Thursday, March 05, 2009

In No Particular Order

I slipped on some ice 2 weeks ago and landed on my knee. I hadn't realized how much kneeling I do around here until my injury, which caused me to jump up or fall over every time I had to fish something out from under the sofa or the bench. The bruising was gone after about 10 days, and I can kneel again now with minimal soreness. Stupid ice!

Hannah's class is going on their class trip starting next Monday. They are going to Freiburg to ski and visit the Roman exhibit at the museum. The teacher decided that his original plan--going to Cologne and Bonn in June--was too ambitious, but the realities of trying to book space at the hostel in Freiburg meant we got kind of short notice (about 3 weeks, one of which was during a school vacation). I forced Hannah to buy a new hat and to promise to actually wear it while outdoors. We also bought new snow boots, not a simple task at the end of the winter season. She wasn't too thrilled about skiing at first--what is she ever thrilled about?--but I think she is looking forward to the trip now.

Winx is back on the air! It must have started on Monday, because on Tuesday we happened to be watching Nick and the second episode from the first season came on. Woo! Welcome back, Nick addiction!

Hannah and friends came up with the idea of joining the school newspaper and talked the older kids on the newspaper staff into taking them on. There weren't any underclassman on the paper, and Hannah and friends thought they would like to be represented. Hannah seems to be the spokesman for the group and has already written a short article about the recent spate of graffiti at the school. She also has 12 pages of a spy novel written, and she says that her alternate career path (to being a cook) is to be a journalist; after she's made a name for herself in that career, she'll publish her novel, make a ton of money, and retire. Riiiight. At least she found an extracurricular activity to take an interest in, since ballet and Swedish didn't seem to do it for her.

We got an auto-parts circular in the our mailbox the other day, and there was a whole section on marten-protection for your car. (I particularly like the photo on this product: it looks like the marten wants to break into the car and steal the radio, not chew on some delicious rubber parts.) In case you are wondering, a marten is like a weasel. Wikipedia (neither in English nor in German) doesn't say anything about it being a threat to vehicles, but then again, we had mice in our AC system once, and I doubt that would get a mention in Wikipedia either.

We're at that horrible time of year when spring keeps putting its head up and then getting whacked back down, like a seasonal whack-a-mole. Yesterday I tried going out without a hat, but by the time I headed home again, I was wishing I had it with me. And don't get me started on the open window in the ladies' toilet in the English Department! Brisk is one thing, but having your ass frozen onto the seat is another. The neighbors facing us across the street have yards that tell us when we are creeping up on spring: the yard on the left floods from an underground spring, and the yard on the right sprouts crocuses. Both are entertaining in their own way.

I recently bought and set up a wireless router for our apartment, but we discovered that John's laptop didn't have a wireless card installed, so he has been tethered to the router with a cable for a week or two. I finally was able to find a card for his laptop in the States, and after a week underway, it got here Tuesday. Since John is working hell-for-leather on a translation job, I had to wait until the evening to try to install the card. I opened up the laptop, plugged in the card, attached the antennae, and... nothing. The next day, I downloaded the correct driver, fired it up, and... nothing again. Argh! John's laptop has a switch on the side for turning on the wireless connection, but the LED never came on when I switched it on. I turned to the Internet, where I found an ingenious solution that involved taping over some of the pins on the wireless card. And it worked! Even though my laptop is newer and came with a wireless card installed, I had a lot more problems getting my wireless Internet up and running than his. I guess that is mostly because I already had to adjust a bunch of junk on John's machine when I installed the software for the wireless router earlier (even though John was using it as a LAN connection). Anyhow, snaps for me! Like I told John, it seems scary to mess around with stuff on the computer since I am not especially computer literate, but I will do almost ANYTHING--cooking, sewing, reading music, computer troubleshooting--if I have some kind of directions. And it paid off! (Sorry, I'm still jazzed about the whole thing.)