Computers, Cows, and Companionship

Today seemed to last way longer than your average day. It is always that way when I think I have something all planned out, only it actually isn’t. I thought the pool people were coming this morning, but nope, that got postponed again due to rain…somewhere.

While waiting, I perked up my office/den with some lights. Ho ho ho.

Then I thought a technician was coming to repair my dead laptop. They said it was scheduled (they being some disembodied text bot). But next, I got the message that the part was delayed, so I would have to wait until Monday. I got annoyed, to say the least. Then, boom, the technician drove up.

In a desperate attempt to cheer myself up, I put nail things on my stubby little nails.

Erica, the technician, was a fun woman, and we had a reasonably good time working on my system. She had about a five minute task to do (replacing the brains of the thing), but she could not get the cover off. Three of the screws would not completely unscrew. Now, Erica didn’t want to break my new computer, so she called tech support. That went about as well as when I called them earlier this week.

When will this end?

The woman she talked to seemed to have no clue what Erica was asking. I realize she was talking through a mask, but she kept saying that the screw would not unscrew. The call went through several levels of support until they finally said I’d have to send the laptop in for a replacement, which would take even more time than I’d already taken.

Nope, I said, let’s figure this out. So, Erica called a guy from where she worked. Sure enough, this random guy, knew what the Dell Technical Support team did not, which is that those three screws do not come undone. You have to pop the case open with them still partially in. ARGH.

Erica is relieved the computer booted.

Once we had that down, it did indeed take five minutes to fix the computer. Naturally, one of the teeny screws fell off the desk. We spend another twenty minutes looking for that. Even the magnet couldn’t find it. All I found were dead bugs and places where Carlton had peed. He is having an issue this week, probably due to the Harvey episode.

But the afternoon got so much better. As Erica was getting ready to go, she looked into the main room of the house. She asked if she could please look at it. She ran into the room, just beaming, twirling around and exclaiming that is was Christmas! She said my decorations were just so cheerful. I can hardly express how happy that made me. No one here cares at all about decorations, so I felt very happy to know I cheered someone else up. My smiling muscles were hurting.

The dogs were having “fun” today. I’m really glad Vlassic is neutered.

By the way, the laptop works and is almost set back up.

Cows

The other thing that got me all cheerful today was watching the dogs play with the mama cows and babies behind the house. The cattle are so curious and keep coming up as close as they can, until a dog moves and scares them into backing off.

These dogs are fascinating.

I must have spent a half hour this morning just watching the calves and their antics and how hard Goldie tried to get them to play with her. Unfortunately, Carlton and Vlassic can’t help but bark at them.

Hello new friends.

I hope you enjoy these sweet bovine faces as much as I did!

Companionship

The companionship I’ve been experiencing over the past couple of days has been with two horses. One is not a surprise, and it’s Apache. Wow, has that boy settled down since his lesson last weekend. I’ve been trying to do at least something with him every day, and that has helped. He has paid so much attention to me in the round pen that it’s not like the same horse. And we have been doing the thing where he needs to walk straight along the edge of the round pen, and by golly, that head has not curved ONCE in two days. Today we even sped up a little! As well, he has been walking with me practically glued in the correct position. I can feel him breathing at my elbow almost all the time.

Last night the trainer said what she wants more than anything is for us to be able to enjoy our time with our horses. Success!

The other horse that’s been a wonderful companion is Kathleen’s horse, Miss T. After Trixie looked at her and said she was in pretty good shape, I thought, well, why not pay her some attention? She sure seems to want it. Yesterday I gave her a nice grooming, and she was pretty patient while I worked on the issue she has with her tail (a big scab is growing out). We went for a nice walk, and Mandi checked her soundness. She stumbles a bit, on occasion, but it may be because she needs her feet trimmed (which will happen next week).

Miss T is so happy to hang out with people

I put her in the round pen, just to see if she would trot for me. Did she ever. Everything I asked of her, she did, including turning, stopping, and showing a lovely balanced trot. I told Mandi it was sort of like driving a Jaguar car, so responsive and elegant.

Today I did that again, after going on a walk. She had never been in the front field before, but she followed me nicely, and the couple of times she got concerned, I just told her it was okay and we walked on. Hey, this is what I’ve been reading about horses doing. I guess it can actually happen! And when I put her in the round pen, she was so attentive that I decided to see what would happen if I took the lead rope off.

T demonstrating her confirmation. Those are some high haunches! She is all muscle.

Wow. She did everything I asked, walking and trotting, turning and stopping. I tell you what, if you tell T, “Whoa,” you’d better be prepared for that horse to stop. She stops on a dime, and looks ready for her next instruction. She’s like the horses in videos of fancy quarter horses.

I hope we can do more with her as time goes on. T is a darned good horse. Maybe I will ride her this weekend, if there is any time at all. I wonder if the things planned for the weekend will go as scheduled or be absolutely unpredictable like today’s events?

And one more thing. I had two flies die in my beverages today. Gee! This had been such a good cup of coffee! And my wine was so good that I just fished that one out. What a day.

I’m just glad we can sit on the porch and watch the happy lights on the fence turn on as the moon rises each evening. That brings a little bit of predictability.

It’s probably more cheerful in person.

Things Have Improved, Laptop-wise

It has been a long time since I got a new laptop for myself. I’d been getting along with the one from work and a Surface, but it ended up just being easier to use the work one, since most of my stuff is web-based.

But, I realized I needed something new with the new job, because it’s not going to last all that long and I’ll just use it when I am working (maybe that will keep me from answering work email and messages when I’m not working, since I’m no longer in management).

So, I got myself another large laptop (I just LIKE the big ones), and it showed up the next day. Today I had time to set it up (and my hands aren’t shaking so much from the drama around me). I tell you what, I was really surprised to find out how easy it is now to get all up and running on a new system.

The computer just talked to me and told me what to do, then I logged on to my Microsoft and Google accounts…and boom, there was all my stuff. I didn’t have to install anything, look up a million passwords, or anything like that. Things just work. I guess they learned something from the Apple computers.

I have created an awkward corner in my office/den. but I can easily work on two different computers now!

The new screen is really nice, and I don’t have to wear my computer glasses to use it, at least for reading email and blogging. That’s nice. The camera is not as good as the fancy one I use on the other system, so I’ll probably switch that. Otherwise, I think I did a good job. I didn’t get the snazziest one, but not a generic one either. It’s just right.

I still need to find one of my many “spare” mice, or mouses, because I still hate those touchpad. But, I do have the touch screen option, and I love those. Oh, and I temporarily made myself an el-shaped desk, using my sad old secretary. Eventually I’m going to have a better two-computer setup, but this will do!

Here I am, writing this blog post.

Now, to go deal with stuff. Honest, I’m not even the one dealing with the stuff. I’m really, really grateful for family and friends right now.

Perhaps Too Much Technology

Why, hello there, friends and readers! I haven’t been quite the blogging fool I usually am for the past few days, and for what I find to be an ironical reason. I got a new laptop.

I admit to putting the IT team off for about two years, because every time I get a new work laptop, things go crazy. I just didn’t have time for crazy, even though now most of my apps and storage are off living on some cloud and not ON the laptop. I didn’t even know if it HAD a hard drive.

My previous little system had served me well, though at some point in 2017 it stopped being able to hold power if it undocked. So, oh darn, I couldn’t present at meetings. </sarcasm> I just had docks everywhere I worked, and it was fine. The poor thing has a brand-new battery in it, but whatever the problem is, it’s not the battery. Okay, so I needed a new computer.

All of this mess actually works.

Finally, last week, the thing started randomly shutting down while I was minding my ow business, typing, mousing, or saving a vitally important Camtasia file. So, I let Josh, the nice young IT dude, swap me out.

I made myself laugh, because I brought three laptops home with me to the ranch last weekend (old laptop, new laptop, and my trusty Surface), so I’d be sure to be able to work anywhere. Ha ha! Silly me.

I have, instead, spent the last three days trying to dredge up passwords for things that live in the cloud, trying to log on to the RIGHT Office 365 account for the right office, finding where my fancy Adobe Creative Cloud licensed things were, and so forth.

Continue reading “Perhaps Too Much Technology”

I Can See for Miles

Sunday I needed to play tech support for my Master Naturalist and artist friend, Pamela. I love the detective work aspect of figuring out why a computer doesn’t work.

Greetings from the chubby dog statue.

I’m happy to report that I got her frozen computer unfrozen and set her up with WhatsApp so she can talk to her friend in India.

If you had binoculars, you could see the ranch house.

Then I got to have fun looking at her art-filled home and garden. One highlight was verifying that yes, you can see the Hermits’ Rest from her house.

You can also see the huge black scar across the land that a new pipeline is making. That thing goes through the whole area. At least land owners get compensated. As I recall, these companies make big efforts to put things back the way they were, judging from Lee’s dad’s old farm.

Happy faces on the deck.

After looking around outside I toured Pamela’s art studio and gallery, where there is much clay, tools, and a kiln where she makes beautiful pottery. Her work has both humor and grace to it. So, of course I love it and had to get some.

I got this one for me, since it reminds me of the labyrinth where Lee and I got married. It had been waiting a long time for the right person.

I’ll let you all know when her gallery re-opens! She’s renovating it now. You can find her work in the cute shop in Rosebud, too. Yes, Rosebud is a real town near Cameron. (Aside: I write much shorter sentences on my phone, so this text seems a little disjointed. I promise to use my computer for the next post.)

Fu dog, not by Pamela, says bye!

Like I was saying yesterday, it’s never dull around here! The people are both fun and fascinating. I’m so glad to be at the Hermits’ Rest.

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