Sunday, June 02, 2013

3737 Wasting time...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

You can give a man a fish and he will eat for a day,
or you can teach a man to fish and he
will sit in his boat all day pouting because no one gave him another fish.


Amost all birds, no matter what they eat as adults, feed their babies meat (bugs, worms, larvae) because the babies need protein to grow muscles and bones.  Even adult seed-eating birds need real seeds.  They won't get the nutrients they need from processed stuff like bread.

So I have to (secretly) snort at my neighbors who toss out bread scraps to "feed the birds".  It's ok once in a while, to attract birds to look at them, but I wish people wouldn't make a habit of it.

If you want to feed baby birds, you should put out a chunk of rotting meat, to attract bugs.  The parent birds would appreciate that.  Or half a container of cottage cheese.  That'll be full of nice fat squirming maggots within hours.  Yummy!


I went to the country house last Thursday, returned yesterday, first visit since last fall.  I was very worried about what I'd find.  Afraid the house would be full of yellow jackets, mice, spiders, snakes.  Afraid I'd find all the pipes and wires stolen.  I was worried enough that I reserved a hotel room for Thursday and Friday nights.

Actually, I was surprised that the house was actually fine.

Well, the mice had gone to town over the winter.  There was nothing for them to eat, but it was a warm place to hang out.  And they did nibble the buttons on the TV remote.  Finger oils on the buttons, I guess.  (Maybe potato chip flavored oil.)  They had gnawed them down flat.  I could still use the remote, by pressing the buttons into the base.

I had taken my laptop so I could keep up with the mail and feed reader, and because there was an eBay auction I wanted to snipe.  And because the country house has no internet, I took along the portable wifi pack I'd bought a few months ago to replace the (lost, accidentally left at a hotel) plug-in DSL dohickey that had served me so many years.  (I try never to use "public" wifi like in hotels and coffee shops, because I don't trust their security).  I tested the setup again just before I packed up Thursday to leave.  Worked fine.

Got to the (internet connection-less cheap place) hotel Thursday night, and although my cell phone had four bars, the wifi pack had only none or one bar.  First thing Friday morning I took it to the Verizon store, waited for a half hour for a rep to get to me, complained that it wouldn't pick up a signal, and that although I had been told that the battery would last a week if it was left on and a month if turned off, I'd never gotten more than two hours use before it needed charging.  So they kept it for the day to test the battery.

Then I went to the house but didn't get much done because I had to meet Piper for lunch.  I absolutely did not go to his office, because every time I've done that I've ended up sitting there for an hour or more waiting for him to get loose.  Damn!  If he's going to insist that we meet, he'll do it on my terms.  I called him and said I'd be at the village diner at 2 pm (that's when I eat lunch on this six-meal plan), and that I'd be there one hour.

Well, Piper being Piper, the lunch was the usual almost two hours.

Didn't get make much forward progress back at the house, had to clean up mouse poop and refill all the plumbing traps that had dried out over the winter, stuff like that, and then go back to Verizon early evening.  They said the battery was fine, that it will last a week left on but asleep and a month turned off, but if you're using it, two hours is about right.  What the hell!?  But, they noticed that even there, where it should have had 4 or 5 bars, it was picking up only 1 or 2.  So eventually they swapped out the SIM card, and it went to 4 to 5 bars.  They have such crowds in there that you have to sign in and wait.  I was there about an hour and a half.

But now it's all fixed, right?

Back at the hotel, now it would come up and connect to the laptop, but not to the internet.  "Local connection only".  Huh?

Friday morning back to Verizon.  Sign in and wait again.  This time I took the laptop, too.  The device is bad.  It worked in NJ, but the last thing it had done before I packed it up to leave was auto-install a software update.  They figure the update must have gone bad, but that doesn't really make any sense.  No idea. It's still under warranty so they will send me another, will arrive Tuesday, then I have to go to the NJ Verizon shop and get the laptop tweaked for the new device.  That's going to eat up half the day Wednesday.

I am also pissed because they no longer sell the simple little plug-in I had used for so long with no problems, so I was forced to upgrade to this thing, which is complicated enough to need software updates, and therefore has the potential to crap out again at any time, especially after the warranty is gone.  I hate being forced to upgrade to something less reliable and more complicated (and more expensive) than the old thing!  (My cell phone is a little clamshell that takes and makes calls, and that's enough for me.  I think it can text, too, but I've never tried.  It needs charging maybe once a week. I hope to hell it never breaks.)


So, between Piper and Verizon, I got nothing done on that trip.  And a trip to the country house isn't cheap.  $40 in gas, 260 miles worth of tolls, and this time at least two nights at the (cheap) hotel.  I am royally pissed.

So, ok.  I get home, and the first thing I do is start up the laptop to check all the things I hadn't been able to check.  Here I use the house cable wifi.

"Local connection only."  Huh?  No internet again!?

Oh, my God!  Is it the laptop that's screwed up, not the little device?  What do I do now?  What about the new device that will be arriving, and my laptop is screwed up?  How much time have I already wasted on this?  Oh Good Grief!  I completely freaked.

I went over to Daughter's house and asked if I could use her laptop to check my mail and feeds.  Hercules was there, and I asked their advice about what to do with the laptop.  He said if I want to buy a new laptop (this one is six years old, and the a, e, t, and h keys are worn blank, and I don't touch type, and that's the least of its problems)  he'd transfer all my junk for me.  He suggested that I bring Herman (my laptop's name) over and try it with their house wifi.  So I did, and guess what - it worked.

My city house wifi somehow got messed up, too, and I wasn't even here!

So back to my house, and I reset the house wifi (pulled the plug and plugged it back in again) and it worked just fine.

Two separate unexplained problems.  Weird.

Someone is trying to tll me something.


I'm going to have to do something about Piper.  He wants to have lunch every time I go up there.  I've explained to him over and over that I don't really have the time when I'm there.  This trip I tried to limit him to one hour, but that doesn't include that I get dirty working there, and there's no A/C so I have to wash up and change clothes and drive into town and back again and then change again, so even one hour for lunch is actually more like almost three.  And it's never just one hour anyway.  Not to mention that the house is cooler earlier in the day, before the sun hits the glass walls on the west.

New rule:  I will have lunch with him every fourth trip.  Period.  And I'm considering making it an early dinner, so I don't lose the earlier part of the day.

Wish me luck.  I must not cave in when he starts acting hurt!


Becs said...

Hm. Perhaps as the ickier days of summer approach, you'll want to spend more time in your country house. Wafting breezes and all that and you can use "summer" as a verb.

Piper when seen is a little on the high side of maintenance, it seems, but worth it in the long run.

~~Silk said...

What wafting breezes? I have five fans there, but when the temp outside is in the 90s, they don't do a lot of good. They just help dry the sweat. No A/C there. The heat pump crapped out years ago, and there's no longer parts available for it. A/C is on the to-do list, right behind the water conditioner and replacing the salted-up toilets that don't flush any more.