1.056 london calling, FOPAL, tech call

Monday, 1/27/2020

Started the morning with an adventure: calling London. There’s a tour I want to take at the Victoria & Albert, their “Behind the Scenes Conservation Studio” tour. However unlike their other tours, they don’t have web-booking for this; they say “to book a place please call”. Well all righty then, let’s call. Over on the right of the V&A site they give the international number, +44 (0)20 7942 2000. Not too sure about that (0) part! Is that an optional 0 or what? But the rest matches the instructions on the T-Mobile site: dial + (same key as 0), country (44), city (20), and number, presumably that’s the 7942 2000. But every combination I try, with or without the extra 0, gets me a male voice “The call cannot be completed as dialed.”

So now it’s 7:15. Well, how about my Channing House land line? I go to the phone and dial 9 (outside line) 011 (international call) 44-20-7942-2000 and it rings and a recording with a lovely accent says “Thank you for calling the Victoria and Albert museum, for bookings press 1…” Hah! Suck it, T-Mobile.

Pressing 1 gets me a man with an even richer BBC accent who takes my booking for Wednesday the 19th, and I’m all set with that tour.

From there, out for a run, which felt fine. Shower, shave, spend an hour catching up with the internet. Then to FOPAL about 10 where I worked until 2. Home again to relax. Just before supper time I got an email from Burt, who manages the Tech Squad. Would I handle a problem, Nancy can’t send email from her Mac.

So I call Nancy, she says sure, come right up, and I do. She’s on the tenth floor, which was the first to be upgraded. I will be moving back to the newly-upgraded 6th floor on Friday and boy, I can’t wait. The upgraded halls, carpets, lights are so bright and new looking!

Anyway, Nancy has a big iMac (like mine). Unlike me, she uses the Mail app (I’ve been using Gmail in a web browser for a decade now, and never start the Mac Mail app), so the interface is unfamiliar. But whenever she tries to send an email, she gets an immediate email back from Comcast: your Comcast mailbox is full, you must delete some messages before you can send one.


Cutting to the chase: she has for years been (a) never deleting anything from her inbox, which now has 11,000 items, and (b) her Junk box has another 28,000. And these are housed on the Comcast IMAP mail server. There is also a Trash category, which has over 250 messages in it, because she’d been actively deleting things in response to the error message. Unfortunately that was ineffective because Trash was also located on the Comcast server, plus the option for when to delete trashed messages was set to … Never. So deleting them just moved them from one folder to another.

I worked my way through the unfamiliar Mail interface to figure out how to make Trash be located “on my Mac” and for trashed items to be deleted after a week. Then I manually deleted the 250 items in the Comcast Trash folder. Now she could send email, which we verified.

Mail allows one to set up local folders to which you can drag messages, which deletes them from the server. I noticed there was quite an elaborate set of subject folders already defined. “Yeah, my sister set those up for me. I don’t use them.” Not wanting to get in between sisters, I just pointed out that, if she dragged messages to folders, or to the new Trash, they were deleted from Comcast, and left it at that.

At supper I sat with Kay and Don, the couple who still live in their home but take meals here, pending availability next summer. Tonight they were hosting two grand-daughters, Sienna and Clara, ages about 4 and 6 I guess? After supper they were going to go swimming in the CH pool. Kay asked a couple of times, wouldn’t I like to have a couple of grand-kids to mind? Just for the evening? I don’t think she was enjoying being a mommy again.


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