A PORCELAIN UNICORN

A Moment in Time – Until today, it was the last picture I had taken. I captured it January 11, 2015 in honor of Unicorn Appreciation Day. This is the story of the porcelain Unicorn, including the best (very) short movie I’ve ever seen.

music unicorn

Release Date – August 2010
Genre – Historical / Drama
Awards – Grand prize — Philips Parallel Lines ‘Tell It Your Way’ International Competition

Starring – Trevor Teichmann, Fiona Perry
Directed By – Keegan Wilcox
Screenplay By  – Keegan Wilcox
Produced By – Anselm Clinard

The requirements: The  film could be no more than 3 minutes long, contain no more than six lines of dialogue or narrative and yet present a compelling story. The winner was  “Porcelain Unicorn” from American director Keegan Wilcox.

It presents a lyrical, touching story of an act of conscience and kindness during a time of great peril, and a reunion many years later.

AUTUMN LIGHT – GLOWING TREES

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This is not a great month for photography. Although I love the absence of snow, the bare trees, hibernating flowers and gardens aren’t inspiring.

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Of course it’s possible to find pictures any time of years, but some periods are much more photogenic than others. Meanwhile, I’m motivated to look through the folders of pictures from other months. See what pops out.

October was the bonanza month for photographs.

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The top three pictures are Vermont, near Peachum. Glorious days. The scarlet and orange leaves had passed, but the gold remained. The trees were breathtaking.

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These final two shots are in and around Jackman, Maine. You can see the difference in the advance of the seasons between Maine — slightly higher both in altitude and latitude than Vermont.

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GLORIA MUNDI! NEW ROUTER, NOT SICK!

Our intermittent connection problem went critical. We had been having connection issues since before Christmas, but I thought it was an outside problem. Charter being Charter, as it were.

netgear ac750 router

It took a bit of tracking down, but eventually, we realized that the old Linksys was in its sixth year, which for computer gear so critical to everything we use, is ancient. And it was failing.

Charter has been ramping up their broadband speed for the past year, so I knew it was likely the old router couldn’t handle the higher speed. But it was more than that. It was not broadcasting a strong enough signal. Diagnosis: Tired old router needs replacement and honorable retirement.

Amazon isn’t cheaper for everything, but for electronics, they usually have the best prices and selection. If you have Amazon Prime, they are offer the fastest delivery at no charge.

I’m a real fan of Amazon. They honor their promises. If you don’t get your package, they send another. If the product doesn’t work, they refund your money or send a replacement — your choice. They are nice when you call with a problem. Rather than go over to our local Best Buy or Walmart, we went online.

We were right. Amazon had great prices on a huge selection of routers. There were so many to choose from … and the technology has changed so much since the last time we installed a router … most of our time was spent trying to figure out what the descriptions meant, and which router was the right one for our house.

Owen said NetGear was easiest to install. Even though we’d been using Linksys for so many years. Since he was doing the installation, I saw no reason to argue the point.

We settled on NETGEAR AC750 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (R6050). At $81.99 plus tax, with free 2-day shipping, it seemed likely to do the job. We ordered it Saturday and surprise! It arrived this morning, Monday. No, I didn’t pay extra for speedy shipping. Amazon is very fast.

It’s installed. It took about an hour, including some hassling with the wireless printer and some more hassling with the Roku. There’s one more Roku in the bedroom I will have to reset plus three Kindles. Owen’s has hooked up his laptop and tablet. My three computers and Garry’s two are also up and running.

Do you think we have enough wireless stuff around here?

The router works really well. No dead spots in the house anymore! Not one, not anywhere. Finally, we have full coverage through both floors and in every room.

What could NetGear do to improve the experience? Provide better instructions!

Every problem we encountered was not a problem. It was just something for which no instructions or explanation is provided. I know everyone thinks tech writers are obsolete. I AM a tech writer. But seriously, folks. How much could it cost to hire a tech writer for a couple of days to write proper, English-language instructions? We work cheap!

Reading through reviews on Amazon, I’m betting 90% of the complaints were failures to understand what to do. Better instructions would solve the problem.

Can you say “Happy Ending?” Sometimes, things work out better than you expect. This is one of those times!