Sunday, October 19

Network signal ---- re-visited

I thought I had my Internet router strength/distance problem worked out. (Ref. This blog, "Five bars of strength, Thursday, October 16.)  Apparently not as well as I believed. We have a new all-in-one computer in a room at the other end of the house and could not sustain adequate strength to our network access point. I found some loose change in the cushions of the sofa and bought a Linksys Wi-Fi range extender N300. The setup was simple, took only a few minutes and voila everything fell into place. The signal for the network on the new computer is five by five.

Thursday, October 16

Five bars of strength

Often it is the easiest solution which is the best and the simplest. Today's case in point: For several evenings while trying to watch a Netflix streaming (instant download) film I experienced a stop and go action. This was a recent new phenomenon and frustrating. While watching the film I would only see a portion of the scene and hear the dialogue before the film would have to reload. I incorrectly assumed it was a poor Internet connection, or my Apple internet router was too far away from the living room smart TV. The router is in one room about 50-60 from the TV in the living room. When I checked the strength I had only two of five bars showing signal power. Instinct said to get a
A router signal extender (an example)
router signal extender. I spent about an hour researching an extender for my Apple router. A Google search turned up several people with a similar problem and those who reported solving the issue did so with extenders. Rather than rush off and spend $70  $80, I decided to try using a Chromecast system (a thumb-sized media streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV) given to me last Christmas by one of my sons. This has an extender built in. While the installation was in progress, I re-read the small manual which came with my Apple router. The manual addressed interference and what could cause it. One of these was metal objects near the router. Between my router and my television set I had a couple of laptop computers and some other small metal objects very close to the router. When I removed these, the five bars of signal strength on my TV Internet connection instantly improved from two bars to five. I worked this for about half an hour and determined I had continuous reception from Netflix without stop and go aggravation. One of the films I had tried to watch last evening came through - as they say - loud and clear.

Thursday, October 9

D-Day Through French Eyes

There is hardly an American alive today who has not seen The Longest Day,” Darrell Zanuck’s 1962 epic film of the invasion of France in June 1944. This star-studded, dramatic film and other movies about World War II center on the actions and activities, usually heroic, of Allied forces on the long march to Berlin to end the Nazi reign in Europe. Recall the moment in Patton when the General, standing in his jeep as it sped down the road, replied to a common soldier’s “Where are you going General? “I’m going to Berlin. I'm going to personally shoot that paper-hanging son of a bitch.” 

Lost in all of these tales of derring-do and allied competence is an intimate picture of what D-Day was like for the ordinary French men and women living, some for decades, on the Normandy peninsula. 

Those who lived in the Normandy countryside where the landings and fighting took place were average every day people. They were farmers and villagers. They had cows to milk, bread to bake, crops to harvest, children to educate, babies to be born, old and sick people to be nursed and buried.
Ms. Roberts
Mary Louise Roberts', professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, second book,  D-Day through French Eyes - Memoirs of Normandy 1944, brings to life the personal stories of some of the French men and women who were the first Europeans to be touched for good or bad by the greatest sea and air armada in history on the night of June 5- 6, 1944. The Allied plan was to conquer the Normandy peninsula in three weeks. It took three months.
The tales of joy, merriment, love, respect, admiration, sorrow, loss and anger are from diaries kept at the time and recollection put down on paper years later. To make an omelet you have to crack eggs, was certainly on the mind of the Normans. From the moments the paras (Allied paratroopers) began dropping from the sky to the early morning shelling from the ships off-shore that destroyed homes, churches, schools, businesses, and killed people and animals, death and destruction were all around.

Roberts says in her introduction to this easily read book, “I have chosen temoignages (testimony)  that revolve around the rich sensory details of D-Day --- the sound of artillery, the first glimpse of an American, the stench of death, and the taste of chocolate. The result is a vision of both hell at the hands of the occupiers and joy at being liberated.” In most instances testimony is prefaced with an explanation and perspective by Roberts to help the reader become enmeshed as if living in the day.

Perhaps for the first time, D-Day through French Eyes offers readers the opportunity to balance the stirring events of those dramatic, impacting days as portrayed by Hollywood, and what it was like to live in the path of D-Day.

Sunday, October 5

October an abundance of birthdays

In the Archibald family, October is always a good month for the Hallmark Greeting Card company and other providers of well wishes and good cheer. My birthday is on the 2nd, my wife, Joyce's, is on the 3rd, my daughter Wynn's day is the 12, my late wife, Mary, was born on the 13, my brother, Walter, was born on the 15 and my son James was born on the 17. And this doesn't even get down to the nieces, nephews and other relatives who came into this world in the 10th month.
Two of my sons and a nephew
On the grounds at Honey Horn museum, Hilton Head

A cake for my daughter, Wynn.
Dining at Old fort Pub, Hilton Head

Joyce and flowers sent by my children.
came to visit and we had a couple of good days together. My daughter Wynn was expected but a child's sickness kept her at home. We missed her and her ill son and it took a bit of doing to resist cutting her cake I had decorated with the insignia of her company, Bee-Sharp, through which she empowers teachers and school administrators. We're sorry she and Cooper didn't make it, but we sent the cake intact. 

World Affairs Council - Speaker Disappoints

Part of the packed house. WAC Hilton Head
Right side of Presbyterian Church where events are held.
I thought we had an exciting speaker to open the 2014-15 World Affairs Council-Hilton Head  season but came away disappointed. Jane Harmon president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington and former congresswoman from California for 18 years, spoke only for about 20 minutes (most speakers talk 45-50 minutes) and then went into a Q&A with the audience. Her first ten minutes was a speech she has probably given a zillion times and recounted her touch with history at the 1960 Democratic Convention which nominated John F. Kennedy. This was where the Harvard Law graduate got her inspiration for the political life, she said. The next ten minutes was a summary of news that anyone who kept up with current events by reading the papers, magazines and staying abreast of the news was familiar with.

The speaker in her Q&A time                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Harmon decried the lack of harmony and accomplishment in the congress over the last couple of years. She said California had adopted a non-partisan committee to draw congressional districts and this offered some hope for less partisan approach. This contentious idea, however, is in use elsewhere and is on the Supreme Court short list of issues likely to be decided during this term. The terrorist threat in the Middle East is not just one group but many off-shoots of Al Qaeda. Harmon said some nations, Saudi Arabia, for example play both sides--while they fight terrorists their rich citizens financially support them. She warned an upcoming threat will be plastic bombs which can evade metal detectors at airports.

Sunday, September 28

The Pickle Factory

***Pat Dolan got a job in a pickle factory outside of Shannon in Ireland. A few weeks into the job he had desires to put his penis in the pickle slicer. After a couple of months he sought help from a psychiatrist. Six months went by and the psychiatrist gave up trying to talk Pat out of his desires and told him to go do what he wanted. A few days later Pat was home in mid-day and his wife asked why. “I put my penis in the pickle slicer and got fired.” His wife turned white with shock and she undid his belt buckle and pulled down Pat’s pants.  To her amazement there was a full size, normal, healthy penis. “What happened to the pickle slicer,” she asked. “I think she got fired also,” said Pat.

Comment to: 

(***Passed along by a friend.)

Tuesday, September 16

Where the tour began.
In South Carolina it is: "Bu fort," but in North Carolina it is "Bo fort," and that is where Joyce and I traveled last week to be with some friends in the Carolinas & Georgia chapter of CIRA (Central Intelligence Retirees Association.) (The group has graciously made me an honorary member.) We stayed in Atlantic Beach in the Outer Banks and a day trip to Beaufort was a pleasant outing and one of the annual reunion activities. 

The tour around the historic city was in a double decker bus imported from London. Sitting up top in the open air provided a great view of the city but required riders to duck low occasionally as we passed under large oaks with hanging branches.
A London Import                                                                                                                                                  
Beaufort is replete with historic homes which are well maintained and many still occupied. A courthouse, jail and apothecary have been re-located to a common site and a docent led us through all of these. Punishment 200 years ago included jail time, floggings, hanging and the stocks.

   It was not all touring, golf and socializing. Joyce and I took time to walk on the long pier behind out hotel and take in the beach, people fishing and seagulls.                                                                                                       

Complete blog here.

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