Monday, August 26, 2019

Blogger is making me mildly upset, eh.

My blog decided to go wonky one day, all on its own. I'm logged in but I'm not logged in.  I can post but not comment on my own blog, nor on anyone else's blog that has the comment section follow immediately after the main body of the blog (ol'Buzzard). If comments open in a separate window, I am good to go (Yellow Dog Granny).  That is on my PC laptop. I can comment if I use my mobile phone but hate typing with one finger.

Here is what things look like on my PC:

Logged in via Google as Allen Hingston and show up on my blog as The Blog Fodder
When I open my blog, it says to sign in, though I am already signed in, I think.
And it used to say New Blog Post, now it says Create Blog
If I click sign in, it takes me to my Google account where I am already signed in
Signing out and then back in does not correct the problem.
When I go to comments on my blog, this is what I get. I fill in the comment and it disappears. Same if I try to comment on other blogs with the comment section directly below the main body of the blog.
When I go to comment on eg Debra She Who Seeks or YDG, where the comment section is in a separate window, I get the right identity like I always did before
Looking on Google was no help. It answered all the questions I didn't have. (Is your computer plugged in?  Is it turned on?) Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? Why can I comment on my own blog using my Android phone but cannot using my PC?

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Time flies, whether you are having fun or not.

Slept wrong about a week ago and have been paying ever since with sore neck muscles. When I was young I had to get thrown off a horse (ok, I fell off, John Wayne) to feel this bad. Finally went to a Medical Massage therapist, sort of combination Chiropractic and Massage. He wanted an X-ray first but I refused. The X-Ray at the old hospital is old and terrible. It might confirm I had bones in my body - or not. So I went for an MRI at a local private clinic. First time. Waited an hour to get in, cost $50. Images sent to a specialist in Dnipro and back the next day.

Hitachi, looked like this. I barely squeezed under it.

Even translated into English, I didn't understand the diagnosis but there were enough words to let me know I was getting old. Two sessions with the Doctor later and everything is starting to come together. One more on Monday.

Watched Key Largo while I was resting after the treatments. Whoever wrote the dialogue. . . ah, never mind. Still can't beat Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.

Now I always have a song running through my head, or two or three, sometimes simultaneously. Scary thought. For a long time, it was Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms. Then it was the Stanley Brothers All I Ever Loved Was You. Got tired of that so tried Shackles and Chains and Rank Stranger, both Stanley Brothers. Did I mention I love old-time Bluegrass? I only knew the chorus to those so gave that up for now. I need to sing the whole song in my head.

Someone posted Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show Cover of the Rolling Stone.  Love these guys, they have so much fun on stage, likely stoned the entire time. Listened a few times and can do the entire song end to end.  Got to wondering if they ever did get their picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone.  Well, sort of. 1973. A caricature but never the less there they were.

Rolling Stone did a great article on the band in the same issue. A not very serious rock band on the road. Long but worth reading and so funny:

Touring, then, is a lonely highway, and there are those young ladies even in the Bible Belt states who know this and offer the entourage the Christian solace of spiritual conversation. In the private shop talk of the Hook band, if she stayed with you one night, you fell in love with her. If she stayed longer or followed you to the next town, you got married. This leads to conversations in dining rooms that have endangered the hard-won sanity of waitresses the country over: 

“Remember that big tall girl you fell in love with in Asheville?”
“Fell in love? I married her.”
“Well, she’s got a big funny lump on her left breast.”

Sadly, Ray Sawyer aka Dr. Hook, passed away Dec 31, 2018, at the age of 81.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Tanya's birthday party

Tanya celebrated her birthday yesterday as we hosted a party for 14 people at the Sweet House Restaurant. It was wonderful to see friends and relatives I had not seen for two years. A great deal of food and drink was consumed over 3 hours and a good time was had by all.

Sweet House serves wonderful food and has awesome desserts which we were too full to eat.

For those not familiar with Ukrainian customs I will attempt to explain what I have learned around birthdays.
1. The birthday celebrant throws the party. People informed Tanya they were coming for her birthday so we decided better to go out to eat than try to feed them here. No preparation and no dishes to wash. Total cost including drinks about $200 CAD ($150 USD). We were still exhausted.

2. Flowers are a must, for male or female. Even if you have a yard full of flowers. Plants are also welcome and last longer. Gifts are also in order, usually small, possibly personal. (I'm getting Tanya a new large refrigerator as ours is old and too small. Not very romantic but she told me that is what she wants. When we go on holidays will be time to buy her perfume in the duty-free shops.)

Our long-time friends from P'yatikhatki, Valya and Volodya
3. Toasts to the birthday person are the order of the day. One says nice things about the celebrant and wishes them good things for the future. (Consuming alcohol without toasting, whether in Ukraine or Russia, is a sign of alcoholism. This includes pouring yourself a drink at the end of the day. You can get totally wasted every day so long as one is toasting one's friends. Beer or wine is OK to drink without toasting but vodka or other hard liquor never).

Tanya toasting Tanya
This is all surface stuff, the visible part of the iceberg.  Getting to know the depth of Ukrainian culture as an outsider takes more than a lifetime. I love it and I love my Tanya.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Getting Back into Familiar Routines

I have been home for two weeks at 1:00 am this morning.  I flew Calgary to London with my youngest daughter, then continued on to Kyiv, arriving about 6:00 pm Kyiv time.  Two young men help me by putting my bags on a trolley so I didn't have to lift them. Andrey and Tania were waiting for me when I cleared customs and we headed for Zhovti Vody. The road was actually not bad most of the way and in Kirovograd Oblast had been recently upgraded. Andrey could travel at 100 to 120 kmph.

When we hit the border between Kirovogradska Oblast and Dnipropetrovska Oblast, the bottom fell out of the washtub. It was 25 or less and constantly dodging around holes in the highway. You can imagine what this does to truck traffic of which there is a great deal between Dnipro and Kyiv on this highway. Some things never change. Where did the money go for highway improvement?

Even Zhovti Vody had a few streets that had been resurfaced, though how well remains to be seen. At any rate, I was home by 1:00 am and Tanya had borsch waiting for me. My daughter went to Edinburgh for the weekend and I slept. Being young has advantages.

First on the agenda was getting my phone and computer set up and improving our internet service. We are still at it. Every year or so we laid out about $100 for an improved wireless internet receiver and transmitter with in-home Wi-Fi. This year we bought the best they had with an antenna add-on and changed our IP for the umpteenth time. All was great for a week but then this past week it really slowed down for some reason. Maybe the company has technical problems or maybe they get help from external sources, so to speak.

My 22" monitor calved on me within a week.  It has been repaired and I pick it up today. $25.

When you abandon ship in medias res, some things get left undone. My printer had not been used for two years and I feared the worst. In 2014, because I was sick of buying a new cheap Canon every year or two and paying so much for ink cartridges, I splurged on an Epson L355 for $350. The thought of having to buy a new one did not appeal to me. Tanya's computer tech ran the cleaning program a few times and got it working sort of.  I have run is more than a dozen times since and am quite happy with the print quality. Colour is perfect and the black leaves a smudged line or two on a page which I can live with. I just bought my first ink refills, $40 for four bottles which will last at least another couple of years.

Bonya, Tigritsa, Vovo
The critters were happy to see me.  Bonya jumps onto the nearest table so I can pet him. Tigritsa soon returned to trying to sleep on my arm on the keyboard tray. Even stand-offish Vovo will come to be petted once in a while. The dogs were glad too, as it meant walks for them on a regular basis though it has been so hot here (30C+) which is typical August. I love my kitties (6 years old) and puppies (Volk is 12 and Kashtanka is about 6). They will always be kitties and puppies to me. Volk seems to have learned better behaviour while I was away and actually returns home if he escapes, which he still does from time to time. Tanya started piling concrete blocks against the gate to their run so he could not open it.  The latch is a bit flimsy and if a 15 kg dog hurls itself at the gate often enough it will spring open.  I just hope that cats and chickens don't hold the same appeal they once did. He is a hunter. Kashtanka should have been a house dog but she is good company for Volk and they have a warm place to sleep in winter.

My good dogs, Kashtanka and Volk
Dill pickles
Tanya has been busy all summer with the garden. The corn, peas, and beans are done and quite a few beets, carrots are in the freezer, with much still in the ground We have jam from our own red and black currant bushes, plum tree, and raspberry and strawberry patches. Apricots were poor so she bought some.  I lost count of how many three-liter jars of dill pickles have gone down into the root cellar.  We have no end of fresh tomatoes to eat and Tanya has frozen a bunch for soup next winter.

Purslain seems to have taken over the garden. Apparently, it is edible but Tanya has no interest in that. Controlling it is next to impossible. I figured if we started eating it, that it would die out on its own.

Cucs and Jam

Squash and Zucchini

Red Currant Jam
Late summer means the garden has dried off and so have many of Tanya's flowers. The climbing roses are done.  The long stem roses are starting again, with daisies and other fall flowers just beginning. Tanya has replaced many flowers with shrubs. Less work in a big yard.

Today is Tanya's birthday and we are going for supper to a good restaurant.  Will have pictures for tomorrow, I hope.