Hello, World

During the years that I was working as a computer programmer, quite often, I had to learn a new computer language. It doesn’t matter if you learn it in a class or from a book, the very first exercise, usually, is writing a program to print “Hello, World”. In a way, this exercise is comforting, because I knew it too well; but, on the other hand, it was kind of boring, so I often skipped it.

Now that most of us (people in every country) stay at home all the time, for some reason, I feel the world has become smaller, and we are closer. I have an urge of shouting “Hello, China”, “Hello Italy”, “Hello Spain”… “Hello, World” … “How are you?”

And… when I pray for COVID-19 to end, I can hear other people’s voices, praying in their own language, their own faith…

Stay safe, my friends.

# # #
Another long break from blogging… I know. I am currently taking 4 Buddhist lessons, and soon I will start my 5th. When I was young, I wasn’t a good student, only studied enough to pass the course ;-). (Hmm… it seems weird that I always enjoy learning, but I don’t like to study… have to figure this one out.) Anyway, study has consumed most of my time. (For those who remember the StoryWorth project I was working on… yes, it is still going. It’s the 14th week now. However, in recent weeks, every week I barely made the deadline.)

Living in a cold place, we don’t go out often in winter. At the end of the fall, if my neighbors happen to see us, they usually say something like “Take care; we’ll see you next year.”

This past winter was no exception. It was cold right from the beginning, and both Wei and I had experienced a few minor health problems (we are ok now), so we stayed at home even more.

Then, there came this COVID-19 thing. I am swamped with my homework and projects, so staying at home is “almost” welcomed. Wei, on the other hand, started showing signs of cabin-fever. Once in a while, we drove around; most of the time we didn’t get out of the car. We stopped at a local zoo once, only 5 other people were there. (The zoo is closed now.)

Since we are quiet people, and we are in the high-risk group, friends and relatives started checking on us, asking how we were doing. “Life as usual,” I said.

One day we went to the grocery store. I had heard that there was a shortage on hand sanitizer, toilet paper, rice, flour… Still, those empty shelfs shock me. There were only two packages of chicken left, only 40% of eggs… Luckily, we found everything we needed. On that day, I had discovered another good thing on aging: you don’t eat much; you don’t need much. After visiting the grocery store, I no longer responded with “Life as usual.” Instead, I would say: “We’re ok. Hope you are ok, too.”

Finally, I want to share with you a photo of my great-nephew. Hope it will make you smile like it did to me.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
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21 Responses to Hello, World

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    So good to hear your Hello voice out in the blogsphere, I’m hoping you and all your family stay home, safe and healthy. Have a happy week Helen. Both Chris and I are doing well. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Hello, Cee. I like your new blog, before I forget. Sorry to hear all the problem you have gone through. It is very nice of you sharing your experience. After reading your post, I think one of my friends might have the same thing; wish I knew this long time ago (she passed away many years ago.) Thanks.
      I miss blogging. In fact, this post was supposed to come out two weeks ago, but priority, priority…With this old and shrinking brain, I have to spend more time than other students to keep up. So far so good… another good thing about aging is that I can do whatever I want. I mean if the time comes that I have to quit… Hope it won’t happen. Only 25 more weeks… I can do it. I can do it;-)
      I am glad you and Chris are doing well. It must be hard that you can’t visit those flower gardens (are you guys in lock-down, too?) Spring means a lot to people around here. I am busy at home, but I hope to walk in the trail soon.
      Take care.

      Like

  2. loisajay says:

    Helen–I have missed you. I agree with Cee–it is good to see you again. You know, I retired at just the right time. Staying home is fine with me–although I wish it was under different circumstances. We are OK. I hope you are OK, too. XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Lois. I was wondering how your retirement is going. Who would believe we are in the situation we are now? Just weeks ago, I asked my friends in Taiwan if they wanted me to send some masks to them, and now: do you guys have extras? 😉
      Florida is in my thoughts, by the way, and NY, WA, Ca… I wish I had a pile of masks that I could give to healthcare workers.
      So nice to hear from you. Please take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ted says:

    Oh yeah, Hello world. I would replace it with stuff like, Okay so there’s a world out there, I know that – so what else can you do? When, like yourself, I just ignored it and went to the next step. I settled on Perl and still use it along some occasional JavaScript (avoid PHP like the plague).

    We’ve had the main stream media inspired panic buying here in London as well, settled down to a dull roar now. Since I’m stuck here for quite a while (lockdowns) I’ve have taken up some narrow gauge railroading as a hobby to keep me sane.

    My grand daughter is at that age where communication is increasing by the day. She gets quite excited with new stuff, “Hi Grandpa, I got this nice thing and itverygoopaywifandjeee….”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Ted. Ah… I truly love this retirement thing. Perl is nothing but a faded shadow in the past 😉
      I had to stop replying to google “narrow gauge railroading”. Ha. What do you mean by “taken up”? I mean what exactly do you do?
      I have one other item, which I am hoping I can squeeze into my schedule, and that is sewing some face masks. Now that CDC is encouraging us to wear one, he demand is rising. I am not a good sewer; I downloaded the instruction, and I am working on building the courage. 😉 It doesn’t look hard; I don’t know why I am hesitated. 😉

      >> My grand daughter is at that age where communication is increasing by the day.
      That’s a fun age! Treasure it. My grant-niece is 9 already. I was going to write 7 or 8, but decided to check to be sure. Wow, 9.
      Take care.

      Like

    • Ted says:

      Hi Helen, have fun with your face masks. Hey it’s cold where you are, just wrap a scarf around your mouth, they’re doing that here. People are making billions out of those masks but if you keep the distance, there’s no worry, CV is not airborne like flu.

      Interesting figures on that. Only .05% of the registered infected have died, that’s less that some flu’s (I survived Hong Kong and Shanghai flu’s CV is nothing in comparison, if we’re honest about it). Lotta scare tactics happening and that makes me wonder what else is going on in the background.

      As to Perl, not many use it now except for serious data work, it overstretched itself and I very rarely use modules, I can write something much better and shorter to do the same job. I used it for a web client’s database before Google even existed and it was simple version of what Goog now calls Big Table. A tiny string can do huge amounts. My blog software is written in it (search Perl on my blog). Just takes me longer than most because I’m more an artist than programmer.

      I’m normally a travel blogger (since 2011) and am grounded due to the CV, so am putting together a narrow gauge model railroad as an art exercise. I doubt I’ll be able to get back on the road this year until all the hoo hah has died down.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen C says:

        Hello, Ted. I think the problem is that even after one recovered from COVID-19, his lungs may be permanently damaged (it had happened to people). I don’t know anything about Hong Kong Flu; I will google after replying.
        Scarf works well for me, thank you for mentioning it. I wasn’t going to make it for myself. Many organization has the need and they are asking for volunteers. I would like to do something to help — it’s better than getting depressed for seeing those numbers.
        I like your travel blog. I thought I had followed your blog; I think it was because you don’t have a follow button. Anyway, now, I subscribed. I, too, love small towns. I am not an adventure person though, not a brave soul.
        Can’t believe you wrote your own blog software! I think I don’t have that much passion to write my own. Figure out the logic is fun. After that, I wish someone else can do the rest 😉
        >> …putting together a narrow gauge model railroad
        That was my guess; I just wanted to verify 😉 Thanks.

        Like

        • Ted says:

          Reply didn’t take the first time…
          I can well imagine that some of the serious cases may well have lung damage. I think I had this back in the very beginning of November last year, but a mild dose. The super dry cough, temperature and feeling lile crap for about 8 days I didn’t even want to go out, so didn’t.

          No use getting depressed over something you cannot control, it’s not your fault (I just tell depression to go away, out loud – and it does). Doing something to help is a good idea.

          Thanks for the like, yes your follow was received. I’m not an adventure person either, but when something bad happens I just take it as it is and learn. As for the narrow gauge model railroad, that’s on my Footfalls blog (ffalls.com – where the software is described (Search Perl), which is seperate from Simian Circles. You can subscribe there as well if you wish, the software is the same.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel the same way about age and the grocery store. We are in the danger group, but we’re managing since we’re accustomed to retirement. But the shock of the empty shelves is real. I’m trying to sew a mask for my son who has to wear one to work, but stores are out of elastic, pipe cleaners, and the protective fabric for the insert. Best wishes for staying healthy. So proud that you are learning . . . still.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Rusha (hope I got your name right). I have elastic. How long do you need? If you send me your address (you can do it via my email: hhw.chen@gmail.com ) I will mail you in a letter. I don’t even have to go to the post office, just put it in my mailbox. Pipe cleaner is for the nose part, right? I wonder if the twist we see in grocery store will work. As far as the protective fabric… have you seen those tissue paper that can kill germs (99%, something like that.)? I was thinking to leave the bottom of the mask open, and insert one piece of those tissue paper, and a piece of… someone said that one material they use in making medical masks is the same material making paper tea bags. I mean the paper bags that you place tea leaves in it to make tea. The guy cut the bag open so it became a big piece, and he used that as one layer of the mask. I haven’t made mine yet. So far, I am just talking about it… 😉 Elastic, on the other hand, I can mail it to you.

      Like

  5. brenda says:

    Your nephew seems intrigued with his writing. I like the light and color in this image. I am glad life “is as usual.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. carol1945 says:

    I am so glad to hear from you, I have a lot to say, but for this message may not go through. If it does, I will write again. Regardless, I loved what you wrote.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Hello, Carol. I was glad to see your recent post, too! I miss you!
      Thank you for your kind words. You’re always so kind. Remember you have my email address? If WP doesn’t work well, you can email 😉 I didn’t have problem with the like button. Ted did mention that his first reply didn’t go through. Oh well… what can we do?
      Take care, and be safe, my friend.

      Like

  7. carol1945 says:

    I do not understand why sometimes WordPress is telling me I cannot make a comment, and will not respond to the like button. More later…..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello to you too! Nice to hear from you again.

    Like

  9. Hello Helen, I am so glad to hear from you, stay safe and healthy!!!

    Like

  10. I too have missed you! And that photo sure did make me smile! A big smile .. Stay safe Helen, I’m thrilled to hear you are studying. I love learning too .. 😃

    Like

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