Saturday, February 24, 2018

MORE BLUE AIR

    Most readers know that I am an obsessed do it your selfer. I'm beyond help! Don't say anything! You wouldn't want to see more blue air.

    Well, it's still about the new Brother printer I bought. As you remember it was a challenge to set the printer up as wireless. I thought It was cool that I discovered the printer was connected to WiFi when after three frustrating tries with brother I thought everything failed. The printer worked. Of course , it's a no brainer that the copier worked. The scanner sort of worked.



     So two weeks of trying to figure out the scanner. I tried a few things and whoops, I lost the Internet connection. Oh I thought, there should be something to reverse what I did and get back on Wi fi. No way.

     So I phoned the Internet provider. No help there. I phoned the Geek Squad ...too busy. I checked manuals. I checked help sites. No help. I phone Brother's 1 800 but they were closed Saturday.

     Now the first time trying to connect by wireless, it was chat and there was a printout. I went back to the printout as a last resort to try it again. The process I went through on chat was frustrating .. Slowly, I went through the steps. After the ninth step, the green Wi Fi light came on. Ah success. There was supposed to be a test page. Press print.

Out came the print test page.

     Now I realized how poor the Brother people were in their help. They kept asking if I saw a test page after step nine. Every time!  No! I looked all over the printer. I looked all over the PC. What the Brother people neglected to give me was the last and most important step...PRINT. 

     Now to get back to the scanner. After I'd been through the wireless setup, I had a better idea of what was going on. I tried the option and presto it scanned. 
I had looked at manuals for directions to print and none of those instructions were close to correct.

    Needless to say I'm not impressed with Brother's help. Too many unavailable sites. Too many printers in one manual.  Too many incomplete instructions,

    But I fixed the beggars. I got my printer to work.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

COMPOSING A BLOG POST

     A few weeks ago a blogger commented on "composing" a post. The composing caught my attention and I have been thinking about it ever since. What has to be done to put a blog post together?

    First , I have to think that I have something to say. My Mom's advice was to say thank you and then sit down. Some people may disagree with me but that's allowed. Now I don't post on a regular basis. I don't have the time or ideas to post everyday.

     In my case, I may have a few topics in my head. I have to list them or I'll quickly forget them. When I decide on what topic I want to write on, I roll it around in my head. I think about information that I have or need. I think about the order that I want to say things . I wonder if I have any photos.

     I have all of these things in my head and then I sit down and write. I usually go over things two or three times. Sometimes I add things. Other times I change the order and sometimes things are better left unsaid. 

    Sometimes it's very hard to come up with a topic. There's just nothing I want to say. So sometimes I'm absent for a while. One has to have a little fire in the belly to keep on posting.

    Then , I pick my font, print size and run spell check. Oh yes, throw in a few labels. And let my friends on Face book know I've posted . Then I also ping it. I don't know if pinging does any good but it was recommended in Blogging for Dummies.

      I like to keep my audience in mind and try to attract other readers. That's part of writing. Sometimes I write for myself and other times I think of readers. Most of the time it's probably half and half.

     Now I notice many different writing styles out there. They're interesting or I wouldn't follow them. It's part of what makes blogging interesting.

    So how do you put things together? Well, okay, if you don't want to give your secrets away that's okay.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

IT'S MORE THAN GUNS

      Mass shootings are absolutely mind numbing. It's just impossible to understand.

      How can some coward blow away another human being let alone 17 young people.

      The gun issue always comes to the fore after a major shooting and then quickly loses steam as a discussion  topic.

      I can't imagine the horror that went on in that school.  My heart goes out to all those who've had losses.

      However, I think there's much more that has to happen along with major gun legislation.

      There are too many major divisions in North American society. There are major religious differences that separate people and cause friction. There are many Christian denominations and some of them fight openly. They don't like each other.

     There are racial divisions. Dozens of divisions which bring about all kinds of racial prejudice. Various groups are discriminated against.

     There are major economic divisions.  These divisions are becoming wider and wider. The poor and middle class have been exploited.

     What's the matter with good old unity where we work together for the good of all?

     Frustration grows up within marginalized groups. Marginalized groups feel that they are discriminated against.

      At some time people have to mix with others and get to know them. There's too much pressure from smaller groups who want  their specific agenda pushed forward whether others want it or not.

     So there are many reasons for anger. First, I would like to see major gun legislation but after that we have to change some basic parts of society. We have to work together for some common good. There are many different ways to live together rather than fight each other. Get to know the other guys. Some of the differences would seem very small and not worthwhile thinking about.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT FINANCE

       I live in Canada and I don't have to tell you our closest neighbor is. For the most part the United states is a very good neighbor. The people are great neighbors but they don't know very much about us.. Some of the politicians and are scary and some of the government policies don't make sense to me.

     Well, where am I going with this. A few weeks ago there was a situation where some regulation  had to be passed or the American government would run out of money and the government would have to shut down. What is going on here?  Why is there such a law? Can somebody please explain how this law works.

    What happens if some government doesn't have money to spend for a long time and it's bills are not paid? How long will it be before businesses owed money by the government become bankrupt. And when you get a few bankruptcies it might snowball. So the economy of the country collapses. 

     Why am I concerned? That goes back to the closest neighbor thing in the first paragraph. We have a saying here that we are like a mouse sleeping next to an elephant. As a result of American financial turmoil we will also suffer the same fate as our economies are closely related. 

    So why is there a regulation that could cause the collapse of an economy? 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

MOM AND DAD SETTLING IN

     Mom had never been out to Dad's farm. Dad had probably given her a fairly realistic description of the house conditions. Mom had rarely traveled out of her town Portage la Prairie Manitoba. The 500 mile train trip back to the farm was a major trip. Arrangements had been made for someone to meet the train and pick them up and take them to the farm.

      Dad on his farm

    Mom arrived with a few linens like sheets, blankets, towels and tea towels. She also had a set of cutlery that may have been silver. There was an old trunk in the house and it was probably used to bring all her worldly goods to the farm.

     The house was not insulated and the wood had dried out so there was a crack or two in the walls. The house was banked up with straw to gain some warmth. There was no electricity. Light was by something called a coal oil lamp. A flame burned from a wick so there wasn't much light. They got used to working with such low light levels. There was no water! In the winter there was a large barrel beside the stove and they kept that full of snow. The snow slowly melted . When water was needed for washing you dipped out as much as you wanted. There was no washing machine. Clothes were washed by hand and hung on a clothes line outside. Now in winter the clothes froze rapidly. A few days later the clothes were brought in the house and hung on racks to complete drying.

     Later on an old hand rocked washing machine was purchased but there wasn't any room in the house for it so it was only brought in on wash days. Later Dad set up an outdoor washing machine that could only be used in the summer. This machine was powered by a primitive one cylinder engine.

     Now the town where Mom lived had some amenities. They had electricity and water. The places where she worked had some conveniences like clothes washers. 

     
      Mom's family about 1930. Mom is in the middle.

     Mom had been on farms as her grandparents farmed and she spent part of the summer with her grandparents.

     But to come out to Dad's place would have been a shock...culture shock. Dad had grown a garden the summer before and left his produce with a neighbor who kept them and so they didn't freeze . So he probably had a couple of bags of potatoes and vegetables.

    Mom did have a cousin in the district who lived about 2 Km away. There were other people in the district who she had met.

    Dad loved farm auction sales. Stuff that sold was usually old and in poor condition. That's how Dad got some farm machinery. He loved to buy "junk" boxes for 5 or 10 cents. You didn't really know what was in the box but there were usually things that could be used such as tools. Farming at that time was done by horse power so guess what? Dad got his horses on auction sales. They were usually very poor quality horses. I remember old Teddy who was a very dumb horse. 

    One time Dad bought a horse and then traded it before he went home for a very ancient Model T truck that had a cloth cab. It was the first vehicle he ever bought. The truck was used very little as they didn't have money for gas in the 30' and during the war there wasn't much gas for sale. Besides that the old truck wasn't very reliable.

    Dad also bought a cow or two on auction sales. He ended up naming the cows after the people he bought them from . There was a cow named old Oscar.

    However, they survived the winter of 1938. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

.THE AIR WAS BLUE

     Everyone knows I am the bumbling handyman. I do everything...plumbing, electricity, carpentry, mechanics and now a few computer do it your self projects.

    You know that I recently got a new computer and set it up by myself instead of paying Staples $99.00. I only had one snafu and that was easily solved. I got all the stuff off the old computer. I found all my pictures.

    Now my printer was just too old to use with windows 10. I finally bought a printer last week. I asked how difficult it would be to set up compared to the computer . They thought about the same difficulty. Okay . I'll go for it.

   Well the second thing you do is put the cartridge in. So look at the picture and  try to find a door to open. I found one thing that looked like a door. It wouldn't open very far and there was no way a cartridge would go in. I phoned the store...three times . Not much help. Pictures didn't help as they used different printer photos than mine. I tried everything. Finally, I thought about what one of the kids said that he thought the door was on the front. I ran into some tape. In stripping the tape off something moved and ah ha there was the door. So in the printer cartridge went. 

    Next hook my printer to wi fi. Well there was a handy dandy disk. The disk didn't take me very far and all it would say is that it couldn't find my machine.

   Okay phone Shaw, the Internet provider. They sent me to a Brother's support site with live chat. 

    Alright. The first guy I spend an hour with. Things went  round and round but my printer didn't get hooked to wi fi. I try another Brother's chat person. same frustrating run around and they give up on me. Third Brother's person. Round and round but it didn't end up in the place they said I should get to. So they said we'll arrange a call back.

    I got thinking that I should try the printer. I did and great balls of fire it printed. I tried my ipad and it printed from my ipad.

   Now this is when the smoke came out of my ears. I spent so much frustrating time and all the time it was done. Was I some upset. Words flew.  Not very nice ones.

   Why can't directions be made in a simple logical pattern. 

   So this project was just a little more than I bargained for. But I have a good printer!

    I'm still comin' down.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

MY PARENTS

     My parents were married in February of 1938. They were married in Grandma's house in Portage la Prairie , Manitoba. They had a best man, brides maid and preacher as well as grandma and Grandpa. What a grand wedding! They talked about it often. Mom was 24 and Dad was 26.




     Up to that point my Mom had always lived at home. As so many young women did at that time she worked as a hired girl. Most households hired a girl as there were no luxuries or  appliances. All the work was done by hand. Mom talked fondly of a family that   she worked for for many years. She corresponded with these people for years. They were excellent people to work for and they treated her like family. I think she was paid $10.00 to $15.00 per month.

     As many young men of the depression did, Dad traveled and picked up odd jobs and lived with friends. Dad was 18 when he left his family. Dad worked in a sawmill for his uncle all winter and when the job was finished and Dad wanted to move on, Uncle had no money to pay him. Uncle pointed to a pile of lumber and said that was Dad's pay. What could an 18 year old kid do with a pile of lumber that no one wanted. Dad walked away and traveled further on.

   Dad moved on to the Okanagan valley in British Columbia. He had two sisters and some cousins living in the area. Dad picked fruit, worked in the bush, worked on a dairy farm and many other odd jobs. Much of the time he was idle and lived with other young people or his sisters. It was a frustrating time for young people who were not able to make a living for themselves.

   In 1935 Dad came back to the prairies and with one of his sisters bought a small farm. The farm had a small meager house. It was about 14' by 24' . It was very poorly built so was very cold. Dad farmed and picked up the odd job. In the winter he went to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and worked for a man who put up ice to be delivered in the summer for coolers. Again the money was poor but he didn't have anything to do on his farm in the winter.

    So this is where Mom and Dad met.

    A few days after their wedding they got on the train and went out to Dad's farm. Now I can imagine my mother's feelings  as she  was leaving home for the first time and moving out to a shack far away from her parents! The shack had not been heated all winter so it must have taken some time to heat up. Fortunately, one of Dad's friends kept them until the old house was heated. They had brought their clothes and a few household items that they had been given for wedding presents or things that Mom had bought.

     So this was the start of their married life.

    Neither of them complained about the hardships of the great depression. They often talked of the fun they had on no money. Many young people at that time married later in life as they couldn't afford to live independently.

   I always admire how they managed to survive such hardships.