My PDA lives!

The mail today held a nice new lithium-gel battery for my PDA.  It came all the way from Hong Kong (probably stuck in a bottle and left to drift over).  There were stamps all over it.  I’ve been tracking it ever since it cleared customs in San Francisco on the 16th of January.  It’s tortuous trip from there to my house goes thus:

San Francisco to – of all places – Jamaica, NY. 3 days (cross country)

Jamaica, NY to Cincinnati, OH, 3 days (around 400 Mi)

Cincinnati, OH to my house, 3 days (65Miles)

To the best of my research, the Pony Express used to get a letter from coast to coast in 10 days.  We’re really paying a lot for such great service now. It seems as if the answer to any question put to the US Postal Service is “three days”.

Anyway, I replaced the battery and the PDA is humming along fine now after an overnight charge. I managed to find the little memory chip where I had backed up the PDA a year ago.  Some data out of date, but most was intact.

The three of us decided to go out for dinner the other night and ended up at our favorite Chinese place.  They have very good food and are usually completely empty.  This time was no different.  No other customers in the place.  I don’t know how they stay in business but they do.  It used to be owned by a nice Korean couple, but now another family has apparently bought it (or bought INTO it) and replaced the cook.  Formerly, their menu consisted of a lot of good Chinese dishes interspersed with Korean fare but now it is mostly Chinese.

My grandaughter dared me to eat some of my wife’s broccoli as I hate the stuff ever since being force-fed it when I was a kid.  Danged green weed really is nauseating.  Over the years I have mellowed towards it, but still put up a front that I hate it.  I know it is good for me, but still avoid it if I can.  This dare was an affront to me so I choked down a couple of pieces.  I thought that they didn’t taste too bad so I ate a total of 6 sprigs of weed.

My granddaughter was astonished – as well as my wife.  I told my granddaughter she could tell her mother that she had actually seen me eat 6 sprigs of broccoli and would have eaten more but I got a hand free and slapped the funnel away from my mouth.  We all got a good laugh over that.

I was out poking around in the flower bed and darned if I can’t see some little sprigs of growth poking out of the soil over the bulbs I planted two years ago.  Can spring be that close?  Ohio has a nasty habit of easing us into spring and then slamming the door with a really bad snowstorm.  Maybe we will dodge the bullet this year.  That would be a welcome change.

I want to get some good pictures of the bird feeder denziens this spring.  Some of them are just the normal warblers and whatnot, but once in a while you can catch a Cardinal feeding.  They won’t hang on the edge of the feeder but instead just hop along the ground picking up stray seeds – usually sunflower.  I bought a special bag of sunflower seeds just so I could lure them in close.  I’ll post some pictures if I get some good ones.

This just in…

It’s only 6 degrees out there this morning – and it’s almost noon now.

I got an email from a friend of mine and it contained this gem:


My Living Will

Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her, ‘I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle.  If that ever happens, just pull the plug.’

She got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out all my booze.

She’s such a bitch.

/End Quote

Now, that’s a decisive move.

Battles with my PDA

Many years ago I bought a Palm M505 PDA.  It was a top of the line PDA back then, and I still use it quite a bit here around the house – mainly for storing names and addresses.

A couple of days ago I tried to fire it up and nothing happened.  No screen, no nothing.  So I put it back in the cradle and it immediately lit up, but with the cold start-up routines like setting date/time and the like.  Oh Oh, I thought, this could be trouble.

I was right!  All along I had assumed that the memory in the PDA was actually flash-style memory.  No way.  It is volatile and will lose whatever you have stored in it.  Nuts.  The last time I synced with my desktop was months ago so I left it stuck in the cradle and re-synced it.  All the names and other items came back but the first time I pulled it out of the cradle it died again.  I also noticed that several names weren’t present and some of the addresses were wrong too.  This comes under the heading of “not good”.

Good old Google rides to the rescue again:  I located several places that sell the Lithium-Gel batteries that fit in the PDA.  Prices ranged from $9 (too cheap) to over $25 (too expensive).  I settled on one for $20 (free shipping) and sent away for it.  Now all I have to do is wait for it to arrive.

I did manage to find the little flash card that you can use to back up the PDA memory so I did a fresh backup of what was in the PDA at the time (old data, but what the heck).

Finding the little, tiny, Torx-keyed screwdriver to open the back of the PDA was very difficult.  I ended up buying a very nice plastic box with 33 pieces of screwdriver tips and a ratcheting-head driver.  It even had a flexible extension for screwing around corners (don’t go there).

We have SNOW!  All day yesterday it snowed on and off which finally ended up leaving about 4 inches of fluffy snow everywhere.  It was so dry that all I had to do to clean off the truck was to whish a broom over it and the snow just fell away.  Right now, at 1000, the sun is out and reflecting brightly off the front yard into my computer room window.  I have to close the shades just to see the LCD screen well enough to type.  Later today, I just might get out and ‘squeech’ my way down to the shopping area for exercise.  You DO know what ‘squeech’ is don’t you?  It’s the sound you feet make on very dry snow.

Maybe I’ll have some nice pictures if I do go out.

A bad end for Zippy the moose

I have here photographic evidence of what happens when you skin a Christmoose.  It was found under the couch when searching for a cat toy.  I didn’t realize that they shed their skins; but, maybe he had some help?

Mortal remains of Zippy
Mortal remains of Zippy

So sad.

As we begin a new year

The holidays are now over and it’s time to get back to business I guess.  My granddaughter starts back to college on Monday and I have several things around the house I have to catch up on.  I did quite a bit during the holidays, but still have a few more things to do.

We took down all the decorations and packed them away – I have to lug them up into the attic for another year.  I installed our new shower head which replaces the old one that had gotten completely clogged up with a rust-like substance that comes from our well.  We were getting hardly any water through it.  The replacement is a nice one.

A little bit of furniture reorganization in the living room was the order of the day for a couple of days.  Now things are different and I have to make sure I can navigate it with the lights out.  Shins beware.  I like the way it is now though as it is easier for more people to watch TV than before.

It’s been very cold and wet lately.  Today shows nothing but a lot of fog and drizzle.  I don’t have to go out in it though whais is a relief. I might have to drag out the SlideWalk and set it up in the basement so I can get exercise without bundling up.  The really good food we snaffled down over the last two weeks is showing up in the expected places so I need to pare it back off again.  Why is it that it seems to go on so easily, but is so much more difficult to remove?

My friend Pete over in the UK is enjoying all the various bread and biscuit mixes we sent him.  Now that we have him hooked, we’ll have to provide more from time to time.  Just let us know.

A couple of Murray’s friends went missing during the packing of tree decorations.  I think they might have gone during the night.  Murray is still there, but Basher and Sleazy are gone.  I couldn’t find anything but antlers, noses, and four googly eyes.  Must have been the cats.  Yeah, I’ll blame the cats.

On a more technical note:  My new laptop, which runs Vista SP1, has a strange hangup.  Some of the time, when I turn off the wireless adapter and plug in a CAT-5 cable, it will not connect and tells me that I am not connected to any networks.  When I try and “connect to a network” I am told “No wireless networks are available”.  Well, shoot, I wonder why – could it be that I’ve turned off the wireless adapter?  Maybe?  Perhaps?  No amount of coercion will force the computer to even TRY and connect using the cable.  Rebooting produces just another icon with a red X through it.

The first thing it will tell you when trying to “connect to a network” is that my adapter is turned off and to turn it on. Well, damn, why didn’t I think of that!  There appears to be no way to tell it to use the wired adapter.  Apparently Vista is too stupid (or too arrogant) to think that anyone would actually WANT to use a wired connection instead of a new, modern, wireless connection.  XP gave you the choice of using either a wired or wireless adapter but Vista has conveniently gotten rid of the wired option.  Very frustrating.

I may have gotten it working by disabling the wired adapter in Device Manager, rebooting, and re-enabling it.  I am now using the wired connection but I’m wondering what will happen if I reboot.

My new Train Simulator (TRS2009) came Saturday!  It installed and runs perfectly.  Now I can catch up with the rest of my group that are busily reproducing the Chicago Tunnel Company trackage which ran under the streets of Chicago’s Loop area ever since the turn of the century (last century that is).  There is a surprising amount of information on this unique system  It carried no passengers, but, instead, serviced a great number of businesses and other services (like the US Mail) with such diverse things as store goods, commodities, coal, ash haulage, and other stuff.  We have done a lot of work on it and hope to have it ready soon.

1310.  Time to get something to eat.  I’ve been running on empty since breakfast a long time ago.  Once that is done, we are heading over to Wal-Mart to pick up some shower curtain rings so we can hang a couple of them downstairs around our hot tub.  They help block the wind.