Jan 242008

I sure hope this week is a one-off. Nothing major, no life-threatening issues, just a bunch of annoying smaller things that all came at once. While Tim’s away.

Monday: go to drive Tim to the airport; he’s away until Friday. The oil sensor light comes on in the car. Tim gets a cab, and I get to take the car to the workshop. They promise to look at it Tuesday morning. The 19-month-old decides to have a party in her crib at 3 am, waking me (of course). She gets back to sleep eventually, I lie there thinking of what needs to be done.

Tuesday: the workshop looks at the car, changes the oil sensor, changes the oil, the sensor light still comes on, they want to keep it until Wednesday to do some further tests. The 19-month old only wakes twice during the night, so that’s not too bad, but then she wants to get up at 6:30 am.

Wednesday: the problem isn’t the oil sensor, it looks like it’s the instrument cluster. Which needs to be fixed at an “authorized dealer”, since they’re the only ones with all the security codes and apparatus to program the electronics. So I get the car back, can still drive it short distances (great service from the workshop, BTW, and a reasonable price), such as to the authorized dealer. Whose first appointment isn’t until February 4th, that’s almost two weeks from now. The 19-month-old figures out how to take off her sleep bag in the middle of the night, gets cold, needs to have the sleep bag and blankets put back on her so she can sleep. Guess I’m not using that sleep bag for her any more. Fortunately she sleeps in till 7:30 am.

Thursday: cold, frosty, but sunny. The toilet clogs. Badly enough that I can’t get it unclogged, and I’m currently waiting on a call back from the plumber.

I sure hope the rest of the week goes better.

Jan 212008

I had a problem with online banking; every time it got to the secondary password check on the login screen the whole browser froze. Completely. Leaving it to sort itself out didn’t help. And the bank had no idea; they just said “we’ve tested on Firefox on Windows XP, it works for us”. And it probably did. Eventually I got sick of having to use another browser and tried the old debugging standby of turning off all the extensions and add-ons. Lo and behold, it was some problem when Firebug was active. Not a big issue, just an annoying one. Not annoying enough to run around filing bug reports everywhere, but something to keep in the back of my mind (and on this blog) for future reference.

Jan 152008

In the online and software world, there’s “support”, and then there’s support. I’ve discovered my hosting supplier for this blog, Canadian Web Hosting, offers the real type of support. And at a decent price, too.

I run two WordPress blogs, this one and a crafting blog, and had a problem that showed up on one and not the other. They dug around, sent suggestions to try things out, and generally made a great effort to help figure out what was going on (I’ll post the gory details once I have a bit more time to make them understandable). That support coupled with a decent price ($8.95 per month if you pay upfront for 1 TB bandwidth per month, 125 GB storage, lots of add-on domains, and SSH access) means I recommend them to anyone who needs hosting. If you’re in the market for a new hosting supplier, you could do a lot worse.

Jan 152008

In a city like Vancouver in the depths of winter, when we’re so used to rain, rain, and more rain, to the extent that even the local paper prints “this is getting boring” as the weather forecast, any sun is appreciated. So today’s glorious sunshine, even though accompanied by cold frosts in the morning, was extremely welcome. Everyone is out walking, people are visibly relaxing and enjoying the sun, their faces reminiscent of blossoming flowers, rather than scurrying along under umbrellas scowling at the grey skies. Many are deliberately not looking at the weather forecast, preferring to enjoy the weather as it is rather than be cast into despondency over the rain that is undoubtedly just over the horizon. Even the trees seem to be smiling, and the cats are outside catting around rather than hibernating.

Somehow even working in the basement seems easier when the sun is shining.

Jan 082008

I see that Paul Kedrosky is talking about a resurgence of department stores, based on the fact that lots of people want one-stop shopping rather than going from store to store. Funnily enough, Walmart has been meeting precisely this need for years; I gather one of the major demographics for Walmart is harried mothers with children in tow who also don’t want to schlep from store to store. Now, if department stores would actually make it more pleasant to shop in them, and more efficient, they’d get more of my business as well. Efficiency to me means a reasonable selection of products, not only clothing, organised in a way that means I can find what I’m looking for (or find out they don’t have it) in a short period of time. People to help in the process would be a definite plus, but some logic in where things are would make up for that. Rolling carts for people pushing strollers or buggies would help as well.

Jan 052008

If I have a New Year’s Resolution, it’s to not let next year’s year-end become as stressed. And to get enough sleep. Both of these hold a longer story that I don’t have the energy to tell right now. Tim posted some; in the last couple of days others have got sick (there seems to be a gastroenteritis/norovirus epidemic in Vancouver) and the toddler hurt her hand and is sleeping even more poorly than usual.

As a consequence I haven’t had the energy to blog (or do anything much, to be honest), and it will take a few days before I do.

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