Sunday, April 8, 2007

Day 46 - 04/07/2007

It snowed this morning.

Yes, you read that right. It snowed this morning. The kids came in around 730a and opened the shades to point out that, yes, it did snow.

Last week we had 80° temperatures and now, the first full weekend in April, it's snowing? What up wit dat?!?

Oh well, good thing D hadn't planted the marigolds in the boxes on the deck yet!

Since I was up late Friday doing work on iTriTracker, D was kind enough to let me sleep in. Well, maybe not kind enough to let me sleep in, but kind enough to get up with the kids after they'd been up for an hour or so. After finally rolling out of bed around 930a, I got dressed and went for a short run. I decided to walk for about 5 minutes as a warmup and then run the rest of the way. The total distance I ran was ~1.5 miles, which is pretty wimpy, but was as far as I wanted to go without stopping for a walk in-between...which I also didn't want to do. Overall my knee felt good. I still iced it when I got home and popped a couple Advil after the shower, but over the course of the day, there were no aches or pains.

I showered and grabbed a bite to eat and, after what seemed like hours trying to get M and N to clean up their mess, hit the road to Grandma's house so I could help her with her computer and the kids could play with Sarah.

After talking with her a few weeks back regarding her new venture into the world of FIOS, I volunteered to setup a backup system on her computer using an external drive as a backup volume (in addition to helping her get her computer configured for connecting to the web via FIOS). This would allow her to survive a catastrophic failure of her hard drive w/o losing any data (which is something we should all have in place, especially now that most of us keep so much on our computers).

Configuring her computer for use with FIOS was a piece of cake, but the external drive was not. I spent a couple hours trying to get it working before I finally gave up. Knowing that I had recommended this solution, there was no way I wasn't going to get it working as I knew that if I didn't, I'd never hear the end of it. So, with that in mind, when she called Friday night to see if we'd be around, I invited the three of us over so I could finish configuring the drive. This was a win-win-win situation: I got to check this off my list of chores, the kids got to play with Sarah and she would now have a backup system in place (wait for it) to survive a catastrophic failure of her hard drive. As I said, we hit the road and got over there around 130p or so. I went straight to work and in about 30 minutes, had the external drive configured. (I had forgotten to disable the virus software when I was there originally, so the drivers weren't getting installed successfully.) One down and one to go.

Next, I created a backup system using SyncBack, a free utility that kick's ass when it comes to automating simple backup and synchronization routines. This system will not only back up her documents, but also her e-mail and pictures...automatically. She asked me what she needed to do and the answer is nothing, it will run all by itself. After getting that done, I helped myself to a bagel (well, I really didn't help myself, Rudy made it for me, and boy, was it G-O-O-D!) and a Old Dominion Ale. I hadn't had one of Rudy's bagels (plain bagel, toasted, with a schmear of cream cheese, lox and tomato, hold the onion please) in quite a while and the bagel and beer hit the spot. After shooting the breeze for a while, I tried to round up the kids to head home, but only made it as far as the living room, where N and I started listening to old records. Sugar Hill Gang and David Bowie made their way onto the turntable and both were hits. M and Sarah did a great interprative dance to "Changes" and I about broke a rib in hysterics. I wish I had a videotape. Oh well, maybe next time.

On the way home I had to stop for gas. Nothing out of the ordinary about that. On the opposite side of the pump, an Eastern European looking woman, driving her X5 was trying to open her gas tank. I'm thinking to myself that she's never gotten gas before, so I sit there and watch her try to pry open the opening to the gas cap door with her key. (Not the gas cap itself, but the door that covers the gas cap.) She went back into the cabin and fiddled around a bit and then opened the trunk, fiddling around in there as well, before attempting to open the door. No luck.

By this time, I was done pumping my gas and she still hadn't even opened the door to start pumping hers. Feeling bad about the situation, I asked her if she needed any help.

"It whon't ohpen," she said with what sounded like a Russian accent.

"Did you press the lever inside?" I asked her (knowing she had done something in the cabin, but just not sure what).

"There iss no leverr inside. You press the button and it ohpens. Somtiymes it ghets shtuckh, so I ushe my key or push like thish." she said, as she slid her key into the slot between the body and the gas cap door, pushing the lower right corner at the same time.

"Uh, sorry, but I guess I can't help you then. Good luck!" I said as I got back into the van and left her at the pump. As I drove down the road towards the parkway, I couldn't help but wonder how long she was there until she either a) drove off; or b) got it open. Hopefully it wasn't too long - the wind was biting and she wasn't dressed for it.

I'll have to expand on that for my collection of stories. I see a lot of conflict in this woman's life when she goes home and tries to explain why the gas tank is still empty even though she said she stopped at the gas station.

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