Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Effectively Summer

Monday: (05/25) Memorial Day! Today is the effective beginning of summer. It nice that the cold snap of Saturday and Sunday has changed to more normal, summer like weather. We had leftover hash and eggs for breakfast.

Dawn's computer bit the dust, or at least, almost so. The power connector is broken on the laptop and it also smells like burning electonics ocassionally. That's a hint of potential problems. I like my new MSI netbook and Dawn's been using it all to often anyway so we'll try one of her own. They're cheap, light, small, and have long battery life. All things that should help Dawn. We went off looking at netbooks. First stop was the Micro Center in Santa Clara. The had several different manufactures netbooks on display and powered up. We narrowed it down to the Asus and the MSI. The ASUS had longer battery life but Dawn preferred the heyboard on the MSI so we bought it, a U120 (mine is the U100) model. They also had a cheap USB DVD drive and a very nice case as well. Most cases seem to be too big for netbooks but they had a couple that were appropriately sized.

When we got home, I spent the evening setting it up and trying to move Dawn's files over from her old laptop. It failed before they could be moved and now will not power up at all. Almost good timing. I'll now have to get an external USB disk drive case and put her old drive into it like I did for my laptop earlier this year.

Tuesday: (05/26) I was up too late last night working on Dawn's laptop so slept in as long as I could. That wasn't too long. Dawn needed to be in San Jose early and I was the driver. She needed to restock the apartment so couldn't use the train.

On the way home I checked a couple of places for a new printer for Dawn's apartment. Her laser printer is becoming a pain all too often  and having the features of a multi-function printer scanner would be helpful. I picked up a new MFC490CW printer, scanner, copier, fax. New printers are really cheap so an upgrade is never too costly but they do make up with the high cost of ink. Since I have her lapttop anyway, I can get the new printer setup at the same time. It's like Christmas in May for Dawn.

Lou and I went out for for lunch at Luu Noodle House. She needed the escape. She's been good about exercising and elevating her leg. She can now look almost normal when she walks and can walk around a couple of blocks but is being good and restraining herself and relaxing between exercise.

I fixed Mexican spaghetti for dinner, one of my favorite meals. The sauce is about equal parts diced tomatoes, salsa, and spaghetti sauce.

Wednesday: (05/26) I fixed corned beef hash for breakfast with fried eggs. A couple of days ago I attempted this feat but erred by using a roast rather that the corned beef. This is one of the problems with leftovers, they often look the same and my eyes aren't as good as they once were either. the end result was a good roast beef hash but not corned beef hash, which was the result today.

Lou had a doctors appointment today. I fiddled with dawn's computer removed the hard drive and installed it in an external case but it's unrecognizable so it was likely the reason the laptop wouldn't boot any more. That with the broken power connector probably made it a door stop. unfortunately, she didn't backup recently. So be warned, always backup often.

I headed down to San jose to Dawn's place in the afternoon. i had a long list of things to do but accomplished little. i did get the windows measured to get an estimate for replacement. But most of my time was spent (wasted) do a simple task. I installed Dawn's new printer, i was also going to upgrade here wireless which has been intermittent besides, a wireless printer needs a good wireless access point. The router/access point i bought on the way here was bad. Even when I tried to just restore her system as it was and use the printer with a wire instead, I couldn't get the printer to be seen, until I repeated the same thing for the 10th time. Sometimes patience does pay off? This is one of the reasons I retired. network administration, even the small ones are such  pain.

Dinner was leftover spaghetti and a spinach salad.

Thursday: (05/28) Breakfast was leftover corned beef hash and eggs. hash is always better the second time around. Lou had a doctors appointment today to get the stitches out. Dawn went shopping and dropped off some books to recycle at Rasputin's book store. She does really well selling her old books for more than she paid usually.

It's been a week since the last attempt to get the DSL line working. Why should this be so difficult. the line was working before an administrative change of the account number. Today's attempt found two competent employees at ATT, that really boosted the average. Only one call was needed. I contacted sales and explained my problem. They seemed to be able to understand what I was saying. The result was they connected me to tech support where I found a competent technician. We established that yes, the line was bad and ended up setting up an appointment for a tech to come out. of course, i still may not be  happy camper if I end up having to pay for the service call and or a new modem to repair a previously working system that only went down because of an administrative change. i was ready to cancel immediately if there had been any problems at all this time but really didn't want to because I didn't want the hassle of having Comcast cable installed to the house.

I spent the rest of the day collecting materials and completing an application to refinance the house. Paperwork is not my favorite task.

Dinner was leftover spaghetti.

Friday: (05/29) Breakfast was French toast and bacon a good start. We got up early because ATT has an arrival window of 0800-noon today to fix the DSL line. Is that convenient, a four hour window. Another example of an inefficient organization.

Noon: The ATT technician phoned about 15 minutes before he arrived at 11am. He tested the line and there is no connection. gee, just as their remote tests indicated and as I had told them. No problem at our place so no charge, lucky them. The tech went down the street for 20 minutes and came back and the line was active. Setting up the router for the new account login was no problem with a working line and the technician departed at noon leaving the original modem working perfectly. It only took seven telephone calls and one competent technician and all is well now. After every couple of calls i had to wait a week or so before calling them again i get so frustrated with the incompetent tech support provided from offshore. But, the end result is a working system today.

Lunch was European bologna with mexican motzorella cheese topped off with fresh homemade ice cream thanks to Dawn.

Saturday: (05/30) Breakfast was pork chops and eggs.

I tinkered in the office all day. Lou was busy with the dolls. She made shoes for a very small doll using vinyl dipping plastic painted on the feet then removed and cut to look like shoes. She used a permanent marker to add stitches and designs. They fit perfectly. We also went to the market for a few things.

Lunch was diced pork chops with white beans and Parmesan cheese.

Lou fixed BBQ ribs for dinner.

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