Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, February 28, 2005

So, where was I?

Oh, yeah--the WEEEEkend. Well, there was that whole Access thing hanging out there waiting to be resolved, but since Friday was pizza night, we had to imbibe of some nice pepperoni and sausage and dough first, in order to be able to better comprehend the vagaries of database software. The eating was accomplished, the kids were sent to some other place (somewhere in the house--I think) a load of clothes was started in the washing machine, the laptop was plugged in, and the lesson was begun.

We had already done some of the work during the previous week, and despite some of the warnings you were good enough to offer about the hatefulness of Access, it actually turned out to be okay. When you don’t know what to expect in the first place, nothing is a shock. Reba has such a poor command of computing that it really didn’t matter how similar or how different a database is from any of the other programs she’s been introduced to. In some ways, not having any preconceived ideas about how things are supposed to work is a benefit. Of a sort.

Anyway, she went through her exercises (I had printed out the tutorial slides so she wouldn’t have to figure out how to switch back and forth between Access and PowerPoint) and by the time bedtime rolled around and six loads of laundry had been washed, she pretty much had it figured out.

Saturday, thankfully, yet another one of those mornings where I was spared having to get up at dawn either due to loud children or an overly ambitious wife, so I got to sleep all the way until EIGHT o’clock. Then, up and dress, and get Oldest up to get dressed. She had a debate meeting at church at 9:00, so we had to get her up and out. And for once she actually had all her assignment done. Drive, stopped and got us some breakfast, dropped her off, went back home, stopped and got some breakfast for Reba so it would be hot, walked in and saw that wife was hard at work and had made actual progress in my absence. Hallelujah. “Did you not get the kids anything for breakfast?”

::sigh:: “No, was I supposed to?”

“Well, Jonathan came down a few minutes ago and said he was hungry and I told him Daddy was going to bring us all some breakfast.”

Back out the door. Stopped at the grocery store to get some cash, drove across the street to Sonic and got a couple of their breakfast burrito combos, drove back up to the top of the hill, walked in with breakfast, was roundly applauded for being a heroic hunter-gatherer, and then, “Did you get anything for Rebecca?”

For some reason, I forgot that I had four kids. So, no. Nothing for her. So while the little two gobbled down their breakfast, Reba gave up her sack of stuff from McDonald’s and decided to eat a bowl of homemade soup that she had put to simmering on the stove when I left the first time. Fair enough--I REALLY didn’t want to go back out again.

So, then, with the food situation taken care of, Miss Reba and I sat down at the table and began again in earnest with the computing. And for the most part, she did just fine. The only hitch in our plan was that we were going to have to print some of this stuff out, and since the computer upstairs didn’t have Access, we figured when I went back up to the church building to pick up Ashley, I could print it out on the computer there. Maybe. I wasn’t really certain we had Access there, but it was worth a shot.

It got to be time to go, but Reba still wasn’t quite finished, so there was a bit of pressure there for her to finish up, because she’d made a bid deal about telling Oldest she could come home just as soon as she could, and we’d be there right at noon to pick her up.

Obviously, it’s never a good idea to let them figure out a schedule.

Anyway, I was in quite an antsy mood because of the time constraints and kept telling her I’d just go back up to the building later and do it but she insisted I cool my jets and wait a while and let her finish. Which she did, with very little additional instruction from me. That done, it was saved to my handy flash drive, and I was off to the lovely town of Leeds for the second time.

Got there and found that Oldest was still hard at work on debate--she’d had to basically rewrite her whole entire presentation while she was there. So she wasn’t finished, and all the worry I’d engaged in about not getting there in time to get her was completely unnecessary. Which would have been nice to know, because the second worry came in when I went to print all the files on my little chip, and the Access program on our computers there at the church building WOULD NOT RECOGNIZE THE FORMAT. Bad, bad, bad. And completely inexplicable. I don’t know why it wouldn’t work, but it wouldn’t. Next step? Go by the library on the way home and see if I could print it out there, and if that didn’t work, I was going to try to hook up our printer to the laptop, which of course would require the installation of an unauthorized driver on the laptop, which would probably get me in BIG trouble. You know how some people are.

Sure hope the one at the library works…

Ashley finally got finished and practiced her delivery, and then it was time to head back out toward home. Got to the library, made sure their computers had Access, flopped down, stuck in the flash chip, called up Access, went to open the files and…

HOORAY! It worked! Sent them all to the printer, which didn’t. It’s an interesting kiosk deal with a computer and a change machine cobbled together. You’re supposed to check which things you want printed and feed money in, and after you get enough in (at 15 cents a sheet) it’s supposed to print. I fed it full of money but still couldn’t get the thing to work and managed to erase everything I was asking it to print. GRR! Went back and logged back on to the computer and went through the open and print process again, logged off, went back and stuffed money into the machine again, still no prints, and finally had to get the longsuffering girl at the counter to fix it for me. She did this by printing them from her work station and just taking the money from me. Whatever.

Home, and I am a hero. Yay.

Then it was time to start the SECOND big project of the day--BEAN BAGS!


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