Thursday, February 07, 2008

Rednecks in the Snow...

Our most recent snowstorm dumped ten inches of perfectly sticky "packing snow" all over the neighborhood. A snowman builder's dream. I sent the kids out yesterday to shovel the driveway, and when they were finished, they played for at least another hour out there. When Vic got home, it was dark, and he was kind of bummed to miss out on all the snow fun. So after the kids were in bed, my husband went outside to build.

What glorious snow structures can a kid-at-heart, creative-minded redneck build? The Parthenon? The Statue of Liberty? The Great Pyramid? Nope. He built this:
A life-sized lawn tractor. Complete with wheels, blade cover, seat and steering wheel. I'm so proud.

This morning, the guy from the gas company wandered through the yard on his way to the meter. Cadence watched him from the back door and said, "Mama, he's taking a picture!" I opened the door and chatted with him a few minutes. He said he couldn't resist taking a picture. Not something you see every day I guess.

I expect it to be completely wrecked by this afternoon, but I did get lots of pictures, so it was fun while it lasted eh?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Murphy's Law...

Tuesday, my computer monitor was flashing and blinking on and off. It only happened a couple of times, and I figured the power cord must have been loose or something. I straightened all the cords and plugs, and called it good. Wednesday when I sat down for my daily dose of blogging and reading, posting and otherwise wasting hours of time on the internet, the monitor was black. Turning the monitor off and on again gave me a picture of my desktop for a few seconds before going black again, so it was clear the issue wasn't the computer itself, thankfully. So I called tech support.

The automated voice on the phone demanded I speak to it. I know I'm old and out of the technological loop at this point, but I feel like a complete jackass talking to a computer. Can I just push a button? Please? Pleasant Automated Voice asked me to speak the name of the afflicted hardware. "If you're having a software issue, say, 'software'..." Unwilling to wait any further, I said "Monitor." Automated Voice asked me to wait a moment, then said, "Please say the serial number of your... plotter... " I don't even know what a plotter is or whether I even have one, but that's not what I said. Hoping the word, "NO!" would send me back to the previous menu, I said it a few times. Automated Voice kept asking for my plotter's serial number. By now I'm pissed off and push the #0 on the phone keypad. Automated Voice now became Condescending Automated Voice and actually said, "I can understand you when you speak to me. Please say the serial number of your... plotter..." Ack. "No, bitch, you can't understand me when I speak to you, because I didn't say 'plotter'!!"

I pushed #0 about five million times and was finally transferred to India. I then spent 45 minutes talking to three different men, first doing all their suggested "fixes" like replugging and restarting, and eventually just saying I was doing them when I wasn't. My monitor is broken. I can't go into BIOS because I can't see the fucking screen. They finally agreed and said they would send me a new one, to arrive in 3-5 business days.

On Wednesday, I called around asking if anyone had a spare monitor laying around. "My kids can't do their typing," I said. "They can't do internet research." Uh.. yeah. The kids need it. My cousin offered to bring over a spare from her parent's house, but couldn't get it for me until Thursday. Ugh.

Thursday, my cousin drove out to her parent's place to pick it up for me, then clear out to my place to drop it off. I spent a good half hour looking for cords and fighting with connectors while cramped under the desk with a flashlight. Woohoo, it worked! I sat back and viewed my desktop in all its glory. Then FedEx pulled up out front with my new monitor. Figures. Laughing, I thanked my cousin for going out of her way to bring me that spare. "You know how it goes," she told me, "If I didn't have a spare for you, they wouldn't have delivered it until next week."

So I can get my internet fix the kids can do their internet research now. Blogs can be read and posted The kids can type papers. And we can return to our regularly scheduled surfing educational activities.