Old Friends

OOPS, just mailed out an entry notice without the link. Sorry! Hope you find this, haven’t got my auto-fill program (TypeIt4Me) up and running yet. I am more a creature of habit than I would care to admit.

I have been reading, almost daily, the same book for over four years, since November of 2008. Today I finished the last few pages and wept. The ending was sad and hopeful, and reached around all of my barriers to touch me in places that are rarely accessible to myself or others.

I began reading, for the second time, the second part of “The Forsyte Chronicles”, A Modern Comedy, in early November of 2008. Since that time my aged copy of the book has sat waiting for me, to be picked up and read a few paragraphs at a time, as I visited the “loo”. Perhaps this is too much information, but the context is relevant to me, and this is my memoir, so I include it.

Soames Forsyte is a character for whom I initially felt little, if any, sympathy. Some of his qualities have grown on me over the years, and unbeknownst to me, a real affection for him developed. I wept real tears when his story ended and I read the last pages of the book that centred around the events of his life.

The characters in books have been my companions since my early pre-school years, when I learned to read my first words. I still remember those first fictional characters, two Eskimo children. I remember the hot smell of summer, in an upstairs bedroom at my Grandparents house, where I sat in a private struggle to bring those children in the pictures to life. My Mom and my Grandmother had been teaching me the fundamentals of reading, I used the tools they gave me to forge my own way into a world that they had introduced through the stories and poems recited and read to us as children. I made reading my own at an early age.

As I am typing I am glancing at another book I am reading, at a faster, but still slow rate. That is the book by Frank Harris, entitled Oscar Wilde. My reading schedule became totally disrupted when I was offered a full week of work. The excitement of Terra and Lares new home, and of seeing Luna, Janus and the Grandbabies, made for further delays in getting back to my reading.

This week has been filled with computer configuration, setting up Attila’s iBook, working through the bugs as we marry software to function through experience. For what Attila wants to do on the Internet and on a computer, the 2004 iBook works extremely well.

We recently acquired a low-end MacBook Air, for a variety of reasons.

Our little house in the city has no communication services at all. We have an emergency cell phone, an old one which was purchased in 2006 and operates now for under $100 per year. But when I am visiting the little house in the city by myself we find that when we talk by telephone the $100 worth of minutes are gone in no time at all. It severely restricts our communication.

FaceTime between two Mac computers over a high speed Internet connection is free. The 2004 iBook would not run FaceTime, so it could not be used as a communication device. Nor could it run NetFlix, our only source of video entertainment.

The MacBook is mobile and will probably travel everywhere with me; while the iMac is setup at our home in the country on a high speed connection. I can therefore use the MacBook to contact Attila using FaceTime on the iMac, from anywhere I can access high speed Internet, like at a MacDonald’s restaurant or the local library. I configured both computers and called myself on FaceTime, which was really quite interesting as everything I said to myself looped and was repeatedly repeated. It works, now all I have to do is run it by Attila and we are good to go.

To make all this truly convenient, all we need is high speed Internet service at the little house in the city to complete our communication and entertainment system. Unfortunately my research has revealed that the cost of a high speed connection at the little house in the city is beyond our means. The alternatives will work, convenience is not that important.

On Friday I installed software from a CD on my MacBook Air. The MacBook Air comes without an optical drive, so there is no way to directly install software from a CD. However, I followed instructions from the apple.com web site, setup the iMac to share its optical drive, approved the login from MacBook, and then installed as I would have if there had been a CD inserted in the MacBook, using the icon on the Remote Disk. A simple and fast process. Good to know how to do it so that I can access data CDs from the MacBook if needed.

The only real drawback to the MacBook is that it will not connect to my old external FireWire drive. There are adapters that can be purchased, but I’ve decided to use the Remote Drive thing with that as well, rather than purchase any more hardware.

Today, Saturday, Attila and I both worked. I am puttering indoors on this beautiful sunny day. Attila is using his circular saw to cut the large pile of softwood flooring, in the middle of driveway, into shorter pieces that can be more easily stored. And just in time, there is a skiff of snow out there this morning, and more on the way. We need a clear driveway to facilitate snow shovelling and winter is here.

Black Friday, which was yesterday, is a relatively new concept in Canada, it seems to consist entirely of retail sales, sales, sales, so the consumer will buy, buy, buy. It isn’t a day of celebration that we honour at our house.

The temperature dropped last night, an end to the warm spell we have been having this past week. We watch the weather predictions, knew it was coming, and made sure the masonry fireplace fully charged to handle the big freeze.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-2 °C
Condition:Cloudy
Pressure:101.1 kPa
Visibility:16 km
Temperature:-2.4°C
Dewpoint:-7.8°C
Humidity:67 %
Wind:NW 24 km/h

Quote

“The man who says he is willing to meet you halfway is usually a poor judge of distance.”
Laurence J. Peter
1919 – 1988

Note

“…an educator and “hierarchiologist”, best known to the general public for the formulation of the Peter Principle.

He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and began his career as a teacher in 1941. He received the degree of Doctor of Education from Washington State University in 1963.

In 1964, Peter moved to California, where he became an Associate Professor of Education, Director of the Evelyn Frieden Centre for Prescriptive Teaching, and Coordinator of Programs for Emotionally Disturbed Children at the University of Southern California.

He became widely famous in 1968, on the publication of The Peter Principle, in which he states: “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence … in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties … Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.” The Peter Principle became one of the most profound principles of management from the University of Southern California. It is a heavily quoted principle at the Marshall School of Business.”
[AHA! It IS deliberate! The frustration of less than competent management is built right into the system.]

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3 Responses to Old Friends

  1. WendyNC says:

    No problem finding the entry when I knew it was here. Some of us actually pay attention to the links on which we click, so I knew the URL. *grin*

  2. Joan says:

    I just went back to an earlier email with the link and followed links forward! I’m glad you were able to figure out the iMac thing, it sounds complicated to me. Stay warm and well.

  3. Maggie says:

    Wendy and Joan, glad you found me! I’ve got the software installed and configured now, so the link should be included in the next message.