April 3rd, 2008

20111112, Marilee

VCR/DVR Help

My newer VCR is starting to make almost-dead sounds (I use it almost every day) and it's almost exactly seven years old (I was thinking it was newer). So I figured the choice was a new VCR or an unaffiliated DVR, and I expected I'd end up with a VCR. Well, I've just spent a mostly fruitless hour searching, so I'm asking for help.

I have a DVD, so I only need a VCR, but those are almost impossible to find at consumer-TV level. Lots of very expensive ones for security systems.

Almost all DVRs are associated with a plan and a dish or phone line. I don't want to pay for the extras, I can program one like I've been programming VCRs for years.

There is a third possibility -- I can buy a consumer-level VCR/DVD and sell/give my DVD, but I'd really like to just add one new component.

Anybody have ideas?
20111112, Marilee

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Feeding problems again today, but I watched carefully as I ended up giving Spirit the dish with everything and then recently when I put the dry food out. Shiva is not willing to touch anything he might have to share with Spirit. He happily ate dry food off the closet floor -- food that's been there, some of it, for months -- but is hesitating about eating the dry food in the dish. And we only have wet food because he didn't know what dry food was when he moved in! Separating them won't work, so I think I'll need some Valium. For Shiva.

I went to get gas today and noticed it was 54 and put on my spring/fall coat. Bad choice (like just about everybody else out today) -- not only did it start to rain, but it was really cold. My gas cap sits in a niche on the inside of the gas door while I fill the tank, and my hands were so cold I dropped it. Fortunately, it rolled mostly to the other side and I got it with the reacher I keep in the van. I was craving pulled pork and stopped at the Red Hot & Blue Express for a sandwich and iced tea.

When I got home, the birdfeeder was empty again, so I filled it. I'm getting more and more birds of different types. The mulch that was put down was no match for the moss that had been growing on the top of the old mulch -- the sphorocytes are sticking up through the new moss. The maple near the mailboxes is blooming and the wings are soft and small. Forsythia is blooming, too. Our mandatory water restrictions have been lifted, so when it stops being so cold at night, I can check the impeller and start the porch fountain up again.
20111112, Marilee

Minicon 43 Monday and Home Tuesday

(I meant to do this yesterday!)

The traditional Minicon Monday for most folks is sushi for lunch and the Dead Dodo party. Me, I sleep in. This is my rest day before I take the plane and I slept until about 1pm and then showered and dressed and so forth. My dinner with beading friends was going to be later than usual, so I went down to the bar for a snack -- the bruschetta was very good - and on the way ran into Keith and Andra again. They'd been up all night and were ready to go home.

After my snack, I stopped at the business center and printed my free boarding pass. I checked back at my room, but it hadn't been cleaned yet, so I grabbed some old WashPosts and used my card to get into the Club Lounge next door. The chair I had to pull over for my legs was heavy, but it was a comfortable place to read. After the maid finished, I went back to the room and read there until it was time to leave for the store. I'd scheduled Rainbow Cab earlier and they were there right on time.

After getting to Sandi's shop and hugging, I picked some new beads (I haven't really been beading as much as often this year and don't need refills) and then while she was pulling and ringing them up, I went next door to Gingko and got some very very hot tea. I knew it would be very very hot, so I asked her to save room for some ice. Even with that, and a double cup, it was very hot to hold. Sandi offered me a "java jacket" and that helped a lot. I sat in the chair in front of her books and drank while scanning the books and seeing what was new. The two that stood out were Whips and Whipmaking and Hemp Masters - Getting Knotty: More Ancient Hippie Secrets for Knotting Hip Hemp Jewelry. Now, I'm not quite old enough to have been a hippie, but they're certainly not ancient!

Time came for the shop to close and I went back to Gingko and got new water (free!) while I wanted for Sandi to close up. She brought the box of jewelry I'd brought, had her put behind the counter, and forgotten to bring with me. It had the jewelry I'd worn during the con, plus a bead-woven evening purse. We went out the back to her purple PT Cruiser and then to Outback for dinner. We knew Dulcey was coming, and that Carol might, but not until 8:30 or so, and we started with a bloomin' onion and showed each other our stuff (she's a lot further on her BFAC project than I am) and after a while ordered dinner and then talked until Dulcey got there with her BFAC project (already done). We reshowed our stuff and talked and had dessert. Boy, was I full.

Sandi dropped me back at the hotel and I pulled out the luggage stand and put the big suitcase on it and put the carry-on on the bed and started packing. After I'd done as much as could be done before morning, I read another old WashPost and went to bed later than I should have to get up at 7:30am.

When I got up Tuesday, I finished packing and made sure I got everything, and towed the two pieces of luggage down to the lobby. It's amazing what tools like wheels and handles do -- I have trouble lifting the carry-on when it's empty, but the big suitcase is like pulling string (other than size) with the wheels and handle. The hotel shuttle pulled up at 8:30 and I gave him my bags to put on and asked him about stopping at the actual NWA entrance. I knew he wasn't supposed to do that, but from the shuttle stop (and lots of single checkups for the airports), they'd have to call for a wheelchair and once it and the pusher were there, it would be a long way to where I could get one of those carts. So when he realized I was disabled and it would be easier for me to get off at the regular entrance, he did that. Another guy got on who was from Ireland and we had an interesting political discussion on the way.

When we got off at the airport, I gave over my suitcase to the check-in (38 pounds -- 14 less than I came with) and then a pusher came with a chair. I said "Isn't the security right there? I can walk that far." He said "There's really long lines" and I got in the chair. And of course, with the chair, we go to the top of the line he likes best and through. No problems with the carry-on this time, and I waited for the cart to the right part of the airport. When I got to the gate, an NWA employee was there and I told her it would take me a long time to get down the ramp and she said she'd tell me to go first. I read another paper while I was there and then headed down the ramp. All the other times I've made this trip, this was another 320, but it was an Embraer this time. It was smaller, but much more comfortable, even with another fat person in the seat next to me. I read 1.5 old WashPosts on the flight and came home with a half out of the 16 I'd taken, which is pretty good.

There was a wheelchair waiting for me at the top of the ramp at Dulles and it was the same guy who pushed me getting back last year. He remembered me, and my good tip, and was very nice. We got over to baggage, where he pulled the suitcase while he pushed the chair (excellent skills) down to the taxi line. Dulles lets the taxi concern to a single company, still Washington Flyer, and I got a nice guy who didn't talk to me all the way home. It was nice to be warmer again, and I was glad to come into the house and see the kitties. They were just a bit stand-offish as I came in, but then, before I did anything else, I fed them. Amazingly how that works. (And Shiva ate gladly from the same dish as Spirit.)