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Saturday, August 3, 2002

Great technological strides were made here at the frontier homestead today. I haven't quite decided what the biggest advance is. Maybe it's getting the side panel off the computer, or getting the Ethernet card installed. Maybe. Knowing my history with these things, my greatest accomplishment is probably getting the whole thing put back together and having the computer still work.

I'm still not wired for DSL. I haven't installed the modem or the software (including the drivers for the card I installed), and my new account won't be activated until Monday. But I got tremendous satisfaction out of feeling that thin little piece of hardware slide into its slot and snap into place. Of course, I don't know if it actually works, but I have high hopes.

The process didn't quite bring me to tears, but I did whine a bit at one point. "Why did I ever think I could do this?" That's a pretty standard response when I get frustrated. I had no good reason to feel that way. The hardest part was finding the instructions for opening the computer case. No, I take that back; the hardest part was figuring out which way the card was supposed to go into the slot.

No, wait; the hardest part was reconnecting all the lines and cables correctly. I'm famous for forgetting which way things go.

In the last month I've fixed (i.e., defrosted) a refrigerator and upgraded (well, sort of) a computer. What's next? Maybe I can get that rusty old lawnmower in the garage up and running. I'll have to wade through the spider webs and snail carcasses first, so it's not something I'm eager to tackle.

Besides, I know nothing about engines. At least with the refrigerator and the computer I had detailed instructions to follow. Whenever my car stops running, I'm within walking distance of a phone. Even if the nearest phone is seven and a half miles away, that's walking distance if you're motivated by a total lack of mechanical ability.

I did take a beginning electronics course at the junior college a few years back. Nothing practical came of it. For the final I chose to write a theoretical paper instead of trying to put my knowledge to use to create something functional. I had two problems with that other alternative: making a working circuit, and standing in front of the class to demonstrate it.

The only thing I was better at in high school than writing research papers was avoiding speaking to the class. Odd, isn't it, that I almost became an elementary school teacher? Not so odd that I failed, though.


Hollyhocks grow as high as the hummingbird feeder.
(That gray sky doesn't look very "summery," does it?)

So a triumph like today's is nearly unprecedented. I can't believe I did it. I can't believe I did it in less than an hour. I won't really believe I did it right until Monday, when everything starts working. Or doesn't start working. Stay tuned.

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Latest recommendation:

Kathleen, Occasional Muse, August 2, What I Wouldn't Do

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One year ago: Errands
"It's like riding in the back seat of a '54 Studebaker."

Two years ago: Old Homestead
"I seem to be able to do my job even while raving and frothing and climbing the walls."

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Well, you're windy and wild,
You got the blues in your shoes
And your stockings.