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Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Gizmo Guy is home this week - he always takes vacation the week around our anniversary - it'll be our 29th next Sunday. Pre-children, we would arrange to go to Niagara Falls for a long weekend and take in the kick-off of the Blossom festival. (That's me on our honeymoon up above - in 1978 for anyone doing the math.)
Niagara Falls in spring is a great place to wander, especially when there are tulips and daffodils everywhere. However, since we've had kids that tradition has fallen by the wayside - and from what I gather they've changed the dates of the festival so it doesn't fall on our anniversary any more.
Since we would be staying around the house this year, we made a list of things that needed to be fixed. Yikes! And then whittled it down to realistic expectations - yes, we could clean up the basement, no, we couldn't afford to redo the basement the way we want. Yes, we can clean out the garage so I will have somewhere to paint the kitchen cabinet doors; no, we can't afford to actually replace the kitchen cabinets. So, list in hand, off we wander to Home Depot. We bought some concrete to resurface the front step which suffered dreadfully this winter. And some hooks to hang up the ladder in the garage rather than have it cluttering up the floor. Exciting stuff and a hint of what we will be doing over the next few days. *sigh* I miss those trips to Niagara Falls. Or Ottawa or Montreal that we have done in the past few years before Jim started to work with the Ontario government. Now those day are done.
And since it was a lovely spring day, we shoved the kids away from their video games and computer and put them to work helping clean up the backyard of all the cr*p that's flown into it over the winter. The pic below is what our backyard looked like two winters ago - last summer we trimmed the huge bushes along the back fence. In the front left hand side is a lilac bush, and beyond that is a mock orange. All in need of massive trimming. We cleaned up the fallen branches, and the plastic bags that got caught on the branches through the winter, and lopped off the dozens of lilacs that were suckering into the lawn, and hefted eight big recycling bags of detritus.
We have wild bunnies come into our backyard who very politely eat our dandelions (That's a picture of one of them to the right), and tons of birds - cedar waxwings, cardinals, blue jays, gold crowned kinglets, yellow bellied sapsuckers, even a northern shrike and a sharp shinned hawk on occasion. It looks neat, though there is a six - eight foot wide stretch across the entire back of the yard that used to be covered by the bushes that is now bare earth and needs to be seeded. (Yes, another thing we bought at Home Depot today.) Hopefully the bunnies won't be too upset and will continue their visits.
So now everyone is stiff and sore after having a winter of very little activity to a day filled with bending and pulling and lifting.
On a totally different note, last Thursday you may remember that I was typing on my laptop and the D key popped off. It wouldn't stay in place, so we took it to Best Buy where we'd bought it and the Geek squad there tried to fix it too. No joy. So they gave me one of two choices - either leave it with them where it would take 6 - 8 weeks as they sent it away to Sony, or since it was under a Sony warranty still, I could contact Sony directly and have 'express' service and get it back in a couple of weeks. Um, not much of a choice there. So Friday I phoned Sony and though there are 5 service centres in my area, I discovered it has to be sent to a place in California to have the entire keyboard replaced. They're going to be sending me a package via UPS to pack the computer in and I have to ship it back to them. They tell me it will take 10 days for them to service it. All for the want to a single key. Go figure. Anyway, they told me to ensure that there was nothing on my computer that I needed - does this mean I may not get the same computer back? Or does it mean that they wipe it when they replace the keyboard? Who knows.
So over the weekend, I removed my pictures, and my music, and my documents. I cleared off my cache and cookies and history on Mozilla so none of my passwords/identities show up. (Thankfully, it's all just copied over from my desktop so it's not like I've lost it, and can hook up my laptop to the external hard drive I used to back everything up so it shouldn't take long to restore everything.)
But I realized this evening that if anyone wants to test the keyboard they'll probably open up Word. And have Word offer them the option of opening the last document. I wanted to clear that list because I do NOT want whatever tech to see 'Lecture 11 - Hand to Genital Contact' and wonder what type of pervert I am. (I've just finished a course on Sexual Tension, where there were 12 lessons describing the 12 steps in the 'mating dance' humans do when meeting and mating.) No, the doc isn't there anymore, but the title is one that'll catch anyone's eye.
In case you think I'm overly cautious - techs DO look at your hard drive and will poke around just for kicks and giggles. How do I know this? When I was teaching at a local college a few years back, my computer went on the fritz and I took it to a local company to fix it. One of my students announced during a class a couple days later that she had looked at the tests and lessons I had on my system all thanks to her boyfriend who was a tech at the shop. I was not impressed and never returned to that store, but I don't doubt that every tech does that.
***Edited at 4 p.m.***
Purolator arrived this aft. Stupid Sony. Yup, it's to go to the local depot that's only 4 miles away. So I took it over this aft and hopefully the laptop should be back by the end of the week. Phew!