Friday, September 25, 2020

Instructions to Fix the Printer

 Below are the instructions I got off the HP site on how to try and fix the printer:

Dust, paper fiber, and other debris might accumulate on the paper feed rollers and cause paper jams and paper feed issues. Clean the rollers inside the printer, and then try to print again.
Gather the following materials:
A lint-free cloth

Distilled, filtered, or bottled water (tap water might damage the printer)

  1. Turn off the printer, and then disconnect the power cord.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable, if it is not already disconnected.
  3. Raise the input tray. 
  4. Lift and hold the input tray shield.
  5. Look down through the open input tray and find the gray paper pick rollers. You might need a flashlight to illuminate the area.
  6. Dampen a long cotton swab with bottled or distilled water, and then squeeze any excess water from the cloth.
  7. Press the swab against the rollers, and then rotate them upward with your fingers. Apply a moderate amount of pressure to remove dust or dirt buildup.
  8. Lower the input tray shield.
  9. Allow the rollers to dry for 10 or 15 minutes.
  10. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the printer, and then turn on the printer.
  11. Reconnect the USB cable to the printer if necessary.

I have a suggestion how about making it easier to access the printer rollers. Then you might be able to actually fix the damn thing. 



One More Thing to Go Wrong

I needed to print something today from my printer. It had worked like a week ago but now it doesn't feed the paper properly. In what has been an incredibly frustrating week another wonderful cluster f*ck from life this is the cherry on top of my cherry sundae and I hate cherries.

It started with my next door neighbor noticing something. She is having work done. She's having her back porches replaced. As she was looking at the work being done, she noticed that the support on my back porch is rotting away. One more expense in what has turned out to be a very expensive fall after the vet bill.

The next wonderful thing to have happen is that the back wheel on my bike is bent. Which makes the bike unrideable. The first appointment I could get to have someone look at it is October 6.

And now this fun happening.

I'm not sure if I will continue to try and get the printer to work because I have a feeling I won't be able to get it to work. Either that or I will smash it to bits which would make me feel sooooo much better in the short term.

So what I will do instead is find a new printer and see how quickly I can get in.

I think the moral of the story is to just stay in bed. It greatly limits the next disaster life is going to throw your way.

I am so ready for this piece of shit of a year to be over.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Funny Take on Back to School

 I happened upon these Peanuts cartoons the other day. Sally has a very funny take on the start of school.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Unending Unemployment Saga

 An update on the unending unemployment saga.

Here’s a summary of what’s been going on.

Major League Baseball set up a relief fund for workers. At the time I applied for unemployment I didn’t have any information on when I would receive the money or how much money.

I forgot to mention this when I applied. In part that was because I had been on hold for four hours that day. That was after I had been on hold for five hours the previous day and had not spoken to anyone. Also there was information I had to find to give to unemployment and that took a little while to do.

As soon as I hung up that phone I realized I had not mentioned it. As it turned out about two hours after I got off the phone I received the information.

The next day I called back. I waited on hold for two hours and then gave up. I had some other things to do. A little later in the day I found an email address for unemployment. I detailed the information I how much money I would receive and when I would get it. I got an automated confirmation that the email had been received and someone would be back in touch with me.

After not hearing back, I called unemployment. After two hours on hold, I got through to someone and gave them the information. We agreed that it should be classified as severance even though it wasn’t exactly that.

Fast forward to August. I call unemployment yet again. My case is escalated. I’m told that I should be contacted in 5-7 business days about what the next steps are going to be. I’m reassured that I should receive all of the money except for two weeks when I was paid the severance.

Two week later I receive an email from unemployment (this is right before Labor Day). In it is a link to a Fact Finding Questionnaire which I need to answer in 48 hours excluding weekends and holidays. This is a series of questions about the severance. Most of the requested information unemployment has already received from me. But I answer the questions anyway.

As I finish the questionnaire, I notice the submit button. Under it it says that there will be a way for me to get a copy of the answers that I provided. I think I should take a screen shot of my answers which I do. I click on submit. The information is sent. I then get a blank screen. No way to get a record of what my answers were.

I did the survey in Safari. I go to Firefox. I get the same results. A neighbor of mine has Internet Explorer on her work computer (this is the recommended browser to use). I fill out the survey. I get the same results.

The Tuesday after Labor Day I call unemployment. Two hours later I talk to someone. They have no record that any sort of survey was sent to me at all. I give them the identification code I was given on the questionnaire email. Again  nothing. The guy says I should respond to the questionnaire email explain what happened and include the screen shots I took. That’s what I do.

I am beyond frustrated at all of this. I notice on Safari that I’m still on the blank page that popped up after I took the survey. I hit refresh like ten times. Each time I get a dialog box saying this will resend the information. I click OK. So one way or another they should have gotten the information.

The funny thing about this is that I have about four or five weeks of unemployment eligibility left. I’m guessing my eligibility is going to end well before I get any money.

The final little iron of all of this. The original email I sent laying out the details of the relief fund I sent on April 14. I got an automated response back with a case number. It also stated I would be contacted in 48 to 72 hours. I’m still waiting for a response.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Capital One make sure it is NOT in your wallet.

I’ve reached the end of the line with Capital one. At one point in time I had checking, saving, credit card, line of credit and mortgage with them. I finally canceled the final thing I had with them the credit card. Here are the series of events that caused me to do this.

My home equity line of credit was sold. Now this happens on a regular basis so it wasn’t too much of a surprise. But it was sold to a company firmly planted in the middle of the last century. You cannot move money electronically. You have to use checks. The original checks I received from the company were 6 inches high by 9 inches wide. They looked fake. If I received them as payment for something I would wonder if they were legitimate. I placed an order for new checks. I going to use the line of credit to pay for Charlie’s vet bills. It will be interesting to see what shows up.

Next my mortgage was sold. When this happened the new mortgage company sent a whole series of letters with information about what was going to happen. They assured over and over and over and over again that nothing would change. You wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. The only thing you would have to remember is the new address to send payments to and when to start doing it. And yet the new company wasn’t competent enough to pay my home owner’s insurance. They even wrote me a letter blaming me for the fact they didn’t pay it.

Then along came trying to get a copy of a canceled check to prove I’d paid a bill. I first requested the information on line. I made the initial request and a couple of weeks later called back to see how things were progressing. I was told there was a problem with it. I wondered when they were going to tell me about that. I was finally able to get a copy of the check. The only problem was it was just the front of the check so there was no way to prove the check had been cashed. This happened not once but twice. Four months after the first request I finally received something I could use to prove I’d paid the bill.

After all these fun and games. I closed the checking and savings account. At least I thought I closed out the checking account rather than just withdrawing all the money. Turns out for some reason if was not closed and one of the automatic payments I had set up was sent. Which caused the account to be over drawn. A phone call got that cleared up. But one has to wonder why the account wasn’t close in the first place.

I kept the credit card. This is very much a catch 22 situation. If you cancel the credit card, it changes your debt ration if you are carrying balances on other cards and that will reduce your credit score. But if you keep the card that means your available usable credit can bring down your credit score as well. From a little research keeping the card has less of an impact on your score thus the reason I kept the card.

The final straw with Capital One was there decision to lower my credit line. As usual it was an oh by the way we decided this. I decided I had had enough of Capital One. I figure my credit score will take a hit from this anyway so might as well just close the account.

So that’s my experience with Capital One and something to remember about Capital One make sure IT IS NOT IN YOUR WALLET.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Charlie on the mend

 Here's a video showing Charlie Brown's progress. Just a few days ago he could barely stand up.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Furry Friends on Bike Rides

Something to remember when you are riding on the paths by the Lincoln Memorial.

The cute furry critters that run around when it is lights out are squirrels.

The cute furry critters that run around when it is dark out are usually squirrels but sometimes they are rats.

One woman found out the hard way much to her distress.

The other day I raced a rat running from one side of the path to the other. I almost got him but then he put on a burst of speed and made it across.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Continuing the Fun with Unemployment

Here's a short update on my unemployment case (I might do a longer story on it later).

There had been an issue with my claim which was why I wasn't receiving any benefits. A few weeks back, I called unemployment and my case was "escalated".
Late yesterday evening I got this email reply here's the most important part of it: Your telephone inquiry to the Department of Employment Services Office of Unemployment Compensation is now closed.
And the small detail that might be missing from this is what was decided about it. Or maybe they would put in the email you will be contacted shortly about what was determined. 
As another part of the email says: If you require additional assistance, please contact the Customer Navigation Center then a phone number.
Yes I guess I do require additional service since I have no idea what was decided. This is just nuts!

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Charlie is Staying One More Day

Charlie is staying at the vets one more day. They are going to take out his catheter and see how he does going to the bathroom on his own. He may have no problems but there is the possibility that I might have to help Charlie empty his bladder. I'd like to have a better idea if I need to do that and the best way to figure that out is for him to stay one more day. That way the vet can see what he can and cannot do.

They are having no problems getting him to take his pills. They hide it in food. The vet even said Charlie let her pet him on the head through the cage. She added she was careful when she did it. She also said he seems to be doing well with the recovery. He's a little ahead of the curve on feeling. She added that this can take a long time so the fact he isn't walking on his back legs is not a surprise.

The goal is to bring him home tomorrow. Thanks for all the help and well wishes from everyone. 


Monday, August 31, 2020

Update on Charlie

Here's an update on Charlie.

He is doing as well as can be expected. Since Charlie is rather difficult to assess (think psycho kitty), the vet thinks he is doing well. Some of the places that Charlie didn't have sensation she thinks he does.
If they can get Charlie off intravenous pain meds he might be able to come home tomorrow. My bet is more likely Wednesday. I have to say much sooner that I expected. And because of all this I've pushed back my stress test to October.
So fingers crossed Charlie seems to be doing well and should be back home soon.


Spectacular Sunrise

A spectacular sunrise this morning. It brought a much needed smile to my face. I only went to the Lincoln today. I hadn't been on the bike for about a week and when that happens I do a short ride. Mostly to make sure I don't cramp up. And judging by the "graceful" dismount from the bike, it was a good call.

The other thing I've noticed is it's getting lighter later and later which of course makes sense. But it's surprising how in just a couple of weeks how much of a difference that makes. I could leave my house around 5:30 and have no problems because the sky was starting to lighten. But now it's closer to 6.


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Charlie Brown is in the Hospital

Charlie is in the hospital. I found him Friday morning unable to stand on his back legs for any period of time. With help of my next door neighbor, who has a car, we took him to Friendship Animal Hospital in Northwest DC.

They took Xrays and did blood work (not the easiest thing to do with Charlie since he is a terrible patient). After that the next step was to do an MRI. The thought was that he could have something impacting one of his disc in his back. The only way to see that was with an MRI.

If there was disc problems a decision would have to be made whether to do surgery (this is to avoid sedating Charlie again). I gave the go ahead to do the surgery (thank goodness I have credit cards with high limits on them. Additional funds would be available if the issue with my unemployment claim could be cleared up since I haven't been paid anything since the end of April but that's for another post).

Charlie came through the surgery fine. It's hopeful this will solve his mobility issues (it's no guaranteed but the only way to find out if it would work is to do the surgery). He will be in the hospital a few more days. Then home for recovery. There are a couple of possible other issues but again it's a wait and see if they happen.

I'm have to get a bunch of stuff for him. They want to limit the area he has to move around in so I'm getting him a dog crate and other things.

Fingers crossed that this works. I figure I owe Charlie this much to see if this can work.

One more quick note which is somewhat bitchy but I have to say since I lost my job a little over four years ago in general things have been one big Cluster F*ck and this can be added to the list. And I'm more than ready for it to stop.

Here's a picture of Charlie Brown resting in his cat carrier from earlier in the week.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Stressing Over my Stress Test.

 My stress test is stressing me out. 

I'm having a stress test to see how my heart is doing these days. So the test has stressed me out a little. The actual test is adding to my stress but getting the damn test is stressful as well.

My original appointment was for August 18 at 9:15 (I like early appointments so you can get it done and out of the way. Also the earlier in the day the less likely they are to be running behind). I would see my doctor after the test.

The test got changed. The new date was for August 27 at 12:30. Not the best of times. In part for the reason I said above but also because you're not supposed to have anything to eat three hours before the test. The appointment with my doctor was changed from an in person visit to a video conference which was to be on September 2.

Yesterday afternoon around 5 I got a call from the office saying they needed to put the test off once again. The new new appointment time for the test is September 9 at 9:45. The video conference with the doctor won't happen until October 1. I'm going to assume if they find something the doctor will be in touch earlier than October 1.

I'm hoping that the third time is the charm and the test will actually happen. And I can stop stressing over my stress test.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Monday, August 24, 2020

Riding Over 100 Miles in Four Days


I am very pleased and proud about what I accomplished today. This is something that I haven't done in at least ten if not fifteen years. This week actually over four days I rode over 100 miles. 107.55 to be exact. 
 I left 15 minutes later than yesterday for my ride.


Wow what a difference that made. When I got into Virginia I could actually see the trail. What a concept seeing where your riding. Who knew?
It was really humid out. Dew point was 70 which made for a very soupy ride. I rode 24.05 miles. 

I tried the Crystal City path again. Rode for a while and then it literally just ends. There's construction for the new Amazon facility instead of the path. So I just turned around and got back on the Mt. Vernon trail.
I like riding on Sunday because there is no one out at all. By the time I come back into the city people are beginning to stir.
I have an interesting story on scooters but that's for another post.

Tomorrow is a rest day. As for next week it look like it is going to get hot again so I'm not sure how many days I'll ride. Also I have a stress test on Thursday so definitely won't re riding that day. As we say in my family we'll see.
Finally got the full reflection of the Monument in a picture.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Up Early and on the Bike

I have been leaving the house early to on my rides. Early as in the crack of dawn early if not earlier. The sun rises around 6:30. I'm usually out the door by 5:30 ish.
Needless to say it's dark outside. The sky might be getting a little light but not much. Now that doesn't make much of a difference in the city because of all the lights. In fact the Metropolitan Branch Trail, which I take to get down to Union Station, has lights all along it. The streets downtown have lights too. It's a little dark when I'm actually down by the Smithsonian Museums but still not bad. 
However once you get across the Memorial Bridge it is a very different story. It's dark out. More to the point it's dark along the path which makes the path sometimes hard to follow. (Yes it would help if I actually had you know a light on my bike but right now I don't).
The Mt. Vernon Trail follows the George Washington Parkway. So the lights from the cars help light up the trail. Expect when they are directly in your eyes and you can't see anything at all (yes I know I should get a light but I don't think it would help in this situation). Yesterday I stopped for a minute until the cars passed and went on my way. It wasn't as bad this morning because there was less traffic. 
By the time I get close to Gravelly Point, there is close to enough light so you can see. However yesterday I was getting close to Gravelly Point and I notice two lights heading toward me. As in a light in each of the lanes of the trail. I get close and realize the guy in my lane is not going to move over (yes this would have been the perfect time to have a light). So I move over instead. I thought at the time a light would have helped in that situation. But then it occurred to me if I had been a jogger I wouldn't have had a light. I have a feeling if I'd been a jogger the guy wouldn't have moved for me either.
I went 20 miles today. I'm hoping to go at least that tomorrow. And maybe I'll leave fifteen minutes later so there's just a little more light to ride by.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A Rain Delay

 The trials and tribulations of Charlie Brown playing baseball. In the strip only rain is the problem. I wonder how he would have dealt the a pandemic. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Scooter Scourge

The other day I was in Georgetown on my bike. Specifically I was on K Street under the Whitehurst 
Freeway. There are dedicated bike lanes. At one end of the lanes was a scooter parked right in the middle of the lanes. Exactly in the middle of the lane. So someone had to deliberately place the scooter there.
Just another example of what a pain these things are. Placed anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes this is done by the people that ride them. But other times it's the companies that pull this crap.
As far as I am concerned they are a menace. I lost count of the number of times one has passed within inches of me when I'm walking down a path or sidewalk. There is of course no warning at all. If I had suddenly moved or turned, I would have been hit. There seems to be this assumption that they are on a scooter and everyone needs to get out of their way. They also go way too fast.
It would be so nice if they were banned. But of course that is not going to happen.


Monday, August 10, 2020

A Great Sunday Ride


I realized something on the ride this morning. Actually after I'd turned around. I took a little rest to catch my breath and started back to DC.
I seemed to have a lot of energy and was going rather fast. That's when I realized I was going down river which of course means the elevation was slowly going down too. So I had a subtle down hill all the way back to Georgetown. That's also the reason I was huffing and puffing going in the other direction because 
I was going up river or up a slight incline.
The other reason I was huffing and puffy was it was very humid out so humid that there was fog. At one point my glasses fogged up to because of both fogs I almost hit a jogger. But missed him at the last moment.
This was a very productive ride. It was the first time I'd ridden for four days in a row. It was also the longest ride so far this year at 23.05 miles. 
Monday is a rest day.


Snoozing on a Sunday

 Linus and Charlie snoozing on a Sunday.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Another Big Storm

This was as big if not bigger than the storm from the day before. I was sitting watching Opening Day of baseball and I could see out my dinning room windows all sorts of lightening. There was no thunder but plenty of lightening. Eventually the storm got closer and it really came down as you can see from the video.

Robin Leaving the Nest

This guy was out for a little time on his own. He seemed a little scared and was calling back to one of his parents. You can just hear one of the adults answering back.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Heavens Open Up

A big line of black clouds. Lots of thunder. Lots of lightening.

As the heavens open up on a very hot and very humid afternoon in DC.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

A Good Morning Ride

Back on the bike early this morning 5:30 to be exact. Went 14.59 miles. I rode down to the Lincoln Memorial. I thought this might be first time no one was taking wedding pictures but just as I was about to leave three couples showed up. I think the idea is to get the pictures in as the sun is rising over the Washington Monument.

I went across the Memorial Bridge and then went north toward Rosslyn and Teddy Roosevelt island. I forgot about the wooden slatted bridge you have to ride on. I don't particularly like that bridge very much. I have the fear that I going to play the coyote in one of the Road Runner cartoons and one of the planks on the bridge is going to hit me when I ride over it. Also riding across the bridge is hard on my bum.

There were very few people out this morning so riding through Georgetown was a breeze. I had to ride on the sidewalk for a little while and I have to say I don't like the red brick sidewalks. There's always a brick or two that are loose and unnerves me.

One thing I have noticed is that my sense of balance on the bike is not very good. I'm hoping that will improve the longer I ride. I really notice it when I slow down. I feel for some reason that I'm going to tip over. I think this might be due in part because I tense up.

I'm hoping tomorrow to ride to at least Gravelly Point and maybe a little beyond. I don't think I'm going to try for Mt. Vernon until the weather cools down a little. Which considering how this heat wave has no end in sight to it, might be a little while.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Peanuts and Baseball

Some of the best strips from Peanuts are about baseball.

In honor of professional baseball getting ready to start up here is a classic Peanuts baseball series.