Friday, August 31, 2012


Have you ever had a period of time when everything seems to wear out, break down, or poop out? It seems that here in the Fixit household every day brings a new "crisis."

Over the last few months, we have had to have VERY expensive maintenance service on the car, the kitchen stove burners very seldom work at the same time, the sat tv has been iffy at best even during clear weather, the toaster oven toasted its last bread, the plumbing has had problems plumbing, the vacuum cleaner suddenly didn't suck, and over the past month and a half, both the PC and my laptop have been acting up.

When things go wrong I get very tense and worry about the expense of repair. Mr. Fixit gets frustrated and mumbles swear words in Spanish. To be factual,  he acts like a butt. I can't tell you how many times he as moved the sat dish. We have several round concrete patches in the yard where he has tried new locations. After each move of the dish, the signal starts strong and then weakens until the picture begins breaking up. I think it's going to be okay (if he leaves it alone) this time.

Yesterday when I logged on the internet, I received a "bulletin" from my virus protection program telling me that my computer was at risk and that I needed to download another facet of protection. When I tried download the program, everything went to hell in that proverbial hand basket. I lost the original virus protection program and it wouldn't re-install. I lost Explorer completely.

I decided to try a system restore. Things went from bad to worse. I no longer can use Microsoft Works (word processing, data base, an generic Excel) and several programs for which I don't have the installation CD's. Most of these programs were on the computer when we bought it. I spent yesterday un-installing some of those programs that I never use and saving everything from My Documents (copies of bills and other documents) on CD's. I also saved all pictures and videos on DVD in case I have to take the computer to a professional for repair. That took most of the day.

I finally was able to re-install the virus program and suddenly Explorer appeared again after one of many re-boots during the day. The programs are still messed up.

I'm going to install the free Open Office program to take the place of Microsoft Works. If I lose Explorer again, I suppose I can make-do with another browser. Right now I have Chrome that I use for Blogger. And there is always Fire Fox.

I really don't want to spend the money on taking it to a professional. I don't know how to use the Recovery disks to return the hard drive to the way it was from the factory. I also don't want to ask Ben; he is so busy. He works a full time job, he works on his rental properties every free minute it seems, and the boys are both involved in sports and Bella will be beginning volley ball soon. I don't think he ever has a minute to himself. He did get the laptop straightened out for me and I can't ask for help  again. Mr. Fixit said yesterday (when I was acting like a butt) that if I couldn't fix it, we would buy a new one. Yep, thinking about the expense is enough to push me over the edge.

As far as everything else, we bought a new toaster oven, Mr. Fixit has worked on the stove, the plumbing seems to be operating properly (except for a particularly stubborn slow running drain in the bathroom sink), the vacuum is once again sucking as it should (after $40.00 in new filters and bags), and the signal strength on the sat tv is high and the picture only breaks up occasionally.

As for the computers, I'll think about them another day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Football Hero

Yesterday was Levi's first full contact football game in the Peanut League--six and under age group.

                                                                       Before the Game

The game didn't start that well. The opposing team scored first--touchdown with the two point conversion.

Levi entered the game as quarterback. He was phenomenal! And that's not just grandmother prejudice. His little short legs carried him over the goal line TWICE for two touchdowns! He ran like the wind! The final score was 22 to 14, our favor.

                                                                  After the Game

Last year he played flag football. Being only five, he seemed lost when on the field. Most of the other children, too. The quarterback was the only one who knew exactly what he was supposed to do. This year Levi seems to have a natural talent for football. He's going to be a well-rounded athlete because he also seems to have that natural talent for baseball.

It was a bit hard for me when on one play he was at the bottom of the pile.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

For the Love of the Game

Cole’s baseball season with his showcase team is over, and he won’t be playing for the high school team until the spring. He has begun to play in a league for adults (or near adults like him). The players on his team range in age from 17 (him) to 45 or so.

Last night they played a team for over-35 players. Some of those guys looked to be in their 60’s. My particular favorite looked remarkably like Santa with a round tummy hanging over his belt, white hair, and a white beard. He bunted very well, and this 60+ athlete ran like a gazelle. Most of them were good hitters and runners even with expanded middles. I noticed one player who could have been in his late 30’s, but most appeared to be in the 45 to 55 range with a couple of over-60’s.

I said that if they weren’t playing Cole’s team I would be rooting for them.

I hesitate to mention this but I will. They won!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Over the Pail—Beyond the Pale?

There was an article about the legimate rape remark made by a politician, and VP hopeful Ryan’s stance on the subject. The article was authored by Jake Tapper of ABC News (White House correspondent?) and appeared on my Yahoo! homepage.  A sentence in the article reads:

“Ryan said that Akin’s  ‘statements were outrageous, over the pail.’ ”

“Over the pail?” I wonder if he meant beyond the pale which is defined in my dictionary as “outside the limits of what is considered to be accepted.”

I don’t know whether Ryan was quoted correctly or if if news reporter made the error. Then again, perhaps I am wrong and “over the pail” was the actual phrase they wanted to use.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is This Legal?

This morning Mr. Fixit had a final appointment after his cataract surgery earlier this year. He forgot his hearing aids. I sat down while he was signing in. The receptionist asked him if his insurance had changed since his last visit, and then she said, “What is your race, Mr. Fixit?” He turned to look at me as if he hadn’t heard her question. I understood it completely and was on my feet immediately. He turned to her and asked, “My race?”  She said, “Are you East Indian or what?” I gave a look and a bit of attitude and said, “White.” She said, “ It’s something I have to ask, and we ask everyone. It’s a matter of demographics.”  Yeah, right.

Several people came in after us and she asked no one else their race.

Granted Mr. Fixit is tanned. We’ve spent the summer at baseball games, but he is lighter than a lot  people who  spend time outdoors in the summer. In the winter he is not much darker than I am, and I am very fair. My first thought was to ask her if he looks like he non-white, but I held my tongue.When we were discussing it in the car, he said maybe it’s because of our last name. I think it’s more a matter of his accent.

Regardless of the reason for her question, it seemed that  she was asking more about national origin than she was about ethnicity. It smacked of ugliness, profiling, and bigotry.

If I ever have a problem that requires an eye surgeon, it won’t be him. Not only for the inappropriate (IMO) question but for his hobby. Throughout his office are pictures of him in Africa posing with his trophies (dead animals in plain language.) There is at least large photo in every examining room that we have been in. Today was the proverbial straw for me. Right over the head of the receptionist was the stuffed head of a beautiful antelope with a long graceful neck and very long horns. It was probably an impala or a springbok—I’m not up on my African mammals. I would have enjoyed more seeing a picture of a live animal racing across the grasslands instead of a dead one on the wall.

Also showing on the wide screen HD TV was a nature program featuring animals in the wild. I looked up from my book once and saw a bird of prey ripping the head off a smaller bird. I know the rules of nature, but that doesn’t mean I like watching it HD TV.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

This weekend Owen had a baseball tournament, two games on Saturday and two on Sunday. Mr. Fixit and I went to have lunch at a fast food place between the Sunday games.

We were second in line and had a bit of a wait. In the other line the young lady taking orders was apparently new. She had someone with her explaining each step so it was taking her longer to get the order of a woman and a little girl about 6 years old. The little girl became bored I suppose so she was leaning forward and catching herself on the counter. My first thought was, "I hope her hands don't slip." If she had fallen she would have hit her face on the counter. The woman (I later found out that she was the grandmother) told the girl to stop. The girl proceeded to do again. Again the grandmother told her not to do it again. Finally, she did it one more time and the grandmother said, "I told you more than once to stop" and she smacked the child on the arm. The child didn't cry, and I saw no mark on her arm.

Someone behind me invaded my personal space to say into my ear, "If she hits that child one more time, I'm calling the police." I didn't acknowledge her except to take a step forward. She then said to the everyone and the grandmother, "That's child abuse and I'm going to call the police if you (the grandmother) do that again."

The grandmother said, "Please don't tell me how to discipline my child."

The complaining woman offered that she was a guardian ad litem and she knew child abuse when she saw it and once again threatened to call the police. The grandmother said, "You have no right to butt in, but I'll call the police if you want me to. Please don't speak to me again." She finally received her order and headed to the play area with her happy-looking granddaughter.

The "guardian ad litem" continued to carry on loudly that she was a guardian ad litem and that child abuse offends her.

I held my tongue, but I was wondering how she would have felt if the little girl had fallen and hurt herself. She would probably have harangued the woman for not watching the child. My only other thought was that if she thought that a little smack on the arm was child abuse, she has never seen child abuse. In my opinion, she overreacted and was enjoying making a scene. I think I remember something about power corrupting. . .

Thursday, August 9, 2012


When Google insisted that I download Chrome so I could use all the bells and whistles on Blogger, I did. It worked well for a while. Now something has gone kaflooey. Some web pages won't load at all, and others load so slowly that it's not worth it for me to wait five minutes or more.

Even though I have been having a little problem with Explorer, it's working 100 times better than Chrome.

So, Mr. Google, I will only use your browser when I post to Blogger. If you're going to make a product practically mandatory, maybe you should make sure it works properly all the time.

Note: I checked to see if the problem was my computer. We have three  computers, and they are all have the same problem with Google. I wonder if it could be our network, hmmm? Maybe this afternoon Wizard, Jr. (Mr. Fixit) will help THE WIZARD (me) check out the network. We'll see. . .maybe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Scaredey Cat!

Our white cat, unnamed and he's been around for about seven years, has developed a new phobia. Every time he sees or hears the metallic crackle of aluminum foil, he runs like the devil himself is chasing him. This morning I very quietly removed the box for the cabinet drawer, and he ran even before I removed a piece. He recognized the box! Smart but a little faint-hearted.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cat Out of the Bag?

Headline Yahoo! News:

"Obama approves secret support for Syria rebels"

They sure know how to keep a secret in D. C.