Wednesday, October 9, 2013
I arrived home shortly before 11:00 a.m., having begun my journey at 6:30 a.m.. The drive was tiring. I think that I might need a second cup of coffee, after the first two hours of driving. Next time.
I began loading the car at 5:30 a.m. this morning. When coming out of the door, with the first load, I looked up and was caught by a sky full of bright stars. How crisp and clean and chilled the world seemed.
I headed out just after loading the frozen turkeys into my homemade cardboard cooler. As I pulled away the clock read 6:30 a.m., It was still dark.
The headlights of the oncoming traffic weren’t really an issue until the light in the sky quickened. I found that keeping track of oncoming traffic, in the half-light and the headlights, caused eye strain. I was very glad when the light of dawn arrived. The fog drifted above the fields in the distance, beautiful, making it difficult not to look, which is ill advised while driving. Further down the road, before sunrise, the fog was so thick that the truck in front of me faded from sight. For a distance of about 20 km. it was necessary to proceed slowly, and watch carefully for signs of tail-lights in front of me, and head-lights behind me. As soon as the sun came out, the fog began to vanish.
Then the most extraordinary thing occurred. This has never happened to me before, and I wasn’t aware that it could happen. In front of me, across the width of the road, and extending into the forest on either side, was the end of a rainbow. Colours, light, wow. I drove through it in absolute awe.
Morning light is so full of joy, and driving across the countryside for that first hour or so of daylight was a delight.
Upon arrival, a call was made to let Attila know the journey had concluded safely.
Then the unpacking began. The turkeys were still frozen solid, with just a touch of frost on the exterior packaging. The cardboard was dry.
While I was away, Attila installed drywall on the eleven foot high walls in the upstairs hallway; mudded, sanded, and painted it with primer. It looks amazing! I have to admit I had my doubts. He used small, cast-off pieces of drywall, very cost effective, so it was a real patchwork. You would never know it from the finished job!
Also, he completed bringing in the firewood from the back of the property. It is all split and neatly stacked under a tarp, ready for next winter. This winter’s wood is in the woodshed.
Now Attila will turn his attention to finalizing the plans for the front porch at the little house in the city. He anticipates that it will only take a few days to complete. As usual, I have my doubts. I am a real “doubting Thomas” when it comes to renovation timelines!
The cardboard that was transported home was taking up a great deal of space in the garage. With it out of the way, Attila will have easier access to the wood for the front porch project.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Since arriving home, I have been busy catching up, with paying bills and cooking and all sorts of things. The weather has been flawless, sunny, warm during the day, full of colour as the leaves have all turned.
The computer Attila has been using is a ten year old iBook. While I was away it began to misbehave, not starting up properly. Attila was forced to use the iMac for the duration of my absence.
I began my rescue operation by inserting a repair CD in the drive and starting up the iBook, holding down the C key. That should have worked, it should have booted from the CD. It did not.
Next, I attempted to mount the iBook drive on the iMac, using a Firewire connection and target mode. The iMac mounted the CD in the iBook drive, but it did not detect the hard drive on the iBook. The Disk Utility software on the iMac found the iBook hard drive, but could not access it for verification or repair.
Conclusion, the iBook has died of natural causes, after ten years of almost daily use.
I now have to find a way to wipe the hard drive, which is proving to be quite difficult. I have one more trick up my sleeve, and if that fails I am not sure how I will wipe the hard drive. I may have to remove it and destroy it. However, before going to that extreme, I will try to mount the hard drive in target mode on my old G4 computer. Neither the iBook or the G4 are Intel, but the iMac is Intel. That may be why the iMac cannot find the iBook. If I can mount the iBook hard drive on the G4, then I will wipe it clean and send the iBook to a recycling facility.
The G4 is buried in storage, so this project has to wait until I have time to dig it out and experiment. There is no hurry, other than the clutter of one old laptop and cable.
In the meantime, Attila must use the iMac as his computer. It is only four years old, and still runs the latest software without issue, so it is a real step up for Attila. It would be great if he had his own laptop, but that is not in our budget at the moment, and the need is not crucial. I am keeping my eyes open on the Apple site for refurbished laptops at a great price. A 15% savings is not great, relative to the average Canadian’s income.
I have no work scheduled, and anticipate few hours offered over the winter. The last offering was eight hours, 80 km from home, my route a one hour and fourteen minute drive, one way, according to Google maps, with no compensation for travel, or travel time. Not exactly a job that will pay bills, beyond those incurred owning a car, insurance, and fuel. Then, of course, the employer thinks nothing of suddenly reducing the hours to four, long after the shift is scheduled and accepted, which doesn’t really cover the expense of getting there and back. In reality, travelling that distance for four hours of work is subsiding the big corporation that employs me. Robbing from the poor to pay the rich. Same old, same old; progress, ha!
This week Attila received notice that working hours will be reduced, where he is employed, for everyone there. This is a two edged sword for us. Reduced income is always a challenge, but the silver lining is that I will see more of Attila. This will, of course, seriously restrict the funds for renovation in future, and it will become more challenging to support two properties. Thank goodness the kitchen and bathroom renovations are behind us, at the little house in the city! Also the removal of the old porch and waterproofing of the basement, which transformed the little house into a truly livable space. If we have to sell one of our properties, both are now viable options.
If the interest rates increase significantly, we will find ourselves needing to sell one house, or the other. In this we feel lucky, because there will be many who will be facing the loss of their one and only home.
Attila is working today, which is, according to the weather reports, our last summer-like day of the year. Me? I am sitting here, typing and gazing out the window at bright yellow leaves, drifting, earthbound, towards rebirth.
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Saturday 12 October 2013
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Wind: SE 9 km/h
“If you wish to know what a man is, place him in authority.”