55 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 1-4-20

  1. The header will have to stay the same for now. My Fire keeps coming out before the photos can load. I’ok fix it tomorrow.

    Oh, and First!

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  2. After a couple of weeks of sleeping really well, I didn’t sleep well at all last night. None of my tricks worked. The result? I broke my 4 day streak of getting up early and exercising. I’m still exhausted and can only be with you now through the combined efforts of Little Miss and coffee.
    I also am driving an hour today to show one of my listings. I hate to be greedy but the IRS would certainly be happy if I could be on both sides of this. I had $5k in commissions unravel and die in December which was going to be the 4th quarter payment
    Also as a result of our government last year I paid $463 per month for really good insurance. This year I will be paying $570 for insurance that won’t cover much. I know in July I will have to have a bone scan and blood tests. I think the scan is about 4 or 5 thousand. I know I know. Worrying my life away.
    Oh and on one of the Facebook real estate pages an agent was lured to a showing and murdered. Apparently she was murdered by a drug dealing rival of her boyfriend but it always makes you stop and think.

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  3. Morning! It will be a warmer day here and I just might crack the windows open to let some of that fresh Colorado air inside! ☀️
    Over my morning coffee I read an email from the Humane Society reminding me that Fly’s license is coming up for renewal next month… 😢

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  4. My husband decided my nearly 10-year-old workhorse desktop computer needed to be replaced. So, he bought me a new computer for Christmas.

    We got a great deal on what he, Mr. IT thinks is most needed. All the pieces are now here and we’re downloading our Carbonite backed-up data: 256GB of data.

    After 15 hours, it’s 5% done.

    He’s estimating it will take up to 10 days!

    WhatI find incredulous is, the new laptop—which will be docked on my desk with the two monitors I need, cost only $400– or a little more than half the price of my phone two years ago.

    Truly, we live in marvelous times, data-wise.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. NancyJ. If it’s like mine, it isn’t a button. There’s a switch on the side of the phone. You turn it down to silence it. When I remember to silence it, I forget to remove it.
    But you aren’t almost 90.
    LOL

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  6. Nancyjill, how embarrassing is that? I now often use my phone for music to play on the still-new-to-me blue-tooth radio. Every so often it randomly starts playing loudly after I’ve left the car.

    I still remember one time, also, when I was walking back into the news room of old — maybe 10 years ago now — and the phone starts playing a (loud) Gregorian chant. Took me about a minute to fumble around and turn that one off.

    I guess it’s like having your very own personal soundtrack that everyone else hears as you go through your day.

    And receiving those license renewal notices is jarring after losing a faithful dog 😦

    Health & prescription costs are an issue for most of us. My cousin has the best deal, she worked for the LA city school district her entire career and they provide their employees, even after they retire, free health care for life. I doubt that can last, though, health care also is becoming more and more expensive for employers.

    ****************

    Wow, the holidays are now, really, officially over. There’s an outside chance my friend and I miscommunicated and she’s coming over today, she usually comes late and lets me know before she heads over — just in case I should probably do some cleaning and picking up around here this morning. We kind of left things hanging when she canceled last week due to illness; she suggested she might be able to do it this Saturday if she recovered enough, I told her not to rush it, to take her time to make sure she felt fully recovered and we could do it any Saturday this month, it didn’t really matter and we’ve had plenty of post-Christmas visits in the past. We haven’t connected since, I now realize, so it’s a bit of a question mark in my mind.

    Speaking of computers, I need to try sometime this weekend to re-connect that wireless printer to my laptop; my next attempt will be to do it from the printer (canon) website. If that doesn’t work, I may just have to pay Office Depot $89 to come over and do it for me. I really need a printer if I’m working from home and it’s been disconnected now for more than a month.

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  7. Oh the First World woes of technology.

    Michelle: For less than $100 we bought a 1T (terabyte) portable hard drive. We use it for backup with a USB cable. No waiting 10 days for a download.

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  8. Peter, haha; yes, random music blasting out from your jacket or jeans or purse, oh the humiliation.

    I kind of liked the distinctive Gregorian chant accompaniment as I walked into the newsroom, though, sort of cool really.

    Back to school for you on Monday? I was trying to remember what our public school “Christmas” (as they were called in the Dark Ages) breaks were like, seemed like we often were going back the day after New Year’s but then I’m thinking we had something like a set 2 weeks off, which varied depending on how the holidays fell each year.

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  9. School in our district started back already on the 2nd. I would think there would be a lot of tired students and staff from those who stayed up past midnight New Years’ Eve.

    We’re starting our homeschool routine back up again Monday. We don’t follow the school district’s schedule — no need for that. We did, though, only take one week off instead of our usual two around Christmas/New Years’. I’d planned to finish up our term on Friday, December 20, but the whole month got so crazy busy with many rehearsals for the music events in which I was involved (which wrapped up on Christmas Eve), so we got behind on school and did some catch-up on Monday, Thursday, and Friday of Christmas week.

    Too much, but I was really glad to have the term done before the new year and to have a full nine days with no school. This year, though, I’m going to try not to cram December so full with out-of-home activities! Christmas itself sort of got lost in the shuffle; not a practice I want to repeat.

    I will say, though, that the kids were really great about having school on those three days around Christmas Eve/Day. They don’t think in terms of, hey, school kids don’t have school those days. We just do our own thing (within the boundaries our state outlines for homeschoolers — 875 hours a year), and it’s so nice that 5th & 6th Arrows (and, really, their older graduated siblings, too) have usually demonstrated a good attitude about home school.

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  10. LA schools now often have a very long (4-week) ‘winter’ break, though it depends on what “track” they may be on, also. My LA teacher friend (now retired) sometimes, though, wouldn’t be out until right before Christmas (they typically got out week of the holiday, so if it landed early in that week it was a scramble, leaving her to do all her shopping, card writing and decorating in just a few days).

    But then it was a nice, long break before they had to return.

    Many of the aerospace companies and some others now, too, close for the holidays, so it’s an extra two-week paid vacation (on the company) for employees.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The district let the teachers vote last year on this year’s schedule. We had a choice of Veterans’ Day off, but coming back on Jan 2, or working Veteran’s Day and waiting until Jan 6 to return, losing another day off later in the year. Most of us liked the idea of a 16 day break.

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  12. Peter–lucky guy, you don’t live in fire country like I do. 😦

    When I ran out at 4 o’clock in the morning on October 9, I left the computer systems behind knowing very well I could download them. It gave me great peace of mind I wouldn’t lose all my writing/family photos.

    We automatically back up to the cloud every day and I don’t have to think about it. I can get into the current download if I need something, but we’re keeping this computer up until everything is organized.

    I have considered the physical backup for the photos . . . but once everything is downloaded onto the laptop, I’m going to go through the photos–from the comfort of my recliner while watching a movie–and clean them up/delete. Once that is done, I’ll feel better about my data usage. Video, and I have video from Mrs. OC and Poppy, takes up a lot of room.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I ended up working four days instead of three. The fourth was to ensure loose ends were tied up, as it was absolute insanity working over the holidays.

    Technology woes: I had a phone for the last four years that I really liked. It did what I needed it to do and the battery was still going very strong. I had no desire to get another phone. But, the phone software is being discontinued, meaning that the applications on it are longer maintained or updated. So, I had to get a new phone. I got another unlocked economy phone, as I like the flexibility of being able to change my plan as needed. I do not like this phone, although it is a very popular brand. It uses a notoriously intrusive application software, and even with my privacy setting dialed up as high as they can go, it still feels like I’m being watched. The last one had some stylistic elements that allowed me to personalize my phone to look the way I wanted it to, this one is very generic and bland. Finally, what is most frustrating, I cannot transfer all my old text conversations to the new phone.

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  14. Roscuro, my brother is being forced to upgrade to another phone. He liked his old flip phone but has to get a smart like phone for his work. He’s had it a day and already I have received a call from him that he did not realize he made. He never had that problem with the flip phone. I will play back the call to him so he can see how that can now happen.

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  15. Re: My 11.14
    I thought Nancy was talking about the ringer. Then, after your comments, it occurred to me that it may be a music option. So I looked. There is something on mine that indicates that I can get music on my phone.
    I can get music at home
    I can get music in my car.
    Why do I want music on my phone?
    What if people around me don’t like the music AI choose.
    Too bad for them?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Houses, cars, gadgets — and vet bills. Ugh.

    I had a friend/former photo editor put a new hard drive into my 2012 Mac laptop sometime last year, so now it runs all the up-to-date software and operating systems.

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  17. Music on your phone is all the stuff you like. Through the free Pandora app, you can choose your preferred artists, genres, etc., and it’ll play random selections in those categories. Or you can play the CDs or collections you’ve saved on your phone over the years. The phone, through bluetooth, hooks up with your radio in the car (assuming you have a bluetooth equipped radio) so you get the bigger sounds than with the phone. There also are speakers (plug in or rechargeable battery models that are portable and can go with you outside) that you can play “your” (phone) music through now.

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  18. I remember getting my first ‘transistor’ radio from my parents when I was a kid in junior high. It was red. We took them to the beach, carried them around town, the tinny AM radio music playing pop hits of the day. It seemed magical back then to be able to do that, no electrical outlets needed.

    The technological revolution has been pretty amazing, really.

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  19. One Monday I was telling Nightingale that my phone was not giving me the tone when a new text would come in, which caused me to miss a couple from X. Then I remembered that I had turned the volume off on Sunday before church. 😀

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  20. Chas I did not know this new phone had one of those “off and on” switches. All I could see after my search was the volume up and down button but not an off! After you pointed that out my husband showed me where it was…it is so camouflaged on this new fangled phone! 😊

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  21. Chas@4:17 Why do I want music on my phone?
    What if people around me don’t like the music AI choose.
    Too bad for them?

    Many people of the younger generations (and a lot of Boomers) use the phone for everything. They use earbuds to listen to music so it doesn’t bother others. Personally, I’m like you. Why have all that on a phone when i have it at home and at work? I still use a flip phone and will until they are no longer available. Then I suppose I’ll have to either get an intrusive spy-on-me phone (i.e.- Smartphone) or do without. What a concept. Do without a cell phone.

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  22. Very important to turn the volume off at church 🙂 Also at night, my phone recharges on the stand next to me when I sleep.

    OK, all the outdoor Christmas decor is down, batteries taken out of everything, lights rolled and tied so they’re ready for next year, bells and wreaths down (except for the one on the front door which now transitions into a “winter” wreath — I took the wooden red Christmas bell off of it, but left the neutral/warm white lights on the wreath and added a wire string of blue LED lights.

    Many of us have jobs that require smart phones. But they also are very convenient gadgets.

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  23. I have my phone set to “Do Not Disturb” from 10pm to 7am. That way I can still get texts in the night (for example if husband is coming home late or out of town I can see when he left or will be home if I wake and he’s not home yet) but there’s no sound or vibrations or lighting of the screen to wake me up. Very handy.

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  24. I leave my volume up at night in case there is an emergency. Of course, Nightingale is just upstairs (unless she is out for the evening or working second shift), but Chickadee is in the next town over.

    And it was at 4:20 in the morning that I got the call from the hospital about Hubby being in swift decline.

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  25. Most emergencies, I can do nothing about and don’t need to know about at least until morning. Exception: husband out driving at night. But even that, what could I do? If I am needed, I can’t get there. So am I really needed? I think not.

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  26. Checking in from the middle of Oregon. I felt that my family is still grieving and it was not time for a longer visit.
    My phone now works fine, except the car charger was not working.
    Turns out that I had something on it from PNG and from NZ. Once those profiles were deleted there was no problem I successfully navigated through Portland today.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Tomorrow is my birthday. If you would like to do something for me donate to your favorite charity or volunteer,make peace with someone you need to, call an old friend and tell them you’ve been thinking about them. Be kind to yourself. Smile more. Worry less.

    Liked by 5 people

  28. Peter, I have a little ways to go before my siblings get into their 70s, but being a decade year, the youngest of each “set” of siblings will finally join his group in their decade. The youngest in the first group was born in 1960, so by the end of this year all my older siblings will be in their 60s (with the oldest turning 67, the age at which our dad died), and my brother born in 1970 will turn 50 and all the youngest of us will then be in our 50s for quite a few more years. (We three younger ones are clustered fairly close together, 38 months from oldest to youngest. The oldest four have more than seven years in their span, so we only stay as two-decade siblings for three years of each decade before we go back to representing three decades.)

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  29. My brother, who is eight years older, will be 67 this year.

    Several years ago, I realized that because of our age difference and the moves our family made when we were young, he and I never attended the same school. I don’t mean at the same time, as that probably wouldn’t have happened anyway, but that I never went to a school that he had previously gone to. Although I was about to enter the same high school he had graduated from, we moved that summer to another town.

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  30. Kizzie, one of my older brothers (at least) attended (at least for a while) the school I attended for my whole school career (most of first grade through eighth). I know he attended there only because when I was in sixth grade my English teacher recognized my last name and asked didn’t I have an older brother? I said I have four, which do you mean? She asked me to name them, and the second one she said yes, that’s him.

    But my family had moved around quite a bit before settling in Phoenix before I was born, and then my brothers went to a private school, and then some of us at least went to a different private school for a while (me for kindergarten and part of first grade–but I think the only other one overlapping was the youngest of the older ones, who would have been in eighth grade while I was in kindergarten, since they each skipped a grade . . . which means, yikes, he would have started eighth grade before he turned 12, since he has an October birthday, with most or all of his classmates already 13).

    Of us youngest three, two of us went to that public school through eighth grade, and my sister was in the last eighth-grade graduating class before it split off the junior high and went only through sixth grade. My younger brother, who was in sixth grade that year, would have had to attend junior high somewhere else even if we hadn’t moved that summer (as we did). So the two girls attended the same school for eight years straight, but our brothers had attended multiple schools, and even our younger brother attended two and not just one. (But then, she and I went to private school for kindergarten and he didn’t attend kindergarten, so K-8 all three of us had two schools.)

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  31. I have to use a smartphone for work. It actually allows those nurses who work on the road to make reports, order supplies, etc. immediately (it is the only way I can order supplies, though I can do other paperwork on the clinic computers). The phones have security software to prevent spying, as they are dealing with confidential information.

    Yes, the smartphone does much more than phone. I use the map feature a lot – it helped a lot to figure out bus routes when I was in the city – and I also use it to store and read documents I need to refer to. I can also check my email and look things up on the internet when I need information. I rarely use the phone to play music or movies, as playing media on phones runs down the battery faster – I felt safer not being absorbed by media while moving through the city. Besides, I still have an iPod (one of the tiny square Shuffle ones you could clip to your collar or lapel) which plays music beautifully and the battery still lasts for days. In reality, the phone is no more intrusive than my laptop (if you are on the internet, you are being watched), but I don’t carry my laptop everywhere (though I carried it a lot more places when I was in school).

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  32. Peter, I’m with you. I don’t need or want a smart phone. I have a computer (desktop–and my husband has a laptop and a tablet) and a camera and a phone, so I don’t see the need for it. My husband has a GPS system, too. If there’s anything else we need to do, so far we don’t know about it, so we’re doing OK.

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  33. The new header is a baker’s dozen of the species of butterflies I photographed in 2019 (I got more than these). The collage maker made all the photos square and I couldn’t move them within the frame, so not all are cropped the way I’d choose, but oh well. (With some of the other collages I did, I recropped some of the photos and reuploaded them, but that was a lot of work and I didn’t do it on this one.) I also wasn’t sure where in the grid each would go, so I didn’t choose the placements.

    I’m not going to name every butterfly, but just comment on a few. Indiana has six species of swallowtails, and this year I saw the zebra swallowtail for the firs time (left side, second from the top), which was the only Indiana species I hadn’t seen–and in 2019 I also saw all but the giant (which we got in our backyard in northern Indiana). The two right ones on the top row are also swallowtails, black and eastern tiger. The tiger swallowtail is a female, and was a really huge butterfly–females of this species can tie for size with the giant swallowtail, which is the biggest butterfly species in the USA, and I suspect this one was one of those that would make the record.

    On the right, next to the bottom, is an American snout, which is a fun butterfly because of that “snout.” Right below it, the bottom right corner, is a question mark; I’ll come back to it in a moment. But first, the two left ones on the bottom row. In the bottom left corner is a tawny emperor, the first of its species I’d ever seen. Before anyone would “fave” that photo on Flickr, I had to edit my description to add in italics “alive and unhurt.” 🙂 Common milkweed is a really tricky plant, and bees often get a leg caught in one of its flowers. In this case, the butterfly had just been flying around, so I knew it was still alive, and chances are it could have gotten itself out, but it wasn’t even struggling or trying to get away. It looked so funny hanging there (it looks like its mouth is wide open and yelling for help) that I took its photo, but I only managed to take one photo before my compassion kicked in and I rescued it by running my finger along that leg. To the right of it, with its wings spread, is an eastern comma. You can’t see the reason it’s called that, but on the outside of its wings is a small white mark that looks like a comma. Now go back to the question mark (lower right). It has the same white mark as the comma (and in this photo you can see it because its wings are closed, but it isn’t very obvious), but it also has a dot, so it’s a “question mark.” In the center, a variegated fritillary, a species I never saw before moving here (or not to identify, if I ever saw it before) and still don’t see very often.

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  34. Sorry, Kizzie. In summary, my older brothers moved around a lot when they were in school. Once my family moved to Phoenix (two or three years before I was born), my dad was working at a private school, and so my brothers attended it. The year I was in kindergarten, I attended a different private school than the ones my brothers had attended. I think the older brother who is next closest to me in age went to eighth grade in that second private school (and he did so the year I was in kindergarten, though he is less than seven years older than I am–in other words, he and I attended the same school at the same time, but barely). The other three older brothers would have been in high school, or already graduated, by then–and taking high school by correspondence.

    My sister and I both did kindergarten at that second private school, but first through eighth in public school (the same school for all eight grades), and our younger brother did first through sixth at the public school.

    And apparently at least one of my older brothers did at least one year in that same public school, and the only reason I know that is because one of my teachers recognized my last name. But since he is 11 1/2 years older than me and he skipped a grade (he started college the year I was in kindergarten, since he skipped a grade and then finished high school early, and went to college at 16), he would have had that teacher a good number of years before I did, probably very early in her career. (She was 38 when I first had her, I think. She was my favorite teacher, since she taught English, my favorite subject, and encouraged my writing.) That brother would have been not yet 12 when he started eighth grade–he has a December birthday, so not even “almost 12.” If he had her when he was in seventh grade, he would have been 10 and 11 . . . and I wouldn’t have been born till the month after that school year ended.

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