Thursday, June 22, 2006

Same old

I really wish I could type better. I took typing in high school, lo these many years ago, on a manual typewriter (you can still find a few at flea markets; I can't type on them either). I cannot type now without looking at the keys. They haven't moved around, qwerty is still in the same place when I look at them, but it's a crutch to look at the keys. I even got a copy years ago of Mario teaches typing, ostensibly for the kids, but I used it too. Even then I couldn't break myself of looking at the keys. It was demoralizing to type poorer than a 10 year old. You would think that I would make fewer mistakes that way, slower but better accuracy, but that isn't the case, after I look up at the screen, there are dozens of errors. So I am a compulsive spell-checker (although you wouldn't guess that from some of my previous posts). Of course, spell checkers don't catch real words in the wrong useage, like hear for here, or there for their. And judging by the number of times I see it used, no one seems to know when to use its (possessive) and when to use it's (contraction for it is). I've been known to stand waiting for an elevator and pull out a pen to correct a 'For Sail' sign (call evnings) on the bulletin board. I also find it surprising to see how many errors there are in printed copy, thousands and thousands distributed all over the county with "Hemren's Plumbing" when you know they mean Herman's. I've even had dreams where I am trying over and over to type something, but the light is too dim to see the keys, so I carry the keyboard to the light (must have had a LOOONNG cord)only to realize the letters on the keys are all rubbed too faint to see. I call these sorts of dreams, frustration dreams. I have lots of them.

And speaking of frustration, I bought a new Palm Lifedrive PDA last week, and with it, an aluminum hard case. I have found the problem with soft-ish cases is that I accidentally press keys and turn the Palm on when I'm rummaging in my purse, so it uses up the battery too soon. Anyway, the PDA slips right in the hard case, but I'll be damned if I can figure out how to open the aluminum 'door' on the face. The best I can do is pry at it with my thumbnail, and somehow that just doesn't cut it with me. I even had my son the mechanical genius take a go at it, and he agrees it's hopeless. So back it goes. Who designs these things?

Bye for now.....

Friday, June 09, 2006

All sorts of things, mostly of interest only to me, have been happening, and I haven't posted here in ages. I hate it when the blogs I read haven't been updated in weeks and weeks, but I am secure in knowing that the 6 or so people who stumble across this blog won't have even noticed.

Let me see. Tuesday the 6th was our 36th wedding anniversary, I'm not sure if that is an accomplishment or just a tribute to inertia. For my gift, I got a kiln. I don't have anywhere to put it, but that never stopped me from buying anything in the past, did it? The 6th was also the day of our big training session, in which I had to give a 20 minute talk on laboratory auditing. I managed to get through it without swallowing my own tongue or fainting, and I attribute that success to Xanax. I just stood there thinking how friendly everyone looked, so nice..... The 6th was also the day my son's new Dell computer arrived, he hasn't come up for air yet. Last weekend my daughter bought a new car, a Suzuki Something, so clearly we as a family are doing our part to advance the Economy and the rise of Western Consumerism. Yesterday the Hub and I met with the retirement lady to talk about the best way to manage my vast reserve of retirement savings. Basically we agreed that having me work another 10 years probably won't help much in my long-range goal of regular purchases of support stockings and laxatives, so I guess I'm good to go in December. Won't that make for a terrific holiday, knowing that I won't have to go back to work in January?

Speaking of death, when I handled my mother's estate (such as it was) in 1999, my sister was convinced that Mom had purchased a life insurance policy that named her as beneficiary. Given that all of Mom's 'important papers' were filed in any one of hundreds of paper grocery bags in the spare bedroom, it came as no surprise to me that no such policy could be found. I called any insurance company Mom had ever written a check to, and couldn't find this mythical policy, but that didn't stop my sister from thinking I was stiffing her. What exactly I would get out of leaving any insurance unclaimed I never did figure out. But trolling through the internet recently, I found a site that, for a (fairly modest) fee, will contact 100 of the top insurance companies to check for an unclaimed policy. So I decided, heck, why not go for it? Although my sister died in 2004, and finding it still won't do me any good, it is one of those nagging little things that floats into my mind in the middle of the night when I'm trying to get to sleep. Did my sister delude herself into thinking that Mom and Dad, who were barely making ends meet, would lay out money for an insurance policy that would allow her to squander even more cash? Did Mom tell her that she had done so just to placate her, did Mom think she actually had done so when she hadn't, did she really buy insurance and then lose the policy? Puzzling. I don't actually think the search will turn up anything..... Back in 1953 my parents purchased four cemetary plots in the National Memorial Park in Falls Church, VA. Exactly why they bought them in VA, when they lived in Miami, were only in their 30s, and why FOUR lots, I've never been able to figure. At any rate, there they sit, now worth some $5000 each, I'm told, and that's another nagging little detail to ponder during the Insomnia Hours. I am resolved to leave my affairs all tidy for the kids/husband to handle, no weeks and weeks of sorting through piles of papers including receipts for a 25 cent part for the old '42 Packard.

Although they will have to decide what to do with the kiln.