2.045 taxes, paint, mostly tech

Saturday 01/16/2021

Started with a modest walk which wrapped around to the Saturday Farmers’ Market which was actually there, for the first time since before Christmas. So I got a Chocolate Hazelnut swirl, yay.

The red light on my phone was blinking. The message was from my neighbor, Dr. Margaret (as her email address has it) who was having big trouble uploading pictures to Sutter Health. We met in the lounge with her laptop, ipad, and phone. It took a few minutes for me to understand the situation.

She was having some minor skin rashes and she wanted to consult a dermatologist at PAMF prior to our Tuesday Covid shots. The best PAMF can do for her was a televideo consult at 3:45 today. So far so good; but the dermatologist would need some pictures of the rash, please take some and upload those using the following full page of detailed instructions.

Well, she had take 6 pictures with her phone, but hadn’t been able to work her way through maze of the Sutter Health website to upload them. She had moved the pics to her MacBook Pro, but the first problem seemed to be they were in the wrong format. She had mistakenly had the phone set for video so what she had was six, one-second video clips.

OK, I can handle this. I just opened each one in QuickTime Player and did command-shift-4 to take a screen grab of the contents of the Player window. Now I had six .png files. What next? She showed me the very dense wall-of-text instructions from Sutter Health and I quickly noticed that the first instruction was, open our Sutter Health app; but the second instruction was, you must do this on a phone or iPad, you cannot use the Desktop or Laptop version.

I cannot find words sufficient to express my contempt for Sutter Health. But OK, we have usable pics on the laptop. How do I get them to the iPad sitting here? I google syncing photos and find out I can do it over wifi but first you have to connect the iPad to the laptop by USB and tell the iPad it is ok to trust that computer. Do I have a USB cord that will connect an old iPad to a very new MacBook with its goddam thunderbolt ports? I do not.

OK, let’s do it the stupid way: I’ll use Mail on her laptop and send the pics to herself, and open it in Mail on the iPad. Here ensues some comedy. I send the mail twice addressed to drmargaret, and it doesn’t show up. What? Then I send a test message to myself with CC drmargaret, and the CC appears instantly on both machines. I have no idea why, but ok.

On the iPad I figure out how to move the pics from the email into the Photos app. Now then, let’s get this uploaded. I open the Sutter Health app on the iPad and look for what I’m supposed to see, a “Questionnaires” button or tab. There are 16 buttons on the first page, all similar in size and color, and it literally takes me four tries before I spot the one with the little text label “Questionnaires” (and no it is not the button with the “?” icon). OK, the directions say to tap that, and then tap “Add Documents” and then tap “Photos from library”. Should be all downhill now! I tap Questionnaires. The iPad shows a spinner for a few seconds and then says,

Error at server. Please try again later.

And again. And again. Dr. Margaret (who before she retired, was a GP at PAMF for many years) is getting impatient; she calls the dermatology department and is rather scathing to a nice young lady who says their computers are very busy with all these calls about the vaccine. By now it is after 12. I take the iPad back to my room and proceed with some other work, every minute or so tapping the Questionnaires button on the iPad. About 1pm it goes through! I go to Dr. Margaret’s door so she can watch as I tap Add Documents, and Photos and bingo, there are the six photos, I select them, I click upload and whatever else to finish the session, and and give the iPad back to her.

Later, around six, I stop by her door and ask, and yes, she had a very productive telephone consult with the doctor who could see the pictures.

The work I was doing in the middle of the day was starting to collect input to my 2020 tax return. I made up a spreadsheet of charitable contributions. Then I was going to download 1099 forms from Schwab, but when I logged in, they only had a form ready for one account. The other five said “expected by 2/22”. Well then, I guess I’m off the hook for a month, eh?

I also sprayed clear-coat on two small pieces of the MG. One I screwed up, putting it on too heavy and getting a run. The other baffles me; the paint coat is good except a number of little pinholes opened up in it. I had washed these parts in mild soap, rinsed and dried them. So I don’t know what happened. I have to sand them down and try again.

At the right moment in the afternoon I took a picture of that poinsettia again, with the Nikon. Compare to the iPhone picture of yesterday.

In the evening I watched the US Figure Skating Championships, Lady’s Free Skate. Local star Alyssa Liu got bumped down to fourth.

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