MORNING SUNSHINE- CEE’S ODDBALL PHOTO CHALLENGE

CEE’S ODD BALL PHOTO CHALLENGE: 2016 WEEK 21


Got some goodies this week I think.

There’s the sink and the pretty colors of everyday things.

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The dogs love playing “the stairway game.” I think it’s because they are above me for a few minutes, but every dog we’ve had here has played this game. It’s the canine vs. human “king of the mountain.” I always let them win. And the prize is, of course … you guessed it … a biscuit!

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And then, there are keys … hooked in plain sight so we can always find them as we come and go.

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The coffee is ready and the sun is shining!

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And so begins the day!

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THIS AND THAT – TRAVEL IN TRYING TIMES

We are going to a wedding this weekend. And staying in a nice hotel in Boston overnight so we can enjoy the wedding without worrying about the long, dark drive home. A few days ago, I got a bunch of emails from the hotel’s parent chain. I assumed that amidst all this communication there would be a reservation confirmation. I already gave them a credit card, so there was no reason for problems.

aloft hotel aerialshot

Except it wasn’t. When I opened the email, it was not a confirmation. Instead, I’d been sent a login screen for their “club.” You know how it works, right? Your airline, your hotel, your rental car are all part of large corporation. They hope your single night reservation will evolve into a steady customer relationship. Not likely, in our case, but I understand that it’s their job to generate business.

The problem was that this login screen required a username and password. I had neither. The email also lacked the hotel’s address, phone number, directions, and information about parking. All of that information must have been accessible inside the application which I couldn’t access. All they gave me was a corporate phone number. No address. No reservation number. No confirmation number. Oy.

aloft lobby

I called the corporate office. They couldn’t help me. Couldn’t transfer my call to the hotel, but they gave me the hotel’s phone number. So I called. After being put on hold for a ten or so long minutes, a man got on the phone. I explained the problem and he said, “Sorry, I’ll send you a confirmation now.”

Which turned out to be 5 or 6 web pages. In full color with animated advertisements.

My printer has never in its life refused a direct order, but in the face of this massive overload of data, it totally would not load. It tried. Gamely kept trying. Locked up my computer and absolutely would not print.

I called back. “Can’t you just send me a plain text confirmation? And please, this time, include the address, phone number, and any other information I should have at check in?”

So he sent me another email. Without an address. Or email. Or telephone number.

I called again. “Uh … an address … and the check-in, check-out times … and your phone number … would be really helpful.” I paused, pondered. “What’s the parking situation and are you walking distance from the Sheraton?”

Turns out parking costs $40 and is several blocks away. In a lot not adjacent to the hotel. The Sheraton is on the other side of Boston, so we’ll definitely need a taxi. I was getting a headache. Why was this so complicated?

“I’m disabled,” I said. I really hate having to explain, but if we have to haul our stuff blocks from car to hotel, there’s no point in staying overnight. Good bye convenience, hello expensive inconvenience.

“Oh,” he said. “Well, we have disabled parking at the hotel. You could park there. There would be a lot less walking.”

“Can you promise me there will be a space in the disabled parking area?” I’ve had problems with this before, where they have maybe two disabled spots and they’re taken … leaving me totally screwed.

“Oh,” he assured me. “There’ll be space.” And I’m wondering how come he’s sure because I’m anything but.

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Eventually, I copied and pasted the plain text email into a document, manually typed the address and phone number. Then printed it.

Supposedly, they’ll save a handicapped space for us. Orange cone in the space. I’m counting on it. All of this adds up to why the joy has fled from traveling. A night in a good hotel should be fun. Easy. Why make it so complicated?

I’m old enough to remember when travel was something to which we looked forward with happy anticipation. I called a hotel, made a reservation, then off we went. Yes, those were the good old days.

A final note of transcendental techno-weirdness: While I was writing this, I Googled the hotel. My reservation came up online with a note that only I could see it. Why didn’t I think of that? How did it get into the Google cloud when I couldn’t get it into my own computer?

PURPLE MOUNTAINS, AMBER WAVES, AND OTHER GRAINS

We live in farm country. But, alas, we lack amber waves of grain. In other words, no wheat. Tomatoes, apples (lots and lots of apples in varieties you’ve probably never heard of), cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, blueberries, cranberries … and corn. In season.

Local corn is the best. Especially if you get it just after they bring it in from the fields. When it’s fresh from the fields, you don’t even have to cook it. It’s tender and sweet right out of the husk.

Purple mountains majesty? Check.

Fruited plains? Check.

No check on the amber waves, but corn is a pretty good substitute. I’m very fond of corn. To that end, I keep a group of corn maidens near at hand to protect the crops (and me).

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The Daily Post | Grain 

A further note on pingbacks: although the pingbacks were working for a few minutes this morning, now, the link editor is barely working. Though I insert a link and save it, the next time I check, it may (or not) be blank. I guess WordPress is trying to keep my life interesting. Never a dull moment!

NOT CHERRIES

A man, determined to find the meaning of life, sets out to climb one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. He has heard that atop that peak, living in a cave, lives the wisest man in the world, the one who knows the truth of all things and the meaning of life.

After a long and nearly fatal climb, the exhausted man reaches the top of the mountain. He finds the cave and presents himself to the elderly gentleman residing within.

What life is not.

“Oh Great Wise One,” says the climber, “I have come to hear your words of wisdom. Enlighten me. Tell me the meaning of life.”

“Life,” says the Wise One without hesitation, “Is a bowl of cherries.”

The man is outraged by this facetious answer. “Bowl of cherries!!” he shouts, “What kind of answer is that?”

“You mean,” says the Wise One, ” … it’s not a bowl of cherries?”


They say when the going gets tough, the tough get going. I am not that tough. When life starts to overwhelm me with questions for which I have no answers, I tuck the problem on a mental shelf. I buy a pink plastic flamingo and name him Fred. I take some pictures. Or I write something.

None of this solves the problem, but every so often, if I procrastinate long enough, the problem goes away. Sometimes.

When you don’t have any other brilliant ideas, denial and delay are always worth a shot.

ABOUT THOSE SOCKS

Two years ago, I order 30 pairs of socks in all different colors and patterns. I realized, finally, that I was down to a bare two or three pairs and I wasn’t even sure they were real pairs, but they were at least more or less the same color. Around the same time, I also bought a lot of underwear on the theory that we wouldn’t have to do laundry nearly as often if I didn’t run out of underwear. Oh, and I refilled Garry’s sock and underwear collection too.

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Yesterday, Garry did laundry. My 30 pairs of socks have shrunk to about half a dozen pairs. I swear to you not only am I really careful about keeping pairs together, but Garry is passionate about matching them up and keeping them clean. Which isn’t always easy because I wear them as slippers and have been known to go outside in socks … not really a good thing to do.

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Nonetheless, I realized no matter how much I didn’t want to face the crisis, I had to buy more socks. I found socks on Amazon — 12 pairs for $14.00 and they are all exactly the same. Because I know. We all know. Socks vanish. No matter how careful you are. No matter how hard you try to keep track of them, over time, attrition will chew at the edges until you have no more than a few days worth of socks in your drawer. You will search that drawer.

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“Who took my socks?” you cry, but no answer will come to you. They are gone through the black hole in the universe (via your clothes dryer) into which all the single socks are eventually drawn. The mythical land or planet where a single sock can live forever. They are looking down on us and laughing. Because we persist in looking for them. Foolish humans.

Garry, despite my assurances that there is nothing more he can do, that socks will go missing regardless, is sure I’m accusing him of sock-napping. He does not yet understand. There is nothing anyone can do. There are greater forces at work here than mere humans can control.

Socks-come-backSo this time, I’m ordering 12 identical pairs. As each sock disappears, I can wear it with another lonely sock. Variety is not the spice of life when discussing socks.

RAINDROPS KEPT FALLING ON HIS HEAD

I wanted another pet. But I wanted a pet that was quiet, didn’t eat much. Obedient, attractive, friendly. A really easy keeper.

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Meet Fred. He’s undemanding, always cheerful and very bright. When I snapped this, the rain had just stopped a minute before. Say “HI Fred!”

A Photo a Week Challenge Rain Drops