Friday, March 31, 2017

Still Here...

Okey dokey folks. Well, once again, here I am with a pile of half finished posts in my drafts folder. I just can't seem to get over the hump in terms of writing something meaningful.

Soooo... I guess I'll just give you the condensed version.

First of all, I FINALLY got my new web server up and running. There was great rejoicing!

Well, there was great rejoicing until the thing went down inexplicably for 6 hours.

I'm not ready to give up yet, but it is a tad bit disconcerting. I think it encountered a problem with a routine update to the operating system, but I'm not entirely sure. Anyhow, when it's functioning my websites are running much better and faster.

And apparently my home computer was feeling left out because it decided that if the server was gonna get replaced, it wanted in on the action.

This has been something I've been avoiding for years, since my computer was over 10 years old and had been upgraded to its limits. But when it started making a noise that sounded like a rocket ship taking off, and sporadically refusing to boot...

... well, I decided the time had come.

Actually, the nail was in the coffin was when it took me 30 minutes to rename a file.

So, I'm writing to you from my brand spanking new Windows 10 machine. In general I'm liking this new PC - it's significantly faster than my old one, and it's very nice not to have the thing hang up every time I try to do anything.

There is a bit of a learning curve though (NO! I do NOT want to store all 100 gigabytes of old photos on the cloud, thank you very much - that's why I bought a terabyte disk drive!) but I'm getting it figured out.

And apparently, the only folks using desktops these days aside from programmers and graphic designers are... wait for it... gamers! So yes, the new computer came complete with colorful led lights giving my office the slight vibe of a 1970's discotech. Groovy. (She says without the slightest hint of sarcasm.)

The experience of having to set everything up again is a big daunting though... Oh... and it's been complicated by the fact that one of my credit card numbers got stolen - the one that has everything automatically charged to it. GRRRR!!!! I must say that I'm really looking forward to the day when technology can authenticate our existence without the need for a zillion passwords!

In other news, our wacky weather continues. After an incredibly warm and dry February and first part of March, the pattern has changed and now it's cool and rainy. And now they're saying we're gonna get 3-6 inches of snow overnight! With the crazy heat I went ahead and planted the spinach and peas in early March, and they're about an inch tall now. I'm also experimenting with growing radishes (another cool weather crop) and they're just starting to sprout. So everything's nestled in under a layer of frost cloth.

The green onions and garlic think it's mid-summer already though. I've been harvesting onions for weeks now, and the garlic looks lush and healthy. Hopefully it will survive the snow.

CatMan & I have been taking advantage of the weather to get lots of biking miles in. With the combination of the mild winter and the fact that I beefed up my winter riding wardrobe, we didn't have any long breaks from riding this year, so we seem to be heading into the spring in the best shape ever.

Seriously, we did 55 miles yesterday and it didn't seem like a particularly long ride. So assuming we don't get flooded out this year, we're hoping to conquer a few longer rides this summer- we've got a 65 miler with lots of hills, and a fairly flat 75 mile route in our sights.

Here's a photo from a recent ride with some cool iridescent clouds. Not quite as impressive on the photo as in person, but the colors you see next to the sun aren't an artefact from the camera, the clouds really were that color.

Of course, before any of that can happen, I have to get brave enough to replace my chain. Apparently bike chains actually stretch and need to be replaced every 5000 miles or so. Who knew? I'm hoping that it won't be as difficult as it sounds!

And... of course, I did heave an enormous sigh of relief when the Republican "health care" bill went down in flames.

I'm sure the battle is far from over, but I do feel like there's a bit of a reprieve. (FYI- I would absolutely agree that the system needs some changes, but asking self-employed folks ages 50-64 to pony up $15K per person per year, just for the premium payments on a high deductible plan, does not exactly seem like a fair proposal to me.)

I do have to say that I find it just a tad bit ironic that the reason the plan failed was not because it would kick so many people off of health care, but because it wasn't "conservative" enough. Well, any port in a storm, as they say... at least as long as it's not port 25 - because for reasons that are still a mystery to me, the new server refuses to recognize unencrypted SMTP... oh wait, I shifted gears again there didn't I.

OK, well on that note...

How are things in your little corner of the universe?


  1. Hey, nice to hear from you! I'm glad it's not all frustrating boringness--yay for bicycling.

    I'm still young. I say that because I slipped in mud and landed on my hip, arm, and head, and I did not break a hip. Woo! I did bruise an arm muscle though. That's strangely painful but will feel fine soon and it's not even dangerous to move it or anything.

    The best thing in my corner of the universe is that I'm seeing a friend tomorrow night in a play written by a witty friend-of-a-friend that supports a public library (in another town); and the ticket includes Italian dinner.

    1. Yikes! I'm glad you weren't badly hurt. Doesn't sound like fun though. Hopefully Italian food will make you feel better! :-)

    2. Heh. Arm feels better every day. The Italian food was good and the mystery play was fun. Woo!

  2. Glad to hear from you. I too have a computer that takes forever to do anything, although not usually 1/2 hour. We've been talking about replacing it for a few years now. However, we probably won't be computer shopping now because our car is dying. It needs more repairs than it's worth, o we have to start car shopping. Never fun, but I need a car to get to work.

    1. Oy Vay! That's another one I've been avoiding for a while. I love my little Honda, but the transmission is starting to make unhappy noises. Since it gets driven less than 1000 miles/year, I haven't been terribly worried about it, but I'm sure the time will come.

      Perhaps I just have unrealistic expectations, but does it seem to you that things just don't last like they used to? I mean, my entire childhood we had one car, one phone, one TV - and none of them ever needed upgrading or significant repair. Perhaps I'm just getting old.

      Anyhow, good luck with the car thing.

    2. Our transmission is acting strange also. We're afraid any day now it will just stop when we're out and we'll be stranded.

    3. That would be bad! I think it was 4 years ago that the mechanic told me my transmission might be going bad... and not much has changed. Then again... 600 miles per year...

  3. Really enjoyed your post today, I needed a good laugh and that last picture is the story of my life.

  4. Good to hear from you- I hope the new server doesn't throw too many wobblies and that the plants all survive the snow!

    My allotment is now dug over, thanks to my parents who are retired and therefore have time to help me (they have an allotment each on the same set of plots as mine so they keep an eye on mine when they visit theirs). Tomorrow I am planning to go and plant potatoes, as the ground has warmed up a bit and the weather is supposed to be nice-about 13C, which is not quite as warm as the 17C we had last week! I meant to plant some seeds in the greenhouse today but I got distracted by going through my clothes- I seem to have accumulated lots of excess stuff again- so lots that is not worn has found its way into the charity bag. Now contemplating how to make the corner that was supposed to be my reading nook and is now a pile of craft stuff hidden behind a handy curtain less messy... I suspect the only real answer is use the yarn I have and stop buying yarn!

    It's the Easter holidays and I have two weeks off, which is why I am entering a cleaning phase, as I never find the time when I am working. Also need to repaint bathroom floor, sort out the garden...etc etc... in conclusion, lots of plans, probably making my to do list too long!

    1. I hope you have better luck with potatoes than I seem to. I think I'm probably just not good at mounding up the dirt to keep them covered. I read something once about growing them in plastic trash bags - sounded interesting. In theory it makes it easier to mound the dirt and when it's harvest time you just dump them over rather than having to dig them up (I always end up destroying a good portion of them trying to dig them up!) Might be worth trying this year. I think the key is to provide adequate drainage holes and not to over water!

      Best of luck with your de-cluttering. If I can ever get past all of this geeky computer stuff, my next task is to tear up the ghastly avocado green carpet! Hope you enjoy your Easter holidays! Does everyone in England get 2 weeks off for Easter? We don't get any time off for Easter here in the states!

    2. I only get time off because I work in admin in a school and my job is term time only (which means I get paid less but WOO HOO TIME OFF!) It's like working part time but getting all of my non-working days in massive chunks...
      Most people get a four day weekend over the Easter weekend- Good Friday and Easter Monday are Bank Holidays. I say most people, as this is probably the first time in years I have had the Easter weekend off, as I used to work in the heritage industry and in retail, which meant working when everyone else was relaxing! (Or that's what it felt like!) We did get the time back later, but it's not quite the same.

      My potatoes usually grow ok- if I harvest them before the slugs get them! If it's dry they do need watering to stop them getting scabby. What tends to go wrong with yours? You can definitely grow potatoes in bags, I've not done it but my parents have. I always ruin some of them when I dig them up too, I think it's unavoidable!

    3. Well, let's see... I don't think we have any bank holidays around Easter - not sure why. It's funny, but Easter was a HUGE holiday in Norway, but not really a big deal here - at least not that I've ever noticed. But so glad you get some time off!

      And in terms of potatoes - well... mostly they just don't produce many actual potatoes - I usually end up with one giant potato, which I don't get covered properly, so it turns all green and nasty. And then the plant doesn't really produce more than just that one. I'm thinking that I just don't get around to "mounding" them properly, and maybe the plastic bags would help with that. I did try them in big pots one year, but apparently I watered them too much because they all turned to slime. Maybe this will be the year that I figure out the key to growing them!

  5. It warmed up this weekend and the last of our snow melted, so I'm ready to finally go out to the shed and get my bike ready for another season. I'm definitely ready for it.

    I put on a new bike chain once. It was annoying and required a special tool to force a pin out, but definitely was doable.

    1. Well, I had a bit of an adventure changing the chain, but since I've ridden about a hundred miles on the new chain with no problems, I think I did OK. You really did have to be Hercules to work that little pin tool though. I ended up attaching vice grips to the handles just so I could get enough leverage to turn the darned thing!

    2. Hope you enjoy your bike rides!

  6. I'm new to your blog but enjoyed this post. Sounds like you keep really busy. Hope your computer/server issues smooth out soon and you will see me again as I enjoy your dry wit :)

    1. Awww... thanks for visiting, and I'm so sorry it's taken me ages to reply. I'm hoping to improve that soon...

  7. Your first picture is from The Aristocats, isn't it? I love that movie! We still have it (on VHS ... hangs head in shame ... ) and I enjoy it as much as the kids do.

    I can't even think about all of your techie troubles or I'll get stressed.

    I thought of you when the health care reform bill failed. I think my brain is wayyyyyyyyy too simplistic for politics. In my mind, instead of dumping everything with Obamacare and starting from scratch, we should figure out what works well with the current plan and keep that, tweak areas that need to be tweaked, and what totally isn't working should be thoughtfully replaced. I live in a fantasy world.

    1. Actually, I don't know where the picture came from - I just found it on the interwebs. I don't think I've ever seen that movie, perhaps I should rent it. :-)

      In terms of health care - I just think it's crazy that everything turns into a big political battle. I mean the insane part of it is that Obamacare IS the conservative plan. Seriously, it was modeled on a proposal that the Heritage Foundation came up with back in the 1990s as a counter proposal to the Clinton's universal health care attempt. It all just leaves me shaking my head. I can't tell if this means that the original Heritage Foundation proposal was disingenuous and they didn't really want to provide health care at all, or if they just don't want a Democrat to get the credit. It all just makes me really sad.

      Anyhow, in my heart of hearts what I'd like to see is a hybrid system where there's a single-payer "medicare for all" system that covered preventative care and major things... surgery, cancer, heart attacks, nursing home care, etc. Then let the free market deal with the day to day stuff like runny noses etc. Seems to me like that would make everybody happy. Of course, that's probably a much bigger fantasy than yours is!


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