Unforeseen Circumstances

I had every intention of writing a blog post this week. Yesterday around 11:30 a.m., I realized the power cord to my laptop was broken and I only had about 25 percent of the battery left.

The tip had broken and part of it was still in the port. It took a while to get it out. I googled replacement cords and found one on Amazon.  Amazon promised next day delivery so I bought it.

I then tried to see if  Asus would send me a new cord since the computer was under warranty. No luck. Cords are not covered under the warranty.

I feel that is a new thing because in the past I have gotten new cords. It is bad that they aren’t part of the warranty because power cords are always the first thing to break on a laptop. The tips are so flimsy and so is the port.

All of this drama with the cord prevented me from writing something. I didn’t get the new cord until around 2 today and I had an appointment for 2:30 . I didn’t get home until about 5:30.

There also won’t be a  post next week  since I will be away. I promise I will have a new post November 23. Happy Thanksgiving!



As many of you know, a few months ago this website was hacked. Since then I have been paying Sitelock $70 a month to keep the blog and website secure. On June 9 my contract with Bluehost for hosting the website will be up. I have to decide what I want to do.

A few  weeks ago, with the help of a friend, Sarah, I upgraded my theme and deleted a bunch of plug-ins. That will make the blog safer. I am not totally in love with the updated theme but it is another thing I want to think about. One option would be to stop using Bluehost and start with wordpress.org or squarespace. I also found another hosting site, with themes that I liked, StudioPress Sites.

If I picked any of these choices, I would have to start over with new themes and with some of the companies,I would still have to  do something about security. I did find a security  concern that would be cheaper than Sitelock, Sucuri, and I am thinking about switching to them no matter what I do about hosting.

Network Solutions, the company that used to host my website is another option. They seem to be offering Sitelock free for a year or at a significantly reduced price. I wasn’t crazy about them when they were my host.  At first, with them, I couldn’t even have an actual wordpress blog and then they got really expensive.  I also wanted to make the blog  dynamic and the focus of the website and wordpress was better for that.

I haven’t always liked wordpress either. It is not user friendly and I am not sure paying them would make it easier to use. I also am not sure how secure a wordpress.org site would be.

I could also stay with Bluehost and either continue to use Sitelock or switch to Sucuri. I am disappointed in Bluehost because they were no help when I was hacked and have done nothing about my Twitter problem. Of course, Sitelock hasn’t helped either.

I might renew Bluehost for another six months so I have a little more time to  figure out what I want to do. If I switch themes and create a new site that would take time that I don’t have right now.

If any of you have suggestions or have had experiences with any of these companies or any other, please let me know.

President’s Council On Fitness

In 2011 I earned a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). I had to do thirty minutes of physical activity at least five days a week for a month. I did this challenge through IVillage, which no longer exists and the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.

After I earned this award, I started tracking my activities on the website of the President’s Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards Program. I received points for whatever activity I did in a day, based on both the strenuousness and duration. In December 2012 I earned a Bronze Presidential Champions medal which was equal to 40,000 points. My points from the PALA which I earned in August 2011 were added to my subsequent points.

In 2014 I reached 90,000 points and got silver. A little over a year later I earned gold and had 160,000 points. The next goal was platinum which required amassing 1 million points. I was planning on taking seven or eight years to reach that milestone.

Since the program was part of the President’s Council on Fitness which has existed since 1956, I figured the site would exist indefinitely. I figured wrong. In the spring of 2016 the Council announced that it was merging their tracking system with one the Department of Agriculture had. As part of the transition I was able to download an Excel spread sheet with all of my activity and points dating back to 2011. On August 31, 2016 the President’s Challenge tracker ceased existing.

The new site, Super Tracker, was not user-friendly and it was six months before I was able to import my data. I had been writing down my activity so I then had to manually enter six months of information. Once it was finally up and running it was okay and I went back to accumulating points for my platinum medal.

A few months ago I received notice that Super Tracker will be discontinued on June 30 2018. The site says you can export your data but I can’t figure out how to get more than one week at a time, As  of June 30th PALA as an online activity will cease to exist and the President’s Challenge  will be gone forever. This news has been very demoralizing to me as the point system served as motivation. I also wonder about the level of commitment to encouraging physical fitness for children and adult the dismantling of these programs shows.

It turns out that there are currently no members in the President’s Council on Fitness and the President’s Challenge office in Bloomington, Indiana is closed. On April 10th 250 retired admirals and generals wrote to President Trump urging him to appoint people to the council. I guess that is what happens when you have a President who eats cheeseburgers, steak and milk shakes regularly and never exercises.






I have been sick on and off since December and last week I had a really bad cold. I still don’t feel 100 percent. Last Wednesday there was a death in my family; I had to travel on Friday and attended the funeral on Sunday.

On Thursday I realized I had neither the physical or emotional energy to write an actual post. I planned to tell you this and link to a post titled Death that I did in August when another family member died.

I had written most of the post when my website stopped working. There was a big red screen that said the site was dangerous. If you clicked through that screen you were redirected to a PayPal log in. After a few minutes of trying to figure out what was wrong I called Blue Host, my network provider. I wasn’t very confident that they were be of any help because when I called a month ago about my Twitter problem, they were useless.

When I called Blue Host I somehow wound up being directed to Site Lock. I previously had a poor interaction with SiteLock and my website worked fine for many months after that. This time I got a nice guy, Antoine, who explained what was going on and didn’t try a hard sell. Of course, this time it was easier to convince me since my website didn’t work at all.

That was the good news. The bad news was that I have to pay $70 a month indefinitely to fix the hacking and prevent it from happening again. That is a lot of money. Antoine also said it could take up to 72 hours to fix my website and maybe longer to fix the twitter issue. Because of that, for the first time in over a year I didn’t post anything on Friday.


Twitter Woes

Last Friday after I wrote my weekly post, I wanted to tweet about it as I do every week. However after I wrote the tweet, I couldn’t send it because I got the following message: “This request looks like it might be automated. To protect our users from spam and other malicious activity, we can’t complete this action right now. Please try again later.”

As you can imagine, I was very surprised and tried to fix the problem. I restarted my computer, changed my password, and try to contact twitter. I tweeted @twitter and @twittersupport. I got a response that said they would look into but that they don’t respond to individual reports. I also filled out a form from the Twitter support bot. Nothing has worked.

I just tried again and it still doesn’t work. I have also retold my problem to the Twitter support bot. I find it ironic that they are accusing me of being automated and they have a bot instead of a person to communicate with. I tried phone calling and  a message said they don’t deal with service issue on the phone. You have to do it online. That means there is no person to talk to even if you have a problem. I find that unbelievable.

I have always been a big fan of Twitter. I have liked using it for almost ten years. This issue has really colored how I am thinking about Twitter. When I contemplate how they let so many Russians post false tweets and now they won’t let me, an innocent person, tweet my own url it is very aggravating.

I can’t really see how this will get resolved. I can’t talk to anyone and I get the same canned message over and over from Twitter support.  It is so random that I started getting this message that I have to hope it will also randomly end.


This week got away from me and I don’t have a fully realized blog post. I got a new computer which turned out to be a nightmare to get installed. It is not done yet. I had been feeling more kindly towards Microsoft but this experience revitalized my hatred of that company. You should be able to change an email address without having to completely reset your machine which is what I ended up having to do.

The computer was Monday, cleaning the house was Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday were cooking and eating. So now it is Friday. I am thankful that I was able to do all of that and spend the holiday with friends and family.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that the rest of the year is a period of health, happiness and peace.


Computer Troubles

Since Monday I have been dealing with a failing computer.  It stopped charging and since then only charges when the cord is in a very specific position. There is obviously something wrong with the charging port. This is always the weak link on PC laptops. I don’t like MACs but their power cords are magnetic and make much more sense.

My computer is a Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus and it has had problems for a while.  When I have a browser open and have another window open as well like my email it can freeze when moving the cursor from one window to another. The only way to fix it is to reboot.  At other times Firefox will just freeze and go to a blue screen with a black box on the top.

When this first started happening, I reinstalled both Windows and Firefox. That didn’t help so I called Samsung because  I had owned it for less than a year. They wanted me to do a full recovery which I did. That also didn’t help.

Since the problem was intermittent I decided to ignore it. This spring it started getting worse and I called Square Trade since I had bought an extended warranty from them. They wanted me to send them the computer. I didn’t want to do that so I once again ignored the problem.

Now my power port is broken and I have to send it to Square Trade. I am reluctant to do this for two reasons. One I am afraid they will wipe out my data and I will have to reinstall all my programs and settings. The other reason is that it is hard to be without a computer for at least five days.

I don’t think I would buy a Samsung computer again. I also used to have a Samsung phone and that wasn’t a very good product either. I would like a laptop that will last at least three years and maybe four. If anyone has a suggestion please let me know.

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