Tonight Dad called and we chatted for a bit. Most of the family news had already been posted to the family web portal, but it was still great to talk to him. Maybe it was his intent, but our conversation prompted me into taking action.

Dad was worried about my snowblower. It runs great, but it doesn’t stop great, and yes, that is a dangerous situation. So after I hung up, I hopped in the car and drove to Lowes to see if I could buy something with which to cobble together a clutch lever

First stop… the snowblower section. Not to shop for a new snowblower, but rather, to see how they implemented their controls. Then I went hunting for something that looked like a sturdy handle that I could hack up and turn into a clutch lever. I settled on a caulk gun. I seriously considered the $1.97 model, but then decided that I might be better served buying the $8.87 one instead. It has a bigger lever, and since I’m going to expend a significant amount of effort adapting it to my needs, I don’t want something that’ll simply fold up under pressure. Of course… that could still happen.

I also bought some carriage bolts for the scoop guides. And I saw a set of tin snips for $10.00. I probably should have passed on those, as a good pair of tin snips runs $25, and here were four pairs for $10 – basically an order of magnitude cheaper. But it did include left and right-handed snips, and I have been wanting some of those for about two decades. Merry Christmas me!

Tomorrow we’re supposed to get another 2 inches of snow followed by sleet and ice. Then rain. I’m not sure I want to go to the office. If it looks nasty, I will extend my vacation by a day. I was planning to take off all the days between Christmas and New Years, but maybe I’ll take Christmas Eve as well. Also… maybe I’ll take January 2 off (it’s a Friday!)

When I got to my office I found it to be snug and cosy. My duct tape window repair job is holding up pretty well, and I no longer have wind and snow blowing in on me.

The Fedora install makes my PC feel more like home. I’ve been using RedHat distributions since 1995, so I kinda know my way around that neighborhood a little better than I do Kubuntu. I haven’t yet fussed with the automounter. But my connection to the mail server was still royally hosed. So I spent some quality time with Dennis (another Linux user), and Bill (our IT department). Eventually, we figured out that there’s a managed switch on the network sitting on the IP address that the DHCP server assigned to me. That means there were two computers on the network both claiming to be the same computer. Mine would make a request, and it would be granted to the other machine. It’s a miracle I was able to use Skype or surf the web at all. No clue why the mail server failure was so complete. Once I got a different IP, everything was roses.

Later, Dave’s mom dropped by and gave him a couple of platters full of cookies… for Dave’s co-workers! That means me! Hooray! These are some really excellent cookies too, chock full-o-nuts. The major bonus there for me is that my kids do not like nuts, so I get them all to myself. Yum!

So during my break I imagine I will spend some time fashioning a clutch lever out of a caulk gun. I will also spend some time sewing costumes for February’s Camp In, but I may attempt to outsource some of that. We’ll see. And maybe I’ll get some extra napping in. Sounds like a plan!

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