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» Sunday, May 11, 2008They Call the Weekend Eventful
Bad afternoon at the computer: just after noon, I was working on an order that I hoped to have ready for Monday morning. In ICE, first you enter all the information, then you tell the system to build the order in Word by pressing a button. It's automatic. I was having a bit of trouble, so it was a perfect time to abandon computer to use the bathroom since I don’t dare touch anything when it's buildingit's that ticky.
When I returned ten minutes later, the computer was still in the middle of the build. This was peculiar since the build usually takes less than a minute. I waited a few more minutes and nothing else happened.
Unfortunately, it just locks up like this occasionally. The only thing to do is log off, and completely shut off the computer so the lock-up disengages. If you just log off and log on again, or turn the computer off and on again immediately, the connection doesn’t release and when you log back on, you are taken directly back to the locked-up document.
So I turned off the computer and had lunch. Unfortunately, as part of my lunch hour, I started a load of clothes and then vacuumed the stairs. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I stepped on the plug for the Dirt Devil. I was in stocking feetdamn, that hurt! The place I stepped with swelled up a little, and I limped around for the rest of the day and about half of Saturday.
Ready to get back to my order, I logged on. Everything worked fine, except that when I tried to get back into ICE, the application never came upjust Microslop Word with the stuck document. Weirdturning off the computer has always worked previously.
It never worked, all afternoon. I rebooted the computer and left it twice more. Both times the document, still stuck, came up when I tried to get into ICE, but not ICE itself. I noticed that Word was still writing to the stuck document (there's a little icon at the bottom of a Word document that shows you when activity is going on). So I answered e-mail and telephone calls and did follow-up work on the orders I had, but never could work on that document again or any other order in ICE. Pissed as hell about it, too. Thank God I’d done my purchase authorizations this morning!
After supper at Oriental Café, we went to Lowes. We had a $10 off $50 purchase card, so we bought the three new shades we needed (I got cream-color for the bedroom) and then three rolls of that wire fencing that you put around trees or flower beds. The back fence to our yard, which was put up when the complex was built, is high up off the ground rather than hugging it like the one we had installed. In most places Willow can easily get under it. We are going to edge that fence with the wire fencing to keep her in.
When we emerged from Lowes, it was pitch dark, but what looked like a bird was flying around one of the big light fixtures. It had to have been a bat, swooping and diving after the insect smorgasbord being offered it!
We stopped at Borders because we had 30 percent off coupons and I had many, many Preferred Reader Coupons. I got a copy of one of the Torchwood books; this is supposed to have a subplot about Gwen and Rhys. I love Rhys. I figured I married the American version. :-)
We struck out for Trader Joe's today, to replace supplies and also bought some wonderful tasting chicken salad. It doesn’t taste totally of icky mayonnaise like a lot of chicken salads, is low fat, and also has tiny currants and slivered almonds in it. From there we stopped at the Borders at the Avenue at East Cobb. They were the only Borders that had a copy of Only Yesterday, the Frederick Lewis Allen book about the "Roaring 20s" that was written in the 1930s and which is supposed to be a classic.
We made a couple other stops, then it was the usual Saturday visit to the hobby shop. I sat reading Tasha Alexander's And Only to Deceive, a Victorian mystery, and by the time I was quite into it knew I wanted the sequel.
On the way home we stopped at MicroCenter. I received a performance bonus a few weeks ago and wanted to use some of it to buy a new laptop. We noticed that several Lenovo units got good ratings in Consumer Reports, and since James works for IBM he gets a discount. I wanted to look at some Lenovos to get an idea of the keyboard. We also bought a new router for the computer setup: we found one that supported both wired and wireless connections. This we installed before chat, and, although it gave us some trouble during setup and a little more next morning, it seems to be working okay (cross fingers).
We had dinner at Oriental Café again since we had a coupon expiring, stopped at BJs for granola bars for our lunches, had our dessert (ice cream at Bruster’s with another coupon), then stopped at Lowes to pick up something we had forgotten and Borders to pick up the And Only to Deceive sequel.
When I downloaded e-mail yesterday I had gotten a big surprise. Biz, on the Yahoo group for Remember WENN, had passed on some information about a Kentucky theatre that was doing a mystery festival. One of the plays being produced next month is one written by Rupert Holmes, a combination of two of his Remember WENN stories in musical form. I looked up info on the show and where it was, only a six-hour drive from here. I started thinking how we had not gone away for the weekend last November for our anniversary as we had planned because of Schuyler and this sounded like it was going to be fun. So I talked to James about it and we decided we might like to go.
We were talking to Rodney about it tonight on chat, thinking he might be interested, and were discussing where to stay (we found a host hotel, but after reading about twenty really awful reviews of the place, decided to pass). We have reserved rooms at the Sleep Inn instead, through Pets Welcome.com. It ended up being very late when we signed off; we had some "weather" of the bad sort predicted and the thunder had already begun by the time we headed off to bed. Rain was pattering on the chimney cover as we shut the computers down. No sooner did we leave her than Willow started to bark after each thunderclap. She quieted a bit after James spoke to her, then the weather radio began to shrill. We woke up each time the tornado watches slid east over Georgia. It was not until after five that we got to sleep.
Which brings us to today. Today was a nice day for us, but not for others. The storms that crawled south of us created six tornadoes and left damaged homes and property in its wake. Some houses are complete write-offs. One tree smashed into a house and just missed someone sleeping on the sofa. Two other trees devastated a family’s house and their three carsbut they got out alive, thankfully. One house looked like a giant can opener peeled off the top, then a huge spoon came down and scooped the inside out. Six counties have been declared disaster areas.
As usual after these storms, the sky is a beautiful blue and everything looks washed clean. The wind was quite wild all day and is still blowing; it sounds like the surf on a stormy afternoon and the trees are just as tossed as the water usually is. I don’t know how the birds will sleep tonight in those wildly tossing branches.
James had forgotten to get up and go to Kaiser for a doctor-ordered blood test yesterday; since our office is the after-hours treatment center, the lab is open on weekends. So we rather staggered up this morning to take him to the lab. We decided not to try to go out for breakfast since it was Mother’s Day. Instead, from there we went to Costco for gas and then inside for milk. They fed us pretty well, including "popcorn chicken" and full quarters of black Angus burgers. I found Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods on the book pallets as well as a book I have been considering, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, about a family who lives off the land for a year.
When we came out of Costco, as nice as the weather had been upon entering, it was even better: the cold front had come through and the air was delicious, in the low 70s and almost no humidity. We reveled in it for the rest of the day.
Once the milk was put up, I told James that this nice cool weather was something God had given us today and we ought to take advantage of it. First we opened all the windows wide and then I put up all the new shades. James fixed the problem that showed up with the router this morning, and then we went out into the yard.
We did the really necessary thing first: placed handles on the inside of both gates to the yard. They have a handle on the front, but not on the back, so that we were having to handle the bare wood and getting splinters when pulling the gate closed. Then, since the woods and the back fence were in shade, we put up the wire fencing. This was...fun. ::snort:: Nothing bad, just fractious wrestling with the wire. We’d unroll a reel, straighten it a bit, then I would set it into the earth as best I could and James used the staple gun to staple it to the fence.
We broke the wallpapering rule. We thought we needed three reels and thus should have bought four, just in case, and returned the fourth if we needed. Instead we needed the fourth, so we had to run to Lowes and back before we could finish. But it was all done by three-thirty and now we will feel a little more secure if Willow takes off after a squirrel if she’s off-leash.
We decided we needed a reward after all that sweat equity. James had seen a good deal on an SD card, so we swung back by MicroCenter for it. I bought myself a tiny, inexpensive .mp3 player to take on walks. It’s about two inches square and looks like an old-fashioned pillbox. Previously I have played .mp3s on my PDA, but the poor thing is almost seven years old and the battery doesn’t keep up well anymore. Plus this gadget clips on and I don’t have to worry about it falling.
Then we had ice cream at Bruster’s on Cobb Parkway and I told James I wanted to stop by Borders again. We had one more coupon and I wanted to get a book about green housekeeping I had seen. So we did so, then came home.
So it was an unconventional Mother’s Day (but then since I didn’t get blessed with kids I’m just an unconventional mother of fids anyway). We had the rest of the lobster ravioli and a cucumber salad for supper and just chilled.
The breeze is now almost downright chilly. Should be nice to sleep tonight and tomorrow night and then it’s back to the A/C according to the weather report.