Monday, February 22, 2016

Seven Random Facts

I usually don't pay much attention to memes and awards.  But this one was from Ginnie (here) and I love Ginnie so here goes...

Instructions are to 1)  link to the blogger (done); 2) List seven random facts about yourself (coming right up); and 3)  Nominate seven other bloggers (Nope, but grab the award and join in if you wish. All my readers are beautiful bloggers).

Here Goes:
1.  As a young Registered Nurse, I was the Head Nurse of the Dickson Heart Unit of Charlotte Memorial Hospital.  I loved this high-intensity atmosphere and left only because I married and moved away.
The following photographs will demonstrate:  1.) how long it's been since I worked there; or 2.) how very fast health care facilities have grown; or 3.) both.
A postal card of Charlotte Memorial Hospital circa the time I worked there

An aerial view of the hospital now as part of Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte
(If you look closely, you can see the original hospital directly above the very center of the photograph, about half the distance from the center to the top)

2.  I love to drive.  I loved driving when I got my first driver's license and I love it just as much now.  Last year my husband nagged and nagged me to get a new car.  (I figured that just because my car was ten years old didn't mean it wasn't still the perfect car for me.)  Eventually I gave in to his logic.  I got a bright red BMW with all the bells and whistles.  Had to wait for it but it was well worth the wait.  The interior is black leather with bright red stitching. Classy indeed.  But more importantly, the engine has three turbo speeds in addition to the regular "comfort" setting.  The turbo speeds should be called fast, faster, and watch out.  I thought my old car loved the mountain roads, but this one hugs these mountain curves like a lover.  It's the first BMW I've owned and I'll drive it until I can no longer drive.  Who would have thought a heated steering wheel would be so great?  Special thanks to my husband for being persistent.  I'm totally in love with this car.  But I still won't let it parallel park itself.  Too many disclaimers in the owner's manual about ending up on the sidewalk or hitting pedestrians.

3.  I do a lot of knitting but I did not learn how until 2009 when I joined a neighborhood knitting group called the "knitwits."  I was told it didn't matter if I didn't knit, that I should come just for the company.  I decided that if I were going to join a knitting group then I would learn to knit.  So I taught myself to knit with the help of a book and our local yarn store.  My mother did not knit, crochet, or sew and did little cooking.  Martha Stewart she was not.  So I learned those skills on my own.
Red alpaca shawl
The first tricky thing I made.

4.  I listen to music pretty much all the time.  I have three iPods and use each one every day.  I still have the first generation iPod like the one pictured below.  It no longer holds a charge and I don't even have the iTunes library that programmed it.  (That was about four laptops ago.)  It came with a disc for installing and does not connect to WiFi.  The music is digital, but it is cumbersome to navigate except for the playlists.  It still works just fine and has great music and playlists on it. I keep it on the Bose dock and the beautiful sound fills the air, softly in the background when we have guests and booming when I'm here alone.  It was my first iPod and I got a bit carried away with making playlists for all occasions and activities.  You should hear my playlist for housecleaning.  It will keep you moving for certain.
My second iPod is a much more recent version of the iPod Touch which is rather like an iPhone except that it has no camera or phone.  My car has a dandy USB port in the center console, so I keep this one tucked in there and play it through my car sound system.  The third is the latest generation iPod Touch which does have a camera and takes a fairly good photograph or video.  I listen to podcasts, music, and audible books and exchange messages with friends.  (We don't get cellular phone service here at the house.)

5.  I am a voracious reader and have at least three books in process at any given time.  Right now I am reading "M Train" by Patti Smith, Diane Rehm's new memoir "On My Own," Stephen King's "Finders Keepers," a sequel to "Mr. Mercedes," and for book club Timothy Egan's "The Worst Hard Time" about the Dust Bowl.  I recently finished Elizabeth Strout's "My Name is Lucy Barton" and was terribly disappointed.  I loved her other books so perhaps my expectations were a bit too high.  But  after all, she is a Pulitzer Prize winner for "Olive Kitteridge" and this one didn't seem to have been written by the same person.  By the way:  one of the books was a Christmas gift and I bought the others from our local bookstore.  None are on a Kindle.

6.  I really love books.  I love holding them in my hands and flipping the pages back and forth.  But I also love electronics, so it should come as no surprise that I have three Kindles and use all three.  I use the really old one for reading in the den.  I like it because you can click to "turn" pages forward or backward from either side.  It is so old it does not connect with the Amazon Cloud but the books load directly on the Kindle itself.  I use a Paperwhite for reading upstairs and outdoors.  And I use the Kindle Fire to watch movies or play games.  Despite having three e-readers as well as the Kindle App on two of my iPods, I read far more "real" books than e books.  My Kindles are loaded with poetry collections, short stories, anthologies, etc. as well as some books that would be huge and heavy in print.  (Think "Don Quixote,"  "Autobiography of Mark Twain," Ken Follet tomes, complete works of Shakespeare, etc.)

7.  While I love electronics,  I'm not so easily impressed by new gadgets or apps anymore.  Seems as if there is an app for almost anything.  But I must admit that even after all this time, Siri continues to amaze me.  She can find me answers to almost anything although I don't like it when she gives me sports scores and tells me my team got "clobbered."  She could be a bit more diplomatic.  One of the best things about Siri is her ability to recognize music.  On several occasions, I have been watching a recorded show (we rarely watch anything live anymore) and heard a song I liked in the background.  So I can ask Siri to tell me the name of the song.  Immediately she says in a rather joyful voice, "Oh, I know that one."  Then she not only gives me the name of the song and artist, she flashes the album cover on my iPod and tells me to click on the icon to listen to the entire song and learn more about the album.  If I want to buy the song or album I can click and make a purchase.  In seconds the song (I rarely purchase the entire album) is there for me to listen to for 99 cents.  And the next time I sync my iPod, it is loaded in my iTunes library and I can download it to my car iPod or the Kindle Fire.  Now, how cool is that?  I think Siri will give me a lot of comfort when I am old and senile.  I can envision my elderly self sitting there and talking with Siri.  Or perhaps she will be incorporated into a little companion robot.  Who knows?  But with audible books and Siri, I'm sure I will be happy.

So there you have seven fairly innocuous things you might not know about me.  If you're so inclined, grab the award and use it to tell us more about yourself.


KB said...

I must say that you surprised me about five times in those fascinating tid-bits about yourself. The red BMW - wow - I would not have guessed that! It sure sounds nice, and it's obvious that you love it! Perhaps I should listen to my husband on that same front - I still drive a 97 4Runner. There's nothing wrong with it so I have never taken him up on his continual offers of a new vehicle (with cameras for backing up so I don't hurt my neck every time I drive to town)!

You are way ahead of me in technology - there's no doubt about that. Your Siri part lost me but made me laugh... because I've never used Siri yet. I do know quite a few wives who get mad that their husbands take Siri's advice but not theirs! So the wives changed their Siri voices to the "sexy male" voice to get back at their husbands. LOL!

Thanks for this post. I enjoyed it immensely!

Ms. A said...

I found the red BMW quite shocking. Would have never imagined it for you.

Anonymous said...

Love reading these details about your life. I also would not have guessed a red BMW, not sure why though. I had no idea that Siri did more than give directions. I am so out-of-touch with the modern world.

Carolina Linthead said...

I didn't make it past the first picture because THANK YOU!!! In 1980 my brother had his first mitral valve replacement surgery at Charlotte Memorial. They went with the pig valve, which began degrading about seven years later. He refused to go see the heart specialists for the longest time...he didn't want to go through that surgery again. But he was dying, and so we convinced him to go. I drove him down myself. One of your surgeons took one look at him, said I know what's probably wrong...prep him. The speed and skill with which they diagnosed the problem and immediately operated to replace the valve. Recovery was long and slow, but recover he did. His "new" artificial valve is still ticking! He turned 60 this year, thanks to ongoing drug maintenance, a pacemaker, etc. Words can never express how grateful my family is to that hospital! Whether you were there at either of those times, you were part of a program that has made so much difference in the lives of so many people and families! God bless you all!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Fascinating to read these details and I agree that the red BMW sounds like a whole lot of fun. Glad you went and treated yourself to this fun vehicle. I know what you mean about electronics. I have at least 1 of several of the ones you mentioned. And I also enjoy reading a lot, but can't manage more than 2 books at a time. I nearly picked up Lucy Barton at the library this week, but after reading the cover flap decided it was not one I wanted to read despite its best seller status. Thanks for confirming that decision!

KGMom said...

I've been wondering if I should read Elizabeth Strout's "My Name is Lucy Barton." Your informal review helps me decide...for now.
My current read--Erik Larson's Dead Wake.
I think, based on the photographic evidence, you are a very talented knitter.

Nance said...

I am laughing and laughing at how different we are in many respects, yet still rather similar.
There will be no drag-racing--you would leave me and my Prius in the dust. I rarely listen to any music; my house is mostly silent during the day unless I am chatting to my pets. And while I love books (I have them in every room of my home), I currently struggle to regain my ability to read them for pleasure.

Knitting is a hobby I have reclaimed from my distant past. VERY distant. It's helping with my arthritis in my hands and my concentration. Your shawl is lovely! And I am partial to red.

I probably should try to use Siri more, if only to give Google a break. ;-)

troutbirder said...

Fascinating. I would never have guessed you were so techie. We actually maybe you aren't but in any case far far beyond me...;)and my lonely little NOOK.

The Bug said...

I would LOVE a zippy car like that!! Except I would need an extra fund for the speeding tickets...

I think we've already talked about all my devices for listening to & reading books (sadly I don't listen to music much anymore - I like the blessed silence when I'm not listening to a book). The other night I was listening to the 5th Harry Potter book (The Order of the Phoenix), & decided that I just wanted to go ahead & finish, so I pulled the GIANT tome off of the shelf. 870 pages - I couldn't remember, so I just asked Siri how many pages were in the book - ha! It's been so long since I handled a book that I could hardly manage one that large. Too funny.

Ginnie said...

A heated steering wheel???? Now I've heard everything. It was nice to get to know you better and I agree with are way ahead of me on the technical stuff.

Arkansas Patti said...

That new car is screaming "ROAD TRIP". Think you ought to try it out and see the country. I too love to drive. I enjoy the trip often more than the getting there.
Careful though, the color red makes cops salivate like Pavlov's dogs.

Cheryl said...

Thank you for sharing these facts.....I loved reading every one of them :)

Lowcarb team member said...

As you can probably tell ... I've been catching up with blog reading.
Sometimes the weeks just go by too quickly!

Thank you for sharing these facts.
And as it's Friday when I type this out, may I just say enjoy your Friday and have a good weekend too.

All the best Jan

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. This is my second attempt to post a comment. Blogger is not feeling well today.

KB - Definitely go ahead and get the new SUV. My husband finally got rid of his much loved 4Runner for a new MDX and he is as much in love with it as I am with mine. I've never tried to change Siri's voice. The one she has is fine. I have changed the voice on my car's GPS.

Ms A - Interesting that so many blog friends are surprised at my peppy car. My in-person friends are not at all surprised.

Robin - Siri is great for giving you quick answers to sports scores or upcoming events. And, of course, the music. She tells you in seconds something it might take quite a search to find otherwise, especially background music in a TV show.

Linthead - I had left Charlotte Memorial by 1980 but I'm sure I worked with the doctors who treated your brother. It was a perfect place for me to work at that time in my life and I learned so much there. I loved it.

Beatrice - I had so little time for reading when I was working full time that I'm trying to make up for it now. I must admit that if I leave a particular book long enough I have to review the previous chapter to find my place again.

Donna - As you know, the reviews for Barton are all over the charts. I disliked it so much that I did not pass it along to any of my friends. I gave it to the library since it was a best seller. Let me know what you think if/when you read it.

Nance - My husband is like you in that he doesn't want background music or TV. And he constantly talks to the dog (and himself). Thank goodness for Blue Tooth headphones. Otherwise we'd have to live on separate floors. Hope you can regain your reading again. I know how much you miss it.

Troutbirder - I do enjoy the latest technology but I'm never the first to buy something. Let others pay good money to Beta-test them.

Bug - CRUISE CONTROL That's the only way. I never get on the freeway (unless it's terribly congested) without turning on cruise control. Otherwise I'd be getting speeding tickets all the time. I agree about the heavy books. My daughter gave me "Shadowlands" and I can read it only when I'm in a recliner and don't plan to get up soon.

Ginnie - I'd never heard of a heated steering wheel before either. But it is great on cold mornings, especially since I hate to wear gloves.

Patti - Yes, I'm hoping the troopers will see the white hair and give me a break. I'd love to do a road trip. I've driven so many of the small mountain roads around here. Oh, such fun.

Cheryl - Nice to hear from you. I keep checking your blog and hoping you will resume soon.

Jan - I do much the same. Have a great weekend as well.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, I really enjoyed that and feel I know you much better. And I am totally impressed by that shawl!