Friday, January 29, 2021

Friday Funnies

It's definitely a compact model and I wondered . . . 

Is this the size of car best suited for (very) short trips around town?

Thank for all your comments on my previous post about how we were able to register and then receive a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Nashua, NH. We have heard from others living here who have also successfully registered.

It was quite disheartening to learn about the availability or not, and the lack of communication in so many states. Also, the fact that some folks have registered at multiple sites without any confirmation, and that others have no information on where or how to register. Folks in Canada seem to have little information to date, while folks in the UK reported more  that they will receive a call or mailed notification when eligible.

While I've read online news stories of how well or not vaccine distribution has or hasn't been going, your comments presented a better perspective on the difficulties within this process,  both within the U.S. and in other countries. When we complete the process next month (first phase), I'll post on how the process went for us.
It snowed late Tuesday and by Wednesday a.m., there was a 3-4 inch snowfall left behind. And, it didn't escape me that the blue colors of the little car and the snow scenes were very similar.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone.
More snow is forecast for next week.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

We're In It

The system, queue, line-up or whatever other term(s) apply to being registered and with an appointment date to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Yes, we are in the system, although, surprisingly, several friends texted me over the weekend that they did not register nor do they plan to do so.

Considering that it's no cost, and the possible alternative, we didn't hesitate to register as we're in the specified age group (and then some).

Here in NH, an estimated 150,000 state residents registered last Friday, Jan 22, in the first 10 hours of Phase 1B. This category is for those over 65 years old, folks with certain health issues, and remaining health workers and first responders. Phase 1A covered at-risk health workers, residents of long-term care facilities and many first responders. (Admittedly, I don't know why all health care workers and/or first responders would not have come under Phase 1A earlier.)

State health officials hope to have all those in Phase 1B vaccinated by the end of March 2021. According to top NH medical officials, the projections are dependent on how many people register and what the vaccine allocations are from the federal government.

Easy, peasy registration —right?
Not exactly, as there were a couple of surprises and registration did not mean appointment date.

While the state explained some of what would happen in signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine , it didn’t clearly explain what to expect after registering first at the NH State website.

That's because VAMS, a division of the CDC (Vaccine Administration Management System) is being used to schedule a vaccine appointment after online registration. After completing the NH State registration, there was a message that further instructions would follow in 3-5 days on how to schedule an appointment for the first of the two-dose vaccination. 

The VAMS email came less than 12 hours after state registration was done. And, the email arrived before an email from NH explained the process.

It was a bit confusing as the logical sequence of events did not occur in the logical order.

We were not alone in that state of confusion. Many, like Grenville, thought the VAMS email was a scam. The CDC VAMS process also repeated some of the questions asked at the NH State registration website.

Still, the state email to explain the VAMS process contained helpful advice, for example:

* Do not use Internet Explorer as the web browser to set up the appointment through VAMS; use Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari only. Not sure of the reason for this caution, which must have really upset folks who don't have any of those listed - is that even possible?

* The VAMS email will contain a link to schedule your appointment. Upon clicking that link, you will be asked: “Have you already registered as a vaccine recipient with VAMS?” Please be sure to answer no (even though you did complete the registration process at the state website).

* If you registered a qualifying household member along with yourself (i.e., spouse) to receive the vaccine at the same time, additional information will not be asked for or required when you schedule your appointment. Just arrive with your qualifying family member.

When Grenville entered our zip code, three locations (hospital, clinic and state of NH site) displayed, thankfully, the email instructions stated that when picking a location, to only select a “state of NH” site unless specifically instructed to select a different site.

Next, came a calendar to choose a vaccine appointment day/time starting on Jan. 26. At the time, Grenville was on the site, the rest of January into early February were taken. We're scheduled for Feb 13 at 2:10 p.m. 

After the appointment process ended, Grenville received a VAMS confirmation that included a QR (quick response) code and instructions to bring it and a valid photo ID (or other form of legal identification) to the appointment.

I  printed the email to have it handy for when we go for the first vaccine dose where instructions will be given to set up the second appointment.

How about you?

Have you been able to register in your state and get an appointment date yet. 

If so, do you plan to sign up?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Did You Watch?

The inauguration of Joseph Biden as the 46th U.S. President?

Personally speaking, I did watch. 
That in itself was unusual as watching any type of broadcast news isn't "my thing." Catching up on world events is done online while enjoying a cup of coffee first thing in the a.m. Anything that happened the day and night before is truly news to me.

That's what I had planned yesterday. My catch-up would be on Thursday morning.

What changed?
Blame it on my car which had a service and inspection appointment yesterday morning.

Bringing along my tablet and audio book as company distractions (waiting was possible with distancing) I settled into a reasonably comfortable chair.  Very soon, my attention was diverted to the events playing out on the big screen TV in the room.

Admittedly, I concentrated on my own distractions and ignored the day's events, for a while. But after seeing the flags on the National Mall, I began actively listening to the commentary and my attention became fully focused on Washington, D.C.

What a difference 2 weeks had made.
Images of protestors climbing the walls of the Nation's Capitol and running rampant through it were so disturbing that watching news replays was painful. Yesterday, those images were replaced by the symbol of our nation, the Capitol, bedecked in red, white and blue colors. 

Aside from the events on the Capitol steps and, not to take away from the significance and importance, of those processes, the sight that made such an impression on me was the Field of Flags on the National Mall.
Photo by Susan Walsh/AFP via Getty Images
These flags of different sizes and shapes represented every U.S. state and territory. The nearly 200,000 flags (191,500 to be exact, but who's counting) replaced the crowds of spectators that would normally fill the Mall on Inauguration Day. This year they could not attend not only due to the coronavirus pandemic but also tightened security measures in the wake of the Jan 6 rioting. (The above photo represents the scene well. The live TV views were even more incredible.) 

Generally, my blog posts steer clear of topics that deal with heavier, and often, controversial topics such as religion, politics, national and world events. That said, I found myself so riveted, moved, and impressed that after the car service was done, I hurried home to continue watching until the event had ended.

Glad to have done that.
This important and impressive ceremony was accompanied by nearly perfect weather. Hopefully these are harbingers for much better times ahead for everyone — here in the U.S. and abroad.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday Funnies

Whine not . . . 
At least not as long as there's wine 🍷 around. 
After this week's visit to the nearly NH wine outlet, we now have an ample supply which means that the wording on a t-shirt in my collection is out of date.
It always resulted in someone laughing whenever it was worn. 

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone.
Rainy ☔️ weather is in our forecast

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

And the Winner Is . . .

Me, or more accurately this wreath, which was created as my entry for the 2020 wreath competition here at our mill apt residence. 
The good news is that there was a prize associated with this win — a $100 Visa gift card. The unfortunate bad news is that there was only a single prize, which of course is now mine. It's valid until 2029, and I have no immediate spending plans. However, I will be celebrating a(nother) birthday early next month, and a self-treat is always nice.

WHY did I use the term unfortunate?

For two reasons, although we live in a very large apt complex with many apt doors, there were only 4 contest entries. This is out of a complex with over 300 inside doors. Contest rules were that the entry had to be handmade and only a door wreath would qualify even though residents decorate outside their apts like as we do. Online voting was done by residents the resident portal several days after the holidays.

So why the lack of entries? It might have been due to having only a single prize award. In past years, not only had there been more entries, not an overflow to be sure, but enough to qualify for the awarding of multiple prizes, 1st, 2nd, 3rd.

Management announced, in advance of the competition, that there would only be a single grand prize award. I publicly questioned that decision and was advised that as there were never a lot of entries, it was decided to only award a single prize this year. This made no sense to me. If entrants feel they have more than one chance to win something, isn't that always better odds?

While the lack of prize categories may have resulted in the sparse number of entries. Another factor could also be indifference. However, it does seem that with so many being at home, including entire families, there would have been keener interest to possibly win.

I enjoyed working on my entry during most of November and was pleased to have won. Unlike some others, I'm not a long-time crafter, but was just having some pre-holiday fun. I created four different wreaths from pine cones and corks; the other three were given as gifts. An added benefit was listening to audio books while making them. 

I thanked those who voted for my entry win, and complemented the other entrants (all done on the resident portal). And, in the spirit of graciousness, here are the other contest entries. Personally, I thought that #4 was very creative considering the present times.

Over the weekend, we took down the holiday decorations. Notice that I did not say all of them because when we looked at the windows, these two stragglers remained. Since the containers were already back in storage and stacked, we're keeping these hanging around the apt until  joined by their counterparts this December. Has this ever happened to you as well?
Meanwhile, we're still awaiting wintry weather to return. The  last measurable snowfall here in Nashua, NH, was Dec 11. This week, I saw photos of snowfall in parts of Texas, Canada, Japan, and Spain, so much for winter in New England.

Ending this post on a sad note and asking fellow bloggers to please keep fellow blogger Edna, in your thoughts. Her beloved canine companion, Pogo, died earlier this week. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Friday Funnies

These days we can all use a bit more fun since for nearly a year, it seems we've all been treading water (even on land).
Sometimes, that's hard to do, even harder when the boat is on land and there's water already in it. This one has obviously seen much better days.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

(Still) In the Mood

It's a new year, but we're still in the mood, the Christmas mood. Unlike many others, who may have taken advantage of the past holiday weekend to take down outside and inside decorations, our tree remains up. We're still enjoying the multi-colored lights nightly. How about you — any holiday decos still up?

Most likely, once everything is put away (probably this weekend) we won't have to wait until the end of 2021 to see holiday decos again. That's because they start appearing earlier and earlier in retail and Christmas in July seems more of a reality than just fanciful thinking.

The New Year was ushered in as low-key as Christmas for us. We happily spent the day at home, didn't most folks? Our day started with a long-standing tradition of cinnamon buns which, as you can tell, were thoroughly enjoyed. A can is always kept in the back of the fridge for "special" occasions and this day certainly was one of those. Grenville's smile shows his enjoyment.
We also kept with another long-standing tradition of going for a New Year's Day hike, which (almost, but not quite) justified our breakfast treat. In past years, we drove to Silver Lake State Park in Hollis, NH, for a First Day hike. This year, we walked closer to home going to Mine Falls Park in Nashua, which is within walking distance of the mill apts and a favorite walk spot.
Trees decorated by previous walkers greeted us along the way. We wondered if they had been the work of one group since all had a bright red ribbons, garland, and colorful balls. These were a cheerful sight and, hopefully, will remain decorated for a while longer.
An alien watched from a tree as we walked by. Most likely it had been lost by a child and put there for its owner to hopefully reclaim. Surprisingly, there was a lack of wildlife, human or otherwise, along most of our hike. 
Once home, the rest of the day was spent in comfy clothes and later, we dined on a meal of shrimp scampi and home made baguettes (first time attempt) and wine. No need to worry about being out on the roadways.
During the week between the two holidays, we received some post-Christmas family photos. Both great nieces, Autumn Rose (L) with friends and Savannah Marie (R) with parents celebrated at home in NJ and FL, respectively.
Plaid was in as seen in a Christmas pose of youngest granddaughter Lilliana seen with her mom, Coleen, and as Santa's helper in decorating their PA tree. Matching plaids were worn by cousins David, Dennis and their son, William, in NY. This threesome were the only family members who wore identical PJs. Did any members of your family do the same?
While inside our apt is still in the holiday mood, the exterior received a makeover earlier this week. A group of snowmen have settled in for a long winter's visit. We hope there will be some snow this season so they won't melt of boredom.
Their penguin and frog friends also have a couple of snow companions.
In the Mood is the name of a popular big band-era jazz standard recorded by American bandleader Glenn Miller in 1939 and featured in the movie Sun Valley SerenadeThe composing credit goes to Joe Garland and the first recording was released by Edgar Hayes & His Orchestra in 1938.

Best Wishes to all for a better and happ(ier) 2021. It's the most we can all hope for now. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happ(ier) New Year

Our best wishes to all for a much better New Year . . .
Hopefully, 2021 will eventually be that for everyone.

Because, it's been said that humor is always good, and we certainly needed it last year and into this year, here's a couple of funnies sent by friends. These images might have made the online rounds, but they were new to us...and maybe you as well.
Father Time really took a beating in 2020 and we all hope he recovers (sometime) in 2021.
WHOOPS, I was wrong and Comments were NOT off, so THANKS for all of yours, folks.