Sunday, July 24, 2016


We have a new, six foot tall privacy fence surrounding our back yard.  The gate locks from the inside, and will stay that way, for the most part.  And that means I can boot the kids out into the back yard without having to be out there with them. 

They were out for a little less than an hour, this morning, but I got some housework done (without hearing them fight, or having the pixie come find me, bawling, because the imp "was being mean). 

Tomorrow, I'm going to feed them, dress them, and kick them out for a while early, before it gets hot.  And then, I'll see how much I can get done before they come in for TV.  I'm also thinking of going to find a sprinkler later this week for them to run through, so I can boot them out in swimsuits and water shoes after nap time, see how much writing I can get done in the afternoons.

Last but not least, we need a new picnic umbrella.  Our old one died the final death two years ago, but with the deck in too bad of shape to let the kids play outside, I didn't see the sense in immediately replacing it.  And there is no shade in the back yard until late in the day, so it's time to replace it.

Last week, Odysseus caught a nasty summer cold, then the pixie caught it (and ran a significant fever, the first day of it).  They're recovering, now, but both are still feeling it in their chests...and the imp woke up with a really bad ear ache, and a bit of dizziness (which could be from three trips to the swimming pool with his paternal grandparents, or it could be him catching this crap).  I'm keeping an eye on all three, as well as on myself in the hopes that I don't catch it.

I've got phone calls to make tomorrow.  First, I need to call the city to get their inspectors to come look at the fence, and then I need to call our vet to arrange a stay for the dog to go get wormed (my mom's place has 'em bad, and Mom can't afford to get the meds every time, and wouldn't let us), shots, flea treated, shorn, and nails clipped.  And then, the dog's coming home. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

updates on shifting stuff to new laptop...

I've been working with my new laptop since Tuesday. The first thing I did was use Explorer to download Firefox, then Firefox to download AVG, and created system recovery disks (which took an hour, but actually did work, unlike with the other laptop).  Then Open Office.*  Finally, I started Windows looking for updates.

That...that took from 3:00 pm Tuesday afternoon, until 6:47 am Wednesday morning.  It finished up just after I got up and got settled with a cup of coffee.  There were over a hundred critical updates.  I picked through them for the two updates that create the nag screen for "upgrading" to Windows 10.  They weren't in the recommended updates, so I went ahead and upchecked all of those for download and installation.

The updates that create the nag screen for Windows 10 were in the "recommended" updates.  Those, I rarely download.  And it's easy to pick through less than sixty programs and hide two.

It took the rest of the morning to download and install updates.  The laptop finished the restarts after the updates a bit after the onset of naptime Wednesday (1:00 pm).

Since then, I've gotten the printer set up to run with the laptop (that was a bit of an argument), and played with Open Office's Writer.

Writer runs pretty much identically to Word '97.  I used to know all the ins and outs of that program, but I've been using Word since it actually made improvements that were improvements, and I have to say that I find the interface...clunky.  Word '03 through ' of the biggest improvements was in the interface between user and program.  The drop menus were replaced with something that worked better, and was less of a pain to navigate through and find the commands needed.

I have the opportunity, as an employee of a university, to download Office through the university's accounts.  I do want to give Writer a solid chance, though, and will wait until after the first assignment is to be turned in through the course site to see if I actually need Word, or if I just want it.

Regardless of which it is, I do plan to download Office sometime in early September.  Because I do like Word--the current incarnation of such--a lot better than I do Writer.

*remember--I'm testing to see if the course site will open papers turned in online for me to grade regardless of whether or not I have Office.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dear Microsoft,

I would greatly appreciate it if finding the security updates for a new machine didn't take for-freakin'-ever.

Especially since I'm going to have to sort through and hide a few updates to avoid an operating system that I paid extra to avoid. 

Thanks.  Thanks ever so much.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

It's only been a damn year!

I'm having my computer dying on me, yet again.  This time, it's not the fan, the motherboard, power supply, or anything else.

The little prong that the power cord plugs onto to charge the battery is losing its connection.  I had two older computers--Averatec, both of them--do that.  Both were repaired.  Neither stayed that way longer than about a month.  That particular repair just seems to not hold.

So, I've ordered a new laptop.  Same brand, same model as this one, same operating system (Windows 7) with an additional two year warranty.  It will get here on Tuesday.

I know, I know (TCA), I could transition to Linux.  I'm going to have to in a few more years, if I don't want my OS sending my data to Windows so that they can, in turn, sell it to the highest bidder (or turn it over to the government).  I know course site the university I work for uses even works with Linux.  However, what I don't know is whether or not the gradebook grading will work without using Windows Word.  I am planning on waiting to download Office until after the first assignment gets turned in.  If it does, my resistance to moving to a different, spyware-free OS will be far less.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I didn't need this.

So.  We've been having some issues with the imp.  Major boundary pushing issues.  Yes, he's closing in on eight, so it is to be expected.  That does not make it any less infuriating.

Several weeks ago, he got some of his Transformers toys confiscated.  One was a complicated blue Corvette.  That one was the core of the issue: two weeks ago, he'd earned it back through good behavior.  All he had to do was wait until Friday evening.

He didn't.

Instead, he got the step-ladder step-stool, got it down, and put another the same color in its place.  And then, he lied about it.

That got both toys put in the trash, and the trash taken out to the dumpster.

Two mornings later, the imp has a Transformer--playing with it on the couch while watching Transformers.  I'd slept in, assuming (like an idiot) that the kids were trustworthy.  He told me Daddy had gotten it down for him, and the pixie told me the truth: that he'd gone outside, dug through the dumpster for the bag it was in, and pulled it out.

That.  That got him in really big trouble.  He got banned from TV for the rest of the day, got all of his Transformers toys taken away from him until school starts, and got him banned from watching Transformers until school starts.  And then that got delayed, because he started nagging us about it.

Yesterday morning, he snuck out of his room a little before five in the morning (against the rules--they're not allowed to get up and stay up until six at the earliest), found the remotes and turned on the TV (also against the rules--they're not allowed to do that until after Odysseus leaves for work around half past seven), and watched an episode of Transformers: Robots in Disguise on Netflix (which we only found out about by checking the history).  When confronted, he lied and denied it.

If he hadn't deliberately disobeyed, then lied about it, he'd have only been banned from TV for the day, like his sister was.

I also told him that the next time he lied to me at all, he'd lose all his blocks, and all of his wood rails.

Guess what got confiscated this morning?

Going by his record, he's going to end up with nothing but his bed, desk, books, lamp, dresser, and clothes in his room within the next two weeks.

I so don't need this to deal with right now. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded--here and there, now and then--are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck."
--Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

The floor is open for discussion.  

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Gotta share this with inflict this on everyone else.