Friday, December 07, 2007
Farewell, not fondly
Good riddance to a bad week.

It ended on an up note. ALL my computers are fixed now. I was surprised to get a call from India today. These technical support folks seem to be genuinely concerned that I get my problem fixed. I wasn't rude, but I told him flat out that I had gotten help to fix one computer, had to reinstall the OS to save two more and still had two useless computers. He gave me the link for a Norton removal tool and told me how I could bypass the problem Norton was giving me and download it. I did that and damned if it didn't work. So A for effort for that guy. He said he'd call me back Monday to check to see if everything was fixed.

So this should be the end of my griping about computers at work. For now :)
Thursday, December 06, 2007
She's still here
You were starting to wonder, right? Here she is, absorbed in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Another day wasted by Norton Antivirus
Now I have three out of five computers back up and running. I'm liking Vista more after this episode. It's possible to do a complete reinstall of Vista without having to mess with the BIOS or do a partition or any of that nonsense which is above my pay grade. So the two Vista computers are back up and running and the two XP's are screwed. Fortunately we're due a new computer so I'm thinking now is the time to act. I have a plan for the fifth one so within a week or so things should be back to the "new" normal. Tomorrow I hope to actually read some of the mail I've gotten in the last few days.
Our Christmas Tree
It's one of the only bits of Christmas decorating we've done. We spent an inordinate amount of time on Sunday getting the lights to work. We have one outdoor tree set up too. You can see the prodigal dogs flanking the tree. We pile the presents in another room and drag them in on Christmas evening.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Photos of the Day
When M took Emma off to work with the sled and the coat, hat and gloves I made sure to send along the camera too. I wanted to see the fun they were going to have without me. Imagine my surprise tonight when I downloaded the photos from the camera and found not one single playing in the snow picture. Darn it! However, he had some good raw materials for nighttime shots. I swear, between his photography and my photo editing we make one decent photographer.

The new veteran's memorial.

The courthouse with a *gasp* nativity scene in front of it. People here still have the good sense God gave them, thank you very much.

The window of M's store.

So how did today go?
Well, nothing like I had planned. I ended up going to work despite the fact that I had someone covering for me. The snow was piling up outside and I really wanted to hibernate. But knowing five computers at work weren't working I just couldn't loaf in good conscience. I went to work. M took Emma to work with him to play for a while and then the plan was to bring her to me so I could take her home by nap time. He even brought the inflatable sled along so he could take her sledding on the sidewalks.

It's a good thing I had someone covering me because I spent (no exaggeration) two and half hours on the phone with two different nice men in India. I know most Americans roll their eyes when they get outsourced technical support, but I have to say both of these guys were very nice and did the best they could. Out of that time spent on the phone I got exactly one computer up and running again. What I DID get out of the time spent was a free upgrade to Norton Antivirus 2008. That solved the problem on that one computer. The problem with the other four is that it's impossible to remove Norton from them. And none of them access the internet so I can get the free upgrade download. So from here I figure I'm going to have to reinstall Windows on all those computers. Sound like fun? Don't you wish you were me? I figure that's about two solid days in lost productivity for me.

Anyway, I pushed the envelope. Emma and I finally got home for lunch around 1:40 p.m. The drive was hateful as hell. The slop on the road was the consistency of butter and traction, forget it. I had the grip of death on the steering wheel and was literally going below 20 mph in some places. We did get home in one piece.

I then spent three solid hours doing a calligraphy job for someone. I will never do this again. They are certificates that require like nine lines of information. The pressure to make no mistake is so intense I can't take it. I don't need stress like that in my life. I was cursing myself vociferously for ever agreeing to do the job in the first place. Good thing I'm getting paid.

Finally, after all that fun I vacuumed. It was weird vacuuming without dogs laying down more hair just a soon as I passed by them. I came across the strangest thing on the floor that really drove home the implications of the absence of the dogs. There was a cut up piece of pizza on the floor from last night's supper. This was a picture of life without mobile trash cans. Kind of scary.

When M got to work this morning he called the SPCA folks and the local radio station to put out the word that our dogs were missing. I know some folks heard it on the radio because someone reported spotting them yesterday at noon. M was up late last night driving around looking for them. He had no luck.

As M was getting ready to bathe Emma tonight we finally got the call we were hoping for. Someone had caught Beaker and they were trying to lure Jake to them but he wouldn't come. These folks live right across from the same dumpster area where the dogs were spotted yesterday. M turned over bath duties to me and took the truck to go collect the dogs. He got back with them shortly after 9:00 p.m. Beaker was limping a bit and Jake came straight in the house and went for the water, then his bed. Then when I came in to the computer he followed me and collapsed at my feet. He's shivering away now. I'm not sure if it's from cold or adrenaline.

I feel most sorry for Beaker. I picture him as the dumb little brother who went along for the thrill and had no idea what he was getting into. I think he's traumatized right now. No one yelled at them or fussed at them, but Beaker came straight in the house and this is as far as he got:

Funny dog. He collapsed on that spot and hasn't moved since. Jake moved to his bed in the living room when I went in there to talk to M for a minute. Now M is zonked out on the couch. I think everyone is relieved that the trauma of separation is over.

We got five inches of snow today.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Bad day
One of those that was bad from the start and didn't get much better. Alarm didn't go off. We had a power outage right about the time it was due to buzz. It was 57 degrees in the living room. Nice.

As I'm making lunches M comes in from outside and wants to know where the tool is to remove snow from the vehicles. He'd already checked my car. I had no freaking idea. Last I knew it was in my trunk. Do you know how men are when they can't find something? Yeah.

Then a few minutes later he realizes the dogs have run off. Great. He sets out to find them right as I'm loading the car to go. He soon realized his error and doubled back to tell us goodbye.

I get to work. Everything is fine. I check the trunk, there's the snow removal tool. You actually had to *gasp* move something to see it. I'm waiting for M to come and help me fix the lights on the Christmas tree and then I'll decorate it. I have to clean up some snow but no biggie. Then Norton Anti-virus ruins the rest of my day. Five computers running Norton Anti-virus all go down at once. I spent the rest of my day trying to get them back online. I actually had to leave at the end of the day with the problem unresolved. I hate that. But I worked last night so I was damned if I was going to work tonight too. So right now Symantec sucks and McAfee is good. I never got to decorate the Christmas tree. Now I can look forward to dealing with technical support to resolve a problem of their making. My favorite.

I'm supposed to go on a shopping expedition tomorrow. Solo. Now they're calling for three to five inches of snow. I was going to pick up my Christmas cards. I don't drive the mountains in the snow. I want my Christmas cards.

Some days the turkeys do get you down.

Oh, and the dogs aren't back yet. It's 20 degrees outside.
Boots, hat, underwear
Everything you need for a ten second visit to the tree. In 21 degree weather.

Sunday, December 02, 2007
I got it
I got the picture for the Christmas card this weekend. Now I wait to find out how the photo transfers to the actual printed card. I'm crossing my fingers...
Our first party of the season...
We went to the annual Christmas open house at our neighbor's this evening. Emma was very well-behaved. We got tons of comments on how she's grown. A couple of people pointed out that pretty soon she'll be in college. Blech. Let us enjoy this while we can.

My View
This was my view of Emma for 50% of our supper last night. We ate out at a pizza place and she was trying to watch cartoons on Boomerang right over our heads.