Month: November 2021

FINALLY. Minor progress occurs

The householder was angry. Really angry. She’d been in her new digs for a good three weeks and hardly anything looked any different than it had on day one. She still couldn’t cook and was getting tired of eating out of Costco’s freezer (which actually meant she wasn’t eating much at all). She was beyond fed up, ready to stand on the rooftop, scream, and throw rocks at passersby. Her ankle hurt. Her shoulders burned like the Little Bear fire.

But she was determined to get one damned bookshelf up today, with books on it. No matter what. Even though she didn’t get started ‘til 2 p.m. because she’s a lazy git, she’s living on Australian time, or maybe both, or maybe worse.

She wound up moving every bloody banker box in the house–more than 50–as well as most of the regular boxes, because the books were in the heavier banker boxes and she was looking for her favorite author. She figured it was fitting for his books to go on the first shelf in the new place.

She lifted. She toted. She hauled. She grunted. She panted. She kicked things out of the way. She moved everything ranging from tools to desk parts (which she carefully replaced so as not to mess up The System) to an escalerita. Several times. She did remember to eat, though not so much to drink. She snarled and swore and shouted at Recalcitrant Inanimate Objects, of which there were many, many, many. She sliced open box after box after box to see what was inside; she remembered labeling the boxes she wanted, and she’d labeled more, too, but this time she rough-labeled everything, moved them into the proper rooms, and actually made more room to move around. She glared at the boxes with the Glare of Death, daring them to fall over, collapse, or otherwise increase her ire.

She also laid her Dad’s empty bookcase on the floor and replaced the felt on the feet, and did the same with her Granddad’s 100+-year-old (yes, them hyphens is right, and it’s 106 this year) piece, which was interesting because the clips and things that hold the glass and wooden doors closed, well, don’t (like you’d be in perfect shape after 100 years, so shut up and stop laughing). She had to tape them shut, take out the wee drawers, and move it to the carpet to get some control. And seeing as it has built-in shelves and things, it’s much heavier than her Dad’s case. She took care to keep her shoulder low, which made it quite difficult for her biceps to do their job. But, guessing that it weighed around 70-75 pounds, she did it. Who else was around to? She put it elsewhere, and moved the cheesy cheap-ass IKEA thing into the corner by the kitchen, where at this point she thought it would likely be most useful.

Finally–you guessed it–the last two freaking boxes, buried under every stinkin’ thing in the office from boxes to tools to furniture parts to polar bears, contained the books she wanted. She hauled them out to the bookcase, fought ferociously with the uncooperative shelf-support clips in the dark (even a flashlight didn’t help), got a shelf in place despite its repeated desperate attempts to run off to Zanzibar, and put all the Pratchett books she’d found onto the shelf. She was surprised to find they all fit (but suspects there are more elsewhere–like the Johnny ones and the Carpet People ones–and they won’t. Not on the same shelf, anyway).

She stood back and looked at them with satisfaction.

Finally. Finally. Finally this confounded mess of a place could start to look like Home. She needed that more desperately than even she had thought, and she’d felt pretty darned desperate for a very long time. She’d run out of the 2024 spoons she’d been borrowing at appalling interest rates and The Future had notified her it would not be issuing her any more, thank you, she’d gone way over her limit.

Mindful of both ankle and shoulder, she did quit after the one shelf. She decided she’d go get ice packs for her shoulder tomorrow morning, and maybe start trying to figure out what kitchen stuff would go best in the IKEA thing, which she was beginning to think of as “pantry.”

Even though that would require pulling a fair number of boxes labeled “kitchen stuff” out of the bottom of many stacks of boxes. There wasn’t much choice; there was no more room in or near the kitchen for more kitchen-labeled boxes. She sighed, a deep, voluminous, wave-propagating sigh that would have made a West-of-Ireland sigh sound like a gentle spring zephyr.

“You can’t have everything,” she thought. “At least you got something done today that’s visible. Just pat yourself on the back–owwww, not with that hand, dope! Use the slightly less painful one!–and call it a good job for the day.”

So it’s a good job for the day. And that’s that. Now she can do a little knitting.

This looks like the crafty room is worse, but it’s not. The banker boxes are the white ones, and the damn things don’t break down. There’s some kind of sticky stuff that holds the double walls in place and you can’t get them apart. Hoping someone will come and take them away as-is, because they’re sturdy, tough boxes and cost about $3 a pop.
Lots more room in the office for working on The Monster Desk
Grandpa’s pie safe, about to be converted into more bookshelves, across the room from its initial position.

IKEA thing stuffed in the corner, with tub of pots and pans bracing it so it won’t fall down. I did find a stud to fasten it to, but it hurt the crap shoulder a lot so I left it alone. It totally does not fit style-wise with any other thing I own, but at this point who needs furniture that will outlast me?
Yessssssss. Success, peaches.

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A day I should have stayed in bed

Not Even Remotely Dear Day,

This could have gone better. Let me explain why I don’t like you. At all. I am glad to see the ass end of you disappearing behind the Three Sisters and I’m glad you’ll never, ever be back, you sorry excuse for a diurnal event.

Baby M.’s covid test isn’t back, but the doc says she has pneumonia. She’s 2. Not good. I know her mom and dad are watchful and competent, but couldn’t help explaining what serious respiratory distress looks like and when to get her to ER fast if it happens. They’ll just have to live with the fact that the EMT mentality never goes away.

I did get a bunch of (not visible where it counts) boxes emptied out and the recycle bin is packed (packed) with cut-up cardboard, and I squeezed a couple of trash bags into the trash bin the city didn’t pick up on Monday. They’d bloody better well do it tomorrow.

I gave up on trying to hang the new TV right now, propped it up securely on the dresser, and tried to set it up. “Tried” being the operative word. I mean, it’s not like this is my first vicious Shetland pony, you know? I know damn well I entered the password correctly–FIVE EFFING TIMES–and every time it said Sorry! Could not connect! It’s a Fire TV NoDakBassmaster sent me, so I tried the Amazon PW and it spit that one out in disgust, too. No love there.

After putting my short trip to Costco on hold for a Chilkat/Chilkoot video production (they stabbed Kermit in the back), I learned that you do not go to Costco around noon on a Sunday. And I spent about $200 (OUCH), mostly on frozen food since I haven’t yet found my pots and pans. Not that that’s going to make me want to cook.

My shoulder is killing me. I can hardly move my arm. So I was not going to tackle the plumbing. My foot aches. My back aches. And my phone died. DIED. Zero battery. This has never happened before and I don’t know why it should.

I also learned that no matter where you look, fake trees of the 5’ (or even 2.5’) variety are so far beyond ridiculously expensive as to be in the range of taking a space trip, and I’m pissed off about that. Wasn’t so long ago you could get a nice one for $20-$25. Now the cheapest thing I can find is $72. I have too much unpacking to do to go traipsing around town looking for them at thrift stores when I know they won’t be there anyway.

So I defy you, you sorry excuse for a wretch. I am snuggled in my old, huge, ratty, beloved cashmere sweater and a lap robe. I will find something to watch even though it’s not very pleasant on a laptop screen, and I will knit, and I will get to bed before midnight, and that asshole who rang my doorbell at 7 a.m. will pay in some form and be very, very sorry he screwed with me. Or I’ll disconnect the doorbell. Hah.

You are GONE, Day. I am still standing. Even if I’m sitting down. I. Freaking. Win.

Not a heck of a lot of like, and no love at all,

Small floor space in the craft room!
Yarn is back in its home. I can shop from stash again!
Pen chest is found and all seem to have survived, though I’ve not removed all the bubble wrap yet.

No photo, but I found my Japanese saws and sawed the top half off one of those confounded self-locking shelf supports in a kitchen cabinet. Doesn’t seem to matter; I still can’t move the shelf. At this point it’s not worth fighting it.

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Personal electromagnetism … came close to winning

For donkey’s years, all three of my sons (especially the one with the electrical engineering degree; the mechanical ones aren’t as certain) have declared that I have a negatively charged (I think) Personal Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) that destroys, or at least causes to malfunction, any technology within a 10′ radius of me.

Srsly. I can walk past the TV aisle; the screens flicker or there’s an outage. Some watches with batteries I can’t wear; the batteries croak overnight. Gods help me when I try to Do Something Essential on websites, because the PEMF will cut them right off the Interwebz.

So yesterday, fairly late, I got an email from my realtor listing all the things I had to do–TODAY–because closing tomorrow. Things like arrange for a wire transfer for money, transfer utilities into my name, set up an Internet provider… you know. Low-tech stuff. Stuff that doesn’t require positive PEMF.

Yes, that high-pitched howling you hear in the background is my super-sarcastic version of hollow laughter.

We started off OK. Transfering (yes, spellchecker, it’s one “r” in the U.S., now get lost) the electricity went smoothly. Setting up the wire transfer went OK, but I was dealing with actual people at my actual bank, so that’s not much of a test.

Then I broke NM Gas’s website–which didn’t appear to have a sign-up option anyway–and the poor people I had to talk to had no more clue than I how to get around that. “You really did,” one of them said in wondrous tones. “You really did break it!”

Eventually we solved that one. Then came the dreaded one: CenturyLink, to set up a modem delivery for DSL. CL has systematically eliminated people and customer service functions over the last couple of years so that there’s now no chat function on the site, if something goes a tiny bit wrong (which of course it did) you can’t sign up for Internet on the site, and all the heavens in all the cultures help you if you have to call in, because the queue to get to an actual person burns cell minutes the way those flare pipes at gas plants burn off waste gas. (CL’s own menu says, “If at any time you’d like to speak to a representative, say ‘representative,'” but if you say that word, the recording merely says (every time you say the r-word), “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Let’s try again.”

As expected, I got sent to three or four different departments, just to get someone to send me a modem. I couldn’t get anyone to explain to me why I’d have to pay the full monthly price for 100Mbps when their own system said the best I could get was 60. By my math, I should only be billed about $30 a month.

None of these people seemed to have even a wee cluelet.

“You want to get a DSL modem?” said one. “Hmm. Let me see.” (long wait) “It looks like I’ll have to transfer you to mmblemble.”

“Oh, I see you had an account with us for… wow, that’s a really long time. That’s longer than I am old,” said Mmblemble.

Eventually, somehow, I wound up talking to tech support–for what was essentially a sales call–but whatever. The woman got me scheduled and fixed up, squared everything away, and promised that the methodology had changed so much that all I had to do was plug in the modem, click a couple of phone buttons, and voila! I’d be off and surfing.

Yeah, well. Not. Just the mention of “phone buttons” gave me the PEMF Dreads.

Not counting the two hours plus I spent on the phone getting service lined up, I spent another three-point-five a few days later trying to follow their instructions to get the super-easy modem to set up. Come to find out the “super-easy” secret was that you had to download their app, which was supposed to do the installing. But there was so little signal that it wouldn’t download to my phone. Eventually, I gave up and came “home” to D’s house and downloaded it here.

She went back with me next day because her phone gets better service there. I didn’t waste any PEMF on buttons and apps this time; we just called the service people, where an exceedingly polite but so heavily accented young woman as to surpass understandability tried very hard to talk me through the process. We went through it four or five times before she gave in and said, “Let’s do a hard reset. Do you have a paper clip or a pin?”

“Um, probably not, since I’m moving,” I responded. D and I gave each other the deer-in-the-headlights stare for a little while; then I remembered that a quilting safety pin was in my hoodie pocket (yes, for a purpose: If I was out working on the Cliff of Doom, I pinned my phone inside the pocket so it wouldn’t fly out when I went rolling downhill).

“Oh, wait! Lemme see if this will fit!” It did!

We did a hard reset, and some other stuff, and eventually it worked. You could tell she was getting really frustrated by then, though. I wanted to say, “You think this is frustrating? Try living your entire life this way!” But I didn’t. There went this month’s supply of tact. Maybe next month’s, too.

When we came home that afternoon, I remembered to bring the laptop with me (never a guarantee that will happen) but left the power cord behind, so it died on me at an early hour, forcing extra knitting time and the watching of “Midsomer Murders,” which is an oddly comforting show given that the region must have the highest homicide rate in two universes.

As Miss Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day. Sufficient unto this one were the evils thereof.

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