Thursday, 27 April 2023

More Tech Stuff

One more "tech hiccup" that I've had to deal with lately is the remote control to my (smart) TV acting up - as in its on/off button (rather essential) not working properly. For quite a while I've had to press that button multiple times to get it to respond at all - and sometimes, when I got a bit too impatient, it turned things off, but then straight back on again...

At the same time as I bought my new mobile phone (5+ weeks ago now), I also bought a replacement remote control for the TV; but what with all the other new technology to get my head round (also a new computer since then), I put that remote aside for "later" (and meanwhile have kept struggling on - and off - with the capricious old one). 

This week I decided it was time to finally try and get that sorted as well, though. Seemed easy enough at first - but then caused a bit of headache anyway...

How many of these have you got to deal with?
From left to right, here are mine:

1/ The new TV control
2/ The old TV control
These are used to turn on/off the TV, to switch between TV vs streaming apps, and to handle the apps. (Hopefully I'll only need the new remote now, but until I'm sure that I've figured everything out, I'm keeping the old one as well...)

3/ Separate control for the TV box from my cable company. I have to use this one to switch TV channels - can't do that from the main control.

4/ Control for the BlueRay disc player (to which I can also attach a USB drive). (This player can partly also be controlled from the main TV remote - but not completely.)

5/ Control for the tuner/amplifier. The TV usually connects to the amplifier automatically but I need the separate remote if I want to just listen to the radio (or if auto connect with the TV doesn't work properly for some reason...).

6/ Control for my old DVD-player.

To my relief, the new TV remote at first seemed to work just like the old one. However,  some of the buttons in the middle "wheel" are a bit different, and I discovered that one I really missed on the new remote was a very convenient shortcut button on the old one to take me straight back from streaming apps to TV. I found another way to do it, but that took two or three steps rather just one. - However, the next day (reading the instructions again) I found a way to program another button to perform that trick with just one click. So that problem is now eliminated.

BUT it also seemed (for a while) like the new remote had mysteriously managed to completely put the BlueRay remote out of action - because that one suddenly refused to react at all, to anything. This had me seriously puzzled, and I tried "all sorts" without result... Until it suddenly occurred to me to try to change the batteries in it - which immediately revived all of its functions... So just an unfortunate coincidence, nothing to do with the new remote after all! (...phew & lol...)

So for now, I think I'm (more or less) "in control" again... How long that may last, may be a matter of whether I also manage to get all the recent changes of "this, that and the other" properly stored in my own brain!

It all reminds me of this meme that pops up every now and then on various social media:

Monday, 24 April 2023

A Church Concert

Yesterday evening I went with my friend E to a concert in a countryside church in the village outside town where my parents lived in their retirement years - and my paternal grandparents all their life. They + more relatives are also buried in the churchyard there. 

When we arrived, I first went for a stroll around the churchyard to check on 'my' graves, while E went into the church to make sure we got good seats. She also knew a few more people who were coming - including one of her own daughters singing in the choir.

No flowers had been planted yet on the graves tended by the church (a service we pay an annual fee for, and pansies will probably appear there any day now); but to my surprise I found this little angel keeping watch on my parents' grave. As it was not me or my brother who put it there, I'm intrigued who did... As I've never seen any of our other family graves adorned with such ornaments either, I suspect it's most likely that it really belongs to a neighbouring grave, adorned by several similar items. (Could have fallen over, and got picked up by churchyard staff not knowing where it belonged.) But as I don't know, I did nothing about it. (If it really does belong on the other grave I suppose they will recognise it and take it back.)

Fristad Church

It had been raining earlier in the day, but the rain stopped in the afternoon - I did not need the umbrella I had brought "just in case". After a very summery Saturday, I was back in my winter coat, though!

Photo of the interior taken while we were waiting for the concert to begin. We were there early as quite a large audience could be expected (and so it also turned out). A nice surprise for me was to also meet another old friend there (84 years old now) whom I hadn't seen in years.
One of his sons was also in the choir. He sat down with us and he and I had a nice catching up chat before the concert started - while E was chatting with some other friends.

The concert was a musical Mass entitled Gloria, by Tore Aas. (Originally in Norwegian, and performed by the Oslo Gospel Choir. If you want to get an idea of what the music sounds like, you can find it on YouTube.)

Standing ovations at the end of the performance...

... and the choir repeating the last part... 

During the concert, the evening sun had come out of hiding and the sky was blue again.

Saturday, 22 April 2023

Spring Has Sprung

An incredible day today, with summer temperatures around 20'C (34'F) in the shadow. And suddenly all kinds of trees in bloom or turning green...

Birch turning green

Cherry blossom

Magnolia in the City Park

It may all slow down a bit next week though, as the weather forecasts now speak of rain and somewhat cooler temperatures again.

Friday, 21 April 2023

Forsythia and Wood Anemones


On my pre-lunch walk today I passed by this magnificent forsythia; and in the afternoon, I found some wood anemones growing in a sunny spot even closer to home.


Thursday, 20 April 2023

Balcony Time


The sunny weather continues to inspire "spring things", and today I once again took the bus "across town" to buy something I knew I'd be able to buy there, but not in the city centre. The photo is from close to where I got off the bus, and you can see a glimpse of the shopping mall I was aiming for through the trees on the left. (Some trees are almost turning green now... won't be long!)

I had done my online research beforehand, so it didn't take me long to find what I was looking for - in one of those stores that tend to sell just about anything except food, clothes and hi-tech stuff. What I was after this time was a new wind/privacy protectetion sheet (or whatever you call it) for my balcony, as my old one came out torn from its last turn in the washing machine back in the autumn (having served me through several summers by then). The new one is the exact same model, size and colour though. (Which I considered a good thing as then I knew it would fit!) Having bought that, I also had time to pop into the nearby (food) supermarket and buy some bananas and grapes, before I caught the next bus back. (Some walking included in the trip as well though, as I have a 15 min walk from home to the bus stop from where I take that bus - and the same on the way back.)

Put up the screen when I got back home, the way I'm used to having it. It reduces the open part of my balcony railing in corner where I usually sit, but leaves a narrow peep-hole at the other end. 

I also actually sat there for a while after lunch (shadowed by the parasol, which is also new - bought last summer, but not used until now) - listening to music from Spotify. Someone might remember me "discovering" this app when I bought my new phone about a month ago... Then amazed that it seemed to be ad-free, which was not my impression from before (years ago). Well - that of course turned out to be just for the first two weeks, and then it changed to the free version with ads... However, today they offered me a free premium trial of three months... No ads + also being able to download and listen offline. I decided to accept that, as spring/summer is likely to be a period when I'll find that useful. (Like when sitting on the balcony, or elsewhere outdoors, and wanting to shut other sounds out.) (Of course I realise that they hope three months free trial will get me so addicted that I'll then want to continue and be willing to pay for it... Ah well. I'll decide about that when I get there!)

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

A Spring Shopping Spree


Another sunny day with spring in the air; and I took the bus 'across town' for a shopping spree at the malls there. Not for phones or computers this time, but clothes... 

The trousers (soft polyester), the light blue top with long sleeves + the pink one with short sleeves (both cotton) I bought in my 'favourite' clothes shop. In another one I found the striped one (also cotton). But I also had gift card to spend at H&M - a Christmas present from my dear friend G who then sadly passed away only a month later... So of course I wanted, if possible, to find something "special" to spend that on. Not all easy, as in later years I haven't found much to my taste in that shop - they seem to me to focus a lot on younger customers. I was almost about to give up (and try again some other time) when the rather anonymous beige shirt caught my eye.  It's a linen/cotton mix, nice and soft. I tried it on, and it fit; and it was almost the exact sum of the gift card (card SEK 250, price tag 249). So it kind of felt "meant to be"...

It will be a memorable purchase also for another reason, though. Recently, GB at Eagleton Notes blogged about self-checkouts at the supermarket (including a witty Shakesperian kind of poem that you might like to read, if you haven't already). When I came to the cash desk at H&M with my shirt, there were two cashiers behind the desk - but one of them was introducing "self-checkout" to the customers, and picked me as one of her "victims" - in spite of my vague protests about intending to pay with a gift card... No problem, said she, and continued to guide me through the process - which proved not quite as easy as she promised, as the card would not scan properly and she ended up having to manually enter the code herself anyway... And the rest of the procedure (step by step) consisted of her first pointing to where I should press my finger on the screen; and then me doing the actual pressing... It would all have gone a lot quicker if she'd just done it herself! ;) 

As it's not my favourite shop, I'm not likely to be back any time soon - or choose self-checkout if I have a choice... (At my usual supermarket I use self-scanning as I go round, and find that convenient - but in a shop that only sells clothes...??!)

Having finished my shopping spree, I decided to walk all the way back home, as the things I'd bought weren't really heavy and most of them fit into my backpack. I was quite exhausted by the time I got home though, and after lunch even fell asleep for a while...

Dandelions spotted along my way home.


The sculpture House of Knowledge by Jaume Plensa, outside the Textile Fashion Centre. I still find it hard to walk by this one without taking yet another photo of it! (It's been sitting there for nearly nine years by now. Here's a link to my blog post from the unveiling in May 2014.)

I also couldn't resist how the light fell on these gardening tools leaning against the stone wall in the old cemetery... (When I get that far, I'm almost home...)

Monday, 17 April 2023



Looks like we're in for a sunny week, so I decided to spend some time today on getting my balcony prepared for the summer season. This involves liberating my hibernating plants from their winter covers, sweeping the floor, and bringing things like plastic floor mats, chair and parasols up from the basement storage room. My two boxes of strawberry plants had spent the winter under a bench next to the wall, in turn covered by a tarpaulin; and the clematis on the trellis was covered with a protective fiber cloth. They all show signs of having survived (once again); and hopefully the spring sun combined with watering will revive them further... :)

Sunday, 16 April 2023

Spring in the Air


I went for a walk to the park downtown, and discovered that they'd filled the flower beds there with pansies and hyacints.


The seagulls arrived inland from the coast just before Easter... Always a sign of spring here!

Daffodils are in bloom...


... and I found some Tussilago (or Coltsfoot) too.

Saturday, 15 April 2023

Struggling On...


While spring is slowly making progress outside, I've kept spending quite a lot of time with my new laptop - and Windows 11... Some things I still haven't found a wholly satisfying solution to. Like the multi-language problem mentioned in my previous post: Win 11 seems to firmly have locked language and keyboard layout together in one inseparable package. 

If I set my language to English, I end up with my half of my intended "symbols" coming out wrong... A few examples:

Swedish: ! "  #  ¤  %  &  /  (   )  =  ?  `  (top row of my Swedish keyboard)

English:  ! "  £  $  %  ^  &  *  (  )  _  +  (= what comes out with language set to English) 

Well, I can solve that by keeping my language set to Swedish. But then with every new blog post (or other kind of document) I write in English, I have to manually turn off the "spellchecker", or it marks every single word as wrong...

My previous computers and versions of Windows never seemed to have a problem with me switching languages on the same keyboard; so why Win11 does, remains a mystery to me. (I've literally spent hours trying to figure it out, but suppose I'll just have to accept it and "move on"...) (For all of you in English-speaking countries and only using English, this is of course nothing you'll have to be concerned about...)

Something else I've been struggling with is getting things to show up the right size on the screen (for me). The How-To here probably doesn't differ much from before, I'd just forgotten. A 150% general enlargment in the basic Windows settings seems to have got me back to most things being readable and looking fairly familiar, though.

- - -

UPDATE 1: Actually I think I just solved one part of the problem - finding out how to remove the English keyboard and using the Swedish keyboard for both languages. (I had to first add the Swedish keyboard for the English language, and then I could remove the English one...) Doesn't seem to have helped the spellchecker problem though - but maybe eventually I'll figure that out too. Until I do I guess I'll just have to keep turning it off!

UPDATE 2: Seems the spellchecking issue is connected to browser. In Edge I think I've now managed to set it to show me mistakes in both languages. In Firefox, I've turned it off. (You don't need to know this but I'm thinking it's a good idea for myself to write it down...)

Tuesday, 11 April 2023

The Big Shift


Scilla in the rain

Today it's been raining - which suited me fine, really, as that made it a good day to mostly stay in and devote my attention to The Big Shift... As in disconnecting my old laptop from all its "paraphernalia", and trying to get the new laptop set up the same way.

On the whole it went okay, even if I'm still struggling with optimizing various settings. But at least I've managed to get the computer to recognise its new "workmates": wireless keyboard and mouse, "rollermouse" (= the wrist-support thingy with built-in mouse functions), larger screen, and printer/scanner. I may still have to get used to some things/programs not behaving exactly as they did with the old laptop/Windows 10, though. 

One thing that had me confused today was that I kept getting the wrong "signs" from my keyboard; and Ctrl+ for example made things smaller instead of bigger on the screen, and I also couldn't find the key to reverse that... Enough to drive anyone crazy, right?! But eventually it dawned on me that it might have been caused by switching my prioritised language to English instead of Swedish... I switched back, and to my relief my keyboard changed back to "normal" (Swedish) functions as well. (Phew!)

So... Still a lot of "little things" like that to get my head round... But I'm making progress! :)

I still haven't transferred more than a few test files of various categories to the new machine, though. I'm thinking of leaving quite a lot of my old archives on external drives this time, as I'd like to try to get things organised a bit differently on the new one. I guess I'll keep taking things one step at a time for a while... 

Anyway, it seems I've just produced my first blog post with the new laptop used as "desktop".

Sunday, 9 April 2023

Easter Sunday


Easter Sunday turned out another beautiful day with sunshine and blue sky, and I ended up attending today's church service too, in the same church as on Good Friday (cf. previous post). The church was not full, but there were more people attending than it seems from this photo... I arrived in good time and I snapped the photo before the service started. The choir was singing today as well, but now accompanied by both organ and piano (in contrast to Good Friday, when they sang acapella). 

If I'm to go by my blog, it may have been as long ago as 2017 that I last went to church for Easter. (During the pandemic, 2020-22, I know I did not.) Funny, though: I note that it was also at Easter 2017 that I was last in the process of changing laptops. Then it was Windows 10 that made me change from an even older one to the one I'm now referring to as "old"... A now I'm dealing with Win 11... (Wondering if it will be Windows 12 in 2029?)

Saturday, 8 April 2023

Good Friday

 I spent most of Thursday initializing the set-up of my new ASUS laptop. While on the one hand some parts of the process were "automatic" (perhaps even a bit too much so), some things are still giving me a bit of a headache because the only manual to be found is one obviously made to cover several unspecified sub-types of this kind of laptop (some with features not available on mine) - and based on Windows 10, while mine has Windows 11... 

While getting to know the new laptop, and trying to get that set up to my liking, I've decided to still keep my old one connected as before to my bigger screen, extra keyboard and mouse, printer etc. So this post is still written from the old one. Even so, I found my head spinning today, as suddenly I found my Firefox browser to have changed to showing my bookmarks from Microsoft Edge. On Thursday, on the new laptop, I know I allowed Edge to sync with Google Chrome; but I also installed Firefox as alternative browser there, and can't recall having allowed that to sync with either of the others! (I've been used to using different browsers for different tasks and was planning to continue that way...)

(If you're feeling confused just reading this, that's nothing compared to what's going on in my own brain...!)

Yesterday, Good Friday (in Sweden known as "Long" Friday), I decided to take a break from the laptops. (Didn't go completely offline as I also have my phone and tablet, but I kept to more relaxing kind of reading.) 

I also went for a walk to the old church downtown and attended a Good Friday service.

 On my way there, I passed by this hill full of crocuses. (The house on top is a school.)

"A little something" growing out of the old stone wall beneath.

That's the tower of the 17th century church sticking up in the background. The rounded building to the left is an old textile industry building (nowadays offices and such - maybe also apartments now, I don't quite remember).

The church seen from the other side (and a spoon-shaped sculpture).

I did not take any photos inside this time as it was the traditional solemn kind of Good Friday service (and it did not seem right to take photos). They always have several services over the Easter weekend in this church. A few times in the past I've taken part in them all so I'm familiar with (and appreciate) the symbolism of the liturgy. On Thursday night the altar is stripped bare of decorations and flowers etc. It remains bare on Good Friday, and then there is also no music being played in the service, just the choir singing acapella. Then there is a dramatic midnight service on Easter Eve, starting in total darkness but then bringing back candles, flowers, all the lights... (Very "powerful".) And then a joyful celebration service on Easter Sunday, focusing on the resurrection. 

But yesterday was Good Friday, so a low-key service "at the foot of the cross". There weren't a lot of people attending but it was a beautiful and quiet service and I love listening to the choir singing acapella. And with the astounding blue sky outdoors too it felt like just the right way to celebrate this day. After I got back home I also spent the afternoon mostly just reading and resting + listening to music. I chose an old CD with music from the Oberammergau Passion Play - which I had the privilege of attending on a journey to Germany back in 1990.

 On Thursday, I bought some yellow tulips for my living room table.

I also received this beautiful Easter card from Swedish friend.

Glad Påsk - Happy Easter

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

The Rising of the Sun


Yesterday morning I happened to wake up (and get up on my feet) just as the sun was rising. Snapped these photos through my kitchen window around 6:25 am ("summertime"). 

Tuesday, 4 April 2023

Dinosaur Easter Eggs (?)


Yesterday I went to the supermarket for a couple of minor things I'd forgotten to order with my home delivery last week. Inside, I was met by these giant-sized Easter eggs... I'm afraid the photo doesn't quite do them justice as it might just as well be a trick photo to do with camera perspective... But these eggs really were enormous, I doubt I'd have been able to embrace one of them round the middle! So in my mind I started imagining  "Jurassic Park" kind of scenes, as to the size of the creatures supposed to have laid them... ;-)

Today I went "across town" again, hunting for a different kind of Easter Surprise for myself. Not egg-shaped (and probably would not fit in one of those giant eggs above either), but who knows what awaits inside... (Well. Windows 11, for one thing!)

Yes, it's my new laptop. Charging its battery while I'm still using my old one to write this; but  I'm thinking it's probably best if I wait at least until Thursday to actually "open" the thing to get the start-up process going. Tomorrow I have other things to do (like laundry), so won't be able to concentrate.

After a good deal of 'headache' and online research, I came to the conclusion over the weekend that I probably won't be able to find exactly what I wanted (i.e. really just a "healthy" version of my old one - lol)... For example, my old laptop has a built-in CD/DVD reader/burner, and a built-in SD card-reader, which I've found useful. (Especially the card-reader, since that's how I transfer photos from my separate camera to the computer.) But all the newer models (at reasonable price) seem to aim to chiefly to be slim and light and skipping too many "extras". So the last few days I've been googling alternative solutions, involving external accessories, ports, cords and adapters instead... Phew! 

After a final pep-talk with my brother on the phone yesterday, today I gathered my collected documentation and took the bus to a shopping center across town, where two of our big "tech" kind of stores are situated. At one of them I recently bought my new phone. Today I went to the other one, because that's where they were supposed to have the laptop in stock that I'd decided on - an ASUS, same brand as my old one. And to my relief they did have it. Well, I should perhaps hold back on the "relief" until I see how I actually get along with it! But at least I was able to give a reasonable impression of knowing what I wanted when talking to the sales guy, and the purchase as such did not take up a lot of time. ;-)

Opening the box at home, the only instruction I found included was to charge the battery for at least three hours before starting the thing. I then went in search of an online manual, but can't find one for this exact model. On my new phone I was met by a set-up guide once I turned that on though. Perhaps something similar will happen when I press the magic button on this one? 

Meanwhile, my old laptop is still working, so hopefully I'll have time to figure things out!


Saturday, 1 April 2023

Easter Decorations


It was only the other day that I realised Easter is coming up already next week... Yesterday I got my little box of Easter decorations out of the cupboard where it's been hibernating since last spring, and put the contents up in their usual places. (Compared to Christmas, that's a job quickly done, though!) And today I used them for practice with the new phone camera. The real colour of the table runner is as in the photo to the right - in the photo to the left it comes out too blue.

Some of the paper Easter Eggs have 'GDR' or 'German Democratic Republic' printed inside them, which means those at least go back ~35 years or more. Nowadays I don't fill them with anything - I just use them as decorations! 

They fluffy yellow chickens I think have been with me since back in my youth as well. 

The tray in the background has nothing in particular to do with Easter - it shows the town of Eksjö in the province of Småland (with a lot of charming old wooden houses), where I also bought it on a holiday trip some years ago.

The two chicken candle holders I've had since childhood, the rooster I found later.

Kitchen window: Egg, chicken, rooster...
The rooster was my mum's.

 And my mum embroidered these -
now hanging on the door to my kitchen.


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