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Computers have arrived! (And other, smaller events of the day.)

We may be an awesome species, but there are moments that make one want to quit the human race.

This morning I was YouTubing instructions on how to dance the waltz (don’t ask). At the end of a video that showed no more than the basic 1-2-3-1-2-3 box step, there came a warning: Do not try this without supervision, specialized equipment, and further training.

Fortunately there was no caution about the waltz being known to cause cancer in the state of California.

But really, people. Really???


Back on the good, even grand, side of human nature …

The White Truck of Happiness showed up with these about an hour ago.

That’s twin Acers for setting up my main and working backup systems, a really big Dell, power cords, a carry case, and a SpinRite CD. These are all courtesy of M, a man who seems to have a magical (and legal!) supply of recent-model laptops that would otherwise be recycled — and a generous heart for sharing them.

The Acers are, at my request, stripped of any operating system. And — without me even asking — they have their cameras pre-taped. No spying eyes.

The Dell, which has Win 10 on it, is for me to check out then share with a friend in need (but I confess I’m quite impressed with the look and feel of it, myself). The SpinRite CD is borrow-only, in respect of creator Steve Gibson’s rights.

I haven’t fired up any of the computers yet. I’m guessing they spent a long, freezing night in that truck, so I’m letting them warm up to room temperature first.

Even then, I’m not going to get right on them. I have longstanding plans that will keep me away from computers for much of a week, and after that it’ll take me a while to set everything up.


Once I do get set up, I’ll owe multiple thank yous for one-time donations, multiple coffees, and new (or enlarged) Patreon signups. Thank you for your patience; I’ve had very limited email since the crash, but I know where thanks are owed.


In comments a few days ago, Pat asked for recent pix of the rock wall with its healthily growing plantings and the new lawn.

This really isn’t the time of year for it. The new grass is covered with brown leaves, the plants in the wall are past their summer prime and also starting to get covered with leaves and cedar needles and fronds. But here’s a bit of a glimpse.

When I planted these Alyssium (the purple flowers), they were tiny, puny, sick-looking things about 1/10th this size. With watering and Miracle-Gro, they took off in August and haven’t stopped blooming since.

And here’s a long shot of the wall that isn’t anything special but gives you an idea of how much the greenery is spreading. By next summer, it’s going to be pretty wow (if the green, which is sedum, makes it through the winter).

The house and wall taken from across the street. The grass is still young and fragile, but we filled holes with top soil and it’s going to be sooooo much nicer to walk (and picnic) on than the former weeds-n-pits ever was.

Finally, a close-up of the sedum between the rocks. These were just tiny plugs when I put them in. Now they’re thick mats and some of them are starting to drape over the rocks (which is exactly the idea).


Finally, in continuing honor of our World Gone Mad, the Babylon Bee (satire, satire, satire, for the people over at who can no longer tell the difference) and the dedicated journalists at CNN expose the alleged hero dog who helped take down Al-Baghdadi: the dog was revealed as … well, it’s just too shocking. Let’s say when it comes to bad behavior he puts certain Supreme Court justices to shame. 🙂


  1. Comrade X
    Comrade X October 30, 2019 1:37 pm

    That hero dog may have a shot at Governor of Virginia now!

  2. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge October 30, 2019 1:39 pm

    “Fortunately there was no caution about the waltz being known to cause cancer in the state of California.”

    There was a California study done on cancer using two groups of rats. One group of rats was fed those things California lawmakers believed to cause cancer. Some got cancer and some did not. There was a second group of rats that were fed all things that California lawmakers believed did NOT cause cancer. Those rats all starved to death.

  3. Pat
    Pat October 30, 2019 2:12 pm

    Oh yes! Those pix are exactly what I wanted to see, Claire — Thank you! That wall is beautiful and will be outstanding come summer.

    (You may even be on the town’s Beautiful Home’s list one day and get lots of visitors taking pictures. Wear your black floppy hat so you’re not identified.)

  4. free.and.true
    free.and.true October 30, 2019 5:07 pm

    Looks marvelous, Claire! Well done. And good luck with the new ‘puters.

  5. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas October 31, 2019 7:50 am

    Thanks for the photos, looks great! And your transformation, house into home across, really, just a short number of years, stands as a most impressive example of what persistence might produce. As well,
    if you can get past the denial, you might notice yourself developing a bit of a green thumb, no?

  6. Joel
    Joel October 31, 2019 9:09 am

    “pansniffual” – I roared.

    Your newly extended yard is looking beautiful, Claire! Such work, very success!

  7. larryarnold
    larryarnold October 31, 2019 4:36 pm

    A (probably unnecessary) caution on the Win 10. The first thing that comes up on a new one is Cortana, which offers to help you set up. Fight it every step of the way. It will “help” your computer connect and share all your data with everything imaginable, including Ava if there’s a chip available.

    And don’t think too badly of the Waltz warning.

    When the dance was first becoming popular, it was quite scandalous. After all, the partners actually (gasp) embraced each other.

    “We remarked with pain that the indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced (we believe for the first time) at the English court on Friday last (July, 1816) … it is quite sufficient to cast one’s eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs and close compressure on the bodies in their dance, to see that it is indeed far removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females.”

    Not to speak of the 2015 Tennessee Waltz Scandal:

  8. Antibubba
    Antibubba October 31, 2019 8:29 pm

    You’ve got my curiosity fired up, Claire–what OS are you planning to install on the Acer?

  9. Saturday Links | 357 Magnum
    Saturday Links | 357 Magnum November 2, 2019 7:27 am

    […] Wolfe of Living Freedom – Computers have arrived! (And other, smaller events of the day.) After suffering a complete breakdown of her computer infrastructure (OK, so it was one PC) Claire […]

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 2, 2019 10:16 pm

    How to waltz, joke version:

    Woman writes “1-2-3” on her forehead in marker, man reads it.

    How to waltz, real version:

    You have two feet. Step with each foot on each beat of the music. Get a good “frame” (physical connection using your arms) with your partner, and let your partner push you around the floor.

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