Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Things I Should Do and A Thing That I Did...

  1. Learn to cook, I mean really learn.
  2. Get a haircut.
  3. Not get annoyed by 90% of the stuff on Facebook.
  4. Comment more on OPB.1
  5. Practice more on my drum kit.
  6. Get back to work on the book.
  7. Get my substantial derriere back on my exercise bike.
  8. Improve on every other "failing" I have. (Hhmm, why did I put that in quotes?)
  9. Spend more time with the grandkids.
  10. Finally decide to retire, then actually do it.
Actually did #9 yesterday, via Kid's Messenger, which is a very kid friendly thing that koobecaF does. Let me explain.

Late Monday night my phone's Messenger alarm went off, meaning that someone had bothered messaged me via koobecaF Messenger. Grumbling (seriously people, stop sending me videos about this virus thing, I'm so pissed about this mess... well, yes, but I digress), I picked up my phone and there was a message from the youngest granddaughter asking me to connect on Kid's Messenger. Looked legit (and it was) so I said "Yes."

So the thing wants me to download the app and in the way of most modern software, the download claimed that it failed. After "hour glassing" for a minute or two, indicating that it wasn't done yet. (What? Done failing?) Though at least it didn't indicate "100% Complete" for ten minutes. Seriously you bit-whacking weenies2 out there, didn't they teach you anything in school? 100% complete means precisely that, there is no need for an hourglass on the screen, in fact just bail and tell the user that the software is ready to use.

As it indicated that the download failed, and it was nearly midnight, I figured I'd deal with it on the morrow. Which was, if you sit down and calculate it, would be Tuesday, as in yesterday. Off to the Land of Nod3 I went, thinking no more of it. (All the bloody strange dreams I've been having lately wouldn't leave any room for rational thought anyways.)

Tuesday morn arrived (again yesterday as of the date of this post) and I "went to work." Which means I put on pants, wandered down to the Command Center, put in eye drop one of two, fired up the two computers, and once the work laptop was up and running (sadly no email saying I had a task) I headed below decks to make a cuppa joe. Caffeinated beverage in hand, I returned to the Command Center to start my day. (After doing eye drop two of two. It's a glaucoma thing. Sigh...)

Not too far into the "work" day I decided to let my old boss at work know that I was alive and well. So I sent him this...


Yes, he thought it hysterical. But like a good boss, he suggested a minor correction...


You say toe-mah-toe, I say toe-may-toe. Or something.

Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yes, after exchanging pleasantries with the boss via Skype, I went back to "work." (Better Clayton?)

And my cell phone started making some funny ringing/clanging noise. As I sat there looking at my phone like this...

I eventually decided that actually picking up the phone would go far in telling me what the noise was, I did just that. It was the youngest granddaughter contacting me on Kid's Messenger, which apparently is a video kind of thing, like real Skype (we have to turn the cameras off on our work laptops so it's just text), or FaceTime (which The Missus Herself uses from time to time to chat with the grands). Answering my phone, there was Littlest Big Time4 saying "Hi Grampa!"

Enchanted I was, and excited to be able to chat with my four-year-old granddaughter. Soon The Missus Herself joined in, she was greeted with a rather loud "GRANDMA!!!" Yes, Your Humble Scribe was relegated to second fiddle, but that's okay, grandmas are more fun than grandpas, they're just not as good at making weird faces. Well, I am pretty darned good at that. No doubt The Nuke and The WSO would attribute it to my being naturally funny looking. (No, not funny "ha ha," funny strange.)

But what an excellent way to spend an hour here in Sparkling Isolation, chatting with my two granddaughters out in California. Technology, ya gotta love it.

Oh, yes, today is April Fools Day, but this whole post was actually factual. I was going to do some, "I've had enough, I'm quitting this blogging thing of ours...," but I know you wouldn't believe me.

Don't look now but there's a guy limping up to you from behind...


Yes, that was lame.

1 OPB = Other People's Blogs
2 Bit-whacking weenie, professional software engineer. I can call 'em that 'cause I are one.
3 The mythical Land of Nod, where we go to sleep, perchance to dream, er... What I mean to say is the sleepy land, not the Biblical one where Cain was exiled after he slew Abel. In other words, oh never mind, that probably deserves a blog post all it's own.
4 Her older sister will oft go by "Little Big Time." Yes, they've adopted their Daddy's call sign, they even have t-shirts with their callsigns on the back. Sweet.


  1. Take heart! Little kids love grandma's. Grandpa appreciation comes a bit later.

    That's cool that you are able to see and talk to them for that far away. Even with a flaky app on the pocket computer.

    The time I got to spend with my grand dad are cherished memories. He was amazing. Trick roper, rodeo promoter, farmer, rancher, Oklahoma settler.... he could do everything.

    All us FOGs have a purpose with those little ones. May take a bit to find it, but it's there.

    And that "working" comment probably said a lot about your boss, too!

    1. My boss is a great guy, awesome sense of humor and knows his profession very well!

      Both of my grandfathers were old school silent types, good men but not how I saw myself as a grandfather, so I'm different. But yeah, grandmothers are special, I get that.

  2. I thought lame was a shimmery fabric. :)

    My wife's book club isn't going to meet this week and I suggested they could have the book club meeting online.
    I played around with Zoom, and got it to work OK with a desktop computer and two phones. Next is expanding that so that her six person book club can meet.

    1. Sounds like you're finding ways to fill the down time, and providing a community service for your wife's book club. Good man!

    2. Zoom testing continues.
      So far we are having a group meeting between the desktop computer, a laptop, an Android phone, and the 10 inch Kindle fire.
      An unexpected plus is the exercise from running (well, fast walking) around the house to play, "Can you see me and hear me now?"
      If the Book Club doesn't meet, there will be a dip in wine sales. :)

    3. Someone should alert the vineyards impacted by such a thing. 😉

    4. I know of several groups and clubs using Zoom for meetings and some folks in Indiana (IIRC) who had a cocktail party with international guests.

    5. Feels like the 21st Century.

      Oh wait...

    6. Borepatch yesterday (in the comments) reported on potential issues with Zoom, the Chinese and Root Control of your computer. He suggested WebEx as an alternative. Just thought I'd pass that along.

    7. Group video is a great use of technology but you might want to look for another platform. Zoom has issues:
      1) They are being sued for sharing data with Facebook without permission (keywords Zoom Facebook)
      2) The MacOS installer bypasses OS security using tricks similar to malware, including phony system messages (Keywords Zoom MacOS install issues) Report is from AppleInsider
      3) Zoom development is in China (keyword Zoom Engineer IPO China)

      The third item hits a news story on published last year during their IPO.

    8. juvat - Sound wisdom, China is not our friend.

    9. Rick T - Thanks for the additional data.

    10. I read about WeBex on Borepatch's blog yesterday morning, went to the website and started setting up a WebEx account.
      WebEx got back to me around late in the afternoon and said, "Thank you for registering to get your free Webex account. Our team has begun to get your video conferencing account set up. Please bear with us as there might be a delay due to the increased demand being created by the impact of COVID-19. Our team will respond to you shortly as soon as they have it set up."
      I'm still waiting to hear from them.

    11. Given the current situation, yeah, that's gonna take a while...

    12. Sarge. I got a WeBex email at 1930 EST today, (about 12 minutes after I posted my above comment. But that was only to say, "Your Webex Account is on the way!
      Your Cisco Webex Meetings account is almost complete. Thanks for being so patient. These are unprecedented times and we’re all in this together."

      To paraphrase Von Clausewitz (and to tip a hat to juvat) "Everything in IT is very simple. But the simplest thing is difficult."

    13. Wow! Like Churchill said, "Action this day!"

  3. My paternal grand father passed before I was born and no stories were ever heard of him. My maternal grandfather was around since we lived with them as my father was off somewhere in Burma doing WWII stuff. One of my earliest memories of Grandpa is him slipping me some banana pudding BEFORE dinner and Mom and Grandma chorusing together "You're going to spoil that kid!" Spoiled I was, but in a good way. I still remember the razor strop hanging just outside the bathroom door. I would always give it a wide berth even though I don't ever remember it being used. I KNEW what it was for...

    As for the happy hour using technology, I mixed myself a Rusty Nail and we connected with two other friends using Facetime a couple of days ago. Worked pretty well so we have a weekly happy hour planned now. (And I don't have to share my Glenlivet.)

    1. "somewhere in Burma doing WWII stuff" - Brilliant, love it!

      Not having to share one's Glenlivet...


  4. Haircut. Get some electric trimmers, use a #2 or #3 guard, zip, zap, zorp. Done.

    As to exercise bike, just go up and down the stairs. You clumping up and down surely won't get on The Missus' last nerve, won't it?

    As to Grands, one on mom's side died young, dad's father was... kinda weird. He showed all the signs of massive PTSD and depression long before both of those were commonly diagnosed. Dad's mom died before I was born. Mom's mom was... a very interesting person. Past generations were either 1 child families or died before producing. So... no relatives extended. Very weird growing up as everyone else seems to have had huge families, that all got along together.

    1. 1 - I sigh in your general direction...
      2 - Exercise bike is way easier on my ancient knees.
      3 - I won't say that we all got along, nor that mine was a particularly big family, but we coexisted well and learned to behave at family gatherings, which could see up to 30 people on my Mom's side. Dad's family were somewhat more reserved. You had a non-standard childhood, which is kinda classic for a military brat. Ask my kids...

  5. RE: Zoom. One of the church ladies emailed me yesterday to see if I was willing to continue teaching my Sunday School class via zoom. Of course, I said let's go and try it. Then she said "You have a lot of knowledge and experience to share". How rude! I thought I was just opinionated.
    I was able to buy my flour and stuff for the sourdough baking this AM at our local Publix. I now have enough to supply bread for those of us brave enough to live here on the beach. The weren't any New Yorkers there it seems. Still out of water and toilet paper - go figure. They did have chicken, hamburger and dairy.

    1. Supply levels seem to be returning to something approaching normal here. Well, normal for Leningrad in 1964.

  6. Being a Latter Day Luddite, and suspicious of all things involving electrons, I do have one precious memory facilitated by technology; sitting on the off ramp at CR 12 and I-76 talking to my youngest son, who was in Kandahar at the time, on my cell phone!

    1. Amazing. My daughter is staying in touch with my son-in-law on Guam via Skype. So the granddaughters get to talk to Daddy too!

      I remember waiting in line on Okinawa and in Korea to call my parents, five minutes on the phone was an unheard of luxury. Of course, you and I are old enough to remember when getting a letter while overseas was priceless.

      And getting packages with goodies from home!

      Kids these days, neh?

    2. One aunt would send me homemade Bull Berry jelly (Some call them Buffalo Berries) and dill pickles. Loved that woman!

  7. So I was just introduced to Zoom this weekend by my sisters, both of whom are much more tech oriented as they are 9-10 years younger. So I get a text on Sunday saying "we need to have a Zoom meeting about YOUR parents". Rut-roh. What the heck is a Zoom meeting?? (Thinking is that a new California-ism for a fast meeting?) And who are "we". Evidently both my youngest sister and my Brother-in-law (he is married to the other sister) are working from home via Zoom these days. OK, fine, (I had been taking a nap) what do I need to do? Just click on the link baby sis is going to send me. So I did, and it took a few minutes to realize I needed to do a tad bit more than that so that they could both see and hear me...but soon I can see and hear them and vice versa.

    They are worried about our parents, not wanting to stay home, still going to the brewery, and the grocery store...THEY NEED TO STAY HOME!! WHAT are we going to do if they wind up in the hospital?!?!?!! Should middle sis jump on an airplane and fly in so she is in the apartment to make sure they are washing their hands, and STAYING HOME?!!?!!!!

    Deep sigh. If they wind up in the hospital, there is nothing any of us can do. We can not go and hold their hand, or be there. It is strictly forbidden. No, do not get on an airplane and BRING THIS STUPID VIRUS TO THEM!!!! STAY HOME and wash your hands. And call them and talk to them, they (mostly) enjoy that. I have made multiple offers to go to any store/brewery/pharmacy needed, since I AM driving around ALL over...part of the job description dontcha it truly is no biggy to stop and pick up whatever is needed/wanted/desired. Because, ya know, it's Mom and Dad. Have also offered to make up meals and bring over so they can just reheat and eat...been turned down on all counts.

    So today, I got done early with patients, and was in the area, so I figured I would stop in for a minute. Yes, I washed my hands, no one got a hug or kiss, and I sat 8 feet away. My Mom was saying what a lovely day it had been as my youngest cousin had called to talk and give updates on Dad's sister (who is fine), youngest cousin is now out of work, her 3 kids were in various levels of college, except 2 have moved back home as college is closed. The eldest has her own place. And EVERYONE is staying home, except her hubby as he has an essential job keeping some kinda stuff running.

    So today is the day before grocery shopping day (otherwise known as Thursday). So Mom, can I run to the store to get you anything? No, ya don't have to give me cash, just write me a check when I get back. Just give me a list, more than happy to do it for you, not an imposition, really think it would be a better idea if you didn't go out, except to go for a ride in the car, but please don't stop anyplace!!

    So Mom looks at Dad...You know, (youngest cousin) had said they were all staying home, and the news is painting a pretty dark picture of all of this...ok, if you are sure it wont be any trouble...and maybe we could try it for a couple of weeks, you know, just until this is over. List made out, and placed in my pocket, her grocery sacks refused as I do have my own.

    Got home and texted my sisters....we have decided that youngest cousin is now our top vote for best cousin of the year.

    1. Staying hunkered down is the smart move. Break this thing, then we can go from there.

      Stay safe out there Suz!

  8. You know that doing #10 gives you time to do all the others!

    1. Yup, you've got a valid point there Tuna.

      I will have to wean myself from the awesome pay I get.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)