Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Finishing off a roadkill kind of week - Win10 installs & glitches

See that picture on the right? That's me curled up in a ball saying "go away". Photo: cat with paws over eyes I really had a lot to write this week but found myself at sea with Win 10’s spontaneous installations. For some reason, a number of customers found themselves staring at their screens in utter disbelief. Without any prompting, their computers upgraded to 10. One person was in the middle of writing a letter when her screen was replaced with a “now installing” alert. To say she was a bit stressed doesn’t even begin to explain how panicky she became.

The installations went in without too many issues, but that isn’t the point. These customers had decided to wait on installing (and in 2 cases didn’t want to upgrade), and resented the forced update. It took a lot of handholding to settle them into a comfort zone with the new software. It isn’t that big a change, but when you are unprepared for it, it can be a shock.

I don’t use the term handholding dismissively. The forced update stirred up all sorts of resentments and anxieties. One customer, in her late 80s, who was extremely stressed. She thought she’d done something that would destroy one of her connections to the outside world. It took nearly half an hour to convince her she didn’t do anything and her computer was fine.  When you don't spend your days working with computers, it's not so easy to figure out what's going on. Today has been the first day free of excited texts, emails and phone calls so fingers crossed.

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Last chance lilacs - balcony lilacs in full bloom

Enjoying the brief and modest display from my lilac tree. They did far better than expected. Not a big showy display, but next year should be better. 

Lilac blooming 2016 May 1 Toronto balcony

They'll be gone by next week, so we're enjoying them while we can. The temp took a U-turn and now we're a little hot and sweaty, but not nearly as bad as the weather forcast was predicting. Hard to believe I was lamenting the ice on the balcony just 2 weeks ago.

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Of ice and cold and undead trees - #balconygarden

The weather took a nasty turn here in Toronto on the weekend …. again.   I’d hate to see the weather swings plotted on a graph – they're pretty severe lately. How cold? It rained and rained and rained. Then the wind picked up and rattled all the windows and the temp dropped so quickly the balcony froze over. A sheet of ice all over everything, including our mighty lilac tree. I was so disappointed. But … late yesterday mom stepped out onto the balcony (I was in my comfy chair sulking about the sudden downpour and continuing chill) to look at something and she yelled “COME QUICK… LOOK”.   I went out and behold:

Lilac May survived ice and cold

IT LIVES!

I swear we must own a zombie lilac. It shouldn't have survived the sudden plunge in temp. or at least, the blossoms shouldn’t have survived. Not only that, the blossoms are just getting ready to pop. Some of the leaves are a bit worse for wear, but it’s thriving. The weather has returned to a seasonable temp so fingers crossed.

We won’t be getting the garden in this weekend. It’s still far too chilly up on the 20th floor so we’ll wait a week or two. But I will go out and snuffle about the garden centres to see what's available.  

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Behold – the mighty dandelion, slayer of lawns


Ah spring is here in all it’s hay fever inducing glory! Robins be damned – it isn’t spring until the ubiquitous dandelion pops up and terrifies lovers of bowling green style lawns. I love dandelions and don’t quite get the obsession some have with eradicating them. I know peope who go out with their bottle of weed killer and spray, spray, spray away trying to kill them all off. Not sure how much Round Up they use, but they are  successful in killing off the bees and not the tough little dandelion. I figure when the apocalypse hits all that will be left will be cockroaches and dandelions.

If I had a lawn, I’d dig it up and seed it with wildflowers. I’d also let the dandelions grow too. Yea, I’d be a neighbourhood pariah … “quick get the kids inside, here comes that crazy dandelion lady”. Maybe I’d make dandelion necklaces and wear them when I stroll around the neighbourhood, inviting people in to drink some dandelion wine and really scare the jeebers out of everyone. That would be fun.

So if you look out your window and spot the evil little yellow flowers appearing on your lawn, take a deep breath and keep telling yourself "they are only daisies... little yellow daisies" and leave the sprays in the cupboard.   

 

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Balcony surprise - lilacs in the city 20 floor up

I was just out on the balcony about 15 min ago and was shocked to see this:

Lilac Tree balcony garden

Our lovely and much neglected lilac tree survived the winter. We're 20 floors up and we get furious wind gales all winter long. We thought it was a gonner, but a few weeks ago we thought we saw signs of life. 

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"Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life."

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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