Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Night Miscellany

Hola! Ohmygoddess! Humpy lost the second game of the second set of play-off games today in Nalchik (where?) and has been eliminated from the Women's World Chess Championship by 14 year old Hou Yifan. So, it's Hou Yifan v. Alexandria Kosteniuk for the final. Now that every last one of my favorite players is out of the championship, I've totally lost interest. But I must - I simply must - suck it up and report on it at Chess Femme News. And I will - I swear. I will.
There's a long involved story about how I decided to set up a wireless computer network at home - I should have done it LONG ago! But, being technologically challenged I finally did not get serious about the idea until Sunday, when I purchased a new laptop computer. I'd been pricing them and doing comparison shopping for months, and finally pulled the trigger on a nice Toshiba for a great price. That got me thinking about how I'd be using this laptop at home. One modem - one desktop connected to modem, connected to the one and only phone jack upstairs. Where would I connect the laptop to the internet? Oops! Time to go wireless, Jan. And so I did some research online and it looked like a relatively simple procedure to hook it up, I just had to get the right components (wireless router and, for the desktop which I purchased in 2003 without wireless capability, a USB wireless adaptor). Purchasing the stuff was the easy part - I had a list of my top 3 picks and went to the OfficeMax in the mall on my lunch hour Wednesday. Ta da, less than an hour later, I had the top picks on my list for under $100 (tax included). The procedure for hooking everything up sounded easy enough too, reading it online. Hmmm....well, it's a lesson worth learning all over again. NEVER trust any directions about how to do something you read on the internet! NEVER! Soooo, I get my wireless components home Wednesday night and set things up in less than an hour. WRONGO! When I tried to go online last night, I had no internet connection! LOL! After trying various remedies and the SBC diagnostic tool (which told me I had no internet connection, duh), in desperation I re-connected the network cable that I had removed the night before from the back of the router to the computer ethernet port and voila! The internet connection was restored. However, that cable isn't supposed to be there! Obviously I'd done something wrong, but I was too tired to putz with it. The USB wireless adaptor wasn't able to connect to the router, either. Oh crap! I checked and double-checked the settings and the instructions on the DVD that came along with the little thingy (it looks like a zip drive) and thought I'd done everything a-okay, but obviously - NOT! So, today is one of my last day offs before the official end of summer (September 21) and I tackled the re-install of the router and adaptor before 9 this morning. What a comedy of errors! Trying to be "smart" (I should know better by now, wouldn't you think?) I thought "I must delete the prior installation information and start from scratch." So, I pull up my programs, and I can't find the router stuff anywhere. I did delete something - it turned out to be my ethernet drivers - but I didn't discover that until later on. Much later on... Two tries later I'm practically in tears (why is it that women start to cry when we get frustrated? Well, at least this woman does). I know I must do the dreaded call to "tech support" and speak to someone with an accent so heavy I won't be able to understand what he is saying. I pick up the telephone and dial. A mere 30 minutes later I have successfully manuevered myself past never-ending menus and mechanical voices and reach "Danny" who was either from India, Bangladesh or Pakistan judging by the accent; it wasn't as heavy as some tech support helpers I've talked to in the past, I could understand him and only had to ask him to repeat himself about half a dozen times during our 30 minutes on the telephone. Success! Danny got my ethernet drivers restored (all it finally took was a reboot of the machine, geez!) so I could get back on the internet and figure out how to "restore default settings" to my router. Arrrgggghhhh. After several attempts I was able to finally restore the default settings to my router and after that, I got it installed! (I hoped it was successfully installed, but I wouldn't know until I reinstalled the USB wireless adaptor if it really worked). Then I tackled the USB wireless adaptor. Oh my. I put in the DVD and follow the directions, but then in the middle of everything up pops this screen that says I have to download this other Linksys program - and although I tried and tried I couldn't get out of the screen; when I exited out of the DVD and tried re-running it, the same thing happened again at the same point in the installation. So, 45 minutes later, after this program had finished installing itself, I was able to complete the installation of the adaptor. Only - it didn't work! After several fruitless tries, it was sheer luck that led me to use the same password for the adaptor that I had selected as my "security key" for the router and it worked! Instantly there was the connection - all the little green lights on the modem and router were glowing! To make sure I had it right (finally), I cut the front lawn in a soft rain, took a long nap, and then I disconnected the network cable and powered everything up again. It all worked!
The Chinese are at it again. It wasn't bad enough that they killed thousands of Americans' beloved pets with pet food poisoned with melamine. Nope - now they're poisoning their own children with baby formula adulterated with melamine. The Chinese officials are "investigating." So they'll chop off the heads of a few peasant farmers and confiscate their land, and that will be the end of that. Geez.
Mother Nature flexes her muscles. New Orleans emptied out (good thing, actually), in the face of Hurricane Gustav; now Galveston is in the sights of Hurricane Ike. I LIKE the fact that these two devastating storms are named after guys. Ha ha. But I sure don't like the devastation that this storm is sure to bring, not to mention a big jump in gasoline prices. That affects me even though I don't own a car. It seems, unfortunately, that about 90,000 people were stupid and stayed behind on Galveston Island. Geez!
A tart that is sweet - yet savory. Hmmm....
Fascinating - the White Priestess of Yoruban Black Magic.
The appearance of The Goddess (in the form of the Virgin Mary) at Lourdes celebrates its 150th anniversary. Is the Pope still holding secret revelations that Bernadette gave him prior to her death???

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