Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Library times

Yesterday, we were hit with a sudden violent sleet storm that turned into a heavy snowfall and my computer was attacked by a scam ZEUS virus alert. Both happened while I was at the Library 

The scam virus alert was bizarre. I was working on my computer when suddenly the screen turned red and a loud male voice started to inform me that my computer had been invaded by a ZEUS virus, that if I tried to close the screen, my hard drive would be deleted immediately, that if I did not act quickly, it would be deleted in five minutes (a digital clock popped up and started counting down the seconds ), and I was to call the number displayed on the screen immediately for information to prevent this catastrophe! This had all the earmarks of a scam, so the first thing I did was turn off Airport and sever my connection to the Internet. I couldn't call the number provided if I had wanted too because my cell phone was out of range. Plus, I had to meet Max's school bus in a few minutes, and I wasn't going to leave him stranded in a blizzard (it was coming down hard). So I just closed the computer and left, hoping for the best.

Later, at home, I shut the computer down and rebooted it. The virus alert screen had disappeared and the hard drive hadn't deleted. Then I went online and read about the ZEUS virus scam, which has been around for some time, but it was new to me. Sigh! 

The newfallen snow is beautiful. We were thinking of leaving today but storms are forecast for the upper Midwest, so we'll wait a bit. 

        View of newfallen snow

Today has been quiet. I slept late, Ellen has had a fairly quiet day. I made a brief visit to the Library again  -  no viruses today - and now Jenny is fixing supper. This evening I hope to watch UNC play Louisville. They are ranked #8 and #7 respectively, so it should be a close game, which either team could win. I'll be rooting for the TarHeels and missing Betsey because I would have texted her, "Go Heels," and she would have texted back. A big hole ! 

Betsey is smiling! Arch-enemy Duke lost to Syracuse in a last-second three-pointer and the Heels beat Louisville, a higher-ranked team, 74-63. Go Heels! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Presidents Day in Jackson

Jenny and Paul both had to work today, but Max had a school holiday, so he and Ellen and I decided to go up to Jackson to the Recreation Center pool. Everybody had the same idea - it was jam-packed with kids. But Max had a blast. He spent a lot of time doing the water slide and playing with the basketball. A favorite move was to stand at the edge of the pool and throw the ball into the basket as you jumped into the pool. Then they opened up the diving board to kids, and all on his own, he went up to the head life guard and asked if you had to be a certain age to dive, and she said " No, but you have to pass a swimming test." Max asked if he could take the test, and he did, and passed. Ellen meanwhile was looking for him, and first thing she knew, there he was on the diving board. 
He did a bellyflop and a backflop, but he had fun! 

     Max with basketball

    Going after the ball

    The water slide

Meanwhile, I did some swimming and water aerobics and frequent trips to the hot tub. We all had a good time! 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trip to Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls is about 70 miles from Alpine. It is not a particularly charming city, though there are some nice parks and neighborhoods. Mostly it is commercial sprawl. Paul and Jenny go now and then to buy bulk - berries, nuts, granola bars, laundry soap, etc. -  and just for a change. First stop was Barnes & Noble bookstore, then Applebee's for lunch, then Sam 's Club for bulk. 

Going to Idaho Falls makes you realize that Alpine is in a narrow snow belt. Very little snow in Idaho Falls. 

Snowless fields outside Idaho Falls with wind farm in distance. 

It is a nice drive coming back along the Snake River and Palisades Reservoir . 

We went by the ruins of an LDS church that burned down in December. Quite a spectacular fire at the time.  

The reservoir through the trees

My one purchase - a jar of 500 Vitamin E capsules. A 17-month supply. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Snow, snow, snow

We're in Alpine and it's another world. They have had one snowstorm after another - sort of like back home. Then rain on top of all that snow. Roofs have collapsed in Jackson. The canyon has been closed several times by avalanches. They had high winds one day that snapped off 17 steel transmission towers going into Teton Village. I guess it has been pretty wild. The car is in the garage because the driveway is hopelessly icy. Don't want to fall again! Doesn't look like we'll be doing much walking.

Max has no school today so we are having a Max day. Tomorrow the word is we may go to Idaho Falls. 

      The front steps! 

          The back deck

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Amazing weather

We are at Fort Robinson in western Nebraska, very near Wyoming, and it is bright, clear, snowless and - get this - 65 degrees! We just took a walk, coatless, and got warm.

   At Fort Robinson. We washed the car earlier today. It was plastered with salt. 

Tonight, we are in Lusk, WY.  Our drive across Nebraska today was really lovely, 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sioux City, IA

Tonight we are in a Rodeway Inn in Sioux City. It's in sort of an industrial neighborhood but the room is fine, tho it took some doing to figure out the TV. Ellen is watching America's test kitchen, on the "Create channel" but I think she's already asleep.

                              Create PBS channel

We left Bartlett at about 9:30 this a.m. and went directly to Anamosa, IA where we stopped to visit Betty Remley. Betty had fallen about when I did, so we commiserated. In her case she hit her head and had a big hematoma which left her face discolored, so I didn't take any photos. But she is still sharp as a tack. E.g., she is currently reading a novel by Isabel Allende. She is 99! 

From there we took US 30 to Ames, had supper at a Culver's, went up to US 20 and west to Sioux City. No snow all the way. I read Virginia Woolf aloud, we listened to NPR and the lectures on "Dialects." The US is a dialect-rich country! 

Tomorrow it will be Nebraska most of the day and into southern Wyoming. Alpine by Thursday.

No snow

We are now heading west on Rte 64 to Anamosa, IA. We just had a lovely stay with Maggie and Jerry. Ellen is still coughing some but doesn't feel sick. Just sort of "blah." The amazing thing is that in contrast to back east, there is no snow on the ground. This has been true since Ohio. We're not complaining! We are speculating where we will again see snow. Are the plains states snowless?

                  Snow-less field, Sycamore, IL