It seemed like yours truly could finally be at peace today, for one whole day. The food was in for a week. The rent payments were all in order. The bed held up all night. A few odds and ends of a small degree of importance might even be addressed. And, it was not yet 12:00 p.m. when a notice was slid under the door. Before noon there was a notice saying it was necessary to go to the office to sign some lease papers. A goodly number, if not all, residents needed to go to the office today or tomorrow.
A little bit was set aside and there was a trip to the office. There is a hope to check out another food source tomorrow around noon, so today was better for something maybe time-consuming as well as unexpected. Instinct says it’s not all right yet. For that matter, it wasn’t all right in the very beginning. It wasn’t all right when it was re-done for the annual re-doing last year, either. It was just allowed to ride rather than make a big issue out of it, because of being not too well.
Well, it was signed amid explanations that a law was changed and the lease no longer conformed in some area. It isn’t all that went on, but the lease is surely the most important thing. With a little luck, there won’t be anything more in that area but maybe some more signing if/when it’s figured out differently. The computer is okay at the moment, but it wasn’t earlier. Further, this evening it seems there will be frequent trips to the bathroom for the care of a tummy ache for a while.
Some hopes are easily dashed.
Every so often the emergency cord needs to be checked to see if it is working okay, according to the management. The cord is simply a cord tied to a switch that looks like an ordinary light switch, but it goes to the fire department. The switch will work without the cord attached. Practical wisdom evidently suggested in places that have such (not all places have such) that a cord tied to the switch would be useful, as someone sick might not be able to stand there calmly flipping on the switch.
The notice came Monday that people would be around starting on Wednesday, homemaker aide day. And, the grocery list was not in shape Monday evening, Tuesday all day (poor telephone answering service) or, of course, any time before, except earlier a chain drug store ad from the Sunday newspaper was offered to yours truly, a treasure not always at hand. Mid-morning was a time of frenzied activity going through both advertising flyers amid a dread that it would be interrupted by cord checking.
It really doesn’t take that long to check the emergency system. One big point about the matter is that the light in the hallway (it’s a light like over the doorways to hospital rooms) is working so that the fire department people can see where to go quickly. It was simply that even that three minutes counted, while just handling things for the homemaker aide, in itself, is usually enough for any Wednesday. It was nice that just a few minutes after she left is when they came. It left the afternoon for a nap.
Some things happen okay.
1. Library. Okay, it may be possible to patch the old air bed. The box had patches in it. Supply your own glue. What kind of glue? Why is it not possible to quickly find different kinds of glue online? There must be some general page. Well, reference desk.… “This is S____” Oh, God, why was it necessary to get him? He doesn’t know beans about looking up things and will mess around forever. Forty-five minutes that one time. Sample reply: call a hardware store – (?). Cost of call: $2.50 (approximate).
2. Chain drug store. The pants are getting unrepairable holes; do they have any yet? Ask about glue, too. So, say it’s a request for information about two things, pants and glue. “Uh… Would you like to speak to the manager?” Well, if customer service can’t answer, then it might be good to speak to the manager. “Just a minute.” A feminine voice. So, who does yours truly have? “I’m the manager.” Never mind that the manager is a man named Rick. Fire engine in background. No decent answer. Cost: $1.50 (approximate).
3. Wireless service. Screen shows strange thing when account is sought for balance. It says browser error, unsupported file type, etc. Clock works. Email connects. Phone connects to customer service and problem explained. Security code in. “What’s your name?” Problem explained again, amid connection breaking up. “Do you have another telephone?” No. There has to be another telephone to check the telephone. Just explain what all the stuff is? Repeat: “Do you have another telephone?” Cost: $0.00.
All will be well eventually. .
The little cell phone has a one inch square (1” x 1”) front screen. It is just big enough to nicely show (not too big) the current time. The current date is also there, but older eyes have to look a little closer for the date; it’s smaller. The “now point” in existence sat on some pretty backdrop wallpaper that had to be changed. The design at first, although a different color, was a design chosen for advertising by a local gambling casino. With no wish to give a suggestion of a relationship, something else was installed.
The premise of the phone is to poke numbers and if someone that the numbers touch on establishes a contact back to say things that is relayed to them. That’s all that used to be. So far in studying it to use it efficiently, yours truly has found a clock (digital and analog versions and an alarm), a calendar, a method for remote payments for the thing (one does have to go buy a phone card), and internet access to the point of seeing what’s in the email and sending some given an email address.
All of the above has been tried (tested) in a most fumbling manner and has successfully been done, again, in a most fumbling manner but done nonetheless. Very little of it has actually been used. It’s all been trying to figure out the various features of the thing, all the while marveling over the matter that the gizmo only cost about $20 and costs less to maintain than what used to be. If one is “mobile,” it does make sense to have all such things at hand in a pocket-size item. It also makes sense to use them otherwise.
Radical change exists.
Once upon a time, since humans didn’t want to spend all their time replacing things, there were attempts to build things with an eye to making them last for a while. A good grass hut might keep rain off of people and be easy to construct; but, if there are stones around that can be fitted together to make a more durable shelter, reason says to use them and do so even if it takes measurably extra effort and time, provided the return outweighs the extra effort and time put into the matter.
That thought is frequent. As has been noted in these essays (but a repeat is needed) most recently putting together the bed business and more was delayed for reasons such as going to the bank. The things don’t really take long for someone a little healthier, or yours truly wouldn’t be able to manage them at all. By about 12:00 p.m. yesterday the scooter was so low on energy that it was stopping as soon as the wheels hit the slightest resistance. Scooter had to have a recharging, so, no bed. Can’t walk and work, too.
Today it was equally essential to drag off the deflating layer of the bed and put on the new little one since one of the holes in the first had enlarged. So, okay, that was fixed, too. While that was being done, interference was creeping into the wireless connection. That is, now no computer. It’s called going in circles. As soon as some item is lined up, something else falters. This will get posted should a trip to the hallway provide the missing internet connectivity again. It is possible. The scooter has power.
Winter is in the air.
It’s Saturday night in Covington, with yours truly well aware that it’s Sunday morning for most of the world – admittedly very early in the morning in many places, but Sunday nonetheless. The web hosting site was out of commission at posting time last night. After 12:00 a.m. (midnight), it was back in operation; but the whole entry was about the state of things Friday. Among other things, the heating and air conditioning unit would not start and both the scooter and the telephone were low on power.
While no time is particularly “good” – between things like a need to be on the lookout for nearly invisible blood-sucking bugs, an ankle and a hand under special observation and so forth, it can’t be said presently that any time is “good” – the business week has ended on a note of peaceful sigh of relief. The new air bed to take the place of the one ready for another world is still on the floor, since options included a try to go to the bank for rent payment money orders and allied activity instead dealing with air bed yesterday.
The sleeping accommodations are marginally usable as long as air is pumped into the thing every couple of hours, meanwhile the only likely day for a bank visit next week would have been Monday. No certainty exists there won’t be a mad dash on Tuesday for grocery list. The thought of getting that busy on Monday concluded it won’t happen. It usually only takes about forty-five minutes to go to the bank, including a short wait for a taxi, but the hike down the hall on foot was terribly tiring this time.
Planned obsolescence is an old idea.
Engineers build some wonderful things. But, they’re only wonderful if they work reasonably well. So, when does something work fairly well? If it works most of the time? Some of the time? Nothing does so all of the time. Sooner or later some part wears out that has to be there for it to work. But, until that happens, what is reasonably well? Actually, it should work all of the time if it is in the hands of a person who knows how to use it, until that essential part mentioned does wear out and assuming it can’t be fixed.
Too often someone who figures out mechanical things designs it to act in a certain way. A user may not want to use it in that way, but can’t do anything else. Washing machines come to mind. If clothes are very dirty – a person works in a coal mine or mud – one good way to get the clothes clean is to wash them twice then rinse them twice. To an extent, the first rinsing is a third wash since the soap from the first two times is in them. Furthermore, water is the wash. Washing machine cycles don’t work that way.
The air bed at hand and the computer also come to mind. While it is understandable that constant extra pressure on a point of the air bed, like from an elbow or a knee, would put extra strain there in the materials, the thing should be patchable and the patches don’t work. As for the computer, it’s been maddeningly slow and it’s not the connectivity. It even died at inopportune times losing a couple of hours of work. It’s the programming; that’s engineering, too. As with the washer, never mind what you have in mind.
Engineers build things when they want to.