writing

Trapped without wine! My bad…

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Another day in the tropical jungle of Mount Vernon, Westchester, NY and I find myself trapped by a faulty door knob. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. And if that isn’t strange enough, before my impromptu incarceration, I had searched three grocery stores for a bottle of wine and come up empty handed. What is going on?

Three grocery stores selling beer but no wine? The first one I put down to a fluke. The second to very bad luck, but the third, Trader Joe’s, home of the mighty Two Buck Chuck, was a sure thing. Surely. No? NO. Here in Westchester is a Two-Buck-Chuckless-TJ’s. What is this – the end of the world? People of Westchester, what is going on? WHERE IS YOUR WINE?

My question was answered by a very nice man in a wine shop in Pelham. Apparently, the grocery stores can not sell alcohol over 8% Vol.

Fortunately, that conversation happened last night, while I was buying an over sized bottle of Cab. Before the door knob got stuck. Turns out it is as light and fruity as the man in the shop said it would be. Oh, go on, it is afternoon and I am trapped, I’ll just break out the chocolate with that glass of wine. I’m bad 😉

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Lights on at 10.30am?

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Yep, it’s that dark. I have both lamps on here in the living room. Dark, foreboding sky and all that malarkey. If this was ‘in the bleak mid-winter’ in old Blighty I could say that’s normal. But New York in July? I ask you… And it’s raining torrentially outside. Heavy, flood-worthy torrents. A good day to catch up on TV and drink coffee 🙂

The Penny Well

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Moon_and_Cats__by_aimtBe careful when you wish for… Three cats turn their paws to paranormal investigation when a magic well spontaneously erupts in the basement. Worse things than talking toads are turning up with every bad penny, and it’s only a matter of time before this reality collides with another. Terminally… unless the cats can stop it.

Is Chicken Road Real?

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chicken road
Chicken Road – the sign above the door

Chicken Road is a real place; with more magic than Hogwarts, greater villains than Darth Vader, and a community tighter than a prison. The Writer’s Retreat houses an oracle, a vampire cat and more nuts than you can shake a shovel at. And despite all this, Chicken Road has heart. It’s a place where neighbours help each other out, where people say ‘hello’ and where everyone knows your name and complete life story…

See the world through Chicken Road eyes and join me as I hack back the ‘sleeping beauty’ hedge, tame wild beasts, dabble in danger, and sit on the front step in my jammies drinking my morning coffee and waving to all the neighbours. Welcome to Chicken Road.

And, Chicken Road is on facebook – become a friend of Chicken Road!
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chicken-Road-Diaries/197578176930374?ref=tn_tnmn

Incubus Tat (the vampire cat)

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Incubus Tat the Vampire Cat
Flossy AKA Incubus Tat the Vampire Cat

Stinky Inky is so Slinky… Stinky Inky is so Slinky…
Say it faster and faster….
Until you can’t.
And then… You die? Perhaps…

Incubus Tat, or Inky, will decide…

Chicken Road retreat is a plague house

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cropped-chickenrd2.jpgWe are all sick, even Flossy the wondercat is ill. Worryingly, all but me are suffering the same malady – even the cat; vomiting and… the other thing. I just have a head cold from sitting on an airplane with 300 people for 8 hours. But I digress.  We should have a large bell ringing outside and someone calling ‘unclean! unclean!’ Or maybe paint a big red cross on the door and the words ‘Lord have mercy on us!’ Whereupon, according to Maize in her article ‘The Plague House’, people called ‘searchers of the dead’ would lock us inside for 40 days!

What?

With no wine or cat food? Perish the thought…

I’m starting to feel better, honest!

My memory was virtually Zero…

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It’s now about 700 somethings, no idea what: ram, bits, MB, who knows? But it is better than nothing, or zero, take your pick, and it means my little (almost given up for dead and thrown through the window in a fit of rage) computer, is now usable again.  Hurrah!

Gremlins are in the machine again, I’m sure of it. Hijacked then hacked!

For a long time now, my little ASUS Eee laptop has mournfully displayed an ‘out of virtual memory’ error message when ever I tried to do, well, absolutely anything with it.

Why on Earth would I have such a teeny tiny laptop you ask? For travel and general skulking in cafes. Not wanting to cart my heavy and at purchase, expensive mac around, I opted for this little option, about the size of a good book, really handbag sized, and preloaded with skype and a stripped down version of MS office (MS Works?) for my travels a few years back. And of course those new fangled tablet thingies came out right after my purchase, but I digress.

Anyhoo, after breaking a loaner laptop (it really wasn’t my fault) I was forced to deal with this memory issue on the ASUS Eee.

I at first believed that my little laptop was infested with viruses so I attempted to download Microsoft Essentials virus protection which first required I remove the old anti-virus software. SCARY! And wouldn’t you know, the MS Essentials would not update leaving my dinky laptop in danger. Why? Zero virtual memory.

Now I am not the most technical of people when it comes to fixing computers (although I did successfully manage to change the battery on my IPod with the help of Youtube), but necessity being the mother of invention, I scoured the internet for solutions until I cam across this:

http://sparktrust.com/lowvirtualmemory?gclid=CNTAh6aXhrYCFabLtAodYW4A6Q

just scroll down to the section entitled “How do I fix Low Virtual Memory problems?” and follow the instructions. If you have a ‘normal’  laptop of course, which I don’t, naturally. So I couldn’t find ‘properties’ using their step by step guide. Instead, I had to root around my files like a good old rummage in a dusty attic. However, I prevailed, found the setting that needed to be changed and no wonder I had no virtual memory – it was set to zero! More evidence of Gremlin activity if you ask me. It has been changed. I now have virtual memory. Microsoft Security Essentials has successfully updated and is now running a complete scan of my little computer. I am virus free AND my dinky laptop actually works!

Ahhhh! I am utterly joyful. So joyful in fact that I may have to scamper off to the shops and buy a bottle of wine and a big fat CAKE  in order to celebrate my glorious achievement over technology. And it’s only Monday! As you know, Happy Tuesday here on Chicken Road is the day we traditionally imbibe the fruit of the vine, but today’s victory must be marked; preferably with a nice bottle of Shiraz.

It will help my anticipated shock when the lap top repair quotes come in for the other broken laptop that I didn’t break really…