God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A First Grader Comes of Age and the Inferno of Computers

Well--not much news to report regarding our adventure--but, since my visitor counter tells me that there are real live people who check in and read this blog, maybe I should drop by and say hello, buon giorno, ciao or whatever. Actually, PREGO would be good--for all of you who take the time to follow this saga through the mysteries and labyrinth of the LA Consulate--which is rumored to lead the way for alien invasion of golden Italy.

Never Never Land--located somewhere deep within the LA Italian Consulate.
The Big Event This Week: School is out and Casey (KC) is a second grader. He thinks he is pretty special (of course, he is) as he struts and grins from ear to ear. He's very proud of earning all E's and G's in academics with just a couple S's in behaviorial type things--such as settling down to work and focusing.
Here in San Diego even 1st graders have pretty stiff learning curriculums--certainly more than in my day. As an educator in my past life, albeit secondary level, I have serious reservations about 6 year olds being in school 6 1/2 hours a day followed by 15-30 minutes of homework and then a substantial time set aside for reading. When sports and other activities important in developing a dimensional person are factored in to this, our little ones begin stress overload very early in life--too early in my mind. When first graders begin to worry about achievement tests they will be required to take in second grade, it becomes pretty clear that some how we have skewed our priorities.

Check Me Out!------I'm a Second Grader!

Now as I write this, he and Papa are spending the night at the world famous San Diego Zoo--a unique way to ring in Father's Day.

Is he sleeping with

or or

What ever--it will be a night of adventure and dreams and wonderful memories! The question is "how will Papa handle all this?"

Now computers:

I finally met the enemy this week--a virus! Last week at the Little League party, one of the sisters, unbidden and permissionless, helped herself to my computer (the one that serves as my network hub) and, wherever she went on it, left a very sick machine. I couldn't even get to system restore--windows was totally inaccessible. I worked on it--to no avail--and then took it to a little computer repair shop down the road. Major mistake--the man there made things worse. Before his help, I could access programs and data; after his ministrations, the screen had disintegrated into inpenetrable blackness. Not nice. So--after a day and a half spent with stress level rising by the minutes and seconds, I did what we all try to avoid--called a friend who can do all and, yes, that nemisis of humankind is defeated, windows function and.....all data exists. Now I owe said friend my life.

Italy: Things are sort of sitting. But--as they sit, hopes are rising and anticipation grows. Our attorney has written a brilliant case for the judge to clarify our rights in such a way that even the strange people with the LA Consulate will understand what guardianship means. Or--is it much too optimistic to hope for that. Since they will not answer letters, faxes or e-mails, predicting their actions is somewhat difficult. Customer service is not their thing.

The good news and the great "burden off the shoulders" release is the solution for renting our house. We have been concerned about this because it would be difficult to maintain a house here while absorbing the expenses of life in Italy--plus, leaving a house empty for a year is not wise. But--renting is always a risk--and finding someone to rent a furnished house for the exact period of need is akin to finding the needle in the haystack.

The solution: Our son and his roommate will rent it--perfect! They are reliable, son knows the house, the dog can stay, mail can be handled, care will be taken. They get a reduced rent and we get peace of mind. The housekeeper, the gardner and the pool guy will continue to do their things. And--we will be able to rent in Italy a little easier.

Ciao for today.

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