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Wiser’s Wramblings Ending 2021


By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

I guess it would only be fitting to end 2021 with a mix of “Wramblings” that are each fairly short and cover a wide spectrum, mostly non-confrontational. Mostly, I said.

Without going into great detail, I discovered that even subtle “body language” expression to an unmasked Walmart shopper can result in yelling and cussing and a few scary moments. Apparently, Walmart can’t or won’t enforce the State masking mandate if Cattaraugus County feels that they can’t enforce it. I know based on my recent experience I would be extremely hesitant to do so if the reaction that the store employees get would be similar to what I got.

I now can, or have to, add another device connector adapter to my collection. The latest in my arsenal is the “USB C to HDMI” connector interface between my Kindle Fire and my TV set. Every new “family range” of devices like Apple, Amazon, Android etc. seems to change the input/output connection style. As the devices get more complex and powerful, sending the little micro pulses of signal information between devices gets more complex. The actual electronic pulses aren’t really any different than from their earliest uses but what is being sent is now much more complex and the simple round ended cables are no longer capable of transmitting the data. Coupled with brand manufacturers trying to keep their devices unique and having their own particular shape and configuration this has added to the dilemma. Would anyone be interested in a couple dozen port connectors or media storage devices? I have a desk drawer full of cables, plugs, connectors, adapters and media storage devices free to give away. I could also include a couple of digital cameras. If you are as blessed, or cursed, depending on your frustration level at the time of trying to connect, your particular “device”, as I am, you can understand my dilemma.

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Look or sound familiar? Passwords are a whole “nuther” story but what plagues me is what that message expects me to be able to do. My problem is that they have sent the code to the same device that I am using, to try and connect with. I have difficulty getting from that “sign in” to where the email containing the code comes into. I know…your 10 year old could tell me how to do it. My answer is to have one of my other devices nearby so I can set one down, go to my email on the other, get the code and then hope that the whole process didn’t take too long and that the code “timed out” and you have to start over.

An off shoot of that is remembering the passwords. I try to use the same password on every device whenever possible, but it isn’t always. Some will let you get by with a simple alpha-numeric combination of 7 characters but others require 4 combinations with upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. And then, heaven forbid, you have to change passwords for some reason or you forgot to write one down that you infrequently use thus requiring creating a new one as it says what you tried is invalid. So, you attempt to create a new password, and picking one of your other favorites you get an error message that says, “Password is an ‘old password’”, or has been “previously used”. Fine! Then why didn’t you accept it?

I often try to download programs like “photo editing” or virus protection etc. that are free downloads. I do buy some, like my virus protection on my main Desktop computer, but get free wherever I can. Two comments about that. First, you have to love the ones that are advertised as free and halfway through signing up for it you find out that it is only free for 10 days. I can see why they ask for a credit card number right up front. However, and secondly, I have tried to download a completely free, no time trial, no temporary nothing at all, but they still require submitting a credit card number in order to get something that is free. I will not do that.

I’m not sure any of you were as naive as I was in my teens but boy was I a dunce. I don’t recall what prompted me to think of this the other day, but I did, and thought about how naive I was when thinking I could sneak a pack of cigarettes out of the carton of my mother’s cigarettes, and she wouldn’t notice that I had. I was a smoker early in my teens and didn’t “steal from her” on a regular basis but when my “earned money” ran low I might borrow from her. She never said a word to me, but now I know that she knew. Having thought back to that I recalled listening to the children of “The Family of Three” discussing sneaking an occasional beer from the parent’s various camp sites when in their youth. One comment was made that they never took any of my beer because I knew how many cans I had left in a case.

Watching the activity on our bird feeders had hit a lull at the beginning of fall. Very few birds of any kind have been around, and especially our favorites. I had mentioned that phenomenon a couple of weeks ago but bring it up again now as the Cardinal population has increased dramatically now that cold(er) weather has set in. We are fortunate not to have experienced the 20 below that our son had in Great falls, Montana the other day but it has at least cooled enough so the Cardinals are at the feeder. 5 Male and 3 Female that I counted have been here a couple of times but today we saw a Tit Mouse and a Carolina Wren. Those species are pound for pound (likely better said ounce for ounce) by far the loudest birds we have ever seen and heard.

One of the more bipartisan favorite politicians Harry Reid passed away on the 28th. He succumbed to Pancreatic Cancer, which is one of the more lethal and devastating of the cancers as the third deadliest. One of the major contributors of that lethality is that it often goes undetected until already late in its development and spread. There is hope that due to the slowness of its development there may one day be a better diagnostic recognizability, eventually affording more time for its treatment.  Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3% of all cancers and is 8th most common in women and tenth in men. Pancreatic cancer was the cause of death of a friend who passed away recently and was also the cause of death of my Mother at 62 years of age. My Mother worked her whole life and at the age when she could have started collecting on the Social Security she paid in, she was unable. I am determined to try and get some of her share back.

As 2021 draws to a close my New Year’s wish would be for everyone to take a step back, take a deep breath and try to see for a moment through the eyes or feel through the heart of someone with whom you don’t always see eye to eye or feel as they do. We are all in this together and it will take togetherness to get through this challenging and difficult time in our lives.

Following is a poem written at the end of 2020. The message remains the same a long year later.

With Love A’Plenty

As the end is near for 2020

A year that brought us grief a’plenty

Let us cast away doubt with prayer each night

And shed our fears with days new light

Each day to us dire news was brought

But with hope and prayer relief we sought

We can find the path that leads us home

With the light from above we are not alone

We have borne the pain of those lost to us

But we’ve carried on with a strength we trust

We are strong in our soul and in our heart

And can bear this load if we all take part

As we start next year, with our dreams and faith

That to us will come a world that is safe.

As the end is near for 2020

There is hope in our heart, with love a’plenty

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