Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Blame The Computer

Pierce and Leslie flew to Seattle with us for a weddding in early September and Abby took a weekend off from school and also met us there. We had contemplated driving to and from so Leslie could bring all the kids but fortunately we came to our senses. I don't fly very often and I always forget how noisy it is inside and how boring the wait at the airport is. We did have a thrill (or feeling of embarassment if you were Leslie) in the Casper airport. They called all 10 of the passengers to board the plane, Leslie said, "we need to go, Dad" and Dean said, "I'm not going til they make the last call. I don't want to be on the plan any longer than I have to be." Shortly after he said that we heard "Stilwell, Stilwell, and Fuhrman" please board the plane" on a very loud loudspeaker even though the person making the announcement could see us 10 feet away from her.

Once we picked up our rental car Leslie was designated map/directions reader since I tend to get carsick if I read in a moving vehicle. After a couple of excursions with Leslie in the front seat supposedly directing Dean, I determined that she may have the best sense of direction of anybody on the face of the earth, but she does not know how to read a map. So I took over her position. I have absolutely no sense of direction, however I did an excellent job reading the map (even if I say so myself) and informing Dean of what street was expected next, telling him when he should turn and which direction. The only problem with that system was that he wouldn't listen to me. So even though I knew where he wanted to be and was expertly leading him there, he'd decide to turn somewhere else. Consequently, we just ended up wherever he finally gave up and stopped. Not surprisingly we got lost at some point each time we tried to get somewhere. But at the end of the weekend we turned in the car with no dents or scratches and that's all I really cared about.

We saw Seattle sights on the two extra days we spent there, ate some great food, and enjoyed four days of sunshine and great weather.

After we got home I wanted to catch up on this blog and post the photos. Somehow between the time I left and got home I got some kind of corrupted file and kept getting a message saying I needed to run a "chkdsk utility". I couldn't get that utility to run no matter what I did. After hours searching help, googling it, and trying various fixes, I finally gave up and called Toshiba. Beginning at 3:30 p.m. last Monday I became friends with Mike, then Patrick and finally Vince. It was Vince who finally told me that the chkdsk utility is not available on my computer because it was disabled and I would have to completely restore my computer back to its factory settings. I thought I'd heard him wrong so I said, "so you're saying I can't run chkdsk...because it seems a little ridiculous that I have to completely restore this computer and lose all my data, when all I really need to do is check for the bad file." "yes" he said, because "people caused more problems by using this utility than they fixed." I made him wait while I backed up my files which took a very long time because in my frustrated, angry state of mind I think I actually copied off everything twice.

Finally at approximately 8:30 p.m. last Monday (yes, a mere 5 hours after my initial call) I got the computer restored, and now the stupid thing is working again and I haven't gotten any corrupt file error messages----------yet. Yesterday was the first time I touched the computer since Monday. Apparently the computer gods didn't think I'd had enough time with technical support people so yesterday I got to spend a very pleasant hour with my ISP because I couldn't figure out how to get my wireless configured on this computer again. I like to think I'm somewhat computer literate but talking to tech support people really is a blow to my self-esteem. It's probably just as well it's all verbal communication and I only hear their sighs, and I don't have to actually see their eye-rolling, head-shaking and the hand-signs I'm sure they're giving to their fellow support people which are code for "boy, do I have a stupid one on the line today."

In between trips to Seattle and fighting with computers Dean and Leslie (with some help from the girls) decided to do some major canning. Last weekend they made applesauce. Even after 14 pints there were still apples left so Leslie and I made two apple pies. Thursday, since the grapes on Leslie and Ryan's grape vines were ripe they decided they'd make some grape jelly. Who knew you could grow grapes in our climate? We even discovered last night at a wedding reception that you can make a grape pie (out of concord grapes anyway....which also grow here!). They were heavy into jelly-making when I got home from work Thursday. I contributed to the effort by taking the girls to the park.

Later when I was on my way to pick up pizza to feed the hungry canners I noticed three deer eating their supper on a bush a half a block down from us so I did a quick turn around, got my camera and took some photos. When I got home from the getting the pizza they were still in the area so I grabbed the girls and we walked over for a look. Myra didn't want to put her dress on since it had collected bits of bark on it at the park and was "pokey" so Emerson and I walked down the street with Myra shuffling along in only her purple princess underwear and her pink cowboy boots. She was quite the sight.


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