Back To The Future

Monday, November 21, 2022

Today, I’ll go to St. Charles Medical Center for a job interview. For a change, it’s about desk-style work, part-time, and suits my experience. That’s also my preference after months of experience behind a busy retail cash register.

I became interested in St. Charles after bumping into previous co-workers who now are employed there. They like their work, are paid well, and not interested in leaving their jobs. They encouraged me to explore opportunities, which I did, and thus, today’s interview.

Years ago, I worked in a medical environment. Working in Human Resources for Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles, I became assigned to its Bellflower Medical Center as an internal consultant to the management teams. That environment introduced me to a large hospital structure and to employee roles. I learned the processes for decision-making and communicating throughout the environment. Today’s interview may draw from that background.

For the past week of not working, I’ve enjoyed being home but slightly feel isolated. I enjoyed having the camaraderie of co-workers who like me are retirees. We viewed working in similar ways, giving it our best, and being mutually supportive. I felt that kinship again yesterday on returning to the market to clear my locker.

Interestingly, many retirees were very conservative; their political views differed significantly from mine. We sensed the differences and didn’t discuss politics. As a minority group, we elderlies focused on appreciating and supporting ourselves.

Today I’ll learn what St. Charles offers. For sure, many retirees are working there, as volunteers or in salaried positions.

Dear Friends: It’s weird, that I’ve not already sought employment in a medical environment. Diana

Worried World

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Yesterday, another mass shooting and this time in a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub. It’s another awful expression of social hatred by an American, seriously mentally ill and maladjusted. Here’s what else is awful: I didn’t pause to read about that shooting. My brain said to the headline, “Not again,” and skipping that story searched for others of interest.

Mass shootings in America and other developed nations seem occurring daily. They follow similar threads. Shooters typically are young men. Most after shooting are found dead. They share have common histories, of frequenting online hate sites and describing online their own deep hatreds while posting murderous threats.

Citizens are learning to expect such activities. The few shooters who’ve been found alive and are in custody are troubling to manage. Should they be executed or not? Is it helpful to those suffering losses of loved ones to describe their anger and sadness, to a stone-faced murderer?

As for me? While a supermarket cashier, always on my mind was that store’s cashiering setup. Just inside large entry doors are its fifteen cash registers. There wasn’t a question about an entering active shooter’s ability instantly to wipe out all register operators. That fear intensified among store workers after an active shooter targeted, shot up, and murdered, inside a local Safeway.

An imagined scenario didn’t make me quit working in the store. I did for other reasons, and yet, feel relieved for not working in a front row of multiple cash registers.

The world’s population, having reached 8 billion, forces more a general acceptance of our social and individual differences. Our enlightenment and understanding are revealing many incapacities of our usual legal positions. Calls are urgent for a united Congress, or at least bodies willing to and capable of negotiating across aisles.

Dear Friends: I am sad over the Colorado mass shooting, and today will immerse myself in a computer world. Diana

Changing Times

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The weather experts predict today’s local conditions to warm up. The area’s current uninviting 12 degrees F by this afternoon will register at 40 degrees F. Later this morning, I’ll lead my horses to a neighbor’s pasture and leave them to graze. Today, the streets won’t smack of black ice and threaten our safety, going or returning home later.

Yesterday, needing vinegar and canned pumpkin, and being price-conscious, I visited Costco. That store was mobbed with Thanksgiving-focused shoppers. Moving my cart against traffic flows through the aisles required time and effort; I was happy to escape the store with little beyond my two designated purchases.

Today, I’ll find a similar mob of shoppers in the supermarket where I’m no longer employed. I will go there to clear my locker without having to face unending customers lined up at a cash register. Cashiering is very physical work and increasingly so as a celebratory holiday approaches. I’m grateful for gaining the skills to operate a register, and equally so for having quit.

I watched Costco cashiers working even more physically. Carts roll on a cashier’s side of a register with heavier items inside needing scans. Cashiers must also scan small items moving on a register belt. At least, many have helpers that make checking out quicker.

These days while not working beyond my home, I relish having the time to care for my animals. I can fool around, too, for example, playing at creating a logo.

Dear Friends: Moving on now with hopes to understand later, better, as to where. Diana

Pretty & Slick

Friday, November 18, 2022

Still freezing here, the weather that is, and I keep myself bundled up. Today’s header photo shows the early morning path toward my barn from up at the house.

After quitting work outside my home, I am finding time for animal care and property needs. This extreme cold multiples animal needs. Maintaining warmth expends mega calories. I face frozen-over watering devices, sheltering areas needing improvements, and making corrections to feeding amounts and frequencies.

There also are my dogs. I let them be outside for a while and then inside for a while. This works well since mostly they sleep while inside. That gives me computer time for writing, reading, and attempting to create something cool.

Yesterday and today have the horror of black ice. Years ago, a couple of bad slips taught me that danger, which now discourages walking with my horses on asphalt toward a neighbor’s pasture. The horses will have to be in a dry lot until Central Oregon’s atmosphere heats a little.

It is lighter now and quite beautiful outside. But it’s cold!

Dear Friends: Icy weather is neat for carrying around and pointing a camera. Diana


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Well, there’s Peaches on a big rock, and somehow, minus his perch and hot dog. While he’s wrongly sized in this, I did eliminate an original image’s background and successfully moved Peaches from a cage into the outdoors. I think these represent a decent start to learning the complex software, Photoshop.

In examining photos taken with my camera, my mind plays with them. Individual images often have me wishing to combine a couple or more, to tell a story or to increase their potential.

This began years ago. I was playing around and combined several throwaway shots, creating one I have loved. It shows my donkey, Pimmy, gazing at the wintery moon over the Cascade Mountains. Of course, this morning I cannot locate that old image in time for this blog. I will post it tomorrow.

Anyway, here’s to sharing my accomplishment so far, Hoping to continue and create something better.

Dear Friends: Cool as AI is, it’s really less than what human brains may produce. Diana


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Today’s header photo shows Peaches in his cage savoring a hot dog. I decided to use Photoshop, remove the image’s background and then place Peaches and his snack elsewhere. These changes would be my first experiment in navigating the complex Photoshop software.

After removing the in-home background, I could see challenges in finding a suitable background for Peaches, his perch, and the hot dog. A temporary solution was to place them against a solid color background.

This image’s tilted perch won’t easily fit into a natural tree, as I had hoped. I wondered if the saved components could be fitted onto a stump or a rock. I didn’t see an appropriate natural stump but spotted a rock that might serve.

Combining these two images successfully calls for a clear vision of desirable outcome and a clever manipulation of software. By tomorrow morning, I hope to have progressed adequately to share.

Dear Friends: Photoshop has enormous possibilities and greatly inspires creativity. Diana


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

I’ve begun hanging and turning on my outside Christmas lights, starting at the barn. They’re warm greetings, although now might be too early for them. Homeowners usually activate their Christmas lights after Thanksgiving. Anyway, last evening, I enjoyed peering through the sheer darkness at a lighted string of multi-colors at my barn. I will leave them up until the end of January, or this time not take them down at all.

I felt like pausing and hanging my lights after quitting my part-time job. For the first time in months, I could relax and do whatever I wished. What changed things is that this winter season began suddenly and harshly. Continued snowing and freezing temperatures encouraged deciding to stay home and care for my animals.

First, I’ll string the remaining lights, and then seriously will start working with my own images and the Photoshop editing program. I enjoy the illustrations that artificial intelligence produces and surely will enjoy mine. What’s been missing is enough free time to focus, practice, learn, and produce.

Today’s header is from AI, and tomorrow’s might be a product of my efforts.

Dear Friends: This cold, beautiful morning is an invitation to use the daylight hours wisely. Diana

Contemporary Reading

Monday, November 14, 2022

Last week, encouraged by national book reviews, I purchased books from Amazon. This time, skipping my usual choice of hard-back versions, I went for Kindle downloads.

I grasped that my reading style has changed!

I love hardcovers and as an avid reader could “live in” books. I used to be an armchair expert on the works and lives of Charlotte Bronte and Emily Dickinson. For years, my brain was full of mid-Nineteenth Century British and American cultures, and the limiting gender-based discrimination. Role limits confronted those creative and talented women causing wonder about what more they’d have achieved had cultures allowed.

After turning from those personal studies, I focused on current and more open social views. I pursued the writings of contemporary talented women, with evidence of my interests printed on the bindings of books filling my bookcases. Those bindings served doubly to remind me of past reads, which sometimes I re-read.

In a bedroom “reading nook” I could relax, hold an actual book and become lost. To my eventual confusion, something changed. I quit reading but continued to purchase books, leaving them unread in stacks. Maybe because after long resisting, I was adapting to reading online.

I don’t prefer reading online but increasingly do. Today’s ultra-communicating world makes reading online quickly informative. Also, I’m searching for better ways of managing time and energy. My cellphone has a Kindle app, is always in my pocket or my hand. In the most spare moments, Kindle is readable from wherever I am.

A bound book makes reading a luxurious experience. One can page back, re-read, and consider how past passages connect with those ahead. In contrast, online reading encourages rapid processing. While selecting last week’s book versions, I doubted if online reading would have revealed the immense power of Bronte and Dickinson as did my hardcover reads.

Dear Friends: The Universe in occasionally identifiable ways moves us onward. Diana

Writer’s Block

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Oh dear, the internet is making available an AI program that’s capable of developing a writer’s ideas and finishing thoughts. In playing with the program, I think it won’t help my blogs, for my style is very personal. What’s cool though, is that this AI is helpful and makes me want to create fiction. Using it could prevent stumbles into writer’s block!

I’ll keep playing with it. I could dredge up some of my old creations to learn if using AI might punch them up. Years ago I wrote a fantasy, that I’m still fond of, but couldn’t create a satisfying ending. AI might enlighten and help, or might not, but I’m eager to discover.

I have fallen in love with DALL-E, an internet AI which creates satisfying illustrations from requested descriptions. I have company, too, as DALL-E images often head up contributor articles in major newspapers. DALL-E also might be illustrating books, an aspect I’ve not explored.

For me, there’s today’s reality. It’s bitterly cold at 20-deg. F. Once again, I will skip working. On Sundays, the grocery store is packed with customers and needs cashiers. I understand that I can leave after working five hours, but today my animals need me. In freezing weather, the equines and other outside critters need frequent feedings. Also, puppy Chase mustn’t mess with his stitches (I resist his E-collar as often he’s kenneled in a small environment}.

Our farrier, Russ, will arrive early today. He drives here from California every five or six weeks. Unlike any farrier I’ve ever known, Russ is informed and liberal-leaning and has a cool sense of humor. I enjoy catching up as Russ works on the horses.

Dear Friends: My blogs always will be my own brain children and without AI assistance. Diana

Freezing Weather

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Snowing! Today, Central Oregon’s high will be 31 degrees. It’s a day for staying home to care for my animals.

Yesterday, I gave written notice to the Human Resources Manager in the grocery that employs me. I explained my concerns with caring for animals in frigid weather that discourages long working hours away from home. She requested two weeks’ notice, said I could work only five hours daily, and I agreed. Today, however, the internet scheduling app doesn’t show me with reduced working hours. The heavy snow discourages my leaving home.

By quitting abruptly, I’ll probably not be re-employed by the grocery. Fortunately, however, this economy offers many working opportunities. Months behind a busy cash register has given me a highly marketable skill. That’s in my back pocket, but I’d seek new work that will offer learning.

Today at home, I can let dogs inside and outside as needed; ensure that my horses frequently receive hay; and care for the chickens, turkeys, and goats. Plus, I will make sure that puppy Chase doesn’t mess with his stitches.

Dear Friends: Inclement weather has occurred very early this season and disrupts my routine. Diana