Monday, June 30, 2014

Blogger Glitch

     Last week there was a glitch on blogger. Some people used more colorful language to describe it. The people who use Word Press or others knew nothing about this problem.

    When a blogger posts you are notified with a small part of the blog topic covered. This usually lets you see up to 20 blogs or more depending on how you set it. If you're more than 20 blog behind in your reading you click "view more" and you see older blogs.

    Well last week blogger decided to show only one post at a time. So what ends up happening you miss 10 or 20 blogs because only one is shown at a time.

   Now when a glitch like this happens  , at first I don't notice it. When I do notice it I click on view more. Nothing happens so I click a few more times and I still have only one blog listed. So then I decide to go away for a while and think that when I come back the issue will have disappeared. Well it didn't disappear. I'll wait until tomorrow. The next day the issue is still there.  Meanwhile I'm missing reading blogs that are important to me. Okay, I'll go to my reading list and click  blogs one at a time and read them.. If some one has posted I'll read it. Now this is a lot of work because  most people don't post everyday.

   Finally, I go to the blogger help. Click on trouble shoot issues. Keep narrowing down the issues until you get to your issue. A form comes up and you leave blogger a description of the problem. They direct you to a forum and if that doesn't work some one will email you. At once I could see that the problem was not only mine. It looked as if it was a blogger problem. Many people had gone to blogger help.

    A couple of days later blogger had fixed the problem. 

   It's just that I go into panic mode and start beating myself up for the problem. It's nice when the problem is  solved. Did anybody else experience this problem? What did you do?. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Surprise Video

      The other day, driving through the mountains, my wife must have become completely bored or awed by the scenery. My wife decided that to take some photos while we were driving would be a good idea.

     Now let's back up a bit. My wife doesn't do anything digital. She's used the camera a couple of times with my directions. Each time she uses the camera, it's how do I turn this thing on? And what do I press to take a picture?

   As I was driving , I couldn't offer her much assistance. She got the camera turned on. Then , "I can only see a picture!" How do I gt it to take a picture. I realized the camera was on playback images so had to tell her to slide the bar to the left to get to take pictures. She couldn't find take pictures.

    Finally I realized she was on video. So that's alright just slide the bar  a little further left. "Oh now I've got it!" she says. She then took a few photos as we were driving in the car.

   Well, two or three photos and that was enough for her.

   When I got home and downloaded the photos, I noticed a video. Yes she did press take a photo. So I have a very surprising and poor video. There's the back end of a semi stuck in front of me , but the trees are really zooming along at the side of the road and there's a good view of the dash of the car. 

    Now I've never loaded a video on my blog. I'm not sure I did the right thing. so feel free to give me some advice. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Way Home

      We left Vancouver June 16 after having lunch with our son and granddaughters. We were taking the Trans Canada highway or Number one. This is a scenic route and well known for it's scenery as it passes through Revelstoke, Golden, Field, Lake Louise and Banff. We were just interested in getting home and scenery was not the objective. I've been over that road many times since 1951.

      On June 16 we traveled from Vancouver to Kelowna. My only aunt lives there and I wanted to see her,but there was no answer on the phone so I missed her.

    June 16 we travelled from Kelowna to Alberta. Fortunately there was no rain and traffic was reasonable. 

    We made a pit stop at Field British Columbia. This is an area of stunning beauty and important history. It's a railroad town on the main CP line.  So the only photos I have are from field. but there was no answer on the phone so I missed her.

    June 16 we travelled from Kelowna to Alberta. Fortunately there was no rain and traffic was reasonable. 

    We made a pit stop at Field British Columbia. This is an area of stunning beauty and important history. It's a railroad town on the main CP line.  So the only photos I have are from field. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

I'd Make a Great Comedian

     I'd make a great comedian! I wish somebody would hire me!

     On my recent visit to Vancouver, if someone had been following us it would have been pretty funny

     We had a few things we wanted to see and do when we were in Vancouver. My wife wanted to take the Sky Train and Sea Bus to Lonsdale Quay on the north side of Burrard inlet. The Sky Train is something we never see so it's a fun ride. The Sea Bus takes 12 minutes to cross Burrard inlet and drop you off at Lonsdale Quay. 

    So all this sounds so simple that it's sickening. Wrong! We found a lot of simple things to mess up. If somebody had been watching they may have recalled the Beverly Hillbillies.

    First, we were told that there was Sky Train parking at the station we were using. We asked directions. Some people gave us directions but there was no parking lot where they sent us. Some people got a blank stare and said they had never heard of Sky Train parking. So the Sky Train parking turned out to be fictitious and we parked in a mall parking lot.

   Then we get to the sky Train station. People are rushing both ways. We have to find a ticket. Yes there were many ticket dispensers but we have to figure out what ticket we need and how to get it. There were two different lines and senior fares. My wife is very hesitant to drop her money in a slot. She thinks that the machine will steal her money. Finally, someone helped us to choose the proper line we needed and buy the ticket. My wife would not try a touch screen and it saves a whole lot of trouble if I'm patient and let her come to terms with the situation.

    We're not out of the woods yet. Where do you stand to catch your train. There are signs all over the place but they don't mean anything to us. Finally, some kind person tells us what to do. They also tell us how to leave the Sky Train and get on the Sea bus. 

    Now Lonsdale Quay is a large conglomeration of fast food shops and millions(well not quite) of junky little shops that sell an endless number of things a person just doesn't need. My wife likes to look at the little shops with jewellery. 

   Finally, it's time to leave to go back to the hotel. Darn, you have to buy a ticket back. Well, we know how to do that . Right? So the micro manager drops her $1.75 in the slot. Does she get a ticket? No. The message comes up that she owes another 25 cents. No way is she going to give that blankety blank machine another 25 cents. The machine says times up and drops the money out. Okay, she's got her money so try again. The machine has to give you a ticket. Same thing. The machine says it wants another 25 cents. Help! Some kind person comes to our aid. They pick up a quarter from the coin return and put it in the slot and voila we get a ticket. One quarter was not being accepted by the machine and dropped into the coin return. We couldn't hear it drop so didn't know our quarter was in the coin return. 

  The whole experience was fun but probably a lot more fun for somebody else watching.

   Am I the only one who lives in a small city that doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles and hoops to jump through? Am I the only one to get confused about something that millions of other people use on a daily basis?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Visit With Grand Children

       I recently spent three days at Maple Ridge , B. C. Canada  where I visited my 12 and 14 year old grand daughters. I don't see them very often so the visit was special. I made up my mind on short notice when I would go. As a result, they could not rearrange schedules but that was alright as I wanted to see other things as well.

      These girls are high level cheer leaders. Cheer leading is a combination of dance and gymnastics. The girls are in the top level so practices are 3 hours long. 

     I had a good look at the activities kids participate in and saw more details than  with the kids on my street.

     These kids were invited to a birthday party which was to run from 1:00 PM Sat to 8;00 PM Sun. The birthday party was for one of their fellow cheer leaders. Cheer leaders come from a vast area to this particular school. These kids make very close friends in this activity. Mothers had made the arrangements and they don't know each other very well. The kid's mother went out of town on short notice and left the kids with Dad and the job of taking the kids to the party. 

    This is where it gets very different. First the address couldn't be found. Phones? One kid phones her mother. Mother says I just forwarded what I got. The other kid phones her friend. After many phone calls the address was found. Now , nobody was at home. My son was ready to head for home with the kids. He didn't like the look of the place. Finally someone showed up and the kids were left.

    Now this place was 40 km (25 mi) from their home? So my point is that these kids have a circle of friends from a wide area. It's difficult for kids and parents.

    Now the long truck ride was fun. There's always an electronic device in the hand. Play games for a minute. Text somebody for a minute. Phone somebody. Read messages. It's constant. Poor old Grandpa had to butt in to communicate! The kids are good and do like real conversations.

   They also have a wicked sense of humor. Since it was the day before Father's Day I asked what they had planned for Dad. Hammie smiled and said, "Nothing!"  Her Dad heard me and said, "Ya , I bought my own card." Hammie quickly said, "Can you put my name on it Daddy?" What a character!

    So even though my visit was brief it had some quality time.

    Like other grand parents, I can't wait for the next visit.

    Now photos? Yes, I took photos. I just don't put photos of kids on the Internet.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I'm Back...

      I've taken a break for a week.

      Now I tell you that a took a break so that you will know. Some of you may not have noticed that I was away!

     I can tell you that a break from Hiawatha House was very worthwhile. Yes I miss it. I miss the posts you write. I miss the comments. I also miss posting.

     So what happened? I drove to the west coast...Vancouver , B.C. Canada. 

    I took the southern most highway, the Crow. This road is narrow and winding. Many curves have an 80 kmh speed limit , some 60 and some 30. So you get the idea that the road is interesting. The scenery is just as interesting. I've lost count of how many passes we went over.

    There's a large variety of naturescapes you pass through. There's even some northern desert around Osoyoos. There's also some coast forest with large cedar and spruce. These are all beautiful areas to travel though. 

     One of the passes provided us with lots of winter snow. For a further treat it snowed in the area. Snow plows had gone through before us and it also snowed for a few minutes.

I couldn't stop further back for a better shot of this valley lake

Deep winter snow.

It  really was snowing!

Nice power  pole Red!

    Since the purpose of my trip was to spend time with the grand kids I did not stop  for photos. Rather , photos were taken where I stopped so some of the best scenery was missed.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Senior Embarrassment

     A few days ago my wife said , "Let's go to Tony Romas for Father's day lunch. Tony Romas usually has a special offer on Father's Day."

     I said, "Whatever!" I wasn't really listening.

     So yesterday off we went to Tony Romas for lunch. We had our lunch and my wife asked if there was a Father's Day special. The waiter replied that he didn't know as the special deals were given to him just a few days before the event. My wife thought the waiter didn't know what he was talking about.

    I usually leave a restaurant long before my wife. She can fuss about things just fine when I'm not there.

    On her way out she checked at the front desk about the Father's Day special. The young gal looked shocked and said, "If it's Father's Day I'm in trouble." That's when my wife got it sorted out. Yesterday was not Father's Day! What a surprise! What an embarrassment! So I'm glad I left a restaurant early! It's one of those really embarrassing moments and it's good not to be there.

    So you've really got to watch those seniors. They can get things mixed up and really embarrass you!

    So do other people embarrass themselves by screwing up big time or is it only me?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

And I Still Hate Garage Sales

        For the last two days I have been running a garage sale at my place. I have written before about my dislike of garage sales.

       The event actually covers much more than two days. Sorting has been going on for the last two years. In the basement things have been laid aside to go on a garage sale. Then everything had to be priced.

       So all the boxes were brought up from the basement. The first weekend the sale was scrubbed by the weather. It was rainy. This weekend the weather looked like it was good to go so everything was moved outdoors and the sale started at 1:00 PM . Things were very slow. Not many people were doing the garage sale thing.

      Since I don't have a garage, only a carport, I have to be careful with the weather or all my treasures could get wet. We covered the tables with plastic and a tarp. Other things were just put in the backyard. The forecast was for a very pleasant night.

Some of the treasures laid out for sale

More junk

Anybody want chairs?
  At 1:08 AM there was a big flash in my eyes. I jumped up and wondered what was the matter with my eyes. I gave my head a shake or two and nothing fell off. Then there was a loud peal of thunder directly overhead. That was a bad thing! So that explained the flash in my eyes. That was a good thing. So surprise ,surprise there was a thunderstorm. In fact, there were two thunderstorms. Thunderstorms occurred even though there was nothing in the forecast. So some of my treasures did get wet.

      So the garage sale marathon finally ended. Articles were sorted again. Some things would go in the garbage. Some things would go to a charity store. And some things went back in the house for another day when we have  garage sale.

      I'm looking ahead with dread to the next garage sale! Do any of you hate garage sales?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mistakes Cost a Tree Its Life

      I have been living on this street since 1970. When I came here the district was seven years old. The city has a policy of planting trees along the street. I had two ash trees in front of my house. When I moved here the trees were probably 12 ft. high. In 44 years I've watched them become  large and beautiful trees. I've featured a photo of one of my trees in a previous post.
My  ash tree a few years ago
     The house across the street is one of those that sells quite often. New owners took possession of it about 3 weeks ago. Two days ago I looked out to see somebody beginning to take down a 50 ft spruce. I had watched them plant this spruce. It was a fine tree but it was not placed in the correct place.

     Then, there was the ash. It was rumored that the ash was to be taken down too. Now it is against city bylaws to cut down one of their trees. The guy started to work on the ash. Fortunately, somebody drove by and reported the situation to the city. The city boss showed up immediately and asked the guy what he was doing. He told them the owner said it was his tree and to take it down. Work was stopped. More city officials showed up. They decided that the tree could not be salvaged and they would take the rest of it down.

The girl in the bucket doing her work

All the equipment to take down one tree

 So as a result of mistakes a very nice neighborhood tree was sacrificed. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Be Cautious When Communicating With Seniors

       Communication with seniors can become great comedy. Slips can be made and the communication takes great leaps of logic to confusing ends.

      Things can easily get twisted in senior communication. Seniors don't hear well so they may hear things that are very different from what was spoken. Seniors can be thinking of something else and relate what was said to a completely different topic.

      Yesterday was my turn to provide some comedy in the communication field. I had advertised my canoe on Kijiji. Someone phoned and asked if she could see the canoe and wanted to know what time she could come. We agreed on 2 PM. I asked her what her name was. The first time she said her name , I didn't get it. The next time I got Maxine out of it. I repeated Maxine,' and said, "Okay, Maxine at 2 PM."

     I went outside in the afternoon. Shortly before 2 PM my wife answered the phone and someone was explaining they couldn't make the 2 PM appointment , but could she come at 3 PM. Again , my wife asked for a name and got Kathleen. And said, Okay Kathleen, we'll see you at 3 PM."

     After these two occurrences I'm not sure who the person was who actually phoned. They never showed up. Probably both of us were wrong. Why didn't "Maxine " or "Kathleen" correct us?

     I go with my wife to some of her medical appointments. Physicians will ask her a question and she goes on about something else. Finally, I say, "Answer the question". Doctors have good reasons for asking a question. Logic is going on in their heads as they want to relate the answer to the previous question and decide what to ask next. Some physicians will go on from a non answer. I wish they would rephrase the question and insist on an answer. "A final answer!"

      Now I admit that I provide my share of senior miscommunication. I admit that I don't hear well. I also admit that I don't listen very well. I can get into trouble in a hurry. Sometimes I come home and suddenly think, "Did I ever mess up that conversation." 

      However, life goes on. somehow we get through things and make sense and meaning of the conversation.

Monday, June 2, 2014

That Darn Squirrel Again

      A few posts ago I told you about a squirrel that built a nest under my barbecue cover. What was humorous is that the exact same thing happened to my daughter about ten days before my episode. Of course, I gave her a rough time about her squirrel until the same thing happened to me.

     The story of my squirrel starts some time ago. She appeared last June and set up territory in my yard and several other yards. That was the first time we had a resident squirrel in this area. In August she began gathering cones for her winter larder. It was amazing how fast she could clip off spruce cones and toss them off the tree.

     In September she began building a nest somewhere. How do I know? I have covers that I use to cover plants in September to protect them from frost. The covers usually lie around the yard. I noticed that an old mattress cover seemed to be disintegrated faster than usual. Oops. Mrs squirrel was  using some fine fiber to line a nest!

     Today I reached in a wooden shed that I use for storing tools and another garden items.   All of a sudden the covers exploded and there was a thump thump and a squirrel went flying out of the shed. Oops, another nest! Sure enough a fine nest was built in the old mattress cover! So the rascal had found the old mattress cover that she used last September and just used the whole thing for a nest. What a smart critter to find the mattress cover! Now I have no photos because I didn't have the camera. And having a camera wouldn't have made any difference as the event happened so fast That I would not have had time to even reach for  camera.

    So I thought I was pretty smart by getting rid of the nest under the barbecue. I thought she wasn't coming back so I put the cover back on. Little did I know that I was being fooled. That squirrel is twice as smart as I thought she was.