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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It's like spring here today.  The temperature is around 40 degrees and there's some wind, but it's out of the southeast, so not as cold as we've had in days past.  There was a little rain shower in the middle of the morning, but it didn't last long.  We still have about 5 inches of snow on the ground, but one good rain storm would quickly wash that away.

We had a call from our friends in Alaska this weekend.  We were happy to hear from them and learn there was no damage from the recent 7.1 magnitude earthquake a week ago.  The quake was centered near Cook Inlet, about 160 miles from where our friends live in Anchorage.  Because it was so deep (50 miles) it didn't shake them up too badly, and there was no danger of a tsunami.  I checked the Alaska Earthquake Center website and was amazed at how many quakes they have had recently along the peninsula, some of them pretty big.  It may be that this goes on all the time.  I didn't find anything about that on the site.  I guess our friends are fairly used to earthquakes, having lived in Alaska for many years; they said other than a few things falling from shelves (nothing broken) and some water splashed out of the aquarium, they had no damage. Some parts of Anchorage were without power, according to a report I read, but over all there was nothing alarming about the event.  There were two smaller, 4.0 and 3.2 quakes that followed about a half hour later.  I don't think I'd like having that much earthquake activity around me all the time.

I'm weathering this stuffy cold pretty well, drinking lemon-ginger tea (great stuff!) and lots of plain water, juice, and green tea.  I'm fairly afloat, but it seems to be doing the trick and keeping my nose and head fairly clear.  Drinking all those fluids is also good for my exercise regime!  What really felt good was getting outside in the fresh, spring-like air at noon for my walk.  Something about the cold air seems to clear the sinuses. 

We are still awaiting my computer with its new hard drive. Working on the laptop is really frustrating.  Things jump around - a lot!  I've been working on the manuscript of the West Danville History book, trying to edit material and insert photos, etc., and I'm constantly being surprised that my curser is someplace it shouldn't be and I've typed a bunch of words in the middle of an unrelated paragraph.  I will be very happy to have my desktop computer back again.  Fred just sent me a link to a site that has some statistics about how long hard drives will last.  Check it out.  Three or four years doesn't seem like a long time, but it proves it's a good idea to back up your work frequently.  Ours lasted 3.5 years and didn't fail completely - just kept telling me it was going to.  I didn't want to risk having it crash and lose stuff, so we backed everything onto an external hard drive before even contacting customer service for support.  However, external drives last about the same length of time, except you don't use them as much.  All this aside, I hope I get my computer back soon - and that the new hard drive gets through those first critical months without problems. 

I often think back to the first computer we had.  It was a Wang, and I don't remember that we used it for much at all except perhaps a few letters - and I probably typed manuscripts with it.  It was mostly a word processor. We both had to use computers at work, but they were really awful.  It wasn't until I retired that I began to enjoy working with computers, and now I'm lost without mine.  I still prefer to leave the laptop at home when we go on vacation, and since we don't have smart phones, we are truly disconnected.  And that's a good thing!

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