News from the Hill — with all the usual Smith Manor-isms

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April 01, 2019

April Fool!

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, when I arose at 6 AM to take the trash and recycling to the curb for pickup, upon reentry to the house, I set the alarm again, then went to the bathroom, as usual. When I flushed the commode, is when I realized that the water was off. Alcohol hand cleanser to the rescue. Becky welcomed me back to bed, and I told her of the loss of water, thus ensuring that neither of us would go back to sleep. Pretty soon, though, the commode started immitating a ghost - screeching! It was air crossing the shut water inlet valve to the tank. It didn't take us long, then, to arise and dress for the day. 

About 7:30, Becky and I left the house with the intent of visiting the Clinic for diagnostic and evaluation, then perhaps to breafkast. My usual route, along the river, was blocked by workers digging holes in the street. We were forced to detour through the hospital zone (perhaps the slowest route through town) to get to the clinic (which is well South of the hospital). We were examined and it was determined that we had done all the right things for our viruses and that we were no longer contageous. We also learned that the water pressure had been restored. We decided, though, that since there was a Boil Water Advisory in the city, we would go to a different city for food. We went to Weaverville, found out that our breakfast place of choice was closed Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice (they had a Help Wanted sign in the window (for a short-order cook). A few blocks away, then we found our second choice, a Greek restaurant. They have good-enough coffee, wonderful Spinach & Feta omulets and even made a custom omulet for Becky with all her favorite ingredients (bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheese).

Our return home showed us full water pressure, but brownish water, so we ran the water for quite a long time, flushing the commodes frequently, then decided it would take longer to get the brown out of the water. Later, we learned that they were recommending letting both the hot and cold water run for 30 minutes, so we did that, making about and hour of running water, total, and still the commodes have brown water in them, but it's a very light tint of brown, so I guess we'll let all of our neighbors clear the lines above us on the hill and try again in the morning.

April 02, 2019

Having survived April 1st, I've decided I'm pretty much done with this illness. I've had pretty good energy all day, today, even without much of a nap. I did cough up some greenish phlegm, this morning, but then I realized it was after my capsule got caught in my throat (second day in a row) and wouldn't budge until the capsule dissolved. I'm guessing the contents were greenish.

I got a little adventurous, today, and plugged the battery into my Toshiba Netbook to see if it was really defective, or perhaps was only unable to charge due to power being shunted to the failing spinning disk. It took about 15 minutes to charge the battery from 93% to 100%, but it did get topped up. So now I'm going to have to test it, see how long it will power the computer before it gets down to 50%, then charge back up when I plug in again. Oddly enough, I've never exercised the battery, before, using it just to carry the computer from room to room. I used to consider booting it up at home, then carrying it to the Linux Users Group without shutting it down, to save boot-up time when I got there. It used to take several minutes (several tries) to boot up with the spinning disk, but now, with the solid state drive it boots reliably, every time. Also, I'm not attending the LUG anymore because I don't understand what they discuss.

April 03, 2019

Another Wednesday, another Bell and Choir Rehearsal, and for once, I played Measure 17 of The Heavens Declare the Glory of God - correctly! The ringer to my right (with three bells higher than my four) had a free hand and agreed to play the errant C#, leaving me free to play the C and B to my heart's content - or at least to the music's content. It worked well, several times. We have a few more practices before Easter, when we intend to Ring the Resurrection!

April 04, 2019

Brian, Suzanne's brother, had an appointment to be seen by the eye doctor at 1:00 pm, and since they would be dilating his eyes, I volunteered to drive him to the appointment. Things went well, and it turned out that his eye lid is not infected, but the pores are plugged, distending the lower lid and causing him to feel significant pain. The treatment will be drops and warm compresses daily until it clears up, then warm compresses for the rest of his life.

While Brian was being examined, I started talking with another patient waiting to be seen. He was forcibly retired by the doctors, since he was working out at the gym, had the Widow Maker heart attack and died! He said he was dead for three minutes, before being brought back, and has vivid memories of having seen his parents who had predeceased him. Other than being a Zombie, he is a very interesting person, friendly and, by all appearance, physically fit (heart function as low as 34%, measured two days ago, to the contrary).

Becky met us at the Greek restaurant in Weaverville for lunch (at 2:30), which Brian paid for, after which I took him to the pharmacy to get his prescription eye drops and then back home. He doesn't ask for a ride often, and when he does, we always have a good time together, aside from his constant pain (fibromyalgia et al).

Our chiropractor has cancelled two of his five scheduled seminars this month due to a "family emergency". His wife is terminal with cancer, and I understand she is in Hospice for her last few days, so until he and his children (his daughter graduating from high school next month) have recovered from the loss, he will resume his practice.

April 05, 2019

I started the great Battery Drain Test at 2 PM. I'm not using it intensively, closing the cover and letting it sleep from time to time, which works differently from how it works when plugged it. When connected, I open the cover, slick and swipe upward, log in and go. On the battery, though, I raise the cover, then press the power button, then click and swipe up, etc. One additional step, and I can work with it. After almost two hours of intermittent use, There is no diffeerence showing on the battery gauge, but looking at the Power Settings utility, I see that I'm actually down to 83%! Wow, a very inacurate battery gauge!

At the end of my battery test, I had used the computer for 2.5 hours, still had 73% of the battery, but oddly enough, the battery report also said I had 56 hours of battery left. I suspect that would be for its Asleep mode (lid closed, everything in standby). I doubt I will ever need to use the battery (unless the power goes out and I feel the need to check the weather, or some such, but then I'd have no WiFi, so no connectivity, so I wouldn't use it but for games).

April 06, 2019

Happy Tartan Day

I visited the City Market, today, to buy some more "The Spray" from Bonny Bath (See for our friends. I had gotten some for Suzanne a few weeks ago, and her brother, Brian, had said he would like some, too, so I bought a bottle for me and two others for him and Suzanne to enjoy. I was given a special price, and then, since I had returned seven empties to her, Heidi Vasone, the proprietor, gave me a refund on the returns. It ended up costing me very little.

I got my hair cut, today. The cost of the haircut was reduced by a coupon they had mailed to me, and now I look, well, better than yesterday, anyway.

Oh, yeah, and I just learned that I struck it big on the PowerBall tonight. I matched three numbers (not the power ball) and will now receive $7! That's more than tripple what I've ever won on a single ticket before. I'm stoked!

 April 07, 2019

Becky stayed at home, today, not feeling as though she could sing a note, and not knowing the cause of her illness nor whether she was contageous. I went to church for the first time in years, and made my contribution to the choir. We sang William Billings' anthem, When Jesus Wept, arranged in a four-part round. The choir sang in their usual outstanding manner, though there were just two sopranos due to Becky's absence. I returned home with well-wishes from every choir member, the choir director, organist and a member of the congregation, Mary, who is one of Becky's special friends in the congregation. If she doesn't get well from all those wishes, I will be amazed, for she's not a sickly person.

April 08, 2019

This morning, it was back to the Clinic for Becky. The PA said that what she had might be a virus, or it might be allergies. Once we got home, becky realized that every time we go out of the house, she takes a downward turn on the health-o-meter, therefore we strongly suspect it's allergies. Much better, since it isn't communicable. It cannot be cured, though, only treated. The PA did prescribe Flo-Nase to clean out the sinuses and revitalize the membranes therein. I hope it works. The last time Becky had this much trouble with allergies was when we went to Tampa, Florida, for the Quilling convention. That put me into stress overload so bad that I was given a stress test - and failed it. Then I started visiting the cardiologist! Well, since then, I have passed the stress test that the cardiologist's office administered, and I haven't been having any untoward feelings in that area of my body, buíoch le Día [BWEE-ukh luh JEE-uh (Thank God)]!

I wore a most appropriate shirt to the Clinic, my Bullwinkle "Whatsamata U" sweatshirt, but I'm not sure any of the others in the waiting room got the joke.

On the other hand, I watched a video on YouTube about some of the apps that one blogger uses in Ubuntu to make his video blogs. The first one is SimpleScreenReecorder (SSR). I downloaded it and installed it, and not only is it easy to use, but it produces great videos. Then I had a thought, I could record a game of solitaire, then put the video into my video processor, compress the time (just a smidge) and post a very fast game of solitaire to show off my skills (not as a solitairean, but maybe as a video editor?).

April 09, 2019

We were scheduled to meet Jim and Carol for Breakfast at the Famous Toastery, but at the last minute, Becky's belly started griping, so she opted to stay home and, of course, have me bring her breakfast back with me. So I had Avocado Benedict, which was an avocado, halved, with each half topped with a poached egg, Pepper  Jack cheese and Pico de Gallo. It was yummy, though a bit spicier than Becky would like. I brought her back an avocado omulet, which I knew she would like - and she did! I also brought back a Birthday Gift Bag from Carol for Becky. It contained three gluten-free mixes and a card. The card contained a gift card for TGI Friday's.

After that, we both rested, and snoozed through the end of the morning, after which I started trying to learn something about Ubuntu from videos on YouTube. I've decided that it might not be the best way for me to learn, because I get very bored during the presentations. I did manage to learn a few things about using the Terminal (command line), but I'm not sure I will ever be proficient at that method of computing. I've been addicted to GUI for quite a long time - since Windows came onto the scene. And to think, I used to write programs for the main frame computer on the submarine, and they even worked. Come to think of it, I had gotten quite bored in those classes, too. Some things never change.

April 10, 2019

I had a delay when I drove out for Gas and Lottery Tickets this afternoon. First of all, Rush Hour seemed to start at 3 PM, today. That was mainly because they have started utility and road repairs throughout the city this week. I took a back road route to avoid the congestion on the main thoroughfare past our neighborhood, only to find that they were paving the road I needed to cross. Mind you, they weren't paving the intersection, but the road was reduced to one lane, and they needed to let a steam roller cross the street I was on. So I sat through three cycles of the traffic light. During the second cycle, one vehicle got to move.

I got to church at my normal early time to set up the handbells, and to my surprise, they were already set up. The young woman who stands to my right had gotten there earlier than I did, and had set the room up. That was a good surprise, and I was very appreciative. The practice went well, and I'm feeling more comfortable with the pieces we are getting ready to play for Easter. I'm still making mistakes, but that what practice is for, to make all the mistakes possible so we don't have to make them in performance.

April 11, 2019

I received an email from TGI Friday's offering either a BBQ Chicken Salad or a Million Dollar Cobb Salad for $5. Naturally, we had lunch at TGIs, both of us choosing the Cobb Salad. We had taken a ToGo Box and Cup with us, put the grilled chicken into the box, Becky put her bacon into the box, and we gorged ourselves on the salad (I saved my bacon for last, of course).

About 3 PM, then, I heard a neighbor cutting his grass and, having commented this morning about maybe having to cut my grass sometime this year, I decided it was time for the initial cut of the year. I fueled the mower with last year's gasoline (which I'm told is NOT to be used), primed it, pulled the rope, primed it and pulled the rope again - and it started! I cut the front, both sides and most of the back yards before the gasoline was used up. I decided that was enough for today. I was tired, but not exhausted, and now I'm pretty sore above my right hip, having used muscles I had not used for years due to my scoliosis. That indicates that the spinal improvement is working! It's a happy soreness.

April 12, 2019

I made it to the gym, this morning. My 30 minutes on the treadmill was done at a slightly slower pace than my normal 3.1 MPH, but having come off a period of relative weakness, I set the pace at 2.5 MPH. At the end of it, I was moist, for sure, but not exhausted. Tai Chi, after my long walk, was a proverbial walk in a different kind of park. It was fun doing the warm-up, though I was already sufficiently warmed up, in my own mind. The warm-up exercises for Tai Chi is designed to get the muscles moving correctly, get the joints moving smoothly, so that when you start the Form, you don't cause any harm to your body. Therefore, though I was warm from walking, I went through the motions easily, without tiring any further, and when we (finally) got to the form, I was "low and slow", which if you have seen or practiced Tai Chi, you would recognize as being in a deeper bent-knee posture, and not hurrying through the exercise.

This evening, we finally got to the tax-prep office and learned that our refund is slightly less than last year. Not only did they withhold less from us throughout the year, but we actually earned less money. Now, Becky is being urged to start a regular draw-down from her retirement accounts, and it's my guess that we're ready to do that. It will bring our income up, and as long as sufficient amounts are withheld, we should not have any sticker shock next April.

April 13, 2019

Friday the 13th came on a Saturday, this month!

I should have realized that before I decided to visit the gym this morning. I think I also should have eaten some breakfast. I lasted only 24 minutes into my 30 minute treadmill walk. Part of it might be that the story I'm reading doesn't measure up to the intrigue of the one I finished yesterday. It involves a London newspaper editor who, despite being a workaholic, was fired for letting the profits lost 63% over the last year without even telling the owner of the paper about it. On the same day, he got a letter from an attorney saying that his wife was suing for divorce, taking their daughter and moving to New York. It reminds me of a Griswold movie where everything that could go wrong, does.

Then we had lunch at the Famous Toastery, where we split an avocado omulet - and still had enough food to fill us completely. YUM!

April 14, 2019

I had a sound night's sleep, but awoke to a sweaty and very sore body and neck. I hope I wasn't trying to do gymnastics in my sleep. Also, my stomach was trying to tell me not to eat or drink anything for a while. It was two hours later when my stomach shouted at me for not eating or drinking anything, so I had some cereal, and 20 minutes later we were out the door for church.

At church, one of my favorite choir members, Don, himself retired from the US Navy as a physician, and is retired from his Head & Neck Surgery practice, handed me a sweater and asked if I wanted it. I looked it over, and didn't immediately commit to it, so he said if I didn't want it, just put it in the bin to be distributed to those in need. When we got home from church, I tried it on, and it fits as though it were made for me, so now I'll have to email him and tell him how pleased I am to accept his gift.

Our anthem, this morning, "Christ Jesus Rode to Jerusalem", went quite well. Our Director pro tem was very pleased, as am I and the rest of the choir members. Being Palm Sunday, we did the Liturgy of the Palms after processing into the sanctuary from the Fellowship Hall (it was raining, otherwise we would have started in the parking lot). During the service, I was to read the Old Testament reading and lead the reading of the psalm, but someone else got up to do it, but didn't lead the psalm, so one of the acolytes lead that. I read the New Testament reading, then, which I hadn't rehearsed, but which went quite well. "Instant, in and out of season."

On the way home, we stopped for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed their Special. Many restaurants offer Specials at reduced price, because they use things that were left over from yesterday, but Rise 'n' Shine charges a bit more for their Specials, because they go out and buy items that they don't regularly offer. Today's Special was a 2-egg (free-range, of course) omelet, with bacon, apple, collard greens and smoked Gouda cheese. It was delicious and well worth the extra dollar each.

April 15, 2019

Happy Birthday, David Smith!

Three things to note, today.

1.   My son, David, has turned 49 years old. Next year he will be half a century old, which is an amazing milestone in his life, and even more amazing that I am still alive to witness it. But I'm getting ahead of myself - by about one year. I hope to be alive to witness his half-century birthday.

2.   The Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris, is in flames! at the time of this writing, then entire roof system has collapsed into the Nave, so if the fire was, previously, contained to the roof, I'm afraid it began feeding on everything in the Nave. I am saddened by the damage to such an historical structure, even though I have never seen it. If it had to be built in the same way as the original, I doubt that many people alive now could ever see it rebuilt. Fortunately, I'm sure it can be built much more quickly with the mechanical advantages we have today.

3.   It's TAX DAY! Yeah, we've filed, and we're getting a refund, just not as large as last year's had been. We have earned less, and the feds have withheld less. Yeah, that extra $23 per month that they didn't withhold nearly made a difference in our standard of living.

April 16, 2019

The photos, today, showed that there are still wooden items in the Nave of Notre Dame de Paris, and according to reports, the grand organ is largely undamaged, while a lesser organ has suffered water damage. Back in 1989, I had seen many organs with water damage after Hurricane Hugo, and I have, since, serviced many of those organs after their repair. I even built a replacement for one organ that was, unfortunately, damaged "beyond economical repair". It turned out to be the last organ I built, and the largest and, in my opinion, best. I'm sure, then, that the instruments will live again, with the most historically significant one, at least, surviving in its present form.

Other than catching up on the news from Paris, we didn't do much today.

April 17, 2019

We made up for yesterday's sloth by keeping busy today. I put a huge load of clothes into the washer, this morning, then while that washed, we went to the chiropractor (whose wife died last month), spent a good 10 minutes just talking with him about his wife and family, then had some very good therapy. When we got home, I put half the load of washed clothes into the dryer, and we watched the morning news until it was time to go to lunch with Jim and Carol. During lunch, we learned all about their cat vomiting on their bed (copious amounts) necessitating a change of blanket, sheet and pad. We also learned a lot of trivia that we will probably never use, but it's fun to learn from them both.

When we returned from Lunch, I noticed a call on the voice mail, which was the chiropractor's office calling to confirm out presence and testamony at their seminar, tomorrow. I called them back and confirmed out intention to be there. Then I got the dry clothes from the drier, put the still-wet ones into it, then started the load of white clothes, and we left for Bell and Choir Rehearsals.

I spent the better part of 30 minutes carrying music, music desks and mallets down from the practice room to the sanctuary for our practice for Easter Sunday's music. The youngest member of the bell choir, Natalie, helped me carry the five cases of bells down, then She, Becky and I set up the bells. We had a good practice, and I feel we are ready to ring our best for Easter. Choir practice was more hectic, but we got through it, and again, we weill be able to sing the anthem well.

Now my back is sore, mostly from all the carrying. G'nite.

April 18, 2019

Maundy Thursday

First, we had a lunch-time seminar, today, attesting to the success of Knee-Replacement Prevention by regenerative treatments. The traffic was horrendous, and the 20-minute trip from our house to the restaurant took us 40 minutes. I-26 was blocked by a semi that was lying down on the job, so naturally everybody and her cousins were using the back roads. I was foolish enough to have used the Interstate, missed my intended exit - and THEN the backup had it looking like a parking lot. I did manage to get off the Interstate, jogged west for one exit on I-40, then turned South along Smokey Park Highway (which was choked with like-minded drivers) to Sardis Road (also choked) to the restaurant. We got there 2 minutes before the scheduled start, and Dr. Reilly got there less than 10 minutes after that scheduled start.

Church services were to start at 7 PM, and we were to be there at 6:30 to rehearse. Our anthem were left out of the bulletin, but we rehearsed it anyway, planning to sing it instead of the Offertory Hymn that was listed. It turned out we sang that hymn for the Presentation of Alms, so no problem. The anthem, I Give you a New Commandment, went exceptionally well (though two of the four basses had limited control of the pitch of the final note which was held for three measures!

At the end of the service, there was a thunder clap (bible being slammed shut), a flash of lightening and an immediate power failure (both simulated, theatrically), leaving us to fumble and stumble our way out of the choir seats as best we could. One of our sopranos walks with difficulty, using two canes, one of the altos has recently had a total knee replacement, Becky recently had a bad fall and is none to sure footed at the best of times. Yeah, the abject darkness was not well thought out. We need to consider getting some low-level aisle lights before next Maundy Thursday.

Before we had left for church, I had initiated an upgrade from Ubuntu 18.10 to 19.04 in my Netbook only, and it said it would take several hours to finish. By the time we got home from church, it had finished. It said to press Enter to continue, and when I pressed Enter, the Terminal went to the prompt, indicating the upgrade had finished. I played around with it a bit and found that the Netbook hadn't been backed up for 41 days (I was not surprised, and since I don't keep data on it, I was unconcerned), so I did a backup and initiated a weekly backup. The thing is, it has to be turned on at backup time in order to do the backup, and since I use the wee thing so seldom, that isn't likely to happen. I use it mostly as a test-bed, like for testing the new semi-annual Ubuntu upgrades to make sure they won't upset my desktop before I upgrade it, too. Then too, occasionally I will use it while I'm using the nerve rebuilder on my legs/feet in the living room, but only for browsing the Web or reading email or doing updates on News from the Hill. So far, the new OS works the same as the old one, which is what I would expect.

April 19, 2019

Good Friday

The Choir was not involved in the Service, today, and when we got there, I was surprised to see both a service bulletin and a Stations of the Cross pamphlet. The service was typical for the day, including the Solemn Collects. What was, though, unusual to my experience, was that those Collects were intoned (chanted). One of the Vergers had volunteered for the layman's portion, and let me just say that he is not a singer. Nevertheless, the words were clearly understandable, so well done. Afterward, the Interim Priest took me aside and apologized to me that he hadn't asked me to assume the layman's role. "As soon as I heard you sing the first 'AMEN', I knew I should have," he said.

April 20, 2019

Holy Saturday - Easter Vigil

Happy Birthday, Suzanne!

I had never attended the Easter Vigil before. I did this year, partly because I felt led to attend, and partly because I was assigned to read the first lesson - The Creation Story. It was easily the longest of the five readings, and I had a lot of fun doing it. During the readings, the church was dark, but with a small reading light on the lecturn so that we hadn't needed to have memorized the readings. Getting up to the lecturn wasn't difficult, though the step up to its platform was a bit steep (there is a railing to help the reader to haul him/herself up), but descending that step again was iffy. After reading, with the light reflecting off the page, I found that I could see nothing. I had to grope for the nose of the step with my foot, and just hope that the step was cut square and not at an angle. Everything worked out well.

There were two baptisms, today, a father and his son. Then we had the mass with sufficient Halleluia's to awaken the neighbors, accompanied by the ringing of bells (distressingly small bells, for most of us - I wanted to rush up to the choir seats and retrieve some of our handbells, but resisted the urge). It was a wonderfully moving service, and I doubt I will miss it in the future.

April 21, 2019

Happy Easter!

This morning's Easter Mass was glorious! After the organist finished her prelude, the Bell Choir played their prelude, "The Heavens Declare the Glory of God" - Benedetto Marcello. It went quite well, the best we've ever played it. I noticed, with feigned appreciation, that the composer/arranger had put in one Bb and one C# so that I could use all four of my bells (Bb, B, Middle C & C#). Those were my only accidentals in the whole piece.

The Choir sang the Offertory Anthem, of course, "A Gaelic Easter Celebration" - Michael Praetorius, and Sang it quite well. This time, I had lots of accidentals, some of which were actually written into the music. It didn't matter, though, because even my mistakes were musical!

The rest of the day, well, we rested!

April 22, 2019

This afternoon we were invited to Suzanne's to celebrate Passover and her birthday, just a few days later than the actual day. We had knishes, mahtzo brie and gluten-free cake! She had made two batches of the Matzo brei, one with gluten-free matzo, just for us, and the other with egg matzo for everyone else. Everything was delicious!

Brian loaned us his copy of Bohemian Rapsody. We watched it, not knowing much about Freddy Mercury or Queen, and while it wasn't exactly our cup of tea, I enjoyed the music, for the most part. I had to turn down the sound for some of the music, then had to turn it up for some of the almost whispered dialog. In the end, though, we were frustrated that the whole song was never featured in the movie. I understand that there was more to Freddy Mercury than just that song, but that's the name they gave to the movie, and was what we expected from it. When it was over, we fired up YouTube and watched and listened to the Pentatonics singing Bohemian Rhapsody, just to satisfy our desire to hear it.

April 23, 2019

Happy Luna-Versary

Another month, another monthly celebration of our wedding. Today, we "celebrated" by giving our witness to the treatments we have received from Dr. Reilly, and afterward, enjoyed a good lunch at his expense.

Next, we drove to Publix, bought some cereal and coffee grounds, learned that their semi-boneless ham, on sale for $0.99 per pound, had sold out. However, they will get more in tomorrow evening, and they will be on sale for the following week, too. We will be back!

To cap the goose, we figured we would visit our favorite Starbucks store. As we approached, though, from the top of the Bowen Bridge, I saw flashing red lights, and then flashing blue lights. There is a Shell station a block away from Starbucks, and sure enough, that's where the fire truchs and police cars were sitting. On the driveway, it was evident that a car had rammed into a protective pole by the gas pumps. Pieces of the car were spread out on the ground in about a 10' radius around the front of the car. The traffic lights at the corner by Starbucks were inoperative, as was the Starbucks store, itself. We drove on home and brewed a carafe of coffee. Fewer calories, for sure.

I've just ordered Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald on Blu-Ray. It's the second movie in that series, so naturally we felt obligated to purchase it.

April 24, 2019

At Bell and Choir Practice, we had a "visitor": a candidate for the post of Director of Music, Allen Mullinax. He has the right credentials and, in my opinion, a great technique with the choir. He led us through a particularly tough piece of music with which we have been struggling for a couple months (Sicut Cervus by Palestrina), and under his direction we made it through the entire piece in fairly good fashion. If he accepts the challenge and is accepted by the search committee, he will not only have his work cut out for him, but he will also teach us to be far better than we are. If asked, I would easily recommend offering him the position.

April 25, 2019

When we got home from grocery shopping, Becky tried to open the dishwasher - and couldn't. I looked on the Internet and found instructions for opening such a door, and found that I didn't have the tools needed, and also that the latch mechanism is, apparently, different from the ones depicted on the internet (naturally). I called a repairman, who will come to the house tomorrow afternoon to investigate and (hopefully) fix the problem. They were supposed to email me a two-hour time window, which they have yet to do, so that I can arrange to be here during those two hours. If I don't get the email, I guess I'll leave Tai Chi class early so as to be here at or before noon - just in case the service technician actually shows up.

April 26, 2019

The service technician came today to look at the dishwasher. He had a devil of a time getting the door open, and when he did, he quickly found the problem. The latch mechanism has two very small, plastic parts, and one of them had snapped off after 6 years of use. He ordered the part, which will arrive on or before Wednesday, and when it does, he will return to the house to install it. The cost is about $250, about 1/3 the price of a replacement dishwasher.

April 27, 2019

There was a funeral at the church, today. We didn't know the Guest of Honor, but he used to sing in the choir, and his family had requested the choir sing at the funeral, so of course, we did. The service was very well done, eulogies first, followed by the Office. The sermon was celebratory and comforting.

Tonite I ordered two Scott eVests (multi pocketed vests of light, breatheable fabric with guards to prevent electromagnetic snooping. We should have them in about a week.

April 28, 2019

We had a good time experiencing our first "experimental" melding together of the 2nd and 3rd services at church. Instead of starting at 9 and 11:15, the new start time is 10. It filled the sanctuary, and felt much more energetic. For our part, the choir and bells did a bit of combining, too. We had five ringers playing 10 handbells to provide part of the accompaniment for our anthem, What Wondrous Love is This?. Naturally, the organ played, and a violinist provided a descant on the 1st and 4th stanzas. One entrance was missed, but the organist covered it up very skillfully, and I'm sure nobody other than the director and me knew it happened. We've gotten many good comments about the anthem.

April 29, 2019

Lunch with Jim and Carol was wonderful. They both have become fans of TGI Friday's Chinese Chicken Salad. I have yet to try it, but I probably should. The Cobb Salad has been my go-to lunch for quite a while, now, and I always feel so full afterwards that I have been volunteering my chicken as take-home. Carol has warned that the Chinese one is almost too spicey for her, and for sure Becky will not be trying it. Becky had their new Chicken, Cheddar, Bacon and Avocado "Sandwich" - without the bread. Parts of it came home with us, too.

After lunch, I visited Sams to pick up some things we were out of, then I ran - well, drove - to the gas station to feed Barnum and my lawn mower gas can - and to purchase some lottery tickets.

Upon my return to home, I got the lawn mower out to cut the too-tall weeds - um - grass while trying to cut as few of the Common Bugles as possible. Halfway through cutting the front yard, the mower ran out of gas - which it has never done before. So I filled the tank again and too soon, the mower stopped again and refused to start, though it still had most of the gas still in the tank. After careful examination, I learned that my 2-year-old mower HAS A CHOKE! It also has a priming pump, and I never thought there would be both items on one carburetor. Well, the choke was full on, and I guess the mower didn't want to drink pure gasoline any longer. I opened the choke, started the engine and finished mowing. Old dog - new trick!

Maybe I didn't tell you, yet, but the pretty blue flowers in our yard have been spreading, shoking out grass and dandelions alike, and feeding lots of bees. The blooms are constantly being harvested by bumblebees. We had thought they were Grape Hyacinth, but I took a close-up photo of them and used the app PlantNet to identify them. They are Common Bugles. We were told they were noxious weeds, but then so are sunflowers, according to the dictionary. Whatever, the bees love them, so they're staying!

April 30, 2019

Happy Birthday KV Schreiner!

Another Dr. Reilly seminar, and more testimony to his success. After one patient testified to his help to get her walking again without a double knee replacement, Becky told of her having had a knee replaced with residual pain and Dr. Reilly's help to aleviate that pain. I was just there for the free meal and, of course, to attest to the Doctor's expertise in doing what other doctors say is impossible.

Then we got to meet a few new Baristas at Starbucks, all in all, a good day.


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