What a way to piss the day away

First off it was a g-d gorgeous day, even more gorgeous than yesterday. It was down right crispy-cool this morning. It pretty much stayed that way all day with brisk breezes, plenty of sunshine, blue skies and fluffy clouds (and low humidity). It should stay like this probably from now on. Overnight lows in the 60’s, daytime highs creeping up to the mid to high 80’s over the weekend but if the humidity stays under 50% then it’s a-ok!

I had to close the windows for a good part of the day because they are re-paving all the parking lot areas around our building. Our apartment faces the rear, and largest parking lot area, and it was our turn today to have the noise directly under our windows with the sweet smell of hot asphalt *gag* wafting in. (I hear the word asphalt and I hear THIS – yup everything is a song including asphalt.)

Anyway I spent the morning clearing out old email addresses and going back and forth with Melissa in the comments on yesterday’s post – that was fun. She’s a bright funny lady – I enjoy talking to her.

Then I thought – since most people hate vlogs when I get the urge to talk instead of type I could use tic-tok. I mean, why the hell not, it’s not like anyone is going to find me there and care. After lunch I made a video and then I tried to edit it in iMovie and boy is that a piece of crap. What I do like about it is you can improve/enhance the audio. I record videos at my desk and with the door closed the sound is muffled and echo-y. iMovie cleans that up really well BUT – I can’t figure out how to save an edited video. Nowhere in any menu is there a “Save” choice. WTH??? If anyone knows how you save an edited video in iMovie please, please please let me know.

So I wasted a lot of time putzing around with various other video editors, none of which I found easy or useful (one watermarked your video with their logo unless you paid – I ain’t paying – Pfft to them.)

So I wound up uploading the original video, done on my phone, just the way it was – not great. But hey, ain’t nobody gonna see it.

I can’t upload videos here because this is a free account. So if you are determined to see/hear me you can go over to the Blogger blog or if you do use tik-tok you can find me @justtawkin.

Monday –

Today, being Monday, is laundry day. After approximately a year and a half the new washers and dryers were finally installed 2 weeks ago. Pluses and minus here, and the whole thing was a huge f-up going back, oh a year and a half. I really felt sorry for Management – they’ve been banging their heads against this for, oh, a year and a half. Easy. Maybe longer? It’s not just dealing with a screw-up of a company but hundreds of angry residents. Many of whom are professional whiners. 

When we first moved here there were top load, old fashioned washers and you had to buy tokens from the front desk. Then they switched to front loaders and both washers and dryers were installed on pedestals. You had to buy a card to operate the machines and there was a machine in the rear building entrance that you used to add money to your card. 

Now – we have an app! Of course we do. Also you can use a credit card or a laundry machine card, refillable with cash like the old cards (but it is a new machine and was inoperable for a week after the new washers/dryers went in – the old people in the building were up in arms.)

I’ve used the app (we got a $5 credit when we signed on to it), I’ve used a credit card, and I’m currently going old school with a cash-refill-laundry card (which we got for free with $5 credit on it). Usually the laundry cards are $5 to buy but Management ‘negotiated’ free cards for every household because of a year and a half of screw-ups.

I like the app because a) you can see if the washers/dryers of your choice are available and b) you can check how much time is left on a cycle – 

East Wing Floor 3 laundry room status (this is my preferred laundry room because it is just steps away from my apartment).

This morning’s folding the laundry song was – God Bless America? Seriously, Grace? Usually it is a hymn. I don’t know the whys and wherefores of how my brain picks a laundry room song – I just find myself humming – and there you go.

I am the least patriotic person you could possibly find. I give not a fig about the USA; actually I am rather unfond of the country. I have no attachments to it at all. I could live in any English speaking, first world country and probably be far happier. 

Yes, it has to be a first world country because I am old, not in the greatest health and accustomed to high-speed internet. English speaking because I am too old to learn a new language and I think if you live in a country you speak that language. If I were younger and healthier it might be a different story. Ok, yes it would be a different story.

Did I ever tell you the story about my half-assed attempt to move to Europe was I was 19?

Just for the fun of it…

 Roy  blogged about switching browsers and search engines and I thought “Hey, I have nothing better to do with my life, I’m gonna try it – again.” 

And so I did and I’m quite pleased.

Over the past 30 years I’ve tried just about every web browser and search engine that came out (remember Netscape?) and email service (remember hotmail?). I’ve always been an early adopter – if I read about it and I could access it, I tried it. 

I made the switch from Chrome/Google to  Opera as my browser and Duck, Duck, Go as my search engine. This is not my first go-round with these two products and I have to say they are greatly improved since the last time I tried them.

Opera has more stuff on it than I need and configuring it down to the bare bones was a tad time consuming but not difficult. The only thing I am having a problem with, and it’s hardly a problem, is that everything is on the left side whereas in Chrome everything was on the right side. I’m a right side sort of person. (Yes, I know my sidebar on the blog is on the left, it looks weird on the right – sue me!) 

As for Duck, Duck, Go – much improved. In times past an inquiry brought back zero hits but doing the same inquiry in Google gave me the answer I was looking for and then some. It’s the ‘then some’ that is so annoying with Google plus its tendency to show you ONLY what it thinks you want instead of what you DO want. 

Search for anything that in anyway resembles something in pop culture and that’s all the hits you will get. I’m hard pressed to give you an example at the moment but there have been times when I has to rephrase an inquiry to be as specific as possible to access the information I wanted. 

So for now – Opera and Duck, Duck, Go are working quite nicely for me.

Other Fun Stuff

I got a hint on Ancestry.com that led me to this photo:

First off – the grave is in a cemetery in Queens and my father’s family always lived in the Bronx. 

 Calvary Cemetery – “Calvary Cemetery is a Roman Catholic cemetery in Maspeth and Woodside, Queens, in New York City, New York, United States. With about three million burials, it has the largest number of interments of any cemetery in the United States. Established in 1848, Calvary Cemetery covers 365 acres and is owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and managed by the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral”  

I think that Wikipedia is wrong about it having the most internments, other sites say it is  the 6th largest. That is an easy rabbit hole to tumble down (I’ve just spent close to a half hour on it). 

Here’s what I found funny:

Gennaro – my great grandfather

Teresa (Dafeo) – my great grandmother

Filomena – my Aunt – lived only one day.

Kate (Beradi) – my grandfather’s first wife, died in childbirth or soon after, her daughter was my Aunt Kate. 

 And then we have – Antonio. Antonio Torre. Tony Torre – Oh my word!  I have no idea who Antonio Torre is but I find this funny. 

Especially in light of the jokes we used to make about silly names. My brother always said if he had a daughter he would call her Victoria then she would be Vic Torre. I suppose the same would hold true if he had a son and named him Victor. Just this moment it crossed my mind – why did my brother go straight to a ‘daughter’ instead of a son?  Well no matter, my brother didn’t have any children so it’s a moot point.

If I had the money to blow I would hire a genealogist to track my family because I have discovered over the years, finding information here and there, that almost everything I was told are LIES. 

Liar, liar, pants on fire could be my family motto! 

The only laugh I get

 every day is the doodad on my computer lock screen. I don’t know how I did it when I set up my user id, I used my Apple memoji. The fun thing is it mimics my motions as I sit in front of the computer! It looks down when I start typing in my password – This just makes me giggle and is my first laugh of the day (sometimes the ONLY laugh of the day) – (The video jumps around a bit because I was holding my phone with one hand…)

I mean, isn’t that a hoot? I love it so much that I have my computer set to ‘lock’ after two hours of non-use just so I can see this several times a day.

I do what I can to get some fun in my life. 

Ah, technology!

The virus lockdown stuff has had little to no effect on our lives. My husband has been telecommuting for 12 years now. We only ever left our apartment to go grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments – so no change there.  We have been living in social isolation all these years now. I’ve never really adjusted to it so my angst is just business as usual.

Therefore I rely on technology for everything – social stuff, business stuff, shopping stuff, entertainment stuff. My computer and my internet connection are my be all and end all. That said…

Yesterday our internet went out around 1pm and didn’t come back until 9pm! Hoo-boy that’s a long time to be disconnected from my “life”. The upside was that I got a lot of administrative work done – boring bits and bobs that I have been putting off (procrastination thy name is Grace).  Luckily I had done all the bookkeeping on Monday so bills had been paid (end of month bill paying, you know).

That left the evening. My husband usually watches the news from 6pm-7pm and then watches ‘entertainment television’ until 9:30 or so. He eats his dinner while watching. Me, I rarely eat dinner and I never watch “television” in the living room because a) there is nowhere for me to sit and b) I have little interest in anything on offer and I can’t pay attention to anything for more than an hour – seriously, 45 minutes is really my limit for sitting passively and looking at something.

I get the kitchen cleaned and closed for the day by 7:30pm, take out the trash and then I – well I will watch one bit of entertainment – Lately my go-to is Escape to the Country on YouTube. I LOVE house hunting shows. I got addicted to these when we watched them on Acorn or BritBox – neither has had any new ones so I’m catching up on 20 seasons of the show via YouTube. I can actually filter the episodes by host (I have a huge crush on Jules Hudson LOL and I can avoid Alistair whatever-the-hell-his name is).

Last night we had to resort to Scrabble and dang I had a good night. Usually my husband wins by a wide margin, last night it was my turn – 297 to 196! Go me! I think the funniest part was I seemed to have a theme going. I started with ‘doth’ and proceeded to ‘fain’ and ‘thwart’ and later building on that to ‘athwart’ – You see the theme, don’t you. I thought it was hilarious.

It’s always a good day when I can beat my husband at Scrabble – the only technology needed was my brain!

P.S. – These new large print keyboards are da bomb! You have vision issues? Big finger issues? Shaky hand issues? You so gotta look into one of these.

Clicky, clicky

While I’m waiting for my new tech toy I’m still typing on a keyboard.  We are an all Apple household except for keyboards. I never liked Apple keyboards, even the extended ones that I’ve had (I need that numeric keypad).  The keys seem too small for my fingers (I have big hands) and I need a steeper angle.

I found a terrific keyboard – Matias mechanical keyboard for MACs . One of the pros for this keyboard was the little riser feet – you could have the keyboard almost completely flat or flip them out and get a steeper angle. Also, best of all, all the ‘extra’ symbols are printed right on the keys – need the degree sign – easy to find, it’s printed right on the key, just click ‘option’ plus the key and voilà. Actually the accent over the ‘a’ in voilà is also right there on the keyboard – quick and easy. One of the downsides to the keyboard is that it is huge without the keys being any larger than a regular keyboard – bummer. I’ve had two of these keyboards, and they are a bit pricey, can’t remember why I had to replace my first one but…

Last week I was working at my computer and I saw a tiny black ant, I smooshed the fellow and then saw another, and another! What the heck? Where were the ants coming from? I don’t eat at my desk; checking along the window sill, along the baseboards – no hint of ants. I mentioned it to my husband and he said “Hey, I’ve noticed the same thing but only on the desk with my work computer.” (My husband has 2 desks, side by side, one for his work computer and the other for his personal computer.) The only connection I could find is that the desks with ants are both next to windows, and yet, there is no indication that the ants are coming in through the windows. Hmmm…

After a week of smooshing ants I was getting really annoyed and puzzled by the ant situation. Then I noticed they seemed to be coming from my keyboard! WTH? I flipped my keyboard over and gave it a good shake and here come a few more. I did the same to my husbands keyboard with the same result. Question answered (more or less). So the keyboards were tossed. My Matias and my husband’s Apple keyboard. I gave my husband my old Apple keyboard and I resurrected, from the “techie stuff no one uses or knows what it’s for” box a wireless, tenkeyless Apple keyboard. I swear that thing is smaller than a phone keyboard. I then searched for new keyboards.

Without going into a lot more background of the whys, I found a keyboard for old people – big keys printed with big letters – easy to read and use. They come in several configurations including black printing on yellow keys, how that is helpful I have no idea. I bought white print on black keys for my husband, it was a bit pricey, and I found a (much) cheaper keyboard for myself that looked like it might suit my big hands (and lousy typing skills). His was a winner, mine, not so much. So, I broke down and bought myself the old person’s large print, big keys keyboard too.

I gotta say, while I don’t particularly need the large print aspect I do love the the large keys part.  I’m not sure how much it will improve my typing skills (I’ve already fixed numerous typos) but then I’m still getting used to it. I miss my special symbols keys on the Matias and the cheapo replacement I had bought had some nifty shortcut keys (like a key to take a screenshot, that was cool) but I am enjoying it.

I suspect if anyone has read this far you are bored to death  but who knows someone might find it useful.