News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Archive for November, 2014

A long over due November update

Normally at this time in the evening, I’d be getting ready and doing my Blessing Blend Show. The computer is too unstable to do live radio, until we can figure out why it randomly shuts down both during live shows and when it’s just sitting there waiting for use. I won’t even go into the unsuccessful boots. Phil asks for very little computer time when he’s home, and without a show, I can do most of what I need on my phone, including writing this. It’s hard not doing shows, and I’m going to attempt to record Friday’s Keyboard Kaleidoscope. That way, if anything goes wrong, no one has to hear me embarrass myself live. Probably the hardest thing about this is the timing. The Phoenix has an amazing first birthday weekend planned, and as of right now, I’m on to do a show. Management isn’t thrilled about the solution another presenter and I have come up with in case we still don’t have a working computer in a week and two days. I have no idea whether I’ll be allowed to do the show, or need to give it up for what some may see as better programming. Our team is international, and despite some people’s computer knowledge, it would be difficult to diagnose the problems literally sight unseen. Most of us are blind, and whenever the problems occur, our speech is the first thing to go and the last thing to come back.

I probably don’t have to tell you that trying to work with Dell to see if our machine is covered by a warranty to fix some of these problems has itself been problematic. We can’t go through the traditional trouble shooting steps they require before sending someone out to fix the machine,, because it’s not possible for us to do these tests without being able to see the screen. Ad to it that English is generally not the first language for many of these people who seem to be reading from a script, and you have a recipe for disaster.

I know I’m whining,, and I need to stop. So much is better this Thanksgiving than last year. Phil’s kidney is still doing great, and we’re going out for a traditional Thanksgiving meal tomorrow night, when he can eat potatoes and drink all the fluids he wants. And there’s no dialysis schedule to work around. Phil has his bad days when he’s in pain or motion sensative. But the time spent at and side effects of dialysis doesn’t make it worse. He is involved in a pretty big and stressful project at work, but his colleagues and supervisor are feeling that same stress. This fall he went to two conferences, and I know he enjoyed both of them. He told me of several incidents which were nice ego strokes for him.

We’ve already ordered our Christmas present, and it’s one of these necessary but not glorious things, a back dor. The one which is on now is not secure, has poor insolation, and most immportantly, is literally hanging by a screw. Periodically Phil has had to tighten this screw to keep the door from dragging on the floor. The screw just can’t be tightened anymore, so Merry Christmas to us with our new back door. On the plus side, we know the benefits it will bring from having replaced the front door in the spring. Air from the heat or air conditioner seems to be held in, and there aren’t the drafts we used to feel. I don’t look forward to disabling the security alarm and then having to have them out to replace the sensor,. The day when the door is to be put on will also be a chilly one, but the benefits far outweigh the short-term negatives.

Meanwhile, I still enjoy our fireplace at night, and despite my goal to hold off on Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, I lost that battle a couple days ago. Phil upgraded his iPhone earlier in the Fall, but I didn’t see the need to do so. I’d rather wait and see if there is some new feature I want first. There wasn’t in in the 6 line, and I’m happy with my little 5. The only thing which interested me would have been more memory. Ive always had trouble interacting with iTunes to get new stuff on my phone. Phil surprised me with a thumb drive which works as it’s own wireless hot spot in collaboration with an app on the phone. Because I’m not terribly sure when the computer will be available, I put the most listened to Christmas music on this drive, so I can hear it on my phone. It’s also much easier to put things on and take stuff off of the thumb drive.

Church and the Malt shop have both continued to go well, and I look forward to how Advent and Christmas spices up both of them. I have only one extra Christmas piano gig this year, and that’s at the IDS crystal Court December 9 from around noon to around one. The combination of the difficult, inaccessible procedures at the Mall of America and a transition in readers made it tough to sign up there this year.

Phil has joined the book club, because he no longer has dialysis on Thursdays. I think he’s enjoying it. We also continue to go out once a month with a little group informally called “Dinner Delvers”

I’m starting to work on the Kragnes Karol, so be on the lookout for it mid to late December. Thanks for reading all of this, and I’ll try not to wait this long and thus have to write this much again. (more…)


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