Month: March 2003

Three New Items Added

Yesterday I had Russell and Victoria make new pictures to scan for the web.

Here you’ll find: Our House by Russell, and the flip side of that page: A Train Named Choo-Choo-Chug-A-Chug, also by Russell.

Here you’ll find: “Paperdoll” by Victoria.

We now have a router for our network

We got a Speedstream wireless dsl/cable modem router today. It installed seamlessly. Hopefully it will continue as such. It can connect up to 4 ethernet connected computers, and multiple wireless adapted computers. I have both ethernet and wireless adapters for my laptop. Both are working fine. So, now we all are sharing the DSL and local network stuff easily and fast and safe.

Our DSL modem is a Speedstream too, one reason we got the Speedstream router. The other is that it was a good price anyhow. So knowing it was made to work seamlessly, it made it all the better of a choice. We have PPPoE as a connection, and the router takes care of the whole thing. No more of the ISP software that was causing “problems” on the desktop every morning. Ah, I can connect to the internet via the laptop without the desktop being on now. Nice!

I can be online anywhere in the house too, with the laptop, even nicer!

So now, it comes to advanced stuff, there’s a lot more we can do with this router, and it’ll be fun implementing it!

Oh, the Speedstream is made by Seimens, by the way. Our ISP ‘gives’ out the modems, that’s why we have that brand.

Whoo HOOO! Problem solved!

I found a solution to the ICS problem with our DSL connection. I’m networked via an ethernet cable from the desktop, the DSL goes directly into the desktop, and I get it all via a LAN with Ethernet cable.

It’s our cheap shorterm network.

Anyhow, Dial-up, everything was fine. We got DSL on Friday, and fwomp … I couldn’t access first … weather.com, then site after site went down, wouldn’t load for me. Just plain wouldn’t load. The desktop could load anything and everything.

Case in point. If I went to a site that had more than one language interface, or country interface, I could load anything but USA stuff. Searching sites were like this, movie sites, weather sites, etc. Some plain whole websites were inaccessible for me. Homeshool type sites, and it made no sense.

So I finally found a solution. I’ve been typing in questions galore in whatever search engines I COULD use on my computer. Dogpile, for instance. I usually use Yahoo. So today there was a time when I thought about it and went to the desktop and searched. See, all weekend Frank was at the desktop when I thought about it, so I’d not searched there.

I opened Yahoo.com on the desktop a little while ago and searched twice. Wasn’t happy with what I found the first time, so I added WIN XP ICS to “can’t open some web sites sharing DSL”.

I scanned the entries Yahoo gave me, and nearly shook as I read one. I clicked on it, and here is the pertinent info and the link:


6. RE: Client can’t open some web pages
lhhood423 May-18-02 10:30 AM
In response to message 5

Can’t access some websites while using a shared PPPoE connection
Intended For
Windows XP
Windows 2000
Windows Me
Windows 98

If you’re using Windows’ built-in support for Internet Connection Sharing, and your Internet connection is facilitated by PPPoE software (such as Enternet 300) or Windows XP’s built-in PPPoE, you may experience this problem. Although any web site will be accessible on the “Host” computer, certain web sites will never load successfully from any of the “client” machines. (If you don’t know what “Hosts” or “Clients” are with regard to ICS, read Internet Connection Sharing.) The problem is caused by an incompatible MTU networking setting: Windows’ default is 1500, but PPPoE uses 1492 or 1454. Here’s how to fix it:

Find the IP address of your gateway. If you’re using Windows 2000 or XP, run IPCONFIG at a command prompt on the Host computer. If you’re using Windows 98 or Me, run WINIPCFG on the Host computer. Either way, you’ll get an address that looks like xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (where the x’s represent numbers).
Then, go to one of your Client machines, and type the following:
PING -f -l 1500 xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
(where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the gateway address you obtained in the first step). You’ll probably get an error message indicating that it must be fragmented. If you do, type the following:
PING -f -l 1492 xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
If that doesn’t work, try this:
PING -f -l 1454 xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
The numbers in each of these examples (1500, 1492, 1454) are the MTU values. Continue issuing this command with lower and lower MTU numbers until you get ping responses instead of an error message. The highest MTU value that works is the one you need to be using. If an MTU of 1500 (the first command, above) does not produce an error, then this solution won’t work for you.
The next step is to configure all your Client computers to use the new, lower MTU as the default for all Internet communication.
Windows 2000 and XP:

Run the Registry Editor (REGEDIT.EXE) on one of your “Client” machines.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SYSTEM\ CurrentControlSet\ Services\ Tcpip\ Parameters\ Interfaces.
There should be several subkeys under the Interfaces key; most likely, you’ll find three. View the contents of each key by clicking, and find the one that corresponds to your primary network adapter; it will be the one with more values than the other two, and will have an IP address value set to something like 192.168.0.x.
Once you’ve found the correct subkey, create a new DWORD value in it (Edit -> New -> DWORD Value), and name the value MTU.
Double-click the new value, choose the Decimal option, and type the MTU value determined above.
Click Ok when you’re done – you’ll need to restart Windows for this change take effect.
Repeat this for each Client machine.
Windows 98/Me:

Run the Registry Editor (REGEDIT.EXE) on one of your “Client” machines.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System\ CurrentControlSet\ Services\ Class\ Nettrans\.
Under that branch, find a key (numbered, such as 0005) that contains has TCP/IP assigned to the DriverDesc value.
Select New from the Edit menu, then String Value, and type MaxMTU for the name of the new value.
Double-click the new value, choose the Decimal option, and type the MTU value determined above(mine is 1454).
Click Ok when you’re done – you’ll need to restart Windows for this change take effect.
Repeat this for each Client machine.


This worked. I already had guessed that PPPoE was the problem, but hadn’t found exactly WHY. I’d read something about MTU’s before, but never saw a nice neat “HERE’S How to SOLVE your PROBLEM” post anywhere.

It was straightforward and oh so wonderful! Nearly as nice as that regedit thing that gets rid of “shortcut arrows” on icons and shortcuts. Ah, they are both just as nice. Now I can go to Spiderman.sonypictures, weather.com, triviumpursuit, …. and on down the line. All black listed sites are back!

Victoria’s Art: A Scene, front and back

Page 1 There’s a link to page two on page one.

Just for fun

Here’s what my desktop looks like today.

Win XP 1280x1024resolution. Taskbar auto-hide [that is why you might see a tiny blue line at the bottom of the picture if you look close enough]

Who’s the picture of? Any guesses?

Faster internet at the Meints household

The time has come when we finally have faster internet service.

We were driving in another part of the county over a week ago, when I spied a little sign low, near the ground, on the side of road. It announced DSL service, via our local phone company, being now available. Well, we’ve been told before that it’d not be coming to where we live. A few weeks before this, someone at our church, who lives near us, said he has DSL. Well since then I’d been after Frank to call the phone company and inquire. So, now that we saw the sign on the road-side, a phone call was directly made. Frank left a message to be called back.

We found out then that indeed DSL was available at our house. Hmmm. We had no way of knowing. We’d bugged the company in the past to find out stuff like this, but were told nothing was going to happen. Really. So it was the fluke of chatting with the person at church, and driving that way that day the other week, which led us to finding out that we can now get it afterall.

So, on Monday “Brown” drove up and dropped off a box. Our DSL modem. It’s been sitting waiting patiently for DSL to be active on the phone line. We were told a few different things about turn on dates, and finally it was settled that Friday, today, was the day, but it wouldn’t be until after 5pm “probably” since they were so busy with new accounts. So, Frank was on the phone, working out of the house — so this was a “business” call, and someone broke in and said “Mr. Meints?” and it ended up being our phone company, the service guy turning on DSL, he was waiting for the phone line to be dormant, and so he ended up breaking-through Frank’s phone call finally πŸ™‚ So, nearly needless to say, Frank was fine to hang up for 10 minutes if it meant DSL was being turned on.

So then the fun of installation began. I’d run the program a few times in the past week, just to do it. So today, of course, with DSL right there, it wouldn’t install. Ugh. Finally it did. Then the fun began. Fast blazing internet on the desktop. Nothing on my laptop. Dead in the water on my laptop. I configured things right and left and up and down. So I’m then on the desktop reading HTML pages for help, and I heard the soft — da, dah — music of my laptop recieving email. Hmmm … yup, it’s working now. Made nearly no sense, but that’s how it is when you are networking with just two computers and ethernet cable, and new funky DSL modem installations.

For y’all still on dialup, I have pity for you. That was me just yesterday, even earlier this morning. It’s painful, but endurable. DSL is pure fun! Pages load fast. Pictures fast. Download 80mgs? No problemo. Snap your fingers, yawn a bit, get a cup of coffee, it’s nearly done, go outside and look at the trees blooming in the early Spring, come back in, and it’s done!

I’ve downloaded movie trailers today, that I could only dream about before.

Well, we are “always on” now. For real. Not just, on dialup for way too long, and tying up the phone line. I can now set my email to “check” for mail by itself. It’s a dream, but will be just “normal stuff” by tomorrow. Sorry to y’all dialup folk. I was one of you just awhile ago, knowing I was stuck as one. Turned out not to be so. Isn’t life funny?!!

Pink, pink, pink!

Light pink blossoms are opening up on the Yoshino Cherry trees out front. If all goes well, there will be clouds of white/pink from a short to far distance when viewing them. The trees are bursting with blossoms on nearly every inch of their branches. It’ll be raining, supposedly, often the next five days. I’m wanting to take some photographs of the trees with brilliant blue sky behind them … in full bloom, of course. We shall see if that will be possible!

Egg Report 2003

See the Egg Report at the Henny-penny Egg Report …

http://www.pastoralfarms.com/eggreport/

I’ve edited this post to refect the change, as I’m now [April 2003] using MT instead of Blogger Pro, as before I was using document.write method to include the egg report in this web log. Our Henny-pennies have their own page now, so please be sure and read here and there from now on!

Nest box built

On Saturday Frank and I got the nest boxes built. We still have to mount the thing on the side of the pen, we’ll be hanging it on the side so that the roof of the pen is roof of the nest box, and so then the egg collection will be easy. As well, the ladies won’t be able to roost on the top of the next box walls.

Saturday night I went out to check on the hens, and half of them were on their normal roost, and the other half were atop the walls of the box. I shooed them off, and they were on the normal roost the next time I checked. πŸ™‚

Last night, I didn’t check close-up, but from the kitchen window it LOOKED like all the girls were on the roosting rail.

In the daytime they’ve been sitting on the front edge of the box on occasion, and I let them be, as I want them to get used to sitting in the box and being comfortable there for egg laying. Egg laying ain’t at night, so I want them on the roosting rail, where they’ve always been the happiest at night. It’s still a temporary rail, we’ll get something better rigged up for permanent use.

The nest box is divided into two parts. It was so nice to get the first egg in the nesting box. It was CLEAN! One egg after that was layed on the ground, next to the box, but on hay. They are getting the picture, the ladies that is.

We have our first egg!

We have storms moving through, last night and this morning there was lots of rain, and now it’s quiet, but rain still threatens. This was our first real thunderstorm of the year … tons of lightening throughout the night. It’s balmy now, in the mid 60’s, and very humid.

So, I sloshed through the yard to the hen-pen, and re-arranged things, giving them fresh grass without moving the pen, as I can’t move it. Every OTHER blade of grass was under mud, it’s been very wet lately. The hen-pen should have been moved the other day, but it didn’t get done. So it was nice to see the hens attacking the fresh grass I unearthed by moving the box that holds the beam that is their roosting place. I moved that whole thing back further, closer to the “wall” that is solidly covered.

When, doing the above job, I moved the firewood pile at the other end of the roost, I found … a perfect little egg! It’s beautiful, pale brown and I’d classify it as a small egg, grocery-store-speak.

So this leads to my confession: The nesting boxes haven’t been built yet. It’s just been kind of hard to get that done, when Frank has the supplies in the van, and the van isn’t around the house all day long, with Frank at work. πŸ˜‰

So, with the find I had today, Frank has promised to get the boxes banged out tonight. We have hay from our goat man, so the ladies will have happy laying space soon! [now that #1 has actually produced an egg!]

Happy March 2003! Various subjects

It’s been dreary raining here for the last few days, and for us, whether or not this “Northern” phrase applies — March is coming in like a lamb … it’s just blah rain, like drizzle. There was lots of blowiness to the weather over a week ago, now that was very much the proverbial LION weather of March. But it was during February. It’ll be interesting to see what the end of March is like. Hopefully the sufficient rain of the past several months will bring nice wildflowers in the State road medians. They are beautiful, but rather not as nice the last few years. Oh, and then the thing that gets me every year is “just when the flowers are finally getting nicer, the county mows them over”. Ugh. They are “Wildflowere project” areas, just mowed over. Many flowers have to re-seed by going the full length of their growing cycle to the seed stage. Well, we won’t be seeing some of them ever again πŸ˜‰ Too bad. Well, I had wildflowers planted in the front of our house last year, from a can of seed. Some of them were so gorgeous, it’ll be interesting to see how they turn out again, whatever is perennial or annual and seeded fine. I let them “do their thing”.

What will March be like for us in the South? Forecasting a 29 degree low on Monday night, that’s according to weather.com. We’ve been threatened with similar and worse scenarios for the last few weeks, and never did they turn out. We’ve been above freezing for a long while, in the terms of late winter speech.

Well, with that all in mind, the official NORMAL last freeze is March 15, which is a signal for other areas under Winter’s spell. Just two weeks away from that date, that bright spot on the map that tells Southerners to start geering up for real gardening, and that must put some hope in the Northern gardeners — Winter will end. It’s much more of a hope than any old groundhog can supply. πŸ™‚

The girls [the hens] are doing fine, just eating as usual. No eggs yet. And day now. Some of their sisters, owned by someone else, have just started laying. Other sister are not yet laying, so we have a slight hope of soon laying, but totally in the normal range still.

We bought Joel Salatins “Pastured Poultry Profits”. Frank picked it up from the book store today. It’s not in the store normally, they had to special order it. Yup that’s what you have to do with the really good books!

Anyway, I flipped to the last part in the book, the part about laying hens, and could barely put it down. It’s got me raring to go and get the pen situated even better, and to thinking about finding someone with some land that’ll let us put some broilers on it. Well it’d be a chore to have land else where, but that’s what one has to do to get farming started, where they are now, not waiting for “the right property to come into our possesion”. That’s the same kind fallacial arguement used by married couples without children: “we’re waiting to start our family until we are financially ready/comfortable” … etc. You have to go for it. If you really want it, go for it. The “right moment” is now.

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