Friday Fragments

image copyright Fred First
Yes, this is the same old apple tree that appeared a few days ago in a more artsy black and white impression. The lichens that decorate its dying branches give it a kind of surreal luminance and false life.

* We both had meetings last night. We didn’t go. Within ten minutes, the walkway and the footbridge over the branch iced over about 7:00, and our decision to stay home from our 7:30 meetings in Floyd and Elliston was confirmed: they can meet without us. This morning, temps have risen and the threat of black ice is not zero but it is much lower than I’d feared. Ah yes, this is what winter travel feels like. I can’t say I’m sorry it waited to visit until mid-January this year.

* I feel like I’ve recovered from a chronic illness. First, every time I’d close an Explorer (XP) window, MSIE7 would pop up. It was maddening. In the end, I disabled tabs in that browser, and that problem disappeared. Then (for the past two weeks) about once a minute, it was if I’d hit Alt-Tab, and in the middle of a browser session, the Excel spreadsheet I had been working on would pop up, then the Word document, then back to a different Firefox tab. It seemed possibly related to the browser, so I uninstalled FF 1.5, installed FF 2.0, and I have my computer back from the hijackers! (Sigh: the Tiny Url extension doesn’t work in FF2.)

* With the above-mentioned problems, it made little difference to me that Citizens Internet had doubled the speed of our DSL (for the same price) on January 1. With my program switching problems and general sluggishness that went with it, my new 1.5Mbps connection made little difference. Now, we be jammin’!

* Okay. Excuse me but I need to cut this short. The dog has requested that I stop dawdling and finish the last few bites of cereal. (He can tell and only jumps up when the bowl makes sounds of a certain frequency as it approaches emptiness.) He never expects Ann’s cereal bowl, but the spoonful of milk and single tiny fruit in my bowl seems to be his “raisin d’etre” (sic). So I shouldn’t keep him waiting.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. evil black ice! i’ve had a couple less than pleasant experiences with it…and would have chosen to saty home, too!

  2. MSIE7 is the spawn of the devil. I wrote about my problems with it this week. I deleted it and went back to IE6, which in comparison, is Heaven!