Monday, February 25, 2008

The River

A couple of weeks ago I decided that kid-cousin Sadie and I needed some time together. I'd been working a lot of extra hours and had not had the opportunity to spend weekends in Billings as I had been. Sadie was missing me and even more I think, missing our visits to Grampa at the nursing home.

I picked Sadie up Friday after school and after a long visit at the nursing home, we drove to Absarokee to spend the weekend with Uncle Mike. We were greeted at the door by Shasta and a little while later Mike's cat Floyd (originally named Pretty Boy by his original owner) and the newest member of the household, former neighbor Lois's cat, Cuddles, came out to visit.

We spent the evening relaxing, watching TV and visiting. Mike was happy to have us over and Sadie doted on all of the critters. I, for once, didn't even open my laptop to work!

Saturday, in addition to visiting Grampa at the nursing home, we went on a couple of very fun adventures.

Our first stop was Hawkin's Park. The park is one of Mike and Shasta's favorite places to romp and Sadie, as you can see from the pictures, really enjoyed it as well.

Soon after we arrived at the park, Sadie told Mike and I that she had never walked beside a frozen river before. My heart broke a bit thinking of all the opportunities she had missed in her life and I vowed then to make sure she and her siblings had more outdoor adventures in the future.

Shasta explored every inch of the park as usual.

Sadie got a huge kick out of walking on the thick ice at the edge of the river.

I think she really enjoyed being around "Uncle" Mike and I know he really loved showing her the river.

Sadie reminds me so much of Wolf when he was young. He never walked by a log in his life that he didn't want to stand on.

Mike has a great sense of humor. Sadie laughed so hard that later she told me her face hurt.

Sadie was amazed at how bright the ice was in the sunlight

and how bright blue the mountains appeared.

Uncle Mike spotted the giant hunk of ice in the free flowing part of the river, so of course I had to take a photo of it!

I love the way the old power plant looks surrounded by ice.

The second stop of the adventure was at "the secret place". The ice out there is especially thick.

In the setting sun, it had a kind of blue hue to it.

Shasta, of course, had a great time. She always does!

I call this one Sadie the irrigator. She found this headgate valve and had a blast trying to turn it. Uncle Mike kept teasing her that come the spring thaw the town of Absarokee would be under four feet of water from her efforts. She thought he was really funny!

And so it ended. The moon was beautiful and bright and so was the day.

Life is really beautiful, isn't it?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

You've been mooned, again!

This week my work took me to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort for a "No Adverse Impacts" conference. The subject refers to mitigating impacts involved with land use and land use planning. It has been a very interesting workshop so far and the setting couldn't be more beautiful. I wish there was time to get out and take some photos, but the conference runs from very early morning to evening, so I've not had time.

I did manage to sneak in a soak in the hot tubs, which really weren't hot enough for me, and to take some photos of the eclipse of the moon.

Obviously, I need to work on my technique here, or else lay off the hard liquor.

Not a whole lot better, but it's an interesting shot anyway, don't you think?

I have no clue why the moon appears to have a tail here, but I imagine it was camera operator error.

Not quite there, but I'm getting better at it in this shot.

By George (or Canon) I think I've got least as much as I ever will.

Now it's back to work for me! I have notes to finish transcribing and then I'm going to get some rest (if my co-worker, the beautiful and talented Bobbi, doesn't snore all night again). Our conference ends at 3:30 and then we have to drive the 4oo and some miles back to Forsyth.

Our annual conservation achievement banquet is Sunday and after that I have a plethora of meetings to plan and attend. I'm not sure when I'll get it done, but I plan to have a nervous breakdown sometime soon.

Ha! I'm so not...I am loving this and you all know it.

So hugs, be safe and I'll stop over and see you all soon. I promise!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Warmer times revisited...

If it's not obvious from the title of this post, I'm longing for spring. We've had a lot of snow and bitter cold this winter and it seems like I'm never warm anymore. My cousin says it's because I've lost most of my insulation, but I think it has more to do with age.

Whatever the reason, I'm disliking winter more this year than ever before. I'm not one to sit around moping, so I decided to sort through my spring, summer and fall pictures to remind me of what is ahead.

The pictures below are the ones that gave me the warmest fuzzzies.

I hope they brighten your spirit as well.

Be safe and stay warm everyone, I love you all.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I've been such a busy little bee...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I've been a bad blogger. But sometimes real life gets in the way of blogging and as my mom used to say, I've been busier than a one legged woman in a butt kicking contest.

But I wanted to update you all and let you know I'm moved in, stuff is put away and my cat is happier than I can remember her being in years.

I've got hardwood floors, big honkin' windows, 3 bedrooms, a very cool, quaint kitchen and a living room you could bowl in.

I went from velvet unicorns on the wall, to my own stuff displayed everywhere.
I had forgotten how much I love my artwork (such as it is). The paintings done by my mom's dear friend Ruth, the maps, the family photos, the artwork my dad brought back from France after WW II.

All of these things had been in storage and now they are mine to see every day.

Life really is good and I promise, I really do promise, to post some pictures of my new digs soon.

Really... I promise...

OK, I'll try...

And more importantly I will find the time to comment on your blogs.

I miss and love you all.

Big hugs,

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tech? support...

I spent most of the afternoon at home trying to get my wireless internet connection to, for lack of a better word, connect. Since I moved, I have had intermittent connection issues. I'd lose connectivity, then regain it. This happened numerous times a day and often at the most inopportune times; while uploading my work websites or worse yet, when talking to the ones I love on messenger.

Last night, after numerous attempts to upload a rather large website update, I called my internet provider's tech support for assistance. He had me restart the cable modem and wireless router, all things I had done numerous times on my own but was more than willing to try again just in case doing so under his tutelage would somehow correct whatever problem there was in my system. Unfortunately, it didn't and he scheduled a service call for today.

Harry, the very kind and knowledgeable service rep, was a bit late to arrive and while I was waiting, my cable TV quit working. I hoped that the TV would remain on the fritz until Harry arrived, so that he might have a better chance diagnosing the problem, but it did not and by the time he arrived I had both cable TV and cable internet.

As he walked through the door, he asked if I had lost service completely for a few minutes. I responded that I had lost cable TV for a little while, but still had internet. The look on his face was priceless. Apparently Harry had replaced the main line to my apartment, hoping that it would fix my connectivity problem. Since both cable TV and cable internet come from the same line, I should have lost both during the replacement.

We finally figured out that I had been "borrowing" internet from someone in the area and had never actually been connected to my own router. Aha, we thought, that should solve the problem. We hooked to the router through a hard line and went through all the steps necessary to set up a network, but no matter what we did, it still wouldn't connect to my own router.

Harry called his tech support person who told him it must be a router problem. He told me to contact my router's tech support, which I did through live chat. The first tech (yes this is a long story, so smoke 'em if you got 'em), had me go into dos, change some settings, stand on one foot and wave a magic wand. Finally, after about 2 hours and several dark moments, I was connected to my own router!

Yippee! I was home free.

Or not.

After about an hour I got the horrifying "blue screen of dea
th". After watching my system crash and restarting the computer, I connected again.

As you can see, Emily was VERY concerned about my computer problems...

About 15 minutes later I was rewarded with another blue screen. I hooked up to a hardline again and contacted the router company. After at least an hour and so many changes to my system I had to copy and paste the instructions into a word document to keep track of them, my system was once again, connected to the proper router. I checked email, chatted with some friends and finally uploaded the large file to my website.

Now, about 3 hours later, I have still not had another b-l-u-e s-c-r-e-e-n o-f d-e-a-t-h (yes, I'm spelling it in hopes that the computer does NOT recognize what I'm saying and reward me with yet another) and it seems that it may actually be working.

Another strange thing that has happened since I moved in to my own place is that my TV has decided it needs to display close captioning. I have tried everything to remove it, to no avail.

I was chatting with some friends tonight on yahoo and they had several suggestions. They told me to go into the menu, which I did. I started clicking on things and ended up with the entire menu in Spanish.

Since I have no grasp of that language and frankly a very limited grasp of English, I was at a loss as to how to change it back to English.
I kept fiddling with things as my cyber friends urged me on and I ended up with what I can only imagine was the Arabic language on my menu.

Since I couldn't figure out how to turn off close captioning in English, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to change it in either Spanish or Arabic. I was about to give up when I noticed a button on the remote that said CC. I pushed it and viola, close captioning disappeared. Who'd have thunkit? CC stands for close captioning.

Hmmm, I never made the connection.

I think I'll join my kitty in bed now. I've had enough fun for the day... it Friday yet?