Friday, February 05, 2016

5053 Got the blahs

Friday, February 5, 2016

First you have to figure out who you are.
Then you have to like who you are.
Then you have to be who you are.
That's where strength comes from, and all else follows.


Yesterday it was very warm, close to 50 F.  Nugget came to visit, and we went to the town hall (pay taxes), the bank (deposit some checks), post office (buy stamps), and a sub shop (feed Nugget).  She was wearing a light jacket, I wore no jacket or sweater at all.  She tried to get me to put the top down, and I might have, except that I'm still full of phlegm and don't want to tempt fate.

The snow from the previous storm had been steadily melting, and yesterday the last little bits disappeared, even in the shade.  It was a nice feeling.

So this morning I was surprised to wake to the sound of a snowplow going down the street.  There's a manhole cover near my driveway, and when the plows hit it, they make a loud bang.  That's what woke me.  I got up and went to the window and found about three inches of snow on the ground.  What?  Oh, come ON!

But it's near 50 again, and it's melting fast.  That means ice overnight, but it should all be gone tomorrow.


I've been reading this blog, and adding tags.  I started near the end of 2006, I think, and I'm now into late 2008.  I can't believe how much has changed.  

Before I moved to New Jersey, I was going out for lunch or dinner with friends three or four times a week, sometimes more.  I went to performances, fairs, shows, movies, auctions.  I read a lot.  I walked a lot.  I was, in short, very active and social.  I was involved with Mensa, and Meetup, volunteer groups, and the dance stuff.  I had a lot of opinions, some even passionate opinions, which became blog posts.  And, of course, there was The Man.  I really really miss the fun we had, back when it was fun.  I miss that version of him.

Then I moved down here (late 2010, early 2011), and almost immediately had the kidney thing, which put the skids to so much for so long.  The local Mensa bunch, the folks within travel distance of my current location, anyway, isn't to my taste.  Local meetup groups seem to emphasize booze and bars, which doesn't interest me, plus I don't understand most of the people I'd met at the few functions I'd attended.  They seem so, uh, New Jersey shallow.  And racist.  (Becs, resist the urge, I have enough negativity of my own right now...)  There are no auction houses.  I checked into volunteer organizations, and they don't do anything much around here. There doesn't seem to be any easy way to find out about activities, lectures, happenings, and the few public events I have discovered --- the crowds and traffic were discouraging.

So my world has been getting smaller and smaller.  I go nowhere, talk to no one.  I'm turning into a hermit.  As to opinions, I almost never turn the TV on, except for a very few shows I watch and then immediately off again, and I never watch the news.  I resist exposure to the news because a.) they never cover important stuff, and b.) what they do cover tends to just anger me.  And there's no point in saying anything about it, because nothing will change.  Nothing will ever change.  It's about to where I don't care anymore.  What will be will be.

So, reading old posts is reminding me that once life was fun.  

 But the elements that contributed to the fun don't seem to be here.


The Aberdeen township sent out an email saying that ALERT! a pit bull who had bitten three people has been diagnosed with rabies, so they need to know of anyone who had contact with the dog.  If you or anyone else blah blah contact blah blah immediately.  A very long email, detailing what rabies is, mentions of past animals in the township with rabies, what animals to avoid (raccoons, stray cats, skunks, etc.), blah, blah, blah.  

Nowhere in that whole screed do they describe the dog other than that it was a pit bull, nowhere do they mention what neighborhood, and this is a long narrow township.  They also don't advise anyone to check their cats for damage, most of which run loose and are not taken in at night.  (That's where some indication of neighborhood might come in handy.)

Around here, about every fourth dog is a pit bull.  Nobody trains their dogs.  They might try, but they don't know how.  People seem to think that their dogs speak English, so yelling "Hey, you, get over here!" should have meaning to the dog, and they get mad when the dog doesn't obey  I suspect few people get the immunizations.  I know just by looking that almost nobody neuters male dogs, especially the pits.

What does surprise me is that you almost never see dogs running loose.  Too many guns around, I guess.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

5052 Iowa and groundhogs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Trumpster has been surprisingly calm about the Iowa loss to Cruz.  Not that it matters a whole lot; Iowa is not a predictor.  On the other hand, Cruz's showing freaks me out.  He really scares me.  I don't like the way he fights, by throwing dirt without bothering to find out whether it's even remotely true or not.  Worse, he doesn't seem to care whether it's true or not as long as it sticks and hurts his opponent.  And --- this is totally inconsequential and shallow and I know that --- many of his facial expressions remind me of Bill Murray, and I despise Bill Murray, which is also shallow, but there it is.

I think The Donald better get used to this.  I've been saying all along that the polls and crowds don't mean anything other than that people find him supremely amusing and want to encourage him to be even more outrageous.  It's a great show, and yeah, let's go to his rally, it might be fun!  None of which is any indication of how people will actually vote.  Oh, yeah, he does have supporters who are serious, but not as many as polls imply.  You don't have to be as serious in a poll as you'll be in the booth.

Speaking of Bill Murray, what did the groundhog say?  We'll have an early Spring?  Oh, ok.  Does that mean Spring will be in full swing by the first week in March?  The alternate six weeks would put it mid-March.

I've never really understood those numbers.  Most of the places I've lived, we HOPED the groundhog saw his shadow so we'd have ONLY six more weeks of winter!  In the mountains of Pennsylvania, when I was growing up, our first snow fell in October, and those flakes were still on the ground (under six to eight more feet of snow) in early May.  At the country house, snow started in mid-December, we'd have a tiny teasing taste of spring in late March, and our last major snow storm was the first week of April pretty much every year.  So six more weeks of winter as of early February?  Spring arrives in mid-March?  Great!  We'll take it.  Only six more weeks is good!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

5051 Brush fire 6 - eBay

Sunday, January 31, 2016

"As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand."
-- Josh Billings --

I have no idea what was going on with the laptop yesterday, but when I started it up this morning, it was perfectly fine.  All my icons and widgets and bookmarks are present and functional. Google, Feedly, and Firefox all recognize me.  Everything was exactly as it should be.

I'm not going to question it.  Just accept and tiptoe away.


EBay has this new thing where they want you to link your eBay account and your PayPal account.  I ignored it and didn't do it, because I don't like the idea of eBay knowing my PayPal password, but now I'm beginning to see sellers who won't allow bidders whose accounts are not linked.  So finally I gave up and attempted to link them.

Nope.  For some reason, eBay refuses to believe I even HAVE a PayPal account, and wants me to open a new one.  After multiple attempts, I went to eBay help chat, and was told that it's a bug that some people are hitting, and they're working on it.  Another eBayer (a seller) told me that many people are hitting that wall, and there doesn't seem to be a fix.

I'm starting to think that maybe it would be a good idea to go ahead and open another PayPal account, and never use it for anything other than eBay.  That way, eBay would have a password only for the new account, and if anything gets screwed up, I still have the "real" account for other online shopping.  (Yes, I do use it everywhere shops will accept it, because that way I can pay for stuff without giving credit card or bank account info to strangers.)

So, that was another brush fire because it consumed time, energy, and emotional reserves.


 It isn't that I don't trust eBay with my PayPal password.  Well, actually, I don't, but not because I doubt their honesty --- I doubt their ability to protect it.  Their coders are a bunch of incompetent screw-ups.

There have been a lot of small changes in the checkout procedures lately.  One is that they will fill in your eBay userid and your PayPal userid on the form (yes, they know my PayPal userid, the one they claim I don't have when I try to link it, you know, that one...).  I don't remember when eBay started, but Jay jumped right in from the start, so it must have been the late '90s.  After he died, I took over the eBay account, and I changed the userid.  That has to be at least 13 years ago, probably more.  That old userid has not been used in like 13 years, and yet, sometimes, not every time, but sometimes, eBay fills in the checkout form with that old userid.

I'm thinking that when I attempt to link the accounts, the code is using that old userid instead of the current one, and that's why they don't see a PayPal verification.  PayPal didn't exist back then.

Shall I tell them?  Sellers are starting to get angry because they are missing bids from people who are unable to link the accounts.  Maybe if they get angry enough to revolt, eBay will give up on this "link" idea?