Month: July 2005

Re-doing things here

I’m re-designing this blog template layout. I’m doing it in pieces. I’ve changed the header and the sidebar, but am not done with them yet. I’m doing on the fly, and leaving what I do until I work on it and change it again.

I’m in a mood to get it historical looking, old, something or other. So I’m playing around with Photoshop and colors and photos. The current sidebar has some of my bowlby family photos … two of places in Yorkshire where they hailed from, and one of a painting of an ancestor from that family, a Grandmother in the line, actually. She is the one who is the mother and wife of those whom came to America in the 1600’s.

It’s just my style to work on something until it’s done or I am sick of it. Something like this is also how I do it, right out in the open … live. It’s easier for me to do it this way. I doen’t mind the dust being seen by visitors.

So in this re-design I am planning on cleaning up my CSS sheet and getting the templates all nice and cosy.

I also have past posts that are missing parts, photos to be exact … they are still on the other host/server which used to host this blog, and I do not have access to it as of yet. Once it comes online again, my pictures will magically appear, at least some of them, the ones that were totally hard coded to URL. That URL my blog was is still over there. I changed it to my .us URL when I split my stuff up and came to this newer host.

I hadn’t done any work on this blog for so long, not redesign at all, just moving it to here and getting the stuff I could working with what I could. Then the last month or more I was without computer to do much of anything, and I wasn’t in the mood for trying when I did have access to a computer. The bug has bitten me again though, as is seen with this post about the re-design I’m in the middle of. πŸ™‚

I like my blue .png smilies … I made them … but they don’t seem to fit here anymore. I’ll see what I can do. I’ll move them to my other blog maybe, and make new ones for here when I have time.

The hot and cool of it

With the weather being so terribly hot and humid and dangerous (sure it can get hotter, but temps in the the 80’s and 90’s to mid or high 90’s all have feels-like into the 100’s, up to 111F. or even more), Frank went to Lowes early yesterday morning and brought home 2 window air conditiners. One is over the kitchen sink, the other in our master bedroom. Within about 10 minutes of having the kitchen a/c installed and running, the air in the house dried out pretty much. Ah, relief! Coolness is now felt, but it’s not super cold. Both units are 10,000 BTU’s, and our house is tri-level, so two of them aren’t quite enough.

We are keeping the laundry room door shut and the other basement room that isn’t quite finished. They are much warmer therefore, than the rooms in the rest of the house. They do have air that is drier than outside though, they are warm, but cool compared to outside, and warm compared to the a/c free flow parts of the house. The doors have a gappy clearance at the bottom, being on concrete with no finished floor, so the air exchanges to some degree, which I do appreciate after all.

This is an easier solution for us than getting the central a/c looked at, cleaned out, rejuvenated. This will work for the rest of the summer. The units have 5-year warranties. I like them since they have no ducts hiding what’s what, or other parts in big boxes that we can’t access and haven’t a clue about.

Our old a/c system didn’t work right for the type of house we have. Our master bedroom had to be super cold for the living room to be just not quite too warm, but warmer than we wanted. We need zones, and this is closer to zones now, with the window units. Another time in the future we’ll get it all worked out. πŸ™‚

It is like pea soup outside, day or night. The air is so thick. In the van, it takes 10 minutes for the a/c to do much, and I struggle to breathe at all then, and have to breate shallowly and slowly and try not to breathe much at all, it’s painful when the air is that thick and hot and just plainly not satisfactory to breathe. It’s sort of like partial suffocation for a short time here and there. Getting out of the van then, my glasses usually fog up terribly in an instant. I never remember that when it’s going to happen, it gets me every time.

Well, last year we went without a/c, had some bads days, went to Barnes and Noble a lot, but it just wasn’t this bad last year. The overall air quality is just pathetic.

Oh come ye rains and bless us with thy waters, cleanse the air, green up the blades of grass which wither under the suns cruel stare. Breathe into the air and create the life giving breath for our lungs. Lighting and rain together in unison, come to my abode, this southern land we love, and tarry awhile.

It took my day but

We got a new PSU yesterday, and didn’t get home until later, so I didn’t try installing it until this morning.

I installed it and … nuthing changed. I spent “I have no clue how much time” re-connecting stuff and re-doing that, reading on the mobo forum when I had a chance to use Frankies laptop, and so here’s what I ended up doing, something in this process is what got my NF8-V mobo POST and start up BIOS:

Put the memory into the slots and pull them out, in and out many times. This gets the board to recognize the hardware … it’s the board that needs it, not the hardware.

Put the AGP card in and out just as the memory. This one is key, I think.

Both those things I did more than I can say. I kept going. I took the board out of the case to do all of this extra “try and make it post” work.

The new PSU is a powerful one, a good brand, according to the people that yap about it on the mobo forums. Enermax 600watt.

My old board, the NF7-S ver. 2, had a 20-pin main power connection, as well as a 12v 4-pin connection.

My old PSU provided those cables.

My new board, the NF8-V, has a 24-pin main power connection, as well as a 12v 4-pin connection. The 24-pin connection, according to the manual, isn’t necessary, you can use a 20-pin connection.

My new PSU, the Enermax, has a 24-pin cable, and it has the extra 4-pins split-off-able, and also has the 12v 4-pin cable.

The NF8-V board won’t post with all the cables plugged in. I had to take the 4-pin part off of the 24-pin cable and use it as a 20-pin for the board to post.

It was that cable dance along with the AGP and Memory slots that got the board posting.

It was a glorious moment when I heard the monitor go PING as it lit itself into action. It was very exiting when I heard the first BEEP from the board too, which came a couple of power button pushes before the monitor activation.

So then I went into BIOS and saved minimal settings to run safe. Then I added the board back into the case and screwed everything down, and connected the harddrive. I started up the computer again, it worked and recognized the hard drive.

I booted into windows, it worked, just not specific new hardware like ethernet (I didn’t re-install windows in any form or fashion, either.)

I turned of the computer then, and connected the CD-ROM and then fired it all up again, and the system recognized the CD-ROM just fine, and so I then installed the new board drivers.

I wasn’t able to get the ethernet port to work, windows didn’t recognize it. Updating the drive in Device Manager didn’t work, neither did re-installing the driver from the Nvidia disc. So I then went into Add/Remove Software un-installed anything Nvidia related.

Then I restarted, and clicked on the disc of Nvidia driver setup stuff again, and THIS time it all installed as it should have.

My mistake, if you can call it that, was in not un-installing previous drivers that were hanging out from the old board. I wasn’t trying to flawlessly install though, just trying minimalist installing … I have lost the panel as far as I know, which was from the other case I first had this copy of Windows XP Home on. That’s the place where the license sticker was, the only place I know it was on. If I wrote it down anywhere, I have no clue as to where. So to reinstall is out of the question, and a Repair install may not require a license input, but might mess up and require a clean install anyhow.

I hope I can find that old license number. It does rightfully belong to this copy of Windows I’m working on. I do have another license from my defunct Vaio GRV-550, but I have application for that on the old NF7-S board if I get that going. So I hope this copy stays good. I hope I can find a way to get that old license number back. And I hope I can find what’s wrong with that other board and get that setup as another computer, for the children.

This computer I’m on now has a good PSU and a new great Athlon 64 3000+. That’s not the fastest, but is much better than the Athlon XP 2100+, and with it, my DDR 400 memory can run! It’s Corsair PC3200 512×2. I only have single channel mode, two slots, on this board. I can have up to 2gigs of memory … which would mean I could get two 1 gig sticks, and put this matched pair on the older board, where it can run in dual-channel. πŸ™‚ That’s later, for sure.

My next upgrade to this computer is either a graphics card or a DVD-R/RW drive. The latter is likely the cheaper to buy and install, but it’ll want pricey discs to write to. I could then watch movies on this computer though! πŸ™‚ That cost nothing extra with the collection we have. A graphics card is needful, this one is a Radeon 7500, which is a 64mb card. It’s not bad, but way lesser than I really do need to have. I want to get a really good card, really good. My board is Nvidia based and that’s the type of video card I’ll get.

I really do like the Abit boards. They are friendly to the advanced user, and have good BIOS settings.

My struggles with this board were just tough since I had another computer with the same symptoms, but it was an old system that quit working, while this was really what I considered a “new system” even though many of the parts were older from that other system. A new board is not like a board that has been running, as was demonstrated with this one today. It’s the toughest board I’ve had to get going. Not that I’m super experienced, mind you, but I’ve had a few I’ve worked on in the last couple of years.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t really put the hardware in good and firm, clicking it, re-seating it, I had to go overboard by far and do it again and again, until finally the board came to fuller life and then posted. πŸ™‚ Before that, I was getting not one single beep out of it. It didn’t holler about no video card, or no memory. It just sat there spinning the fans and lighting up the LEDS on the board. It would just stare at me. As I read on the abit forums, this applies, it just sat there mocking me.

Simple PSU solution? No.
a Complicated put the memory and AGP cards in until that, ALONG WITH the PSU being a good one, is enough and the board beeps, burps and comes to life, along with the monitor. πŸ™‚

I have many more tricks up my sleeves now, much more experience. Every hardship and trial brings understanding of another level. πŸ˜‰

Upgrades to Computer and House

Consensus of the computer situation led us to just get a new motherboard and processor.

From what I read it’s probably the processor that died. Not for sure though. So it’s on to a new build of computer for me πŸ™‚

The Athlon processor world has changed dramatically over the last few years. Our now “old” processor is an Athlon XP 2100+ … at Fry’s, where we get most of our computer stuff now that they are in the shopping area we do go to often enough, they don’t have the XP series of processor. On pricewatch.com that processor series is still available in online stores, and I’m sure it’s available elsewhere, but I came to the conclusion earlier today looking on pricewatch that we didn’t want to go with a Socket A processor necessarily.

Sempron has replaced Athlon XP … they are afordable. They run on a 400mhz bus. I didn’t like them much by looking at them. I wanted something good. The Athlon 64 series is more a multitasking processor series.

So we ended up going to Fry’s and looking at their stock and looking at their ads on products and putting 2 and 2 together came up with 5. πŸ™‚ We did upgrade to a board that runs an 800mhz bus, but it’s still Abit and we got a three year warranty with Fry’s on it, extra, so we could deal with them directly if it goes fritzy on us.

Fry’s was running a deal in their ad for that board and the Athlon 64 3000 (OEM) processor for less than buying them seperately.

Now I have to put it all together and make the hardware all play nice with each other. I am hoping the PSU will be good enough. If not, it’s back to Fry’s in the next few weeks, or online, to buy a different PSU. The one we have is a Vigor 500W, made by MGE company. It’s not that it’s bad, just don’t know if it’s superbly good enough for THIS new board.

The memory we got recently should work great in this board. It can run at full speed with this better processor.

So it goes down to this: Already, before, we wanted to upgrade the video card still and get a new hard drive to add to the system, and a DVD burner.

Now it’s back to square one, no new video card even πŸ™ But eventually we’ll get one. I’m left with either the old processor dead or the old motherboard dead. Whichever one it is, depends on what we’ll do.

We’ll get a cheap case and get that board running right, and find another Socket A processor to put in it, run the old stick of memory that was cheapy and made it not run right, if we get a new PSU then the one I have currently can go on that board. If it’s the board that is the trouble then we can get that fixed via Abit for fairly cheap, not having to worry about turnaround time if we have another system running.

So what this all means is we’ll be trying to get two desktops running, that old board to be a backup system in case of problems with bigger desktop. It’ll be a testing ground too, and a place for spare parts to hang out. It’s a good board, NF7-S … just that the processor isn’t as highly powered in the Socket A series. So we have a new better board in that arena and I am biting my lip awaiting the time to get going on it, it’ll have to wait until Monday.

I’m up in the middle of the night typing this. I awoke after just a little bit of sleep and can’t get back to sleep. I watched some TV, watched HGTV “reDesign” which is one I’ve seen before, but I didn’t mind re-watching it tonight/this morning since it’s one that I really liked what Kenneth Brown did, custom wall builtins, drawers to hold vinyl records in that. An eastern beach sort of theme. It’s not disimilar to what we want to do in our “dining room” just with different color scheme, to get builtins flanking the fireplace, which will hold dishes, TV, audio, books, other kitchen stuff, and more.

Next on HGTV was “design on a dime” and they did a makeover of a large kitchen for a family that used it alot, using a “tuscan” theme, and did a lot of furniture building … it fit into the theme of what we are trying to accomplish here as well, just not “tuscan” but “country, french country, arts and crafts movement”-ish.

Before all that was a “designer finals” episode which I had never seen before. It was a studen designer doing a room as a “jazz lounge” theme for a couple with a love of Jazz music, two dogs that love the bay window in the room, and they also needed it to have a desk and computer. The student designer really did a great job, and it was inspiring to me. I felt like getting up and painting and sawing and … all that.

So I eventually did get up. I hung a picture in the hall. There was a little wreath there and other hanging things under it from something that used to be there. I have a large poster in ornate frame of a Monet painting. It used to hang in our bedroom and had been sitting on top of something in there since we moved furniture around and didn’t have that space for it available anymore. I looked at it, and thought about it and got up and put it in the hall. It fits. I’ll rehang it on Monday a bit higher though. It’s inspiration to me on how to do that upstairs hallway. Light blues and creams. πŸ™‚ It’ll brighten the space up considerably. Hurray for that!

So my mind is racing around with many ideas tonight and I just can’t sleep. So I sit here at Frank’s laptop on the dining room table, a glass of Sweet Tea by my side, and three of the cats lounging around on the table with me.

Yeah, the cats are on our table. Can’t really keep them off. I shoo them off if it’s clean and if we are working on it with food and all that. It’s hard to keep them off it though. Cat’s go where they want to when you aren’t around anyhow. So that’s that. They love the table. So do I. πŸ™‚

Speaking of the table, I made a list of all our furniture that I love and want to keep. It wasn’t very large. I wanted to see what pieces we had that are valuable to us. This table and chairs are one of the big things. We got them from Costco online some time ago, Italian made Scandinavian Pine. Not fancy, just simplistically beautiful. Thick ladderback chairs and thick farmhouse legs on the table. It’s bigger than the other tables we’ve had for eating on. It’s not expandable. I’d like one that is, but I also know how to marry other tables into the setting when need be, so it’s not crucial. I don’t have plans to replace this table, and don’t want to even do it. It could be a nice island in another kitchen someday though. πŸ™‚

Hot dog days and meals

Yesterday was so hot. It got to 90 degrees in the house. I had seen weather info earlier that forecast 89 for a high in Atlanta. I don’t know why it got so hot in the house though, it wasn’t THAT hot outside. I guess it’s partially my ankle injury, I didn’t go around checking fans direction of air pull, windows to open or close, blinds to go up or down, open or close slats, etc.

Usually I try to get things all flipped back and forth depending on sun position, so back of the house is pushing out in morning, but pulling in the evening. Front of the house pulls in morning and pushes in afternoon. Pulls means takes air into house. Push means takes air out of the house.

It’s not a precise method though, sometimes it’s better to close off the front of the house all day instead. I think that might be what went wrong yesterday. It did get cloudy/stormy during the afternoon, but it never rained.

Anyway, it just does get very hot some days, inside is hard to control with the fans we have. It’s not always so bad, just parts of the day. Some days are worse on a whole, but not every day, mostly not even two days in a row, just afternoons.

So yesterday was that hotty one and I didn’t get a clear mind to cook dinner until after 8pm, it was really closer to 9 when I got going. This is something that is not new for me. Last year the very hot days were like that. It’s just that for me my mind turns to mush and I can’t function if it’s that hot, and the evening cools down after dark eventually and my mind comes back online. People don’t like it. But that’s where understanding comes in and helping me is better than fussing at me for it. πŸ™‚

I came up with a version of somethings I make, that was different enough to be it’s own thing.

I used German Sweet Sausage, which is a natural non-cured product we got at Harry’s (Whole Foods Market) in the cooler where prepackaged things from other companies are kept.

I sliced that into angled rounds, and then each of those into halves.

I used:

several small Yukon Gold potatoes, diced.
1/2 a large Vidalia onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large Red Bell Pepper cut into 1/4-inch wide, long strips, then cut in half lenth-wise

I stir fried that until the potatoes were nearly done.

Then I added:

1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen)
two handfuls of long, thin green beans (fresh)
Soy Sauce, a few dashes
A couple dashes of Tabasco Sauce
Sea Salt to taste
Extra water as needed to make the sauce less thick, to aide cooking.
Added the German Sweet Sausage then too.

When the beans were done, still a bit crispy, the meal was ready, I put freshly grated fresh queso cheese ontop.

It was very good. I didn’t used to do much with veggy stir fry’s a few years ago even, but last year started doing some things and this year just chuck things into the pan when the time calls for such.

I have some other renditions that are more Japanese Stir Fry sorts of meals. I use rice or japanese noodles, chicken, or beef, and sugar snap peas, water chesnuts, more soy sauce, and onions, red bell peppers, etc.

These things I made up. It’s a reinvention of the wheel, yes, I didn’t create them as unique things, I know that they aren’t anything new precisely, just that I did what is natural to me to put them together without a recipe. Any recipe would have things in it I would leave out or change or add different things in, so it is that mine are unique in a way anyhow, but I am not claiming some great new recipes here. πŸ™‚

I’m just glad to share what I’ve done more of and I am proud of it since I’m such a picky person about veggies. I started this all the other year when I started making a crock pot “pepper steak” recipe. I did it to get good Vit C peppers instead of the green peppers, so I used Red Bell Peppers and liked them as soft as the crock pot made them. I forced myself to make it on the stove and make them less soft last year, and that got me into actually liking the crisp crunch of peppers more and more and leading me into better stir fry additions.

I used to make “fried rice” which was heavy work for me. I didn’t have lots and lots of veggies in it. It is something I don’t make anymore, I just dislike how much rice I have to stir in and it wears my arm out and makes the meal icky for me. Too much of a chore.

So for me this different way of cooking allows me to have an easy way to make something that is so much better, and it can have rice or noodles or no carbs at all. Lots of veggies nicely crisp done.

I don’t use a regular Soy Sauce either. I now use Tamari, which is a wheat free soy sauce. It tastes so much better, IMO. Soy is something I only use if it’s in small quantities, as soy sauce is, and is fermented, brewed or something, as soy sauce is.

Basically this all is just an introduction to a different kind of oriental cooking that I have liked, and I’ll probably get going into researching some other japanese recipes for real one of these days. πŸ™‚

Now I’m hungry for something crispy japanesey good. Hmph. It’s still morning.

Thunderous Praise

We had a lovely thunderstorm early this evening. The lighting was crashing down and cloud to cloud, close to our home. It was so soothing. Super intense storms are so soothing to me.

We hadn’t heard thunder as we have this evening in several years, the first Spring in our house was 1997 and we had a Super-April, very exciting. We’ve had a storm here or there with good sounds, but not much at all, not like tonight.

I stood on our little front porch for part of the storm tonight. It was very refreshing, several crashes were “right there” as close as could be without being our house or one of them in our neighborhood visual sight. Crash! Boom! Bang! Boom, boom, boom, rumble-hard, rumble-hard, rumble-hard, rumble-hard, rumble, rumble, rumble, growl, growl, growl, slumber rumble …

It’s fun to see a lightning strike in your mind, not with your eyes, but feel it with all your other senses that are not sight nor sound. It sounds bizarre I guess, but it’s true to life. They are sometimes over the house or behind it and not visible. I see them like that the rare times there is lighting and I am inside the house too. Anyhow, we had several very close ones tonight, multiples of multiples just a bit further away. More further away than that as well. The weather map on local tv had so many lighting strike symbols on the map where our county was visible, you could barely make out our county, it was just a white blobbish thing. It was mentioned on the newscast there too, actually calling out our little town by name. That was quite notable. We are so far outside of the “city” that the news broadcasts from. We had immense lighting though, the most dangerous sort, the stuff that hits the ground. So it’s dangerous, but intensley beautiful from some sort of a distance.

So that lighting that is seen or not seen, is always heard afterthefact. The Earth’s air clapping it’s hands unto God to His Glory. Awesome stuff!

Charleston

We are in Charleston, SC today, just arrived a bit ago. Frank has some business here just a short time, then we’ll be out and about doing things. I’ve been here twice before, in the area, but didn’t do anything really, so this’ll be my first REALLY good look at Charleston.

We were maybe going to go to Savannah this weekend, but ended up here. S is one of my favorite places now, so hopefully we’ll get to get there sooner than later. Both here and there have minor league baseball, we are going to a game here tomorrow. In S we haven’t seen a team there yet. We saw the Smokies in Kodak TN on July 4th. That was AA ball. This here is A ball, in the carolinas and georgia. Frank and I used to go to minor league games (Rookie League) in S. Fl when we lived there, all the time in our first few years of knowing each other. In fact Frank asked me to marry him, right before leaving for a game, was supposed to ask me there but lost it and asked me right in the driveway of my parents house, before pulling out. πŸ˜‰

That was over 13 years ago already. Our anniversary is in August, not listed on the sidebar dates to remember. Frank noticed that, but I haven’t loaded it. It just doesn’t seem I have the right language to use to notify the public about it there πŸ˜‰ It’s a duo-oneflesh-event, but I don’t like using a personal “my anniversary” or an “our anniversary” label, it’s more than that. Anyhow, it’s the 22nd of August, origins from 1992. That really has nothing to do with this post, just that I’m talking of minor league ball and that connects to our early years and how we got engaged and such, so it IS connected, yet not, yet is … πŸ˜†

Here are a few pictures from the hotel room: (edited down in size temporarily while away with ‘Windows Paint’, icky quality, sorry, to be reloaded as nicer quality later)

From the Hotel Window

Storm growing over hotel

The children looking out the hotel window

Asa looking at the camera, Victoria looking out, Russell on the side looking out

A clearer view just a bit later

Out the hotel window after the storm cleared out, not much later. From our 5th floor room.

—-

We will be looking around Charleston tonight and tomorrow, that’s Friday night and Saturday. Don’t know for sure what we’ll see, but I hope to see at least one plantation in the area. Audobon sanctuaries are at two of them, from what I read in some brochures. With my new Canon Digital Rebel I could get some great shots I imagine. So we’ll see as to what we decide to do and what that might bring me to opportunity of photographic delight. πŸ™‚

Desktop Mysterious USB

My computer, the desktop, started fritzing out again today, after nearly running for 24-hours fine since the heatsink re-seating. Temps were fine though.

I determined after several BSOD incidents that it was my mouse, USB driven thing with a tail. All my mice are USB driven, any around that are for the computer, that is. I have that one I was then using, a Microsoft Optical type. I have a Microsoft USB mouse/keyboard combo hub Wireless version which I had used with my laptop, before it died. We also now have a USB wireless Kensington, which came with Frank’s ebay won Vaio earlier this week.

I determined after awhile that not having anything plugged in, the computer worked alright, for as long as I tried it that way. Plug something into a port that it hadn’t been plugged into before, and Windows recognized it and installed the hardware automatically, it’d work for a bit, then freeze and fritz me out to a series of BSOD’s for awhile. I had also at some point uninstalled one of the USB drivers in the Device Manager. In any case, I was able to use my keyboard if I could get Windows to load alright. But I am a mousey girl, I do best with a mouse (compared with a keyboard-only approach to computing), better though with a laptop touchpad (I miss my old laptop days with a nice touchpad!).

I concluded USB since the problem wasn’t exactly new … it was sort of the same thing happening the other day when I re-seated the heatsink on the processor. I knew that needed to be done, but had no idea what else was up for sure. We know we want to replace the videocard, and will, but I didn’t think the “freezing” thing was the video card exactly. To pinpoint it, what’s the thing that I was doing when ever the freezing occurred? Opening … doing …. ah, yes, clicking with the mouse, different things, something on the Desktop, something in a program, never the same thing always exactly, just different normal mouse functionalities …. then blitz, frozen, or BSOD.

I had another USB module I could install, mb places to plug the cord into as well. So I went ahead a bit ago and installed that piece of hardware. So far, it’s working alright. The USB that went fritzy is onboard USB modules. What went bad, I don’t know, I just know I’m trying to see if the new hardware pieces work alright, and I’ll just avoid the others until I need them, which I haven’t as of yet.

We are having nasty looking storms loom out there awhile, then come overhead and blow over with nary a drop of water coming down from the sky. One of them had lightening and right when one of those flashes went off my computer rebooted instantaneously, it wasn’t a BSOD as all my other errors caused, it was an actual instant re-boot, which must have been a power loss occassion, just a coincidence that it happened right in the middle of my BSOD experiences of this July Summer 2005 day. It’s getting very, very dark again, so I best finish this up and Shut Down.

I am nearly breathless hoping that the system won’t fritz out on on me before I can get a new video card, and maybe a new processor to, just to up the stability. It’s an Athlon XP 2100+ … been awhile since we got it, it’s worked hard. Still running, but you never know when it’ll give up the ghost. I know the motherboard would be happier with a new video card, something to play nice with the Nvidia chipset. ATI is what we have. It’s also an old 7500 model. Well, old, that’s relative to the computer age. I can recall with clarity the day we bought it at Best Buy. I was so excited to be getting a new card, something better than that Rage little 3D card. It was a big day. I can recall when I was Two years old though as well, so it’s no gauge as to when something happened to be able to vividly recall the event. Ah well and good, as it’s just a thing of the past, the card is old. It’s got 64mb of memory, and that’s ‘ok’ but far from powerful for today’s graphical needs.

I really hope the USB problem is able to stay down and not affect the other USB things I’ve got going now. I’ll have to check deeper into it later, when I can afford to not have the computer running, therefore not until we get a second laptop, one to replace my old dead Vaio GRV550. πŸ™‚

Hennie Pennie Talk

I haven’t written about my Hennie Pennies for awhile, they deserve a few words. They didn’t lay over Winter, that’s alright. They were slow in getting to the laying part of it this Spring though, but did do it. The Leghorn hens are old, for hens. We got them in February 2003, they hatched in October 2002. As Pullets their first laying began in March 2003. That information combined with this years timing means they are in their 3rd laying season, and doing well. Not every day for each one, but some seem to be every 2 days, and some are every day almost. We have 7 Leghorns and often get 4 white eggs a day. They are our only white egg layers.

Our green layer is Hawklady. She’s doing alright, laying often: every other day, many times every day for a few or up to a week, sometimes off for 2 or 3 days, but overall, a good layer. Sporatic pattern, but laying.

The 2 Wynadottes, brown layers, are laying, as are the other brown layers, the 4 Australorps. That’s 6 hens in the brown egg category, and we get 2 or 4 eggs sometimes each day, often more so 4, and sometimes 5 or 6.

I have been horrid about counting the eggs on a sheet of paper, or on the computer. I have these neat little plans in my head, and they don’t translate onto visual very often, to my shame. I really want to have accurate figures, and fall off the wagon too often.

I have had too many eggs to do anything with at times this year, but not for very long. I have a rash of eggs to give to the animals now, old ones that are too old for people to eat. Dog and cat will eat the ones they want to, not bad ones usually. It’s not that they are “bad” only eggs with bacteria in them are “that bad” and they are eggs usually that are cracked or filthy for days on end, but almost universally will have a crack somewhere, hairline or bigger, whether or not it’s found by a knowing human. So my contention here is only that “bad eggs” come about because of hairline fractures in the shell, and that fracturing allows the introduction of bacteria.

I am not saying there is no other way for an egg to go bad, just that this is the main thing about it most of the time, in my mind. I never saw a bad egg before last year, and it was a very dirty egg, about 2 weeks old, I opened it up and said “yup!”. Further understanding came when I did see that hairline crack afterwards.

Since having hens that lay I’ve been careful to inspect the eggs and use whatever is cracked or hairline cracked right away, but that doesn’t mean a super-hairline crack could go unfound, of which I did have one of those the second egg year. None others that year though.

This year I’ve had a couple of bad eggs, my practices are worse though. It’s just that I don’t “always” clean the eggs right away, and then I often clean them before I use them. Eggs built up this year and I didn’t use them as fast as I wanted to, so I had a couple of “going bad” things when I did get to some “sort of older” eggs. I don’t have a box for my Leghorns to lay in and it can get messy when they aren’t moved on the grass to a new location ‘religiously’, therefore in the case of things as they are, the eggs aren’t “lilly white” when I get them. I need to get a box out to them, that alleviates dirty broken eggs of any sort, if I make sure the straw or hay is clean each morning. Rain makes my nesting boxes fall apart. They are simply the water boxes we get 6-one-gallon jugs in, with a few cuts and held up with bungee cords. It works wonderfully. Tropical rainstorms defeat that system though, the bottom drops out. I could paint the box first, then it’d hold up. But that is neither here nor there as to why I haven’t done so. Just the fact is, I COULD put a new box out there once a week. We have enough boxes available at any time for such. It’s the basic “I designed it” but “don’t do the every-day-of-it” so well. My actual design calls for an easier lid for that hen pen, and the box that I use to be painted before installation. As it is, the top is too heavy and I could go on and on … just a different top would make the pen easy to move again and it’d be no problem to do that or to get egg out from the grass. The current top is just a big aggrevation, a piece of thick plywood. It doesn’t blow away with tropical gusts though. πŸ™‚ So I will just say, I need to put a new box out there and just live with it. Replace it when it needs it. I failed myself πŸ˜‰

The brown and green eggs are from the A-frame and that situation is much different. Their egg nest shelf isn’t for eggs anymore. They just sleep up there. They lay in the corners in the grass for some reason suddenly this Spring, instead of the lofty nest area. So I recently pushed a boxed in the area under the loft, and it stays, gets wet from the ground, doesn’t fall apart since it just is sitting on the ground in the first place, and it dries out eventually, the 90% of the eggs are layed in the box now, and the others are just in the corners in the grass, and they are mostly clean, just spot cleanings and they are mostly uncracked, leaving the language open to allow for a crack or two in the past or future. πŸ˜‰

I haven’t “refridgerated” eggs before since they can be used in a few weeks and stored at room temperature just fine. Our house is without A/C this year and last though, so it’s an issue with ickier eggs to keep them for a few weeks. Ickier eggs need to be used right away really, especially without cooler air. 80 degrees F. is not “room temperature” πŸ˜† Because we now have “two” refridgerators I am now starting to put eggs in the old fridge, but I have a lot of eggs left from the end of May as well as June that I need to just give to the cats and dog now. Eggs that are cleaned, if they are white, are not pretty, so I’ve not tried to sell any, or had opportunity to give them away fresh. I would be comfy giving stained eggs to some people, but not most. In any case, my hennies are really not laying THAT much more than I can use. For now I have to just use what I get and get a better nest box situation going for the Leghorns. With that, I’ll post this and go get a box ready. πŸ™‚

Household Changes

I re-seated the heatsink on the desktop mb this afternoon. I had wanted to do this for awhile, but since my “stuff” is in such disarray, I hadn’t looked hard enough to find my Artic Silver, which I’d be needing to do the job. So I motivated to find it today. The computer yesterday started fritzing out, not erroring, just “freezing” suddenly and not unfreezing.

It got worse today, restarts would work, but a minute or so into Win XP the freeze would hit. Then I couldn’t even work in BIOS after that, it froze immediately after entering BIOS. That told me the truth of it, HARDWARE. I wasn’t sure, since a bunch of Win XP Auto updates occurred in the last few days … and I’m suspicious of those any good old day of the year. [it was a dh “ok” on some windows message to change to automatic updates sometime in the past, I don’t like them and wouldn’t have done it, and had little to do with this desktop the last several months … so it happened when I was not on guard.] The case is though, it’s not software, so that was alright to understand.

I thought it was probably the processor. (I’m sure it was.) I took it apart and it looked awful stuff under the heatsink. So I scraped it up where it was left (yeah, it wasn’t much protected) and then reapplied some Artic Silver and put the heatsink back on top and snapped it down. Re-connected all the other hardware/cables/etc and cleared CMOS, then booted up into BIOS. The system recognized my processor and let it default into 2100+ real settings. That was way cool. I fought with it a few weeks ago when I installed new memory, and WANTED to re-apply the processor stuff right then, but wasn’t really able to, so didn’t and tried to get the system to take the better processor settings since I had more memory of much higher quality finally. Before the new memory I was never able to run the processor at full speed either. That old memory was junk to this board, abit nf7-s vs.2 We now have a GIG in dual channel mode, 2 x512mb sticks.

I’ll see how this lasts, right now I’m monitoring via MBM 5 and the temps are staying in the 40’s. It’s not a cool room, it’s Summer, and it’s a first re-application of the heatsink/processor relationship with Artic Silver since a long while. That means the temperature should decrease if the application is a good one, and in a few weeks it’ll “gel” more, fully only meaning it’ll become a good install situation and become more stable of temperature over time.

Frank’s laptop (from eBay) came on Monday, it’s a Vaio PCG-K13. It’s nice. Practically brand new, but didn’t come with recovery discs or the original factory OS stuff on the hard drive. It has Win XP Pro, but no Pro disc or license #. Only has a Win XP HOME license on the bottom of the laptop as they are sold that way. So for now I just went with the Pro install and will get the recovery CD stuff from Sony eventually, and just downloaded the drivers Sony has for the K13 online. It’s pretty nice, a Pentium 4 and that’s a full processor and needs to be watched so that the laptop doesn’t overheat, so a cooling thing underneath is fairly necessary. Different manufacturers make them, Targus being one main stream company. It’s something else we’ll get for Frank’s laptop.

I now have the Desktop to myself then. I’m glad for that. We have to get “the office” cleaned up and move stuff around, then I can have a better area to work with, in Frank’s office. It used to have the extra Queen bed in it. We just took that out recently. We put our King foundations under each twin mattress in the children’s rooms. They are really longer twin foundations (sold in pairs for King sets). We had the Queen futon on top of our King Mattress set, arranged that in January 2004, I think it was. It increased the height of the bed. We also have extender legs on the frame. So the bed was high, and had a mattress ledge on each side of the Queen futon on top, due to sizing differences between King and Queen.

We took the King Mattress out and are discarding that, it’s too not comfy, too broken down inside (why we put the futon on top of it originally). Then we made the frame smaller to fit Queen size and put the Queen set on top, and the Queen Futon on top of that. Ah, it’s better than before. I don’t have that ledge anymore, lost realestate, but I am getting used to it. We’ve been on a Queen Size for a long while now, so it’s not sleeping getting used to that we have, just the ledge missing that makes it different, a level to hop onto from the floor, a place to put a book, remote, etc.

The room has a bit more space too then. I still have to get the dustruffle washed and then resize it with pins and install it again. I use two – one made for the high leg extender size, and then another on top of that to give it “oomph” – weight, thickness to the eye looking at it, etc.

This whole thing frees up room in the office then, and it can get “re-office-ized” and be the best office area, better than it’s ever been before. I may have enough room to “scrapbook” here or maybe elsewhere, when we are done. Oh, it’s been so very way too long.

We got a bunch of ‘photo’ boxes at Michael’s the other day, on sale for 1.99 each. I am going to find ALL my photo’s and arrange them in them and get started organising them even better than that in the boxes once I start going through them. Most from when Frank and I married to current are in sleeves from processing, good little things that hold them well, but they need to be in boxes. Some are, but most are not. Then I have many loose photos from Frank’s Dad, and lots of loose photos from my past life, before Frank. I can organise many of my scrapbook stuff loose things in these boxes as well.

My stuff has been messed up, thanks to Asa, who just is into everything so much more than either of the two before him every were. He’s a piece of work, that’s for sure. I have had this sort of stuff under the bed in plastic storage boxes and they get opened, blah, blah, blah, boxes broke, stuff all over … :rolleyes:

Asa is 4 and soon enough will be 5. Time to grow up and stop messing with my stuff! I haven’t done anything with it since I’ve had no place to work with stuff. I hopefully will get to do something soon. My stuff is early scrapbooking Creative Memories stuff. I see the things in stores now, and melt. Ah, so nice! But I have plenty of my plain stuff, which is my style, to a degree any ways. So then there’s my Rubber Stamping stuff. Asa totally messed up all my ink pads and embossing powders … so to get back into that I must get new stuff. I love stamping. I love embossing! It’s been a long while since any of that too.

With area for me opening up I can get my creative juices running fuller and get going on lots of stuff. Outlets. God bless such things! With outlets I am a nicer me to everyone else. More outlets, more nice me. πŸ™‚ I’ve been redused for too long. I hope this computer works fine for me, and that sometime I can get a laptop to fill out the niches. I have my digital Canon now, and that goes hand in hand with all this office stuff, since I can do much more with photos now with a good digital camera, and this is all part of scrapbooking and all the rest.

We still have to get the kitchen done. It’s a long way off. The paint on the cabinets that I did before, a couple of doors were sticking, and just this last week stopped that finally. Like when they are shut, open them later and you have to pull them, the corner of the door on the frame, the paint, sticks. So that’s done. Now I know it’s a better time to try to sanding and re-painting of them. So when it’s cool enough, I’ll get the paint out and see how much more I need, and get that done.

The “island” needs to be created, and a new stove bought. I want to do the countertop on that island myself, tiled, and have a manufactured countertop on the areas around the room with the wall cabinets. The base of the island we hope to make ourselfs and have no idea exactly how we want to do that. The right ideas and things will come in time. The wall cabinets are a butter yellow, and the island I see as being, most likely, dark blue below, with some nice natural colored tile on top. The butter yellow cabinets will have “we do not know” as a countertop. That’s one of the things to think over still.

We have talked about the “dining room” the wall with the fireplace on it we plan to have “book cases” flanking each side. The space is just right for that treatment, with the fireplace jutting out into the room and having equal spaces on each side then. I want a wood look, pine sheets of wood veneer facing the room, stained to be similar to how our table is, a pretty color, not light nore dark. Shelves fairly high, lighting included in the space. There may be a panel door sort of bottom to each side, that juts out to meet the fireplace depth dimensions from mantel height, or chair rail height.

We are in agreement that the “dining room” is first thing to get done, it’s easier, no moving of pluming or electric, well not much electric just a bit for lighting the bookcases. This whole thing will include the fireplace surround. We have black slate there now, and will keep that. It had ugly molding built around it to make it look “traditional”, it was put in by the builder, and we never liked it, it was a bad job of it. I ripped that off the other month. It felt good to do that. We have just the stone on the wall now, and drywall and a couple of lumber pieces that were the nailers for the old facing.

Things are shaping up a bit with Frank’s work, so these things can start up, get going again, etc. I really hope we can get that main floor, the kitchen/dining/entry area done before year end. That includes a new window and new doors in the kitchen to the backyard. The deck is not something we want to keep, and it’s not useful where it is any way, with the French doors gone. The new doors will be down the other end of the room, and that’s not the deck there at all. A better spot for the deck, so if we can get it done, well put in a new one there later, and just a stoop and steps to the yard for the time being once the doors are in. The doors are one of the last things we can do, so they will wait a bit, until other things are moved and set up in the kitchen, that’s plumbing sort of things, which mean countertop too. πŸ™‚ All things must wait their turn, so it’s dining room first. It’s nice to be thinking of it and writing of it again, knowing we are set to do something sooner than later now. πŸ™‚

Hi Dennis!

Dennis is here, the outer north-east bands part of “him” that is. It’s breezey all of the sudden and tropical air and rain are falling (warm and big heavy drops rushing down). Dennis is a cat. 3 hurricane now, and expected to hit somewhere on the Gulf Coast by tomorrow morn, and he’s so big that this weather we are having up here is his influence.

The ground just got un-soggy from Cindy-rain today (still very damp though), so here we go with Dennis and it will be really muddy-ish and soggier than soggy as Cindy made things the other day.

We had another nest of Mockingbirds in a tree out back and they fledged from the nest the day after the Cindy rain. They are still little birdies and one is staying in a small tree near the tree that held their nest. There were 4 baby mocks. They all got out, but I lost track of one right away, and then another soon there after. There were two in the tree that just one is in now, until today. Having baby birds like that around make one consider how they get through such rainy times as this, in their weak young state. They hop around, still getting up their wings to learn soon. So it’s not like they can fly up into some sheltered area exactly. πŸ™

I have to get pics up for the birds, I have a couple of nice little ones. I’m bad about getting them up now. I really just need to get them up here!

We are suppose to get a good bit of rain, but not sure, it does depend on how far West Dennis goes, or how far East, of course. I love the rain though. I really love it. I know it’s tough on others in other places, it’s what waters us in the summer though. We need it here. In any case, it’s lovely to hear the rain fall, soft, hard, breezes blowing the trees, curtains blow in and billow about sometimes, fresh clean air. πŸ™‚

New Black Oil Sunflower

Canon Digital Rebel – July 6, 2005

Notice the beautiful swirls, the pattern is gorgeous, shows God’s handiwork wonderfully. Such order, beauty, but no true straight lines involved. πŸ™‚

Cindy Dumped Rain

Over 2-inches, but we don’t know really how much, that’s just an airport to the north of us that I grabbed the two-day totals from to estimate something from.

It was very soggy before Cindy arrived. I know I am not knowledgeable enough to know about it, we were away from home July 4 & 5 overnight. Apparently it rained during that time. Mushrooms started to come up (fromthe ground) while I was out looking for Cindy clouds and bands on July 5 and 6. It sprinkled a bit now and then, but that’s all, until after dark, the rain started to really come down, and it rained and rained and rained all night long.

It wasn’t so bad, just a lot of rain, enough for us, not enough to float us away though.

Now our eyes turn towards the South again, to Dennis. He’s gotten big. (I still don’t like calling a storm a “he” πŸ™ ). It’s iffy where he’ll go, left or right. They talk about it on accuweather’s “expert summary” on their hurricane page. Pretty much it’ll be as usual for us, he’ll hit some where on the Gulf Coast and we’ll get rain MOST LIKELY. Lots and lots or some or none, but mostly probably LOTS. We are in NE GA and that’s the East side of most every storm that comes up through the gulf, rainy. And they usually are really into dumping over us. I’d rather they did though, we went through a drought for years with very little rain. Excess this side of it is preferred.

I have some pictures of early Cindy skies on July 6th. I need to get them onto a site then I’ll link to them here.

Russell’s Wavey Hair Comes Out

I mentioned in a post about Asa’s hair the other day that Russell seems to have a slight wave to his hair, as if it’ll get curlier later on maybe … today I noticed that he had a ringlet.

He was playing in his room and it was very hot in there. I looked closer to the nape of his neck and his hair had formed into several loose lovely botticelli curls, the underlayment hair in the back only. On top it was straight.

So I decided to experiment on him. I trimmed the back of his hair a bit later, just to even it up and make it a bit shorter in the back than it had been, it had grown much longer in the back than the sides. So I evened it up some, and then wet it down and gave him a light conditioner-only wash. Then I combed all the tangles out, he had a lot …which is a clue to waviness itself, IMO. So then I put a bit of hair gel in and mussed it up, scrunchy way, to help develop waves. His hair was happy to obey that session when still wet. It wasn’t straight as a stick all over at all. I hadn’t really tried that ever with his hair, usually just combing it out after a shampoo and letting it dry or blowdrying it. So here it was, a conditioning wash and natural dry with some gel. His ringlet underlayment developed on it’s own. The sides got a wave to the edge and stayed back, not falling into his face as straight hair as it has always done after a blow dry or a shampooing sort of treatment and then a week of no shampooing.

What I am knowing is that it has been hot and humid lately. That will bring out the wave in someone’s hair if it’s there. I was actually thinking about it the other day that he actually doesn’t have such straight hair as I might have considered it was earlier in his life, and looking back I can see that slight hint to waviness. He has what can become a botticelli thing, I think. Straighter on top, heavier overlayment and much curlier underneath.

So if he is like me, with the conditioner treatment way he can wet his hair down everyday to refresh the curliness … and that will aide him with having longer hair, keeping it back instead of hanging blah in the way. It’ll be characteristic of a cuter him too. It’s all long enough to pull back into a handsome male ponytail, the front being shorter still, but holding in there alright if pulled back and smooshed into place before securing. It’s a style that I like for him, as his face is interesting, has angular fine features of a sort that a short haircut looks weird on him, but longer hair fine, and pulled back looks “artistic male like” artsy, snobby, intellectual … as much as a 9-year-old little boy can look like that. He’s growing up though, his face has changed dramatically the last few years. My own hair as a child was mildly wavey and got really unavoidably curly in my early teens. For my children I am here knowing what to do with curly hair, when I was a child no one had a clue, neither did I until I was a lot older. I tried to blow it out all the time, and shampooed it to death, chemically straightened it and somehow still retained my own head of hair. So I’m here to help my wavey children. Experience taught me well, no need for them to have horrid experiences!

Device Updates

I’m excited about something on eBay … Dh let me bid on a Canon Digital and I got the high bid (won) this early AM! It’s the elder Digital Rebel, not the new 8 megapixel but the first sort, the 6.3. It’s a super upgrade for me, and what I have had my eye on for as long as it’s been around the marketplace. This one is used, but “as new” as can be, supposedly. I don’t mind that at all. It’s a pricey product in the marketplace new, $799 is the higher price it goes for, and can be found for a bit less some places, but less places now that they are out with the newer model at the old DigReb6.3 price of $999.

The current digital camera I use is an Olympus something or other, just an auto point and shoot little thing that is a frustrating camera, for me, to use. It’s good for simple pictures, but not an SLR at all. I have a film Canon Rebel, just don’t use it right now since I have so many rolls of film I’ve been waiting to have developed for a very, very long time. So with the new one, when it arrives, I’ll have cousin cameras, A film Rebel and a digital Rebel. I will be able to go nuts, finally, taking pictures in how I like and have good results film wise or digitally. I love this whole thing, I’ll have two bodies of cameras to use EF lenses, swapable. I’d like to one day upgrade to bigger megapixel model, but to start with, the 6.3 is fine.

Happy early birthday to me! (is how I’m viewing this … sort of …) Thank you dearie Frankie! πŸ™‚

Frank has a business expense device coming soon, a laptop we got on eBay, and so then I’ll have this desktop, which we are sharing for the time being, computer to myself at least. I will need to have a ‘puter at my disposal to load the new camera pics on to fiddle with at any time I wish to have the camera be a great thing of fun for me. Recall if you read the few things posted in June 2005, I lost my laptop use when four-year-old recently got juice all over the LCD screen and the backlight fritzed out between then and when I discovered the “accident”. If you didn’t read that before, you did now, the short version.

This desktop is running pretty good now as well. We did get Memory for it, a full Gig in dual-channel modules (Corsair 3200 512 x 2 ), the night that my laptop died. We were buying that memory, out on other errands as well. Came home with total expectation of having the desktop running better after memory install and had no pre-understanding that my laptop was going to be dead to my use. What a defaltion that was for me. But as for the desktop, the Abit board is running the memory in dual-channel mode and there hasn’t been a single BSOD ever since taking the old Kbyte 512mb 2700 module out. Before the memory switch, there were those bluey thingies oftener than not. So the ‘puter opens big stuff faster now too. Nice.

The processor is running at slower speed though. I can’t make it rack up to what it really is. I guess I ruined it running it at a lower megahertz as long as we’ve had it … it was on another board before with that Kbyte memory. Moving to the Abit NF7s board it wouldn’t run right at it’s fastest processing speed. I had to put it down to 100 mghz. It’s an Athlon 2100+. So now with the new memory I can’t get BIOS to load processor real speed or antything BUT 100 … urgh. It’s wickedly weird, from my limited experience with processors and upgrading and such I haven’t had a “stuck” processor. My real desire was to take the processor off and reapply it when I installed the new memory. I didn’t do that. I should have. But I need to find my Artic Silver and also wait until Frank’s newer laptop comes, slated to be delivered July 11. I’ll also have to wait to do it until I can convince Frank to buy a new processor IF THIS ONE flips out when I re-seat it. So I’ll leave it alone until a new one could be afforded. I’d just get a new one that’s out there somewhere, that could be overclocked if I want … if I can find one, so faster than Athlon 2100+ but not much. Newer ones are locked, can’t overclock those. My very own 2100+ seems to have locked itself at a lower speed, even though it’s recognized as a 2100+ in the system. I re-set BIOS even. Just didn’t re-seat the processor, as I stated above.

So anyhow, this is all hope for the future to have a great little desktop that is fairly powerful and useful for family use of any kind; and I will *hopefully* get a laptop sometime sooner than later. (I used to take my laptop into the bedroom, in the van, into the kitchen, outside, anywhere. I only lost functionality of it because of small-children-being-bad-to-it when I wasn’t in the room and they were; two separate occassions, but never any other times, as it was unattended multiple times before and after, just two separate one-time things killed it slowly.) I miss my laptop-ability of all sorts. I miss having the computer at my fingertips just any old time I think of something to do or look up. It’s a real kill to my listening to music now too. And looking stuff up for the children as I was gearing into my Summer Fun Educationalness Time with them that relies heavily on the computer and internet (looking info up, printing stuff).

It’s July 2. It’ll be July 11 when Frank’s laptop arrives, so by July 12th the desktop will be free for me to use anytime, that’s 10 days away. I don’t like to wish time away … but … I don’t want to, really. I would like to stay 38 as long as I can, don’t want to push closer to 39 too soon, nor push Frank into 40 faster. He’ll be there on July 10. That’s a big event. Every day is one to savour, not wish away, and especially when you get older. Oh the days I can recall just wishing to be out of my childhood and … I am and it’s something I know a lot about now. Do not wish life away, it goes too quickly as it is. πŸ™‚

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