email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Sunday, March 26, 2017


I am glad to say that Spring seems to finally be here for real.  Today was in the 70s and the long range forecast suggests that even the low temps will be in the 40s.  So I can safely get on with planting.

The earliest daffodils are all flower-down from stem freeze, but the new wave of flowers are opening.  There should be some good pictures soon.  The hyacinths that were completely absent last year (planted Fall 2015) are showing small flowers this year.  I am relieved they are alive at all.  I'll hope for a better show next year.  The tulips are emerging but not blooming yet.

I planted 25 astilbes in a re-dug bed last month.  I assume the cold isn't a problem for them since they a perennials.  I have another 25 for an island I created around a tree and 3' rock on the front yard.  Astilbes will appreciate the half shade AND they are listed as being deer-resistant, which matters in the front.  The deer ate most of my hostas last year so I am moving the survivors to the fenced-in back yard.  There are 2 kinds on large crinkly-leaved hostas the deer never touched so I will divide them into 1/4s and fill in the empty spots.  I have been tending toward more of the same plants in large masses, so that works too.

For too many years, I have planted "6 of this" "6 of those" etc.  Which is nice from 5' away, but looks rather jumbled from further away sort of like a pile of mixed tiles on a table.  I'm going for at least 25 sq ft of  the same plants for most of the beds.

EXCEPT I'm also going "cottage garden" along the 75'x 8' bed along the fence.  That should become a riot of self-sowing color of various height I hope!  And if I'm lucky, they should grow tall and thick enough to shade out the runner grass that showed up about 5 years ago and seems impossible to eliminate by digging them out.

Along with the new astilbe bed and the fence bed, I have 3 edged areas in the middle of the back yard.  One is a wildflower bed, one is for an invasive lychamistra, and one is for mostly spring bulbs where I am also planting dwarf butterfly bushes, dwarf roses, yuccas, and annuals that don't need much water (spring bulbs like dry summers).

The wildflower bed was initially planted last year.  I tilled the soil loosely and gaily scatterred seeds from a "wildflower" packet around.  I didn't get much.  So this year I bought specific wildflowers suited to partial shade and poor soil.  Some I planted inside in flats so that I know I have something growing to transplant randomly.  The rest I'll scatter and hope that Nature lets them grow.

And I'm cheating a bit.  I also bought a packet each for Bees, Hummingbirds, and Butterflys.  It might be a very odd-looking bed (about 30' x 15').

The lychimastra (I simply CANNOT ever remember how to spell that) bed is only 10' diameter.  But it is easy to mow around so they can't spread.  Indeed, I thought I killed them 2 years ago, but they keep coming back ("invasive" right, have to remember that).  I admire the purple foliage and the gold flowers are nice.  I just need to remember to shear off the dying flowers before the seeds spread.  Hedge trimmers are good for that.

The spring bulb edged bed is my real hope.  IF they ever grow.  Last year, the hyacinths never came up at all but have (weakly) this year.  This year 1/2 the daffodil flowers froze.  The tulips are looking promising.  And it is the closest bed to the deck.  I have the sunflower seed feeder in the center and there is always lots of activity there.  The birds go through enough seeds that the shells are pretty good mulch.  I might change the pole the feeder is on from an in-ground pole to a free-standing one I can move around to mulch other spots.

This is last year in April.  It will look like this soon, but I have 3x the daffodils and the tulips have multiplied a bit and I have gotten rid up most of the weeds...

I need to mark the spots where the existing tulips are (with cardboard pinned down with tent stakes) after the leaves are dying back so I know where to plant more between them this coming Fall. 

The finches are starting to color up.  I see slightly more gold on the males each day.  Boy can those guys EAT!  I have 2 tube feeders of Nyger seed and I have to refill them every day (about a qt/liter of seeds).  I buy the stuff in 50# bags and fill up qt bottles I've saved and store them in the basement freezer.  I order it from a local home project store, but sometimes it is available from Amazon too.  The 50# cost $75 which is $1.50 per pound; a lot better than the $2 to $2.50 per pound the small bags cost in local stores.

This is from April last year.  They aren't this gold yet, but will be soon.  I can't wait to see them like this again.  And it is good to know I'm helping them get there.  I have no doubt that I have the healthiest, brightest goldfinches in my area!

It is hard to count them, as they flutter around and fuss over perches, but I probably have at least 2 dozen.  I have about a dozen resident cardinals, a vague number of purple finches, a few woodpeckers, some doves, some titmice, some sparrows and and a few random other visitors at the black oil sunflower feeder.  The goldfinches eat more weight in seed than all the birds eating the sunflower seeds.

I watch them using a target range spotter-scope on a tripod.  That's a lot easier trying to hold binoculars in my trembley hands (DDT exposure as a teen, I suspect).  I should buy a serious camera for taking pictures of the birds too.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Quite a Day!

Most people keep regular hours waking and sleeping.  I managed that for 35 years of regular office work, but since I retired in 2006, that went totally out the window.  For example, I got up at 11 am Thursday and stayed up til 1 PM  Friday.  I did some yardwork in daylight and stayed on the computer from after dinner to 1 PM Friday and crashed for 4 hours sleep.  Got up at 5PM, fed the Mews 1st and 2nd breakfast then let them out for the brief daylight left.

Stay with me here...

Made dinner at 8 PM.  I had lots of "refrigerator-fodder" and a packaged 1/2" slice of uncooked ham.  Tghat ham slice is large.  I pulled out my 2 burned Lodge cast iron flat griddle and heated tht baby up for 15 minutes.  Talk about sizzle! 

Then I went to the basement and harvested a dozen leaves of the baby bok choy  and celery I'm growing there.  Destrung (destringed?) a dozen snow peas, cut strips of red and green bell peppers, sliced up a jalepeno pepper, sliced a 1/2 onion and 4 cremini mushrooms and went to work with the wok. 

The celery chunks . peppers, and mushrooms went into the wok first.  Followed by the onions, then the celery leaves, sliced bok choy, and shredded garlic and ginger.  Then, before they were "almost crisp", I added a 1/4 cup cornstarch and chicken broth mix and let it bubble for slightly over a minute.

My friends, it was the most perfect stir-fry I have ever made!

I did not eat it with a salad,
I did not eat it with a side.
I just put the bowl on table
And I put it all inside!

Even the TV choices were great (I eat watching TV).  There was a show about the Broadway hit 'Hamilton', a good Nature show, and MSNBC  commentary about the days political events.

I NEEDED THAT!  These last 2 weeks have been frustrating.  And I haven't even resolved all the email issues yet.  But the new computer is up and running except for that, my backup program is working, and I CAN get to each of my 3 email accounts by logging in and out for each one whenever I want to check.  I'll solve that one soon.


Friday, March 24, 2017

New Mac Computer

Well, the new Mac Mini arrived Wensday, but I was tired.  I had to do errands most on yesterday, but got at it in the late afternoon.  Macs have something called Migration assistant that helps you transfer important files from a Mac to a PC, a PC to a Mac, or a Mac to Mac (from new to old or old to new).

That sounds really great, but unless you have about every cable and/or adaptor in existence, it can be an adventure.  I don't, and it was!

The most direct way of migrating from one Mac to another is too simply have them both up and running with an HDMI cable between them.  Which requires 2 sets of monitors/keyboards/mouses, all of which I actually have!

But Mac Minis have only one HDMI port.  My monitors plug into HDMI ports.  But so does the recommended Mac to Mac. No amount of searching through my box of odd cables and adaptors would make that work. 

I could have gone to a local store and bought the one adaptor I needed, but NOOOOOO, I had to make it work with what I had.  Well, sometimes half the fun in life is the challenge...

And one thing I had was a brand new Western Digital (WD) 4Tb backup drive (my old Seagate 500Gb drive just wasn't able to backup all my files anymore) that I ordered at the same time as the new Mac.

So, I didn't have the right cables to go direct Mac to Mac.  But the Mac Migration Assistant said it was perfectly happy using a Time Machine backup.  So I set up the old Mac to the new WD backup disk and set it to backup the old Mac.  Took 3 hours!  It was an initial backup (copying everything).

I was just finishing a late dinner when the backup completed.  I moved the WD backup and all the other cables to the new Mac and opened Migration Assistant there.  I had to register the new Mac slightly (language, location, User ID, Password, etc.  The user name and password set me back for a while.  In spite of it being a new computer, somewhere, the Mac Universe knows who I am and disagreed with my name.  I finally discovered that my old password on Capital letters and some numbers NOW required a lower case letter also.  Got THAT straightened out, and went through a bunch of stuff about using the Cloud.  Sorry, not yet for that for me. 

They were insistent, so I had to go through a bunch of "Are you SURE?" questions.  But I finally got to the NEW Mac Migration Assistant, and it searched for an external drive.  Found it and started downloading files. 

I was really worried at first.  The progress bar stayed at 1% for 30 minutes.  But then it suddenly progressed faster and only took another hour. 

I amused myself during the wait by changing the water for my 2 Siamese Fighting fish (separate containers of course),  doing a load of laundry, tossing toys to the Mews, and listening to MSNBC commentary in the background.

But even massive file transfers through slow cables do come to an end and the new Mac reported it had completed the file download.  A quick check suggests that all my files are saved, are saved in familiar folders, and my Firefox and Safari browsers have my bookmarks.  I checked iPhoto next for all my photos.

Its not the same.  Nothing I couldn't figure out, but more on THAT soon as there are changes I don't like and may ask questions about to fellow Mac users.

Everything ELSE seems to work pretty much the same, but I checked iPhotos first as it matters more to my blogs than word or spreadsheet programs do.

The important thing is that I am up and running on a Mac with more memory, processing speed and backup.  I understand the programs (generally, given some changes)

It doesn't solve my unhappiness with the transfer of my Verizon email (which I was utterly happy with) to AOL (which seems restrictive, user-unfriendly, and overflowing with ads).  THAT is a problem to solve in a few days.  I can LIVE with AOL for right now, just won't STAY with them for long.  They want to "nickle and dime" me to death for every service to avoid what I don't want them to provide in the first place.  And I have 3 email addresses (for which they charge a monthly fee each).  And I can't simply switch from one to another as I could on Verizon, I have to log out and then back in each time. 

But the migration is complete, my new computer runs faster, and I'm back on line.  For today, that's is enough.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Planting Seeds

I've gotten behind my seed-planting schedule with the computer problems, but I made some major progress last evening.  The delay shouldn't cause too much of a problem.  My indoors tomatoes and peppers and leeks were planted on time and they are up and growing.  And the unusual late cold would probably have killed the beets and peas I should have planted outside anyway.

The late indoors plantings were all of flowers and I got 7 flats of them planted.  And since planting the seeds directly outdoors is scheduled for 4 weeks from now, all I have lost is 3 weeks of a headstart.

I'm trying something new this year.  Most of my existing perennial flowers have died out over the past years, and to tell you the truth, perennials don't bloom for very long and you have the same flowers in the same colors in the same places for years.

So I'm trying a cottage garden.  I bought a dozen packets of seeds of a few perennials and mostly self-sowing annuals.  I planted 6 of each in cell-packs (in my own sifted starter soil I mixed last month), so I know I have some growing plants of each type.  I'll plant the seedlings randomly in the old flowerbed along the fence.

And then, I will scatter most of the rest of the seeds around the bed randomly.  I have already spread 3" of 50/50 compost and topsoil mix around, so the scattered seeds should have a good start.  The indoors-grown seedlings will guarantee me of "something", and the scatterred direct-sown seeds may surprize me.  I'm keeping some of each in case the direct-sowing fails.

Partly, I'm doing this because I've been too organized about my plantings for many years.  It's not that I'm "formal", just rather geometrically-oriented and rather controlling.  Oh wait, that's what "formal" is, isnt it?  I want to force my hand on Nature.  Well, let's see what Nature will do on its own.  It is time to try a different approach!

For anyone interested, I have a real system for indoor seed-starting.  To begin with, I have a metal shelving stand that I added lights to (Ooh, my English Teacher would scream.  That should be "to which I added lights")
I mix my own starter soil from compost, peat, vermiculite, and perlite.  I fill a large barrel with it.

I reuse 6 pack cels each year, but I soak them in the laundry tub with some bleach overnight and then rinse them.  Then I add them to flats that hold water and add a mesh flat underneath for strength.  One 6 pack cel is a 5 cel; I cut one out to make watering easier.

I have a plastic bin that holds a whole flat.  I can just dump starter soil in  and scrape off the excess without waste.  The extra goes back in the starter soil trash can.  So I have a flat of cel packs leveled with soil to plant in.

Most of the cottage garden seeds are surface-sprouters.  They need light to germinate so they are just pressed lightly into the soil.  A few 6 pack cels stacked together make a perfect presser.  Others want 1/8" to as much as 1" depth.  Well that's what fingers are for! 

The surface-planted ones need light to germinate, so they get on the light stand.  The others just get stacked up until the emerge and then they get their space on the stand.  My basement stays at 64F, which is fine for most flowers.  The few that want 70-75 get stacked on the upstairs rack.  They grow better at 65F some they go back downstairs on emergence.

It's a real dance sometimes.  But what is the purpose of a hobby but to take some work?  I mean, if everytime you tossed a bowling ball any way and got a strike, who would bother to bowl?  The purpose of a hobby is to focus some effort and get good at it. 

I am hoping for some very interesting different flower garden this year and for the next few years.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Surrender

There are times when you make what seems to be a good decision and it just doesn't work.   
I have struggled for almost 10 days now with the new Windows computer and I just can't make sense of it.  And I was a Windows user for almost 20 years.

Nothing makes sense.  Compared to my Mac, the Windows is very hard to organize, the file folders are hard to arrange, and I can't seem to control it much.  Windows FIGHTS user control.  I read that before I purchased it,and I hought I could force it to look the way I wanted, but my confidence was in error.  I can't get used to the loss off control.

If you have Windows and are used to it, wonderful. I don't criticize in the least bit.   Windows has one way of user management; Mac has another.  I'm the Mac kind. 

So, I'm selling the Windows computer I just bought.  

Yes, it will cost me something.  I paid $1,000 for it, I may be able to sell it for $600.  It is not returnable.  Sometimes you just make a mistake and have to bite the bullet.

I had several reasons to try a Windows again.  Several computer sites said Windows was about as stable as Macs (and it has not crashed this week).  Others said there were more apps.  Others said more people used them.   That seems to be correct.  

I don't want to start a Windows vs Mac war here. I just know that Mac software is more intuitive to use and easier to manage and get around.  I have more control over it.  

I had 5 malware attacks in one day on Windows. I had 2 Mac attacks in 6 months.  And my Mac software detected and deleted those.  That may not last forever, but I appreciate it now.

So 'Im going to sell the new Windows computer for what I can get (and it has additional software I've downloaded).  And buying a new Mac.

I hate to waste money.  But I expect this Mac to last 6 years or more and who wants to fight with their computer.  I'm going back to what I understand.  Because I realized I am just not ON the computer (with Windows) much anymore

I found a Mac Mini equal in Ram and memory etc to the Windows computer.  It costs more, but I can accept that.  

It will take 3 days to arrive, a couple days to migrate, and I should be up and working again then.  The programs will be familiar, the files will stay, the photos will be accessible again, life will be normal.

I should have just done that to begin with. But like I said, sometimes you make mistakes and mistakes aren't free.  I will be happier afterwards.

When you get down to it, that's what matters...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday Humor

As long as I am copying files and deleting everything ABSOLUTELY not required, here is som more old humor. 

Thoughts From The Workplace...

 Doing a job RIGHT the first time gets the job done. Doing the job WRONG
fourteen times gives you job security. 

 We put the "k" in "kwality." 

 If at first you don't succeed, try management. 

 Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether. 

 TEAMWORK means never having to take all the blame yourself.

 The beatings will continue until morale improves. 

Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups. 

 We waste time, so you don't have to. 

 A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock at all. 

 When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break. 


 Succeed in spite of management. 

 We waste more time by 8:00 in the morning than other companies do all

 Work: It isn't just for sleeping anymore. 

 Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines. 


 A programmer is someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in
a way you don't understand. 

 An auditor is someone who arrives after the battle and bayonets all the

 A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining
and wants it back the minute it begins to rain. (Mark Twain)

 An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he
predicted yesterday did not happen today.

 A statistician is someone who is good with numbers but lacks the
personality to be an accountant. 

 An actuary is someone who brings a fake bomb on a plane, because that
decreases the chances that there will be another bomb on the plane.

 A lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000-word document and calls it a

 A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep. 

 A consultant is someone who takes the watch off your wrist and tells
you the time. For a fee.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Humor

More stuff about to be lost...

In the beginning there was the computer.  And God said
c:\Let there be light!
Enter user id.
Enter password.
Password incorrect.
Password incorrect.
And God logged on at 12:01:00 AM, Sunday, March 1.
c:\Fiat lux!
Bad command or file name.
c:\Let there be light!
Bad command or file name.
c:\Create light
c:\Run heaven and earth
And God created Day and Night. And God saw there were 0 errors.
And God logged off at 12:02:00 AM, Sunday, March 1.

And God logged on at 12:01:00 AM, Monday, March 2.
c:\Let there be firmament in the midst of water and light
Bad command or file name.
c:\Create firmament
c:\Run firmament
And God divided the waters. And God saw there were 0 errors.
And God logged off at 12:02:00 AM, Monday, March 2.

And God logged on at 12:01:00 AM, Tuesday, March 3.
c:\Let the waters under heaven be gathered together unto one place
and let the dry land appear and
Bad command or file name.
Too many characters in specification string.
c:\Create dry_land
c:\Run firmament
And God divided the waters. And God saw there were 0 errors.
And God logged off at 12:02:00 AM, Tuesday, March 3.

And God logged on at 12:01:00 AM, Wednesday, March 4.
c:\Create lights in the firmament to divide the day from the night
Bad command or file name.
c:\Create sun_moon_stars
c:\Run sun_moon_stars
And God separated the light from the darkness.  The sun ruled over
The day and the moon and stars ruled over the night.  And God saw there
Were 0 errors.
And God logged off at 12:02:00 AM, Wednesday, March 4.

And God logged on at 12:01:00 AM, Thursday, March 5.
c:\Create fish
c:\Create fowl
c:\Run fish, fowl
And God created the great sea monsters and every living creature
That creepeth wherewith the waters swarmed after its kind and every
Winged fowl after its kind. And God saw there were 0 errors.
And God logged off at 12:02:00 AM, Thursday, March 5.

And God logged on at 12:01:00 AM, Friday, March 6.
c:\Create cattle
c:\Create creepy_things
c:\Now let us make man in our image
Bad command or file name.
c:\Create man
c:\Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it
and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air
and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth
Bad command or file name.
c:\Run multiplication
Execution terminated. 6 errors.
c:\Insert breath
c:\Run multiplication
Execution terminated. 5 errors.
c:\Move man to Garden of Eden
Bad command or file name.
Garden of Eden not found in this directory.
c:\Create Garden.edn
c:\Move man to Garden.edn
c:\Run multiplication
Execution terminated. 4 errors.
c:\Copy woman from man
c:\Run multiplication
Execution terminated. 2 errors.
c:\Create desire
c:\Run multiplication
And God saw man and woman being fruitful and multiplying in Garden.edn
Warning: No time limit on this run. 1 errors.
c:\Create freewill
c:\Run freewill
And God saw man and woman being fruitful and multiplying in Garden.edn
Warning: No time limit on this run. 1 errors.
c:\Undo desire
Desire cannot be undone once freewill is created.
c:\Destroy freewill
Freewill is an inaccessible file and cannot be destroyed.
Enter replacement, cancel, or ask for help.
Desire cannot be undone once freewill is created.
Freewill is an inaccessible file and cannot be destroyed.
Enter replacement, cancel, or ask for help.
c:\Create tree_of_knowledge
And God saw man and woman being fruitful and multiplying in Garden.edn
Warning: No time limit on this run. 1 errors.
c:\Create good, evil
c:\Activate evil
And God saw he had created shame.
Warning system error in sector E95.  Man and woman not in Garden.edn. 1 errors.
c:\Scan Garden.edn for man, woman
Search failed.
c:\Delete shame
Shame cannot be deleted once evil has been activated.
c:\Destroy freewill
Freewill is an inaccessible file and cannot be destroyed.
Enter replacement, cancel, or ask for help.
Bad command or file name.
c:\Create new world
You have exceeded your allocated file space. You must destroy old
Files before new ones can be created.
c:\Destroy earth
Destroy earth: Please confirm.
c:\Destroy earth confirmed

And God logged off at 11:59:59 PM, Friday, March 6.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday Humor

As I am going through my doc files, I have found some old humor.  I'm not going to keep them, but I will post them for some laughs.

 First,   From "actual" US government employee performance evaluations:

 1. Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.

 2. I would not allow this employee to breed.

 3. This employee is really not so much of a has-been but more of a definite won't-be.

 4. Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.

 5. When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet.

 6. He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.

 7. This young lady has delusions of adequacy.

 8. He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.

 9. This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

 10. This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better.

 11. Got a full six-pack but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together.

 12. A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.

 13. He does not have ulcers, but he is a carrier.

 14. I would like to go hunting with him sometime.

 15. He has been working with glue too much.

 16. He would argue with a signpost.

 17. He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room.

 18. When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell.

 19. If you see two people talking, and one looks bored, he is the other one.

 20. A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on.

 21. A prime candidate for natural de-selection.

 22. Donated his brain to science before he was done using it.

 23. Gates are down, the lights are flashing but the train is not coming.

 24. Has two brains: one is lost and the other is out looking for it.

 25. If he were any more stupid, he would have to be watered twice a week.

 26. If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you would get change.

 27. If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.

 28. It is hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.

 29. One neuron short of a synapse.

 30. Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled.

 31. Takes him two hours to watch 60 Minutes.

 32. The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.


Only in drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes and candy bars at the front.

Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin? 
Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed? 
Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"? 
Why is "abbreviated" such a long word? 
Why is it that doctors and lawyers call what they do "practice"? 
Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons? 
Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? 
Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? 
Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food? 
Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes? 
Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections? 
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?! 
Why don't sheep shrink when it rains? 
Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together? 
If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress? 
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

Just some laughs as I delete old files getting back online...


New Computer 3

Ah changing computer systems is SO much fun. 

My Corel Photo processing software arrive in the mail today.  I will save installing that for later.

I am obsessed with the email problems tonight.  I finally CAN access cavebear2118, marksmews2118, and yardenman2118.  My problem now is that I have to log into one, read it, log out, log in to another, read it, log out, log in to the third and read that.  And each time, I had to look at "AOL Today" newsfeeds which are mostly clickbaits for ads. 

So I called AOL with 2 questions.  I had a tech support person on the line immediately; no complaints about that.  First question was "can I arrange my AOL mail display so that I go directly to my inbox"?   Apparently not.  I wasn't surprised, they make their living off ads.  They even admitted they understand that I may not read any ads and just go to the inbox, but they want their shot at my attention, so they won't let me  change my scene.

My 2nd question was about the annoyance of having to log in and out of accounts in order to read the mail in the 3 email accounts.  I had tried to log into one, save it as a bookmark, log into the 2nd and save THAT bookmarked.  It doesn't work.  The only AOL email address is non-specific to account names. 

They do have a solution to that called AOL password manager so that all 3 accounts (for I am already paying $5 per account per month) would show on a single menu for easy switching between email accounts.  For another $5 per month.  That might be total or per account, the tech guy wasn't sure.  OK, he's not in Billing...

And THEN, he surprised me.  My AOL help is free only for 30 days.  And guess what they want after that?  $5 per month.  They are obsessed with $5 per month charges. LOL!  He DID tell me (on prompting by me) that I can get a lot of the tech help for free if I call AOL in the US during their normal business hours. 

I'm going to look for a better email system.  I wanted to keep the addresses for convenience (and I'm sure that is part of AOL business plan).  And I have to question the value of having the 3 email addresses.  I set up 3 on the Mac mail from verizon because it was free and convenient.

I discovered I had 12,000 saved emails.  Mostly cat blog and personal blog comments forwarded there.  I deleted those down to 500, mostly so that I kept at least one who has every emailed me.  Those are stored on the Mac.  I can look those up anytime and just retype them into the PC mail as needed.  I might just try to print them out, probably only 12 pages and stick them in a binder.

One lesson I've learned from all this is to just never call tech support during non-working hours.  I'm not saying anything bad about the overseas tech support folks.  They do their best.  But they don't have full access to the US corporate information about my accounts or  ability to change things as freely.

As an example, I spend 4 hours one night with an overseas call center about email passwords and they could not solve the problem.  A US AOL tech the next morning did it in 15 minutes and it worked. 

So at night, I'm going to just gradually transfer files from the Mac to the PC 8Gb at a time with the flashdrive, and leave the tech questions to daytime hours. 

So I think I will end this post and just go install the Corel Paintshop photo processing program and see how that works... I sure want to post cat blog pictures again!

7AM update:  It was a struggle to load the Corel Paintshop CD.  I kept asking me about Drive E and I couldn't find a Drive E.  The solution was disgustingly simple.  My Mac CD loader is centered and you can't drop a CD without it falling into place properly.  The PC CD loader is off centered slightly and you have to push it down onto the holder. 

A new user of computers would have done that. I fussed around for 2 hours before I caught on to the difference.  I think I will wait til tomorrow to try and load any pictures.

My new driver updater tells me I need to upload new ones every few minutes.  It's hard to say "no" but I stopped that when I noticed a small box that said 0 new drivers required.  So many new things to learn. 

My learned Mac movements are all wrong on the PC, but it is hard to unlearn them.  I am.  I've noticed a few correct movements to different corners of the screen are becoming familiar.  And in fact, when I turned to the Mac to get some files, I went to the wrong spots already.  I had to stop and think.  I don't know how anyone uses both.  I guess that is why tech support folks hate Mac users.  They have to stop and recall all the different moves.

So I've successfully transferred some .doc files to the PC.  In small doses.  It took some time to do the first few, but more get easier.  I could probably get all of my documents transferred tomorrow, but I need to plant some seeds inside, so I may just take a break from the computer.  But I'm obsessive and may not.  Once I get a process working, it is hard to stop.

I really want to get the cat blog up and working again!