10. May 2017 · 2 comments · Categories: 10 Things, Blog

About once a year, I take a quick gander through the spam comments that Aksimet has caught on my blog. It does a really good job, and spam almost never gets through. Occasionally, a real comment will get spammed. That’s why I take a peek now and then to see if I’ve missed anything. If I were the gullible type, I might learn a thing or two from the comments that hit my blog. Such as:

  1. I have the best blog ever written anywhere on the internet!
  2. Many, many people have unbeatable prices on all sorts of anatomical medication, including cialis, viagra and celebrex.
  3. I could buy fake passports for any country in the world.
  4. I could buy replica Rolex watches.
  5. Some people think I can help them figure out their own blog and browser problems.
  6. Some people want to share my blog on their Facebook page.
  7. I actually helped someone with their university paper.
  8. Lots of people make lots of typos. Some even let their cats type for them.
  9. Some people apparently think I’m a man.
  10. Here’s the most unusual (and my favorite) one: “The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you’d have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.”

Does anyone actually fall for this type of garbage? They must or it wouldn’t continue to be so prevalent.

For the most part, my weeks are spent going to work Monday through Friday, puttering around the house on Saturday, going to church on Sunday, and maybe doing a little shopping here and there. Not really the exciting stuff that blog entries are made of.  But I do enjoy going back through my record of each year and seeing what highlights (or lowlights) and memories were captured here, so I know I need to try to be more disciplined about writing from time to time. Facebook is great for jotting down a status update, or posting pictures, and especially for keeping up socially with friends and family, but it’s not the best long term journal of my life. I’ve always been aware of who reads my blog and I sub-consciously write for them. I know most of my readers are family, with a couple of friends who stop by from time to time. That said, I find myself not posting redundant items that I think everyone already knows or would not be interested in. But that means I don’t really capture all the things in my life that I would love to reread years from now. So I’m going to try to change that and post more often, even if it means some of it might be stuff  my readers don’t care about.

So those are my random thoughts for today. Here are my random updates.

I turned 60 this year, and that means I get the senior discount at the movies. Yay!

I love my new iPad. I had a bit of trouble with it staying connected to wifi at first, and then read that some customers reported a defect. So I returned it to the Apple store and they quickly and gladly exchanged it for another one. This one has been much more consistent with wifi connection, but I still have to reboot it nearly every day. I’m not sure if it is another defective one, or if my wifi is to blame. As long as I can get a connection after a quick reboot, I’ll probably keep it. I took it with me to Boise and enabled the Verizon data plan for the first time. I wanted to be able to use it in the airport, and wherever I was if there was not a strong wifi signal available (like in the guest bedroom at Robin & Ken’s). I bought the smallest plan and within 3 days had burned through over half my allotment. So I turned it off while at the house and turned it on again when I headed to the airport. I’m glad to have the data option, but there will be no streaming video unless I want to pay the big bucks.

 

Mom had a stroke on April 14. She was admitted to the hospital on the 16th (after it was initially misdiagnosed and she was sent home). She spent three days in the stroke ward, before being moved to the Rhodes Stroke Rehab Center, where she worked hard and regained about 70% of the use of her right hand and leg.

Excruciating pain in her shoulder slowed down her progress after a while, and also prevented her from being able to sit at her computer. So for Mother’s Day, we siblings chipped in and bought her an iPad that she could use in her recliner to read Facebook, blogs, email, and play games. She has taken to it fabulously, and is definitely proving once again that she is “Techno-Granny”.

Brian and Carrie remodeled their pool this spring. It had been a deep diving pool with a very small shallow end, and that was not working out well for taking kids, especially Lauren, into the pool. So they redesigned it into a play pool with larger shallow sections on each end, an (optional) net in the center for volleyball, and a nice alcove under a slide and waterfall. It’s beautiful, and they are enjoying it a lot more now.

We had a beautiful spring and I enjoyed walking outside on my lunch hour near my office. But one day as I was leaving, a big thunderstorm kicked up, signaling the monsoons were imminent. My outside walks have transitioned to an indoor step workout until fall weather brings the temps back down into the 70s.

Andrew turned a big three years old this month, and there was a pizza party on Friday night to celebrate. And of course, there was cake! And balloons!

And there you have it, some random updates.

01. March 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: 10 Things
  1. Audio books
  2. My new Keurig coffee maker
  3. Disney
  4. The Arizona Wildcats basketball team — they are kinda scrappy this year
  5. Beautiful days like today
  6. Taking a walk outside on beautiful days like today
  7. Nail shellac
  8. Seeing Lauren smile
  9. Downton Abbey
  10. Pinterest
  1. Mushrooms (I know I wrote that once before, but I hate them so much, they are worth a second list)
  2. Pain
  3. High profile vehicles that get in front of me
  4. Other people’s noisy, bratty children (but not my own, of course!)
  5. Having an exact idea of something I want to buy and not being able to find it
  6. Difficult cell layout
  7. Complainers (is that what I’m doing right now?)
  8. Stinky public bathrooms
  9. This season’s The Bachelor
  10. Checking someone’s blog and finding they haven’t written a new post for 6-8 weeks

Here’s a list of 10 things about my new iPhone 4S.

  1. My contract on my iPhone 3GS was up in August and I was more than ready, even eager for an upgrade.
  2. I was disappointed Apple didn’t come out with an iPhone 5 with a larger screen, sleeker design, and 4G data connection.
  3. I gave serious thought to buying an Android phone, specifically the Samsung Galaxy S II. It has a 4.3″ screen (almost a bit too big. 4″ would be perfect), thin and sleek design, and 4G capability.
  4. I held off pre-ordering a new iPhone to do more research, hear what folks thought when they actually had one in their hands, and decide just what I wanted to do.
  5. Factors that weighed in favor of iOS included familiarity and many purchased apps that would not be transferable, as well as (admittedly) brand loyalty.
  6. Don and Ken reminded me I could probably sell the new phone next year if/when an iPhone 5 comes out and I want to upgrade early.
  7. Features on the iPhone 4S that swayed my decision were 3G connection on AT&T that rivals 4G speeds, with better battery life, greatly improved camera, and Siri.
  8. Although Siri is the coolest new feature since sliced bread, it’s also very hit and miss, more miss than hit right now. It’s no secret that it’s in Beta mode, and Apple’s servers (which Siri has to connect to in order to work) don’t seem to be able to keep up with it just yet. But analysts predict it will get better quickly and the future looks bright.
  9. Like every new owner, I have had a lot of fun asking Siri rhetorical and silly questions just to hear the clever answers the Apple development team has come up with. Me: “I’m really tired.” Siri: “Listen to me. Put down this iPhone right now and take a nap. I’ll wait here.” When I persisted that I was tired, she answered. “I hope you’re not driving. Are you?” Or me: “What’s the best phone?” Siri: “Wait, there are other phones?
  10. Overall, I’m very happy with it. I know more time will tell if I made the right decision, but I’m satisfied for now, and glad I made the plunge.

In honor of Father’s Day, I list ten things about my father, Donald John Lafferty.  First a short biography: he was born on October 7, 1922 in New Hudson Township, New York. He grew up on a maple and dairy farm as the oldest of three children. He married Eloise Briggs in 1946 and had five children. (I was the fourth child, the only girl.) He served in the U.S. Army Air Corp for three years during World War II, stationed in Germany and England. He died on June 10, 2004.

  1. He built a four bedroom house, in Cuba, NY, which our family lived in for several years before moving to Arizona. I have very limited memories of the house because I was so young when we lived there, but I know my bedroom was adjacent to the kitchen dining area and we had a wooded area behind our back yard.
  2. He was a great mechanic, keeping all of our household appliances and vehicles in excellent working condition. It was a momentous day whenever we bought a new appliance, because it was certain the previous one had lasted far beyond the typical warranty period due to Dad’s ability to keep it in running condition.
  3. He built the “world’s first motor home” when he converted a small school bus into a traveling camp vehicle for our family to live in while moving across the country from New York state to Arizona. We stopped at many sights along the way, picnicking, exploring, relaxing and learning firsthand about the country beyond snowy upstate New York.
  4. He was a great proponent of seat belts, installing them in our vehicles long before most people even knew about them. I remember we had one long seat belt for the entire bench seat in the back, but that was at least more effective than no seat belt at all.
  5. He smoked cigarettes for several years, but quit shortly after evidence was publicized that it caused cancer.
  6. He loved camping and took our family on a camp trip nearly every summer. We visited dozens of state and national parks and monuments, learning the history and geography of our country on an economical budget.
  7. He loved country music (we called it hillbilly back then), and would occasionally play the radio in the car while he was driving. Mom hated it and it was a frequent source of arguments between them. He played the guitar and would sing for hours (especially in his later years after he retired) the songs made popular by such country stars as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and Glen Campbell.
  8. He developed dementia in the final years of his life and lost much of his judgment capabilities, but he never forgot who each and every member of his family were. Every time I visited him in the nursing home, I took him an ice cream sundae. He loved it and looked forward to it and would ask me for specific flavors (usually butterscotch or hot fudge).
  9. I have no doubt that he would have been a great technology wizard if he had been born 50 years later. He was that progressive and loved new inventions, as well as learning and studying new things. He would have been thrilled at the power of the internet to instantly communicate and access information on any subject in the world.
  10. He loved his family and we loved him. I frequently think of him, sometimes when a memory hits, but oftentimes when something new comes along that I think how much he would have enjoyed experiencing it. He left a legacy of family values that is passing from one generation to the next through the Lafferty clan.

When something really big happens, people usually remember where they were and what they were doing on that day. Here’s a list of 10 big events, and what I was doing when I heard the news.

  1. President Kennedy’s assassination – I was in 6th grade and had walked home from school for lunch. I found Grandma and Grandpa Briggs sitting in stunned silence in front of the television, and they told me the news. When I walked back to school, I broke the news to the crossing guards, and later heard some kids saying our teacher, Mrs. Ryno, had been crying. A teacher crying! That was bigger news around the elementary school than the president’s assassination.
  2. Beatles debut on Ed Sullivan Show – I was 11 and was headed to youth group on that Sunday night. I saw the performance before leaving, but could not figure out why Janie and Pam Gregory were acting so crazy about them at church that evening. I guess I was just too young to really get it, but those teenage girls were over the moon. And speaking of the moon…
  3. Neil Armstrong walks on the moon – I was 17 and wanted to go out to a movie with my friend, Karen. Dad stopped me and told me I needed to watch the moon landing (it might have been a rerun of it). Honestly, I wasn’t very interested, and just wanted to go pick up my friend. I stood in the living room for a few minutes until Dad seemed satisfied and let me go. Looking back, of course I cannot remember what the allure of that movie was, nor can I even remember what we saw, but an American walked on the moon that day and I almost missed it!
  4. OJ Simpson trial – I had had a hysterectomy that year and was on medical leave from work for 8 weeks. Mom spent the first few weeks with me (nursing me back to health) and we watched almost every minute of that trial. It was compelling reality TV. By the time the jury reached a verdict I was back at work, and a black co-worker was the one to make the announcement right after lunch one day. She seemed gleeful, but Mom and I knew he was guilty and were stunned at the verdict.
  5. Princess Diana’s death – I was having dinner with two friends, Alice Swartz and Jayne Ewell, in Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. The waitress told us, but at the time there was no confirmation of the princess’s death. I remember we prayed for her.
  6. Space Shuttle Challenger explosion – I was working at the American Cancer Society in downtown Phoenix. One of the secretaries ran into the reception area and said, “The shuttle just exploded!” I initially thought she was talking about a downtown shuttle bus, and I thought to myself, “I didn’t hear it.” Then it occurred to me what she was referring to. Someone brought out a TV and set it up in the lunchroom so we could watch the news.
  7. John Kennedy, Jr. plane crash – It was a Saturday and I didn’t have the TV on that morning. Carrie called mid-morning for something else, but mentioned the search for the plane, and I turned the TV on and watched the news reports the rest of the afternoon.
  8. September 11, 2001 – I was getting ready for work and had Fox News on my bedroom TV (as I always do in the morning). I heard the news and watched the first tower fall before I left for work. On my way to the Intel site, Daryl called me on my cell phone (I even remember I was at Eliot and the 101 when his call came in)  and he told me the second tower had fallen. I was, of course, listening to it on the radio. Intel set up a television in the cafeteria for the next two weeks so we could keep updated on the rescue and recovery.
  9. Arizona Diamondbacks win the World Series - Brian and Carrie were living with me and Lauren was a baby. Kevin Goerhing was at our house to watch game 7, and when Gonzo hit that bloop single to left center field, we all started jumping up and down and “whisper screaming” because Lauren was asleep in the next room and we didn’t want to wake her up.  What a riot!
  10. Anna Nicole Smith’s death – I know, not a top 10 event, but I specifically remember I was working at Marvell, and one of my co-worker’s said, loudly from her cube, “Anna Nicole Smith died.” Several people said, in unison, “Really!?” For some reason it stuck with me.

Two honorable mentions:

Cuban Missile Crisis – I remember walking from our 5th grade classroom to the cafeteria and Christine Ridenour said “Let’s head for Africa! We’ll swim!” I was amazed that she could think of such a joke. I thought she was really cool.

Oklahoma City bombing -  I’m not sure why this isn’t a vivid memory for me, but I do remember watching the news for the next several days after it happened. I know I was working at Intel, but can’t remember the details of my day that day. I have since visited the OKC Memorial twice.

Memories of historical events serve as milestones on our life journey, capturing a photo of the day in our mind’s eye. Some of them reaffirm who we are, and some of them change us forever.  What are some vivid memories you have of historical days?

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