Yesterday was quite the ordeal, but I survived more or less and everything got accomplished that had to. I completed almost none of my bonus missions, but the main tasks got way more involved that I had originally planned. There were a lot of ups and downs and the whole thing was a ton more stressful than I realized. I am guessing that is why both of my posts yesterday were more than a little ranty.
Basically when I got up yesterday morning, I crawled upstairs and blogged as normal… then at roughly 7 am I started in on the various tasks that needed to get accomplished. I started by picking up each of the rooms that the cable guy would have to visit, and making sure he had a path clear of debris. The actual sequence of events is a bit hazy at the moment, but I proceeded a long until about 8:30… then took a break to go get a sausage roll from QuikTrip.
I tore down the ferret playpen downstairs, and dumped anything that was cloth in the washing machine. I removed the water bottle and feed cup from the panels, and folded them completely for the first time since we originally set the pen up years ago. After cleaning the area and sweeping up the left over food and other “bits”… these are animals after all… I cleared a big swath of the living room floor that would eventually be used as swap space.
Where we left it the previous night is that when the furniture movers called and were on their way I would move the slate table up against the TV and swing the old sofa over towards the wall where the ferret pen was set up, trying to leave a walkway. All of this sounded fairly reasonable since the schedule was that the cable would be here between 10 and 12 and that the furniture folks would be here between 2 and 4. I thought I had this all planned out nicely so that we would not run into any issues.
Mister Late meet Mister Punctual
So I don’t want this to come off like I am in bitching in any way, but around 11:30 I got a call from Cox stating that their installer was running behind at a previous location, and that they wanted to make sure that it was okay that he would not likely be there until 12:15. I said it was fine since I had taken the day off to do multiple things. Turns out he didn’t actually make it until closer to 1. Still fine, because I expected the furniture movers would not be here at 2 on the dot.
Turns out that our cable was in worse shape than we realize. The coax we have is a little over 10 years old, and as a result his install call turned quickly into a repair call. He went above and beyond the call of duty and essentially re-ran cable to all the rooms that already had a pop. Additionally he did new pops in my office and in the loft… initially we were only going to have it run to the loft, but he said since he was running to one room in a row it was just as easy to run to the other.
This of course took a long time, and as he was starting to wrap up… just getting to the “mess with cable boxes to make them talk” phase I get a call from the furniture movers. They are running on schedule and will be there shortly after 2. I went through a mad rush, trying to do a bunch of things at once. I moved the table in the livingrooom closer to the tv, but still tried to leave the nice guy room to fiddle with our cable box. I moved swung the couch around and moved it to the wall basically creating an interesting new seating area.
The Missing Tabby
The next task was the corral the cats in the bedroom. The problem is… I could not find any of them… ANYWHERE. Apparently the banging and movement of this strange man through our house freaked them all out. I found a couple of them up under the bed, so I went ahead and shut off the bedroom hoping that the third was also hiding. I asked the cable guy and he said he saw the tabby run into the bedroom and duck under the bed when he went in there to hook up the cable box. Fitting the MO of a cat freaked out… I was fairly confident she would still be in there… but all the while worried that someone had ducked out the door or up into the attic.
The furniture movers arrive and thank us for all the prep work and clearing… because they rarely if ever have a blank space to move the furniture into. They proceed to bring in all these giant furniture Lego blocks, attempting to set them in the order we had wanted to place them. After doing so… they linked each one to the next via these weird metal tabs and slots along the base of each unit. When all was said and done, we had one big piece of furniture cobbled together out of the little blocks.
The funny thing is, that they were so efficient that they were long gone by the time that the cable guy and I were doing the rundown of the new features of our whole home DVR. I really considered trying to pay them extra to haul the old sofa into the backyard and throw it on the junk pile… but I just could not bring myself to do it. For whatever reason it felt a little shifty to me, to be offering them money on the side to do something not originally in the game plan.
After the furniture guys had left, and I verified with the cable guy that he would not be needing the front door open for long periods of time… I went ahead and opened back up the bathroom and bedroom. Sure enough the various cats started making their way out of their temporary cage, but this time they made a beeline upstairs and hid there. However it did allow me to start breathing again, since I saw each of them as they whizzed by.
The Toner Collection
In all the recent cleaning we have amassed this huge collection of spent toner cartridges. The two of us greatly prefer the speed and efficiency of laser printers, and as a result we have owned a bunch of different models over the years. So in cleaning we have accumulated a pile of toner cartridges belonging to four different printers… only one of which we actually still own. We traditionally get our toner from Cartridge World, so I was hoping to work out some kind of swap.
I packed up the house, verified that the cats were still okay and in hiding and went on the mission to unload toner cartridges and drop another small load off at goodwill. I made it to Cartridge World as it began to rain. I went inside and talked to the little man for a bit, finding out that unfortunately they were not willing to play ball… and that they considered their program an exchange, and that technically they still own the cartridges… based on the fact that I had 10 in my car I begged to differ. I did not want to lug them somewhere else however, so he said they would definitely recycle them… which was good enough for me.
I started on my way to Goodwill, and had gotten to the corner to turn down towards our house when I noticed blue and red flashing lights in my rearview window. One of my tasks for the day was to renew my expired tag. However my neighbor who is a tag agent, stopped by as she was heading to work…and chastised me for not just giving my insurance to her and letting her take care of it. So I was super relieved of not having to weave a trip to the Tag Agency into my already busy day…. but thought nothing about it.
For weeks I have not wanted to drive my jeep on the weekends, because my theory has been that with an expired tag, so long as it was during rush hour… I would not likely get stopped. But I knew the moment I drove my jeep around town at any period OTHER than rush hour… I would get busted. Sure enough, today was the first time I had driven my jeep other than rush hour situations… and sure enough I got pulled over and handed a ticket for an expired tag. The good of it is, that since I really have already renewed my tag at this point… I just have to go down to the court clerk and show proof of my tag.
The bad news is that they work Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm. So getting there will be a juggling act, but the alternative is to wait until June 27th and have to show up in traffic court. I would rather keep from having to go to court, so I will figure out a way even if it is to take a weirdly offset lunch hour and come deal with it. Unfortunately I have not been able to hook up with my neighbor again since yesterday… and I still have no 2014 sticker on my tag. I am carrying around the tag citation, hoping that if another officer pulls me over they will take pity on the fact that I have already been busted for it once.
Real Live Internet
It is roughly 3:30 when I drop off the load at Goodwill and make it home. At this point I have not eaten anything since about 8:30 and am ravenous. So I hit the fridge and cobble together a feast of leftover spanish rice and chicken alfredo. While I am sure this frustrated my wife, the very first thing I wanted to do is go up to my office and play around with the internet. While I love all of the changes, this is the one that will impact me the most from this point on.
While those numbers may not look special to some of you, you have to understand that previously on our best day we had 3 meg down and 256 kbits up. We were constantly stomping all over each other as we tried to use the web. If my wife was uploading photos to her blog, then my ping in a game went to absolute shit. If I was patching one of my games, she couldn’t surf the web. Forget the concept of using netflix AND the web or a game at the same time. Now we have enough bandwidth to comfortably do multiple things at the same time.
It is amazing how much faster games patch with this new connection. As a test, I fired up SWTOR… since I had not played it since before the Rise of the Hutts release. It took about 30 minutes to download the patch, whereas in the past that literally would have been something I had to fire up when I went to bed and let it run all day while I was at work. I feel like we have just left the dark ages and entered the renaissance. When I finally filtered downstairs and set my laptop up… the first thing I did was fire up something in netflix, just to see how well it worked. Sure enough I was able to stream netflix, while patching the secret world and eventually logging in and playing it… all the while maintaining a sub 100 ping. So much happy about this change.
I need to wrap up, since I have almost run out of time. Basically the long and short is… I am really happy with the internet change. I am so far happy with the whole home dvr… just going to take some getting used to and learning where all the buttons are. I am happy with the new sofa, but it feels extremely weird, and I am going to have to live with it a bit to find the most optimal way to use my laptop. Last night I was too damned tired and sore to really use anything optimally, as I felt like I was just going through the motions.
We ended up in bed around 9… maybe earlier… because when my wife said she was ready for bed, there was absolutely no hesitation in me joining her. I am still sore as hell from all the juggling of things, and still more than a little freaked about all the changes. I do not handle change of any kind very well… even if it is really good change. I feel like the cats are in the same boat as me, considering they all seem a little freaked out. I hope you guys have a great day, and if I can’t say it before then… I hope you have a great memorial day weekend. May you be able to embrace the change in your life easier than I can.