Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Cats, Computers, Crappers, and a wonderful family

After a self imposed computer sabbatical, I'm back to report the gory details.

1. Cats. We still have two, Puddy, also know as Pimp Kitty, due to the limp he has had for the past several years with a dysfunctional right front paw. Puddy has a new place to hang instead of the walk ways in the house, he has a cat tower, with a view to the backyard and a stuffed toy that is affectionately know as his "mama". Ya got to be there. 2nd cat, Napoleon around Thanksgiving became an indoor cat. He had been roaming the neighborhood, coming in for a bite but staying out all night and a lot during the day during the warmer months. He apparently was unaware of boundaries, because an upset neighbor, warned Kathy that if he appeared on his property (several houses away), Napoleon would "disappear". So I went to work on taming this wildcat. He howled for a few nights, we took extra steps to prevent him from running out the garage door and he has gotten used to the warmth of the inside of a house. He is still a little rough in his playing, but he is learning.

2. Computers. I wrote last year about my repeated attempts to keep a computer running and working properly. Well, my back-up laptop, the Acer Aspire 9500, kept crashing after I had our engineer at work do some modifications so I could get on the network at the radio stations. Just about every night, I would spend time working on the computer to fix the crash problems to no avail. It was taking too much time. So I was checking into the cost of having my old Toshiba with the faulty screen repaired, and trying to hold out as long as possible. Over the weekend I found out it could cost $500 to $600, and knowing in the back of my mind there were a few other things wrong with that computer, I decided to start shopping. My son still has his original laptop from college that had been covered under warranty and has lasted him for a good 4 years.
During that same time frame, I have had three laptops. Now I am also a heavy user. It goes with me everywhere. So I decided I needed a smaller laptop; instead of the big 17 inch screen, this is 14. I also wanted power, 2 gig instead of 1/2 a gig of RAM. And it had to be around $1000. Extra money would be spent on service contracts, so I bought the three year, full protection plan from a store that I trust will be around in three years, Best Buy. Best Buy also has the ability to do in-store repairs on H.P. laptops which was also an important part of the equation. As I write today, I'm in the process of moving files from my old computers to the new laptop, (which incidentally can automatically access my work network). Plus I am in the process of moving to online storage of files so I will have full access to stuff I need no matter what.

3. Bathroom. Almost 2 years ago we moved into our current house. It's an older home, around 45 or 50 years old. A three bedroom ranch. Sometime in 2008, I will redo the master bathroom sink and vanity. However, we have had another bathroom problem since we moved in. The toilet in the main bathroom was a "poor flusher". Original toilet perhaps, but it probably had been replaced once before. We were told by a drain specialist that it would need replacing. So after ignoring it for a few months, I decided to replace the toilet this weekend.

Now I have done this before so I knew the basics of what would need to be done. Problem was this is a house on a concrete slab and there were additional repairs that needed done that I was not qualified to do. I really did not want to mess up the situation worse than it was, and well, I finally called in the professionals to finish the job. He'll be here tomorrow. (This toilet thing was also part of my computer sabbatical, as I told myself that the crapper would take priority over the piece of crap computer.)

4. Family and Friends. Christmas afternoon, Kathy and I went to a movie. Did the same yesterday afternoon. Abby was having friends over and with just one bathroom, we decided to take off and leave. We saw Charlie Wilson's War, then went downtown for an early dinner with friends and wrapped it up with a game night with more friends. Made it back home by around 10:30 New Years eve and fell asleep before the clock struck 12. I also talked to all the kiddos and we all did "phone hugs" as they went to their new years celebrations with friends.
Kathy is working today, the snow is falling, and all is well as we kick off 2008!

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