Disconnected

Something weird happened with our intern during a storm last night. We lost internet, but it didn’t come back right. At the moment, I can only connect with my phone. It won’t let my desktop connect. Even the tablet I use with our security camera can’t connect. It can’t even fund any networks.

My daughters tell me they have the same issues. Unfortunately, the modem is in my husband’s bedroom, and he’s medicated and asleep right now.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to figure out the problem, soon.

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties, new tech, tech repairs and estimates

A few months ago, my husband got me a new OBDII reader for the van. The one I had worked, but didn’t give a lot of information. This one was supposed to be much more detailed in its reports. The problem was, I was never able to get it working. I had the app on my phone, but the Bluetooth connection just didn’t exist, as far as my phone was concerned. My husband tested it out, and it worked fine on his phone, and his tablet. After a bit of research, it turned out the problem was with my particular phone model. It was notorious for Bluetooth problems.

In the end, my husband offered to trade phones. His is a newer version of mine and does not have the issues mine was known for. Last night, he did the necessary back up, switched SIM cards and external memory cards, then did a data switch for the rest. We both then spent much of yesterday evening, getting our “new” phones working again, switching accounts and logging in to various apps.

It’s going to take some getting used to. Aside from the various difference in basic functions, what is now my phone is physically larger than the other one. Which resulting in an unexpected problem.

Lady pockets.

It is large enough that it can’t fit all the way in my pants pocket, and a corner of it sticks out. I’m going to have to be careful mucking about outside, or the darn thing is going to fall right out!

One huge benefit to the newer phone is improved camera quality.

My first test picture, taken while starting my morning rounds.

On a completely different note: Rosencrantz no longer looks pregnant, so there’s a new litter hidden away somewhere. The Distinguished Guest made an appearance this morning. Unfortunately, the patch of missing for on his shoulder is looking newly injured, and larger. I can’t get close enough to see more than a flash of red injured flesh as he runs away from me. 😦

I am zoomed in for this picture of Caramel and Broccoli on the cats’ house. Wow! With my old phone, this would have been a horrible blurry mess!

A definite step up in the photo department.

Yesterday, while checking out the trail cam files, I saw someone pull into our driveway, slip through the gate, then slip back again some time later and leave. This happened while I happened to be out, but clearly whoever it was did not knock at the door, because everyone else was home.

I suspected it was the tree removal company checking things out, so I called them again. Sure enough, it turned out to be the owner.

I’m glad I marked those trees with marking paint!

I had marked 22 dead treed. He commented on how we have SO many of them; he counted about 30 in there. I told him it was the ones closest to the house, and the one by the garage, that was my main concern. I also mentioned wanting to keep the wood to use to build garden beds. Normally, they’d take the trees down in chunks shorter than was I’m wanting. We brought it down to about 10 trees, including the one by the garage. He told me that, for a job like this, he would be sending a 4 man crew, at $400 an hour, and estimated it would take about 10 hours to do the trees closest to the house.

He didn’t hesitate at all when I starting talking about fewer trees! That’s a LOT of money. We brought it down to 5 trees closest to the house, plus the one by the garage. For that, I got an estimate of $2500.

Yeah…. we have a bit set aside, but not that much! It’s actually a very reasonable price. Four man crew, with their specialized equipment to get up into the trees, their massive chipper to take care of the branches, they’d stack the logs (or trunks, in this case) neatly aside and do a clean up at the end. Yes, it’s higher than when we got work done before, but the increased cost of fuel alone would kick their prices up.

So I asked about chipping the big pile in the outer yard – adding that there was no hurry on that, because there are kittens living in it right now. He said he would have to take a better look at the pile, and said he would swing by the next time he’s in the area.

For that job, at least, we’ll have more time to set funds aside. Because of little guys like this.

This branch pile kitten is one that I’ve been able to pick up, several times now. This morning, I was able to pick it up and pet it for a while, and when I put it down next to the food, it actually stayed and started eating, rather than running away. There is a second one I’ve been able to pick up more than one. It is less tolerant of being picked up and still hissed and spit at me, but not as much as the last time I was able to pick it up.

Along with the food I’m leaving near the branch pile, I’ve also brought an extra old baking tray over for water. It’s heavy enough to not get blown away, and shallow enough I don’t have to worry about a kitten falling in and drowning. I’ve seen the kittens drinking out of it several times, since. 😊

Hopefully, I’ll be able to grab and cuddle some of the other kittens, too, and get them at least a little big socialized!

We had some other crazy tech problems going on yesterday. It started with my not being able to get through to my mother on the phone. I don’t know it that problem was at all related, but we started to have issues with our land line gain. My brother had tried to phone me several times, and just got crackling noises. I was actually on the phone with the phone company to arrange having someone come out to fix it, when our prescription delivery arrived. He’d tried to call, too, and didn’t get through. On my new prescription, was a note to call the pharmacist about the dosages; she had tried to call me, but couldn’t get through.

The guy I was on the phone with was doing his computer stuff but had not put me on hold as he did it, so when my husband and I talked about the delivery driver’s call not getting through, and the pharmacist not being able to get ahold of me, he could hear it all.

This morning, while walking in the outer yard, about to head back inside, there was a shout from the gate.

The guy from the phone company was already here!

It took a while, but the problem was traced to corroded wires at the phone jack in my husband’s room. He had to replace wires and the jack itself. He ended up having to go back and forth into the basement a few times, but he got it working.

I’m really happy about how quickly they had someone come out. Having a working land line is really important to have out here, where cell phones and internet connections are far more likely to have issues. That and the tech guy was really nice, too. 😊

The Re-Farmer

Line is busy…

Well, something weird is going on with our land line.

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

For some reason, our line is active, as if someone were on the phone.

We have a phone with two cordless handsets, and a hands free head set. The base with the answering machine is in my office. I noticed a red light blinking on the base that normally is off, which is when I saw the “line is busy” message on the handset display. That’s what the red blinking light was showing; that the line is in use.

The second handset is in another room, and was not in use. With both of them, I activated them to listen, and could hear crackling noises. On hanging up, I get the usual “call ended” display, then it goes right back to “line is busy”. I even checked the headset, which we don’t use because the ear piece no longer attaches to the head piece, and got the same thing. Crackling noise.

We do have a corded phone. This is our emergency back up, and is tucked away in my husband’s bedroom. I had to actually move furniture to reach it, then brush off the dust and cat hair.

It was not off the hook. When I picked it up and listened, it was the same. The line is open and active, but no one is on it. Hanging up made no difference.

With all the phones, I tried hanging up repeatedly, disconnected the power and disconnected the phone line. No change.

After not finding a solution, I went online to see how I could get technical support. After logging in to my account, the first thing I tried was the live chat, but that’s available only during office hours. It’s past 10pm now.

After much looking around at support options, I finally tried to call 611, which is their 24/7 service number, using my cell phone.

The call kept dropping.

I do have my cell phone set to use Wi-Fi calling, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Even when the call didn’t drop, there would be just dead air for about a minute – and then the call would drop. I did actually get a pick up, once, got their automated system, and the robot voice disappeared in mid sentence.

Then the call got dropped.

In the end, I had to send an email.

I got their automated response with a ticket number, and a message saying they’ll get back to me within 2 business days.

Meanwhile, our line is still active, though no one is on it. We can’t call out, and no one can call in.

So very bizarre!

The Re-Farmer

While I’m waiting…

Yesterday, I finished up a garden tour video I made, using my recently acquired software. I’m getting the hand of using it, and quite liking it. It has been a while since I fired it up, though, and there was an update waiting. I have no idea if that’s related or not, but when it came time to export and upload the video (which is does in succession), it saved the export file, but failed the upload. Which is fine. I could just do that manually.

It was incredibly slow to upload. So slow, I thought something must be wrong, and restarted it. When that didn’t work, and it still took forever, I finally had to shut down for the night.

Today, I made a trip into the city for our first monthly stock up shop. When I was finally able to settle in on the computer, I started uploading the file again.

It was just as bad. It shouldn’t take almost 2 hours to reach only 14%.

I ended up re-saving the video at a lower resolution. It’s almost half the file size now, but it’s still slow as every to upload. I’m at 51% right now, and it’s telling me it’ll take just under 3 hours to finish uploading.

I’ve uploaded large files before, without having this much trouble before. I’ll just have to leave it alone and let it do it’s thing. I meant to post the video today, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

While I’m waiting for that to upload, here’s how the day went. 🙂

I was able to do almost all of our stock up shopping today. There are just a few things left to pick up later. I wasn’t able to get the spare sump pump I intended to. They were out of stock.

It was another day of sticker shock, too. Yikes! Some things may need to be dropped from the list this month. About the only “good” price I saw was when I got gas at Costco, where it was at 196.9 cents per litre, instead of the 208.9 cents per litre locally. The city was mostly 207.9 cents per litre.

I was able to get more of the 6′ bamboo stakes, in packs of six, for the garden at a better price than the last ones I go, so my splurge of the day was to get 4 packs instead of 2. I also found one package of trellis net of the same type we are using from last year. The problem is, I need 2 of them to finish both trellises, and there were no more to be found. Hopefully, I’ll find another one when we do our second city trip and go to different stores. If I can’t find any, I’ll just have to use twine.

We have a beef order made, which will tentatively be ready for pick up in a couple of days; I’m just waiting for confirmation on that, as they put the pack together. It’s their largest freezer pack on their regular orders, and they choose what’s in it. Since we’re going into summer, they like to put in more cuts suitable for grilling. I find I quite like not knowing what’s in the pack ahead of time. It’s like Christmas. 😀

On another note, while I was in the city, I got a message from my sister assuring me that my mother’s apartment was locked up after getting treated, so I didn’t need to check it on the way home. Which I’m extra glad for, because on the way home, I drove through my mother’s town and completely forgot about it. I do wonder how much of my mother’s stuff they had to put into the hallway before they could access where they needed to spray. Hopefully, the smell will have dissipated before my mother gets home tomorrow. She has become extremely sensitive to chemical smells.

On yet another note, we are thankfully staying dry enough that I should finally be able to finish mowing. We have extra reason to get the area by the fire pit done. We’re actually going to have company this weekend! We still haven’t worked out exactly when, but my husband’s brother and his family will be coming out. With my husband hardly getting out of the house at all anymore, they have seen each other only a couple of times in the 4 1/2 years we’ve been living here. We used to be able to get together regularly, but with my husband’s pain levels, he just can’t make the trip to the city for any length of time anymore, and their work schedules keep them from coming out here. It’s Canada Day weekend, though, so they have some extra time, for a change. 🙂

Ugh. In the time it took for me to write this, the upload has only increased to 58%, and it says there’s still another 2 1/2 hours before it’s done.

I’m going to leave it and go to bed. I’m sure I’ll be awakened by something during the night, and can check on it then!

I will have it posted as soon as I can. I hope you enjoy it!

The Re-Farmer

Ah, much better. Also, I was wrong

Oh, this is much, much better!!

I just finished switching the new keyboard with my husband’s old keyboard. I was wrong about his keyboard, though. It’s identical to my old one. It doesn’t have lit keys.

Here is my new, old keyboard! 😀

Believe it or not, I actually cleaned this a bit, already… 😀

As for the broken leg, it turns out the legs are exactly the same height as the width of an old tape measure I had on my desk. Something I’d found while cleaning out my late father’s desk and kept handy. The clip on the back even fits into the space the leg used to be in, so I can slide the keyboard around, and it goes along for the ride. 😀

My wrists and hands are already thanking me! 😀

My husband, meanwhile, is quite happy with the new keyboard. He doesn’t type anywhere near as much as I do, so the issues I was having just don’t bother him. Plus, I’m the one with arthritis in my wrists and fingers.

I suppose I should pop the keys off and clean them, but honestly, I don’t think I care enough to bother. It works. That’s all the matters.

The new keyboard was the closest my husband had been able to find like what we already had, in a split keyboard. Since my husband had to place the order a second time, he missed a sale price, so the new one was pretty expensive, too. Quality wise, as far as construction goes, it is nowhere near as good as the old keyboards, which are both from Microsoft and well over 10 years old.

Considering how much use my keyboard got, I’m rather impressed that it lasted this long. I’m still going to keep it. It may be a bit janky, but it still works well enough that it would do as a back up, should something happen to one of the others that are in use. Now that I think about it, the light up keyboard I remembered my husband had was one that came with a desktop system he’d bought, years ago. That one died after a cat knocked a drink all over it, which is why he was using the one I have now.

My wrists are thanking me. My thumb, in particular, is much, much happier now! 😀

New is not always better, that’s for sure!

The Re-Farmer

Learning to type again.

I made a quick run to the post office/general store today, as we were expecting packages. After picking up the package at the post office, the store owner came up to me, asking if I was expecting a package from somewhere “far off”. I wasn’t, but my daughter was. She wasn’t sure how it would arrive, as they wouldn’t accept a PO box, but delivery companies have a really hard time finding our physical address.

She brought over a box that had the strangest label on it. In the address area, it said it was to the post office. There was no name, but our phone number was in it. I figured it must be my daughter’s package and brought it home.

It wasn’t for my daughter.

It was for me!

My new keyboard has finally come in. The one we had to reorder because the first order was cancelled because they didn’t accept PO boxes.

I am now typing on it for the first time.

It is SO different!

This is my old keyboard.

As you can tell by the worn off keys, I’ve had it a long time!

I love that keyboard!

Unfortunately, some of the keys were getting janky, and it was getting time.

The ergonomic split keyboard is a must for me, but having a light up keyboard was also preferable, so that I could see it without having to shine my desk light on it, blinding myself every time I looked up.

This is the new one.

Very pretty!

Nice, big legible letters on the keys. I love the lit keys too. The colours available are blue, red and green.

Now that I’ve typed with it for this long, I can already say.

I hate it!

The dimensions are different. Even though the keyboards are the same width, this one is narrower. The keys themselves are smaller. The difference is just enough to be a problem. My hands are cramping up, trying to type.

The worst is, the space bar is split. My thumb keeps hitting the end, and it doesn’t depress. To depress the space bar, I have to tuck my thumb under my hand. Which is causing it to start cramping even more.

My husband just came over to see how it was. When I told him, he offered me his. He says he can type on anything. His keyboard is basically my old one, except lit up and with one broken leg.

Oh, which reminds me. This keyboard doesn’t have legs at the back. The top of the keyboard is lower than the bottom, adding more stress to my wrists.

Excuse me while I end this post and switch keyboards!

The Re-Farmer

Technical difficulties: still figuring it out

First up, many thanks to Fyreglass and her hubby for all the help with my technical difficulties! So far, the problem hasn’t been solved, but my goodness, my computer is working much more efficiently! 😀

In fact, as I type this, the text is showing up as a combination of black and magenta. I am also still getting things like this.

Which isn’t too bad, compared to the neon green I usually get.

I spent hours last night, trying different things. This is what I’ve been able to figure out.

It’s definitely a Firefox issue, more than anything else. I did sometimes see it in Chrome, while in my email, for example, but getting the new monitor somehow solved that. Things actually appear on the screen faster than before, which is not something I expected to see a difference in. That’s usually an internet connectivity issue, but apparently, my old monitor – which was much older than my current computer – didn’t process as quickly.

Re-installing Firefox did not fix the issue. I’ve noticed that Firefox is a data hog, compared to other browsers. I use it for this blog and under my Re-Farmer profile simply because I don’t like having to log in and out repeatedly in the same browser, and I use Chrome for my personal stuff. I’ve also used Explorer in the past, and tried several other browsers. They all have their issues, and I keep finding myself going back to Firefox and Chrome, because the issues they have are easier to work around than the others I’ve tried.

I’ve used Glary and cleaned up all sorts of things. By this morning, when I double checked with my husband before deleting a couple of games he’d installed on this computer, before he was able to replace his own that died during the move, I’d freed up about 100 gigs of space.

I checked my drivers, and they are up to date. My video card is working fine.

Anything on WordPress – especially the editor – is the most affected, but it also affects things like Facebook and Pinterest. I’ve gone back and forth between browsers to test things out and, while there are definitely loading issues in general, which would be an internet issue, it is only on Firefox that the weird colours and text issues are showing up.

In fact, I’m going to pause and take a screen capture, just to show you what it looks like right now, as I work on this post.

WordPress is one of the platforms that I have the most loading issues with. Especially the editor, but just about every WordPress blog I try to visit has major issues, from the “like” button never loading, to the formatting going completely haywire, to simply timing out and not loading at all. Over and over and over again. Anything embedded in a post (like a video, or a reblog) generally fails to load, and trying to leave a comment is almost impossible. While using Chrome, the loading issue seems more limited to the editor and admin pages, than while visiting blog pages. The stats in particular reeeeaaaallllyyy don’t like to load, even though everything else around it (side bars, headers, etc.) will load just fine.

It’s not just WP, though. I get it in Facebook and Pinterest as well, though not as bad, nor as often. Since doing some PC maintenance, and my computer is working faster, I no longer have the problem in my gmail, as in the screen capture I’d posted yesterday. I might even be able to catch up on my emails now! 😀

And, just to make things even more confusing, it will often change, right before my eyes. For example, if you click on the above image to see it larger, check out the text in the bottom left corner. Before I took the screen capture, that’s what the text in my side bar on the right looked like. After capturing the image, then resizing it before uploading it, that text went wonky again. As I am writing this right now, the text in my side bar is messed up, not clear and legible, as it is in the image I screen captured just a little while ago.

Oh! Now it’s blinking back and forth!!

So now I’m thinking the problem is a combination of two things.

One: it’s a loading issue. Even though I have a WiFi booster (which I even moved to a different location, in hopes it’ll get the signal better), something about the corner my “office” is in does not connect with the internet as efficiently as other parts of the house.

The other is Firefox: while I have problems loading things on other browsers, it is only on Firefox that the weird colours and disappearing text is happening the most. Where other browsers just take longer to load, Firefox does the weird text and colours.

*sigh* I’ve even saved my draft and reloaded this several times while working on it, but that magenta text just won’t go away – and it’s only happening here, in my editor, as I write this. It’s not happening when I load a published post.

It’s getting very hard on the eyes, so I’ll go ahead and post this. I might have to just stop using Firefox and find another browser to use for my Re-Farmer profile. Trying to use the WordPress editor has been even worse in other ways, in the various browsers I’ve tried, which is why I kept coming back to Firefox.

*sigh*

The Re-Farmer

(ps: I just edited this post to fix a typo I missed, and the magenta text is gone, as is the weird blocky, unreadable text in the side bars. No consistency at all!)

What is this? (question for the techies)

Okay, so I thought my monitor was the problem, we got a new one, and…

The problem hasn’t gone away.

This is what my gmail looked like a little while ago.

I use the past tense, because when I go to another tab, then come back to it, I see the text, only to have all the text disappear when I try to click on an unread email.

It’s not just gmail. I went to another tab after embedding that image, came back, and now I’m seeing nothing but a neon green block instead of the image. Oh, and the text in all my tabs have disappeared (all WordPress blog posts I’m trying to catch up on), but the icons are still there.

So it’s not the monitor (though I do now have a bigger, better monitor out of it…). It does seem to have improved since I got it, though, which is odd.

I at first thought it was our crappy internet, but I’m the only one in the household having this problem, and it’s only on my desktop.

My husband thinks my computer might be the problem. While I think it’s possible, I don’t think it’s likely.

Is it WordPress not loading properly? WordPress always has more trouble loading than anywhere else, it seems. It does seem to happen almost exclusively on pages hosted by WordPress… except it also happens when I open my gmail.

Is it my browser? I use Firefox for this blog, and Chrome for my personal stuff (I’ve tried others but end up going back to these to, for various reasons). In fact, I just went to my other browser, logged into WP, and browsed around. Images still take forever to load, or sometimes don’t load at all, but I’m not getting that neon green thing happening. Nor am I getting the magenta text that sometimes happens. I also have no problems with my gmail.

Okay. So Firefox is definitely part of the equation. When things don’t want to load in Chrome, they just don’t load. If they don’t want to load in Firefox, I get weird colours or missing text.

Maybe I should try using Tor again. It had issues with WP’s block editor, but WP has updated since I last tried it. I’ll have to test it again.

So… It could be Firefox, plus our crappy internet, just messing me up with blinding green and magenta, and disappearing text that can only be read if I highlight it with my mouse.

Whatever it is, it’s very frustrating!

And occaisonally blinding.

The Re-Farmer

Frosted

It was a really gorgeous morning out, while I was doing my rounds.

The trees were covered with frost – but only the tops! 😀

It was not a very productive day today, unfortunately. I think I spent too much time on the computer yesterday, leaving me with a weird headache all night, making it difficult to sleep. I was also getting up to check the computer to monitor a download. I wanted to use the electronic files to type out my defense response to the suit our vandal has filed against us. They are available in Word documents, but I allowed my subscription to MS Office lapse, long ago. I decided to start that up again.

The first fight was trying to go through the process of paying for it, which kept looping back to the step one, every time I tried to use my Debit Visa. I finally started up a chat request for assistance.

It took over an hour for someone to respond.

I had no idea there was an Xbox launch that day. 😀

He was very helpful. It turned out there was a whole bunch of stuff needing to be updated, but my card kept getting declined. That’s why it was looping when I tried before. All he could see at his end was that it had something to do with it being a Debit Visa, instead of a regular credit card (I haven’t had a credit card for many years). I finally used the card for an account I have in a different bank, and it worked just fine.

So that took about 2 hours in total.

Then I had to download it. A 10 gig download, on satellite. After another couple of hours, I think it got to almost 40% before it completely stalled. It decided my computer wasn’t online. Our signal may indeed have kicked out; it does that fairly regularly, but our systems log on again automatically, and it typically is working again so quickly, whatever we are working is not affected much. Whatever happened, the download just died. I finally had to end-task it and tried again. It was still frozen. In the end, I had to restart my computer, then start the download all over again.

It still took most of the night, but it worked!

Today, I spent time time getting the various parts of the suite set up, then started working on my response. When looking up the form online, I found a similar one that could be used.

Defense and counterclaim.

!!

If we were under different circumstances, I could counterclaim for all the stuff that disappeared from here that we know is at our vandal’s place. Except 1) it happened before we moved here, so I don’t actually know much about what has gone missing and 2) this all belonged to my mother, so I can’t make any claim for it, nor would I be able to claim on her behalf. At least, not for this.

I’ve been talking to my brother, however, and he has a much better idea of what has gone missing, so he agreed to start a list, including estimated value. I may not be able to claim it, but I can include it. It actually fits in with the email I am including to show he could have taken stuff he claims as his own at any time, if he had only produced proof of ownership.

Well, I got a partial list today, and I must say, I was shocked. I knew a lot was taken, but I was still not prepared for this!

Almost $45,000 worth of stuff has been taken from here – and that’s just the stuff he knows of, and has remembered so far.

Looking at the list, I found myself thinking just how much easier our job of taking care of this place could have been, these past few years! We wouldn’t be having to scrounge through the junk for whatever isn’t too badly damaged, for starters. And the tools!! Oh, my goodness! I had no idea many of them were even here in the first place.

By the time I finished reading the list, the trees were not the only things that were frosted!

The Re-Farmer

Fixed!

We have a working washing machine again! 😀

This is the new panel he put in. All of this is behind the touch screen in front. At the far end is the power button, then where the knob pops on, the start/pause button, and then the controls for temperature, spin and soil. There is no load size control; the machine senses that itself and adjusts the amount of water accordingly, but at the far right of the panel, you can do things like add a soak time, and extra rinse, or even tell it to add extra water. All of these can change the time, which is where the digital display comes in.

Of course, he tested everything before he started, and it was exactly the same as before. After switching out the panel, but before putting it all together, we tested it.

Power? Yes.

Knob for wash cycles? Yes.

Start/pause? Yes.

Temperature? No. Spin? No. Soil? No!

But, of the buttons on the far right did work.

Just one!

So he opened it up again, tested them without the front panel, and everything was working.

He put it back, and it was working.

Best guess, there just wasn’t enough contact between the touch screen and the switches, the first time he put it on.

Of course, we kept testing it over and over, as he put everything back in place!

It’s all working fine now.

Hopefully, it will stay working!

I have a sudden urge to do laundry…

I’m sure if I ignore it, it’ll go away, though. 😉

The Re-Farmer