Archive for December, 2007


Monday, December 31st, 2007

Here are Loyal Readers Numbers Two and Fifteen, inadvertently revealing their true nature as zombies. Frightening. Picture taken Christmas Eve in a dimly-lit room at the Railroad Museum.

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s been a beautiful Monday – sunny and relatively warm. We enjoyed it. Loyal Readers Numbers One, Two, and Three and I went shooting this morning at a range that turns out to be just about ten minutes down the road from us. We were hoping to borrow a shotgun and shoot some trap, but it turns out they don’t have any guns to either borrow or rent. So we used my .22 and had a fun couple of hours. I still need to clean and oil the rifle, which I hope to accomplish either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Happy anniversary to Loyal Readers Numbers Three and Fifteen. It’s been three whole years. Congratulations! And many happy returns. They’re out watching a movie or two and eating lunch. Presumably. I believe they’ll be back for the evening. Although it’s already after 6:00 and dark outside.

It was a nice weekend. We didn’t do much. We planned to go to a museum down in Modesto on Saturday but fortunately checked before leaving. They’re closed between Christmas and New Year’s. Sigh. Well, at least we’ve gotten to two museums this vacation.

We listened to an impromptu organ concert by Loyal Reader Number Two this afternoon. He and Loyal Reader Number Four went to practice for a performance at the upcoming stake conference, and the rest of us went over there a little later. Good concert.

The new Mac has shipped! The FedEx website reports that it should be here on January third. I need to rest up between now and then, since I’m practically guaranteed to be up all night that night.

Pretty much everybody but me around here has a cold right now. Wish me luck avoiding it.

We’re going over shortly to spend the evening with our friends the Hepworths/Englands. Looking forward to it.

Update – LRN3 and LRN15 just got back. Perfect timing, since it’s dinner time.

And it’s time for me to quit. Stay up late tonight! See you tomorrow.

Call me on my cellphone

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Here’s Loyal Reader Number Twelve making a quick call with her favorite Christmas present. She gets busy!

Wonders of Blogger today. I’m kind of surprised good old Anonymous missed it. Friday was our anniversary, and while I did fiddle with computers for quite a while, I didn’t find time to blog.

Speaking of fiddling with computers, I have a tragedy with a happy ending to report. First the tragedy: Loyal Reader Number Four’s computer has bitten the dust. It had been behaving erratically for quite a while – some applications wouldn’t start and others crashed a lot. I took a look at it on Friday and decided it must have gotten a virus or some other corruption, so I tried to reinstall the operating system. It wouldn’t install. I suspected a bad OS disk, so I downloaded the latest version of Ubuntu Linux and tried to install it. It wouldn’t install. That disk had an option to verify the computer’s memory, so I ran it. It reported numerous memory problems, all of them in the same bit, which is consistent with a bad memory stick, of which the computer had only one. I tried installing again anyway and noticed the CD drive was making funny speeding-up-and-slowing-down sounds. Ubuntu reported that it couldn’t install because of a bad CD drive. At that point, I declared the computer dead. Services were held last night in Loyal Reader Number One’s room, at which time the 20 GB hard disk (which SpinRite had declared perfectly functional) and power supply were surgically removed for later transplant and the remains dissected for sport and frolic.

So much for the sad news. Now for the happy ending. Loyal Reader Number Three, LRN4, and I went to a few stores to look at replacement PCs. We saw a few machines she might have liked; the prices weren’t too great, but there were a couple of decent deals. She finally decided to take the plunge and switch to a Mac, though, so I ordered a new Mac Mini for myself (before the Loyal Readers get all huffy, that’s what she asked me to do!) and moved my existing Mini down to her desk. I’m in the middle of setting it up right now. All the software is installed and I’m now moving files – I especially hope to get Entourage to recognize the old Outlook mail and contacts files. Wait a minute – it’s ready for me to give that a try.

— Time lapse —

I’m back. I haven’t been able to get LRN4’s old emails yet, but I do have pretty much everything else set up. We’ve been through a little bit of Mac training and I think she’s going to like it. I have a couple of plans for getting her old emails into the system. They all involve opening them using various programs on Loyal Reader Number Two’s system and saving them in different formats.

And what am I doing for a computer now that LRN4 has my Mac and I don’t have my new Mac yet (it’s scheduled to arrive sometime between January 3 and 9)? Thanks for asking. I have Larry, my Linux server, set up as my temporary emergency backup computer. It has all my email accounts in Thunderbird and copies of all my documents. I’ll be fine. Really.

Otherwise, not much is new. LRN4 and I went out to the local Indian restaurant for our twenty-ninth anniversary celebration. We were the only people eating there, although a couple of people came in for take-out while we were there. I can’t figure out how some of these restaurants stay in business. I figure either they have a good lunch trade or they’re laundering money. In any case, the food was good. We ordered “medium” spiciness and got “outrageously hot,” but it worked out okay. Our mouths burned for just a little while after we got home.

LRN4 isn’t feeling too well today. She has my pity. She might go lie down for a little while to try to recover. Or maybe not.

My helicopter is broken again. It ran into a wall and the same part snapped off. Sigh. I’m going to try to fix it again, maybe more permanently again.

Have a great weekend. See you on Monday.

Train wreck

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Here’s the aftermath of yesterday’s Great Art. Poor Loyal Reader Number Two is now nothing but nose art. Hopefully, he’ll recover soon. I’m sorry to have to share this tragedy with my Loyal Readers.

Loyal Reader Number Five has suggested that I number the list of my Loyal Readers over there on the right for your convenience, since the list is now so long. I’ve thought about it once before but rejected it, preferring to keep the mystery alive. What do my other Loyal Readers think? Would you like to see your names and numbers associated with each other?

It was another great day at home. We did get out to the Manteca museum for a little while this afternoon. It’s a fairly small building – an old church, actually – but it’s jam packed with Important Artifacts. The fun thing was that the docents were all long-time Lardville residents and they knew everyone and everything about this town. Most of it was probably true, to boot. We enjoyed the visit.

Right before our visit the water softener repair guy came and (finally) repaired our water softener. It had stopped working right a few months ago, and Loyal Reader Number Four called it in about a month ago. They came out and discovered that a rarely-broken part was broken; it’s a gear that makes the recharging cycle go. They didn’t stock the part (since it’s so rarely broken), so they ordered a new one. The wrong one came, so they reordered it. General Electric sent it to the wrong repair shop, so they reordered it again. It finally came, it’s been installed, and the water should be soft by tomorrow. We’re relieved.

And I have no more to write about tonight. See you tomorrow.

On the tracks

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Here’s Loyal Reader Number Two straying onto the tracks, just a little too close to that oncoming train. I think that’s a clear violation of some safety standard or two. Fortunately, he made it okay.

No comments the last couple of days. I guess all my Loyal Readers are busy enjoying their Christmas break. As am I.

We hung around today. That’s about it. This evening, we watched two movies we had received for Christmas from Loyal Reader Number Four’s brother and then jacuzzified after dinner. Pleasant day. Tomorrow’s plans are open, but I believe they include leaving the house for at least a little while. I also need to get to some of my projects before there’s no holiday left.

Speaking of which, today was my sixth day off. Wow! I’m back to work one week from today.

About the movies. They sent us “cleaned up” versions, so we knew they would be acceptable. We received The Ultimate Gift and Touching the Void. The latter was a really intense true story of a two-man mountain climbing expedition that went very wrong. It was shot in documentary style, which was an interesting touch. Even though you know both climbers survived because you see them talking about it, you really wonder how they’ll make it. Very well done. However, I looked it up and discovered the original movie was rated R, so if you can’t find the cleaned up version, I don’t recommend it.

The Ultimate Gift was another intense movie for completely different reasons. Very touching, very heartwarming. The movie’s website treats it more like a way of life than a show. In spite of that, I highly recommend the movie, which was originally rated PG, so I don’t think they cut anything out of our version.

About the censored versions of movies. There was a company in Utah that made and sold them and had a pretty brisk business going. The movie studios sued them out of existence, so LRN4’s brother’s wife bought a bunch of movies during the closeout sale. I’m not sure why the studios shut them down, other than just to harass good people. They claimed the company was destroying their “artistic vision” or something like that. They don’t seem to mind destroying it themselves for the versions they show on airplanes and television, though. Totally irrational.

Anyway. Time for bed. See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Here’s Loyal Reader Number Twelve trying to decide whether to go upstairs or not. Be good or be naughty? Decisions. As I recall, she went up.

Fresh, new Great Art is on its way. I have a few good pictures from yesterday’s museum on the official Morrowlife Great Art Camera. I’ll try to get them downloaded to the computer soon.

Merry Christmas! We had a great day today, starting with presents, moving to good food, going on to pleasant company, and ending with a fun movie. We watched Ratatouille, which we received from Santa last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s about a rat who wants to be a chef. Where do they dream up these things?

Some of the Loyal Readers also went out to see the latest National Treasure (link warning: spooky National Treasure sounds) movie. They’re rating it somewhere between a B+ and an A. Loyal Reader Number Five interprets that as either a B++ or an A–. I’ll go with that.

Otherwise, not much to report. I was excited to get my little RC helicopter and it was going great until I seriously broke it this afternoon. I superglued it back together, and we’ll find out tomorrow if that fixed it. Otherwise, it was great fun while it lasted.

And I’m too busy enjoying the remainder of Christmas to go on. See you tomorrow.