Saturday, April 01, 2006

Even though the garbage men are still officially on strike in our state, they took pity on us and came around one day last week to clear out some of the mountains of plastic bags that were threatening to topple over and kill passersby in an avalanche of garbage. I am telling you, that was a stroke of PR genius. To me, it made it seem like the garbage men were totally willing to work, if only the *state* would be reasonable.

The recycling is still there, but tin cans and plastic packaging won't raise the stink that food scraps would.

John and I have been busily translating, just digging ourselves out to accompany Hannah to and from school and to take care of the bare necessities (food and the occasional school supplies for Hannah). But we will have to work to the sounds of construction directly over our heads starting next week, because our landlord is finally getting around to building on a "winter garden" where our terrace currently resides, which he has been talking about since we moved in 2-1/2 years ago. The carpenters came Thursday bright and early to take measurements, and they are supposed to be back early next week to start work. I will photo-blog the work, just for my own amusement. You have been forewarned.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

John = Jesus

Run, do not walk, to Sluggo's Flickr site to see John as Jesus. (Sluggo = Sharon's John, for those in the know.) John has finally reached his life's goal!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I hope my sucking fixed the computer shutting itself off, because I am sick of hearing Hannah in the computer room, "Shee-ot!"

More signs of spring:
* dry skin that makes my hands look like chicken feet
* allergy nosebleeds for me and John (John hardly ever even gets a cold, so this is a big deal)
* narcissus
* alternating bouts of exhaustion, energy, and insanity
* rain and high winds
* lows above freezing and highs nearing 60

John tricked Hannah into watching the Swedish movie, and then I got pulled into it, too. It's really cute.

Hannah told me this morning, while I was trying to get her out of bed, "You sound awful. And you look like the Devil." I had a picture in my head of a tiny Professor Higgings.

Monday, March 27, 2006

John's final Flickr update

John finally went through the last 2 stages of shaving; check the Foto link on the right.

Hannah didn't finish her homework until almost 9, so I'm too tired to think of anything else to add. Sorry.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Time Change!

Psyche! Europe changes to daylight savings time a week earlier than in the US this year, so we will be *8* hours ahead of our Central Time Zone homies for a week.

If you are planning to take your child to see "Eight Below", be forewarned


that there is one scary scene where a seal jumps out of (or maybe from behind?) a whale carcass. Hannah went to go see this movie (titled "Antarctica" here in Germany) with a friend and her family, then spent the night with them, and the next morning she was still horribly worked up about how that scene had almost given her a heart attack. So it's your typical, good, clean Disney fun.

I don't think we woke up in a particularly bad mood this morning, but by the time John and Hannah left at about 1 to go swimming with friends, we were on the verge of a three-way, Homer-esque choke-athon. We have been watching DVDs on our laptop since we didn't want to buy a DVD player when we weren't planning on living here permanently. But recently the DVD drive has been crapping out on us, sometimes working, but often not. I had checked out a Swedish Astrid Lindgren video (Ronja Rövardotter) at the library bus, and John wanted to watch it this morning. But this was one of the crappy mornings, and he was in a *foul* mood after screwing around with the computer, trying to make it work. So after they left, I got to work with my superhuman problem-solving skills.

Oh, yeah. We've also been having the problem that sometimes the computer will shut itself off with no warning. This usually happens when Hannah is playing a game online. Arthur's ice cream game has had this effect several times.

Yesterday I had already run the system check and defragmented the hard drive, so that wasn't it. This afternoon I ran the full virus-check, but it shut down halfway through. Now, I had already seen the suggestion in an online forum that this shut-down problem is often due to overheating, so I opened the window to let in some brisk, cool springtime air. Started the computer back up, the virus check ran all the way through with no problems. So then I shut everything back down and got out the vacuum cleaner. That was the solution offered on the online source. There was a *lot* more dust and gunk than you *ever* want to see come out of your computer, trust me. I couldn't get the section over the fans open because I didn't have a special screwdriver (a 6-pointed star instead of a Philips-head like the others, pff), but I was able to get the fuzz out by sticking my teeny, tiniest crochet hook through the holes over the fans and pulling the dust bunnies (which were pretty nasty and menacing) out. Sewing nerds will win out over techno nerds every time!

So then I pulled out the DVD drive, vacuumed a little more, and started 'er up. And it decided to play along, letting me put in movie and actually playing it. While it was still working, I wanted to start backing things up, because it had been a while. But the damn CD burning function didn't seem to be working. So I put in a DVD that seemed to be for troubleshooting DVD/CD problems, but in reality it reinstalled some DVD movie-playing software. Urgh.

FINALLY, I figured out that the CD I was putting in wasn't ready for burning (I don't know computer terminology), but I found a simple check-box to enable CD writing, and ka-zaam! We are backed up!

John says I am the best computer sucker he knows. ha ha, I forgot how to laugh. But we have both noticed a *huge* drop in the amount of time the fans are spinning, to the point that I have feared the computer turning itself off several times when it is just the fans switching off. Hell, right now, I have *5* Explorer windows open, including the dreaded Arthur game, and the fan just switched off as I am typing. Before that, it was running on the lowest setting. So go me!