Wednesday, October 31

What we did for Halloween before Halloween/Samhain

Appearing and solidifying

This is my son in his Halloween costume. The left picture was edited to add light, and then I decided to "enhance" it to make it obviously different then the one on the right which I didn't have to edit. To give my manipulation of the left photo legitimacy, I like to think of it as "when he first arrived from the ethers and then completed his clear manifestation (right)". Or make up your own story. *smile* We're not doing the trick-or-treat thing this year, so this costume isn't for the actual day of Halloween, it was for the Parktacular thing at the Buffalo city park on this past Saturday evening that was for "safe trick-or-treating". Meaning that there were some vendors who decided to set up booths along a path where the kids could just stop and get their candy. We do like the t-or-t'ing in neighborhoods, except for two things in our area. If we go to Buffalo, we have to drive around and just park at one end of the street, do the t-or-t'ing, then drive to the next block and do it again. Or we could go to Lebanon, a bigger city, but it's 20 miles away. This year we decided to save gas and avoid all the traffic in Buffalo, MO tonight and do Halloween early.

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Sunday, October 28

Sunday, bloody Sunday. Email fix. High school

Okay, so there hasn't really been any blood today. *smirk* I have spent pretty much all day downloading and re-installing AVG. Why? Because it wouldn't start after I restarted the computer. Plus I uninstalled FireFox because it loaded slower than I.E., and even that, on this Pentium II, isn't what I'd call quick. *sigh* Oh, and I figured out why I couldn't receive email on this computer, or send it on the other since we got DSL (I just love saying that. LOL). Wanna know why? It was the connection setting in AVG. It was still set to "dial-up" on both computers, even though I ran the set-up disc I got from the phone company's technicians, hence why I didn't check that for some weird reason. Anyway, it's set to use the "LAN" setting and everything's cool. *YAY!*

Plus I've just been kind of fidgety, and easily distracted. So I'd been outside to smoke several times (will be quitting again on Nov. 1), and even took the trash out and burned it.

Rain set our bedroom clocks back an hour before bedtime this morning. My DD got up at 7, or so she thought. Then when the computers and TV (the TV itself and Dishnetwork) said it was 9 a.m., I went and woke Rain up, only to see that our clock said it was only 8 a.m. What's up with that? She said that she's seen other people say that their time changed. As far as I know, Missouri does "do" daylight savings, so we're a little confused as to when it stopped recognizing it. *shrug*

Still haven't heard back from any of our friends, neither in email, IM'ing, or phone. So, since we got a hold of DSL, we haven't been able to "talk" to them. Still concerned about the message I got about their phone being "either disconnected or no longer in service", so yeah, I'm a little worried. *frown/shrug* Like, I don't really know why they would disconnect or change their number, and her DSL-email isn't bouncing. So?

Anyway, not really into football today. Maybe because it's sunny and over  60 degrees? Could be.

Oh yeah, and our 15 year old daughter is thinking about whether or not to try public high school. She's thinking she could meet more people/friends if she did. We have explained that there would be "placement test(s)", which a friend already told her about. We're also going to see what the requirements for the Missouri G.E.D. are so she can see what she'll need to know to enter high school. It's kind of hard though, because she's been home schooled via child-led education and we're very used to having her around all day. We've also explained that she'd be able to get a part-time job in Buffalo to meet people as well. However, she's more against working than she is about high school, so we'll see. My baby is growing up. *whah*

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Friday, October 26

We have DSL! Weather. Email problems. Lost friends

Good afternoon ladies, gentlemen, and whoever else is reading this. It's good to "see" you again. How've you been? I've been pretty good, much better since yesterday morning when our DSL was FINALLY complete and we were on the Internet at high-speed (1.5 Mbps)! WOO-HOO! Spent almost all afternoon and evening on the other computer downloading all kinds of updates to programs that hadn't been updated for a couple of years (that PC was in the closet because with only one computer at a time being able to connect to the Internet, there was no reason to have it set up). And you know why they couldn't get us DSL last week? They had installed the AdrenaLine Repeater but couldn't get the DSL signal to come all the way here. Know how they fixed the "problem"? They took the repeater OUT of the line, and we then got DSL. Meaning we COULD'VE had it for several years had they just CHECKED to see if we could. *sigh*

The weather has been cooler than usual. Meaning that the up until just a couple of days ago the highs were in the 60's and 70's (F). But the last couple we've been lucky to get into the 50's, usually the high 40's. Hasn't been quite cold enough to start a fire, but it's getting close, and if it continues to be cool outside, the inside of the house will eventually get cooler and stay cooler. Once the temp inside has trouble getting over 70 and staying there, then we'll start a fire.

Other than that, not much else happening. Just been enjoying the high-speed. The kids really like it because no they can actually load and watch their YouTube videos without having to wait HOURS for them to load. In fact, my son watched several of them this morning (between midnite and 7 a.m.) instead of sleeping, which he's doing now. He's definitely our little night owl! Which is fine, every family needs one, right?

The only thing that we can't seem to figure out is why this computer will not download email using Outlook Express or Thunderbird 2. I spent 2 hours on the phone with a Centurytel technician, and solved nothing. The other computer which has all the same programs and is also XP Home Edition, SP2, downloads and sends email just fine using O.E., but T2 doesn't work on it either. No clue how to make this computer do it with either though. We can still download blogs on this computer, and Rain doesn't mind using webmail, so we'll just have to cope until someone (or me) figures it out.

I called one of our friends yesterday to say, "Hey, I'm talking to you on the phone AND surfing the web!", but unfortunately I got a message saying their phone had been disconnected and is no longer in service. I have no other way, other than the email I sent them, to get a hold of them without driving for two hours to visit.

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Saturday, October 20

Polls. Cats. DSL

What I just don't seem to understand is if we live in a Democracy (albeit a broken one IMO), and the opinion of "The People" are what laws are supposed to be based on, then why aren't we heard? For example, if "Eighty percent of Americans support the legal use of medicinal marijuana by patients, and 72 percent (emphasis mine) say that adults who use marijuana recreationally should be fined, but not jailed, according to a nationwide poll conducted last week (2002) by Time Magazine and CNN. Only 19 percent of respondents favored jailing recreational pot smokers.", then why ISN'T at least medical MJ legalized/decriminalized? And then you supposedly have 70% of Americans against the Iraq war according to another poll. So, are "we" the people just an insignificant populace? If those who are in a position to make what the people want happen, why aren't they?

trippy_rocky.jpgAnd here you have a very comfortable Trippy sleeping on Rocky, who is also taking a nap. By the way, they're both boys, so you see, not all male cats are combative with each other. In fact, all but one of our 8 males get along fabulously with each other. The one who doesn't (Scribbles), does most of the time. When he's feeling particularly ornery he will snip at the alpha (Celebi), but that doesn't last long.

Today we drove into town and got more lottery tickets, crackers, lunch meat, cookies, milk, and generic cola. After we got home my wife and daughter layed down for a nap. I then started a load of laundry, which is now hanging on the line. Will probably do one more load, but haven't fully decided. *grin*

And lastly, we still don't have DSL. Two technicians worked all afternoon yesterday (Friday) trying to figure-out why we weren't getting a signal from the CO where the repeater was installed. At first they didn't even show a signal coming out of the repeater, but once they verified (through the manufacturer) that it was working, but there was a 'polarity reversal' in their line between the main office and the CO, fixed that and now they've got a signal at the output side. Unfortunately, they can't seem to figure-out why that signal isn't coming all the way to our house. IMO - there's something blocking it between the repeater/CO and us, but they're going to have to check each box starting at the CO and see just how far the signal does go. The analog signal (dial-tone/phone) works fine, but the digital is wonky somewhere (obviously). *sigh* I have an e-friend in Montana who has a friend there who is 28,000 feet from his CO and gets DSL just fine. Then again, he was getting it, albeit slower, before, now he's getting 1.5Mbps, so we should be able to get it as well, yes? He didn't have any idea what repeater/anything was installed in his line though, so I have nothing other than hearsay to tell the technicians in my area of Missouri. However, the head guy told me yesterday that they aren't quitters and will keep working on it (we're the new new technology testers in our area). So, with any luck at all, next week will be our week. Meanwhile we have to suffer with dial-up speed around 26.4Kbps, but at least we're not having connection-longevity problems, so that's something. *smile*

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Thursday, October 18

No DSL today :(

A technician came out today with a modem and tried for several hours, but could NOT get us connected :-( So we're back to sucky dial-up. Unfortunately, they had to change some things at the main connection point to prepare the line for DSL and our dial-up is now very unstable (this is the 1st time I've been able to connect for more than a few seconds in two days). Therefore I have to get them to go back and repair whatever it was they disabled. However, Bill Fallin of Centurytel said they tried another technology call AdrenaLine and the customer got 1.3Mbps on a 1.5Mbps subscription, at 25,000 feet.

A guy came out last week to check our lines for line-noise or breaks, checked each house's box between here and the CO, no breaks in the line-service, and added the distance between each box (by driving) until he got to the CO and said we were at 23,900. Today, the DSL technician who came said that he showed, while at the CO, that we were at 26,800 feet. According to their maps, we WERE only 23,900 feet, so I don't know what the hell is going on :-(


UPDATE: Got an email from the head technician and it said he and the tech that was here today will be back tomorrow to get us DSL. Please cross your fingers and anything else you can think of so that we'll actually have high-speed by this time tomorrow. Thanks in advance.

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Tuesday, October 16

Not yet... but soon

After anxiously waiting until 11 a.m. this morning for the man to come and install our DSL, I called to check on the status. At which time I was told that the person I talked to who I called to say I wanted to upgrade to 1.5Mbsp from 256Kbsp forgot to mention that because of the upgrade they scheduled for one day later. Sigh. So, it looks like TOMORROW morning we'll be getting our high-speed. But like my daughter and then my wife said, at least it wasn't postponed for a week or something. *grin* I've been waiting to upload pictures to my Gather page because I've got quite a few of them I'd like to share, and am curious to see just how much faster they upload.

Went into town and picked up the 2 prescriptions I called in yesterday morning, planning on picking them up this afternoon, just like we did. One of the drugs is one I take at bedtime to help me sleep. I've been out of that one since Saturday night, and haven't really slept all that well since. At bedtime 2 nights ago I was saying that maybe I could get off of it, but then last night I had a hell of a time getting to sleep. And then once I was asleep, I couldn't stay that way. Every time I woke-up, I felt like I had to force myself back to sleep, as opposed to just drifting back to sleep like usual. Plus I kept getting a chill, would cover up, then I'd get hot, then cold, and so forth all night. Basically it felt like I was having withdrawal symptoms.

Other than that, I've got the 2nd load of laundry hanging on the line. Although it's not much over 70*F outside, it is kind of breezy, so the clothes shouldn't take too long to dry.

Saturday, October 13

Meet Ruth. Laundry. 'puter clean/set-up. B-day party. Hay bales.


Meet Ruth. He's a, well, boy. I know that "Ruth" is typically a girls name, but he was named after a Pern Dragon, from the book series by Ann McCaffrey - The Dragon Riders of Pern (or something like that).

I don't really have time to be blogging this morning, I should be getting some laundry done. I've actually got a load in the washer that's ready to by hung out, but the weather is threatening rain. So, I should get it out now, so hopefully it'll dry before it rains - IF it rains. Plus I've got another basket full of dirty clothes that needs to be washed, etc.

And I also want to get a computer that's been sitting in my kids' closet for a couple of years now, cleaned. The reason it's in the closet is because the CPU had/has a tendency to overheat as soon as the temperature in the room reaches 75*F. However, we're going to be getting DSL on Tuesday, and I want to have a computer to surf the web with, besides this one (which my wife claims she's going to be on even more). So, I had my daughter clean her ex-bedroom upstairs yesterday. I am going to be putting the overheating 'puter up there where I can control the temp with the air-conditioner. That is IF it gets too warm up there this Fall/Winter, which it may or may not. Not sure how the DSL modem with wireless capability works though. Will I just be able to plug the upstairs computer into a phone-jack with a DSL filter on it, or will I need to get a wireless card/adapter for it first?

Then after all that, I need to get ready for a birthday party. It'll be this evening for the son of one of our friends. It's going to be a "Pirates of the Caribbean" theme-party. Should be fun. We'll be having cake, ice-cream, chips, and chili. Okay, I don't really know for sure about the cake and ice-cream, but am about the chips and chili. *grin*

The hay-bale guy up the road came yesterday and turned a buttload of grass into large, round bales of hay. About 10 of them I think. We want to talk to him and make sure we get at least one, so that we can use it as mulch on the garden areas.

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Thursday, October 11

DSL for the Fringe-folk


Hey, guess what! We are scheduled to have DSL (256k) on-line next Tuesday - 10-16-07, in the morning). I am SO psyched!! A man from Centurytel came out this morning and checked our lines for noise, inside and outside of the house. Everything is fine, clear as bell. He asked Rain when he got here, "So, what's the problem with your DSL?" She said, "Um, we don't have DSL". Everyone asks that, though we've NEVER had it. Almost did once, but at the last minute were denied. He was surprised that we used to get 48 Kbps consistently for a few years, but we were, until I contacted customer support about not having DSL even though the technology has been here to extend it to us, for 6 years. And when I wouldn't take their pat answer, "There's no technology that we know of that can extend it far enough for you to get it", and told them of the technology, suddenly our connection speed plummeted, and the frequency of disconnects suddenly rose. But starting next Tuesday, we should be speeding along the super-highway with so many others. Can't wait! Or can just barely! Ya just have to talk to the right people I guess. I emailed the District Manager for SW. MO. and he thought that we should've had it by now, but looked into it. Perhaps they figured that I must REALLY want it, if I'm willing to go UP the chain of command. *grin* And I would've too, but I couldn't find the email address of the Centurytel CEO, who made 7 million dollars in 2006. But they couldn't afford to spend $700 dollars for an extender for my area? Anyway, that's all moot as of next! Frikkin! Tuesday! LOL.

"Work WITH Nature, and Nature WILL provide" - Me

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Wednesday, October 10

Nuttin' much, honey!

Not a lot happening, but then again, when is there ever. Anyway, the weather has definitely turned fall-like - cool, but sunny and in the 60's (F). You'd think this would be great weather to work outside in. Like, say, cutting some of the branches that fell during the ice-storm last winter (Jan. 07). We've been putting the majority of the work off because of the summer heat, and thick & high weeds, not to mention ticks, seed ticks, and mosquitoes. And we've also had 3 gallons of yellow paint that a friend gave us a couple of months ago to paint the porch-roof wood. Sigh! We're just lazy, good for nuttin', countrified fringe folk. *snicker*

The garden is being closed down/let go/infrequently harvested. All that's left is a few tomatoes, couple of cantaloupe, and a few green beans. We started letting the chickens in a couple of weeks ago to eat whatever they wanted, hoping they'd zero-in on the bugs, which they did for the most part.

It's also time to start bringing Rain's tropical plants from the small garden. The pineapple plants, orange trees, and a few others that I can't recall.

And of course it's about time, and it's about space, it's about time to change the air-conditioner place. *giggle*

Still waiting to hear back from the Centurytel guys/gals on the new equipment they plan on putting in so that we can get DSL. He said the turn-around time on the order would be 3-4 weeks, and it's only been a week and a half. I was going to send him and email asking if he's heard anything, but changed my mind after I re-read the 3-4 week thing.

We strongly suspect we've got an egg thief visiting our chicken coop, because a fake egg was found on the floor yesterday. We seriously doubt a chicken knocked it out of the nest box, because they haven't before. The cats don't go in there, ever. So, I've been checking on the coop frequently, but haven't seen anything yet.

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Thursday, October 4

How R Ya? Handle. DSL. Pool

Hey there anybody and/or everybody, how ya dune? :-) I'm dune 'kay. I'm now on day #4 of not smoking cigarettes. Hasn't been too hard, actually quite a bit easier than I thought it would be. Got  some hard candy to suck on if I need to stave off a nicotine craving. I've sucked quite a few the last few days, mostly 'cause I like them though, less because of cravings.

About a week ago the toilet-handle that works the flusher in the commode tank broke. So we've just had the lid that normally sits on the tank, off and had been flushing by grabbing the straight part of the all-plastic handle that was still attached to the chain that connects to the plunger, that when lifted lifts said plunger and drains the bowl and tank water. But yesterday was pay-day, thank god! Today we went shopping and not only got food and other things, we most definitely got a new handle for the toilet. Who'd a thunk it would take aligning such a simple gadget 3 or 4 times before it worked correctly? LOL. But, since I put the lid back on, everyone that's had the opportunity to play with the handle has said it works great. And it should last a bit longer since the bar that connects to the chain is metal, or at least pseudo metal, so should last longer than the plastic one did.

But we were very sure to get some meat. *arg-arg-arg* Unfortunately we weren't able to buy enough meat so we could be total, meat-n-fat only carnivores, and bought filler-foods like spaghetti, flour, crackers, etc. Not how we really like to eat, but we'll survive. *grin* But our pantry looks pretty nice, as does the fridge and freezer. Til next month that is. It was getting kind of light in the food area, don't cha know. Buh-t'alls good now :-)

Well, in about 3 weeks we should have DSL. Couldn't come at a better time. For the last 2-3 weeks (maybe longer) we've been having frequent disconnects of our dial-up service, like sometimes every 2-3 minutes for 15-30-60 minutes straight :-( And that's only with a connection speed of 26.4, 28.8, 30+ Kbps, and things on web pages load extremely slow. Often we'll get disconnected in the middle of a page-load, sometimes right at the beginning. A real pain in the ass! Oddly, usually the slower the connection, the longer periods between disconnects. *sigh* I've updated the modem's drivers even, but that's made no difference. And now the other kid (12) has gotten into watching YouTube videos that take up to 7 hours to load, longer if you're having disconnect issues. And try to actually surf the Internet? Good luck, hope you brought a good book to read. Consequently, I get frustrated at the pace and haven't been on the 'puter nearly as much as I used to or would like to be. Which some wouldn't have a problem with, but my on-line friends are my second family, so I miss being on-line. Come on DSL!!

Oh yeah, and the pool has been shut down for the fall-winter. Which means the water level is now below the mouth of the filtering process, and the hose that goes from the sand-filter tank has been drained. Plus the filter-tank itself. If you still want to swim here, swim at your own risk if you're worried about germs. See ya next spring or sooner if you come to visit and swimming isn't your main agenda. *smile*

Anyway, that's what I've been up to. How 'bout you?

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