Feline Ghosts

Around the same time I experienced computer problems, Microsoft in its great wisdom notified my husband he was due to receive an update. This is routine for Microsoft, but not for a user who is a designer using computer-aided drafting software. The problem? The drafting software and Microsoft aren’t compatible.

The moment the update is completed something goes wrong with the drafting software. This sets fear in the heart of people like Bob. A few days passed by, and for some unknown reason his problem cured itself.

Fearing that turning off his computer would leave the door open to Microsoft, he opted to leave the computer on. All goes well for a few days and nights.

Then one morning Bob enters his office to a mystery. During the night, someone had obviously been at his computer. There were hints in the form of typed words consisting of jumbled letters. Screens popped up that were unusual. And more, I’m told. The big question was who or what had been at the keyboard.

The only other souls in our home at night are Iggy and Maggie, our cats. Now, I know Maggie loves a keyboard. She prances across mine often enough. Occasionally, she sends me into darkness. I’ve never had the pleasure or joy of Iggy joining me at the computer. He’s more of a guy cat. I understand he has been up and around Bob’s computer checking out various cubbyholes and shelves.

We’ve decided one or the other of the cats or perhaps a feline spirit danced across Bob’s keyboard that night. Often, we wonder what Iggy and Maggie get up to while we’re sleeping, and they’re off wandering around the house. Animal cams are under consideration.

Image disclaimer: The cats sitting on the window sill are not Iggy and Maggie. They are not inclined to get too close to each other. In fact, it would be impossible for us to capture an image of the two of them this close. However, the posture of the cats above is almost identical to ours.

Featured image attribution: Chen Zhao on Unsplash

The Three P’s — Pandemic, Protests, Problems

Pandemic

On Saturday, March 14th, our local news announced the governor had declared a state of emergency and we were faced with a pandemic. At our ages, it was suggested we “stay at home” and/or “shelter in place.” So began our isolation. 

It’s been four months since we assumed our place in the pandemic. Like good citizens, we’ve stayed at home with the exception of driving to our grocery store to pick up our grocery orders. Otherwise, church services, choir practices, committee meetings, doctor’s appointments have been held using Zoom. 

Oregon is now a part of the pandemic surge with daily numbers rising more than they did during the previous three months. Why won’t people wear masks? 

Needless to say, we’re growing a bit weary of the inability to mix with friends and family. Yet, we understand that what we do will help someone else be safe and healthy. The compassion shown for our neighbors is a good thing, something our world is quickly growing away from. After this pandemic is over, perhaps compassion will have taken a front seat again.

Protests

On May 25th, the national news announced the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN. The saddest part of that news is that George Floyd was murdered by a white police officer using his knee on Floyd’s neck to detain him. The officer’s knee was on Floyd’s neck for a total of eight minutes and 46 seconds, at which time Floyd expired.

It was no surprise when protests started the next day in Minneapolis. Protesters support those seeking justice for George Floyd and the wider #BlackLivesMatter movement. As of today, protests have been ongoing in many cities and towns in all 50 states and five permanently inhabited territories as well as 60 other countries. In my home state of Oregon, the protests have been continuous from May 26th through and including July 14th.

In most areas, the protests have been for the most part peaceful. There have, however, been some fringe groups taking advantage of the larger protests and creating riots that have included some police brutality, fires, looting, and property damages. 

Historically, we have witnessed similar demonstrations with respect to the systemic injustice and racism prevalent in our country. My hope is that this time perhaps we’ll get it right and those of us living with white privilege will grasp an understanding of what is needed to change the climate surrounding the issues raised by these our brothers and sisters. Many cities and states are discussing police reforms already.

Problems

Maybe things look somewhat different around here. And they are. You see, this is where the problems entered my life. Something happened with the theme I had been using for my site. The problems couldn’t be resolved. So, I went in search of something new. At every turn, there seemed to be a problem.

I began to think my laptop might be infected with a virus. Likely not COVID-19, but still. After a thorough virus scan by Norton, that was not the case. I kept digging. It felt like an archeologist must feel when on the BIG DIG.

Finally, success was found with this theme, and I went through all the motions to get my preferences and settings re-established. Not as big a crisis as the other two P’s, but a crisis inside my bubble nonetheless.

Lesson

The problem with my computer became a great distraction. There was no allowing in the daily news blurbs on the pandemic nor the situation in downtown Portland every afternoon and on into the morning hours of the next day.

I had a job to get done — my “business” had come crashing down and I had to find the cause and rebuild. Every minute of every day was needed to complete this unforgiving task. This showed me that the focus that I feel I have lost is still there. It must depend on what I’m attempting to shine my focus.

Next up, I need to sort out a way to shine my focus back on my writing.

Does anyone want to join me?

focus, darkness, light, Aristotle, quote
Attributed to Bliss Quotes

Featured Image Attributed to Sweet Pea Gardens