October 15th, 2010


Talk About Your "Be Careful What You Wish For" !

Since before I met her in 1989, my friend (let's call her K) has been a regular visitor to a small village in a tiny country. The village "adopted" her on her first visit, and she became good friends with one couple and  over the years helped send at least one of their children to school. The husband passed away about 10 years ago, and K wanted to bring the wife and two of her sons to visit America when they were out of high school. They were at that age about 5 years ago. She paid the $100/person non-refundable visa application fee the first time around, and was pretty miffed when the visa officer arbitrarily denied the applications. There is no appeal for those single-bureaucrat decisions, which strikes me as highly un-American, but that's the way it is. Last year the wife (let's call her F)  tried again by herself and was denied again. This year she was granted a visa, good for 5 years. I expect some extra-curricular dollars may have changed hands, but that's beside the point.

Almost immediately, K bought F an airline ticket, and made reservations for some of the places she likes best in the western US. When F arrived they went shopping to get her sturdier clothes, and then it was off to Yosemite. They came back after a week and other friends threw a party for F, which I attended. She seemed fine to me, but K was hinting that it was like having a kid with you. Hard for me to visualize, as F is about my age.

After a trip to Sacramento to see F's relatives, she was sent by herself to a friend's out of the area with whom K had had a falling out (for many years they went to the village together).   

The plan was for K to bring F out to Sedona, Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, but this morning I was surprised to receive email from K in LA that F had gotten so homesick, and had become such a burden that she flew home today, 12 days early. She said it was a relief, and is on her way to Phoenix later today.
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Big Boxes

Came home to find two big boxes on the patio. One on  the rack by the door (Fedex) and the other had been thrown over the fence onto the cement floor (UPS). I am very glad Fedex delivery person is not the idiot UPS guy is, because his box was an all-in-one printer which would not have survived being thrown onto the floor. The UPS box was a box within a box, as it turned out, so no damage was done other than almost breaking open the outer box. Inside was a pedestal fan. Even within the styrofoam it had been shaken a bit.

Set up both of them, tag team style. Started with the printer, which had a gazillion little pieces of blue tape to hold the various trays and such closed. After getting it on the wireless network I loaded the ink, which needed 5 minutes to prime, so I grabbed the electric screwdriver and headed downstairs to the fan project. The base needed to be attached with 6 screws, which the instructions did not mention. There were a couple of other screws cleverly hidden where they had to be removed and re-inserted to get the motor onto the stem. The other stuff was all covered.

One more trip upstairs to load the installation CD for the printer, and then downstairs to put the fan in place, turn it on with the remote and cool off some. Put the fan box inside the outer box and wheeled them out to the dumpster because they took up the whole livingroom. Printer box is in the upstairs hallway, along with the HP printer which the new Epson retired. Sadly, the Epson is not nearly as well made as the HP, but the HP just doesn't work as well. Tested the Epson CD print feature, and it worked beautifully. Unlike the HP and previous Epsons, the CD tray is built in, and pops out at the push of a button.

Playing Pandora with the desktop app, and it sounds pretty good. Paid for a year's subscription as soon as a Meg Whitman ad played. The ads have been getting more and more obnoxious, and more off-target. The quality boost is only from the freebie 128kbps to 192kbps, which is exactly half the bandwidth which can deliver near-CD quality, but it's at least a wee bit better.

Plans for tomorrow:
Change the litterboxes
Refill the downstairs hummingbird feeder
Theater by 12:30 - we have two shows to do. Sandwiches will be provided for dinner between shows. I can't wait.
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    Four Strong Winds - Chad Mitchell