computer I use connected to the Internet but someone will be out to check ALL the settings on all three operating systems.  I'm not holding my breath.  We also deleted about half of the icons on the desktop so that the ones which are left can actually be found without a map and compass.

Tomorrow someone is coming to give me a quote to send a couple of people to clean my apartment on a regular basis.  I can manage the basics if I potter but the large expanse of tiles has me defeated.  Not only is the furniture too heavy (and I am not supposed to lift heavy weights) but the big Persian rug is totally beyond me.  I have been folding it sides to middle and hoping that no dirt or grime penetrates to the middle but it needs to be lifted so that the floor can be cleaned properly.  And, of course, there is always black fur on the carpets.

Friday, April 8, 2016

They say that things come in threes - how true that is.

I have had three electronic disasters in the last two days, two of which were my own glitches and one was at COTA.

On Thursday I dragged myself off to COTA feeling decidedly not the best.  Himself had no clients to I had two computers to play around with.  The one which I normally use  -  and whose desktop is rapidly filling up with shortcuts which I am powerless to move into folders.  I have been told that I must not move, for example, the various parts of MS Office into a folder because someone "might need them".  They are shortcuts, for heaven's sake!  But I can't move them anyway.  According to the computer only the Administrator can do that and the Administrator is the company which services the computers.  They just refuse to be dragged anywhere at all.

Anyway, the computer which I use refused point blank to connect to the internet and refused to connect to my hotspot  -  fair enough since it is hardwired.  So I moved to the computer which Himself uses (read about shortcuts and desktops here) only to find that although it connected to the internet the scroll bars didn't scroll so we were stuck with just what first came up when we opened a page.  That is where I got angry and demanded that my client should be given her money back.  The outcome is that the Administrator will be summonsed to sort out the computers and my client will be getting four lessons over the next two weeks  -  and I will take in my own computers.

And she wants to learn PowerPoint!!  She is fairly new to computers and has a broken-down Win 7 laptop so I have had to do a fast learning curve on PowerPoint just in case she really wants it but suspect that it is spreadsheets which she really needs.

Then yesterday when I was trying to grab a picture from Facebook the whole screen went long, narrow and tiny  -  like a very thin ribbon.  Nothing worked to bring the normal look and every page I tried was the same so eventually I had to do a system restore.  Luckily an automatic restore point had created itself about 30 minutes previously and it worked and now we are back to a proper screen again.

Then last night my Kobo E-reader dropped out and froze.  I didn't think that its battery was flat but tried charging it.  I realised that it was more serious when I found that  it wasn't registering on the "it is safe to remove ... " so I went online and learnt how to restart the battery.  It is a matter of sticking a straightened paperclip up a little hole in the bottom of the e-reader.  Thank goodness it worked and I have my e-reader back again.

So now I know how to reset the e-reader's battery and I have worked out how to compile a PowerPoint presentation  -  should I ever need to do so.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

All this new family to register

Yesterday was a very interesting day.

To begin with I had my Knitting Club in the early afternoon.  It is held on the first Tuesday of every month and usually between 2 and 6 people attend.  However yesterday people kept on arriving and we ended up with about 18 people  -  unprecedented!  So we have decided to hold the club every Wednesday and see how it goes.  We would certainly not be able to accommodate more than we had yesterday without drastically reorganising the room and bringing in more tables and chairs so now we can come if and when it is convenient and there will, hopefully, be a spread of people  -  maybe less but more often.

Then later in the afternoon my cousin/half cousin arrived with a lot of information about the side of her family which connects with mine and with a great number of old photographs, a lot of which depicted my mother and her brother, along with my grandparents and Auntie M.  And I have finally found out where "Miss Schraeder" fitted into the family; she was the children's nanny.  As Great Grandmother Maggie had six small children this was, in those days, a necessity.

I have been left with a borrowed family tree of the B. family which, my cousin informs me is probably not totally accurate.  I already know of one inaccuracy; both engagement and marriage newspaper reports showed one member of the family using her second name rather than her first name and all records in the family have put her first name second.

I will enter the data on the presumption that my instinct is correct and that my grandfather and his twin brother were fathered by my Great Grandmother's second husband, not her first husband who is actually  their legal father (they were born within a marriage) even though their legal father refused to recognise them.

Still no luck with John Sexton, though.  I thought that I had a promising lead but the reply I received when I emailed the Admiralty Records in England suggested that I should make my way to Kew and search their records myself.  As I live in Australia it would be an expensive jaunt, especially as the person who replied to my email seemed to think that I was a beginner genealogist and I was given a great deal of helpful advice on research, including the observation that genealogy research could be expensive.  In view of his assumption that I should drop everything to travel halfway around the world to check on an entry in their records he is undoubtedly correct in that.