Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Just Another Day at the Office

Today I bit the bullet and attended a long appointment with my doctor where I underwent an all-over skin check and had anything a bit out of the ordinary frozen off (hopefully never to be seen again but not holding my breath; some of us have been there before) and obtained a referral for a mammogram.  This was with great reluctance.  It is two years since the last one when I had to undergo a biopsy and have a marker placed although the biopsy came up clear.

It is one of those unpleasant things which you do not want to have but know that you need to.  Soon after I graduated I was treating a woman with advanced bilateral terminal breast cancer.  It is the only time I have ever seen such an advanced stage in which the name 'cancer' (crab) becomes evident.  The tumours grew out from a central point like raised tendrils which snaked out under the skin and over her ribs and looked very crab-like.  I asked her why she had left it for so long and she said that she had been afraid that the doctor would tell her that she had cancer.  I have taken that as a lifelong lesson not to leave things for too long, however unpleasing the test results might be.

On the subject of doctors  -  my GP is always concerned about my blood pressure although we both know that I have 'white-coat hypertension' and that it is low in the morning and up at night.  I have steadfastly refused all offers of hypertension lowering medication but had noticed that my BP is always lower after I have done yoga.  So last night I decided to test it and I measured my BP just before I did my yoga and then again straight afterwards and found that it had dropped by about 35mms.  Impressive!

I have no clients at COTA tomorrow  -  one is ill and the other has, so far, not attended at all and tomorrow would be his last scheduled lesson so I spat the dummy and said that I would not spend two hours travelling there and back only to find that he hadn't bothered to turn up again.  So I suddenly have a whole free day to do exciting things like cleaning and shopping.  But I can sleep in; my alarm disturbs the cats.

I have finished knitting the third  Kimono Sweater and ended up with only about 40cm of yarn left  -  not even enough to knit one more row.  That was definitely too close for comfort and I had only allowed for two skeins since the first two of that pattern which I knitted took less than two and I thought that I would have plenty with some over for tying  around yet to be created skeins.

Now I just have to sew the sweater up! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Chaos ...

Coles supermarket downstairs in the Centre has decided to do a major revamp , presumably in order to give themselves some more shelf space.

For the last five years while I have been living here and shopping for my groceries at Coles there have been two side aisles and a centre one, each of them running the length of the shop.  Now someone in his wisdom has decided to get rid of the centre aisle and have the shelves running from one side to the other without a break in the middle ... and everything has been moved around.  Admittedly things are better labelled than they used to be but nothing is where it was before and there is utter confusion.

I was in there two days ago and there were people with trolleys wandering all over the place and a multitude of harassed assistants trying to direct people  -  but since it is still a moving feast as the workmen gradually move from one end to the other I don't think that the poor people trying to help us actually know themselves where things are.  What is interesting is that strangers are talking to each other, complaining that they are utterly lost and attempting to help those who are more confused than they are themselves.

No doubt things will start to sort themselves out but it has taken me five years to find the black lentils and now I am going to have to start all over again.

The oil drip trays and the degreaser arrived this morning and the drip trays have been installed underneath D2's two classic Porsches, one of which seems to have emptied itself all over the floor of the car parking area.  I have told D2 that I will pay for the trays and the degreaser but she is going to have to do the clean-up.  And she has gone off to America again for goodness knows how long but there is another forum on Baclofen there and she intends to stop off in France again on her way back.  I have a copy of her talk which she gave in France  -  very impressive and in fluent French.  I didn't understand more than about three words but she looked good and spoke well and I am very proud of her. 

I am having coffee with someone from the Fred Hollows Foundation in about an hour.  I think that he is hoping to charm some more money out of me but I have made it clear that I only donate to one charity per year and Fred Hollows has had its turn and he must not expect more in the near future.  This year it will probably be the Guide Dogs.

I teach in the VisAbility building and so I am confronted by guide dogs in training all the time and they are beautiful.  It is decades since I donated to what used to be called The Blind Institute and they became very demanding so I decided not to give them any more money but working in the building and seeing the dogs has changed my mind.  Hopefully their attitude to donors has also changed because, like the Fred Hollows Foundation my donation will be a one-off.

I have almost finished spinning the grey portion of my Petal Soft colourway  but seeing the pink and brown sections together all my ideas about that I intend to knit with it have gone out the window and I think that I am going to have to make a side-to-side jacket with the grey part separating the other two colours.  I'll wait until I have plied the grey and then I will decide what to do with it all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fifth Birthday

Today my cats turned five years old and during that time they have given me immense pleasure, love and amusement.  They are very different:  Parsifal is outgoing and extremely curious while Poppy, who seems to be quiet and retiring actually holds the upper hand.  Parsifal has been thoroughly cowed by her although it doesn't stop him trying to gain the upper hand from her.

At the moment they are both on a diet as their ribs are disappearing.  They nagged at me for a couple of days but now seem to be taking it in their stride which makes for a much more peaceful household.

I have ben trying to get back to writing up my alternative Family History  -  named The Slush Fund  -  and am having difficulties.  I thought at first that Microsoft's new App, Notepad Classic, was going to work for me but alas.  However, the original Notepad seems to have settled in and appears as one of the options for 'Open With'.  The main problem is that I cannot separate the folders.  I have two folders, one for the text and one for the pictures.  I am unable to find a way of separating the folders from My Documents which insists on appearing on the left side with all its files.  I am not sure what will happen if I save it to a flash drive and send it to my brother  -  will he be able to read everything on my Desktop?

I'll finish formatting the files and see what happens when I open them in a computer which is not tied to The Cloud  -  at least into my part of The Cloud.  I don't want my brother to know which Yoga DVDs I do on which days.

I had coffee this afternoon with a very old acquaintance whom I first met when my Ex volunteered me for some doorknocking and later when her mother-in-law was admitted into the hospital where I worked and where I apparently cured her varicose ulcer.  She now has a friend with what sounds like an ulcer and hoped, since it doesn't seem to be healing, that I could give some guidance.  I recommended compression stockings which are almost obligatory in such cases and which no-one had mentioned in this case.  I also told her about the very old treatment which is zinc bandages plus compression stockings.

I cured ulcers on both legs of one patient who had suffered from them for years and which she scratched because they itched.  The zinc bandages, suggested to me by the hospital pharmacist, had a two-fold benefit  -  soothing the itch and creating a barrier to the scratching.  Once they were healed is was just a matter of ensuring that she wore TED stockings.

A good friend of mine is going for surgery tomorrow morning and I am very concerned for her.  The original diagnosis was an inoperable tumour of the brain  -  so inaccessible that even a biopsy would cause a great deal of collateral damage but she has been seeing a neurosurgeon and perhaps he will be able to work a miracle  -  or perhaps he intends to take a biopsy so that the tumour can be treated with chemo or radiotherapy.  I can only hope since there is no deity in whom I can trust to perform a miracle.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sometimes you can get lucky

I am back to writing up my Family History as a web page so that I can save it on Flash Drives and send it to family members who are interested in all the family stuff which was never talked about or was cleaned up for general consumption.  I have no intention of putting this family history inline, it contains the secrets which the family needs to know but which the general public is best kept in the dark about.  There is nothing there which cannot be found by searching various online sources such as Trove but it is tedious and not of general interest .

I did the basics some time ago  -  mostly creating an index and using a template to create pages for various people or subjects such as the Onkaparinga Hundred.  I did this using Notepad which I found easy to use and a lot of fun.  However, that was some time ago and Microsoft has moved on as has its coding programs.  I am unable to update my online website because my File Transfer Protocol (ftp) no longer works and so far I have not got around to contacting my IP to find out how to get it working again.

When I went back to what I have called my "Slush Fund" Windows 10 had killed Notepad and as I had forgotten most of how to go about web page building I was at somewhat of a loss since I wanted to add the Family Wills which I have been, with great difficulty, transcribing.

Windows 10, I discovered, now has an HTML facilitator app called Wordpad Classic which is supposed to emulate the old Wordpad and to a great degree it does so but it Saves differently and looks different  -  or I am doing something wrong  -  and I had to resort to my backup to get back to the original folder and make a copy to play around with. 

I started in Wordpad Classic but using  a book called "How to Do Everything with HTML" which was written some years ago in the days of Wordpad and I was going right back to the beginning of learning Web Page building using a book which didn't quite fit the new App  -  when suddenly I found myself back in Notepad which Windows 10 had strenuously denied was now available.  Oh, happy day!

I will need to work my way back to the skills which I am right out of practise with but at least I now have books to guide me back and I will be working towards documenting all the information I have found to save for posterity  -  just supposing that posterity is interested.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

How to Hate windows 10 in Six Easy Lessons Pt. 4

I have been transcribing Family Wills with a view to putting them together, along with all the other family secrets, into a folder which emulates a web page so that there are workable links I can load it onto a memory stick and send copies to any family members who might be interested in the things which were never spoken of.  There are a lot of secrets in my mother's family and my curiosity was piqued when I was not able to discover why my Great Great Uncle Charles was the Black Sheep of the family and why no-one knew what he did to earn that title.

I have entered quite a bit of data but still have a long way to go with more secrets appearing as I delve further into my Mother's family.  [Thank  you Trove].  I have realised that the stories about her family were fairy tales and none had even a grain of truth in them and I am trying to compile a more realistic view of what seems to have been a very dysfunctional family.

Last night, after transcribing several of the Wills I decided to get back to converting them to HTML and putting them into what I call my Slush Fund only to find that I was no longer able to.  The format has changed and no amount of trying allowed me to make even the smallest change to what I had already entered  -  and I was not able to find Notepad which is the HTML facilitator which I used to build both my online Web Pages and the Slush Fund so I went in search of it.

This lead me to the apps.  Notepad is now an app and I had a choice of two versions of Notepad  -  Notepad Classic and Notepad Light.  Notepad Classic "has all the features of the old notepad which we know and love"  so that was the one which I have downloaded.  It certainly turns my pages into the familiar 'source' but it was getting late so I have not yet worked out how to use it but will sit down and get to know it and format the Wills in a copy of the original Slush Fund to make sure that I do not spoil the original while I faff around and become familiar with it.

 Notepad used to be a standard part of Windows; why does it now have to be an add-on which I had to search out and download with the added anxiety of not being able to finish my project if it doesn't live up to its promise of working just like the old version but easier. Hmmmmm!

The wild weather has subsided although it is still very cold and the electricity is gradually being restored in South Australia but there is now flooding in the Adelaide hills with the Onkaparinga River rising.  I can remember the river flooding one Christmas Eve and inundating all the houses close to the banks in Balhannah and Oakbank and the ford over the river at Oakbank was impassable.  On Christmas Eve ...  In mid-summer ...