Thursday, June 22, 2017

I'm Usually A Wimp ... But NOT Yesterday

I'm coming to you today from my wonderful, lovely, fabulous, spectacular COMPUTER!!!  It's a long story.  I'll make it short ... kind of.

Since my computer didn't arrive Tuesday, I started tracking it Wednesday.  Around 3:00 I got an email that said it had been delivered.  WHAT??  I ran around outside in 115 degree heat to find it.  In a panic, I called FedEx who said they delivered it, even got a signature.  I yelled pretty loudly while running to all the houses in the neighborhood banging on the doors.  I found it two houses away where the FedEx gal had not asked to verify the name OR the address.  She just left it there.

I unboxed my beauty and hit the start button.  Imagine my surprise when I read "cannot transfer data ... incorrect operating system".  I'm usually a wimp.  I let people take advantage of me, overcharge me, not do what they say, and I do nothing.  I hate confrontation.  NOT THIS TIME!!  I was mad because they had wiped the hard drive clean, meaning Photoshop was gone with the wind and access to all my images was gone with it.   All my pictures are RAW and PSD files, which cannot be opened unless you have the correct program on your computer.

I can't even find out whether photoshop can still be used because instead of installing the operating system I had, they installed one that was three years old.  I went ballistic!!  At least I called first, giving them fair warning.  I'M MAD AND YOU NEED TO FIX THIS!!

I drove an hour to the Apple store.  I made it perfectly clear I was as mad as a wet hen.  I wasn't waiting 30 minutes or even 5 minutes.  They needed to fix this NOW!!  I related the story, including running around the neighborhood trying to find my computer.  They could have cared less.

I got louder.  People started talking.  They finally got their "best" specialist to help me, who agreed to install the correct operating system AND my backup.  Just sign here that if we lose all your data it's not our fault.  My tolerance level hit the floor.  When Zack, one of the managers came over and tried to say "okay, maybe we better just not do anything .. not touch your machine at all", I exploded ... and I'm NOT sorry.

I told him in no uncertain terms to shut up.  Don't try using reverse psychology on me because it won't work.  I'm NOT signing another "you aren't responsible" statement.  You aren't even IN this conversation!!  At long last the "best" suggested he install the operating system, make sure the backup is going to work, then let me do the backup at home.  That's what we did.  Once it was installed, I got a Tech on the phone, who tweeked things here and there.

Believe it or not, my Photoshop actually worked.  All my images came back on the computer and it WORKED.  I cried.   Here's a picture of my patio to prove it!!
So maybe sometimes you DO have to be a crazed, bitchy old lady and create a BIG commotion to finally get people to pay attention.  Not that it made them care ... they STILL didn't care one little bit, but by golly THIS time they fixed their screwup.  Which begs the question, if it worked this time and Photoshop is still there, why didn't it work three years ago when I had to do the same type of backup??

Sooooo ... now to catch up little by little!  Here's the doe and her not-so-little baby that treated me to a visit a few days ago.  They never come at the same time of day, but have visited me three times.
Baby was just as wary as Mom .. she has taught him well .. as they snacked on the trees and had long drinks at the bucket.
In the interest of keeping this short, I'll stop with the pictures and show you more tomorrow.  In the meantime, to prevent anything like this happening again, because I don't think I can take another incidence of steam coming out my ears and my head exploding, I'm doing a once-a-week backup, which takes just a few minutes (previously I only did one every 6 months).  

I'm also going to subscribe to Photoshop from the net, although I'm not sure my little MiFi can handle that.  You have to connect to your internet service, then the application, which remains on THEIR server in the sky.  The downside is the amount of data you use every time you sign on.  

Now to check my bank accounts and see just how much damage I've done.  Hopefully I won't be crying AGAIN!!!  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Name That Critter - Grunt Grunt

Seems we are in a cooling trend. It was 100 degrees yesterday morning at 9:00, cranking it up to 115 by afternoon. Hot is hot. I could barely tell the difference, although my huge new air conditioning unit could barely keep up. Luckily there are ceiling fans throughout the house, so I was cool as a cucumber. Then it rained. I kid you not. Today should be 98 - that's the cooling part.

Even though I have only seen the one creepy crawly, I called Eric from the Pest Control Service to come spray and to discuss critter control. That's mainly pack rats. They are exceptionally good at destroying your engine wiring. With my new flashing lights under the rig, I hope it won't be a problem. That reminds me, I forgot to check and see if they are working!!

The critter for the day showed up in the dark this morning - that's 3:30 in case you were wondering. Grunt grunt huff grunt. Rather scared me at first - I was thinking coyote. I was also up since Miss Jessie was sick again. I silently made my way outside to the patio. PIGS!!!  Wasn't I surprised to see Javalinas or peccaries, depending on where you come from. Of course they knocked the deer water bucket over. I made a mad dash for my camera. I got a couple pictures (my camera sees in the dark) but I've no idea how they came out.

Maybe I'll find out today since my computer will arrive before 4:30 according to FedEx. Finally!!!!  I'm still praying for Photoshop. Otherwise, I'm thinking it will take a couple days of frustration before figuring out how to work with the cloud.

The downside is waiting here all day for its delivery when I could be shopping. Not that I have any money left - but you know, window shopping!!  Time to go rebuild the water station!!  If I'm really lucky you'll have pictures tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's Heating Up!!

The predicted 110 didn't happen, although Tucson was reminiscent of a toaster oven.  I went way down yonder early in the morning to return $100 worth of stuff I didn't need to Home Depot. By 11:00 it was 108, but in heading back home, it cooled off to 105 at my house. A good day to stay inside and practice my list making skills.

DEER!!!  Momma and her baby came back for a quick snack and a drink as did five bunnies. I think I should instill more wild traits in my puppies. Even the birds dont get up until 7:00.

It's been a lovely couple of nights with Miss Jessie getting sick around 1:00 am. Nothing wakes me up faster than a dog getting sick on my bed!!  I was finally able to contact the pest control service to be sure there was nothing in the back yard she might get in to. Nothing - nada he said.  It's good to know these things - and since he gave me a good description of scorpions, rest assured I have NOT seen one - YET!!

I even took a shot at trimming the bushes early in the morning while it was still cool. The roses look much better and I now have an unobstructed view of the water station. It's so peaceful and quiet, except for the occasional train which I love to watch. Yesterday I saw an entire train of HumVees, tanks and military equipment going by. What a sight to behold!!

I was home by 11:00 and stayed inside the rest of the day. I've discovered my tolerance for heat is better than I thought, except at night. I've changed the AC settings a dozen times to where I'm comfortable. That night setting of 83 just isn't going to hack it. I need cool to sleep. I'll sacrifice a daytime degree or two to have cool nights. With last months bill a total of $80 - that's right, $80 for a month - I can splurge a little!!  In California that bill would be $400. I kid you not!!!

In other news, the computer repair is done (I found you could actually check its progress on line) and should be in the mail today. Hopefully I'll have it by tomorrow at the latest, just in time to be totally frustrated by it.   Computers are like that. I envision losing my Photoshop program and having to download from the cloud with my not-so-powerful Verizon MiFi. Another trip to Way Down Yonder may be required.

Another scorcher is predicted for today, so I better get going. I picked up some solar blinking lights for under the rig. Dan says they keep the dreaded pack rats away. Between rid-a-rat, the lights and my pest guy, I should be safe - maybe!!!

With storm clouds on the horizon, the sunrise is gorgeous. I'll be sitting on the patio!!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Coyote Butt!!

I've been wondering why I haven't heard any coyotes since arriving a few weeks ago. Even so, I'm always leery about letting the puppies out. I have a fenced in yard, but it's only about 30 inches high. We had lots of coyotes on the ranch back in the day and would lose kitties to them occasionally.

Mr Chance kept saying they were here, you just couldn't see them. Well this morning I caught site of coyote butt!!  Even with the 104 temperature yesterday, it cools off overnight. At 5:00 every morning I let the dogs out with a watchful eye for snakes, then close just the screen door. All that nice cool air comes inside on the morning breeze.

Just as I looked up, I saw something moving through the scrub brush. Deer??  Nope, too small. Rabbit?  Nope, too big for a rabbit. Bobcat - one has been seen here before. Then I saw it.  Coyote butt!!!  BIG coyote butt!!  TWO of them. As big as German shepherd dogs, they trotted by before I could grab my camera, paying no attention whatsoever to the dog smells all over my yard.

They were too fast for a picture. Maybe next time. I was wondering why the little critters didn't come out early when it's cool. Now I know. Bunnies and quail never show up until 9:00.  How exciting - something to test my camera and stalking skills!!

I hope all you guys had a nice Fathers Day. Patty, Dan and I went to Saguaro Corners for a huge John Wayne burger. You can't beat a burger covered in cheese, barbecue sauce, bacon and crispy onions!!!

The weather guessers say 107 for the next three days. Probably a good idea to stay inside. What about my computer you ask?  I'm calling them today. Pray I get some good news. Even I'M bored reading my blog with no pictures!!!

Next up - Harbor Freight - hold your nose!!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Fathers Day!!!

To all the Dads and Stepdads out there, Happy Fathers Day!!  I hope you have a great day with family and friends!  Even if you hate that tie, wear it anyway!!

In my world of scary electrical wiring, I'd like to tell you about the great job I did yesterday.  I cannot lie. I did absolutely nothing, even after watching the You Tube how to's on wiring a 50 amp plug.  If you need help, don't call me.  Call Dan or my friend Nick Russell, now that he's home from his one week trip through RV Hell!!!  

We ran into a little trouble because neither Dan nor I can read print that small when it's black on black. Dan got one side hot and even though we were BOTH totally hot in 96 degree sun, that second leg just wouldn't produce. I called Handyman Bob. Turns out he's used to reading small print, not to mention he can actually see. Problem solved.

Dan hooked up the second box like a pro and we were in business. Then he spent some tractor time filling in the trench with me on the shovel. I really wasn't much help.

Up next, spread 25 tons of gravel over the dirt. The first bucket spewed out so much dust we couldn't breathe. With the neighbor's driveway full of limousines, I saw a big car wash bill in my future. I got out the hose and tried to control the dust as best I could. At least he couldn't say we didn't try. It actually worked pretty well. Try as I might, pictures still won't load. I wish I could say my computer is fixed but I have no idea. The 3-4 days turns out to be NOT including the shipping days, and of course not Saturday and Sunday either.

So after raking and shoveling while gulping down 8 bottles of water, Dan and I finished the job. I parked the rig and did a test run on it's AC. It worked just perfectly. I think I only have a 100 amp service, so I'll have to watch the load I put on it, but I don't have to worry about the fridge and vent fans any more.  YAY!!!!

I can't thank Patty and Dan enough for doing all this work for me. I think I'll be buying hamburgers for Dan for the next ten years. I'm pretty much set now, with every item checked off my list. There are still things I could use for the house, but they will have to wait. Honestly, I can get by with what I have, but a Breville oven would be nice. Considering I exceeded my budget by $2,000 it will have to wait. I really need my computer back to see where I'm actually at!!

In the meantime, I'm slathering sunscreen all over my neck where I got sunburned. It's a small price to pay for my fabulous RV parking place.  Time to relax and enjoy!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Man With A Tractor

As you may know, Mr Chance has a tractor. A backhoe to be exact. Nothing comes in handier than a backhoe when you have 48 feet of 24" trench to dig. Once we figured out where to dig, Dan put in some hard labor at the end of a shovel to get past the gas and power lines at the beginning. That was certainly interesting finding wires that went nowhere.

On the other end, Dan dug a hole for the pedestal. I'm allergic to shovels.   About that time the last load of gravel came for the driveway. I was cornered. Time to pay the piper Harvey Trucking for a total of 12 loads.  Ouch!!!

With that completed, we headed off to Lowes for supplies. I'm sure I saw tears coming from my credit card. Then came the hard work. Dan on the tractor and me in the trench with the shovel (I broke out in a rash from the allergic reaction) we crossed the driveway in an hour or so.

Time for pulling wire through the conduit. We did it one piece at a time to preclude any problems. Since I was in the hole, Dan gave me the blue goo. Be careful not to get that on you. It was too late. Blued and glued, we finished in no time. While I ran off to pick up the actual power box, Dan installed a water line. Might as well have it all while the trench is open.

Yup I got pictures, but the blog doesn't like my phone, so you'll be aptly inundated when my computer returns - IF it returns.

Today the handyman/contractor will come by to double check our work and wire the box. Maybe I'll have power for the rig by noon. In the meantime, I'm watching Miss Jessie closely. Last night she either pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve. She's stove up like a rock. She's walking, but you can tell she's hurting.  Either way, there's not much I can do.  I'll give it til Monday.

It's heating up in the high desert. Although Tucson and Green Valley show highs of 117 (OH MOMMA), it's only getting to 108 here in Vail. Which reminds me - Dans son Mark has a pool and they are out of town. I may just have to sneak over there!!  Or maybe its time to hit the road!!!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Electricity - Not My Forte!!

Next on the list - electrical connection for the RV. All I know about electricity is to flip the switch. Just to prove it, when I headed off to town, I couldn't get the garage door to work. I sprayed lubricant on the track. It didn't help.   Eventually I figured out none of the lights worked and went to the main panel. I flipped the 20 amp switch and what do you know - power!!

I was off to Home Depot for a pressure treated 4x4. None existed of course. I seem to have that problem with MEN stores. Next stop Lowes where a nice guy in aisle 435 helped me find them. It's a big store!!  With all my seats down my big $11 8 foot long purchase fit in my Jeep with room to spare. 

Upon arriving home, I called Handyman Bob. He's a retired contractor in my area who has agreed to help with the electrical connections. I'm not sure of my level of confidence, but the Electrical Contractor wanted $400. $150 for parts, $250 for labor. That's pretty steep. Since Mr Chance will be overseeing the whole thing, I think I'll be okay, since Dan wired the plugs at his house.

Day two without my computer. The withdrawal symptoms are beginning to nag at me. Can't check my accounts - have no idea if I've any money left - and can't process my pictures, not to mention typing my blog on a teeny tiny screen where I can't even see most of the words. You'll be happy to know the deer have not been here in a couple days, so you won't be inundated with photos upon the computers return. I apologize for bad English and misspelled words. Proofreading is not the easiest when constantly scrolling.

So now it's shovel time - wish us luck on our electrical endeavor!!!