Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Monday Mumblings

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, July 7, 2008

So little to do and so much time.

Reverse that.

Accomplished a lot on one project, but very little on another. The one I accomplished very little on was the cleaning, of course.

Lots o' database stuff to do today, much of it back-end stuff on the site. Stuff you may see soon. I was working very hard to get it finished over the weekend, but I just didn't make it. Spent until about noon today working out the HTML and the database stuff and testing everything. It works, and I hope to announce the new piece of the site soon.

Another chunk of the day was taken up with visiting the vet. To be fair, the visit was only about half an hour - including the drive. He's just five minutes down the road. The real fun was in rounding up the cats. Yes, plural. It was well past time for kitty immunizations. Chris and I spent far too much time chasing Midnight around. She not only refused to go in the carrier, but hissed and screamed. O-kay. Abby got the carrier and Midnight, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth all around, ended up on the harness.

They both wailed all the way to the vet. Midnight was quite well-behaved; Abby wanted nothing to do with the mean man who put nasty stuff on her belly a couple of weeks ago, but she got through it okay. They were very pleased with her progress, but she still needs to wear the E-collar for a while. Now that she's more settled in it I'll see if she'll allow me to take a picture. She's no longer confined to the utility room; her skin has healed enough that we can let her roam over most of the house. She still prefers the utility room - except when we have the collar off to let her groom and eat. Then she runs off in some nearly inaccessible spot to bite at her belly. Not good. She'll have to use the collar until her belly is fully healed, and then we start on some other training to get her to not go after that spot again. That should be loads o' fun.

The other big news is that I bought a new desktop monitor yesterday. The one that I kept on the side of the desk was an old CRT - so old that it didn't meat EnergyStar standards, which meant I had to remember to turn it off at night. Fat chance there. My first idea was to just get a small monitor to replace that. I looked at LCD displays at First Saturday and was pretty disgusted with the prices. A beat-up 15" display for $135? Get real. For a few bucks more (after the inevitable rebates) I got a 20" wide screen display with wonderfully crisp colors. Paul got my 19" square monitor and I took his 17" square monitor as a secondary display. The temperature at my desk was five degrees lower today. I was actually comfortable for most of the day.

Pictures, you say? Yes, as soon as I get cleaned up around here. Yes, I hear the sound of derisive laughter. I'll never get cleaned up. No, but I can make it look better. And it is starting to look much better, but there are stacks of papers and old bills that fell behind the monitor stand that I need to go through and a few other items to file. Then I can shoot a picture.

The main bit o' cleaning I did was under the desk tonight. I still need to do more. The dust really accumulates down there. I redid the mounting on one of my power strips, and decided to let the other stay on the floor. It's just too heavy to mount out of the way. Besides, there's so much room under this big corner desk that an extra square foot won't be a problem. I'll be back under there in a few days when I get a new monitor cable. The monitor actually came with both analog and digital cables, which was quite a surprise. Of course, the digital cable has the wrong connector on one end. There are about three different DVI-style connectors. Chris went through this when he got a new display last year. I'll finish the cleaning job when I get back under there.

While I was cleaning I discovered that one of the speaker wires had come unplugged from the sound card. That started another round of troubleshooting. Four jacks, three plugs. Which goes where? Then I discovered the sound card thought I only had two speakers. Download new drivers. Install until Blue Screen of Death. Reboot. Install drivers and discover it still thinks I have two speakers. Notice tiny "Next" button in configuration window and realize that it leads to a drop-down menu where I select the number of speakers. Select 5.1. Run tests. Three speakers dead. Move plug. One speaker dead. Discover one plug is halfway out of jack. Now all speakers work.

And it's off to bed. I'm dead tired. Wrangling cats will do that.


Filed under: Life            


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