Monday, December 22

2008 Yule Holiday

All the presents plus one human. Clik 2 enlarge

Yesterday we celebrated Yule, the first official day of Winter. We got up before the sun rose so that we could be mostly alert when it did come up. Prior to going out, we collected enough noise makers (coffee cans) for the four of us to bang on to thank the sun for coming up again on 1st day of Winter. Wow, I was writing that down but not really feeling it. I mean, yeah, it was officially the beginning of the winter season, and the point is? The reason for us celebrating on that day is because traditionally it's the longest night and shortest day of the year and we are welcoming the start of the new season and that the days will become longer. Personally I am just 'whatever' with it, but because my wife wants/needs to feel that things are looking better or looking up, then I try and get into it as well. So anyway... we walked around the house and swimming pool, traveling in a clockwise direction, banging on our cans until the sun peaked up over the horizon. Then we came back in because it was freakin' cold out there! I believe it was right around 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but the wind-chill was much colder. After we got back inside we brought all the wrapped gifts out of hiding into the living room. Then we divided them by the 'to' name on each until everyone had their gifts. I took a picture of them all before they were distributed. Good thing we put recharged batteries in the camera the night before, eh? We all liked every present we got. This year we mailed out holiday cards for the first time in a couple of years (we kept putting it off till it was too late), and this year only got a few FROM people. Actually we usually do, but we always hope for more but understand that because we didn't send many out the last couple until this year that it'll be next year before we get many (hopefully). The rest of the day was spent watching football and eating chocolate and cookies, playing on the computers and having a pretty usual day.

Now that I've had some time to relax and write, I'm not nearly as cranky as I was while we were shopping. I mean, the very first thing I was confronted with in town was one of those freakin' annoying bell-ringers. What the hell is the reason for those damn bells? Do they really think we can't see them? Just pisses me off that they expect people to contribute. However, that's just me. Rain almost always drops some change in their containers. Personally... I don't understand why all those alleged millionaires and billionaires can't fund them more and let us peasants spend our money on gifts and supplies for our families and people we know need the help. Plus it seemed liked people in the grocery store were oblivious to anyone but themselves. Stopping in the middle of isles to look around, talk, whatever. In the non-supercenter Wal-Mart, that continued but because the isles are so close together (IE narrow), it made it even more annoying to me.

Of course while in the stores they were playing the traditional holiday music. As freakin' long as I can remember, that same damn music has been played since I was a kid. I haven't been a kid for 3 decades now. I would just think SOMEONE could come-up with different music, or at least quit playing the same stuff every freaking year! Sigh! I swear if I hear the word "Santa" one more time, I going to kill whoever said it. Not really! Happy freaking holidays everyone.

P.S. Just wanted to say that I'm not cranky now. I was while at the store, but not anymore. *smile*

Saturday, December 20

Window's updates and firewalls

The road out?

Crap! I've been thinking about journaling for over an hour now I think. Got sidetracked with a search to find out if the Westell VersaLink 327W had a built-in firewall - still not sure whether it does or not. Found a few semi interesting replies on-line, but since they were pretty geeky/technical, they didn't really mean a whole helluva lot. IYKWIM. Debating if I should say exactly what firewall or walls I'm using or not using, LOL, because I don't want some mischievous troublemaker to find my status and hack my computer. Inside I'm laughing because I seriously doubt they'd find anything juicy. Then again, I'm not really sure why they hack the computers they do. Perhaps they just get in so that they can use the computers to send problems from so that the real computer isn't found, like using a decoy I guess.

As you probably know, I can't install a couple of Window's Office updates that are allegedly high priority. They are KB953404 & 4478. Had been trading emails with 'support' without successful fixes. A couple of days ago they wrote and gave me a phone number to call. Yesterday afternoon I called that number, they gave me another number, then I was connected to an alleged technician who worked specifically with M.O. FrontPage who told me that FP is no longer supported via phone and that I needed to go to their website for email support (this was after being on the phone for an hour with people I could barely understand). And the runaround continues. This morning I found yet another email asking me for a two hour window when it would be okay to call me to fix my issue. I wrote back stating that I would get back to them next week IF I decided it was worth the hassle. I still haven't decided. FYI: Prior to sending me the support phone number, they sent me a long email with 6 methods of fixes. None of them worked.

Friday, December 19

Table, dog, and heater

Enlargable by clicking

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about vacuuming. That meant I needed to move the coffee table, which was a pain in the ass. That's when it occurred to me that we had replaced an office chair with another one and the bottom was in the shed doing nothing but taking-up space. So I decided to put it to use and create the coffee table that not only rolls, but also spins and can be raised if you want so you can use it like a bar table. LOL.

Click Sugar to enlarge her

This is our dog, Sugar. I have no idea why she wasn't in her bed. I thought it was funny and kind of cute so I took a picture.

New heater to get off of wood burning

I know I've mentioned in the past that we got a new large electric heater to see if we could go longer between wood fires, thus lessing the physical labor needed in late Fall and Winter. In this picture it is heating. BTW... it keeps about 800 sq. ft. of living space close to 70*F unless the outside temp stays below 20 for too long.

Saturday, December 13

Esoteric thinking continued...

Clicking enlarges, and I just thought this to be a beautiful picture

More on the deep thoughts or esoteric thinking. Oh wow, I actually spelled esoteric correctly without any hints from the program or spell checker. That has special meaning because...(?) It's just something I thought of and wrote down. If it means something to you... great... if not, that's cool too. What I've been trying to figure-out is not only what to write, but why I should write down what I'm thinking. You know, that ol' "why would people care what I'm thinking?" thoughts. That's when it came to me, or I had a realization, or perhaps it could be called an epiphany... That I should just write what I want and let the words speak for themselves, so to speak. I do think of myself as a rambler. Which is basically a justification for being (want to say flaky, but that's not the right word) all over the map as far as consistency goes. Maybe a better word would be congruity? Hmm... I'll have to think about that. Anyway, today I'm just writing whatever comes to mind. Not worrying about who is interested in anything in particular. Only that I think it's interesting.

We've been watching a PBS channel all morning that has the 'Create' station-symbol in the bottom, right-hand corner of the television screen. Ordinarily I wouldn't choose this channel or any like it, or I would change it. Today I decided not to change it and just do other stuff if the content of the program didn't hold my interest (also, it was my wife who chose the channel). Oddly... I've actually stayed fairly entertained with all the cooking shows that've been on. They've all been about holiday treats like cookies, cupcakes, candy, and things of that nature. That's weird because I've never been a person who cooks, other than something quick because I just can't wait for anyone else to cook for me any longer. LOL. I suppose I do like food, I just don't enjoy the making process enough to be a cook. That and I don't really feel the need to experiment with different flavors that aren't readily available. In other words I don't do much searching for new or different food than what I'm used to eating on an everyday basis. It is the holiday season... so I'm trying to be a little more cheerful, upbeat, fun, light, and in general more in the celebratory mindset. In other words trying not to be a downer to anyone's happiness or frivolity.

In other matters... I do feel guilty of not being a good creativity motivator for getting the kids (used loosely because they're really teens, not kids) to try and do other things to entertain themselves with things that don't involve a television or computer screen. Unfortunately for them, I've never really been a craft seeking person. I don't know what to suggest to them, or even if I should be suggestive. They've never really been the type that cared a whole lot what you think they 'should' be doing. Since they seem to be pretty normal for their age, at least from what I remember from being a teenager, I'm constantly thinking of what, how, if I should teach them on any given day. Whew! That my friend... I recognize what an extreme example of a run-on sentence. LOL.

Brought to you by: FringeFolkFarm

Wednesday, December 10

Sunset picture with deep thoughts attached

I took this picture last month after we got our new-to-us camera. Wanted to see if we really could take pictures that actually looked like we hoped and expected. Yes. I've always like taking shots of sunsets but haven't had a good enough camera for a long time. Anyway, this is a November 2008 sunset looking toward our pasture toward the west.

Was playing a game of pool that I suppose could also be called practice. I was trying to think of a good reason to write in my blog, although already writing in my private journal. No, I don't think that much else besides what I wrote in my journal is interesting enough to anyone but me, to share. I started asking myself why I should write, as if I was someone else. That's when I thought a good answer would be, "Because I can, and that's going to have to be good enough! That's why!" After thinking for a while longer, while still practicing pool shots, I remembered that song by whatshername where she sings, "Do it anyway. hum hum hum hum hum-hum". Those hums are real words that I simply cannot remember. *smile* I'll see if I can find a link to the video, song, or both at the same time, in a minute. It's moments like this that I'm totally unsure on which if any words I should have link to wherever. *sigh* For some reason I have been super contemplative and aware of things I say. Thinking that whatever, is probably just really obvious to everyone else, hence questioning whether I should say anything or not. Questioning why my particular opinion make any more sense then what they already know or think anyway. The funny thing is, I really am not depressed, just having these super deep thoughts all the time. Have you ever experienced that? If so, how long was it (if ever) before you got back to normal hum-drum thinking?

Saturday, December 6

Plastic, pool and sickness continued

Well, don't feel any better this morning. Nose is still stuffy, and when I breathe harder than usual for any reason, I have to fight-off a cough. Which means I shouldn't exert myself, that's all. Not hard since I don't exert much cough inducing effort most of the time. Guess I could mention that when I got outta bed I had a headache and a backache, so first thing was ingesting some Ibuprofen, Mucus relief via generic Benedryl and another medicine. That can't be good for a stomach with nothing on it.

Played a game of pool. Didn't play using regulation rules, just got the ball that was easiest to shoot at, in the pocket. Still took me about 15 minutes, which is what a normal game between two players take-up in minutes.

I mentioned yesterday that we put a sheet of plastic on the north side of the house. Don't know whether it helped the heaters keep the house warmer or not. I know now, because Rain told me, that we need to put some heavy rocks and whatnot along the bottom edge on the outside to keep it from blowing too much. If it blew too much then it would temp fate to raise a wind which might blow the entire sheet of 10X25 foot plastic away. Don't want that to happen. That would hint that we should buy another sheet and put it up to replace it. Don't want to drive into Buffalo to get one, so we'll do everything we can to keep the current one attached to the porch. Anyway that's what I think Rain was possibly thinking when she told me about it needing rocks moved to the bottom of it. Will probably get to work on that after I eat brunch since I can't think of anything else that needs to be done. Well, other than another load of laundry. Need would be too strong a word as I'm not feeling THAT energetic or motivated. The bathroom hamper-basket is full, so it would be appreciated if the things in it were washed. It's mostly towels, but since we still have a couple of clean ones, it's not an emergency to get the dirty ones taken care of.

This morning's been alright. Drank a pot of coffee while watching cartoons that weren't for a less immature audience. Then played pool. Bye.

Rain's new e-store

Friday, December 5

Cold, errands, decorations

If you click it, it will grow

Don't know why, but I cannot get rid of the table-lines while using OpenOffice 3. It probably not even visible to the reader, only to the editor. Doesn't matter. It's my journal and it doesn't need to be perfect.

As you know, I came down with a cold that my wife had earlier in the week. It started with my tongue being extra dry. I thought it was from smoking a pipe. I had planned on not smoking it anymore, ever, but once I figured-out that wasn't why my mouth was dry, I didn't stop. So buying the mint lozenges was really a waste of money even though I do like sucking on them. That was a couple of days ago and today I'm doing a lot better. Seems as though the dry mouth only lasts for 2 days. Today is day 3. Now both of the teens have the cold. E-teen said his throat was dry last night. A-teen said hers started getting dry this morning. Plus she said that she didn't sleep well because she just couldn't get warm. Don't think I had that symptom, or if I did I stayed busy through it. E-teen hasn't said anything about being or getting cold. I started taking a Benadryl pill every four hours or so. Started doing that yesterday afternoon to dry-up any phlegm that may have accumulated in my sinus cavity or lungs. You know, to dry the phlegm before it became a problem, which it hasn't except for a slightly stuffy nose this morning and early afternoon.

We did manage to be feeling good enough to go into town. Stopped at Woods to check and then get new lottery tickets. After that we stopped in the Wal-Mart for an ink cartridge for the computer. They didn't have the one we needed. We also wanted to buy another jar of Teatree oil but we couldn't find that either. The reason we need a new bottle is mostly because the eye-dropper on the old one quit working. Since they did have eye-droppers, we got a couple of those. One for me and the teatree oil and the other to use to squirt oil into the cats' ears to drown the ear mites. Have NOT done that yet. Also stopped at Mickey D's for lunch, then stopped at Meeks to price and/or buy some plastic sheeting for the porch. Meeks didn't have any, so we went to MFA next-door and got some. We've already put it up. Put it up/across the north side of the porch to block the northern wind. Hopefully that'll make it easy to for the house to stay warmer, longer. The living room and computer game/wood-stove room are on the north side, so we're hoping they stay warm longer. Speaking of staying warm... We've gotten used to the living room being either right at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or a little above or below, using only the electric heaters. Haven't started a fire in the wood stove for several days. Did start one a few days ago because A-teen said she was really cold. However, right after I started it she went and took a hot bath. I wouldn't have started a fire if I had known she was going to do that. Oh well, I suppose it's good to keep familiar with starting one just in case our heaters break or can't get the house any warmer because the outside temperature took a nosedive. It has been dropping into the mid to lower 20's the last few mornings. Once the sun is up and shining, the house has warmed-up pretty quickly. Hence why we haven't started any more fires recently. It's kind of nice not HAVING to go slit wood. We have enough already split for the occasional fire.

Speaking of lights, we did put up a few around the inside of the house this afternoon. Rain wanted it to not only be a holiday season, but to look and feel like one as well. Once I got into it I could see the plus side of decorating. It didn't take me long, just didn't really understand why it was necessary. It was explained that it's done because it's winter and "to keep people from slitting their wrists" because everything is dull, bland, and "just another day/season". I guess, it just it necessary for ME, but I understand that others like to cheer-up the place at least once or twice a year.

Wednesday, December 3

Nothing is new, birthdays, computer updates

I was just checking for updated blogs of friends and family. Suffice it to say they're not being very verbose. So it occurred to me that someone may check my blog for updates sometime too and they would probably like to read something new-ish. Truth be told, I haven't been able to think of much 'new' to say. In fact I've been thinking a LOT lately that nothing is new anymore. Almost all of the TV shows we watch regularly are running repeats. We watch pretty much the same things every day. We do many of the same things every day. But today was payday for the month so we went grocery shopping. Our pantry is now mostly full. Got a few things in the freezer and refrigerator, cat food in their feed barrel, boxes of dog food in the pantry as well. Oh yeah and let's not forget the same frikkin' christmas music that's been played for as long as I can remember is being played in all the stores and restaurants these days and it pisses me off! Why can't anyone come-up with some NEW FREAKING CHRISTMAS MUSIC AND MOVIES?!?

I suppose since my birthday was just a few days ago that you might be wondering what I got. 2 shirts, a box of chocolates, a homemade card, cake, pizza, and several hugs and kisses. It was a good day!

On the computer front... still can't get the latest 'Security updates' for 'Office 2003' to install. Uninstalled, reinstalled, changed the registry, ran 'find and repair' programs on FrontPage 2003 and Office Viewer 2003. I've ran update checks several times and only need the ones I already have that won't install. I even downloaded them and did manual installs of said updates to no avail. The only thing I haven't done is call Windows Support and talk to them about it. Which will probably be this week if it's a toll-free call.

Monday, December 1

Thanksgiving and Computer stuff

As you know, Thanksgiving, the holiday, is over. Obviously since it was only one day. That day however, was a good one. Spent all afternoon at our friends house. We had lots of great food, including the Pecan and Pumpkin pies that Rain made for the occasion. Of course she also made brownies that were mainly for our friends. While there we played a couple of games of 'Life - Pirates of the Caribbean'. I won one of them when I played with E. and D. H. started that game, but opted out when/because she was too easily distracted by the movie that was playing on the television. We also talked and ate with A's mother in-law and son in-law.

I had to basically reformat the hard-drive on this computer. Luckily I didn't lose any program. All because I got the icon with the caption that I needed to activate (reactivate actually) my Windows operating system. But I couldn't get the computer to acknowledge that I was doing it. Clicking the icon didn't do anything except make the icon disappear, only to come back the next time the computer was restarted. I read online that if you could uninstall XP SP3 the system would revert back to SP2 and the icon would go away. However, since SP2 wasn't available, that didn't happen. I spent the next 2 days downloading SP2 and in the end went back to SP3 so that the defragment program would work the way it did before. Lots of Window's updates later it's finally (hopefully) back to normal. I've been seriously neglecting my Internet family. Since yesterday, also known as Sunday was my birthday, I didn't worry about them. In fact I was in a mood to take the weekend off of being online much at all except for downloading and reinstalling whatever I needed for the computer. A couple of weeks ago we bought some DVD-RW disks that have 4.7 GB of space. I was thinking at the time they'd be just like regular disks, but they're not. I found that out when I tried to save a full-system backup to one, only to have it (computer) say there was no disc in the disc player. Not real sure, but I think you need a program that converts files into DVD format, which I don't have. Actually, I downloaded something like that a few weeks ago, but I think it's since been deleted for some reason. Probably because I only downloaded it to get the Linux program Ubuntu onto disk. No, I haven't been successful with installing that because I get nervous when it comes time during the process the format the partition. I worry that I'm going to erase the current system by mistake, lose everything again, and have to reinstall everything. So I stop. Or I get brave and try, only to get an message saying there has been an error and the application was not complete and is being canceled.