It is an eerie feeling when one suddenly realizes that they are not alone with their computer. I have had a visitor or visitors to my private little world. The moment of truth came as the configuration settings for a piece of software were changed to allow access to my computer, and all while I had my head turned to talk to Attila. I would have seen the action if I had been watching the screen, but alas I was not watching or touching the computer at the time. I have been working on the problem. The level of my expertise has allowed me one sure answer to the intrusion; unplug the modem, format the drives and rebuild my world. I now unplug the modem when I am not actually using the connection. There is and has always been a Firewall and AntiVirus software installed.
"The Teenager" has experienced a miraculous recovery and is spending her evening caring for small bipeds that live down the street. I will be in the kitchen puttering until she returns, or rather that is how it will appear. I usually read in my easy chair until I hear her key in the lock, at which time I start to bustle about in the kitchen so that she does not feel she has kept me up waiting for her safe arrival.
Attila is reading Volume 1 of "The French Revolution" by Thomas Carlyle, London & Glasgow, Collins' Clear-Type Press. The inscription reads, "To Ismene, With best wishes, from Tom, Xmas 1910." The pages are fragile; the leather covers remain supple, attractive and sport a gold rendering of Mr. Carlyle's signature. This little gem, and its companion Volume 2, offered themselves for adoption one afternoon as I rummaged about in a used bookstore. I took them in willingly and Attila has done well by them. A clear case of mutual benefit for all parties involved.
Yesterday's sunshine disappeared behind a gray sheet of cold clouds that occasionally wept for want of cheer. I attempt to counteract with color. At present I favor deep greens with bright reds and yellows and oranges. Wherever my eye might pause becomes a frontier in my quest for color. The cathode ray tube draws me into either a bright orange poppy, a Victorian Fairy painting by Hughes, or whatever whimsy would have. A lovely piece of needlework is hung above Attila's throne of honor in my office. I have a special chair for Attila in my office. I cover it with flowers and hang beautifully wrought pieces of artwork around it. They frame him well. I do not think he has noticed, he probably never will.
The English Primroses that arrived on my birthday are still blooming. I often sit quietly beside them, enjoying the company.
And of course, the bright red and green Christmas tablecloth lies forgotten on the dining room table. There it will remain until the windows can be opened for the first time in the spring.
Although winter will be with us here for many weeks to come, there is hope that the ice on the sidewalks will melt away and walking will once again become a pleasant pastime. I have been thinking often of my friend who lives in a home for the elderly near here. At the age of 95 and with crippling arthritis, this gentleman cocks his straw hat to one side, straightens his bow tie, ties his running shoes, and takes to the streets behind his wheelchair. I came to meet him one day as he sat under a tree in his wheelchair. Concerned that he might be in need of assistance, I stopped to chat. A half an hour later I continued on my way, happy with having met such a wonderful chap. I hope we meet again in the spring.
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