I am developing an abiding hatred for invisible toggle keys on the keyboard. The program you’re using may tell you to “press X to use the keyboard shortcut to do Y” but it doesn’t tell you the “shortcut” of the key that turns that toggle key on and off.

I was happily using “insert” to create a new text box, all according to the drop-down box’s recommendation for the keyboard shortcut. An hour after I started work, all of a sudden the insert key will only make a zero (since the insert key is also the zero key in the number pad). I don’t remember striking the num lock button, but yeah, pushing it fixed the problem. Still, it was an interruption, an irritant and and an imposition.

I am so tired of the pile of learning curves between programs, between gizmos, and between iterations of gizmos. It’s like an hourly ‘learning of toilets’ on a European road trip: “how do you flush THIS one?!?!”

Okay, rant over, blood pressure returning to normal, time to get back to work.

(I’m enjoying alone time with the last of my tea from my room-service breakfast so I can finish a highly-useful course by Kris Neri that started before I left home and ends this coming week. I’m going to buy the CDs of the Bouchercon panels I’m missing — many thanks to the Bouchercon team posting pictures on Facebook to remind me.)

Decaf tea still tastes like steeped fish scales.  I’d have thought that in over twenty years of production that manufacturers would have made some improvement.

  (1994, tea on the patio with May-ree)

That’s all.  Just letting off steam after breakfast.

Heat, heat, go away.

Let the rain come back to play.

I understand the people in Arizona and Texas routinely tolerate this kind of heat in the summer, but this isn’t the Southwest.  This is the temperate part of the western Midwest — see the trees in the background?  (they still look green, but they’re already losing leaves and I’ve seen dead trees among the stands of woods along the roadways)  The beige on the lower edge of the photo is the parched grass shaded from the midday sun by a pretty tall oak.

Please consider this post an official complaint to The Management — wherever that Management resides.  The humans may be deserving of divine wrath, but our trees didn’t do anything to anyone (other than the sweet gums planted in the wrong places and are ruining sidewalks, but they didn’t plant themselves).

Management, spare the trees.  Consider the wildlife.  Have mercy on the livestock.

I’m missing Germany again.  Not only did a former neighbor and Facebook friend upload photos of her recent trip to Munich, but I “found” poison ivy in the backyard.  I thought we’d eliminated the plant from the yard last year, but I was wrong.  The poison ivy merely moved from snuggling under the peonies to crouching in the sedum, violets and daylilies under the crabapple.

In our decades in Europe, and while either wandering through the Continental woodlands or Volksmarching, I never once had an allergic reaction to plants.  Not once.  Here in the U.S., it’s a yearly occurrence, despite my vigilance.  Nettles grow in Europe, but they “merely” sting for a while.  They don’t produce this weeks-long weeping rash of hard bumps that, between showers, collect bits of calamine lotion between them because you can’t really scrub the area because it not only itches, it hurts.  Ugh. Ick. Gross.

In looking for any benefit from this yearly happening, I guess it could mean that I shouldn’t weed the parts of the garden with taller plants.  I suppose that could be an up-side to this allergy since no one in the household seems affected but me.  Now to convince the rest of them that I’m “special”  — and get them to care about weeds.

I realized that WordPress had done some program-tweaking in the time since I last posted — needing to search around the screen for what I was looking for was a giveaway.  However, changing the function of something as basic as adding a new entry without incorporating a warning advisory that, HEY, WE CHANGED SOMETHING REALLY BASIC, is just careless.

Apparently in this new and improved program, after one adds a new post, and manages to get back to the “add new post” screen, if one doesn’t click “Add New” in the left-hand navigation bar, one merely replaces what one has already uploaded, in this case the link to How to Write a Cozy Mystery at Get It Write.  Luckily, no cats or children were harmed in the replacing of the blog post, but I can assure you you’re not reading the words of a cheerful Charlie right now.

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