Monday, January 30, 2017

Sorry, But the Truth Sometimes Hurts.

"This post concerns Donald Trump's elevation of Bannon to leading roles within the National Security Council. To review: the National Security Council (NSC) comprises important high-level government officials including the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Director of National Intelligence. Its main job is to use this broad expertise to advise the President on national security matters and assist in carrying out security directives.
Yesterday, the President reduced the involvement of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the NSC. He replaced them with Steve Bannon. Bannon has no government, intelligence, or high-level military experience; his experience is leading a propaganda outlet (Breitbart News) that peddles nationalist and white nationalist viewpoints.

This would be deeply concerning in and of itself. But one of the jobs of the NSC is to oversee a secret panel that authorizes the assassination of “enemies of the United States Government” – including American citizens. These targeted killings are fully authorized by law under the Congressional military authorization act following 9/11. There is no trial, no due process, and no public record of the decision or the assassination itself.

Just to recap the absurdity: the President of the United States has appointed a known propagandist, nationalist, and white supremacist to replace the highest military adviser in the country on a council that authorizes secret, legal, targeted killings of American citizens (and others) without due process.

What You Can Do:
- Call your Senators and Congressperson this week and demand that they publicly and legislatively oppose Trump’s appointment of Steven Bannon to the NSC.
- Spread the word about this news to your networks, since this is not getting a lot of coverage right now."

This was cut from a FB post.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Looking Over My Shoulder

One of my blogging friends is going through something similar to what I went through years ago...December 2004 to be exact.  I re-read the post on that day and I am amazed at how cold and practical I sounded.  Maybe that IS me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Finally Feeling the Groove

The primary problem with my PC was that I had plugged the HDMI (monitor) into the wrong HDMI port. The one I was supposed to use was way down at the bottom of the back hidden under a tiny ledge. Since the PC did not come with any graphics or icons, this was an honest mistake. Still it cost me money to have a nice man, retired from the Air Force, come fix the plug-in. He was also able to install drivers for my scanner and newest printer. When looking for drivers for the Canon printer, a few years old, he found that Canon said it was NOT updating any drivers for any of its hardware for Windows 10!! Therefore I once again have an obsolete printer, as well as one unopened packet of printer ink! The printer was free to me, but the ink was very expensive. I only used it to print photos, which was rare. You get better quality product from the professionals in the Internet.  At least my wireless printer works!

I am only writing this to hope that others will not be surprised when their digital baby dies unexpectedly.  I was told that this solid-state should last much longer...of course, time will tell.

As you can see it already has fingerprints all over the impractical shiny top part.  It also has red racing stripes that glow dim and then brighten like a sport car revving up for a race around the track.  It could have been designed by Steve Jobs, who you may remember was more about form than function.

It runs very quietly with no rattle of a fan.  It has multiple intakes for air.  It also seems to process a tiny bit faster, but since I am not playing a high graphics game on this machine, I really am not testing its full potential.

I had learned from my earlier crash to gather all the software license numbers, disks, serial numbers and whatever was needed to bring the opening screen back to something I recognized. I am embarrassed to say I could not find how to open the DVD driver for many minutes. I could find all the info on it and the place...but the only eject button W10 seems to use is under the File Explorer's icon! Yes, it makes sense if you think about it.

Well, enough boring information that most likely means nothing to both computer wizards and all the rest of the world.  So, I will leave you with a photo from my new gallery that I just loaded on this baby.  These guys are here regularly certain times of the day.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Road is Paved but Still Bumpy

I bit the bullet and ordered a new desktop computer. I researched online at various sites and put together the things I wanted and when I went to the computer store, they explained it would have to be ordered. I got a solid state drive as the last time my PC was repaired, last year, they explained to me that it would last longer...and it is, of course, more expensive.

Well it arrived in the store yesterday and they said as part of the service they would remove "bloatware" and "set it up." The young man was drooling over the speed of the processor and some other technical stuff I can barely understand, so clearly I bought something way out of my league. I cannot remember the last tme a 20-something chatted with me!

Anyway, I picked it up and brought it home. It is an ASUS, which is a brand now under the DELL umbrella and Consumer Reports said it was well made and their repair response was reliable. It took me some time to clean out the old PC, dust, remove cables, etc. Then I got the new tower out of it foam snug box and took out the directions (6 sentences in English) on how to get it running. I miraculously found all the ports for the two monitors, the new keyboard, the mouse and the electricity. I wisely left the two old printers and Scanner on the other table alone.

I finally plug in the power cord and turn it on! I get the most beautiful red racing stripes lit across the sides and front as it hummed very quietly. I waited. The monitors showed nothing except that they had electricity from the PC and then they went to sleep. Nothing. No old-fashioned DOS prompt, no screen with blinking lines, nothing. I was going to load the one CD I found for the newer monitor, but the disk drive does not open except by computer command, so that is a null and void process.

I have finally given up and scheduled an appointment for a home visit as I am not hauling all this equipment back. He/she is coming tomorrow afternoon and I am going to watch closely what he does, because this is a real mystery...unless the PC is broken in some way!! I do not ever remember having difficulty getting a PC running.

Life is never easy even when you dip into the bank account to pave the road.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Belated Attempt at a Challenge

Grannie, who primary talent is drawing, also has a great talent for manipulating words.  I have been intimidated by this but decided to play in her recent Weds. Words challenge.  You can go here to find out more about it.  I posted my work to her blog site in the comments section, but also decided to share it here since my precious little mind cannot come up with anything else.

You have a list of words and must use the first ones and can select an choose from the second set to create a  story or word poem.  Then you link to the Wednesday Word  site.  The words are below.

Honest, worth, another, parallel, fan, intention


Blue, electricity, cash, outrage, potential, memory:

What is honesty worth?
Another misplaced intention
In a parallel universe
Of  outrage?
In an era of memory loss?
Most of us are no longer fans
By the blue electricity
Of digital cash
In a click-bait  world
Of  dishonesty.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

UGH!! It died.

My tower PC gave me the blue screen of death today. I had recently backed up most of my stuff and since my tower PC is a HP after several reboots it gave me the opportunity to do a full back up on my removable drive. I am doing that now  and it is taking hours and hours.  

I had paid over $100 last year to repair this computer when Windows 10 forced an installation  and crashed the machine.  I am more than depressed as a replacement for this will cost much more than $100.

Perhaps the chaotic news that I read on the machine broke  its heart?

My hardworking friends who have given their lives to handling jobs in research and security are depressed as they are criticized in the public without proof or a chance to defend their side of the issues.  We are returning to a society where intellectualism and education are liabilities.  Fear and opinion carry more weight than fact.  Maybe my PC is just tremendously depressed  as it relies on data to work.

I am pro entertainment industry, pro science research, pro academia, pro public schools, pro public libraries and pro journalistic voice.  I am smart enough to follow  the trail of a news story to see if it holds water and do not  need to  reduce the press corps to the 6 who agree with the leader as Putin has done.  I am pro transparency except when our country's security is involved as I do trust those who have been trained to analyze our threats from other countries.  Are some people in these fields power hungry, liars, stupid?  Of course, just  like  some real estate moguls.  But I continue to think  this is the minority and most public servants enter the field to serve the public because they are not going to get rich  doing these jobs.  No wonder my computer is confused and committed suicide! 

I just re-booted and the PC is gone, gone, gone.

Sorry, but this is a BAD day for me.   I hope to be more moderate in my next post if my bank statement is flush enough for a new computer and I  feel that I have  the energy to do this.  (Thank goodness that  this old laptop  is still working.)

Monday, January 09, 2017

Compromise and Acceptance

I am a novice of this being alone for days on end. Coupled with a snowstorm that has prevented me from seeing anyone for days, and being a person who is not crazy about talking on the phone, I have lived in a very hollow echo tunnel it seems. I am surprised when I say something out loud and it fills the room.  A simple bump of the pipes has me listening for something wrong.  I have had the TV on more than usual and played the Christmas music until I became tired of that nostalgia and had to turn it off.  I am reading Marcus Aurelius's "Meditations" out loud in bed, which might otherwise annoy my husband.

There are people in this world (I have friends) that live alone and work alone, but also have a calendar filled with coffee dates, exercise dates and dinner dates. I do wish I was that type of a person, but I am not.  I have a calendar filled with a few hobbies and am blessed with children who see me now and again.  I can go for several days in a row and never talk to anyone, and miss people, but not really miss people.  It is hard to explain.

I do think about what habits I would absolutely have to change if my husband passed on before me. He is in excellent health for someone in his mid-seventies (swims a mile once or twice a week, runs four to six miles on the elliptical every now and then and is far more active in general than I) and both his parents, who were not in excellent health lived into their late 80's and early 90's.  He is becoming more forgetful.  This is hard to measure because he always has been a bit scattered on details and location of things.  Still, even now he admits his memory is not as good as it used to be.  He called today and complained about how he forgotten his backpack when loading the boat, lost his phone on a hike, but while both were later retrieved, he is having fun and does not let the annoyance get to him.  When he is home I do spend more time than I would like looking for something he set down somewhere.  It is what it is.

Could I live out here in the woods all alone?  I read a blogger, actually a few bloggers,  who live alone in the country and relish the quiet and beauty.  I think I would have to find some compromise...not the city or the suburbs...some community that is rural but has amenities and a sense of community for the less agile.  My children have said that I could come live with them, but they both live in the suburbs which means I would have to be able to drive to get anywhere and I would be in a neighborhood that is empty during most of the day.  

I must admit, what a luxury to be able to think about this, to not be forced into some least for now.  It is wise to be willing to admit that compromise is in the future of most of elders.  Compromise and acceptance or you do battle with the inevitable.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Unwritten and Unstudied

The days are growing longer and have been since December 22. Our skies are so gray and gloomy and rainy that I barely notice unless I am sitting inside and a bit of sun finally breaks through at the time of sunset and I, with some surprise, notice that the sunset is still out there but a bit later.

For those who work nights or who, like my relative, work in a very dark office without windows and much light during the day and have had to actually order a full spectrum light to sit near their desk, I feel you deserve better.  I do not know how they can keep their spirits up. They go for much of their lives without sunlight.   It is SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Syndrome).

I do like that I can light the candles earlier in the evening and start a cozy fire in the fireplace and have an excuse for doing cozy rather than energetic things.

I have finished reading Upstream by Mary Oliver, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, but could not finish the Book of Kells as it seem a bit of a slog.

I am now reading some light, silly romance whose title escapes me.  It takes place in the South and the heroine is overweight and insecure but has marvelous inner strength which she calls upon in her divorce. 

The Christmas Decorations are re-packed except for two little wooden houses I had forgotten.  I do think there is an unwritten rule of nature that you must always forget to put away a decoration or two!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Rain Makes My Brain Soggy

Not sure why all of a sudden my other blog appears on my readers' (virtual friends) posts, but I have just compared the settings for both Blogs and made sure they are identical--as much as possible. Maybe the Google search gods have put down the eggnog and are back indexing bloggers posts and recognized my reset.  I had been feeling like the decayed mushroom above and was wondering if I should just stop blogging for a while and do all those things I have been procrastinating about for a few years.  Now it seems I have a brief reprieve with at least one blog being revived.

As most of you know, and many some of you agree, this new year will be a big challenge for those of us who love and support gender equality, education and access to that for others as well as ourselves, the free press and journalistic excellence in helping us understand what is going on (thinking about the movie Spotlight for example), the precious and fragile environment, labor laws and labor negotiations to empower the worker, access to healthcare for everyone---already in every major country, political humor that is satire, broadway (all theater actually), religious tolerance, acceptance of strange cultural foods and dress in this country, and trying to understand why polite behavior is no longer the norm but being PC is so yesterday.  And what the hell is alt-truth?  Is this snowflake being too sensitive?  

Within the last two months there have been FIVE rope nooses hung at the liquid natural gas construction site and our Sheriff  seems to be at a loss to find out who is doing this, and we wonder if this clearly racist act to some of us is looked upon as just a joke by our county government who thinks voters are too stupid to understand their policies.  Maybe next we will see the Star of David painted in blood?   This site has all kinds of security and cameras and limited access in part because it is next door to the nuclear power plant.  We all wonder why the culprit has not been caught and why they have all this expensive security if it can be breached so often.  I mean, even if you work there, you cannot drive onto the construction site, you must take a shuttle bus from the parking lot across the highway.  So this freedom to threaten hate is now at my door.  They have been required to bring in the Feds finally, but who can trust the FBI after our President-elect has pointed out their incompetence.

Anyway, my immediate challenge is a long list for the New Year and I am actually going through it pretty fast already.  Therefore, I can ADD to it if I get energetic.  Hubby is leaving tomorrow for a camping fishing trip to Florida which means I will be alone for two weeks.  It will be a good challenge for me to be on my own, but I am guessing the TV will be on more in the afternoons for background noise.

Today is a rainy and cold day and so gloomy outside and I am sure that is contribution to the mood of this post.  I promise to be more mellow next time.