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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

early senility?

i'm turning into one of those weird old ladies who talks to her dog, and triumphantly practices unconventional solutions to every day problems.

it's this 'air card'.

bought a little over a year ago, so i could have internet service for my laptop wherever i am, as, at the time, i was doing a fair bit of traveling with the job. it's always been a bit twitchy, but now it seems to last only a few minutes before it disconnects itself and i have to reconnect.... which becomes of shorter and shorter duration till it won't connect at all. and, of course, the warranty is up. the thing retails for $300 so getting a new one is out of the question just now. and they don't repair things anymore. if the service provider even cared. i recently had other issues with it, and was told by Telus Mobility (after nearly a week of back and forthing over the issue, with no satisfactory resolution) 'Well, Telus doesn't support Macintosh' (my laptop is a MacBook) but, i reply, you sold it to me specifically for a Mac. you set it up on my Mac. 'Well, Telus doesn't support Macintosh'. robotic response. i guess they don't get paid enough to think.

so.... the stick is not reliable.

i noticed that it's always quite warm to the touch when it stops working. so i tried letting it cool, then plugging it in for another go. and it worked fine.... till it got warm again. hmmm. there seems to be a temperature factor. with time, the warming seemed to happen sooner, till it was all i could do to open my email and get out a reply or 2 before it was shutting down.

hmmm.... maybe if i chill it first. so i put it in the freezer compartment of the fridge for a 1/2 hour..... and it did work a little longer before it shut down. hmmm... chilling it seems to be an improvement.

so, picture this. i'm on bereavement leave, and completely vegging out. doing the hermit thing bigtime. still in my plaid pajamas, barefoot and gritty eyed, with magnificent bedhead, i'm seated in a 30's style big, soft armchair that i've recovered in a floral tapestry fabric. the laptop is on my lap, a bowl of gluten free peanut butter comfort cookies i baked yesterday is near at hand. there's a home made quilt containing ice packs carefully arranged around the air card attached to the side of the laptop. the dog is fascinated by the ice packs, and doing his best to unobtrusively get his nose inside the blanket to lick them.

all a bit ridiculous, but, miracle of miracles, i've been on the air card for nearly an hour and it's working fine.

thankfully, we have wireless at work. i won't need to bring my quilt and ice packs.

Friday, January 21, 2011

in memory of


she always went by Vi, though her name was Violet. Violet Rose. a lovely, delicate name for a petite woman who was quite a stunner in her younger years. she didn't like her name. Vi has been my stepmother since i was 3. in elementary school, my friends called her 'the wicked stepmother'.

she's not smiling because i was the one taking the picture. she didn't like me. the picture on her memorial program thingy is much nicer. she's smiling at the camera in that one. i didn't take that picture.

there will be no funeral. that's how dsyfunctional we are. not even a memorial service. nothing. my father won't have it. i'm told she spent her last days worrying that the wrong person would get her royal albert china. (i suspect her greatest fear was that i had been secretly coveting it all these years) i have this information second-hand, because, being her least favorite person in the world, it seemed wisest just to stay away. as my presence seemed always to be a catalyst for trouble of some kind, i didn't visit her during those days. and i don't want the china.

it seems that the death of an abusive parent is no easier than that of a good 'un. some say, even harder.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mona Lisa of the frozen north

i meant to post a picture of the windows. as proof that i at least make an effort to keep new year's resolutions, i'd planned to put an image of the windows i painted in lieu of hanging drapes. (resolution being to make time for creative expression) when i painted the walls i took down the hideous clattering plastic vertical blinds that came with the place. i had to do something for privacy, as my biggest window faces about a dozen other condos. so i mixed some of the same latex paint that went on the walls with liquid dish soap and painted botanicals on the windows, white on white. the dish soap trick was learned years ago when i supplemented my meagre living by doing seasonal window painting for local businesses. it makes the paint spread smoothly on the glass, gives a slightly translucent look, depending on the soap/paint ratio, and makes cleanup much easier.

as i perused prospective painted window pictures i couldn't resist posting this one instead. much more interesting than just a pane of glass with some paint on it....

the lovely mona lisa upstaging my humble efforts (seen behind her) is my daughter, having a glass of wine with me on her birthday, just before joining her spouse and a crowd of friends for a party. the darlin' granddaughter had a sleepover with grandma that night.