Month: June 2005

Asa’s Ratty Hair Fixed Up

This past weekend I de-rats-nested Asa’s hair. He has wavy hair, soft waves, and in the back it just gets snarled all up easily, if I don’t specially care for it EVERY day, which is the problem. I have just “let it go” on most days if we are going nowhere, as is often the case. You can “brush” or “comb” curly hair, it frizzes it out something horrible and damages it. Wavy hair is the same, yet not as bad. For Asa, his gets puffy funny if combed out when it’s been washed last a few days before.

So I do have to give him a daily finger combing, I do that for myself, surely should do that for him! I “washed” his hair with conditioner when I de-nested his hair. It ended up being so nice. It was a painful time, but worth every ounce of my patience and that little boys painful howling here and there as I unsnarled the dead hair matted into the living hair. He mentions “scissors” as being something to use a few times, and I told him “no way!”

His hair is longer on the sides now, it hangs down and the curl is showing there and int he front finally. Curls have to be allowed to come out on heads that have them. Many don’t know the lovely waves they would have if they just “let it grow out”. His hair is curling out and under now, a full wave effect and it’s really cut on him. I have it parted on the side, and am trying to get him to naturally finger comb it lightly over his forehead so that it arches up to sweep to the side cutely. He’s more into smashing it backwards so far, which defeats the curling, but I have the patience to work it out with him.

Boys with hair are often seen as “girls” when we go out. My boys are. It’s frightfully bothersome to me, they look like boys and dress like boys, the little girl with us has long pretty hair and where’s dresses, skirts, etc. No pants. I, the Mother, wear dresses and skirts, etc. No pants. So why would the Daddy be dressed like a boy, and two females be dressed like girls, but two other children be dressed like boys and be called girls? Their hair isn’t girly, it’s boy cute. I hold that girls should have longer hair than boys and they sure do in our family.

Anyhow, Asa has the cutest curls and he’s really coming into his curls nicely now. His best shortest length is above the shoulders, below the chin, but tapered from front to back a bit. I say curls, and mean soft curls, otherwise known as “waves”.

He and me need frequent wetting downs, but not shampoos. He can get a light shampoo with a very gentle shampoo every now and then. I need no shampoo and lots of conditioner. He needs conditioner too, just a lesser amount.

My other two children can’t take conditioner left on their hair in the slightest amount, it’s really gross on them. They have slippery straight hair overall so far. Russell has a bit of a swing to his hair, but no natural S-wave at all. His hair puffs out ugly in an odd way if it’s blown-dry with any conditioner left on it. But it won’t dry into curl at all if naturally dried with conditioner left on. I know that hair can change, and he could get curlier hair when he’s older.

Victoria just has straight hair. It’s changing color. It’s getting more and more tinges of red as time goes by. Of course she could end up with curly hair, but she shows no sign of having even “sort of” wavy hair, whereas Russell “sort of” does.

I’m a mess with getting pictures done, with my laptop dead. So if I get that all sorted out with the desktop I’ll see about getting a cute few photos of Asa’s hair from different angles one of these days.

My Laptop is History

My Vaio GRV-550 laptop bit the dust earlier this week. It was in a geriatric state since nearly two years before, when my two then toddlers poured Coca-Cola on the keyboard. I saved the computer, but lost functionality of the keyboard and touchpad mouse and a USB port and FireWire port. It sat opened up, without the keyboard, and I had to use a USB wireless keyboard and mouse set-up.

That worked. I had other Vaio issues after that, the Vaio “shut down” problem … which I finally figured out on my machine was purely overheating issues. It had a true P4 processor, and that gets hot. So it’s just that with a laptop and true P4, clean it out with canned air often, and don’t let it get hot, keep an eye on it. Keep an airflow around it, no cloth around it at all.

I am sad about the loss of my old friend. It worked just fine as it was, sitting in one place, not mobile really. The screen was delicious. LCD 16.1 inches of beauty.

We came home from shopping Monday night, got new Memory for the Desktop finally! I went to check e-mail, the laptop wasn’t coming on, I usually “sleep” my laptop when away. This harkened no good news. But then I realized the computer was on, and was alive, and was logged in and … I just couldn’t “see” anything on the screen.

I turned on a light and saw the truth, sugar modules stuck on the screen and sticky drips … Juice.

Frank has been buying Capri Sun and Juicy Juice things for the children of late. They have to ask to get a juice. They have to stay at the dining room table with the juice. Of course this isn’t how the four-year-old operates. :rolleyes: I found the evidence on the screen, and on the floor, the Capri Sun discarded empty container.

Asa admitted to doing it, but can’t say “why” he did it. Oh the frustration when little ones ruin completely good things.

I cleaned up the juice that I could get to and realized that the LCD monitor did have a picture, but you could only see it if enough light hit the screen, and the screen surely wasn’t lit up enough to actually use the computer that way.

I put the baby (laptop) to bed, hoping to find it working in the morning, miraculous fixing of electronics in the middle of the night? Well it didn’t happen. In the morning I was able to connect it to an external monitor, but seeing as I didn’t have the original laptop keyboard for almost two years, I had no way to access the “function” settings to use an external monitor easily. I had to go into Display properties and fool around with the multiple monitors setup. I basically had to look at the desktop computer and memorize what went where in those screen shots. So then in the Ghostly dark world of my laptop LCD monitor I stumbled around but got the computer to show up on the external monitor. It wasn’t great though, if I disconnected it, rebooted, or anything it all reverted to a horrid ‘extended desktop’ situation which afforded me no viewage of my real desktop, just the background of my desktop on my external monitor, and all the functionality of the desktop on the dark LCD screen. So then it would be reboot without connections and stumble around in the dark to get it working.

All good in and of itself, but I couldn’t keep that going, the external monitor belongs to the desktop system. Frank had work to do on the computer, internet based, so I vacated and mourned with my laptop. It started crying and throwing tantrums and finally kaput itself out that day.

The little bit of reasearch I’ve done tells me that the juice dripped down the screen and into the very delicate area at the bottom of the screen, the “backlight” fried, and that is why the screen was dark. The LCD was still working, but there was no backlighting. That thing going bad can be replaced, but in my case, the computer already needed other work done. So it ended up that with what I read online it can be that the computer will not work right with certain backlight outage issues, like it will shutdown and not work … so it could be that I could get it fixed, maybe, maybe, but is it worth it, with it not being mobile in the first place anymore.

So my mind wandered to being in Fry’s some time ago, and looking at another Vaio laptop system. It’s an A-series that I liked when I saw it there. Frank and I found many computers on eBay, and looking around there are many A190, A170, A290, etc. But the price is the kicker. The complete system we like, or rather I like, is: 1 GB Ram, 17″ XBRITE Screen, 80gig or more hard drive, Mobile Processor, that’s the computer. Then includes AV Entertainment Dock (an AV port replicator, tv tuner dealy-do) and External Speakers.

There is a price for such a thing. We are looking for such thing at lower price. Tough job.

Retail new it’s a newer model than A190 that is in stores (that carry it). But generally speaking it’s about $2,400, give or take. On eBay you can get one for under $2,000. So we are trying to get one for under $1,000 but a USED one. We have found a complete used system, but it’s price is rising and the end date is tomorrow. It’s not that we couldn’t get it, but as the price rises, it’s not so do-able right now. In any case, it’s not a beautiful computer, has cosmetic issues that do not affect the workings of it at all, just scratched case, blotchy stuff on inside case, etc. Perfect for our home. It’s like buying a new car: first door ding is no fun time. Buy a used car: door dings come with most of them, and so it’s no big deal. So like a new computer, the first icky something to it is no fun. So get it used and already ickied and it’s no problema. If it works like it should, then it’s good. And costs less, making it more affordable.

I have no delusion of grandure about the eBay auctions going on now. We’ll probably have to wait and look some more and hopefully get something in July. Maybe it will end up being NEW if the $ situation turns around a bit, but then it’d surely not be a top of the line model … but something older that is still in stock and reduced. Anything is newer than my old Vaio, that was gotten in late 2002.

I have an extra laptop hard drive. I had taken my Vaio drive out and got a USB enclosure for it. I can access my stuff through the desktop computer that way. So I just now got that EXTRA hard drive out and put it in the laptop and tried a few things, and it is coming alive and trying … but then quits. I got it to nearly fully load the initial Windows Setup. [further, it comes on sometime and not other times so it’s the Juice issue with the backlight, I’m guessing] So it’s a hmmm thing, is it worth it, is it worth it to try and save it, fix it. Long ago when the keyboard was ruined it wasn’t exactly, we felt, worth it. It was an $80 part from Sony, and we had to install it, being the “keyboard” for a laptop it’s not as easy as one might think, bending it can ruin it. I mean, it’s do-able but was it something I wanted to do? No it wasn’t. Not with what happened when I tried to save the original keyboard.

So it comes down to not knowing if it’s worth it. The computer is (was) nice, but it doesn’t have a DVD writing drive. It’s a CD write DVD read combo drive. USB ports are old, not 2.0. Memory is 512mb and that’s the most it can have. It needs some things done to it, new keyboard, new touchpad and mouse buttons, new stuff on the board if I want the ports to all work … new backlight at the least for the screen.

But in the end, pay to have it fixed, then I’d be back at Square One, when the plan was to upgrade sometime anyhow. I keep saying “it’d be a good kid’s computer” well yes, it could, hmmm. It can play DVD’s and the sound in it is pitiful you have to use headphones or external speakers. Boils down to how much to get it fixed up. I can’t do the fixing. It needs a delicate operation for the screen, and the other stuff, I can’t replace what needs replaced without getting the products and sweating a bit. It’s a laptop, afterall. Oh the circular thing this is.

The thing about computers is what you do with them. I do graphical things. 512mb isn’t very helpful there. I want 2GB. So a new A190 sort of system would provide that ability, it can use max 2GB Ram. Also I want to rip my cassettes and LP’s into digital. I have to use an external device to do it best, so need USB 2.0 to make it work, and lots of space on the hard drive. I then want a device that is a recording device, to get me started with doing something about writing and recording and releasing a CD. It’s a USB 2.0 issue as well, or FireWire. That’s primarily why I really want to upgrade, not just get the old thing fixed back to Square One.

Frank and I are now sharing the Desktop. It’s not easy being a one-computer family, with Daddy working out of the house. I miss my ‘puter. I listened to my music through it. I worked on my digital pictures when I had time, here and there. I’d scan things in, look for something online when I thought of it … now I don’t do any of that. I can write on my blogs, but don’t have the heart to much, except for this post. I don’t usually have the time on the computer to do the stuff I used my laptop for. My online-encyclopia-find-out-about-anything-anytime shop is closed.

I have the Desktop to myself this weekend, Frank is out-of-town, but it’s just not setup for me to work on it right even if I DO have the time to spend with it. I’d have to create a new account and move a bunch of stuff around, but then things aren’t the same on this puter as they were on the laptop, so it’s major work to make things how I want, but I don’t have the tools here to do what I did there either. Oh pooh bear. I’m just a mess thinking of it, and the house needs scrubbed down. It’s hot. It’s dirty out and that makes it dirty in, and fleas are starting to be a problem, icky. So I do have things I need to do elsewhere. It’s harder to do that stuff though with a crimped outlet. My outlet is through my computer. I haven’t one anymore πŸ™

Arlene’s Effect and Longer Days

Friday it was hot and muggy and the air had no breeze to speak of, basically. Saturday the air was wonderful, low to mid 70’s, low humidity, breezy to light gusty.

Arlene, first tropical named storm of the Atlantic 2005 Hurricane Season, made things nice for us on Saturday. Her rain came then though, and overnight it was muggy again and Sunday it was downright raining inside, that muggy, not that it was really raining inside. πŸ™‚ Accuweather says we got 1.87 inches of rain on Sunday. We got some on Saturday too, so were at about 2 inches or more from the Arlene effects.

I’m glad though for one day of cooler, dryer air, as it was on Saturday. It was such a relief. πŸ™‚

Currently it’s 81 degrees F. with a “feels like” of 95 degrees F. That’s humidity for you. A killer in the Summer. It makes hot temps just feel so much hotter. In the winter it’s nice, makes cold temps feel warmer. It’s not generally humid outside in the winter though, and one has to put humidity into the house on purpose then. Nature is backwards on this thing. Typically humid weather comes with hot temperatures, so the modern Air Conditioning we have available is miraculous-ish. If we don’t use it we have to cope with the condition of nature as our forefathers did. It’s really not so bad, just have to cope heavily in extremes. Everyday isn’t an extreme day, only parts of some are.

We are into Summer now. It’s not “officially” Summer yet, but is practically speaking. Today is supposed to get to about 85 degrees F. and feel as hot as 99 degrees F. at the most. Tomorrow is 92/109 in the “high temp”/”feels like high temp” category. Phew!

Old times it was get up early and do the work in the cool of the low sun rising. Rest as the Sun gets High in the sky. Work again later when the Sun is getting lower. It’s Summer, the Sun is out for a long time, we have lots of light late in the day. It’s rather freaky when it first hits you how late it is and how light it still is. πŸ™‚ That’s a sign that the longest daylight day of the year is coming closer.

Northern Mockingbirds June 2005

Northern Mockingbird Nestlings

On June 2, 2005 the Northern Mockingbird’s in our backyard Autumn Flame Maple Tree fledged. They do not really fly right away. They come out and hop around on the ground.

I was expecting them to be ready anytime then and through that weekend. In the morning we found one baby out of the nest under the tree. Frank put the baby back into the nest, as we know that is alright when not sure if it’s “time” yet. Not too long later there were two babies out, so that was it. πŸ™‚

There were 4 babies that hatched and grew, but only three fledged. I got out the ladder after three were out but no other sounds coming from the nest for awhile.

The fourth baby was there, maybe strangled trying to get out? In any case, it was fully as grown as the others, and limp, dead, head wedged in and out of some sticks … poor thing.

We watched the birds all that day, and the most energetic baby popped under a low spot on the fence line and dissapeared. The remaining two babies stayed in the yard until late in the day, then they too dissapeared.

We haven’t seen them flying about yet, hope to see them, or some other baby Northern Mockingbirds sometime soon!

The pictures above are of the nest and the babies in the yard. Three babies in total, just different views of them. Forgive the blurryness, my digital isn’t so hot on close-ups sometimes. πŸ™

The Heat is Here

It was cool last week … well, let’s see, the week that was the last one in May. My time is messed up a bit, we’ve been HOT and sick and generally those two aren’t so good together, if you know what I mean.

Temps in the house have been 85 degrees F. or higher at the worst, close to 90 degrees F. often enough. That’s too hot for me. To make it worse though, it’s heavy heat, you know, the sort with too much water in it, otherwise know as “humid air”. It’s not just that though, it’s the lack of breeze, the dead air.

The month of May was nice. It wasn’t too hot, and the hotter days did have breezes. We have fans in some windows and everything was great in May.

Enter June. June, she be nasty. So we sweat and suffer. I don’t mind it as much if I don’t HAVE to do much for anyone else. This is the sort of weather we had last year when my relatives came by and I just couldn’t function and be myself. So I zombied my hosting and crashed otherwise, and it was also “mental recovery from miscarriage” then too. I look back a year ago, with this heat and don’t know how I survived then. Anyhow, this heat isn’t the bad thing. It’s just that it is here. We live with it. We need a few more box fans, and some replacement screens for our windows that don’t have screens anymore, but there isn’t anywhere to ‘just pick them up’ or even ‘just get them shipped to us’ — they seem to not exist in the marketplace.

So I was really sick last week, and had allergies and such. The children all seemed to suffer with something too, allergy like. Yesterday Frank began getting “sick” and had to fly somewhere today just for the day, and is on his way home now, but sicker he says, over the phone. For me it started Memorial Day (Monday the holiday) evening. We had a picnic with our church families. I got a headache near the end, a whole head headache, which is odd for me, I get “migraines”, that sort of headache is partial parts of one side or a whole side, but never a band around nor whole head … so I knew something was up. Before we got home I was in deep pain, my head was cloudy and I was urgently needing my home bathroom :-0 It “could” have been the alchohol that I had drunk, but I doubt it, I wasn’t “drunk” or even a bit “tipsy” from any of it, it was just three or four beers over the coarse of the day. So I was really sick that night, and had a miserable hardly any sleep night, rushing into the bathroom and then just staying there for a long time. The next day I was weak and felt so much better, but continued to feel nauseated and not hungry at all, the headache was gone, but then a migraine set in later.

Figures. I didn’t have a “hangover” either. I’ve gotten sick from ‘drinking’ only twice … and it was from hard liquor, never beer. I mean, drinking a lot and getting drunk and THEN being sick … what I had wasn’t that this time. I don’t overdrink since the last time I did, oh, 10 years ago, and when I did, it was only after I was married and only a handful of times. I do believe in moderation of drink. What I did before was silly young married person stuff. OK, so now, beer stretched out throughout a day, should make me so ill. But if it was alchohol related it would have produced a bit of “hangover” at least, seeing as I was so sick that night. But it wasn’t sick like when I got drunk sick, it was very different. It was “virus-like” absolutely.

The kicker is that the next day I did feel much better, so much, but I still felt ill in my guts and tummy a bit. My migraine took over for a day and a half then it went away and I was left with allergy symptoms runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and a stuffy ear and sore throat. I took Claratin and then decided after a couple of days that I was even worse, so stopped taking that and it seemed to clear up my throat and my eyes and stuff weren’t so bad as before. But my throat then got worse, the whole thing got raw and sore and I had to get Cloraseptic spray to eat anything. I didn’t feel at all like eating though. This whole thing drug out all last week and over the weekend. I felt tired and just falling apart. My guts kept bugging me and well, it wasn’t fun. It wasn’t that bad, only I felt constantly nauseated, as if I was pregnant, but I wasn’t, I’m sure.

I had my first hunger pains in over a week yesterday evening. Then today this afternoon those unfamiliar pangs hit me again suddenly. I had gotten so used to not wanting to think about food, it was weird. I also had super-bad heartburn that whole time last week through the weekend. Just the other day it seemed to lighten up a bit, and has gotten better ever since so that today I only took one TUMS, which is quite a few less than I had been taking.

So I’m the only one that got so very sick. The children have been stuffed up sounding off and on. That’s all. But Frank, he’s been sounding funny and yesterday said he was weak and felt horrible. He had to go on the plane today though, and seems to be having a rough time. Typically, if there’s a virus going around, I’ll get it first or last. So this time, I got it first. His symptoms are very similar to mine, just the timing of it is different. I think my body did a zoom-zoom-zoom with the virus when the aventageous picnic environement surfaced, drinking a bit more than I normally would on a given day, and having a virus trying to get a toe-hold, well, it’s an engraved invitation then. I couldn’t have known.

So when we are dragging, not as much gets done as is wished. Sometime we’ll get more fans and screen doors and get the stuff more out-of-the-way organized for better tolerance of Summer Weather (clutter and heat are just so bad together, aren’t they?)

I’m glad to not feel so ill and food-hating, but I’m not happy to have to pick up and try to move with my still not quite up-to-par self and do stuff to make food in this heat. I have to stop typing. Some mosquito seems to have found her way into the house and is biting me, urgh! Outside it’s the ants. At least they are on the ground, can’t fly up and bite your hands and wrists as you type in the dark. They just bite your toes and feet and well, that’s more tolerable, though it hurts like the dickens and is so gross, but it’s not that itchy itchy itchy of mosquito poison. :veryshocked:

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