As noted earlier, I was planning to take the day off from work. And I did. I was getting ready to take Beth to school when once again, we lost our wireless connection to the network here in the house. I decided it was probably the fault of the wireless router, so we up and decided to just buy a new one. Va had a coupon for a major office supply chain (I will no longer name store names or brands, because when I mentioned a carpet cleaning machine by name yesterday, I ended up with FIVE comments from a carpet cleaning, Internet surfing robot).

To use this coupon, we’d need to spend $100 though, and routers don’t cost that much (unless you really want them to). She figured she could find enough other stuff we actually needed to top $100, so she came into town with us. We picked up our riders and dropped them (and Beth) off at the school. Then we went to the office supply retailer which shall remain unnamed, except to note that they might be named after the primary consumable item that gets loaded into a stapler. Plural. Stupid robots.

We also bought a jug of carpet cleaning solution, and then we came home. I handed the router to Jonathan and said “Go!” and he went. Then I started picking stuff up off the floor so I could crank up the carpet machine. We also dispatched David to his room to do the same. He does not keep a tidy room, and it did not smell…. fresh? So his room was priority two. The living room was priority three.

I did have to help Jonathan get the router set up, but Va’s PC just refused to connect to it. I have no idea why. The most helpful hint I got from Windows was that I needed to look into item 871122 on the Microsoft Knowledge Base. Great Microsoft! I’ll just click on the link you didn’t provide and use the network feature that isn’t working to get right on that! It’s like a message I saw the other day: “Mouse failed. Click OK to continue.” or the classic “If your computer cannot access the network, send an email to the tech support group.” This has such obvious problems, that I was astounded they even put it in there. Are they trying to exasperate people? *gasp!*

OK – so I did have two other computers in the house that were both on and connected to the Internet. So I held my nose and looked up item 871122. They eventually told me to click on a tab that was not there. Gotta love those guys!

Eventually, Va had to take David to the church so the pastor could proctor a Spanish test. I futzed around with her PC for another 30 minutes or so, but I eventually threw in the towel and ran an Ethernet cable around the perimeter of the room and hooked her in with a physical wire. I dunno when I’ll get into this again. Probably what needs to be done is a complete reformatting of her hard drive, and then reinstall everything from scratch. If I had my way, the reinstall would not involve Windows. But it’s her computer, so I do what she wants. But not without complaining about it!

My day got a lot better as soon as I quit messing with Windows though. I hopped in the car and returned the carpet cleaning machine. Then I drove over to the school to see if David had finished his test and maybe needed a ride home. The test had not yet started. So I figured I might just cut some brush. Just as I was getting ready for that, Va called me inside. Camille (our teacher) had some questions about the computers I set up in her classroom (and which do NOT run Windows). So I answered them. She’s going to get the kids going on that tomorrow. I offered to be there if she needed me, because I’m taking off tomorrow too.

I also figured it was high time I got all six of those PCs configured to boot off the terminal server. I changed the BIOS of PC number 5, and it booted off the network straight away. But PC number 6 is as dead as a doornail. A little research revealed that it has a deceased motherboard. An ex-motherboard. A motherboard that is no more. So we’re down to five PC’s instead of six. I’m going to look into setting up another, or perhaps two more.

Then I did go and cut down some more brush. I cut down a white pine that was about seven feet tall. I couldn’t help but notice that it was very Christmas tree like, and that’s when the thought struck me. We could probably sell it as a Christmas tree if we wanted to. I looked around and counted six more like it. All are in the area we’re clearing out, and all were 6-8 feet tall and nicely shaped. I mentioned this to the pastor, and he told me he had had the same idea. We concurred that perhaps the best thing to do was to mention it to the people who come to clear brush this Sunday – anyone who wants a tree can cut it down and haul it home. Donations accepted. Any that are left will be set aside in case someone else wants one.

About the time I’d had enough brush clearing for the day, one of my Pathfinder parents showed up with some baked goods for our bake sale (we took orders in advance). She had made an extra dozen multi-grain rolls for us to sell, and they smelled so good I bought them on the spot. They tasted as good as they smelled too.

I took the riders, Beth, and David home then (school was out), and Va went to do a little shopping. When I got home I hooked up the new cordless phone Va had bought over the weekend, and recorded pretty much the exact same message on the new machine as was on the old: “You’ve reached our answering machine. Please leave a message at the tone.” I used the same vocal inflexions as before too. No one will know it’s a new machine unless they read about it here. Or unless someone who reads it here tells. But that would be such a mind-numbingly boring topic of conversation that I can scarcely imagine THAT would happen! I’m sorry for even writing it! (But not sorry enough to delete it.)

So that’s been my day. Except for fighting with Windows, it was pretty enjoyable too.