Saturday, May 4, 2019

May the Fourth Be with You

Susan and I attended the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra's season-ending performance this evening, where we enjoyed both a 60-degree evening (don't laugh—that's warm for the first week of May in Duluth) and a program styled Along the Mediterranean. The balmy weather helped put us in the mood for that program.

We enjoyed a set of five up-tempo compositions, concluding with Ravel's Bolero—one of my favorite orchestral pieces. After a boffo crescendo ending and a standing O for all the various soloists, we were ready to head for the exit, when our puckish maestro, Dirk Meyer, took advantage of the calendar, grabbed the mic, and sent us off to summer with a surprise encore, introduced with the semi-cryptic entrée, "May the Fourth be with you." The DSSO then launched into a spirited rendition of John Williams' Star Wars Overture.

It was a delightful way to spend Saturday night.

Especially after having spent eight hours volunteering at St Paul's annual rummage sale earlier in the day, which pretty much took the starch out of Susan and me. The Episcopal Church netted something north of $2000—mostly on sales of items that sold for $5 or less (I counted the cash at the end and we had accumulated a whopping 235 one-dollar bills)—so that was a healthy outcome. 

Email Purgatory
Today's busy schedule helped take my mind off the need to dig out from under the 474 emails that had piled up last week when I was suddenly unable to send or receive email for eight days. For reasons that still baffle me (gremlins?) my email program (Apple Mail) suddenly asked me for my Google password and I had no idea what it was. My computer had been automatically logging me in for years and I was dead in the water.

The problem first surfaced April 21 (which meant I was fully grounded on Earth Day—just not in a good way) and it didn't get resolved until the following Monday. As email is far and away my main connection to the information superhighway, I was in big doo-doo. Sure, I was able to handle the odd bit of business via telephone but mostly I was on hold, hoping that I wasn't missing too many time-sensitive requests.

While I had no trouble with connectivity and therefore had full access to the internet, nothing is more crippling to me than than loss of email. It's how I conduct almost all of my business these days, excepting only the live work I do with clients.

After spending 48 hours monkeying around on my own (trying all manner of possible passwords) it was time to call in reinforcements. So I took my laptop in to George Reindl, my go-to Apple guy at Downtown Computer. Although George needed help from both FIC (the Fellowship controls the domain that I've always used as my primary email address and I first needed to get a new password for my alias) and from Google, he eventually got it sorted out—including correcting the setting mistakes I made in my ham-handed attempts to fix the problem myself.

Now I have four days left to get everything caught up before alighting in Vancouver BC next Thursday for the start of a new two-year facilitation training, which will occupy my entire bandwidth. Because of my penchant to travel by rail, that means two of my remaining four days I'll be on rolling stock. Departing from St Paul's (the city, not the church) Union Depot Monday evening at 10:20 pm, I'm due to get to Vancouver at 11:00 pm Wednesday.

Fortunately, I can be productive on a moving train (I'm not susceptible to motion sickness) and I'll have connectivity en route via the hotspot I can set up on my iPhone. So four days should be enough.

It will have to be. Or the Fourth will not have been with me enough.

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