Monday, July 31, 2017

Apple IOS Update

It is difficult enough to update all of our own Apple equipment whenever there is a security or IOS update. But things get even more problematic when there is an iPad in another state. And so is the case with my mother's iPad in Florida. She has a cellular data plan and only uses the internet to download books and check email. So she has to turn the internet on and off or the data plan runs out very quickly. We, and most people, have wifi in the house. So we don't have to think about turning things on and off. But you also maximize all the functions on the iPad when it is on all the time. Her first iPad bit the dust a few months ago. That one was never updated and it didn't seem to matter. However, her new one requires updates as they come. I thought it would be easier to manage from a distance until I realized she doesn't have wifi. I tried walking her through the steps to no avail. Luckily, she has neighbors who do have wifi and they are extremely helpful with all of her needs - this just being one of them. So in the end I think they got it done for her last evening. I tried to explain the merits of having wifi in the house. Although it will cost more, it would be well worth it when you are primarily housebound. Think of all the conversations you could have with Siri. So now that I planted the idea in her head, maybe she will come to that conclusion. But until she can be shown what she is missing, I don't think anything is going to change. It has to be her idea anyway.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Facebook Marketplace

I use my iPad to hand paint pet portraits. I have an Etsy shop, a Fine Art America shop, my own website, and showcase my items on social media like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram. I also have a gallery of completed portraits at the Wagtime shop. So I was intrigued with the idea of selling services on Facebook Marketplace. It sounded like a great place to offer pet portraits! Yesterday I added two items for custom hand painted digital pet portraits. I selected arts and crafts for the category, added photos, filled in the required information and submitted them. Both items appeared immediately in the feed, but within minutes, I received notice that my items "weren't approved." I filled in a form to explain the item, but haven't heard back. I checked the policies and there didn't seem to be any conflict. They were pictures of animals, but I am not selling animals, I am painting them! Perhaps digital products without the intent to sell on Marketplace? But I do intend to sell services and a product. Encouraging unauthorized access to digital media? It just doesn't make sense. In any event, if the concept of Marketplace is to promote the idea of connecting people to but and sell a product or service, I am really disappointed. No, it's not an old table or chair, but it is a good and service. I have a feeling I will never hear from them. Does any one have a clue?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Vietnamese Treats - Avocado, Tofu, and Rambutan?

We are having our bathroom renovated after eleven years of terrible tile, grout, and water issues. We are so looking forward to this remodel - especially since we had redone every room in our Midwest home only to leave it all behind for less than desirable accommodations in this tiny condo! Luckily we have a studio apartment across the hallway to inhabit while the mess is going on. The folks doing the renovation are a husband and wife team originally from Vietnam. We know them because they redid several bathrooms in our son's home down the street from us, along with just about everybody else's homes in this neighborhood. Every once in awhile they will bring along with them a treat for us. And they are fruits and drinks that we are not familiar with. It started with a fruit called rambutan, and another one on twigs called langsat. They are kind of similar in that they are colorless inside with a seed, and sweet in taste. The coconut bread/cake was quite good. This week we got an avocado shake so to speak, with chunks of avocado on the bottom. The fried tofu was interesting, and tasted better with hot mustard. All of these items are not familiar to our taste and do require getting used to. It's funny how every culture has a favorite foodstuff. And it's even better when we have the opportunity to learn about them. Then there's a can of soy drink...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Samsung Galaxy Store at Union Station

When it is really hot outside we have been walking in Union Station where it is air conditioned on three levels. The other day we noticed something was being constructed on the lower level where all the carry out food vendors are located. We tried to guess what it might be - another restaurant? It was being built smack dab in the middle of the area, and could be seen above from the second and third levels. Then the sign appeared - Samsung Galaxy. We returned today to Union Station because of the unbearably humid temps and the new store was already open. There were customers inside and a fair amount of interest and activity. People waiting for trains will now have another option to pass the time. When we walked by we noticed four entertainment/gaming chairs, two fitness treadmills with a lot of bright lights, and a Galaxy Studio where Samsung will be filming today. I am a die hard Apple fan. Between the two of us, my husband and I have had several phones and iPads. On top of that, we have sent these devices to my mom and friends overseas. I use my iPad to draw all my custom dog and pet portraits. So Samsung isn't in the cards for us, but we know it is for a lot of other people. I recently heard an Apple Store might be built at Union Market. The competition doesn't stop.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sibley Hospital Carotid Ultrasound

Since I had an unusual visual field test last November, I had to have a repeat visit to the eye doctor in six months. Aside from that, I also had two episodes of hemianopsia - a loss of vision - a couple of months ago. I have had those episodes before, starting forty years ago, but have not had one for quite some time. So it raised some concern with my ophthalmologist last week, who ordered a carotid ultrasound to check for possible stenosis. Neither my husband nor I (a physician and a nurse) were overly concerned, but scheduled the appointment at Sibley Hospital this week. We like to go there because it is an easy campus to navigate compared to the huge medical centers, and I have a medical record there. The hospital recently went through a massive renovation, and was shiny and new. But the test was in the old imaging department on the lower level in the old building. The test itself is harmless compared to a lot of the more invasive tests and surgeries I have had over the years. I don't know what the results are yet, and should be able to find them in the electronic record. The whole experience sort of makes you think about life in general. It's a good reminder to be thankful for what you have, because things can change in a flash in such unexpected ways.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Surrounded by People from All Over the World

My mother told me I learned how to speak Polish before English. When I was growing up I collected Madame Alexander dolls from all the different countries. I married my Persian husband from Iran. You could say I have always been fascinated with foreign countries and the people who came from them. When I worked at the Library of Congress, just about every language was spoken there. My immediate coworkers came from China, Korea, India, and Iran. As a nurse I worked with physicians from everywhere - Japan, Philippines, Egypt, India... the Macy's salesperson was from Pakistan; the staff at the neighborhood breakfast place are from Malaysia; our Saturday brunch place in McLean includes folks from Vietnam, India and countries in South America. The radiology tech at Sibley hospital was from China; my husband's haircut place is owned by Vietnamese. The gardeners for the condo are Hispanic, and the craftsmen renovating our bathroom are from Vietnam. My mom's neighbors are from the Philippines - they take better care of her than we do! This blog that I have been writing an entry on every day since 2011 has a readership from the tiniest islands in the Pacific Ocean to all the continents. We are so connected to everyone from all over the world. It makes things quite interesting, and enlightening, and fun. And when I have the opportunity to have a conversation with any one of them, it is always an enriching experience.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

US Botanic and Smithsonian Gardens

For the first time in several weeks the high heat and humidity finally broke. That means that our morning walk could finally go back to the usual routine towards the national mall rather than union station. When it is in the high digits and there is a soupy atmosphere, we walk in the air conditioned union station and find all the shade paths to and from. A water bottle is a must. What I miss most about our walk on the mall are the Smithsonian and US Botanic gardens. There is always something interesting in bloom, and it is fun to see the changes in the gardens as the seasons pass. We were not disappointed today. Everything looked fresh in spite of the heat - the heavy rains must have soaked everything enough to maintain a reasonable apprearance. The fountains were bubbling and the vegetable gardens were finally producing. For those who don't have a yard to sit in, these places are the perfect spots to find a bench and rest awhile. It's not going to stay this pleasant for very long. I'm so glad we are able to enjoy it while it's here.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ethan Allen Couch Pillow Feathers

We had all Ethan Allen furniture in our midwest home. Our designer was wonderful to work with as we went room by room to finish the whole house, including a tandem garage space that was turned in to a lovely TV room with a gas fireplace. Then we moved to DC from this 2500 square foot space to a tiny 500 square door space. After three years we added a studio apartment across the hall for more breathing room, storage, and additional bathroom for a grand total of 1000 square feet of living space.   So we wanted an Ethan Allen couch for the studio apartment that was small enough to accommodate a Murphy bed when it was open. I am not in love with this couch. We have had it about a year and a half. It's not long enough to lie down on completely, the back is too high, and the depth requires a pillow behind your back to sit comfortably. And the two small pillows it came with are driving us crazy. Every night we scoop up a handful of feathers that are pulled out because they stick you in the back, or are just sticking out of the pillow. I'm not sure what material is used to make these pillows, but there should be a better solution. I miss my Midwest comfy couch and the Crate and Barrel king sofa bed behemoth that this couch replaced.  I didn't have to deal with flying and irritating feathers either.