1. Because I had to reboot the computer and the modem as part of the attempt at locating the problem (which didn't help, at all; the outage was at the other end) and because the computer was useless, anyway, (Why do they put the help files online these days? When you need them for trouble-shooting, you can't get them. That's akin to the isp staff that e-mailed my dad to tell him that his e-mail was currently not available while they upgraded. Really! So helpful!) I unhooked everything, cleared and moved the desk, and sorted out the wiring. The desk had been in the same position for about 5 years.
It took all day Tuesday to do that, and to return everything to its place and hook it all up again.
It wasn't as dusty behind the desk as I would have expected. I only found one spider, which I carefully shooed into a crack before I vacuumed.
I keep an air filter running behind the computer at all times, to make sure it gets only the cleanest, most dust-free air possible. Tuesday, I vacuumed the computer thoroughly from every angle, and through every vent. Then I put a fresh, new dust bag into the vacuum, reversed the hose, and blew through the rear fan outlet. I should have done this outside; a huge cloud of fine dust spewed out of the intakes and all over the room. So I had to vacuum and dust everything in the room again.
Dust is not good for computers. Moral of the story; must clean computer much more frequently.
2. Travelling around with an almost-3-year-old, I stopped to watch a backhoe at work on a crumbling garden installation. It was picking up rotting beams, stacking them to one side, and levelling a small hill. After we started home, I was treated to the following conversation:
Sophia: "Backhoe bites wood."If repeating a fact 10 times cements it in memory, I'm sure she's got this one down for life.
Me: "Yes, a backhoe bites wood. And mud."
S: "Not people?"
Me: "No, not people. It doesn't bite people. Just wood and mud."
S: "Not Sophia?"
Me: "No, not Sophia. Just wood and mud."
And then a monologue, all the way home: "Bites wood. Bites mud. Not people. Not Sophia. Not people. Wood. Mud. Bites wood. Bites mud. Not Sophia. Not people. Bites ..."
3. Eileen (Cicero) writes of squirrels being "ever so persistent." They are. So are kids. (Which is why you can't hide Christmas presents from them, and why (I think) some teens are such good hackers.) In the mall, we stopped to look at the loonie grabbers, the brightly-coloured bouncing "airplanes" and bunny rabbits and Noah's Arks. One, a kid-sized ice-cream truck, was still going, after the previous kid had left it. Sophia climbed in and entertained herself pushing all the buttons. ("Yum! Chocolate! My favourite!" the red one elicited.) Another kid, a boy around 5, climbed in, too.
The truck used up its loonie, and stopped. Sophia pushed buttons vainly. But the boy jiggled the coin return lever with one hand, and pushed the Start button with the other. Off they went again, for the full ride.
On the third time round, the trick failed. The kid kept trying, until his mother came over to take him off to pre-school. She told me he'd discovered the trick some weeks before. She's got a hacker in the making there.
4. The Great Backyard Bird Count. We did count, but without too much profit. Juncos, chickadees, crows, and pigeons, of course. Eagles, 10 in one small clump of trees along the Ladner Trunk Road. 4 Northern Harriers in and beside a field, a mass meeting of gulls along the highway to Richmond. Not much else.
Part of the problem was that we were on the go most of the weekend; we made observations from the car as I drove. And I took no photos. These two are from the week before:
A dozen crows. Otherwise known as a murder.
Wally's Woodpecker. This wouldn't have worked for the bird count, would it?
And Laurie did get a close shot at a hawk from the car, as I drove. Unfortunately, the car hit a bump just as he pressed the shutter:
5. And tomorrow, I hope, life will return to its normal tempo. (I can dream, can't I?)