Monday, April 24, 2017

ALTERNATIVE FACTS

DAMN, THIS PROGRAM ISN'T WORKING RIGHT.  I"VE BEEN TRYING TO GET THIS POST OUT FOR TWO DAYS AND I UNDERSTAND THE PICTURES DON'T COME THROUGH, NOR CAN I CHANGE THE SIZE OF THE TYPE.
TIME TO CALL THE COMPUTER HOSPITAL  -- I CAN NO LONGER TAKE IT IN BUT THEY MAKE HOUSE CALLS.
I GIVE UP.  RATHER THAN SPEND ANY MORE TIME ON THIS, I'LL JUST SKIP RIGHT TO THE POINT AND TELL YOU THAT THE TOPIC TO BE PRESENTED NEXT SEPTEMBER BY BILL HUTCHINGS IN BATH, ENGLAND CONCERNS ITSELF WITH

TRUTH AND FICTION: ALTERNATIVE FACTS IN JANE AUSTEN'S NORTHANGER ABBEY

and I finished the post off with a picture of Kellyann Conway, the originator of a phrase that's evidently made its way around the world at lightning speed.   Wikipedia tells me she first pronounced it fewer than four months ago.  Got to figure that invitation had to be printed in England, travel across the ocean, make its way to my house -- and it must have been some time earlier that Bill wrote the description of his talk, assuming even then that Brits reading it would recognize the phrase. 
- - -- -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This morning's post brought a mailing from the Jane Austen Society, the original one, in England.  It includes an invitation to a scholarly gathering planned for late summer in Bath.  

   Nice picture of the Royal Crescent, incidentally.  Norm and I once spent a night in the hotel that you'd never guess is discretely located in the center of that Crescent -- no  obtrusive sign allowed. But I digress.

   This year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane's death.   Years ago I stood in the low-ceilinged room where she died -- yes, in Bath.  I don't believe one can visit it now-- sorry, digressing again. 

   So -- Austen scholars are concentrating, right now, on the two of her novels published that same year, 1817 -- Northanger Abbey and Persuasion


The list of speakers for this planned assemblage is impressive -- Bill Hutchings, for instance, is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, co-editor of The Cowper and Newton Journal, a National Teaching Fellow (whatever that is), and the author most recently of Living Poetry and Living Fiction. 

Here is the lecture you could hear him deliver, late morning next September 25




















and finally, here is the bit that brought me up short:

 
IT'S PASSED INTO THE LANGUAGE!
INTERNATIONALLY!
YOU CAN EVEN FIND IT IN WIKIPEDIA!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Have a Nice Day


 After skipping several monthly tests, yesterday I finally remembered to make a routine check of  the panic button I wear around my neck. 



Remembering how loud the other alarm -- the door/window thingie -- is,





I scooted not too close to that little speaker box in the living-room, pressed my button, and was rewarded with an immediate “EMERGENCY EMERGENCY” from the little box.


 



Then I scooted up next to it, waiting for a human voice to come on and ask what was the matter.  And just at the instant when that happened, I had – for the first time in more than a year –

 a sudden spasm of the larynx.

Unable to breathe, unable to speak.

In the past there’s been instant panic thinking I’d die, but this time it was instant panic thinking I couldn't answer. I pictured firemen breaking down my front door.  Thought if I did die at least they would find me.

Meanwhile for some reason the Voice went away, total silence.  I struggled for air and then the Voice came back and asked again.  By that time I was able to whisper “I’m okay”.  Couldn’t believe the Voice would hear it, but It said something along the lines of “Have a nice day” and vanished.  By which time I was breathing again.

Not all that much drama in life lately, but you’ve got to admit there’s excitement every now and then.

 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This clunky AOL server doesn’t always bring up emails I sent in the past few days, but I think I told the kids, in Monday’s good-morning-I’m-still-here note, that I was expecting the podiatrist for a house call that afternoon.  Cleaning lady on Tuesday.  Hairdresser house call on Wednesday.  Think I slated that email Aging in Place but of course not too sure about anything these days.
At any rate, yesterday I was expecting the podiatrist after her office hours.  First time at my house – she had assured me it would still be covered.  Her name was down on my calendar – an old-fashioned cardboard calendar – right here in the basket of the scooter.
 

Decided, as the afternoon wore on, that she’d probably want to clip those toenails in the kitchen, so I figured out a way to prop myself safely at the sink and tackled several days’ mess. 

Just at I finished, the doorbell rang.  Flurry to get back in the scooter, reminding myself that falls happen during hasty transfers – scooted to the front door thinking that can’t be the cleaning lady, I don’t think she’s coming today, opened the door and there was a woman who seemed familiar but definitely not the cleaning lady.  I must have looked as bewildered as I felt.  She said “What’s the matter, didn’t they phone to tell you I was coming?”  I’d seen her before but I was pretty sure that wasn’t the cleaning lady….pause. 

End of story.  You know who it was, and so did I, after perhaps two minutes, maybe not even that long.  Probably  due to that white stuff on the surface of my brain, in the MRI the neurologist showed me when I had the TIA.

Tomorrow I'll also have a visitor from the senior residence I applied to.   Seems they require a "15-minute-cognitive test."  I'll bet the first question will be "What year is it?" (I'll report to you) and I definitely know 1984 came and went.  Even if I'm only operating with maybe 70%, that's still passing, right? 

Now I'm not so sure.

Aging in Place.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Duck Duck Easter

                                                  Well, that's a relief! 
I worried last week when the Passover Mallards failed to show up.  But I guess they just got confused by those liturgical calendars -- some years Easter and Passover fall at the same time; this year they didn't. 
At any rate, here's what's outside my desk window right now.  This year they're evidently Easter Mallards.
  As always, they'll plod hopefully around the soggy back yard for a few days, grazing under the birdfeeders on bits knocked down by the songbirds. 
 Then they'll face facts, accept that this place is drying up, and depart to find some nice gooey marsh for nesting.