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We wrapped our contract with a big-name TV provider and opted for a new, incoming service provider, one just moving into town.  New Internet service, TV and land line phone.  Bundle deal, latest tech, done.

It’s kind of a warm-fuzzy to have a home phone.  The nostalgia factor alone is interesting, ya know?  And it means G’s sister can call him from Holland when the mood strikes, and he can actually hear the darned thing ring.  (Big issue with cell phones, which I always have trouble hearing.)

The TV quality jumped exponentially.  I didn’t realize how crappy our TV connections were until we tied in with the new provider.  And the Internet service?  Ho-lee shit.  Faster.  Way, way, WAY faster.  Even with our antiquated computers the connection is obviously much improved.

Only remaining unconnected item is the printer, which we had setup as WiFi and is now offline because we can’t connect to it to update the network password.

I won’t go through all the convolutions I went through to try and get it operational.  I’ll just say that it required connecting to a computer with USB.  It shouldn’t have been a big deal, except the only computer close enough to hook up was one so old it’s pretty much an electricity-sucking brick.  From a sheerly functional standpoint – it doesn’t function.  It turns on and if you wait long enough it’ll boot up.  But it takes a good 5-10 minutes just to find and load its own control panel.  If you try to do anything more robust than that, forget it.

A while back, G had loaded Win 7 to it and it’s a 2003-ish Dell desktop.  Yes, he got it loaded, and it accepted the WiFi USB dongle.  After a few hours of evil eye from me today (since he’d promised me weeks ago he’d do this) he uninstalled Win 7 and took it back to XP.  Took him a few tries to get it to load even that, and unfortunately the Win 7 machine won’t recognize the USB stick that connects it to the WiFi.  So yeah – again, that electricity-sucking brick.

Normally I’m the house tech.  G is pretty geeky when it comes to basic computers, but anything and everything else electronic falls squarely into my lap (and I’m fine with that.)  I have been trained to fix everything from lawn mowers to big-screen TVs to washers and dryers and refrigerators, and all points in between.  In this case, though, I washed my hands of the mess.  If G had gotten the computer reset when I asked him to do so several weeks ago, we wouldn’t be up against the wall like we are now with the printer.  (Which, by the way, HE wants reconnected.)

So far I’ve refrained from pointing and laughing.  Barely.

G and I did our yard sale circuit yesterday.  It was an interesting day.  Considering we’re up over 100 degrees in this part of the world we didn’t expect to find many yard sales at all.  Instead, we not only found ’em but we scored, big time. I think our single biggest expenditure was $5 for a bench grinder.  I won’t go through everything – we literally had our little call FULL, with a combination of free and cheap goodies, and we spent very little money (less than it would cost for one trip to the movies for two people).  We hadn’t gone for a while because money was so tight, but we were both going stir crazy.

G pointed out that we could sell any ONE of several things we bought and could get back everything we paid out for ALL the things we bought, combined.  (This based on current Craigslist pricing, not “retail”.)

Little Guy is at his daddy’s house for the second of two weeks of swimming lessons and potty training.  It’s quieter here during the week, but really put into perspective how much he’s learning and how fast he’s learning it. In a week’s time you could tell an appreciable difference in his speaking skills.  Smart, smart kid.  (He did a flip of his normal schedule, so was here for the weekend and at dad’s for the weekdays.)

Work is work. I’m there, tooling around on my scooter, and trying to cope with the deteriorating knee without taking any more time off.  I would love to have this thing fixed for good, but the doctors have already told me it’s possible it won’t ever be resolved short of a knee replacement.  I’m of the attitude that if that’s the solution, let’s get it done already.  Unfortunately the medical community would rather do fifty outpatient surgeries plus radiation treatments, which combined don’t work, before they’ll do the real deal.  And I don’t have the time off to just drop out of work for several weeks at a time every year until the docs get their acts together.

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