Sorry I’m late…

Whoops! Time flies, and I’m overdue for my usual mid-month “Miscellaneous” post. Hey, even us B- types get a bit busy sometimes and get lost in what we’re doing. Sheesh! Stuff like crocheting, celebrating birthdays and Father’s Day, going out to meet up with a few friends (once in a Blue Moon, everyone I know calls me at once), and the inevitable activity as you get older, doctor and dental appointments. UGH!!

Another thing is, as usual, I’m struggling to think of things to write about, so here’s just a quick summary of what I’ve been up to:

Crocheting:

Finished a vintage 70s vest for my mom, similar to this picture.

It actually turned out pretty good and she’s happy with it, so I’m happy. It was just a simple DC, chain3, etc., then on the next row, DC in the ch3 space, ch3, etc. It was fun to do, and went fairly quickly.

I’m now making granny squares with cotton thread to make another lacy top, this one for myself. I’m using a different motif for this one, though and I’ll post it on here in a few months (or years) when I’m done. I don’t know if my dear daughter is even wearing the one I made for her as she travels the world.. oh, well…

Top4Blog
This is the top I made for my daughter; I’m using a different motif this time.

Podcasts:

One of my favorite things to do is listen to interesting (to me, anyway) podcasts while I’m crocheting. I listen to Meb Faber’s, Personality Hacker, Cracked, With Friends Like These, and Anxiety USA.

Guitar:

I’m going thru some online guitar lessons, and find that the recommended half-hour of practice isn’t enough. I usually do all the exercises, then goof around for another half hour on what I want to goof off with. An awesome discovery I’ve made is guitar tabs. Here’s a sample of “Killing Me Softly” that I found on ultimateguitar.com. So much easier than trying to read music and figure out where the notes are, which string to play them on, etc. I was never introduced to this back in the 60s when I first started at age 12, and I love this! I’m working on one for “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding, one of my all-time faves. I’ll post it when I’m done.Guitars

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If you’ve made it to the end, thank you so much for hanging in there. It’s hard to find real-life folks that are even interested in the same things I am.

‘Til later,
B-

In Search of Deb’s Danceland

Deb’s Danceland, mid-to-late 70s.  A Grand Prairie, Texas caricature of the “cowboy” culture. Imagine a low, giant, building at night, a huge longhorn steer’s head in neon lights, and the name of the club flashing its ostentatious-ness across the Great Southwest Parkway.  Inside, couples enjoyed a beer, a two-step dance, and sometimes, a brawl.

My husband and I remember this place, not as our hangout (we only went there once or twice out of curiosity), but as an unforgettable landmark.  We passed it daily going to and from the place where we worked, and met. So naturally, during my recent visit to Texas, my hubby asked me to take a picture of Deb’s Danceland.  Hmmm…

We both figured it was long gone. A Google search just came up with these tokens, and no pictures of the old place:
DebTokens

And, although I’m not 100% sure, I think I may have found the building:Deb's

No surprise, it’s been converted into a strip mall… if this is indeed the old building.  The location is close to address on the token, and it’s facing west, toward Ft. Worth.  My husband conceded that yes, this might just be the place.

So, there you have it.  A glorious tribute to the old cowboy Texas culture, gone… Sad, in a way, but life goes on.

I also took some photos of my Texas trip.  If you like wildflowers and sunsets, just go to my home page, click on the “Photos” link, or just click here and sort the photos by Date.  http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/browse-author.php?a=109928

‘Til next time…

~B-

Guitar – Reviving an old hobby

It’s been too many years since these two have seen the light of day.

Believe it or not, I used to play classical guitar.  I gave it up about 30+ years ago.  That’s a long time to put something down and take it up again.

Why did i do it?  Well, classical guitar is a lonely road, since you’re playing by yourself.  It requires hours of practice, and at least for me, it seemed to take a lot of energy for very little reward.  I had other priorities in life, like raising a family, finding/doing a job that was tolerable that would allow me to retire, etc.  These were more rewarding.

Now that I’m retired, I have more time on my hands, and I can start from scratch and re-learn some basics, and put just as much effort into it as I want.  I can go into rock, folk, blues, jazz, whatever I want.  I remember most of the basic chords, but the old hands and fingers need lots of work to sound halfway decent.

So, please excuse me while I go slaughter Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”, and gradually work up to Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind”.  Cheers, all!

 

Mid-month March Rant

Gosh, I do need to write something on this terribly neglected blog, I just don’t know what this time.

Politics? OMG! What’s happening to our country? I truly don’t think that either party represents ME. Middle-of-the-road, tolerant but dang we need laws type of person. What other people decide to do, who to marry, how to handle an unwanted pregnancy, etc. is their business.

When Wall Street starts messing with my IRA, that’s when we need regulation.

We do need to vet the folks who want to come in to our country, and we need some time to set this all up. The travel ban is only for 90 days. Building a wall is a silly idea, though. Heck coming thru Mexico, you can easily go around a dang wall in a boat sailing across the Gulf of Mexico or up the West Coast on the Pacific Ocean.

I’m all for Medicare for all. Our present system is just too complicated, expensive, and not accessible to everyone. Access to quality health care should be a right for U.S. citizens.

(UPDATE): Oh, and I almost forgot… I really truly believe that global warming is real, and we need to get the H— off fossil fuels NOW!!  Even if it’s not as dire as they say, it wouldn’t hurt to maintain clean air and water now, would it?(/UPDATE)

You may or may not agree with me, and I’m OK with it, either way. I don’t do political arguments. I’m pretty tired of reading them all over the place.

I think I’ll just go hide out in my room now, and crochet some more hats. Phooey!

~B-

What’s This “Socially Engaged” Stuff?

OK, I’m officially a senior now. I’m 65, am getting Social Security and Medicare. And, I’m a member of AARP.

I get AARP publications in the mail. In just about every one, there is an article that mentions that it is important that seniors stay “socially engaged.” What does that mean, exactly?

I am an introvert. Looking back on my life, I’ve always been an introvert. I have always needed time alone to recharge, and rather enjoyed passing the time with my own thoughts, listening to music, and reading.introvertparadise Unfortunately, when I was growing up, introversion was equated with having one foot in the door of the local mental hospital. I even remember my high school English teacher saying, in reference to an introverted character in a story, that introverts were more prone to mental illness.

This line of thought caused my poor parents to worry and fuss at me about not having any friends. I did have some friends at school, but guess what? They were introverts, too! And, they rarely went out, had overprotective parents (like mine) who would not let them go out with people they did not know. Yes, my folks fussed at me for not being outgoing, but would not let me go places with others too much. Paradoxical, no? But that’s another story.

So, it was a struggle to demonstrate to them that I actually had friends, with my limited amount of freedom, and also to acquire enough social skills to fake being extroverted enough to have a couple of friends to hang out with in high school and college.

Anyway, now that I’m a Senior Citizen, been married, had kids, several jobs, the whole shebang, I’m ready to settle in and relax, and live my life the way I want to. I no longer feel the need to prove to my parents, or to anyone else (least of all AARP), that I’m “popular”. Heck being in the same house with my hubby 24/7 is plenty of social time for me.

The good news is, there is now a growing understanding of introverts, as demonstrated by the popularity of a book called “Quiet” by Susan Cain, “Introvert Power” by Laurie Helgoe, and other sources, blogs, all over the internet. Oh, I do wish these writings had been available to my folks when I was young… and I could have told that English teacher a thing or two, as well.

So, when is AARP going to get the word?introvertdress It appears they are judging us seniors by the old, extroverted standard.  Hey guys, it’s going to have to be OK to be introverted as a Senior, and there will need to be ways for introverted seniors to be engaged in the world. Could having a blog help? How about social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.? How about going out once in a while to a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop and just being around others? Take a class? I plan to take a photography class, and take up guitar again. Ah, plans…

Meanwhile, I’ll listen to podcasts and music that interest me, crochet for myself, family, and charity, read, watch TV and Netflix, and go out with hubby. Life is good.

~B-

Why Video streaming sucks

OK, I realize that this is strictly a first world problem, and I have no life.  Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

nonetflix
Being frugal, I never have been interested in paying through the nose for Cable TV.  But since most of what’s on TV does not interest me, I thought Netflix would be the answer to my entertainment woes.  Since I’m already paying for high speed internet just so I can load those complicated web pages with tons of ads, I thought paying around $8-$9 for access to 100K+ movies and TV shows would be well worth it.  So, I subscribed to the ever popular Netflix.

The first time was the best.  Everything ran nice and smooth on the Apple TV I had purchased.  Then, the next time I wanted to view something, there came the error messages.  “Netflix is unavailable”, blah blah blah.  A phone call to their customer service reveals that the problem is with your internet connection.  So, they have you go through this song and dance of powering down your device, rebooting your modem and router, and trying again.  This usually works, but if it doesn’t, you are referred to your internet provider.  And, this is the case, no matter what the error message is that you are getting, no matter what your device is.  I’ve gone through the same thing with my Apple TV, Roku stick, Android tablet, and Smart TV.  Checking the Netflix website for their error codes reveals that everything is a problem with your internet connection.  Really?

Naturally, your problem is not with your internet connection, according to your provider.  They put you through several troubleshooting steps, and you find nothing is wrong after the speed tests, ping tests, etc.  So, here you are, all you want to do is watch a movie on your TV, and there is no solution to these troubles.  And, your dear spouse or partner is threatening to yank everything out and trash it.  Great.

There is/was some talk of some internet providers “throttling” video streaming traffic, but of course, they will never admit it.  In fact, the traffic might just be throttling itself.  During the past week, we’ve been successfully watching Netflix past 10pm, after prime time.  Perhaps there are a lot of folks watching videos over the internet at the same time, and your chances of successfully getting on to Netflix or some other service are better during “”off” hours.

However, the mystery remains when your internet connection seems OK, and you can stream other services (like YouTube videos) just fine, why you can’t get on Netflix.  Maybe the demand is just growing faster than Netflix can add servers, and ISPs can add bandwidth?  Who knows?

Well, at least I’m retired, can stay up late and watch what I want, and have no schedule to get up the next morning.

I suspect this problem will get worse as the holidays approach.  Ah well… I’d like to be able to just be thankful that I have a warm place to sleep and plenty to eat, but it is frustrating when all you want is to relax and be entertained at the end of the day.

I’ve ranted enough.  Be well and happy, everyone, and enjoy the holidays.hollyberryp

B-

2 Days After the Election…

WOW!  What a surprise, huh?

And, another surprise… the stock market did not crash like all the pundits said!  I’m so glad to have a good system in place!

spxnov10

Trump won, and the world did not end.  The sun came up, we’re all still here, and we can just go about our business.  What happens now is out of our realm of control.

I had determined, no matter what, I would do my part to finish up the living room, as well as finish up the last crocheted hat to donate to Team Backpackan awesome charity founded by my neighbor.  Life goes on, and the politicos do their thing.

Be well, everyone!

~B-