A View From the Field

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July 2011

July 31

I am going to crash.

 

I got to bed a little after 10:00 last night, but after about 1:30, I didn't sleep very well. Part of the problem was that the wind kicked up and it was very noisy. I got up around 2:30 and closed most of the windows at the north end and I finally closed the door, and then it was hot, and besides, the window in the hallway was doing its best interpretation of an organ pipe, the pitch depending upon what the wind speed was. Ugh. Eventually I sort of dozed off, and eventually the wind died down again, but I still didn't sleep. When the alarm went off, I really didn't want to get up, but I really wanted to go to church today, so I got up. Ugh.

 

Church was wonderful. The order of service was the communion service from the old hymnal, and I got all teary. I haven't sung that service since the last time I was in Detroit, in 2007. Sigh. I still know it by heart, which isn't surprising, since I sang it every other Sunday for over 50 years. The hymns were all oldies that go with the old service, and besides, a very good tenor was sitting behind me singing harmony. There was communion, and that was nice, and Pastor's sermon was another good one, based on Romans 7. 

 

After church, I had to get gas. I'm sorry to report that the price of gas has actually gone up in the past few weeks. It was $3.859 at the expensive place, $3.839 in Calumet, and $3.799 at Walmart and a couple of places in Hancock. I thought it was supposed to be going down?

 

Anyway, I filled my tank and got home around 1:30. When I walked into the studio, Buster had peed on the desk chair and left a little puddle right in the middle. I cleaned that up thoroughly, and I had just about started the rest of my surfing (although I just remembered I never looked at the Pasty Cam) when Arthur called. It was so nice to hear from him. He sounds fine, and we had a nice conversation.

 

Arthur pointed out to me that the camera hadn't updated since 1:30 or so (this was closer to 2:30), so I switched the monitor to the old system and discovered that Buster had apparently been standing on the keyboard and pressing a key (I don't know which one) that brought up the "my computer" screen at least 30 times, until it got a "not enough memory" message. That is one that has to be replied to, so it hung the system until I closed some of those windows, and the next camera picture took off. However, I couldn't do anything else, so I had to reboot. I've been trying to keep him off the new system's keyboard, because I don't know what he might do to it. It is a problem. The places he used to sit are gone now and filled with hardware, but he had begun sitting on the keyboard tray even before I got the new stuff, and when he does, he puts his feet on the keyboard and causes all sorts of havoc. Weird little kitty.

 

I must also mention that two of my efriends sent me ecards from the one designer I like - and they didn't choose the same one, either. I thank both of you very much.

 

Somehow, Debbie managed to find a card with my age on the front. They used to only do those things for kids, but evidently it's becoming more common, at least for milestone birthdays.

 

I was so tired that I didn't do anything at all this afternoon, unfortunately, but I intend to get to bed very early tonight, and that should help.

 

I decided to treat myself to dinner at Harbor Haus for my birthday, and I just got back from there. It was wonderful, as usual, but I ate so much that I had to bring my chocolate amoretto torte home with me for tomorrow. That's my birthday treat, now that I don't have a mommy who makes cakes for birthdays. I was happy to see that Harbor Haus was quite busy tonight. It's harder to tell now that they have tables and chairs in the bar, but everybody seemed to be rushing around, so I guess it was busy. That's good - usually Sundays are slower, even in the summer.

 

The weather was lovely, at least here. it was nearly completely clear all day, and the temperature was around 70 for most of the day. It has recently risen to 78. There was a north wind in the 15 mph range all day. I don't know what blew through between 1:00 and 3:00 this morning, but the wind was very gusty and very noisy. The dew point dropped slowly all day, so humidity wasn't a problem, either. A very nice day for a birthday.

 

My birthday is always one of the times when I sit back and take stock. and this one is particularly notable because it's another big zero. During the spring, I found myself quite depressed by the thought of turning 70. Based upon my family history, that means I don't have all that much time left on this earth. Of course, that's not necessarily true, but I have to look at it that way. 

 

Then, even though I haven't read back to what I wrote in 2001, it occurred to me that ten years ago, I wasn't sure I would be here even five years more. The stem cell transplant seemed to be successful, but based upon what the doctors told me, I had a one in three chance of making it long-term. Of course, that was better than my chances if I had done nothing, which were zero. You make your choice and you take your chances. Now it seems that I actually have beaten the odds. It was 10 years in January, and I haven't had a recurrence. 

 

Oh the other hand, I find it almost impossible to believe I'm really that old. How could that be? It certainly doesn't feel like that long. I don't feel that old, and I hope I don't act that old. Geez, where did the time go?

 

This year has turned out to be a fairly good one, all things considered. I began to get my finances under control (although this last month has really broken the budget), my C. diff is gone, the physical therapy helped a lot, although I will have to face the sad fact that I'll probably never be as agile as I was 10 years ago. That would probably have happened anyway.  I am doing better, although I still walk funny. I've lost a little more weight. Apparently I know what the cause of my intestinal problem is, and I have some stuff on order to try to get rid of it.

 

Buster has been acting funny, but then, most old people do. 

 

So all things considered, it wasn't a bad year. I can face the next year with some equanimity.  One thing being sick taught me even more than I knew it before, is never to make long-term plans. Even a year is a long time. So I try not to do it at all. 

 

I'm where I want to be, and I can still sort of handle being here. I wish my financial situation was a bit better, but one can't have everything, I guess. 

 

So that is how it is. I've lived 70 years, even though it doesn't seem like it, and maybe I'll have a few more.

 

Now it's a lovely, clear evening in the field, and I'm going to crash. 

 

July 30

I was a good girl last night. I went up to the north end early, and I read until I couldn't see, then I went to bed. I turned out the light about 10:00. It was warm in the bedroom, and I slept with only the sheet - or nothing - over me. I did sleep well.

 

I woke up around 8:00 and just sighed, so it was closer to 9:30 when I got up. I finished the 25th repeat on the shawl, with Buster sitting in the window watching me, then he sat on my lap and got brushed. 

 

I did my surfing, and then I started washing. The last two loads are in the dryer now, but it's been humid enough that it's taking a long time to dry things - especially jeans, which is what I washed first. I have at least one more load, of towels and sheets, to do, but at least I have underwear and compression hose again.

 

I know I have a bunch more stuff to do on the computers, but I took the day off, and I spent some time reading the story from the white binder. I noticed that with my custom dictionary installed, there haven't been any unknown words yet, or maybe this version of Word is better at picking up spelling that I said was to be ignore. Unfortunately, it doesn't pick up any grammar items I said to ignore. Since there is a lot of dialog, there are a lot of sentence fragments, which I had told Word in this machine to ignore. Well, I'm having to do it all over again. And I notice, in just the few pages I've read, that the new grammar checker isn't any better than the old one was at parsing complex sentences or determining the case and number of verbs. I know it's hard, but guys, the stand-alone grammar checker I had back in the early 90s did a better job than this one does. I'd hoped they might have learned something in the last ten years, but it seems not. Also, I haven't found any "document map" or "bookmark" settings yet. I wonder if they're there? That may be a problem, since I tend to read a chapter at a time and use chapter markings to find where I left off. Now I may have to just use a raw "go to" and try to find the right place. That's an annoyance, although it may not be hard on this first reading, because I can see where the grammar error flags turn up.

 

The weather started out beautiful, but along about 2:00 it clouded up, and at intervals it got very dark and threatening. From the radar map, I could tell that the storms (and there are some) were going south of us, but it wasn't very nice. The temperature was nice, though. It was around 68 or 70 for most of the night, and after sunrise the temperature rose into the 70s. The high was 75. There was almost no wind all day long. It was humid but not as bad as it was a couple of weeks ago. The humidity was mostly between 60% and 70%. I only felt it when I was doing something, like putting clothes away or looking for something to make a zipper pull.

 

I would really like to get the website over to the new computer, but I just didn't feel like tackling that today. If I can do that, then I can work on the camera, and I have some real work to do with that. So we'll see.

 

Over the past couple of days, I've begun to realize what I was missing by having such old, slow hardware and software. Perhaps most of the problem was with the software, but the new system, besides having 7 parallel cpus, is about twice as fast as the old one. It's amazing to see how fast things load, and, surprisingly enough, how fast web pages download. Surely all of that can't be the software, because some of the sites are still compatible with IE6. It's amazing, and wonderful. 

 

However, on the occasions when I've had to reboot Windows, that comes up just as slowly as the old one does. The nice thing is, as far as I can see now, I won't have to reboot very often. That's a real relief, and totally unlike the old system, which I more or less have to reboot every night, just so the camera will come up cleanly in the morning. I haven't done that lately, though, because I'm doing so little on that system. The other night, it got totally screwed up, though, and a reboot was necessary. Not having to do that will be sooo nice!

 

Much as I don't like a lot of the interface of IE9, I just love tabbed browsing. I guess I should, because ever since the last updates to IE6, which must be 6 years ago or so, I have not been able to have more than one browser window open at a time. That has really angered me, because before that time, I could, and I did. Since then, if I open a second browser window and do more than the most basic things with it, the original window goes not responding, which leads me to believe they hard-coded the data stack addresses into it - a real no-no, as any neophyte programmer should know. So the second window would overwrite data from the first window and screw everything up, sometimes so much that I had to reboot to clear it up. IE8 and IE9 use tabs to open new windows (although I haven't experimented to see how many it will handle), and even when something opens a new window of IE9, it doesn't mess anything up. That is a real relief for me, and now all I have to do is retrain myself to use that feature. Sometimes, for example, I want to do something and just leave the weather page open, since even on the new computer, the Weather Underground loads quite slowly.

 

Also, I haven't done anything that seems to be using much cpu at all, except in a couple of strange cases when the keyboard or the mouse seemed to stop responding for a few seconds. That could have other causes, of course, including that I seem to occasionally not hit a key hard enough for it to register. I haven't pinned that down yet, and for the past day or two everything has worked well.

 

So I'm learning my new systems, and I'm so glad to have them!

 

Now it's a warm, calm evening in the field, and I don't think there will be very many stars until early tomorrow morning.

 

July 29

Well, my good intentions and all that. After I uploaded the journal, I got to thinking about Expression, so I installed it and the Microsoft thingie it needs (I hope that doesn't cause problems when I start using it for real). I discovered that it can indeed read the old website and recognize it as a site, but some of the pages, like the journal, look funny. I need to fiddle with it for a while before I move over to it, and I may have to have two websites going for a while. I may have to ask PastyNet about that - not if I can, but how to do it. I'm sure it's possible.

 

Oh, yes, then I started fooling with Word and wondering if I could import my custom dictionary from the old system, and yes, indeed, I can. So now, even though it lost a lot of my grammar changes, at least I have my ten years of words available. I was dreading having to add all that stuff back in. Whew!

 

So it was 11:45 before I got to bed. I slept well, and when I was up, there were stars, but they didn't seem to be too bright. After 8:30 or so, I wanted to go back to sleep, but I started thinking about the situation in Washington and what I think about it, so I had a hard time. I must have at least dozed, because it was almost 9:30 when I got up. 

 

I brushed the cat and did four more rows on the shawl. I'm working on repeat 25, so slowly I'm making progress. I don't really like the pattern very well, and the dark raspberry is very hard to see, but I do like the alpaca yarn. It is sort of slippery, but it is almost as soft as cashmere, and it's really nice to feel as I work on  it.

 

I didn't do a lot. I began to load the dishwasher for its run tomorrow night. I did my surfing and loaded a bunch more updates, these mostly to Expression. I went to the post office, where my pills, my USB cables and my August bookmark had arrived, along with a few other things. 

 

I had a real yen for more ice cream, so I stopped over at the Berry Patch, where George was too busy to really talk, and I just missed his sister-in-law, whom I have met before, and is a very nice lady. Drat. So I loaded up on Zanzibar chocolate, with a dollop of blueberries and cream on top. Yum!

 

I had toyed with the idea of getting some fish for dinner, just to keep my hand in, and I decided that was a good idea, so I stopped at the fish house and got a nice piece of whitefish - apparently their delivery for the weekend would be later than I was there - and the last container of smoked fish spread, which is yummy, although with the ice cream, I haven't had any yet.

 

I finally found a good thing to broil my fish on. It's the lid from a cake pan, and my mother used it as an oven pan too. It was perfect, lined with a piece of foil. Do you know that if aluminum foil touches the element in an electric broiler, it melts? I didn't, or it hadn't registered. Well, it does. I must be more careful about how I arrange my foil after this. I had to put the fish back in the oven, because there was one thick part, but it came out done to a turn, and it's so easy. I sort of wish I'd known about that before, but somehow, I'm not too interested in frozen fish in the supermarket. Having a fish market in town in the summer and a market in Hancock in the winter is a real luxury. Of course, they only have local, Lake Superior fresh-water fish, but that's just fine with me. Sometime I may investigate the frozen fish at the markets, but it will have to be pretty special fish - bluefish, snapper, scrod, or sole, maybe. Cod, when it's fresh, tastes OK, but it's too coarse for me.

 

Anyway, Buster and I had fish for dinner, and I was thinking he might never get full, the amount he ate. Then, when I was through and took off the skins, he licked the dish clean. Now he is almost asleep on my lap, with a tummy that must be really full. It was very good fish. And I haven't lost my touch.

 

This afternoon, I installed Expression on the laptop, and it went just fine. Strange, but OK by me. So now both computers are loaded up with all the software I think I need, except for some games, maybe, and I can begin to learn to use it. Office is fine. I don't like the interface, but all the functionality is there. Expression will take some getting used to, but we'll see.

 

The weather was really too nice to be inside, The temperature was around 72 all afternoon, and there was a brisk 15 mph wind out of the north that made it rather cool in here for a while. The skies were clear all day, although it looks like that high haze is still in the sky. The wind has dropped now, so I'm warm. Never satisfied.

 

I didn't put out the bird feeders because there wee whitecaps on the harbor this morning, and I'm sorry. It would have been all right. The hummingbird feeder is empty, so I will fill that tomorrow and put everything out. 

 

Now it's a clear, nearly calm evening in the field, and I'm going up to the north end and maybe read a bit before I go to bed.

 

July 28

I made it into bed around 10:30, but I didn't sleep very well. My right hip was sore, which meant I could only sleep on my left side, and that had other problems. I was up any number of times, too, which was a good thing. I got rid of a lot of fluid. I'd been eating things that were quite salty, and I needed to get rid of the excess.

 

I was up around 8:00 and decided that was too early, so I managed to sleep on my right side until around 10:30, when Buster ran down the hall, jumped up on the bed and peed on the comforter. After I screeched at him, I got up and put the comforter in the washer. It takes about four rows on the shawl to do a load of wash with two rinses and extended spins. Unfortunately, the water was brown enough that I now have a pale ecru comforter, but I think it's clean, even though it smells kind of funny. I might have to wash it over with some bleach.

 

I don't know what Buster's problem is, With one thing and another, I didn't get down into the basement to inspect the trays. He had peed on the desk again, even though there isn't much on it, and tonight he backed up to the power block for my task light and was going to pee on it, although I think I discouraged him. I know he is upset about something, because he scratched his chin, but what this peeing is all about, I don't know.

 

I spent the rest of the day on my surfing and downloading updates to various software on various machines. I finally got the big update to Office done on the laptop, although I had to put it awfully close to the router to get it to go. I didn't get Expression loaded, unfortunately. What I did find out, much to my delight, is that if one of those updates craps out in the middle, Microsoft has learned how to restart it from where it stopped. How nice! If I'd had to download that 319mb of data from scratch every time the load died, I might never have gotten it done.

 

The weather was actually pretty nice. For most of the day, the temperature was around 68, and the humidity was between 80% and 95%. There was fog coming and going until around noon. It was calm overnight, but the wind picked up about 9:00 into the 15 mph range from the north. Along about 4:00, the temperature started to rise, and it got up to 84 around 6:00. It wasn't bad with the breeze. It's dropped back now, but it's still 79. The wind, which was from the north for most of the day has begun to switch around toward the west now. It was clear earlier, but now it's clouded up. That's supposed to go away overnight (if Environment Canada is right), and it will be clear and warm tomorrow.

 

That's about all I know. I hope to get to bed relatively early again tonight and sleep well without being jolted awake by a bad cat. It's a warm, cloudy night in the field.

 

July 27

It was around 11:00 before I got to bed last night, and i didn't sleep very well. i itched, and my right hip was sore, and I wasn't very comfortable. However I did sleep some. I got up around 8:00, I think, because I had to pee so bad that there was no possibility that I might last until 9:00.

 

So I did my morning stuff and most of my surfing, and then I was off to see Johanna, and I feel much better. She has found herself the president of the Copper Country Chamber of Commerce, without an executive director to help out, and she is feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I'm sure she will come through without having to give up anything she does in Copper Harbor, but this morning she wasn't too sure.

 

When I got home, I discovered that Buster had peed all over the desk, including on my beloved HP Scientific calculator, which I think he as ruined completely. First, I couldn't get it to turn on, and now I can't get it to turn off, and none of the other keys work, either. Drat. I really didn't want to have to hunt down and buy a new calculator, too. I just don't know what came over him, but he made a real mess. And with the weather, this was not the day to try to dry out anything. Among the things that he hit were all of my finished Hardanger bookmarks, so I had to wash those, and they are drying in the laundry room. I mean, he really let fly.

 

After I cleaned up after that, I spent the entire rest of the afternoon installing Office and doing updates. I discovered that even though I had set the updates to notify me and don't do anything, Office had set it back to automatic, at least on the desktop (but not on the laptop? Evidently, they know which is which). So I reset that, with much muttering. I think all the updates are current on the desktop now, and they will be on the laptop before I go to bed.

 

Office 2010 has the same hokey interface I didn't like about IE8, but I'm getting the hang of it, and as long as I have internet access, there seems to be a good body of "how-to" blogs and other things online. I managed to get a journal file (January, will you believe?) resorted in the proper order, although I didn't edit it. Now all I have to do is capture February through June, and soon to be July, and fiddle with them, too. I'm not exactly sure how I did what I did to January, but by the time I get through with June, I'm sure I will have it down pat. The problem is, all the commands are there, but they aren't very obvious and there are all kinds of strange icons an things that don't make much sense to me. Why, oh why, do they have to keep changing something that has worked just fine for years? They didn't add anything, they just changed the interface.

 

Actually, they did change something - it is now possible to print a booklet from Word! Hallelujah! Now if I really want to print the journal, I can do it. Excel, Access and Publisher seem to be pretty much unchanged, except for that hokey interface. 

 

I found two pages of instructions on how to print a booklet in the online help, and I wanted to print it out, so I found out that the new printer does two-sided printing automatically. Actually, it's kind of fun to watch. It prints the first page, then it swallows up the sheet of paper apparently turns it over or something, and prints the other side. I'll have to watch it a bit more before I figure out how it does it, but it's nice not to have to turn the pages over manually.

 

I didn't try to print any of my note cards, but that's definitely on the list.

 

Since I was busy doing updates to Office all afternoon, I didn't get Expression loaded, but I will be interested to see how that works. That's the vital question now - will it accept my old FrontPage web, or will I have to convert every one of those 4800 pages? Ugh, I hope not or this old computer may be running for a very long time.

 

I finally found out why I didn't receive any emails after about 4:00 last evening: Pasty's mail server died. Eventually, I got all the emails I should have, but it took all day, since they didn't send them all out at once. I didn't get to read my daily devotion until 3:00 this afternoon, and it was originally received around 4:10 yesterday. I think everything is all right now, and I managed to get my subscription to Gift of Stitching newsletters registered. The lady whose domain name was misspelled was very contrite about it, and that little problem is fixed now.

 

The weather was good for doing something inside. The temperature finally got up to 68 for a couple of hours, but for most of the day, it was in the low to middle 60s, with southwest breezes that for a while were in the 15-25 mph range. It was dark and cloudy, and while I was with Johanna, we had a little rain. Mostly it was just dull and gray and humid. Yuck.

 

So now it's s dull, gray evening in the field, and I'd like to go to bed, except that I'm still downloading an update on the laptop. Soon, though. I feel the need to sleep hard and long.

 

July 26

Sigh. I meant to go to bed early, I really did, but I started fiddling around with the new computers, and it was 11:30 before I turned out the light. Sigh.

 

The first time I was up, around 3:00, I think, there were nice stars in the sky, but I still couldn't see the connecting star in the Big Dipper (its name is Megrez, so that's what I'll call it from now on).  The next time I was up, it was getting light.

 

I got up for good around 10:00, and Buster got a good brushing. I decided to knit for a change, and I finished the 24th repeat. Only six more, plus the edging (96 rows) left! I might actually finish this thing.

 

Then it was off to the studio and more computer play. I was shocked to get my disks for Office today - a day earlier than they said, but I ordered them Friday night, and they evidently processed the order over the weekend, so I got my two-day delivery. I haven't installed it yet - I spent the whole afternoon installing Windows and Adobe updates.

 

Among the Windows updates was Internet Explorer 9, and I'm sure glad I did. It is much more like earlier versions (read: 6) and the page layout is much cleaner and neater. I had to read the help file to get all the toolbars I wanted, but otherwise, it's just great. Now I need to get rid of this ridiculous excuse for an email reader. I suspect that Microsoft is acting like a silent proxy for all my email messages, and what email I get is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!!! I may have to install Firefox to get another one, but it looks like a lot of you are using it instead of IE, so I might as well have it on my humungous disk. I like IE9, because it's so much like what I'm used to, but this Windows Live stuff is pure garbage.

 

I had to chuckle when I saw IE9 for the first time. Evidently the response to IE8 was so bad (that is, stop using it) that they had to do something. I really pity people who know so little about computers that they use whatever Microsoft supplies. But then, I doubt they do much beyond reading their email and looking at some websites they like (like this one). 

 

I got that information from Jon. I have had several emails that have not gotten to me over the past couple of days, so I asked them if they could help, and he could. Everything is logged, fortunately.  One of the messages didn't get through because they drop any emails from domain names that don't exist, and the one I was looking for was from a domain that doesn't exist (they typed it wrong). The other one hasn't come through.

 

Just about the time Jon called, the light on my client went out again, so I was able to report that. He had me power fail it, and it came up just fine, but I said, oh, no! Not another one! I'm beginning to believe I'm snakebit. However, we'll see what happens.

 

In using the new computers, I've discovered a neat thing about these optical mice I have on both: if I run the mouse over my leg, it works really well. My jeans have just enough resistance that I have good control over the position, and the mouse is in a comfortable position for my arm and shoulder. Neat, huh? I guess I won't miss my trackball as much as I thought I would, except for that extra button that was programmed to "back". I'm learning to use the backspace button on the keyboard, but sometimes it doesn't work and then I'm left with clicking on the back arrow, which is up in the far left hand corner of IE. By the way, every WIN7 utility uses IE as its interface. At least the behavior is more consistent than it used to be, but it means that even if I use another browser for the internet, I can't get rid of IE. Oh, Microsoft will get us every time. One of these days, I'll install Linux as an alternate operating system, and see how that works. I'm beginning to feel about Microsoft the way I feel about AT&T.

 

VoIP here we come. How do I sign up for Vonage?

 

Now everything has settled down for the night, and tomorrow, after my massage, I can attack Office and Expression. I wonder if I can import my custom dictionary?

 

The weather was nice, if cool. The high temperature for the day was 64. It was mostly clear all day long, and there was hardly any wind. It would have been a nice day to be out, except for the bugs.

 

So that is about all I know. For the time being, the lights on the router are almost not blinking at all, so everything is quiet. 

 

It's a coolish, clear night in the field, and maybe I can get to bed a tad earlier tonight?

 

July 25

So last night it was 11:00. Little by little, I'm getting back on schedule. I was up several times, and the first time was about 1:00. There were stars, and I thought I could almost see the star that connects the handle of the Big Dipper to the ladle. My summer star, Arcturus, was blazing brightly out the front windows. It's one of the brightest stars in the sky, and I love to watch it, although when it's setting close to sunset, I know the summer is over. It's not doing that yet.

 

I got up around 10:00 again, and I petted the cat a bit, but my toes were so itchy I had to stop all that and use some Pretty Feet on them. I think it helped. I suppose I should scrub my feet more often, but even that wouldn't help the shedding skin very much.

 

I inadvertently broke the two biggest black fly blisters, and I have them bandaged up, but they are weeping even though the bandages. They were in places where I couldn't help rubbing them when I sat down or stood up, so I wasn't surprised that they broke, but that makes a real mess. I hope they will stop weeping soon. The rest of the bites are getting a little less itchy, except for the ones on my feet, which still bother me. What a mess I am!

 

Other than that, I started unloading the dishwasher (which I should have done yesterday), and I did my surfing. I sort of gave the new stuff a rest, with a few exceptions.

 

I discovered that, contrary to the advertising, Norton does not do ad blocking anymore. I was very disappointed, and I really don't like seeing those nasty ads on nearly every page. I think that when you are paying for using a website, there shouldn't be any ads. Weather Underground works that way, but my comics and my crossword puzzles don't. Anyway, that was a disappointment, but Norton does so many other things that I feel I need it.

 

And I ended up buying Jewel Quest - Heritage. I'll probably be sorry, but for now it's a fun thing to play with. I gave up on the other one, which I think was the original Jewel Quest, partly because I came to a board I couldn't win, but partly because I'm pretty sure it contributed to the death of the other computer and I knew it was stressing my system. I apparently also purchased Zuma, which I liked, and another one I don't even remember, as well as all the Collapses that would run on my system. I have the downloads or the disks for those, and eventually I will probably install them. I just still like to play games, that's all. 

 

The original Jewel Quest was rather clunky in some ways, and the new one is better.

 

Tonight was church, so I grabbed something out of the freezer and went off to that, and it was another nice service. This was the night we had a crowd - nearly 30 people, I think. There was a week like that last year, too. It was another good sermon, and Mary Ann provided goodies for afterwards. 

 

The weather was OK. The temperature spiked at 80 briefly, about 4:00. Before that, it was about 73 and the next hour it dropped down to 64 before it recovered to about 68. There was a moderate north wind during the afternoon. The skies were partly cloudy, and there were some very nice effects, with cirrus, cumulous and altostratus all against the blue sky.

 

So it was another day, and now it's a partly cloudy coolish evening in the field.

 

July 24

Gee, last night I got to bed early - around 11:30. Well, compared to the last few nights, it was early. I slept fairly well, except that my right hip got sore, and it didn't matter which side I lay on, it hurt. Finally it died down a bit and I got back to sleep. I finally got up around 11:30. The cat got a good brushing before I got dressed.

 

I had to get dressed twice. Right after I started eating by breakfast, I got an urge, and I didn't quite make it to the bathroom. Oh, well. Maybe sometime we'll get it under control. It's just a reminder that I need to call the doctor tomorrow.

 

Oh that subject, I did get a call from Dr. Mary, I think Thursday night, and all my other tests came back negative, so apparently (?) my entire problem is the rotavirus. Well, I'll have to talk to the doctor about that.

 

I spent the day installing software. When the version of Office finally (this morning) installed, I discovered that it was the wrong version! I had inadvertently bought "Home and Office" instead of "Professional". I don't know quite how I did it, but it was late when I clicked that button. So I called Amazon and they refunded my money and I bought Office Professional, but since the price was the same for a download or disks, I opted for disks and two day delivery, so I should have it on Wednesday. I'm getting remarkable speed on my wireless connection, but it's still slow by DSL standards, and if it took hours to download the first one, heaven knows how long it would take to get the bigger one. I looked at just keeping what I had and getting Publisher and Access separately, but that would have been even more expensive.

 

I installed Norton Internet Security, and it caused a problem on the desktop - I couldn't get to the mail client, so I had to set up a software consultation account, so I spent more money. Sigh. Actually, it may be a good thing, if I can't figure out the home networking stuff. Theoretically, if both computers are up and not sleeping, I should be able to see each from the other, but I can't, and I don't know why. It's not critical yet, but it will be one of these days.

 

Then I installed Photoshop Essentials on both computers, but I haven't had a chance to do more than notice that I set up my documents folder wrong, and I fixed it on the desktop. The laptop is for tomorrow. I haven't had a chance to really investigate PSE yet. However, I bought a book - "The Missing Manual", and I hope that will help. Not that I've had to do much fiddling with my pictures, but it would be nice to know how.

 

Oh, yes, and I ran Windows Update on both computers. It annoyed me that right after I finished that (there were a lot), it told me I had three more to install. Geez! And NO, I am not going to let it go automatically. If I do, it will undoubtedly fire up in the middle of something else I'm doing that requires internet access, and it will slow down everything, even if it doesn't get confused. I will do it manually, thank you.

 

In the course of all my fiddling around, I am beginning to get comfortable with Windows 7. The top-level interface is hokey, and I don't like it, but with a little effort, I can find those little gray boxes, and those haven't changed at all, I did learn a few tricks from the guy who took over my computer to fix my problem, so maybe now I can do it myself. However, I feel more comfortable knowing I have a place to call if I hit a wall. And I was really impressed by LogMeIn. That allows remote access to a computer, and I think if the support people use it, it must be OK. It was weird to sit with my hands folded in  my lap and see my cursor moving all over the screen.

 

That took most, if not all, of my shortened day. Then I got Jewel Quest Heritage updated and running, and that has taken me to now. I hope to be a little earlier to bed tonight.

 

The weather is still cold. The temperature hung right around 60, plus or minus a couple of degrees, all day long. There was a north breeze that got close to 20 mph late in the day. It was dark and cloudy all day, until about 5:00 when it started to clear, and it seems to be fairly clear now, although it looks to me like there are some high, thin clouds up there.

 

I discovered, last night, that I got chewed to pieces Friday night when I was outside. I have bites all over my hands and arms and several on my feet. I was wearing sandals, and they bit me right through my compression hose. I can't tell yet how many of them are black flies, since they all itch equally right now. I do have some blisters coming, so the black flies are still there, down in the underbrush. So I itch all over. What I've found is that if one bite starts to itch, pretty soon all the others do, too. Maybe I should take a bath in Adolph's. I don't want to put it on my feet, because the salt will come off in the bed, and I can tell you from experience, that isn't nice. Putting on socks wouldn't help, because the fabric rubbing the bites would make them itch. So I'll suffer in silence, sort of.

 

Buster spent a good portion of the day asleep on the desk, which is his location of choice when it's too cool to sleep outside. Jasmine won't come into the office except occasionally to check on him, so she hangs out in the great room, sometimes on the back of mama's chair, which is nearest the doorway. And she has been following him into the kitchen in the morning when I put down the canned food, although when I go over to the feeding station, she ducks through the cat door into the basement. I think she's discovered how nice canned cat food is.

 

So that was my day, and tonight I will bring in the bird feeders. Leaving them out one night seems safe, but I'm afraid the critters will come if I leave them out any longer.

 

Now it's a cool, nearly clear evening in the field, and it's bedtime.

 

July 23

Well, so much for that. I wanted to do a few things on the new computer last night, just because I could, and so I ended up not getting to bed until 3:00 am. Wow! I slept, of course, but not as well as I thought I might. I was stiff and sore. The first time I got up was about 7:00, then 9:00, and finally at 11:00, I decided it was time. I was dreaming about food. That wasn't enough sleep, but since i don't have to go to church tomorrow, I can rest up.

 

The day was taken up with computer stuff. I have now decreed that there will be no more surfing or email reading on the old computer. I have the new desktop set up and that is where I will do most of my surfing and all of my email. It may take a while to get everything straight, because I don't want to import all the names in my old address book, although I might have to do that, since I don't really know anybody's actual email address.

 

I downloaded LibreOffice, and immediately found I can't use it. I decided to start with my hardest task - reformatting the journal for Word. Well. There was no way I could search on special characters and replace them (like paragraph marks, for example). So that pretty much took care of that. I haven't removed it yet, but I will. 

 

It was sometime around dinnertime that I went out to Amazon to see what I could do about Office Professional. Would you believe, they charge about $200 for the disks? Geez! So I bought the download, and it has been downloading forever, and it's still going. Since I didn't want to bother the desktop while that was happening, I got on the laptop and played a few games. I'm afraid I actually did do some downloading, although I tried to keep it to a minimum. Now I've got the Weather Underground up on it, so I don't have to do that on the old computer.

 

Now, except for those files I keep having to go back and get, all that is running on the old computer is FrontPage and the camera. It will be a while before I get those off, but that's all right. 

 

The download is 753mb, and it's about half done. So I guess I will just leave it when I go to bed.

 

The weather has turned surprisingly cool. The temperature almost all day was under 60. The 61 high was at midnight. It felt a lot cooler than that, but I'm always cool when I'm tired. There was a little east wind that caused me to close most of the windows and put on a fleece jacket. It was mostly clear for most of the day, although it apparently clouded up around sunset - I wasn't looking.

 

I knew both Charlie and I were getting chewed alive by insects last night, and while I was sitting in the office waiting for him to finish, I must have killed a dozen mosquitoes. I have a fair number of bites that seem to be developing in a way that indicates black flies, too, especially on my hands. Oh well, that's what happens when you go blundering around in the weeds after dark.

 

I forgot to mention that while the floodlights were on, several little flying squirrels came to the deck for the leavings from the feeders. They are so cute! I don't begrudge them the few seeds they eat. They are much less tame than the red squirrels, and at the slightest rustle they go gliding off the deck and onto the tree trunk.

 

I guess that's about all I know, so I will get this uploaded. I think I will forego rebooting this computer tonight. It will need it, but if I'm not doing much on it, maybe it will hold up. It seems like I might not need to reboot the new ones at all, and won't that be a nice change!

 

Now it's a cool, dark night in the field, and soon I'll be off to dreamland, although I do need to take a bath tonight.

 

July 22

Wow, what a day this turned out to be!

 

I got to bed around 11:00, I think, as best I can remember, but I had a hard time getting to sleep. Once I did, I did good until around 9:00, when I got wakeful again, so I got up.

 

I did my morning surfing, with difficulty, and I still haven't been able to read my funnies in quite a while. Charlie was kind enough to send me an email saying that it would be late in the day before he got here, so I went to the post office and the store. My copy of Norton came at the post office, and I was nearly out of eggs.

 

I spent part of the afternoon printing off all the emails with the registration keys for the software I have downloaded since 2003, mostly games, and I discovered that I evidently bought a number of games that I haven't played in years.

 

Charlie didn't get here until after 8:00 - a lot later than he said, but oh, well. Then he decided to rewire the entire installation , which took forever. He just left, at 1:30 am. I am tired. Buster is confused. But I have broadband and really fast broadband. Thank goodness! Now I can go back to setting up the new computers.

 

While he was working, I started fiddling with fonts. The connection came up just long enough for me to discover that all the fonts I had so carefully chosen for this site - Century Gothic for the words and Brush Stroke for the headings - weren't loaded onto the new computers at all. There are tons of other ones, but not the ones i use. Of course. So I copied all the fonts on the old computer onto the TravelDisk, then I copied all that to both  new computers and started playing. They aren't in sync, because I could only work on one at a time, and WIn7 has a strange habit of closing windows when it sleeps. I haven't figured that out yet. I haven't figured out how to get directly to the font management page either - I have to search for it every time I open the Control Panel. When I get through here, I will switch over to the other computer and see if what I did worked.

 

The weather was nice, although we had two spikes in temperature. It was 75 all night - great sleeping weather - and the first spike was at about 10:00, when it went up to 78. By the next hour, it was down to 72. It rose slowly and steadily until 6:00, when it reached 82 - and by the next hour it was 66, and it's been going down slowly ever since. It's amazing how cold 64 feels after it having been in the 80s. I have no clue what caused the fluctuation in temperature. There was a north wind all afternoon that got up to around 15 mph, but it was pretty steady. Strange.

 

I had a reprise of last night's dinner tonight. They sent me off with fish, and I brought home my cole slaw, which was pretty good, I would say. So Buster and I had fried perch. He thought it was pretty good, too.

 

Now it is very late, and I need to look at the other computer for a bit. It's a coolish night in the field.

 

July 21

Well, it was 12:30 before I got to bed last night, and I slept well. UPPCO did call me back around 1:00, and it seemed like the generator had indeed gone off, so I went back to sleep. It was quite cool when I went to bed, but it warmed up and the wind picked up overnight. There were even a few stars, although I couldn't see Polaris.

 

I had to walk around 8:00, and try as I might, I didn't get back to sleep, so I got up before 9:00. it was sunny and windy, but rather warm. I brushed the cat, but I didn't knit, since I didn't know when PastyNet might get here. I needn't have worried.

 

In the meantime, I did as much of my morning surfing as I could. I got the printer set up and working, although for a while I thought I might have screwed that up, because I answered one question in the startup dialog wrong, and I couldn't go back to answer it right. Besides, there was a piece of tape over the USB port with a circle and a slash through the USB connection. Turns out that was wrong, too, although I had to unplug the monitor to plug in the printer. So now I need another cable, with a old-style USB connector on one end and a small connector on the other. Thanks for reminding me. Before I had to unplug the monitor, I determined that yes, indeed those USB ports on it do work if it's plugged into the computer. Neat!

 

The printer works very well, and in testing it, I got a pretty darn good copy  of the sunset printed at 4" x 6", at last. Of course, I forgot to take it to the party.

 

I waited all day for somebody from PastyNet to come, and I finally called, only to find out that John was in Agate Harbor and wouldn't be here before 7:00. Well, as it turned out, he didn't come at all, and when I got home, I called again and Charlie called and promised me he will be out here tomorrow and get me going. Huh. We'll see. Ticked me off, because I had to leave the party before I would have otherwise.

 

Anyway, at least I remembered all the food I wanted to take to the party, and I discovered that if I use the alligator chopper on onions first, the mini-prep does a wonderful job of mincing them up so fine they seem to blend into the other stuff, without liquefying them. I didn't take enough onion, but I didn't know that Suzanne had bought two packages of cole slaw. One would have been enough, with all the other stuff we had.

 

I also took several cheeses that I had around and were unopened (although the brie was). That went over really well. However, what really went over well was the several pounds of perch and bluegill that Paul and Tyler caught and Suzanne breaded and fried. Oh, it was so good! Oh, I do love perch. Oh, and they sent me home with what was left over, so Buster and I will feast tomorrow. Nancy made a sort of salad that had a whole bunch of stuff in it, from chick peas to, I think barley and pickled beets, which was absolutely wonderful. So we feasted. There was no dessert, but we didn't need one.

 

The best part was seeing those people I love so much and being able to share good times and good food with them. Suzanne and Paul (and Tyler) are starting home tomorrow - two weeks goes so fast! - and Chip and Nancy will probably leave Sunday or Monday, so it was really good that we had this time to be together.

 

I like to go to Chip and Nancy's house because they face the big lake, and the Isle Royale Queen has to pass in front of their house to get to the harbor. She was late tonight, but I wasn't surprised, since it was quite windy all day. There were a few little whitecaps on the lake while we were there.

 

Actually, the weather was beautiful, the way I wish all summer would be like. It started off quite cool after the rain last night, but around 3:00 am the temperature rose to 73, the humidity started to fall and the wind picked up. It was around 75 until noon, then it rose to around 80, but the humidity continued on down and the wind continued to blow in the 15-30 mph range from the northwest. As a matter of fact, sitting in the studio and doing nothing, I was cool. The temperature is still around 80, but the wind is dropping and the humidity is down to 38%. Ah, now that's better.

 

I don't know how long this less humid weather is going to last, but it sure is nice. I hope it lasts the rest of the summer! I noticed that the high in southeastern Michigan was 100 today - oh, how I'm glad I'm not there! That's the kind of weather when the A/C has a hard time keeping up, and the bedrooms on the second story would be in the middle 80s when I went to bed and it reminded me of when I was a kid, before we had A/C at all. Those were the days when it was really nice to get down into the basement, where it was always about 62 or so and I needed a sweater. But eventually I had to come upstairs...Here is better.

 

So that was my day. Part of it was frustrating, but part was wonderful. Now I'm going off to the north end. I don't need to bathe tonight - or I don't think I do - so I can crash, and I intend to.

 

It's a clear, warm evening in the field, the wind is dropping, the humidity has dropped, and it's a good night to sleep and sleep and sleep...

 

July 20

Aarrgh! I wanted to get to get to bed early tonight! I was nearly through with a very long entry when we had a power failure and of course, I lost everything. Aarrgh!

 

I kept playing with my new toy after I uploaded this, and it was 1:30 before I got to bed. I slept very well, with the usual wakeups. I was up around 8:30 and I decided that was just too early, so I went back to bed, but Buster decided he wanted breakfast, and about every 10 minutes he was jumping up on the bed and walking over my feet. I threw him out at least four times, but it became clear that I wasn't going back to sleep, so I got up around 9:00 or so. 

 

When I walked into the bathroom, he was sitting on the open windowsill, waiting for me, and he got a good brushing. I really think brushing him almost every day has given him much less trouble with hairballs this spring, so I will keep it up. He doesn't mind if I pet him with my hand or a brush, and he doesn't even mind if I brush his fur in the wrong direction a bit. Of course, I have to spend a lot of time brushing the sides of his head and neck, but that's not hard.

 

I finally folded and put away all the underwear I washed a few weeks ago. Now the pants are within reach when I'm sitting in the bathroom.

 

I did as much as I could of my morning surfing, and then I played around with the laptop some more. I loaded one of my games - Bookworm - onto it, and that is so old that it didn't require internet access to get registered, so now I have one of my favorite games to play. I also found an acceptable replacement for Taipei - not as nice, but OK. 

 

Along about 3:30, Gary, the UPS guy, showed up with my printer, and he must have almost passed the Fedex guy on the road, because he arrived next with the new computer and my regular shipment of toilet paper. Gee, UPS used to deliver that. I wish I could find out in advance who was delivering it. Fedex will come to the door in the winter, whereas UPS won't.

 

Anyway, the Fedex truck had barely left when Suzanne, Paul and Tyler showed up. Not only did they help me get the gear out of the boxes, they hauled out and took away all the orange bags in the house and at least half the pile in the garage. That included the kitty litter in the basement. Wow, it is sooo nice not to have all that trash around here! They are really good friends.

 

After they left, I sat and looked at the new stuff for a while before I decided to wire it up. The new stuff is between the old monitor and the sewing machine, and there are wires everywhere. When Dennis gave my my TravelDisk, he included a power strip with it, so I decided to use that, but when I first plugged the computer into it, it didn't work. I guess it was because the on/off switch was off. 

 

I forgot about the speakers when I powered up the computer, and it took some fiddling to get them to work. First I had to find the right port on the computer, then it took me a few minutes to realize that the volume control was also an on/off switch. Oh.

 

So all of that is up and working, although without an internet connection, I couldn't register it. There is an icon on the desktop, though, so I will do it tomorrow. I was very glad for my experience with the laptop, because Windows 7 didn't look quite as alien to me as it did yesterday. 

 

I didn't do anything with the printer except to remove the shipping materials. I figure that's not quite as important as the other things. I am interested to get it working, though, because it is supposed to permit wireless access, which means I should be able to print from the laptop.

 

The only problem I have is with the network. The laptop can see the desktop just fine, but the desktop can't see the laptop. I'm not quite sure why, unless it has something to do with it being a wireless device. That's a puzzle for tomorrow.

 

The weather wasn't worth talking about. It was warm and calm all night long, and around 7:30 we had a thunderstorm go through. and another about 8:30. It rained from 7:30 until noon, sometimes very hard. Once it stopped, the temperature dropped from about 70, where it had been all night, plus or minus a couple of degrees, to 62. A couple of hours later, at 2:00. it was 81. An hour later it was 64. It recovered a bit, but it went up and down. Then around 8:30, another thunderstorm came through, and it has been raining ever since. The lightning must have hit something, because the power failed right after a bolt of lightning. Oh, well. I can still take my bath. It was extremely humid and sticky all day long. There was some sunshine, but for most of the day it was partly or mostly cloudy. Yuck.

 

Of course, when the power failed, everything rebooted, and I lost what I had been writing, which was much nicer than this, but oh, well. Such is life.

 

Also, when the computer rebooted, first I got a nasty message about not being able to find the display driver, and then, when I shut down and restarted, it came up with no sound. Geez. So I will have to fiddle with that, so obviously, I won't be getting to bed early, since it's 11:00 already. 

 

Oh, the joys of computers. But if I didn't have them, I wouldn't be writing this, and I wouldn't have met all of you. So there are compensations for the aggravation.

 

Now it's a cool, soggy night in the field and I'm ready for bath and bed.

 

July 19

Well, this is late tonight, but it was an exciting day.

 

I got to bed around 10:30 last night, I think, and I slept quite well. I had to get up at 8:00 and I thought that was too early, but I didn't really get back to sleep, so I got up around 9:00. The cat got a good brushing, and I knitted 6 rows on the shawl (half a repeat). I'm making progress on that.

 

I did my morning surfing and I checked Amazon again for the arrival date of my toys. Much to my surprise, the laptop was in Eagle River, WI. Gee, I thought, it might come today. Nah. That's not likely.

 

Well, it did. It arrived around 2:30, and I immediately got it out of the box, plugged it in, turned it on and wow! I have a new toy! There were a bunch of questions I had to answer to get it set up, and thankfully, I was able to turn off the Bing toolbar immediately. I hope the same thing happens on the desktop. Then it was investigate time. One of the first things i noticed was that there was an icon for Skype. Awesome.

 

I was still emailing my friend in Illinois, and when he sent me an email (which was all about smart phones and cell networks) I told him that I'd gotten the laptop and it had Skype. Since he was still at work, I tried to set it up, and it seemed to work, but when he got home and we tried to connect, it wouldn't until I reinstalled it. Then we had a long, awesome conversation, through all of his and his wife's dinner (and mine).

 

We were talking, although my connection is slow enough that there are some problems, when all of a sudden I lost the connection, and I couldn't access the wireless client at all. This was around 10:00, I think. So I tried to power fail it, and when I did, the connect light on the router never came on. Oh, now what? So I called PastyNet and when Charlie called me back, we tried several things, and the new client seems to be dead. Oh, dear.

 

So now I have a new toy and no internet connectivity. The new laptop doesn't even have a phone jack. I guess dialup has gone the way of floppy disks. Ha! Not where I live.

 

Anyway, I will be without broadband until Thursday. I hope I can get the desktop up and running without it, but I'm not sure of that.

 

Oh, yes, and I don't seem to be able to network the new computer to the old one, which is a disappointment, but it doesn't surprise me, since I had such a problem getting the two old ones to talk to one another. So I will have to move files via the TravelDIsk, which I guess is tolerable.

 

The keyboard on the laptop is all right, but the touch pad is for the birds, even though it has some nice improvements over the old one.

 

The weather was nothing to write home about. It was quite cool this morning, and the humidity was 100% - pea soup fog. That lasted until almost noon before it went away. it was still hazy down the harbor. The temperature was in the low 60s until about 3:00, when it suddenly rose to 81 - no wonder I got hot! - then it slowly dropped back to the low 70s. It is still horribly humid, but now there was some southwest wind while it was so hot. This is not my kind of weather, so I suppose it's a good thing I have something to occupy me. If the wind was from the southwest, I wonder why it's coming in the east windows? Well, the NWS station sometimes gets confused.

 

So that was my day. Navigating around in Windows 7 is puzzling and confusing, but I suppose eventually I'll get the hang of it, and I understand there are some ways to get the look of some things, like Explorer, to look the way I'm used to. I was too busy with Skype to more than glance at some of the websites I couldn't access before, and while I was trying, there were some broadband problems, not related to the one I have now.

 

And now it's very late and I am very tired, so I will totter up to the north end and crash. It's a warm, extremely humid night in the field.

 

July 18

Thanks to all of my early morning readers who pointed out that I screwed up the dates again. Sorry, that happens occasionally, especially when I'm tired.

 

I took a nice shower last night and got to bed around 10:30. That storm cell I was watching passed north of us, but there was a lot of thunder, and it rained rather hard for a short while. That cooled it down quite a bit, but the humidity was still atrocious. After that was over, we had a rather nice apricot sunset. I was up any number of times overnight, since i had been drinking water to keep myself hydrated, and what goes in has to come out. Around 7:30 this morning, we had another short thunderstorm, but once the thunder passed, I went back to sleep and I didn't get up until 10;00. 

 

When I got up, it was clear that it had cooled down a lot, but I dressed for the worst, and when I got to the studio, I was cold. I had an accident, so while I was cleaning up after that, I changed my clothes and put on jeans, socks, and a short sleeved polo. I could have used long sleeves. I was still cold.

 

Except to unload the dishwasher and start reloading it, I didn't do anything much. This afternoon, the UPS guy came, and I now have two speakers I have nothing to connect to, a monitor cable I have nothing to connect to, and two Ethernet cables. I could connect one of the Ethernet cables to the laptop, but there isn't any reason to do that. So anyway, I am now cabled. They still say the new computer and printer will come Wednesday, but the laptop may not get here until next week. I find it hard to understand that, because they were both sent on the same day by the same carrier. The desktop is coming from Texas and the laptop is coming from New Jersey, which I think is closer. However, on the bright side, then I can work getting the desktop set up and going without feeling I'm slighting the laptop, and when I get the laptop, I can work on that for a while. I would probably be frustrated if they all came at the same time.

 

Tonight was the Monday night church service at the Community center, and it was very nice. I enjoy listening to Pastor Fundum. He has gathered up a few of the new hymnals from the choir members at his other church, and we are using that for the service. I like the Vespers service a lot, and the hymns are all good. Afterwards, Mary Ann had made a chocolate cake, which was yummy, and we had a nice afterglow. 

 

Everyone who came up from Calumet and south was amazed and gratified by how cool it is here. Evidently it was in the high 80s with horrible humidity down there, and they were melting away.

 

The weather here was a bit surprising after yesterday. The temperature stayed at just about 62 all day, with a couple of anomalies, one at 10:00, when it went up to 71 for a short time. The lowest the humidity was was 84%, and overnight it was over 90%. That's ugly, but it's a bit more tolerable when the temperature is low. There was hardly any wind for most of the day, but what little breeze there was came from the east, right over the cold, cold lake. Our built-in air conditioning. The skies were mostly clear, although there are a few clouds now. I guess this is going to go on for a while. i wish that jet stream would come back down below us and keep us nice and cool and dry, but this is summer in Keweenaw, and we just have to cope. It will go away eventually.

 

One side effect of the humidity is that the key I use most on the mouse is sticky, and most of the keyboard is sticky, too, so if I linger on a key too long I may get a string of letters all of a sudden, or I may hit a key and nothing happens. The second lowest row on my calculator is acting like it did last summer - I have to mash the keys to get them to register. It's fine when the humidity is low. On the other hand, the boom box has been acting just fine lately. There is an intermediate temperature and humidity when it keeps almost cutting out, and I have to get up and wiggle the "stereo/mono/AM" switch or the on/off switch to get it back. Temperature and humidity have a lot to do with all of those things.

 

Another effect of the humidity is that my towels and washcloths are hardly drying out at all. I have the towels draped over the bathtub now, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Any kind of cloth that tends to absorb water feels damp and yucky. I managed to get into the compression hose this morning, but it was a struggle. They feel damp, too. Well, at least it's not 95 like it was in Detroit today.

 

Now it's a cool, calm evening in the field, and after I bring in the bird feeders, I will be off to the north end. I don't think I need to bathe tonight, so I will just jump into bed and be off to dreamland. Dreaming about black computers...

 

July 17

It was 11:00 before I got to bed last night, and I slept well. I had opened up the window seat windows and the north window in the bathroom, and it was comfortable. Tonight may be different.

 

I got up just before 7:00. I woke up at 6:50, and I had to pee too bad to stay in bed until the alarm went off. I got to do some of my surfing before I began to dress for church.

 

That was a trip. I was wet, my compression hose were damp from the humidity, and my feet had already swollen while I was sitting at the computer. I got them on, but not very well, and I was quite sweaty when I set off for town. Thank goodness for air conditioning in the car! I was quite cooled down by the time I got there.

 

The basement of the church was quite cool, even though it's actually above ground, but the sanctuary was not cool. And of course, when I started singing, I started sweating. However, I was very glad I went. Pastor had a beautiful sermon, and the last hymn tune was my father's favorite, so I got a little teary. Most people know it as the Christmas carol "Angels From the Realms of Glory", but the hymn makers have put several other sets of words to it. Every time I sing it, I can hear my father beside me, bellowing at the top of his lungs. He evidently sang in glee club in college (much to my surprise), but after that he never pursued it enough to be able to sing well or on key. Anyway, that was a nice end to the service.

 

Then I could return to my nice cool car (well, it wasn't cool when I got in, but it cooled down pretty well). The trip down was a good one. Nobody seemed to be going that way that early. The trip north was less so. There were several people who seemed to be taking a Sunday drive up to the harbor in the hope that it might be cooler. Well, it was, but I got behind a guy on the covered road who obviously didn't know it and refused to go faster than 40 mph, then when we got to the blinker, he first turned his right turn signal on, turned it off and went left. Oh, brother! He had a Florida license plate, and I've learned to be suspicious of those people. I was glad to get home.

 

I came in and took off almost all my clothes, and for the rest of the afternoon I did nothing much. I brought the binder with the next blue-binder story in it down to the studio, and I read that mostly, after I looked at a couple of catalogs that didn't interest me. I sat in the ugly chair for a while, watching the squirrels and a few birds - goldfinches, a hummingbird and eventually a chickadee.

 

Buster and Jasmine spent the entire day on the porch, laid out full length somewhere. Buster was on the footstool and Jasmine was mostly on the floor. When I would go out into the kitchen, Buster would look at me without raising his head. On days like this, I'm glad I don't have fur coat. My hair is mostly up in a little lump on the back, and that seems to be about the best solution I've found. It's not beautiful, but it's too hot to be beautiful.

 

I cooked the rump roast tonight, and it came out perfect. I really like that oven probe. It makes it much easier to cook meat to the temperature I like. I started by searing it for 15 minutes (I should have done it longer, but it was so small, I was afraid it would overcook), then I turned it to convection roast, inserted the probe, and let'er rip. Rump isn't the tenderest cut of beef, and sometime I will have to try pot roasting it, but this one isn't bad at all. It's quite small, so I won't overeat and upset my system. Buster was very disappointed that I wouldn't let him have some, but that's just too bad. it's for his own good.

 

The weather was absolutely miserable. The temperature varied between 69 and 80, and the humidity varied between about 80% and 90%. There was almost no wind. The skies varied between partly and very cloudy, and around 11:00 the haze down the harbor turned to actual fog, which is still mostly with us. It's horrible. Right now it's 79 with 84% humidity and no wind. Yuck.

 

I am so sticky and icky that I have to take a bath before I go to bed. And I won't be up long. I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, and I'm tired.

 

There was a severe thunderstorm warning for Isle Royale, which has now been canceled, since it has moved out into the lake. I have heard one or two very distant rumbles of thunder, but that's not surprising. Sound travels more easily when it's humid like this. It is dark and looks threatening, but I don't think anything is coming our way, at least yet. 

 

I have the windows and doors open, and while I will close the doors before I go to bed, except for the porch door to my bedroom, I plan on leaving the windows open. I don't open the windows in the front of the house very often, since it's hard to get to them to close them. I wouldn't want to leave the ones in the great room open at night anyway because of the critters. The ceiling fans usually keep me as comfortable as possible. I need to get out one of my long-reach poles and switch the great room fans from blowing down to blowing up. I haven't had to do that in a couple of years, but it seems like we will be having some warm, humid weather for a while, and sucking that hot air up into the ceiling does seem to help. 

 

I get a kick out of the weather forecast that says "hot" weather - up to 85. Hah! People in Detroit would sneer, since they've had upper 90s already this summer. It is hot for us, though. Fortunately, that's in Houghton, and our wonderful heat sink is keeping us just a little cooler, thank goodness.

 

That thunderstorm is now over east of us, and I just heard the thunder. I hope it passes us by. One of the things i hate most is to have to close up the house when it's this hot and humid. 

 

Now I'm tired and sticky and it's time to trudge up to the north end and cool down. It's a warm, humid, calm and cloudy night in the field.

 

July 16

I'm not quite sure when I got to bed last night, but it was probably around 11:00. I slept quite well, with the usual wakeups. It was cloudy enough overnight that I couldn't see the full moon, although there were some shadows at one point. It's as far south as it ever gets anyway, so it's hard to see from the north end. I got up around 8:45, because my right leg was sore, probably from lying on it. I had to walk anyway.

 

Buster has abandoned me, so I knitted a few rows before I got dressed. I opened the porch door, and it seemed rather warm and humid outside. 

 

I opened the patio door in the great room before I started making my breakfast, and I had just started my eggs when I heard a voice at the door, and there was Charlie. He explained that he had spent the entire night up on Brockway replacing and reprogramming the relay up there. Then he came down to the fort, took a bath and had a short nap. Egads! Oh, how I remember those all-nighters - and the one where I was up for 29 hours. Of course, I was a whole lot younger then, but still, it was hard.

 

Anyway, I was glad to see him, especially since he had some problem getting my new latest and greatest client properly formed (that's what they call setting the parameters these days). Eventually, everything worked except that I haven't yet been able to talk to it myself, but that will come eventually. However, he was here for three hours, and when he asked Jonathan "Can I go home now?", Jon said no, there was a problem at the Lodge and another at Lake Medora. Geez. I bet Edie is fuming.

 

Anyway, finally I have my broadband back, and so far it has been wonderful. I did some of my surfing, and then I had to go to the post office, since I hadn't been there all week. There was a surprisingly small amount of mail - they aren't sending very many catalogs yet - but there were several bills I needed to see. 

 

The phone bill is a reasonable amount, since my 2 hour chat with Debbie isn't on it, but it still makes me mad. They wouldn't put my second line back to the price it was before. When I say "go back", I mean I want to go back to exactly what I had before the nonexistent plan fiasco. Oh, well. AT&T is acting just like they did before the big breakup back in the '70s, and I don't suppose there is anything we poor consumers can do about it.

 

Charlie has an Android, and like I said last fall after I saw Rick's, I want one! I can even use it to stream audio, so if it's in my pocket (and not vertical or horizontal) I can listen to music! He can text on it over the Internet, although of course, he can't talk unless he's in cell tower range. However, it has voice recognition, so he can speak into it and text without ever touching the keyboard. Oh, that is a neat device! I guess one of these days I will have to visit the Verizon store and talk to them about Androids. I'm not sure I want to begin to pay that much more in cell phone bills, but it's such a neat thing, I just might succumb. And they keep saying we'll get a tower sometime this year. Oh, here we go again...

 

Anyway, I went to the post office, where I met Mary Ann and told her the results of my test, and then I repeated it to Ron, and I told them both about my computer woes. About then, somebody came up behind me and said, "Did I hear my name?" It was Charlie - and that was about 2:30, and he hadn't been to Lake Medora yet. I certainly hope he made it home safely! I never had a problem driving with lack of sleep or a burst appendix, but I've known people who did, and the roads from Lake Medora to Eagle River are very windy and twisty. I expect the PastyCam will be late tomorrow.

 

I finally put my meat away. I had forgotten I bought a rump roast, so I will have to cook that tomorrow. I haven't had one of those in ages. Well, after Monday, I can go back to my usual diet, so I can have sandwiches with lettuce if I don't feel like warming it up. It's not a big one, and it should cook very quickly. Probably I'll use the convection roast and the probe, although I will sear the outside first. Always some toy to play with!

 

I had a nice cheeseburger for dinner tonight, and it tasted very good. It's been a long time since I've had any burgers at all, so it was a real treat. I put American Spoon Foods' tomato relish on it, and it's just yummy.

 

I was sitting here when I heard voices down on the beach, rocks in the water, and some very upset geese, so I went outside and two teenagers (I guess the reason Tom cut the grass this morning is that I have neighbors on the south again) were throwing rocks at the geese from my beach. Now, I understand that they don't like geese, because the geese like their grass, and they do leave a mess, but there were only four of them, and I like geese, at least in small quantities. So I shouted at them. If they throw rocks from their own beach, there's not much I can do about it, but not from my beach. I've probably gotten in wrong with my neighbors again, but oh, well.

 

The weather was icky. It's been very humid  - relative humidity 80% or more - but the temperature was around 68 all day, so it was tolerable. It has now gone up to 75. There was no wind for most of the day. Around 2:45, it suddenly got foggy, and the fog lasted until about 6:15. It's still extremely hazy down the harbor, but you can see the mountain again. Thank goodness it wasn't any warmer! Thank goodness for our wonderful Mother Superior, keeping the temperature down!

 

It was very cloudy this morning, and it even looked like it might rain, but the sky began to clear about the time the fog rolled in, and it's fairly clear now, although there is that humid haze in the sky and there are a few clouds around. 

 

I opened up the house this morning, and I will leave the east windows open overnight. How I love to do that! I can tolerate some heat and some humidity if I can have the house open. It's almost like living out of doors. 

 

In passing, I noticed that a critter has torn a hole in the screen door in the office - again. I guess the next time I have it rescreened, I'm going to have to ask them if they can do it with metal. This nylon screening, nice as it is, just won't hold up to squirrel claws. I guess I will just patch it with duct tape for the time being, since it's a small hole.

 

Those squirrels have been bothering me. They get in the feeders and chatter and cheep at each other, and several times today, they actually attacked each other. They make an awful lot of noise, and every so often a chipmunk will add its cheep to the mix. I like it quiet, guys. Please.

 

So that is about all I have to report. It was buggy out on the deck this morning, so the bugs haven't gone away. Now I need to go and finish filling the dishwasher, and then I need to take a bath, so I'm nice and clean for church. It's a warmish, very humid, slightly breezy evening in the field.

 

July 15

I got to bed around 11:00 last night, and I slept well until about 3:30. Then I started thinking about my new hardware, and I didn't sleep very well after that. I guess I really am excited. I had to walk around 8:00, and I could already tell I wasn't going to get back to sleep when Buster jumped up on the bed to stare at me. After his performance of yesterday, I don't trust him, so I booted him off the bed and got up. It was much too early, but I'll sleep tonight, I'm sure.

 

Another thing that happened is that I checked my bank accounts last night, and a bill I thought I paid didn't register, so I wanted to call the bank and find out what happened. So I didn't knit, and I was early getting to the studio. It's really strange to be able to walk right into the studio and move around between the desks, after the mess I've had in here for so long. The rest of it is still just awful, but this one corner isn't bad, except for the piles of magazines.

 

Of course, the phone line had failed overnight, and there were a bunch of unauthorized attempts at entry as well. I managed to do quite a bit of my morning surfing, although I can't read my funnies at all. I don't remember what else I did in here. I had a hard time keeping the phone line going, especially during the afternoon when the wind got up into the 15-30 mph range, and it was very frustrating.

 

I did what I'd planned to do, though: I started working on the kitchen, and it's a little better already. The sink side is in not bad shape. The stove side is still gross, and we won't even mention the floor, but I've made a beginning. I was having some trouble with my back, but it was my upper back, from peering at the computer screen for too long, no doubt.

 

It wasn't the nicest day. It was dark and cloudy all day, and it was cool this morning. The temperature did finally get up to 72 for a short time, around 3:00 - and then it dropped to 65 the next hour. It recovered to 69 and the wind dropped, so I was able to open the door, which is nice. It cleared up a bit. during the afternoon, the wind was rather strong from the southwest, in the 15-30 mph range, until about 6:00, and then it dropped to almost nothing.

 

Charlie didn't make it (why am I not surprised?), so I called to ask if he was coming, and around 5:30 he called to say he had intended to come, but his gas tank was nearly empty and it was raining in Eagle Harbor, so I agreed that he could come tomorrow afternoon. So I guess we'll have to deal with sporadic updates of the camera and I will have to deal with a very bad phone line until then. He is planning to install a very nice client for me, and we all hope that will solve my problems once and for all.

 

One reason I didn't sleep very well last night was that I remembered that I wanted a newer copy of Photoshop Elements. I have version 2, and they are now on version 9, so it's time for an upgrade. I think I got it into my shopping cart, but I was trying to do that when I was having the worst problems with the phone line, so I will have to check back. Oh, and the transaction I thought I did a week ago Thursday never happened - the confirmation number I recorded belonged to someone else, and nobody could tell me what happened, so my electric bill payment is very late. Oh, well. They know I'm usually on time, so I hope there won't be any problems.

 

I got a number of emails from Amazon about my order, which left me very confused, and now I'm not completely sure when it will be arriving. That was compounded by the phone line, which kept dropping in the middle of receiving mail, and then i would get duplicate copies. I still hope to see it Wednesday, but it might be later. Since the desktop is still working, and I hope to get back on the broadband tomorrow, it's not critical anymore, but I want to get my grubby mitts on my new stuff! 

 

So now it's a cloudy, relatively warm evening in the field, and the forecast for the next week is not good - heat and humidity - but we'll see about that. It's time to totter up to the north end and crash.

 

July 14

Well, it was better today.

 

I got to bed around 10:45, and while I had a little trouble falling asleep, once I did, I did very well. I got up around 9:45 again, so I got my sleep.  I had just gotten up and was putting on my glasses when Buster jumped up on the bed and proceeded quite deliberately to start to pee on the bed. I threw him onto the floor and wiped up what he had done, but I let him know I was not pleased. He has been peeing in the sink again lately, so I thought there was something wrong with his trays.

 

Anyway, I knitted a bit, but I knew I had several tasks ahead for the day, so I didn't knit too long. I tried to do my surfing, but the connection was so slow (21kb) that I couldn't do all of it. I haven't been able to read my funnies in two days! Horrible!

 

Eventually, I gathered together all the stuff I needed for the cat pans, plus my screwdriver, and headed for the basement. When I saw the trays, I was really puzzled. There was stuff in them, but considering how long ago I changed them, they weren't too bad. I did clean out the hard stuff and add some litter, but they didn't need changing. One had hardly been used at all. So I don't know what has come over Buster now, unless he is getting senile.

 

Then I attacked the dead computer and excised the power supply. I thought I knew how it was attached, but later I wondered.

 

When I got back upstairs, I began swapping out the dead one, and then I began to wonder about it. I thought I knew how it should go, but I simply could not get the floppy disk connected. The receptacle was there, but the plug had an ear on it and it just wouldn't go in. Well, what use have I for a floppy disk anyway? I had the feeling that sometimes it was hanging the system, or at least it would hang with the select light on. So I ignored that. I did have to think about what that little thing below it was, until I remembered that hard drives have gotten miniscule lately. So I got that plugged in.

 

Then I held my breath, plugged in the power cord, and hit the button. And it came up! Whee!!! It had lost its configuration when I changed the battery, and it informed me that, as I had half suspected, the new battery was going, but setting the date and time and taking the floppy out of the boot configuration were things that I'd done before (heck, when I first started using PCs, you had to set the date and time every time you booted!). It booted cleanly, and everything looked just fine. Yeah! It lives!

 

So I shut it down, closed it up, and set it back on its trolley, and then I had to spend about half an hour untangling cables. The cable gremlins had been hard at work again. I swear, I didn't do anything but plug in the power cord, but wow! I moved the modem cord back to the desktop, but in the meantime, it had gotten woven in and out of several other cables, and then the mouse cord had gotten wrapped around the power cord. How the heck could that happen? Anyway, finally, finally i got everything sorted out, and the cables to and from the router are out in front where Charlie can find them. It's also nice and neat under the desk, at least until tomorrow. The cable gremlins never go away.

 

Then there was the matter of moving the journal and the email files back to the desktop, and try as I might, I could not remember how to get the two computers networked together. I simply could not get them to talk. My mind...I guess I should do some of these things twice a week every week just to remind me how it's done. Anyway, I moved the two files via the TravelDisk, and that had the added advantage of updating it.

 

Then I attacked Amazon again, and evidently it is something weird about the laptop on dialup that kept me from placing my order yesterday. I needed to get a copy of Norton Internet Security, which I did, after discovering that Amazon itself doesn't sell Norton software - heaven knows why not. 

 

Then I looked at laptops again, found the one I wanted and ordered that, too. It doesn't come from Amazon either, but oh, well. It has everything I want on it - an Intel Core i5 processor, 500gb of disk, 4gb of memory  and lots of connections. I think it also has a camera, so if I want to use Skype, it's ready. I'll have to watch that camera - I don't want people taking pictures of me that I don't know about. So all that is done, and I've spent a ton of money in the past couple of days. It's nothing I don't need, though. Everything should be here by the middle of next week. 

 

I got the shipping confirmation for the order of yesterday, so it's on its way. Wednesday, maybe? Goodie! The studio is all ready for it. All I have to do is move the laptop, and I'm in business. 

 

I've realized again how much I love to play with computers, and how I've missed the intellectual challenge of learning all that new stuff. With everything I have to do, I expect to know WIn7 thoroughly before I'm through. What fun! Too bad, though, that it's not the middle of winter when I can't be outdoors.

 

The weather was much nicer today. The temperature rose quickly after about 10:00, to around 69, where it stayed for most of the afternoon, although it got up to 72 briefly at 3:00. No wonder I worked up a sweat. There was hardly any wind. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day, but it was bright, and there was some sunshine. I was able to have the door open after I put out the bird feeders.

 

So now Buster and I have made up, I have the area between the two desks in the studio neatened up a lot, and I'm tired. Tonight I have to take a bath, so as soon as I upload this and bring in the bird feeders, I'll be up to the north end.

 

Oh, I was sitting here after I put everything out, and I heard a hum from outside, and there was a hummingbird at the feeder. It's only taken - what? - three weeks! I must remember that and try to get the feeders out early next year. 

 

I hope to feel better next year, too. I think things are better, and it might even be that a thorough cleansing of my gut, like I got on Monday, was a good thing. I have been feeling better. I don't know if it's that, or just that I have something new and really interesting to look forward to. Mind is funny, at least my mind is funny. I still need a lot of sleep, of course, but I doubt that will ever change. If I can get the rotavirus under control and there aren't any more nasty bugs in my gut, I might have a chance. Oh, by the way, I seem to have developed a hematoma at the site of my IV. I wasn't too sure when the nurse who started it said she wasn't good at it and somebody else had to finish it.  There was a bad bruise around the site when I got home, and now it has spread and gotten really nasty looking. I don't think there is much that can be done about it, although I might try icing it, and I will certainly tell Dr. Mary about it when she calls with the rest of my results. That's the first time I've ever had that happen, but this one is in my arm and not my hand. Humph.

 

So that was my day, and now it's a partly cloudy, coolish evening in the field and time to go to bed.

 

July 13

What a frustrating day!

 

I didn't get to bed until around 11:45 last night - I noticed a file in my "writings" folder that I didn't recognize, so I looked at it, and it was a story that started really fast and good, but then I couldn't see where it was going. And after that, I think I played games.

 

I got up around 9:00 and I brushed the cat and knitted a few rows. I learned a long time ago that it doesn't pay to get mad at the cat, and it only raises my blood pressure. He forgets all about it, and he doesn't understand if I stay mad. I think he got the idea last night, 

 

I checked the mail, the weather and PastyNet, then I tried to start the desktop again. Nothing happened, except that the on/off switch was showing red and green at the same time. 

 

So instead of doing all my morning surfing, I decided I'd better get my Amazon order together and get the new hardware on its way to me. Well.

 

I can't remember the order of things after that, but at some point, I lost the broadband, so I thought I'd get the desktop opened up and see what I could see. In order to do that, I wanted to get all the junk out from in and around the computer desk. So I filled about five small bags (I think they are between 13 and 15 gallons) with catalogs and the mess on the floor. As I was moving the computer out, I discovered that there was the most terrible rat's nest of cabling under the desk, and a lot of it was the cabling between the broadband client and the router. So the client was unplugged for at least half an hour, while I untangled cables and tried to figure out what was happening.

 

When I tried to start the client again, it wouldn't. I had called PastyNet when I lost the connection, and when Jon called me back, he decided, after some fiddling, that my client has finally failed. At least the "power over ethernet" box is trashed. So I was left with dialup. Jon assured me that Charlie will be out on Friday to replace my client and give me one that will solve all my problems. Fingers crossed.

 

Jon suggested that my problem with the desktop might be that the battery had died, and it was the same battery that remote car entry keys use. I then realized that I have some of those, since my garage door openers use them, and I had had to replace one of those. So I replaced the battery, and it made no difference.

 

Then it suddenly hit me that when I pushed the on/off switch, the power supply didn't come on. Oh. Well, the other computer, which is still in the basement, has a fairly new power supply that I can use to replace it.

 

However, I decided I'd better try to get my Amazon order placed. Sigh. I managed to find all the stuff I need, after at least two hours, but when I started to try to check out, I hit a brick wall. At 24kb, I simply could not get the checkout pages to load. I think I kept trying for about four hours (I learned perseverance with computers when I was working) before I gave up and called Amazon.

 

Could they place the order in my shopping cart for me? Well, no, they can't do that, for security reasons. Any suggestions? Talk to a supervisor? Then the person I was talking to had a suggestion - maybe the fleet salesmen could do it. So she checked, and yes indeed, they would do it for me. After all, it was a $1200 order, and I'm sure they didn't want to lose that. So I got ahold of a really useful salesman, who not only would place my order, but find the parts I had had to get from other sources at nearly the same price. Of course, by the time we got everything together and verified and agreed to, it was nearly 6:30. But I'm going to get my equipment in three boxes sometime between next Tuesday and Thursday. I could have gotten it earlier, but it would have cost me nearly $100, and apparently there is some kind of promotion that may even have given me free shipping, so I decided to wait. It will give me a better laptop.

 

Anyway, by that time I had had it. I never did get downstairs to get the other power supply. That's for tomorrow. I hate to replace power supplies, because there are so many wire bundles that have to be placed just so, but I've done it before and I'll do it again and hope that solves my problem. Fingers crossed.

 

I had to call Jon back because I didn't have the new dialup number on this computer, and I had just gotten off the phone with him when Dr. Mary called. Some of the tests had come back. All of the polyps were benign, although a few of them showed the signs that sometimes can turn cancerous, so she will recommend another colonoscopy in 18 months. I guess I can handle that, after this one turned out to be so easy. Two of the culture samples came back. There is no C. diff - thank heaven for small favors! - but there is rotavirus. There isn't an antibiotic for that, and it's usually treated with acidophilus. Well, I've been taking that for a couple of years now, but not in the dosage she suggested. So I will up my dosage. She also suggested yogurt, which I love, but I will have to try to alter my diet so as to handle the calories. And Pepto-Bismol, weirdly enough. So I will lay in some of that the next time I go to town. There are two tests that haven't come back yet, so we'll see what they show. After I get all of that, I think I will make an appointment with Dr. Mike, and discuss with him how I might attack the rotavirus. That is something that apparently usually only affects children and usually runs its course in a few days. I didn't find anything about what to do with a long-standing infection. So we'll see.

 

The part of the day with Dr. Mary was the  almost the only bright spot in it. Plus the guy who placed my computer order, of course.

 

In the meantime, I managed to make a beginning on getting the studio in order. I still have a lot of work to do, but I can't do it with the computer lying on a crate on its side and the trolley in the middle of the room. Tomorrow I will rob the dead computer of its power supply and replace the one in this one and hope that solves my problem. I still hope to get my stuff to the new computer by networking them together. It would be sooo much easier!

 

The weather was cool. The temperature got down to 50 at 6:00 am, after which it rose slowly through the 50s. It got up to 60 at 3:00, after which it wavered and finally reached 62 at 8:00 pm. There was hardly any wind. It was clear for most of the day, but it's clouded up now. 

 

It was kind of neat when I was awake around 3:30 this morning, to see the moon shining way in the south, under the cloud deck that was overhead all night, but it didn't last long. The sunshine today was nice. 

 

I keep thinking about Suzanne, and Paul and Tyler out fishing, and I hope for their sakes that the showers they keep forecasting come at night. It's terrible to have your vacation messed up with rain. I remember.

 

So that was my frustrating day, and I'm sorry to run on so long about it, but this is my life journal, after all. I had a nice JD with the rest of my rotisserie chicken (Buster was delighted!), and that helped a lot.

 

Now it's a cool, cloudy evening in the field, and I won't be here too much longer. Tomorrow is another day, and it's time for bed.

 

July 12

Seventh time. The desktop may be dead, and I could strangle the cat. More about that later.

 

I got to bed about 10:30 last night, and I slept fairly well. I was afraid I'd be up all night, but evidently that part of it was over. Unfortunately, I had to walk at 6:30, so I only dozed for the last half hour. Buster was sound asleep and didn't come to until he heard the can open, and then he was groggy.

 

When I got to the studio, the computer was frozen. I got it to reboot enough to check the weather and read my morning devotion, and then it froze again. And again. And again...It even froze doing ScanDisk. Oh, dear. By that time Ron and Trevor were about to arrive, so I left it trying to reboot again.

 

The procedure was a no-brainer, since I was heavily sedated. The results were so-so. She removed a bunch of polyps, and I have diverticulosis. Oh, the joys of getting old. She took some cultures, and I'll know the results of that in three or four days. As for the diverticulosis, Aspirus says to change my diet and Mayo says not, except for anything I know causes problems. I think I'll go with Mayo. I suppose that explains the twinges I occasionally have on my left side, but if so, then I've had it since my late 20s, and nobody else ever said anything about it.

 

They gave me toast and tea, and Ron and Trevor came back around 12:45. I'm tired, but I feel fine. My gut is up to its old tricks, so I hope to find some solution to that.

 

When I got home, the computer had never finished rebooting, but I did get it up. All afternoon, it was either freezing or spontaneously rebooting about every 15 minutes. I managed to run some diagnostics that seemed to say it was a disk problem. I want to open up the case and check the connectors, but I just don't feel like hassling that big thing today. I've had the case open several times since I installed that disk, and something could have gotten jostled loose.

 

However, the last time it froze, it never got beyond the initial screen. I got a double beep (a good sign that something is wrong, but I don't remember what), and a message that says "Unlock keyboard then press F1". Well! I didn't know it was possible to lock or unlock a keyboard, so I have no clue how to do it. Tomorrow, I will have to burrow into the insides and see if I can determine whether or not I have a dead box.

 

I need that new computer right now! They told me not to drive or make financial decisions for 24 hours, though, so I decided to wait until tomorrow before I finish off the order and submit it. The computer and the printer are in my shopping cart, and all I need are speakers, cables and switches. I guess I'll have to postpone the laptop, since I have some research to do on it.

 

That wasn't the end of it. I had a terrible time getting the laptop up and running, and then I forgot that with the limited memory and slow speed of this thing, you don't do a massive file move all at once. After about a dozen tries, I finally got the website copied over from the TravelDisk, and after a few more glitches, I thought I was home free, and then...the cat came bounding up right into the middle of the keyboard and hit some combination that screwed up everything, leaving me with keys that said "tick, tick tick" and did nothing. It took two reboots to get over that. This is the computer that only does ScanDisk in safe mode, so I haven't done that yet. I suppose I should.

 

I just stopped and saved what I'd written. I must get back to the "save early and often" mode I followed in the early days. I had just written those sentences when I got a blue screen of death - the wonderful one that says "an error occurred". Whoopee! Just what I needed. Save early and often!

 

The weather was OK. It was sunny this morning, but by the time I got home, it was beginning to cloud up, and it's all cloudy now. Environment Canada was wrong on that one. The temperature was in the lower 60s all day, and there was a moderate wind from the north. Every time I think maybe it would be nice if it was warmer, I think of all those poor folks from about the middle of the lower peninsula south, where the temperatures have been in the 90s. This is so much better!

 

My computer problems mean that it's possible that the camera may be sporadic or down for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure it will run on the new hardware, and I hadn't intended to get a new one right now. So now my picture will be just as iffy as all the other ones on the Bridge Cam page.

 

Now I am tired, and sick and tired of hassling computers, so I will try to get this saved and uploaded. It's a cool, cloudy night in the field.

 

July 11

I guess it was around 11:00 when I got to bed last night, and I slept very well, thank you, although I drank enough water that I was up a number of times. I didn't get up until almost 10:00 this morning, then I brushed the cat and knitted a few rows, so I didn't start my liquid diet until around 11:30. That was all right.

 

They said to take some laxative pills at noon, and I did, but there really was no reason for that. I kept drinking broth and lemonade and eating Jell-O, and I started the clean-out stuff at 3:00 or so, like they said. Fortunately, it's tasteless, so I could mix it with my broth and my lemonade and it still tasted all right (although I have to say that the broth - both chicken and beef - isn't very tasty). I figured that if I drank some every 45 minutes or so, I could get it all in by 9:00, and I did, although I fudged a bit. Now I don't have to stay up any later than normal, and I can do my nightly stuff without a problem.

 

After the first two doses I was beginning to wonder if it was going to work. Well, it does. I soiled two pairs of underpants and what I was wearing over them, so I have some wash to do. I am now thoroughly cleaned out, believe me.

 

I actually don't feel too bad. I have kind of a headache, but that is probably due to lack of calories. This regime is a whole lot more gentle than the one I had to do the last time I did this exercise. I think there were three days of liquid diet (and they didn't say anything about staying hydrated), followed by castor oil and Fleet enemas - all very violent.  Besides, I was sick at that time, although I didn't really know it yet.

 

So I am prepared for tomorrow. I don't think there will be a problem with that, since they insist on giving me a general anesthetic. So I won't be there for the procedure.

 

Other than that, I didn't do much of anything except to clear away some of the trash on the counter. I don't seem to be able to go for more than a couple of days without leaving trash on the counter. The stuff there is too big for the regular wastebaskets, so I have to put it directly in an orange bag, which is the reason why there are so many orange bags around.

 

The weather was OK, I guess. Around 7:30 this morning, I began to hear thunder, although it seemed to be out over the lake. Evidently we did have a little rain between 8:00 and 9:00, but you couldn't prove it by me. For most of the day the temperature was in the 60s, low 60s before 1:00 and upper 60s until 6:00. when it jumped up to 79. It was extremely humid this morning, but as the afternoon wore on, the humidity dropped, and it is now an acceptable 55%, the lowest it's been in days. There was a little wind this afternoon, which peaked at 20 mph around 3:00, it's still breezy, but the wind has dropped a bit. It's from the north. It began to clear up around 10:30 this morning, and most of the afternoon was completely clear - so pretty. Now there are some clouds in the sky, especially right overhead, but I can see the gibbous moon in the south and the last of the sunset in the northwest (reflected in the south windows).

 

So that was my nothing day, and I'll be oft to the north end shortly. It's a warm, breezy, partly cloudy night in the field.

 

July 10

I think it was around 11:00 when I got to bed last night. Not only did I have to get the dishwasher ready to run, I remembered that I had to fill the pill dispensers, and that takes some time. I slept all right, but not nearly long enough, so I will be going earlier tonight - or I hope so.

 

There was music playing when I woke up this morning, which means that the clocks are still wrong, and I discovered that for some reason the calculator clock was off by a couple of minutes. I like my alarm clock to be right. So I will reset the north end clocks tonight.

 

When I got up this morning, there was pea-soup fog in the harbor, and it lasted all day long, although it's a little less now than it was earlier. Over the fog, it was cloudy this morning, but it cleared up later in the day. 

 

My trip to Laurium was an obstacle course this morning. There were people running along the side of the road in Copper Harbor, but just up the road, where the snowmobile trail crosses US-41, they had a barricade, a police car and some people with "stop/slow" signs. Today the Run the Keweenaw was up at our end, and I had to stop as one guy ran across the road. Then south of Lake Medora, I came across a big RV towing a car, who was going about 35 mph max. Unfortunately, there are no turnoffs in that part of the road, so I had to poke along behind him nearly until Delaware. 

 

I made it to church on time, though, and it was nice. There was communion and another good sermon. A couple of hymns were ones nobody except Pastor knew, but that happens occasionally.

 

It was very humid when I got to Laurium, but they blew cold air up the air ducts from the basement, which kept the church fairly comfortable. When we got out, it was 79, and I think the humidity was around 90%. It was horrible, and I used the A/C all the way back to Copper Harbor. Up along the higher part of the covered road, it was 80. Yuck! It was under 70 in the H.arbor, although it felt warmer than that because of the humidity. 

 

So when I got home, I put on my shorts and sandals - my denim shorts fit really well. Then late in the afternoon, it went down to 62 and the wind picked up from the north, and I got cold, so I closed the doors a bit. I was probably cold because I didn't have any lunch - I was saving  my appetite for Harbor Haus.

 

I did the usual nothing for the afternoon, but there were a couple of alarming incidents with the computer. When I got home, there was a black screen and "Invalid system disk detected" on it. Eeek! What now? I had to shut the computer off to get it to boot at all, and then, of course, it came up in safe mode. It tried to do a disk scan, but the whole thing hung before the scan finished. Eeek! I shut it down again and it came up just fine, but sometime later, I was playing my favorite game when it hung up again. Well, I guess I'd better get that computer ordered pretty soon, huh? I might try to get the order together tomorrow, but we'll see. I've been warned not to make any financial decisions (or drive or use the stove) for 24 hours after my test, because it will be under a general anesthetic.

 

This evening, I went to dinner with Paul and Suzanne and their grandson, Tyler (who is 18 now and grew about a foot since the last time I saw him!). It was wonderful - I had duck - and I brought home enough to have a good dinner on Tuesday.

 

When I came into Harbor Haus, there was a very large vessel anchored out in front, but more over toward Porter Island. It is apparently some kind of research vessel, and it's bigger than the Isle Royal Queen. It is a very strange shape. Its front end looks like any other ship its size, but the entire back half has been cut down so it's not more than three or four feet off the water. I think there is a very large winch on the deck. I wonder what they're doing? Maybe the paper will say something about it, but not for a few days, since it was in Houghton yesterday. If I find out, I'll write about it.

 

Oh, yes, and there were a bunch of kids on the end of the dock, and two of them went in the water. It seems to me that both the water and the air were a bit cool for that, but that's kids.

 

Anyway, we had a lovely dinner and a nice conversation, and they will be around for two weeks. Paul and Tyler are fishermen, and they like to fish in Lake Lily, so I expect to see them. Chip and Nancy will be up at the end of the week, and we will have our usual fish fry at the end of their stay.  It was so nice to see them! Unfortunately, the other couple, Marilyn and Ron, aren't going to be here this year, and I will miss them. They are nice people, too.

 

So that was my day, and I'll be off to bed shortly. It's calm now, and I can smell the boats out in the lake - yuck, polluting our beautiful air! - but there is still fog in the harbor. The half moon is shining in the south windows, though, and if I can get away from the fog, there may be stars. It's a coolish, calm, foggy night in the field.

 

July 9

I don't remember exactly when I got to bed last night, but it was late. I didn't sleep very well, and I don't know why, exactly. I just didn't. I didn't expect Adam when he said he'd be here, but I got up about 8:45 anyway and got dressed right away. I didn't need to bother.

 

About 10:30 he called to ask what the weather was like, because it was pouring rain in Mohawk. At that point it looked OK - threatening, but OK. It was another hour or so before he turned up, towing his work truck behind him, and with his wife and his son by his first marriage with him. His wife is Russian, and she seems like a very nice person. She's pregnant, but she's already told him that's enough. Apparently she's been sick a lot. His son is around 10 or 11 now, and he seemed glad to help Adam. It took a while, but he got every thing done, although the last 45 minutes was in another rainstorm. Oh, well. It was that kind of day.

 

When they left, I did nothing. After dinner, I started reading, and then I decided to check on the computer thing again. Well. Now Amazon lists the one I thought I wanted, but Gateway doesn't - and Gateway's website is completely different from what it was the last time I looked, and that wasn't very many days ago. Geez! Can't they leave well enough alone? Anyway, the model I thought I wanted isn't listed anymore, but there was a new one that will do nicely, except that it's more expensive than I'd hoped. Oh, well. This may be the last computer I ever buy. 

 

Then I got to looking at laptops, and I'm having the same problem with them. Most of their laptops have Amdahl processors, and I do NOT want an Amdahl. I looked around a bit, but I'm going to have to do some more research.

 

Anyway, I'm one step closer to getting my computers. I need to add the cables and switches and software, but I have the computer and the printer, at least. I'd really like to get the laptop, too, and get it all out of the way. 

 

However, I want an Intel Core i5 or i7 (Gateway doesn't make one with an i7), and as much memory and as big a disk as possible. It's very frustrating, because in several cases what the Gateway site says is in the innards and what Amazon says is in the innards are different, and I don't know who to believe. If possible, I'd like to get the whole thing from Amazon, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do that. Well, I'll look at it again tomorrow.

 

The weather was, as I said, unsettled and nasty. For most of the day, the temperature was around 60, although there was only some wind at intervals. We had a third of an inch of rain, more or less. It was dark and dismal. Now the temperature has risen to 67, but it still isn't very nice outside. Yuck.

 

Anyway, that was my day, and I'm tired. I need to get the dishwasher ready to run, and I need to try to get to bed as early as possible so that I can go to church tomorrow.

 

Now it's a dark, dismal, damp evening in the field and it should be a good one to sleep.

 

July 8

With one thing and another, it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I slept well. There were some stars when I was up, but not impressive ones. I woke up about 7:30 and the sun was shining on the mountain in clear skies. I went back to sleep, and when I woke up around 9:15, Buster decided it was time I got up, and it was clear that with him rustling around the bed, I wasn't going to get back to sleep, so I got up at about 9:30. This morning I decided I was going to do some knitting, so I did six rows on the shawl, without any problems, although I had to be very careful with the first row. 

 

Otherwise, I did nothing much except go to the post office, where there was a lot of mail. A bunch of new magazines came in, as well as some pleas for money and some bills. Oh, yes, and I went to the ice cream store and pigged out on Zanzibar chocolate and Mackinaw Island Fudge. Yum! Yum-yum! I also had a nice conversation with George.

 

I spent much of the late afternoon answering the phone. Adam is coming tomorrow morning, and he is bringing his new wife, which will be interesting. I got a call from the hospital, reminding me of my date Tuesday morning, as if I would have forgotten it. Johanna called to reschedule my next massage. She is going to Florida to her high school reunion. There was some other stuff of not such import. I had to call the insurance agent again, but she was out, so I may call her back Monday or Tuesday, depending on how I feel.

 

The weather was interesting. When I was up at 7:30, it was clear and lovely. When I got up at 9:30, we were socked in, with very heavy fog that lasted until nearly 3:00. There were some clear skies, and then it began to cloud up around sunset. The temperature did it's weird thing again. The low for the day was 52 at 1:00 in the afternoon. Then it began to warm up a tad, and the high for the day was 64. There was hardly any wind, except for a bit early in the morning. 

 

While I sort of wish it would warm up just a bit so that I could open up the house, I like it. A bit cool is a whole lot better than hot!

 

This evening, Buster and I had chicken again, and I read for a while. It was lovely to see the harbor like glass and reflecting the sky, I thought that was a really interesting picture. The sky was too bright to register well, but the harbor reflected what was really there. And it's completely quiet. No ATVs, no bikers, no nothing. Aahh!! There are a lot of reasons being here is so relaxing, and one of them is that it can be so quiet, like it is tonight. Love it.

 

So that's how things are, and it's a calm, cool quiet night in the field.

 

July 7

I got to bed around 10:30, but I didn't sleep very well for some reason. The first time I was up, there were stars, but by the second time, they were gone. The lighthouse is back in operation, though, I was happy to see. When I first noticed it, it seemed a bit wavery, but by the middle of the night it was doing its thing every six seconds like it's supposed to. 

 

I got up around 9:30, and I petted the cat, but I didn't do any knitting. My thought was to get an early start - hah! It was after1:00 before I left for town. I needed to move some trash and some empty boxes and get the second cooler into the car before I left.

 

There is an awful lot of traffic on US-41 these days, in both directions, but fortunately, I was able to get around most of it. 

 

I had hoped to just go food shopping, but when I got in the car, I discovered that I had less than half a tank of gas. I could have gotten to Calumet and back twice, but then I would have had to get gas on Sunday. So I went on down to Houghton. Boy, was that a mistake! They have my usual cutoff blocked in Hancock, so I had to take the route all the way around town, and that was all torn up, too. It's worse coming back, because the main street going north is down to one lane and there was a lot of traffic. I think they are replacing the entire water system in Hancock, and it is a real mess.

 

Anyway, it's always been said that there are only two seasons in Michigan - winter and road repairs. I guess we just have to deal with it.

 

Gas has gone back up a bit here. It was $3.749 at Wal-Mart and a couple of other places. I had heard something about Wal-Mart lowering their gas prices by 20 a gallon, but clearly they haven't done that here yet. Or maybe I misheard.

 

Anyway, I got home about 4:30, and then I had to unload the car and pack everything away. The fridge is bulging, and the stuff for my liquid diet is mostly out in the breezeway. I forgot about the Gatorade, but I never drink that anyway and I don't know where they keep it at Pat's. I will make do with lemonade, I guess. The doctor put her laxative in a bunch of different things to get it down, and I think I'll do the same. I have lots of chicken and beef broth and Jell-O. Yuck. What a diet!

 

The weather was all right. The temperature was weird again. It was in the low 60s all night, and it went up to 67 at 8:00 this morning, then it dropped off to the low 60s between 9:00 and 1:00. After that it went up again, to 68 at 3:00, then back down into the low 60s, and up again to 67 at 9:00. There was a little wind about the time I left for town, but after that, it was nearly calm for the rest of the afternoon. It started out fairly sunny, but it got quite cloudy before the end of the day.

 

Of course, I wasn't here. It was in the low 70s when I got to Houghton, and by the time I left Pat's, it was 79 in Calumet. That's a little too warm for me, and I put my wet hair up before I left the parking lot, and I used the A/C until I was on Cliff Drive. I was very glad to get back to my nice, cool lake! I was interested to notice that while the NWS station was reporting 64 around that time, by the time I started down Woodland Drive, the car was reporting about 59. It's frequently cooler at this end of the harbor.

 

 A little while ago, I was writing this and listening to the music when I heard what I thought were a couple of thumps on the deck. So I got up to investigate, and while I was over by the door, I decided to bring in the bird feeders. Then I heard a couple more thumps, and when I looked down the harbor, there were fireworks! For heaven's sake! I will have to research that. They only lasted about 15 minutes, and they were very sporadic, but they were very nice. Maybe a box they forgot the other night? Or it just started raining too hard? I'll try to find out.

 

While I was unloading the car, I seem to have gotten a black fly bite on the side of my face, and when I was bringing in the bird feeders, I brought a mosquito in with me. Neither is very surprising. I got the mosquito, but not, I think, before she got me on the hand. Oh, it's the bug season. I would think that the black flies would be going pretty soon. Or I hope so.

 

So that was my day. I had a sore toe this morning, so I wore my Crocs, but my feet are sore anyway. Now it is late, and I absolutely must take a bath tonight. It's a calm, cloudy night in the field.

 

July 6

I made it into bed by just after 9:30 last night, and while I had a bit of a problem getting to sleep, once I was asleep, I did good. I was up several times, and while there were stars, sort of, they were week and hard to see. 

 

I haven't mentioned it before, but it appears that the lighthouse is out of commission. It's been nearly a week since I've seen the light, and usually I would see a lot of it. That's the trouble with old equipment and tight budgets. I should call the Coast Guard and get the scoop.

 

I got up around 9:00 this morning, and I had time to brush the cat, have a good breakfast, and do some of my surfing before I was off to my massage. I feel much better for it. A few days ago, there was a piece someplace, I think in the Science News email I get every day, that said they have shown that massage is very good for back problems (double blind studies and all), but they don't know why yet. I can attest to that. So my instinct was good in that case, too.

 

Anyway, a massage always makes me feel  very sleepy, so I didn't do anything when I got home. I did research printers, and I put the one I want in my shopping cart at Amazon. So that detail is taken care of. Nobody still  has the computer I want, so I'm rethinking that. I'm also rethinking the laptop question, although I haven't done much research yet. I think what I want is pretty expensive, and I don't know whether I want to go that route for something I will only use as a backup, on the road (once a year) and maybe at the north end. Decisions, decisions... I also have to nail down the switches and cables I will need to attach everything, and I need to look at speakers. I could probably use the ones I have now, but they aren't so great - I should have kept the ones I had with the previous computer, which were Altec-Lansing and very good. So I'd like a good pair, so that I can play some of my CDs on the computer. That's next. 

 

The weather was OK. It was quite clear and sunny all day, but the temperature bottomed out at 55 around 8:00, and it stayed in the upper 50s until 6:00, when the wind died and the temperature rose quickly to 67, where it is now. I do love it when the harbor gets glassy, although there are some little waves in it. So pretty!

 

Now it's a calm, nearly clear evening in the field, and I think I will read a bit before I toddle up to the north end. Tomorrow, unfortunately, I have to go food shopping, so I need my sleep to be up to that.

 

July 5

I decided not to take a bath, so I put on my nightie and read until 11:00. Then I sat down in the ugly chair to watch the fireworks...what fireworks?

 

Then I started seeing a few flashes of lightning and hearing very distant thunder, but it seemed to be out over the lake. I think it wasn't until at least 11:15 before the display finally started, and it was really a wonderful show, with several new things that I've never seen before, all punctuated by ever-nearer flashes of lightning and an occasional rumble of thunder. Buster came and sat on my lap, with his head away from the door, so he wasn't watching. Close to the end, the wind picked up a bit, and all of a sudden I realized that there was mist falling on my legs. Oh, no! So the end of our wonderful fireworks show took place in a rather heavy downpour. How disappointing. I wonder how many people stayed to see the end, which was really quite spectacular.

 

Anyway, since it started so late, it was a bit after midnight before I got to bed. I was up a couple of times, and I had to get up around 8:00. I tried to go back to sleep, but it didn't seem to be working, so I got up around 8:45. Not nearly enough sleep, and I've felt it all day. I got up because I thought I had a massage this morning, but when I got there, Johanna came out to tell me it was really tomorrow. Oops. Well, my mind isn't on the details lately.

 

So I came home and during the afternoon, I washed a large load of fleece, including my robe and the heavy jacket. There. Now all that is done for the summer. The down parka is in the laundry room, too, so it will get washed one of these days.

 

Otherwise, I didn't do anything much. 

 

When I got dressed this morning, I wanted a pair of light denim jeans. Since the first pair I tried fit so well, I looked through the old ones. It seems I have two pairs, and I had written something, which I think said "small" on the tag of one pair. I measured it against the other one, and it seemed to be about an inch smaller. So I decided to try it. Well. Not only did it pull on nicely, it zipped up over my tummy with no problem at all. Amazing. I think this was the smallest pair I kept when I moved, and now that it has stretched a bit, I really should be wearing a belt. Oh, how I hope I can keep it all off!

 

The weather started out a bit shaky. It was cloudy and humid this morning, and rather cool. It was only 55 at 8:00. Then the temperature rose rapidly and the skies cleared a bit. There was a brief peak temperature of 75 at noon, then the north wind picked up into the 20-30 mph range and the temperature dropped back to 66 as the skies cleared further. And then the wind dropped and the temperature rose, and it is now 76 again. It isn't completely clear, but there is a lot of sunshine. strange weather.

 

So that's the report for the day. It was such a shame that it rained on our parade, but that's the chance we take. Now, since I've been here, we've had sleet, fog and now rain on our Fourth of July festivities. Maybe next year it will be a nice evening. It was still a really great show.

 

Now I am going to pull in the feeders early and go up to the north end and crash, after I wash my yucky hair. It's a lovely, warm, breezy evening in the field.

 

July 4 - Independence Day

It takes me 45 minutes, minimum, to write a typical journal entry, proofread it, and upload it. Then I have to reboot the computer to clean up the garbage the system leaves around. So it was close to midnight when I finally got to bed. I slept pretty well. There were stars, but not very bright ones. A good test I've found is whether I can see the star that attaches the handle of the Big Dipper to the bowl. Last night, it was mostly not there.

 

I woke up around 3:00 and the dryer was still running. I had started it before I went to bed, so it surely shouldn't have still been going, even though it was a big load and there were several cotton knit sweaters in it. They take a long time to dry, but still. So I got up and stopped it, since everything seemed dry. Oh, dear, is my dryer breaking?

 

I was up around 7:30, I think, but that seemed much too early. Along about 9:30, Buster came and sat down beside my head, and I got got up around 10:30, because I was getting sore. I started to knit, and I got the 21st repeat done, but on the next row, I dropped something and had to unknit a row and a half, so after I got the repeat finished again, I quit. I had spent too much time and I clearly wasn't up to working on that today. I petted and brushed the cat, too.

 

It seems that all the canned food I've been giving Buster hasn't been all his. Jasmine has been coming around when I put down the dishes and I think she's eating her share. Well, that's good. She likes what we had this morning, and she wanted some, but not only was I there, Buster was standing in front of one dish as he ate out of the other one. She would have pushed her way in if I hadn't been there, poor kitty. I hope she got hers after I left, and I think she probably did.

 

Well, let's see. I did the last load of wash - the whites - and I folded the tees. I had to rewash four tees. The grease and some other things just wouldn't come out. I hope they're all right now. I also washed a cotton knit sweater that I've been wanting to wash since last fall. Not that it shows any dirt, because it's navy blue, but I wore it a lot last fall and then again lately. So that is done. One short-sleeved tee that I thought was dirty turns out to have faded at the fold - the only time I've ever had that happen with either Eddie Bauer or Lands End. Unfortunately, it's a very pretty dark teal, but when I had it on, I noticed it seemed a bit small, so I guess it's OK that it's ruined.  I haven't checked the tees to see if I finally got the stains out of them. I also got the dishwasher unloaded, so I can begin to put stuff in it again. So I did something with my short day. 

 

The weather was disappointing. It started out beautifully clear, but by 11:30 it had clouded up. The temperature went up and down between 57 and 65, mostly lower. Between 4:00 and 5:00 we had a wind that gusted up to 35 mph - one gust, I think - but for the rest of the day it was nearly calm. Then a while ago, it started to rain lightly. Oh, for heaven's sake! On the Fourth of July, yet. well, maybe it will stop before 11:00. Anyway, it's  not  the best weather. 

 

So that is about all I have to report. I will go and take a bath and then I will sit in the ugly chair and hope I can see the fireworks. Right now, it's a soggy, damp, cool evening in the field and it's foggy down the harbor. Yuck.

 

July 3

I was up at the north end, taking off my clothes, when I remembered that I hadn't done a journal, so I trudged back to the south end, and here I am. If I didn't do one, some people would think I died or something.

 

I got to bed around 10:00 last night, but I didn't sleep well, and I don't know why. When I was up around 12:30, there was a nice glow in the north, too bright and too far north to be the end of sunset, but when I was up at 1:00 again, it was gone. Turned out the lights. I was up about half an hour before the alarm went off, but I thought I might get a half hour's doze in, and I did. 

 

I was curious that there was music playing when the alarm did go off - usually I get the station break, and when I checked the clocks against the calculator-clock, which is my standard, the clocks were off by 10 minutes. The one in the bathroom has battery backup now, but it clearly runs too fast, and I suppose I set the one in the bedroom by it, although I thought I took the calculator with me...but in the middle of the night, who knows what I might have seen?

 

Anyway, I had time to do most of my morning surfing before I got dressed - white pants, a red tee and a blue and white plaid shirt that has a little red in it. Very patriotic, I thought.

 

As I was going up the hill to the Mountain Lodge, I remembered that this was the weekend of the "Ride the Keweenaw" bike ride. There were two or three bikers going very slowly and a car that was behind them going just as slowly. Double yellow line or no double yellow line, I passed them. There were small clumps of riders all along the covered road, and I got behind another very slow driver, whom I passed as soon as I got a dotted line. I had left a bit later than usual, and I didn't want to waste time behind those guys.

 

Church was nice, as usual, and it was particularly nice because a young woman, twenty-something, I'd say, was baptized and then she was confirmed and her husband was made a member of the church. A nice day. Pastor's sermon was on the calling of Matthew, and it was a good one, too. So I came home feeling good.

 

The drive home was a bit better. One very slow driver pulled over and waved me around him, which I thought was nice, and I had to pass a slow guy on Cliff Road, but otherwise, it wasn't too bad, even though I followed two cars up the covered road. They were going at a reasonable pace, and I'm not so concerned when I'm coming home, although I did have to visit the bathroom.

 

The Harbor is jumping. There were cars and people everywhere, so I fled to my field and I don't intend to venture out again until Tuesday at the earliest.

 

I was tired, and I really didn't want to do anything, but I thought I had to wash, so late in the day, I started that. While the pants were washing, I folded clothes, and I found that almost all the tees I washed last month still had grease spots on them - Eddie Bauer again - so I washed 16 tees. I've been in slobberhanus mode again, and sometimes I could only wear a tee for one day before I dripped something down the front. Good thing I have so many.

 

Anyway, in doing my folding, I found five more pairs of underpants, so I decided, why sweat it? I will do the whites tomorrow, as well as some other stuff. The tees are in the dryer now - that's where I was when I remembered this.

 

It was a beautiful day, completely clear, with a light north wind. The temperature was weird. It was in the mid 60s all night, then it dropped down to about 57 at 11:00, where it stayed all afternoon. Around 6:00 it started to warm up, and it is now 65. Anyway, I had the doors open, because the sun made it warm in here, and I've found that after I've had the house opened up, it seems stuffy in here when the doors are closed. It still isn't warm enough to open the back windows, but with any luck that will come.

 

it was so lovely to look at the blue skies that I took my Sky & Telescopes over to the ugly chair and sat there for most of the late afternoon, reading. I'm finally starting to read July. Usually I don't get that far behind! Buster came and sat on me at intervals, but I wasn't paying enough attention to him.

 

I discovered, much to my dismay, that while I was bringing in the bird feeders last night, I got chewed to pieces. A black fly got down inside my tee, bit me twice right above my bra cup, once on my armpit, and at least twice on top of my shoulder. Needless to say, I've been scratching like mad all day long, since every time I move, fabric rubs against some of the bites and makes them itch. I will try some Adolph's tonight, but I don't know how well it will work, since it will get rubbed off fast. Those black flies are the sneakiest bugs I've ever heard of. Tonight it was enough cooler that I can hope I didn't get any more.

 

Over the past couple of days I've discovered that the underpants I bought and thought were too small now fit. I don't know if I'm still losing weight or just holding my own, because I can't get a good reading when my feet are swollen, and they are, but if the clothes are any indication, I'm holding my own. I'm down close to what I weighed in the spring of 2001, and that's nice. Most of my clothes are that old, and they fit much better now. I certainly hope I can keep it and maybe lose a little more.

 

Now it's late and I'm tired, because I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I will crash. It's a coolish, nearly calm, clear night in the field, and there will be stars.

 

July 2

I'm going to do this early and hope to get to bed early, too. I didn't get enough sleep last night. When I was sitting in the bathroom, I decided I was much too sticky and icky to go to bed without a bath, so that took a while, and I think I got to bed around 10:30. I had a hard time getting to sleep, probably because of the temperature and humidity, but I finally dozed off. 

 

I woke up right before midnight, and the clock was blinking. Ah, so we are going to have some weather! When I got back into bed, I began to hear very distant thunder, but not a lot. I closed the west and north windows in the window seat and settled down to watch the lightning, which pretty soon was almost continuous. It's so neat to watch that at night! i was just about to go back to sleep, when whoosh! Crash! Bang! All of a sudden the wind picked up. I got up to close the door to the porch, and there was spray coming in. I had a hard time getting it closed, which means it was over 40 mph. So I laid down again, and the wind kept banging against the house, and pretty soon we were having some rain as well, but not a whole lot. The lightning continued, but there still wasn't much thunder. Maybe the wind blew the sound away, I don't know.

 

Eventually, I went back to sleep, probably about 12:30, and it was 5:30 before I woke up again - quite a long sleep for me. By that time, everything had settled down, and while it was still damp, there wasn't so much wind and it was clearing up. I got up around 8:30, and the porch floor was still wet, but the sky was brilliantly clear and there wasn't a lot of wind.

 

While I was sitting and knitting, I began to hear a noise from the other end of the house, and when I thought about it, I realized that we were still on generator power. Geez, 9 hours later! More about that later. Anyway, it was a glorious morning, if you happened to have a generator. All day long, there was a parade of cars up and down Woodland road, as my neighbors (and I do have lots of neighbors right now) ventured out to see if they could get food or something.

 

My only trouble is that when I'm on generator power, the microwave, which is a 1500 watt unit, doesn't get full power, so it took a little longer to nuke my breakfast than it should have. Other than that and the noise, I would never have known there was a problem. Oh, I am so glad I got that generator! It almost broke me, but boy, has it been worth it!

 

I called in my outage before I got my breakfast, and they didn't have an estimated up time - hah! So I ate and did my surfing, and about 3:30 or so, I called again and got a person. She said that the crews had not gotten to the site until 9:00 this morning - which would have been 10:00 our time. What? Where were they all night long? I didn't ask her that, but when I read the PastyCam this evening, I guess they were working further south, because it was a lot worse in Calumet.

 

I thought we probably got the tail end of the storm, because there wasn't much rain, and the really high winds didn't last that long. I must find out where FR Nash found UPPCO's report page (Frank, if you read this, will you please send me the link?).

 

Anyway, I did my thing, and finally, finally, about 5:30, the generator shut down. Wow! That's about 18 hours! We haven't had that long an outage in a long time. Believe me, by the time the generator shut down, I was getting really tired of the noise, since it is under the deck right out in back of the studio. But I kept reminding myself that I would have been in a real pickle if I didn't have it. Nice generator. Maybe I should go down and give it a pat. 

 

I need to go down there anyway because the wind blew away the hook I hang the hummingbird feeder from. I couldn't see it, but I know it's in the knapweed somewhere down there, and I need to find it. Fortunately, I have another one, but I don't want to lose one.

 

The only real trouble with the outage is that today was supposed to be washday, and I am out of underwear and compression hose. So I will have to make do and wash tomorrow. I had planned to spend the whole day in the laundry room, washing and putting away the clean laundry, which I have neglected again. Oh, well, tomorrow is another day. While I could certainly wash while the generator is running, I don't think I could use the dryer. At least I don't want to try it. Dryers pull a whole lot of power, and while my generator is a pretty big one, I'm not sure it's that big. I don't use the dryer or the big ovens when I'm on generator power - and clearly the microwave doesn't work at full power either.

 

You notice I'm not saying much specific about the weather. That's because I have no data until about 6:00 this evening. It was rather cool this morning - probably in the middle 50s, and while it warmed up a bit, after I cooled down the studio, I had to close the door because I was cold. However, later in the afternoon, it warmed up a lot, and I should have left the door open, because the 6:00 temperature was 79 - very nice, thank you. It is still quite windy, in the 15-25 mph range, from the north, although it does seem to be dropping a bit as we get toward sunset (which isn't until 9:51). It was so nice to see the skies scrubbed clean this morning! It's a little hazy now, but I've come to expect that.

 

By the way, when I scrolled down the page to see when the sun sets, I went by the high temperatures in Michigan for the day. Boy, oh boy am I glad I'm here! Ypsilanti had a high of 100, and the Detroit airport had 97. It's still 95 in Grosse Pointe. Yikes! And we complain when it gets up to 85! It was days like this when not only did I stay in the house, I dove into the basement, where it was always in the low 60s. Oh, I'm so glad I'm here!

 

Well, that's always the case, but every so often I find another reason. I can handle 80 here, as long as it's not too humid, but anything much over 85 and I'm a basket case. And it was so pretty, with the blue skies and blue waters. It was windy enough to raise whitecaps on the harbor this afternoon, and I don't think anybody was out fishing, but it was a lovely day if you didn't need food or anything.

 

So that was my interesting day, and I hope to be in bed early tonight and up and off to church tomorrow. Now it's a lovely, clear, breezy evening in the field, and there should be stars tonight.

 

July 1

Geez, half the year is over already! 

 

I think it was 10:00 or so when I got to bed last night, but I don't remember. I was up around 1:30 (for the second time, maybe?), and when I looked outside, the northern horizon was much lighter than it should have been, but it was hazy enough that I only saw a couple of stars. When I was up at 3:30 or so, it had clouded over, but I could still see a bit of that glow over the lake through the trees to the north-northwest. So there were apparently some northern lights. There wasn't any activity or anything, just that glow. C'mon, sun! I want to see some fireworks!

 

I got up around 8:30. Actually, I woke up and had to walk at 7:30, and Buster thought I was going to get up, but I went back to bed. I only dozed, though, so I decided I might as well get up. I opened the porch door before I went into the bathroom, and before I got up, I had the bathroom window open, too. It was over 70 when I got up. 

 

Both Buster and Jasmine were delighted by the weather. Jasmine was rolling around on the porch she was so happy. I was not so delighted, because it was already very humid. However, we coped. I put on my shorts and sandals, and I was relatively comfortable. When it got up to 82 in the office, I turned on the ceiling fan, and that helped. But you can see when you look down the harbor that it's very hazy, and that's humidity.

 

The temperature outside got up to 82 also, and there wasn't much wind. It was cloudy all day, although it didn't look like rain. It was humid and icky and not very nice all day.

 

So I didn't do anything. It was too icky to do much at all.

 

Now it's time to totter up to the north end again, although I'm debating whether to listen to Carrnina Burana. Probably I won't, because it's long and loud. It's a warm, humid, breezy night in the field.

Last  updated 08/01/11 09:33 PM