Week 250 January 12, 2019

We hope you are able to avoid the colds that are making their rounds at this time of the year, or that you find comfort in some home remedies until they abate. Loren had made out with a short, mild one recently that he attributes to taking more Vitamin C, but his sister has had a tougher time this week with hers. 

Our week started off a wonderful one, with it being my last being scheduled to teach several Bikram Yoga classes, finally finishing a monster crossword puzzle that I had started around the holidays, and, with having a delightful lunch-and-coffee date with a dear friend. As is so often the case these days, I neglected to capture a photo of my friend.

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I did think to make a photo of the adorable puppy that our yoga studio manager has brought with her to work a few times this week. The pooch remains unnamed at this point, though I have heard her say more than once,

     “I think I will call her ‘Scout.'”

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Then it turned into a week of challenges. We may have proved the theory that bad things come in threes. First, one of our van’s headlamps went out. The next morning as I was about to take the car in, the dashboard’s yellow

     “Maint Req’d”

light came on. Actually the timing was good,  I thought, in that I could attend to both in one visit to the repair shop. But, the reason for the light being on turned out unresolvable by this particular repair shop.

     “The light is on for a catalytic converter,” they said.

Our third challenge was on that same evening when Loren’s Mac died. It was totally unresponsive, not even confirming by green light its connection to the power adapter. The next day we disproved the theory that bad things only come in threes. Or maybe they do and we had double or even triple three’s this week… I’ll spell out our experiences and you can decide. We took Loren’s Mac to Apple, but could not get it looked at without missing a couple of other important appointments. Normally I try to bunch multiple errands or activities into single trips or set aside time to wait to minimize driving, but this week we wound up spending more time in the car…

On the drive in between the two appointments, we then were pulled over by Castro Valley’s finest for our outdated car registration sticker. Actually this was not necessarily a bad thing as it forced us out of inertia. We had been waiting on DMV to mail our sticker and given up on two-hour phone call hold times with them to find out why it had not arrived. I had allowed myself to believe that DMV’s delay was just another example of how backed up they are. In retrospect, we had waited way too long. So as we awaited the officers to return to us from their lengthy conversation next to their vehicle, my mind raced to consider our most severe possible punishment. At Loren’s suggestion I let that thinking go. It ended up that we were let off with a minimal 60 day fix-it ticket. Phew!

So, that evening we were able to visit with a friend who let us know the day before that he was passing through Oakland on his way from seeing his 100 year old father in southern California. When we arrived to where he was staying he suggested we all sit in his camper van to enjoy the chips and beer we had brought.

     “Here’s your seat Claire,” he pointed out.

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As we were leaving I thought to snap a photo of him and Loren with his travel companion – his cat, Spot. After a brief nap Loren and I also kept a dinner date with another friend, but, oh where was my camera?

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We were not happy with having more things to attend to taking up the precious time that we had set aside for other pursuits this week, but that is how life unfolded. As a result of our fix-it ticket, addressing the reason for our “Maint Req’d” light became a more immediate need, second only to the urgency to have Loren’s Mac looked at. Not being able to use his personal computer is a seeming tragic sign of the times. So, with regrets we canceled dates with two friends that next day to attend to both. On our first attempt of the day for a tech appointment at Apple we were once again unsuccessful in that their availability to meet with a technician conflicted with a morning dermatologist appointment for Loren. After the doctor’s office we returned to Apple, and this time were able to meet with a technician. As Loren likes to say,

     “The third time’s the charm.”

This was true for us at Apple this week, or should I say,

     “So far.” 

Please wish us luck when we are scheduled to pick up the Mac next week, as it had to be sent out for more thorough diagnostic work that could not be completed in the store. We then took our van to the catalytic converter shop. They ran diagnostics and found nothing amiss. Great! Or maybe not so great. We now have no idea why the “Maint Req’d” light was triggered. From the catalytic converter shop, we then drove to DMV and were successful in obtaining the necessary sticker, after a long wait. Now we just have to make one more unanticipated trip to the court to prove – and pay for – having fixed it.

The next day we were able to keep to the plan with our tenant to finish the heavy yard work at our house in San Jose. This week I took before and after photos of the three trees we pruned.

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Seriously, we had a large pile of new trimmings out front at the curb, though the photos may not do justice to our work. While we had known that the forecast was for rain, we took our chances, and just as we were finishing up, heavy raindrops began to pummel us. We retreated to a nearby coffee shop, and on the way I had to snap a photo of a Camus quote on a front window of one of the neighbor’s homes down the street.

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     “I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice,” it says.

We finished up our week with a lovely dinner visit with some of our across the street San Jose neighbors. One of their homes has not yet taken down their “Lawn Tree” and lights that our neighborhood is famous for during the holidays. At least I did think to take one photo of two of these special friends!

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