October 1st, 2011



About Credit Unions, following up on lisa_marli's comment:

My mother worked for the City of Seattle, and enrolled all of us in their employee credit union. My first car loan was though them - they offered the lowest rates and the least hassle to get approval. I held onto that account for decades. I gave it up when car dealers offered lower interest rates and instant approval. Car dealers are in the car business, credit unions are not, so a car dealer doesn't have a huge problem taking a risk on a car loan - they can re-sell the car. At the time the only ATMs which would take my CU card were in Seattle, and I was in CA. 

I used a credit union down here for a while, but they went out of business. It was before the CUs of the country got together and linked their ATMs. And before they offered online banking.

But all that has changed, a CU ATM card will work in more ATMs than a bank's card. Online banking is routine, as are Quicken download capability - That's a deal-maker for me, I get my transactions into Quicken every night. It has saved me from several attempted fraudulent charges and at least one attempted identity theft.

Last night I signed up online for a TechCU account. Maybe by the end of the week they will send me an account number, and I can start using it.


Been thinking about posting something about this for years. I've mentioned parts of it here and there.

When I was going to grade school in the mid-50s, I loved to read, but was slowed down enormously by what my teachers said was just a lack of concentration, but which I know now is two forms of dyslexia. Make that three.

The first symptom was not being sure if "d" was D or B and if "b" was D or B. q and p were also confusing but not as much because q is not that common in a grade school reader. Unlike many dyslexics, I did not see R as mirror image, but I did have trouble remembering which direction to start writing an S and an e.

Another symptom is I would write words with the letters out of order. Teachers said I was thinking faster than I could write. Maybe so, but it was another form of dyslexia.

And the third one came later in life, and is getting worse as I grow older. I do not touch type. I tried to learn once, but by that time I could "hunt and peck" 100 wpm and 5 wpm the "right way" was very frustrating. And I am not good at memorizing things like keyboard layouts. What has been occurring more and more is I will look at the screen, and discover that the keys I saw my fingers hit were not the keys they actually hit. I *knew* I hit the right keys (or wrong keys) but different characters would sometimes appear on the screen. Sometimes I catch it before it happens (the last three times I typed "dyslexic" my finger went to the s instead of the d). Backspace is my friend. Spellchecker is my savior.

I still read much more slowly than most people I know. Sometimes whole words shift positions in a sentence. Often the word that I want to see (a word I like better) takes the place of the word on the page. It's always a similar word. I will lose my place on the page, and have to hunt around for it. I may be a line off, or several paragraphs away.

When email made the @ sign popular, it took me a year or more to be able to draw one by hand.

This is a sour grapes entry. I know if I had been born 10 years ago instead of 60, my kindergarten or first grade teacher would have caught the dyslexia, I would have been given extra help reading, and would read faster and with better comprehension and retention today. My whole life might have turned out completely differently. But that's a sci-fi novel in iteslef.


The memorial started an hour late and ran longer than I expected, but I managed to go home, change into jeans  and a Hawaiian shirt, and get to johno & Chris' 50th birthday co-party by about 3 (it was due to close up at 4). There was still some food and lots of cake left, and it ended with a marshmallow roast. I had brought green M&Ms, and several people stuck some of them into their marshmallows.

I met a very nice couple, Kevin and Mary Lou (or was it May Sue? They only told me 4 times...). Kevin works with John. I spent most of the party chatting with them. Mary (fill in the blank) has a magnetic personality and beautiful eyes, so I asked her if she had an unmarried sister or cousin to hook me up with. She said she has a sister, but her sister lives in Kansas. I said this was something which could be solved with the intelligent application of a plane ticket. They didn't think it would work - apparently sis is one of those Red State voters. I got a negative response to the suggestion that maybe she was a little more burgundy than red. I  gave them my card. Who knows, maybe Mary (?) knows someone local who might be similarly magnetic.

Saw a lot of sci-fi friends and acquiantences.  figmo showed up after the memorial (she had been a speaker), the lovely and quirky Mia, Carole and Bill, Dr. James, Radar (I did not get a chance to talk to her - loved her streaked hair), was once again too shy to talk to Kathy Mar, saw Glenn make a lightning fast appearance.

Home now, it is getting dark much earlier these days, one of the things I hate about fall and winter here. For about 10 minutes I had both cats on my lap as I watched my alma mater's football team walk all over Utah's. Pac-12? Jeeze, Louise, I was not even used to Pac-10 yet.

This morning at 9 I picked up the two pair of pants which I'd left at the cleaners to be hemmed.  That only took a few minutes and I didn't want to change and sit around getting cat hair on the suit pants, so I drove to U-haul and bought boxes, tape, wrapping paper and markers. I tried finding a nearer U-haul via GPS, but the first one it led me to has not been a U-haul for years. The second one is now a car rental place which does sell boxes but there was a long line of renters. So I headed for the one I have used for the last 10 years. They had a sale on bundles, which is what I was looking for.

And I should be putting photo albums, CDs, videos, books and beanie babies in boxes right now, but I have all of tomorrow...

Plans for tomorrow:
Pack everything which won't be needed the rest of the week.
Maybe make a house call to a couple's whose PC I helped set up. They have been stymied by the Iolo disk scrubber software, and it's time to wipe the disc on the old PC.
Coffee with Janice? I have no idea if she is around this weekend.