17 December 2017

Third Sunday of Advent: Hygge and Hard Drives

Our original plan for today: go to McKay's in Chattanooga and then eat at City Café. I love going up to McKay's before Christmas; they have the Christmas CDs and Christmas books right out and easy to find. And City Café has a brilliant chicken soup that they put broken-up spaghetti in instead of noodles. Every Italian kid remembers his mother doing this for a quick supper. It's like suddenly going back in time: to grandparents and great-aunts and -uncles speaking Italian (I miss people speaking Italian), and torrone squares in with the Christmas cookies, which weren't sugar cookies with thick colored frosting or gingerbread boys, but almond bars and molasses bars and wine biscuits and pizelle, and even hard fruit-flavored Italian candies in the candy dishes, and always a dish of nuts in the shell.

But it was supposed to start raining in Chattanooga by 10 a.m. and in Atlanta by two. The power chair isn't supposed to travel in the rain, and you can't carry cardboard Xerox paper boxes in a pickup truck's truck bed in the rain. Life happens and rain happens. I've driven home from Chattanooga in the rain, chair or no chair. It's not pretty.

We spent part of the morning swearing because yesterday we'd pretty much had to wedge the new hard drive into James' old computer (everything is riveted in) and since it didn't work, we now had to take the new hard drive out, and the old hard drive, too, to get the files off it. It took James about a half hour, and I had to use a wrench to bang part of the strip of housing that was holding the enclosure with the hard drives in it so it would come out (and he still had trouble). But he got the old drive out, put it into the enclosure, and prepared to copy the files off.

The old disk was completely blank. The update hadn't corrupted Windows, it had wiped everything!

James had done a backup of his main drive to a portable disk in June, so we were able to extract his Eudora mailboxes from that. I turned on the Christmas tree and the Christmas village and put more Christmas cassettes on and we had Christmas hygge as he loaded Eudora and WordPerfect and Paint Shop Pro and other necessary programs, and we restored his mailboxes. We even cleaned out the spinner full of program discs on the top shelf of his computer desk. We found some relics up there, including some disc that could be booted in DOS and a WindowsXP operating disc! He threw out old stuff, kept discs of images, e-books, and manuscripts, and kept any games he was still interested in. The next step will be to see if all the games (mostly military, a few fantasy and some arcade) still open in Win10, and if they don't, if compatibility mode will make them work.

For supper we had half of the four-pound pork loin I found at Kroger, slow cooked in barbecue sauce, with a cucumber salad chaser. It was delicious, and there's leftovers for lunch for both of us.

To finish out the night, we watched the live performance of the Broadway play version of A Christmas Story. It was super, especially the little boy—Andy Walken—who played Ralphie. What a voice on that child! He made it all real. Interesting bits added to the story, like about Schwartz being Jewish (he isn't in the movie and apparently the Hanukkah scene was written for the television production), Miss Shields having OCD, etc. I loved how they worked adult Ralphie, played by Matthew Broderick, and his narration into the action, and really adored the songs "Counting Down to Christmas" and "Just Like That" (also nodded vigorously to "What a Mother Does"!). But what brought down the house for me was the ending narration provided by Broderick, about how sometimes parents didn't say they loved you, but they worked for you and nagged you and kept you safe, which was the same thing. It made me cry. Thinking about it still makes me cry.

And the Bumpus hounds were played by rescue dogs to boot!

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