Computer Repair

*sigh*  The fan died on my main laptop computer.  It’ll be in for a hardware repair for a couple of days.  It’ll take them that long to get in the right part.  Not a big deal.  I can take either this machine or a tablet with me to MN, if I don’t get my beloved favorite back before we leave.  The price they quoted me is fair.  It’s a bitch to park within three blocks of their storefront, but it can be done.

Believe it or not, three companies I contacted, that billed themselves as computer repair shops, replied that they were not equipped to deal with hardware issues.  *groan*  If it was a software issue, I could have fixed it myself.  I don’t happen to have a bunch of spare hardware parts on hand.  A bazillion connection cords, yes, but not guts.

So, I brought it in to a local storefront operation owned and run by a 30-something guy with tattoo sleeves, and his two assistants, who told me beforehand, via email, “We can fix that, no problem.  We like hardware fixes.”  They all knew exactly what was needed when the one assistant opened it up.  Not one doubt among all three that I had correctly diagnosed the problem before dropping it off with them.  Yup, the fan’s shot.  Still, getting it fixed is a helluva lot cheaper than replacing it with any sort of new computer that I’d actually want.

The most annoying thing is getting used to the keyboard on this even older 15″ model, after all these years.

First world problems, right?

What Fifteen Cents Will Buy

On Staurday, we ran errands, which included stopping off at a local nursery.  On our list were a few veggies that didn’t germinate for us indoors under lights, and some herbs that either were victims of winter-kill, or are annuals.  Their prices are on par with the big box stores, except that they also have six-cells of some things, instead of only single pots, and they have a customer loyalty program.  Applied “rewards” from a previous purchase to get a few bucks off, which made the purchase come in easily $10-$15 below what it would have cost at Home Depot or Lowes.

I realized I had forgotten to get oregano.  Usually, that comes back in the Spring, but this year it didn’t.  Anyway, all I needed was a 4″ pot of it.  When the “rewards” from Saturday’s purchase were applied toward it, all I owed was 15 cents, which happened to be the amount of tax.  I basically got the plant for free, but they were still responsible for collecting state tax.  I’m sure their accounting system to handle it is up to snuff.

They have one of those systems in which if you agree to provide your name and address to be added to their database, you’re automatically in the rewards program.  Sure, they can (sort of) track your purchases, but the rewards are worth it, if you shop there.  They ring things up as “cell pack, 2 @ $1.79, herb, 3 @ $2.49, perennial, 1 @ $19.99” etc., so there’s no real record of exactly what you purchased, but the customer loyalty rewards accumulate in the database, and they accumulate fast.

On Saturday, while many people were milling around, the owner was outside, ready to write up tickets for those of us who had carts with a bunch of stuff on them, and were ready to check out.  Today, he was working one of the registers.  It really is interesting chatting with the owner every so often about herbs and veggies, since he grows a pretty good assortment of both at his own house.

One of these days I ought to check out the nursery that’s only about 0.3 miles down the road from us, but for now, I like the rewards program the other nursery has, it’s only a couple of miles farther away, and I’ve been going there for nearly a decade.  Old habits can be broken, but only if there is a compelling reason to do so.

First World Problems

My vehicle registration came up for renewal.  I used to have to renew every year.  I can now renew for two years, instead of one, and can do so online, rather than mailing in the form with a check to our state capital.  My state government finally entered the modern world.

The way this now works, though, I could print out a bazillion duplcate registrations, if I want, now that I have the downloaded documents.  The process to get there, however, was like pulling stinging nettles.   What should have been a two minute process took 15.  Oh, but the payment went through within 90 seconds.

Gotta love government.

Another Saturday Morning; Another Visit from Jehovah’s Witnesses

Evidently, the previous owner of this house was amenable to Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Now that the weather’s warm, they stop by every other Saturday morning.  Sometimes, they ask for Connie.  They’re polite, kind of like Moonies, and I have no reason to be rude to them, but seriously, reading bible verses isn’t going to make me any happer in life than a sense of accomplishment.

Don’t most people feel at least a little bit of joy at getting a task done, and doing it well?  Ben was ready to be all over them, licking them to death, but I had him by the collar, just to make sure he didn’t knock them over.  I think they visited our nextdoor neighbors after us.  Mead would have completely knocked them over, and licked them to death.  Mead’s adorable, but he’s a big boy that has given me a few knee scrapes.

Anyway, I politely got rid of the two ladies, wishing them a great weekend.

What Fresh Hell is This?

Last night we took a four hour round trip driving to some place in Lancaster County to purchase a used welding table.  Three of it was driving; half an hour was inspecting it, working the deal, and getting it loaded onto our trailer.  It was in the 70s, so I left a few windows open in the house, and left them open overnight.  I’m glad I did, because it was already 78 by the time I got up this morning.  I love fresh air running through the house.  It beats the crap out of a sealed up house with stale air, and nothing but air freshener or scented wax melts to make a bit of a difference.

FWIW, the people who sold us the welding table were very cool.  They were out in the sticks, on a very large wooded lot that looked like a junkyard with three cinderblock structures, one of which was their house.  Ma ran the Deere tractor to load the thing onto our trailer, while Pop and Son negotiated the deal, and helped us back up and turn around the trailer to get out of their long, winding, gravel driveway.  It was a bit tricky, but no people or trees were harmed.

I still need to seal coat a convertible bench-to-picnic-table thing I assembled last weekend.  The blazing sun and mid-80s isn’t helping, but I can roll out an awning to get some shade.  Going from winter into summer within three days is weird, but it happens.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t screw up our veggie, fruit, and herb gardens.

Spring, Finally!

Our half week in Cape May was semi-sucky, weather-wise, but we did get to visit the Cape May Brewery, and the Willow Creek Winery.  Both are fun, when it’s too windy and rainy to walk the beaches and trails with your dog, birdwatching.

This week is pure spring, with sunny weather in the 70s and 80s.  I was expecting going straight from winter into summer.  If this holds up, by the time we have to go to MN for my niece’s college graduation, I’ll be wearing madras or seersucker.

We have planted our strawberries, asparagus, and peas.  We’ll see what happens with them.  None of them are in our big, fenced-in kitchen garden.  The strawberries are everbearing, and have plenty of room to roam.  The other stuff is confined in a new small-ish garden plot, surrounded by old railroad ties (complete with their hardware), that we found on our property, on the edge of the woods.  How’s that for recycling?

Once Again, Tractor Supply Company RAWKS!

It’s not news that I love Tractor Supply Company.  We just happened to hit the last day of their weekend sale, which gave us an extra 20% off everything that wasn’t a plant, or seeds.  Okay, half the items I bought were seeds, “White Carolina Pineberry” strawberries (that came with 10 pollinator red strawberries), or asparagus crowns, but the remainder of what I bought ended up being somewhere around 70% off.  And, the thing is that even for fruit whips/root masses, and seeds, their full retail price is about half of what a local garden center (or even a box store) would charge.  The entire bill, with pro-rated discounts, plus full price items, came to about half off what I would have paid anywhere else.  This time, we didn’t need tractor parts, fencing, or animal feed, but they sell those, too, for a fair price.

My other favorite place is a local feed mill.  The family that runs that place is fantastic.  Their prices are fair.

What sucks is that it’s still too cold to plant pea seeds.  *sigh*

SEPOS Orchid Haul

This year, I exercised restraint, and only bought three orchids:  two from Andy Phillips of Andy’s Orchids, and one from Ecuagenera.  I prefer species.  The floofy hybrids don’t rock my socks.  I have been buying orchids from both vendors for at least a couple of decades.  Neither one has ever sold me a bum plant.

I had to buy the Scaphosepalum ursinum, well, because of the its name, and it’s a Scaph, so it’s semi-idiotproof, as long as I keep it soggy, and not let it get too much direct sun.  It was a nice beefy plant, which still has a couple of blooms on it; that’s normal, because Scaphs bloom sequentially.

We were supposed to pay a $10/head entrance fee, but nobody was there to charge us for it.  So, we kept going.  Whatever.

Wayfair Order

I’ve gotten some awfully nice things from Wayfair.  This time around, they sort of bunged up the order.  I ordered one plain grapevine wreath.  That way, I can decorate it seasonally, as I want.  I received two of them, in a different design than I ordered.  The design I received was only a buck less per wreath than the one I ordered.  I looked at it, and decided I’d pefer the other design.  Guess I shouldn’t complain, getting two for $12.99, instead of one.  I have a use for both of them.  They’re fine; they will simply require more twisty ties to secure whatever decorations onto them.  Even if I hang them, naked, they’ll look okay.

Now, I’m off to an orchid show to blow money on plants.  At least this year, it’s not being held at Drexel.  It’s in suburbia, which is fine.