Sunday, January 30, 2011


What am I doing these days as I have neither posted much and visited my favorites little?

1). Playing musical chairs with the computers in the house getting them repaired as much as possible. My immediate previous laptop bought at a BIG BOX store that sold me a useless expensive maintenance contract by contract group known as the GEEK squad. Purposely I was not informed in-home service meant 40 mi. radius of any of their stores.  I live in the Ozarks at least 100 mi. from any store. I did take it in once and returned a month later to pick it up. They "found nothing wrong."

It turns out the time period a large number of HP series with NVIDIA Graphic Processors unfortunately were designed not to handle heat problems. Bad choices of paste, so-called heat sinks and variable fan speeds led to  all manner of screen failures to outright black/blank screens or screens with all manner of weird artifacts (mine was the latter).

Mine went to HP 3 times (they extended warranties 6 months past  my two year contract), but they replaced the defect with the same cr----py parts. The actual remedy was 4 pieces of copper for heat sink,better heat paste and a fixed speed fan (runs all the time). I belatedly found a repair shop and paid to have mine fixed.

The good news is it is fixed; the bad news is the repair shop ran tests on it after repair which indicated it may fail again in one year, especially if I don't turn it off every time I am not using it--no snooze, sleep or hibernate modes.

There are two class action suits near completion with both companies claiming no wrong, but customers may be eligible for new computers or repair costs. I may be able to reclaim my repair costs.

2) My housekeeper had foot surgery the end of December; she returns Feb.1.  I became housekeeper and cook. I hate cooking and dusting. I don't mind vacuum for our commercial carpet and Swifter floor washer for vinyl, except I have to take breaks to rest back, shoulder and hip pain. I am proud I got the entire house done once each week she has been gone, but NO dusting, and reluctant cooking.

I am routinely responsible for two rooms; the washroom and the smallest bathroom.

I cannot believe she gets all the house done in approximately 4 hours--worth every dollar to me. I literally fell asleep when I set down in the evenings.

3) We are having the entire ductwork replaced in our manufactured home. Our electric bill kept escalating despite a second insulated roof over, new windows and doors, solar shades, and numerous indoor renovations.

After over 3 years and 2 estimators from the company to which we were loyal, my Husband asked a neighbor employee of the local HVAC co. to take a look. He found a hole the size of a large man's fist in a major section.

They started work the next day. Of course new vents and boots are a part which require inside sawing which makes them square and larger. Mobiles have nothing square or level. So more dust--sawdust.

Furthermore, ducts were constructed of the same cr----py particle board as the floor; get it wet and it is a goner. The insulation was inside the duct which meant we have been inhaling the particles for 30+ years. No wonder my asthma/allergies/bronchitis/COPD hate living here!

We are hoping for completion Monday as they work despite rain. Tuesday does not look like its going to be a fun day.

4) We are still considering the course of treatment for my A-Fib. By the way, the website, AFIBSTROKE, com sis pretty good but don't believe everything in the forums. This heart irregularity is rather common and seem to have a mild case somewhat complicated by vagal nerve intervention like when I eat too much, or need a BM--perhaps other events.

April is set for decision. Apparently my case is nothing compared to one lady who has 42 hour long episodes or those in permanent A-Fib.

It seems when you start with a clinic it is hard to change but it looks like we'll have an ablation, which I would just as soon skip and go straight to a pacemaker, which is a later step.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Few people own two laptops , much less three laptops and a desktop. But there are a few nutz like me. Actually the desktop is husband's.

The time has come to remedy some problems I've had with two laptops, leaving me with a iffy, dinky one where I can eat dinner between mouse clicks. Plus it is a laptop I named "does not like to travel." When it is moved I usually have to do a  System Restore from the C prompt. It still boots at this point.

I am waiting for a box for one which has been fixed three times by HP for a video problem between NP and Video that led to a class action lawsuit. Warranty ran out so I set it back and occasionally turned it on long enough for it to update Windows, etc. .

I found the remedy is 4 tiny copper fins added around the graphics accelerator costing all of $7 but I had to do the work. I built desktops but my old hands are not steady enough for the tiny laptop parts. I have found a place which does it and corrects anything else, I hope.

My newest one has an ill-mannered wireless network adapter which chooses to disconnect at its own time. I've lost many a paragraph in a blog as it has gone "off the air." It is in factory warranty.

Backing it up requires 11-12 DVDs and 24 hours, so while one is at the hospital I will backing up the other.

It is conceivable I may be down to "No Traveler" at which point husband's has some quirks he wants me to work on. For reasons unknown he gets lots of virus /worm stuff. I will have to change some settings on his virus program. We both have Kaspersky but I set his at a more elementary setting than mine so he would not have to answer questions the programs intermittently asks.

So blogging may be very sparse the rest of the month but I may be reading, if "No Traveler" cooperates.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Baking Blackbird Pie in Beebe

Sing a Song of Sixpence
[AKA blackbirds in a Pie
 (nursery rhyme)

Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh! wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey,
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

There are many traditions in the U.S. for bringing in the New Year, like the falling ball drop at Times Square in New York City, or the possum drop in Brasstown, NC; even more mundane events such as fireworks, or even firing rifles into the sky are family traditions.

However, Beebe, Arkansas, hopes that a blackbird drop does not become an annual welcome for a New Year.  No one lost their nose as the maiden in the rhyme, or at least it has yet to be reported.

Nor do I think they wish to recreate the nursery rhyme and try to recycle over 5000 red wing blackbirds into pies to start a new trend. Although if tasty, it might increase the city's revenues, since the state's small cities all have suffered financially during the recession. 

NAH--I doubt my philantropic nature would contribute to the cause, nor my fo0d addiction be that intrenchable.

It has been widely reported that on New Year's Eve Beebe, Arkansas became an astonishing death field of red winged black-birds, not 24, but various estimates include the number 5000.

This article in the New York Times today summarizes the event which still has a mysterious element as to the cause. Please refer to the link for the full story. It is well written. 

Another somewhat humorous story is Apocalypse Now. Recently,  there has been a big fish kill near Beebe, too. This  little town is near Little Rock, AR. Fish and birds, what next?

The event has been reported in several other media, too. The next day cleanup had  persons roaming the town in environmental protection suits with masks, etc., the normal dress for hazardous material disasters. Since the cause is speculated, but still not known or proven, all necessary precautions were taken.

Now various species blackbirds are common in Arkansas in  large numbers, and are considered nuisance when the flocks descend on a town en masse. If the birds remain in the same general area for any length of time they can leave knee-deep droppings according to one article.

In the years I've lived here we have had a few invasions of blackbirds. As I remember, fireworks and other loud noises were used to move them on. I would not relish knee deep droppings nor their noise; songbirds they are not.

Do a google search on blackbirds, Beebe AR and there are so many numerous articles it may keep you giggling all day.

This event also reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock's Movie, The Birds.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


Although I still have much to write about Christmas and other events of my 74 year life, it seems appropriate to concentrate on the fact today is New Year's Day and the word, "RESOLUTION."

I have a few which I hope at least to make an attempt. These are in no particular order and the most important idea is an universal idea I hope we all will consider.

1. Eat healthy, including losing weight; this also includes some kind of exercise.  All of this is very confusing with my current health condition: you know 'to do or not to do' indecision when you feel you have inadequate professional advice to your satisfaction.

2. Try to find the professional medical advice in which I feel satisfied and comfortable, regardless of whether I like it or not.

3. Don't procrastinate on jobs I dislike.

Did I keep any resolution last year? YES! One that was related to #3! I HATE TO FILE ....ANYTHING. Studying my dislike, I discovered major ancillary moves to relieve stress.

I changed regular monthly payments to EFT (electronic fund transfer), but required paper statements of all who would send one (otherwise how do I know when rates go up or there are a few cents difference in monthly rates--I know on-line bank service.) Not only did I save writing 25 checks monthly, I saved the same amount of stamps or gasoline delivering them. Most of I saved TIME.

At the first of each month, when I entered our  EFT deposits I entered many of these EFTs with constant charges in checkbook and Quicken software. The others I entered as I received statements. Usually I immediately filed them.

I labeled a file folder and put other checks and miscellaneous bills as well as medical EOBs (explanation of  benefits) in it until I was ready to enter them in checkbook and Quicken, and/or file as the case may be. At the end of the month when I reconciled the paper bank statement and checkbook and Quicken, I had little left to file.

The little glitch is my husband carries a checkbook with different check numbers and no carbon copy, unlike mine. He trys hard to me my criteria which is ticket/invoice and check # minimum, which is not always possible.

But over all, it was, with some satisfaction, I had all of 2010 paperwork filed and cleaned out in about 45 minutes Wednesday. I am ready to see the AARP Tax man as soon as certain other documents are received. My filing cabinet is clean and ready for 2011.

I realize many of you may do all of this entirely electronically, but I have never developed that much trust. My digital beginning had several mantras, one of which was BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP! and maintain a paper trail.

Our city just had an exceedingly bad audit in my opinion, because the new clerk allegedly, arbitrarily, chose to do everything electronically without paper trail as the State of Arkansas requires. It was very soon  corrected. 

4. This is a RESOLUTION every individual on earth could adopt  and is from a song I would label a hymn or carol, Let There Be Peace on Earth. I believe the authors/writers is Sy Miller and Jill Jackson.

I have printed it below, and enhanced MY RESOLUTION. By the way it is not easy for me. I believe peace and selflessness are interrelated. I'll let the reader mull this statement.

Peace is a state of mind, and it has to be in the heart of all of us; it is contagious. One person becomes an example which might be so infectious others around would adopt the same mantra. I've never heard of a peace revolution--it is almost an oxymoron.

Imagine settling a dispute over a bill, a family situation, a neighborhood problem, without raising your voice, disparaging remarks, etc?  Sometimes approaching the problem with a positive suggestion immediately changes the tone of the situation.

Imagine politics with level playing fields instead of hateful epithets and inuendo. Or local councils and commitees with out temper tantrums, and sulking, gossip, etc.

Ultimately, peace will always dwell in the heart of those who seek it. Even if you differ with the  religious context of this song, all of us on earth are family.

by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson

Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
We are family.
Let us walk with each other
In perfect harmony.

Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me. 

If this YOU TUBE selection does not play, here is the link, and about 100 other renditions! Enjoy!!!

Let peace begin with me.