Monday, July 22, 2019

A new apple

I'm not traveling to these different destinations physically, but I'm still interested in things that are going on in various places where we traveled. I saw this article about the launching of a new type of apple:
https://story.californiasunday.com/cosmic-crisp-apple-launch
Although the link has California in it, the apple is being developed and grown in Washington state. I'd like to taste it!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Pleased to get things done

I've been dealing with a slow draining sink for a while... I knew I needed to clean out the drain, but... I just hadn't done it. Finally, on Saturday, I decided it was time.

It happened to be the sink that has the kitty privy underneath, so I cleared that out first. It was not immediately obvious to me how to disconnect the drain stopper, so I did a search online and found some videos that are just right for my level of expertise - they are done by "Repair and Replace" - this was the one that helped me on this task:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ajvSQPvT1k
The main thing that was helpful to me is looking at which way to loosen the fittings -  I know "lefty-loosey, righty-tighty", but it is hard for my brain to figure this out when the item is behind the pipe and I have to reverse it! (I can't really say that this is due to grief-brain, I think I've always been challenged on this kind of thinking!)

So, I got the drain stopper disconnected, and I was using a wire-grabber type of thing to pull the gunk out... but I finally decided to disconnect the pipe under the sink (it isn't a P-trap - I don't know whether there is a trap further along in the system or not - I'm guessing that there is - but there is a right-angle bend under the sink, so I disconnected that). That allowed me to push a paper towel through the pipe and get all the nasty out... I really don't think all of that was from our creation (*my* creation since it has been the bathroom sink that I have primarily used) - I think some could have been in there since before our ownership! To my remembrance, it isn't something that we have ever cleaned out during our ownership of Miss Doozie.

At any rate, I got all the yuck out down to the right-angle turn. I thought about trying to find out if there was a P-trap behind the wall that is next to the kitty privy, but, the sink is draining well now, so I decided to just go with what I had done.

I definitely missed having Dwayne to work with me on this - this was the type of task that he would have known exactly what to do, although in recent years, he sometimes didn't have the mobility to physically do the contortions necessary so I would have helped. There were several times on Saturday that I would be trying to accomplish a part of the task and just couldn't get the screw to move or the attachment to detach, and I would stop and pray a quick prayer to God for help, and it would immediately work when it had not just the moment before. There were also a number of times that I told God how much I still miss Dwayne and, if He didn't mind, to let Dwayne know that I still love him so much! It does feel good to know that I was eventually able to do it, though.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

50 years ago

I have been enjoying reading stories and watching videos of the moon landing and moon walk 50 years ago. I remember staying up late at night to watch the moon walk.. I think it was after 11pm east coast time (I grew up in Virginia).

Here are a couple of items that are specific to IBM's involvement with the NASA project:
https://fortune.com/2019/07/20/apollo-11-anniversary-moon-landing-ibm/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPgtfOwuUGY

One of my former co-workers had worked with the NASA team earlier in his career. I remember him telling me, when the movie "Apollo 13" came out, that he was impressed with how similar the actors who played the control room parts looked to the people who actually did the jobs there so many years before.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Cameras on cats

My web browser knows I like cats, so it recommended this article to me:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/researchers-strapped-video-cameras-16-cats-and-let-them-do-their-thing-here-s-what-they?utm_source=pocket-newtab

From that article, I found this one:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/cats-rival-dogs-many-tests-social-smarts-anyone-brave-enough-study-them
and it has some tests to do to determine "How socially smart is your cat?" I tried some of them with Miss Kitty -- I have to admit to mixed results.

But this quote made me laugh out loud:
The team started with 99 cats but got usable data on only 41. In other labs, cats have leapt out of mazes topped with nets designed to keep them inside, leaving the whole setup in disarray. And some researchers have had to deprive cats of food for up to 8 hours just to motivate them to crave a treat. "If you want results on one cat," Miklósi says, "you have to test three."
Yep, that's cats!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ingenious advertising


There is an online bulletin board at the campus where folks can ask for recommendations, sell or give things away, indicate things that they are "in search of".

One of the ads in the past week was quite ingenious. This was the ad content:
Three piece Black and Decker exercise equipment, includes 100 ft cord, etc. Needs new home.
with this picture:
Cute, huh?


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Encountering the natives

I had been warned about some of the "native" population on the campus and particularly the dangerous ones (rattlesnakes, copperhead snakes, black widow spiders, brown recluse spiders) - but I hadn't actually seen any of the creatures about which I had been warned until Sunday evening when I was walking back from Sing & Share...
Can you tell what it is?

It was a tarantula on the sidewalk. I didn't get too close, and my camera probably wasn't too sure about what I was trying to take a picture of, so it is a bit fuzzy... even fuzzier than he was in "real life".
He (or she, I didn't ask...) had a few of his legs up in the air, which I took to be a defensive posture... but, looking up information online (https://animals.mom.me/different-tarantula-stances-mean-1927.html) - it looks like he may have been in a threatening position. Let's just say that I stayed on the far side of the sidewalk...

I did NOT get *off* the sidewalk though, as another common "native" on the campus seems to be chiggers... I had to look back at a post from a couple of years ago to remind myself of what the "rub" might be:
http://trekincartwrights.blogspot.com/2017/05/whats-rub.html
http://trekincartwrights.blogspot.com/2017/05/whats-rub-part-2.html

I've been trying to remember to spray bug spray on my ankles each morning and to stay on the sidewalks... that seems to be helping a lot, but not 100% eliminating my need for "the rub"...

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

How is the ILC different from IBM?

I was struck today with differences between the ILC (International Linguistics Center, where I'm volunteering) and IBM (where I had a 33 year career). There are some similarities - both use acronyms, though they mean different things (PD was Personal Development at IBM, but is Partner Development (aka support raising) at the ILC). As I mentioned that I heard at Florence Gerdel's memorial service a few days ago (http://trekincartwrights.blogspot.com/2019/07/florence-gerdel.html), "Every job has its bedpans." - and I guess that applies here too, though I have to admit I haven't seen any noticeable "bedpans" yet!

A few differences I noted today:
  • We had a department meeting today, and it started with prayer, requested prayer as we discussed specific thorny problems during the meeting, allowed for sharing of prayer needs by individuals, and ended with prayer at the end.
  • A co-worker came by my office and I was sharing (complaining, more like it!) about not feeling like I am doing a very adequate job in the task of the volunteer office coordinator, and, after listening to me for a few minutes, he said, "I'd like to pray for you about this, would that be ok?" and he proceeded to take my concerns to God.
  • The goals are to honor God in what we do, not just to get a job done.
I am indeed, wonderfully blessed!