My Final Say for 2011

2011 is on it’s last legs. Not a bad, bad year per se, but we had our ups and downs. We at least managed to get our new deck built and hopefully in 2012 we’ll get some of our windows replaced. The living room transom window is dripping like a fountain – the seal is broken – and the office window certainly needs changing too. Dampness has been a dirty word in this household and we’d really like to replace all of the windows, but will have to do so in instalments.

We also finally received and got hooked-up the new Airport Express. So far we’re not having any trouble getting the internet, but just our dumb luck, the Apple TV is now lighting up every once in awhile. A white light will come on and stay for about 10 seconds and then turn off and not necessarily in any time pattern. I’ve put it into sleep mode, I’ve checked and rechecked the settings and I’ve downloaded the latest update. Now I’m in the throws of more online research to see what the heck is going on. Technology really does make your life a lot easier, but jeez Louise, it can be a living hell whenever it acts up. As much as I love Apple products, there are times when I think Steve Jobs felt there were only geeks wandering this planet!

As Nat and I wanted to see our best friends before the end of the year, we took a drive into St. Catharines on Friday. We decided to make a good day of it, so on our way we stopped in Niagara Falls at The Mandarin for a nice lunch. We then continued on our way into St. Catharines, loaded up on Kaisers at our favourite bakery, and then drove over to Floris and Cecil’s for a really nice visit, got caught up on some news and enjoyed tea and biscuits before heading back home.

New Year’s Eve day saw the two of us getting ready for the rest of the week as usual. With groceries and other errands done in the morning, we then returned home, had a bite to eat and then started a little light house cleaning and completed a couple loads of laundry. The kids will be coming over tomorrow just before noon, so I wanted to get one day ahead. As I was on the last stages of my jigsaw puzzle I sat in the dining room afterward trying to get it completed so I could free up the table for Sunday lunch. It wasn’t long after Nat finished watching a football (soccer) game on telly, when he stuck his head through the door and asked if it was finished yet. “Almost”, I replied, “but with your help it’ll go a lot quicker”. So he joined in and by 3:30 pm we had finished. “Have one last long look, dear”, he said, “it’s gotta get torn up soon!” After our supper I broke up the pieces and popped them in the little ziploc bag. I’ll keep it until I get a chance to send it on to Jenny. Being the City of Calgary, Alberta, I think she’ll get a kick out of it.

The 2nd of January Nat will celebrate another birth year – very, very much to his chagrin. With Susan, Tom, Laura and the grandkids coming over tomorrow we’ll have a small lunch of cold cuts, roasted chicken pieces, salads and potato chips before Nat opens up his gifts. I found him a gorgeous blue sweater at Gary Water’s Store when shopping with Bonnie and I know he’ll love it. He loves the clothing at Gary Water’s but feels it may be a bit too “high end” for him. Personally, I think it’s not. He’s a “high end” kind of guy and looks fabulous in the sweaters I’ve bought in the past.

We’re looking forward to Sunday and seeing the kids, as we don’t see them that often anymore. So we’ll enjoy the first day of 2012 with family and hope the good times continue throughout the year.

Happy New Year to everyone and hope 2012 is successful for all.

Lion’s Ghost and A Little Elf

The saga continues with Lion and I’m beginning to think I’ve downloaded it’s ghost along with the operating system itself. My frustration is now reaching a fever pitch and the more research I do, the more confused I get. Too many other people are having the same kind of problem and no answers have been posted to date. Along with many other issues regarding Lion, I’m beginning to have doubts about whether I should have upgraded at this particular time.

Nat and I continue doing everything we can think of with the Airport Express that’s done us so well over these past years. Even after the cable guy checked our lines and they were fine, the problem reared its ugly little head again the next day.  We went on a quest to search out this mysterious ghost, find the little bugger and get rid of him. We reset the Airport, we unplugged and plugged it in, we reset it again using it’s original network settings, we turned the Mac off and on, off and on, we went through diagnostics, we went through every networking step we could think of, and still the internet would still drop off every now and then. We were now thinking it had to be the actual Airport Express and again, with more investigation, I realized ours was 802.11g and the new Airport Express is now 802.11n. Hmmmm – I’m now thinking there was something amiss since our AE was now more than 5 years old I’m guessing it’s past it’s prime. While on another errand we dropped into the Future Shop and had a wee chat with their Apple expert. After our long explanation was over and his eyes now glazed, he soon came around and agreed that it very well could be the Airport Express. Once I told him it was 802.11g his eyes blinked, his head jerked a little, and he told us that our 802.11g AE hadn’t been sold for 5 years now and was probably the culprit. He did, however, suggest that we try using Firefox as our browser and test that before going through the expense of buying another AE. After some discussion, Nat and I agreed that it was probably in our best interest to just buy a new Airport Express and so I ordered one yesterday evening.

Waking up this morning I was thinking to myself that it should be a relatively easy day. One little errand this morning and that would be it. No such luck. It turned out to be another one of those mornings where I couldn’t get the internet up, I couldn’t get the bluetooth mouse recognized and the printer was showing no paper, when, in fact, it was loaded. As I wanted to deliver some cookies to my hairdresser for her wine and cheese party tonight, I decided to leave the computer mess until I was done plating up my little treats to take down the road. When I checked the freezer for my Christmas stash I had baked a few weeks ago, I discovered some “little elf” had been snacking and I was suddenly depleted of the Krispy Krunch and Oatmeal Cookies. I plated up what was left, along with some Chocolate Chip and headed down the road for my delivery. My hairdresser was pleased as punch when I walked in the door and her customers were all smiles as well. I apologized and told Jen I was unable to attend her soiree tonight and wished them all a Merry Christmas and a good party. Scurrying back home I soon began setting up to bake two more batches of cookies for Christmas gift packs. I mixed up the dough before lunch and I’d bake them in the afternoon.

With the new Airport Express not scheduled to be delivered until the end of December, Nat and I were going to have to press on and continue to struggle with getting the net up and running whenever it decided to fall off the grid. Every morning so far, I’ve had to re-recognize the Airport Express and wait for as long as it took for the Bluetooth to recognize the mouse. This is now getting very frustrating and I’m having withdrawal from not being able to get connected. After all, Nat needs his crossword printed out each morning (now a daily routine) and I need to get the mail, and, well, just get connected!! It’s psychological perhaps, but not knowing I can get online gives me a feeling of somehow being isolated from the rest of the world. I wouldn’t be able to post to this Blog, I wouldn’t be able to look up Nat’s crossword answers whenever he got stuck, I wouldn’t be able to email my family in Canada and overseas. Not that I do that much, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right!!! Yes, I could use my iPad, but it’s the fact that we’re not getting connected on the main iMac. The iPad being able to get online via Airport Express was another reason why we came to the conclusion that we did. The iPad is running a less powerful operating system and I’m still not able to get to my iMac games – Tiny Bang Story, Sudoku and Solitaire – along with the programs (or Apps, as they’re now called) – Handbrake, Evernote, Pages, The Print Shop, iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes – all of which need updating by getting online. I’d miss my podcasts which I watch and listen to almost on a daily basis, whether through the Mac or the iPad. These are things that have become fairly important in my daily life – mundane as it may seem – but it’s my life and this is how I fill some of my quiet time.

In between all of this hustle and bustle, Nat and I made a gift exchange at Niagara Square (Future Shop) with Thamazine. I returned her second batch of gifts that I had finished wrapping and she gave me another small load to be done. As there wasn’t that much to finish off I managed to get the balance of her items wrapped by the next morning. And that was even taking my time and flitting in and about the office every now and again to check on how things were going. I really, really enjoyed wrapping Thamazine and Michele’s gifts and hope I’m able to do it again next year. As I’m feeling so much better than this time last year, I took my time and made a couple of special bows for a couple of special gifts, and tried to get the old imagination in gear to do a little something extra for each parcel. I’m afraid the imagination couldn’t do what it wanted, as my supplies were running low, so I was a little disappointed in a couple of items, but I know the kids won’t remember while they’re ripping open the Christmas wrap faster than you can blink an eye. As I had spent only $1.00 on some additional small bows, I prided myself in using up what I had left from years past. The wrapping papers I bought from Costco was still running strong after 5 years, but at last getting low, and the wired ribbons I purchased along the way were more than enough to complete the tasks at hand. This was also a great way of filling some of those days where sitting behind a computer monitor was now (even for me) wearing a little thin.

Now the cookies are baked, the parcels are wrapped and the little decorations around the house are looking pretty good. With only boringly mundane (and repeat) shows on television, (except for the hockey games), Nat and I will pull out some of the DVDs that have gathered a little dust, snuggle in our easy chairs by the fire and enjoy what WE want to watch over the Christmas holidays.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

P.S. to this post:  Just received an email from Apple – that Airport Express is on its way. Merry Christmas and God Bless, Apple!!