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Last glimpse of spring, by Mel Hunt

Wiser’s Wramblings-Wondering about Wonders

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

Today’s Wrambling’s is going to be exactly why I started out writing about how my mind rambles over the whole gamut of related or semi related items. When I start to write, I must first “prioritize the order of events/topics and then within each, organize how they mesh so as to make sense to others. Sometimes my proofread-edit process takes as long to do prior to publishing as it takes to write them in the first place.

The thought that motivates the original scheme of topics came about as I was in conversation with a woman in the Tops grocery store earlier this week. The woman, no stranger to me (for many reasons) had commented about how much she liked reading my Wrambling’s. I explained, as I often do, that I write about the things that “I wonder about.” She replied that some of the topics were items that she too often wondered about.

And thus, now, my mind starts rambling. My first thought was about the word “wonder” itself. The word actually is an example of a recent column topic and is called a homonym since it has the same spelling and sound, but a different meaning. If it was all of the above, except that it had a different “sound” then it would be a homograph. One version of “wonder” is to exercise curiosity. The other, is that it is something that is an “amazement”. Anyway, I wonder about the wonder of this lady that prompted this topic. I have known her since my early teens. I will not use her name here out of concern for her privacy, but she will recognize herself, even though some of the “history” may not be in her current memory.

My mother was friends with a couple, Betty and Guy Norse, who lived on a farm in Frewsburg, NY. I’m not sure if it was a familial connection or just a friendship, but we visited them perhaps once a year. On one such occasion the visit was to drop me off for a few days so that I could help on the farm during their haying season. While there, I met a teen aged “beauty” who was a relative of theirs and developed an immediate crush on her. I don’t recall ever seeing her again after that summer until much later, unbeknownst to me. That was a premature assumption on my part. While visiting with the Norse family many years later, they asked me if I knew that this teenage crush was now a married adult, almost a neighbor to me. I did not. It seems that she had married a local, and they now lived just a couple of miles away. As the years went by our paths would cross often as she was a teacher in Scio, and I regularly played fast pitch softball with her husband. Our children were also classmates with her children. The crush, long forgotten, especially now, as her husband was much bigger than me, turned into an occasional encounter at school functions, and more recently as we would cross paths in a local store as we did just recently.

That just goes to the “wonder” of the coincidence of how paths cross by chance, karma, history repeats, or connections made that remain for years. For whatever reason, I’m just glad it happens.

When I was planning this article, I thought there would be just a couple of topics and was going to start out with the comment that “this is a two-fold Wrambling. Well, it has morphed into more than two “folds”, but did you ever wonder about where the term two- fold comes from? It could be two, four or any number of “folds.”

My initial thought trying to use my intuition was that it meant if you “fold” something you end up with two halves. As I thought about that, the card game, and as Kenny Rogers sang, “hold em or fold em,” it had nothing to do with folding into smaller parts. The word “fold” actually has two “Olde English” derivations and to simplifying it, it can mean things like folded into multiple parts like a multi section door, sheets or papers folded, or “giving up” as in laying down your cards or folding your arms, an ancient sign of “giving up” in battle. It also can be used as a “multiplier” or “divider” depending on how you look at it. If I were to write a “two-fold” column I have either increased it to two topics or divided one column into two segments.

If I have confused you or made you think, mission accomplished! 😍 If this was written for a published “newspaper” it most likely wouldn’t be “above the fold.”

Another “wondering” is included as a “Wrambling”. Reading a recent news article mentioning the sentencing for convicted crimes, I puzzled over the time limits established by the court system. An adjudicated charge of an “assault causing serious injuries,” resulted in a 1-year sentence. In the same session of court, a charge of “possession of published sexual materials” resulted in a sentence of “5 to 7” years. I can see the seriousness of the “sexual material possession,” but also consider the potential ramifications of “serious physical assault,” given that death, or debilitating injury could have been a consequence, which of course would change the charge. But the “potential” for that is what I wonder about. Seems like the sentencing is incorrectly apportioned.

Once again, I was reminded of the “physics” of round things rolling, as I distributed my daily prescription medication into the dispenser. Randomly depositing a pile of differently shaped pills will have the oval or rounded shaped one’s landing on edge, a noticeably frequent number of times. And then, the smaller the round ones, the further and faster they roll, landing as if they wish to remain hidden, under a cabinet edge on the floor, or behind something else on the counter.

Another Wramble; I thought we had another educational institution in the area when I heard the scanner call that one of New York State’s finest was enroute, with a passenger, to “Grove State.”

Iron’s Road, on Rte. 31, geographically between Scio and Friendship, but technically situated in Amity, seems to have an unusual share of a certain kind of criminal offenses, and yet, also has an unusual frequency of related “calls” perpetrated upon relatively young adult women. This was an observation of “wondering,” pointed out to me by my wife.

The other topic that was initially part of the “two-fold” topic was my recent dealings with PayPal. At one time it got so bad and frustrating, that I attempted to cancel PayPal altogether, and warned my editor that he might have to pay my printing ink reimbursement in cash as I couldn’t/wouldn’t have access to PayPal. The problem started when I received an email sent out by PayPal notifying me that they had made an automatic payment to McAfee for my virus “Protection Plan.” Warning sounds went off in my head, so I thought it was best to check it out. My first reaction was that I was stupid to have an “automatic payment plan” in the first place. I thought it was a good idea at the time but this time it backfired. Why did it backfire?” Because McAfee, previously submitting a payment request every January, as set up by me, had now submitted a bill mid-stream through the annual cycle, for a significantly increased cost of $90 annually to $130 charged semi-annually.  

Upon my contacting PayPal Customer Service, I had to request to speak to an “understandable English” representative two times. The second time is a story within itself, within its self. I specifically requested a representative based where people spoke my language understandably. That “supervisor” said she would transfer my call to a Canadian representative if that would be all right. I replied “yes.” When the representative came on the line, I could not understand her any better than the rest. I asked where that representative was located, and she answered back “Mozambique.” I was speechless in any language. I finally got through that part of the process, and PayPal advised that they would investigate my “Claim.” A few hours later I received an email notification from PayPal that my “Claim for Resolution” had been investigated and they found no problem, and, that the billing was correct, and let the payment to McAfee stand.

Re-cycle, repeat. I started over again. I finally reached a PayPal representative that I could communicate with. I was able to get her to look at my charges/claims file again, and she noted that a payment “out of sequence” had been made and it looked suspicious. She said they would re-open the claim. She did, and, a day later I received notification that I had been reimbursed the $130.

I tried to log in to PayPal to verify my account standing but could not log in. PayPal login advised that “suspicious activity had occurred” and I was confronted with a message screen where I had to answer some security questions. They asked, “City of Birth” and I replied to Geneva, NY. Upon their asking, I gave 5456 as the last four digits of my S.S. number. The “Security Check” failed and wouldn’t allow log in to PayPal. I tried again changing Geneva, N.Y. to just Geneva, and that didn’t work either. I selected the “Provide a security code via email” method and after I finally received that code, having experienced extremely slow download via my internet connection, which will be discussed in another column, I was notified that the code time limit had expired. I tried again, got the code, entered it, and still got a message that the information, including password was incorrect.

At that point I again notified my Sun owner/editor that an alternate payment plan may need to be in effect for future use. I didn’t mention that I would raise my writing fee from zero to none.

Yesterday I decided to try once again. I called PayPal and got through to “Rachael.” As soon as I got her to slow her speaking down so I could understand her, she advised that since there had been a problem with my account it had automatically been locked. All I needed to do was change my password and it should work alright. As I held my phone under my ear so I could type and talk at the same time, (I’ll bet you can picture that as a flashback to old fashioned “hand held” dial phone days), I entered and re-entered a new password. It didn’t work the first time as I hadn’t followed the proper protocol “laws” for passwords “including letters, upper and lower case, numbers and special characters like #$(*& etc; and holding your tongue on the other side,”  Upon following the password etiquette rules I re-entered another password, attempted to log-in, and it worked.

I will never remember the new password so will publish it herein so I can go back and retrieve it from someone with a memory better than mine. They say to never disclose your passwords, but I trust you, and those of whom are reading this.

The new password is “8charactersincudingnumbersandlettersandspecialsymbolslike#$??^*8*)”

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