Computers, Etc.

“Many are the world’s wonders, and none more wonderful than….” Man, in the original Greek poem*, but this is about Computers.  Wonderful indeed, but among their “wonders” in the sense of oddnesses, is their propensity for working wonderfully and then not working, with no explanation whatever, and then, after snarling, turning them off, turning them back on, snarling again, and walking away overnight…they turn on, all bright faced and grinning and pretend nothing ever happened.

Or, even more annoyingly, pretend they haven’t a clue who you are or why you think you have a right to poke them and say “HEY!” in their ear.  So right now I’ve become unknown to Twitter (again) as well as Facebook (still) and my faithful old browser announced last night that I didn’t actually exist, did I?

This morning it admits I exist but asked “New here?  Let’s get started…”  No, you witless wonder, I muttered, I’m not new here and you’ve been my browser since Netscape went away, and I know if I follow the fairy trail to “let’s get started” you’ll suddenly say you can’t make me an account because I already have one and why am I not in possession of my password and username?   Luckily, it had this blog on its front page list for me (see, it KNOWS I’m not new here, but it has found some electronic reason to quibble) so I could get here to let people know, one more that Things Are In Confusion Country.

*The quote is either from Pindar or a chorus from one of Sophocles’ plays, but where o where are my Greek texts?  Somewhere in the back corner there, covered in dust, and no I’m not going to go sneezing over to find them.

Meanwhile the weight loss program was going fine until this morning when I managed to gain a pound or so *overnight* after two days at a weight I was going to brag about.  Weight does not like to be bragged about but I can’t figure out how, with nothing eaten or drunk overnight or this morning, it’s gone UP in spite of what (she attempts to say delicately) has vanished into the unmentionable.  Surely it should have gone down.  SIGH.    I could cheat and use yesterday evening’s weight, but that is, after all cheating.  The official weigh in is Monday before breakfast.

Oh, well.  I stomped a scorpion at 2:30 am, so that’s good.

Despite layers of bulky protective software on the computer, I’ve had problems with incoming mail to an address I no longer use, and whose account I deleted from my mail software.  Repeatedly there’s been some level of malware in there that has to be marked, scrubbed, and then the machine restarted.

But the horses are both OK, doing well, and needing hooves trimmed.

And my clothes are looser.

Other Business (not writing, not horses) obscured last week just about completely, and the final cherry on that was someone needing the name of the photographer for an image they wanted to use in advertising.  I had to dig through an avalanche of stuff but found it and got it mailed off.  The main ice cream sundae is still ongoing and will be for quite awhile, probably.   (Oh.  Wait.  There’s something I was supposed to mail off and still need to mail off and need to extract from the papers on my desk and get into the mail today.  Umph.   Stories on paper are one thing.  Paperwork to be signed, dated, and the form filled out correctly is…rather like wanted software in a computer,  in my brain.  It wanders in and out of consciousness.  Everybody wants their paper filled out, signed, dated, the moment it arrives, even if it needs to be held until something else is completed (which is what the filling out is for: were a, b, c, d done, and by whom, and the date completed.)   This Other Business isn’t going to make me money, but it’s going to remove from my list of to-dos something that costs me money and time and worries.

And Richard is back from taking M- to the dentist and then down to Austin and then back here.  Or there’s a prowler in the house.  Guess I should go see…..of course, it was Richard.  We went out in the yard to look at a wasp burrow I’d spotted this morning on the path to the north lot gate (we have three known burrowing wasps, one red with golden wings, one very large black with black wings, and one about the size of the red one that’s shiny black with iridescent blue wings), and the horses grazing in the north lot spotted us and came trotting up to the barn, not directly to us.

Communication.  If a horse goes to the barn other than at feeding time, but only after seeing us, it means “something needs to change in the barn.”  They *could* just be hoping for cookies, but with Rags actually trotting fast to the barn in the middle of the day and Tigger giving me The Look, I guessed it was that they’d drunk a lot of water–the weather switched suddenly to very hot, very bright, very dry, from warm and moist.  The breeze is hot and dry.  The ground is hardening.  So we walked back around and into the barn, and one look around the corner from the aisle told me yup, the water was down *a lot* by 1 pm-ish.  Still enough water maybe, but heat will continue to build into the afternoon.

I gave each horse a Lesser Cookie for good communication, and then had to correct Rags for trying to rob my empty pockets and check out my legs.  Got both tubs refilled; Rags went over and drank and drank and drank…he always drinks more.   Meanwhile Tigger walked up to the aisle gate and said (ears, angle of head) “That wasn’t enough cookie, I want a better one.”   As it was a very polite ask, he got a Medium Cookie (Mrs. Pastures).   Best Cookies are reserved for Tigger for training sessions: it was way too hot for a training session.

While Tigger drank (he drinks less than Rags; even though he’s a little plump, he’s got a streamlined build and Rags is a barrel with legs), Rags attempted to insist on more cookie for himself…but not as politely, so he had a lesson in “backing up, waiting, coming up when asked, then waiting again and not following right on my heels.”  This still requires the presence of Mr.Dressage Whip or a pretty firm smack with the hand.  He respects Mr. Dressage Whip and it often takes only a soft tap.   I want to transfer his understanding of Mr. Dressage Whip’s movements to a hand gesture.

Best Cookies are Stud Muffins, and when I’m working with Tigger they’re broken into several pieces.   I kind of wish they were the size of the Mrs. Pastures ones, because they’re very rich.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to get back into the browser again or not…we’ll have to see how it goes.

19 thoughts on “Computers, Etc.

  1. Glad you’re okay. A weather change can cause one to hold onto water (since you don’t have a stillsuit) which would account for the “gain”.

    Would a new browser help get you back into Facebook etc? There’s bunches of new ones such as Brave that might be clear enough to convince them you’re you with “a new computer “.

    Best of luck!

    1. My old browser managed to update itself (previous attempts had failed) and I’m now apparently working with the new “improved” Firefox. It’s not improved, since I was used to using the old one, and as I’ve sad a boring number of times, if it’s a tool and not a toy, changes not chosen by the user are a PITA. Somebody decided that something I used regularly every day for years wasn’t necessary. Unthrilled by that. Found a (maybe “the planned”) new way of doing it, but naturally I don’t like it. I can however get quickly to the sites I use quite a bit; I haven’t tried a deep probe research topic yet.

  2. Fingers crossed that the computer realizes the error of its ways soon. People wonder why I don’t have the browser remember all my logins and this sort of thing is why … if something happens to the browser (or computer) that loses that data, I’m in trouble if I don’t have all the logins (user name, pwd). If something happens that someone else gets the data is worse. However, I am known to cheat and send hints to myself that even my spouse can’t decode all of (e.g. Troubador’s barn name by which you would have to know who Troubador was from 25 or 30 years ago AND his primary barn name PLUS whatever the rest of the hint was).

    1. I like your devious self-hint using a sadly-no-longer-with-you horse, his primary barn name, and something else. Alas, I’ve talked about my equines online too much to copycat the method.

  3. Second the suggestion of a different browser if it will get you back on Facebook! Congratulations on the looser clothes – really, that is what you need to measure by, rather than weight, as 1 lb fat takes up a lot more room than 1 lb of muscle. I’ve been put on thyroid tablets (horrible – I have to wait half an hour after taking one before I can have my first cup of tea, which often feels like cruel and unusual punishment) which are beginning to kick in, so I hope I’ll lose a few inches, too. I need to!

    1. Medicine before morning tea and a half hour gap??? Ick. So sorry. R- has suggested having my thyroid checked, but then turned around and said “Actually, with your heart rate and other things, it’s not your thyroid, can’t be. Never mind.” Since I wasn’t planning to do the checking up, which last time involved tests I didn’t like, that made me happy.

      I still need to lose more than “a few” inches, but they are slowly disappearing. What’s helped me most, I think, is the increase in protein. I’m not hungry all the time, and I have both more energy (in the cool part of the day, at least) and more strength. From 65 up, and earlier if you’ve been running a protein deficit, older people need *at least* 1 gm of protein/kg and 1.2-1.5 isn’t unreasonable as long as kidneys are healthy. R and I were both having muscle pain (not ordinary stiffness from exercise–felt much worse, didn’t wear off with exercise) that vanished within a few days after we upped our protein to the new recommendation for oldies. Research is now starting to see how early that need appears. Personally, I think the reason old peoples’ muscles “waste away” is not enough protein to replace them, let alone build them…it’s an age factor but in a different place: in the absorption of dietary protein. One study of people 50-60 reported it helped them, too. My current daily minimum requirement is 76g/day. Back before I found out about the increased need, I had been paying some attention to the dietary advice based on “Americans eat way more protein than they need, avoid animal sources, whole eggs, dairy, etc. And basically always felt tired, always sore, and always hungry. Starting the diet and an exercise program w/o fixing the protein lack gave me more hunger, more fatigue, and intensely painful muscles…they can’t do more work if they don’t have the materials to do the micro-repairs more exercise requires. Now–I don’t make my target every day, but I’m MUCH closer and feel much better.

      This is unasked advice, so deserves to be treated like any other unasked advice…if it doesn’t fit your needs, circular file it.

  4. Wow! Your unasked for advice explains a lot of my lived experience. I went vegan for the sake of the planet and felt absolutely miserable. But I was keeping my protein close to 60 grams per day, getting lots of vitamins, minerals etc. … and there were real world reasons to feel miserable Reasons like climate change and the isolation of Covid and being the victim of elder abuse. Exercise felt like punishment and my weight would not budge.

    Then came the return of irritable bowel syndrome and eventually finding FODMAP, a change in diet which changed everything. No more agony in the gut, especially not in the middle of the night. However there was no way to follow FODMAP and stay vegan … even vegetarian was just too tricky. So I returned to the world of chicken and turkey, not being too fussy about just how much protein I was getting, just sticking to the low fat end of the spectrum. And you are helping me understand.

    As I felt better I could cut way down on chocolate … and this post of yours explains some of why my appetite has decreased, and the depression is lessening. I feel like showing it to my rather younger doctor … who could have told me about the change in one’s need for protein with age … if she knew.

    I still fight brain fog and serious memory problems, but if proper protein can restore some of my energy and help control my weight, I see hope. Bless you!

    Now I thank you for more than books which can distract me from depression and make sleepless nights tolerable. Though we have never met I consider you a staunch friend … and as always wish you all the best.

  5. Hi – hope you and yours are safe, sane, and properly hydrated. I can sympathize with your computer woes – I use Apple machines and after every so called update I have to learn the new and useless things. As long as the computer does not start to sing Daisy Daisy and say “Elizabeth, I’m afraid I can’t do that”‘

    I see the horses are still training you. But never a dull moment.

    Stay safe and sane.

    Jonathan up here in NH where we have had rain then hot then more rain

  6. Last week, my browser randomly decided it had just been updated and I hadn’t seen any of the updates, so it greeted me with a What’s new in Microsoft Edge message Least that was pretty harmless, just annoying.

  7. Thank you for this timely information! On doctor’s orders, and after some very worrisome test results, I’ve been trying to work on diet and exercise, but really struggling with the symptoms you mentioned. And now that I think about it, my protein intake is way down. So now I have another approach to try.
    And I’m glad you’re having a little better luck with your computer! It would be so nice if they’d just let us stick with what’s already working for us!

    1. Well, Firefox is working just fine now that it warped itself into my old system. Working fine for me, that is. (I can get to the horse videos, and they play. My favorite relaxation is watching other people ride over pretty landscapes with pretty horses jumping interesting (would be scary if I was the one facing some of those on that horse!) obstacles. Or farm videos out of England or Ireland.)

  8. Thanks for the dietary observations. I’ll have to pay enough attention to figure out my protein intake. I’m not quite at the age you mentioned, but, um, why yes, I *could* stand to lose a pound or fifteen. I’m glad you’ve found a solution that works for you, at least.

    1. It’s a bit tedious but not difficult. You can look up the protein content of basic foods either online or on packaging. Different packagers/manufacturers have different standard portions, but they’re fairly stable within a category. HEB, for instance, considered 2 oz of its “butcher cut” meats to be a portion. Figuring out what your minimum is just requires converting your weight in pounds to kilograms, since older adults need 1 gram/kilogram of protein. Half again as much (anywhere between minimum and that) is fine, as long as you don’t have a kidney problem. I made a list of foods I like, with their calorie & protein (if relevant…I like celery but it’s not a protein source) and then made sure the protein sources had all the needed amino acids in sufficient abundance. It’s particularly important if you’re trying to lose weight AND increase muscle mass to get ample protein, even though it’ll constrain your diet to do so.

  9. Great dietary advice, I think I need to up my protein levels also. And also, thanks for all your books, currently re reading Paksworld, up to Kings of the North. And listening to classical music in my lovely new room. Husband is wonderful, but music is just a scrambled, meaningless, annoying noise to him, so I only play it in my room…

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