Saturday, December 12, 2020

Just Checking In

Hi everybody. It's been a while. I'm just checking in to let you all know I'm still here. I'll be back all the way when I get something to write about. It's been kind of difficult to find something the last few months. I like writing about nature, but it can get boring around here when I don't go to a nature park. The problem is that they're all closed here in the winter months. I'll think of something as soon as I can. I'll hopefully talk to you again soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Hello! I'm Back! Are You?

I took these pictures 3 weeks ago. I was going to post them shortly after then but I got self conscious about it because I had been gone so long. I hope you enjoy these and my story if you're still here with me.

Before I start I noticed that Blogger has made a few changes. I like what I see in the first few minutes. I hope it is still a good experience as I go on with my edits to this post. Anyway, let's get on with it.

Any of you longer time readers may remember that my dog hates to ride in a vehicle. Well, she made a conscious effort shortly before this trip to ride just so she could stay with me. She actually asked to go in her doggy way.

The poor dog endured a long trip to one nature park near the river. I took lots of pictures there but for some reason they all ended up blurry and messed up. I didn't realize it until I got home and looked at everything. 

But after she took the trip to the first park so bravely I decided to continue on to this bigger nature park. It was an even farther distance away from home. She did great getting to this one. She was learning fast.

We got out of the truck and explored the edge of the river here for quite awhile. This is where I got all of the pictures. This is a beautiful place that only gets better every year I come here.

The dog, Delilah is always amazed by what she sees whenever she is brave enough to go. She has only ever been to a nature park a few times now. I'm going to change that now that she is getting better about riding. 

Honestly, that is part of what has been holding me back about blogging. I just felt bad about going to a nature park without my dog. I'm also still experimenting with how far I can walk now too. But the dog was the main thing. I think she'll be fine now.

After I was done wandering around near the river with my excited dog, I decided to wrap things up. Before I left though, I went to look at the forested area behind the restrooms. I never went over there the many times I've been here. I was amazed by what I found.

A nature trail! There it was calling to me to explore it just like I used to do with other trails. The only problem was that I was too tired by then to answer that call. I decided that it was going to have to wait for another time.

I think that other time is coming in a couple days from now. I'm all set to take my dog on a walk through a good old forested nature trail just like I used to do in years past. I'm going to be in heaven! I hope the dog feels the same about the trails as I do. I think she will.

And to anyone who is still here with me, thanks for reading my blog. I missed you. I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Something To Post

I just wanted to post something, anything. I don't have much to say this time. I just wanted to let everyone know I'm here. I'll leave it at that this time, and I'll talk to you later.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Delilah The Mischief Maker

Here is something my dog Delilah likes to do. Let me tell you a story about my annoying dog.

Because of the current health situation, my mom has come to stay at my house with me. It's because I live out in the country away from most civilization and most people. It makes things a lot easier for her to stay safe and healthy.

I have everything set up nice for her. I bought her all the stuff for her new bedroom. She has a new bed and a big television in there so she can watch TV whenever she wants. I also made sure she has her own good chair in the living room. She also has a laptop she keeps on a little stand right by her chair. I got her hooked on the internet many years ago.

Because she doesn't see as well as she used to, my mom has a little light that plugs into the USB port on her laptop. This way she can see her keyboard when the light is a little dim. The light is an LED light that can be turned on or off by just touching it.

Delilah likes my mom a lot but she also likes to irritate her as much as she can. I constantly have to yell at the dog to stay away from my mom for the many things she does to bother her. Some of it is accidental, but some of it is clearly on purpose. Delilah loves mischief.

My mom isn't afraid of dogs or anything like that. On the contrary, most dogs are a little intimidated by her and always try to be friends with her. Delilah is no exception. My mom is mostly indifferent to dogs, but she says she thinks Delilah is kind of amusing.

Anyway, one of the things Delilah likes to do to irritate my mom involves that computer light. Delilah is very intelligent and she observes things whenever she can. She watched my mom and figured out that the computer light can be turned on by touching it.

So Delilah waits until my mom isn't looking and will sneak over and turn that light on whenever she thinks nobody will notice. She is definitely sneaking. I've seen her to it many times now. She seems to think it's funny because of the reaction she gets. My mom usually thinks she turned it on herself by accident.

I also can't keep Delilah in her kennel cage by herself anymore either. She figured out how to open the latch and get out. I thought at first she just got lucky but I've seen her open it several times now. It's okay though because I don't really need to keep her in there anymore anyway. She's usually pretty safe roaming the house by herself if nobody is home.

And that's all I really have this time. There are plenty of Delilah stories because she's a weird dog. But I don't think you don't want to read them all. I mostly just needed to write another post to let you know I'm still here. I keep hoping to get something from a nature park soon. One of these next few times I'll do it.

I'll talk to you later.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Delilah And Her New Clothes

It's pretty difficult to get anything new to post right now, but I have something for you anyway. This is Delilah in her Thundershirt. This thing is to calm a dog that has anxiety problems. It does it by squeezing them a little. Delilah is a pretty happy dog normally, but she still has a terrible time while riding in the truck. That's why I got this Thundershirt for her.

I wish I could say that it works great but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. She doesn't really like wearing it but she also doesn't mind it much. I think of she wore it enough she'd come to think of it like she does her collar. She gets very upset if I remove her collar. All of my dogs have been like that. I think the dogs think of their collar as part of them or that it is their clothes.

I would have gotten Delilah another color of this Thundershirt, probably blue, but I forgot to choose the color. I usually assign my dog a color when I first get them. Delilah has a blue collar. Isabella had black. And Tilly before them had pink.

Anyway, I live in the country, so I can still go out to places like a hiking park if I want to. So maybe I'll try to get some halfway decent pictures from a place like that soon if it doesn't flood too much here. I really need to post a little more often if I can. I'll talk to you later.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Robot Woes

While I'm still very distracted from my nature adventures I want to tell you the story of my vacuum cleaner misadventure. Let's get into it.

It started out wonderful. I bought a brand new robot vacuum cleaner to replace my old Roomba that wasn't quite as spry as it used to be. I told you about it here in this post. It was the Neato Botvac D4. And it ran wonderfully for the first 3 months.

Then one day it began acting kind of confused and was moving a little slowly. The main problem though was that it kept getting stuck and giving an error whenever it tried to return to its recharging base.

I have to admit that I panicked a little. I thought I had spent $500 on a lemon and it would never work right again. I needed that robot vacuum cleaner! I'm much too busy to vacuum the house every day myself. And it had been doing such a great job of cleaning up the dog hair! But not now. A house full of dog hair is a horrible thing.

After I calmed down a bit I followed the links to the chat with Neato Support. The guy was actually very helpful. He asked me to try a few tests, which I did, to see if the machine could fix itself. Which it didn't. At the end of the chat, there didn't seem to be a solution. I was not very happy.

But then the support person followed up on my case through email the next day. He asked me if the machine had improved. I said no. And after a little back and forth he set me up with the information to send my vacuum cleaner in for the company to look at.

I took my machine to FedEx where I paid them about $20 to package the machine securely for me. I could have done it myself for free, but I figured they'd do it better. And they knew exactly what to do. And so my precious investment was sent off for servicing.

After about a week I got a large package delivered to me by FedEx. It was my vacuum cleaner! The great thing was that I didn't have to pay a dime for them to fix it for me. I wasn't sure about that part when I began the process.

I got it all unboxed and took the time to charge it back up, and then I started it up on a good test run to make sure it was okay. It wasn't! The robot acted confused and then errored when it tried to return to the charging base. After a closer examination I saw that they had replaced the filter, and maybe the brush, but they had done absolutely no repair on it. Again, I was not happy. It was time to try the chat support again.

After quite a lot of time and frustration talking to this new person who seemed kind of skeptical about my situation, I finally got it through to them that this machine really needed to be repaired. I learned during the chat that they could monitor the machine over the internet. I'm not so sure how much I like that. But it was time to send the machine back to the company for them to service it one more time. Would they actually fix it this time?

This time I just packed it back into the box it came in. No extra charges for me. I made the trip back to Sioux City to the FedEx Store and sent it off again. Again, they knew exactly what to do. The woman there even knew right away when I walked in that I had a robot vacuum in the box. Impressive.

And so, after another week I got my machine back again. I wasn't exactly encouraged about a successful repair this time because of my previous experience, but I was still hopeful. So, what do you think happened when I was able to do the test run?

Success! It was working! My vacuum cleaner was repaired this time, and it was back to its old great working self. My dog still thinks this second robot is a jerk, but it works just fine now. My dog doesn't like this one because she was kinda best pals with the old one. She loved playing with it while it cleaned. She thinks this one stole its job.

In the end, (and after this long post), I'm happy with the support I received from the company. It took a little too long to figure out that the machine should get fixed, but they did fix it and they did it for free. Free is all I could ask for.

And that's my story. Maybe you don't want to read another one like this, but I think my next post is going to be about the new computer I just built. I'm going to whine a bit about that one too. I hope you can stand it.

I'll talk to you later.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

My Internet Is Finally Back

It seems like circumstances and just my own laziness are conspiring to drive away any blog friends I have left here. The last update I gave was about my lack of internet. I'm glad to say that those problems have been finally solved. It actually only took about a week to get things settled. I really need to tell you about it. This might be a slightly longer story than usual. I hope you can last till the end.

On a Monday I had two appointments with my internet company to see about getting my internet sorted out.

The first appointment was to survey my situation to see about getting high-speed fiber optic cable put in here in the future. The government gave my service provider a lot of money to provide this new stuff for all of us in the surrounding rural area.

They only came out to assess the situation this time. They'll lay down the cable sometime around the middle of summer. Then hopefully by the end of the year, they'll connect everything up to the houses.

My internet speed at the time they came out was about 3mbps. Once they're finished they tell me my new speed will be 1gbps. That's well over 300 times as fast as my original speed. I'll finally be as fast as the modern civilized world when they're done.

But that's almost a year away from now. What happened in the second appointment?

The second appointment was so they could come out and replace my old non-working internet equipment with some new stuff that should fix me up just fine. They also said the new stuff will work with the fiber optic internet when it comes.

When the guys got there they came in and looked at the old box. The guy immediately told me that everyone who still had that old box was complaining. He also said that box was miserably outdated and they couldn't even update it anymore.

I wondered why they didn't send me a letter or something to upgrade me in the first place. They should have come out a long time ago. I should not have had to call them to tell them there was a problem. Even so, they were here now to fix it.

They did a quick unplug of the old box and plugged in the two new boxes that I have now. The guy said everything should be fine now.

As we were talking, the guy incidentally asked me about what I was currently paying for their service. I told him and, even though he tried to hide it, he looked a little shocked. He then assumed I was also getting phone service too. I told him no, that I was only getting internet. I was not happy. I now knew I was paying way too much and had been for years.

He then asked me what my internet speed was. I told him the 3mbps. He then informed me that I could get 10mbps right now. All I had to do is call and they would just flip a switch. Well, why didn't they just do it automatically? He said it would cost a little extra. That's fine. I'd just like to get out of the stone age!

Let me explain something. Before I moved here from Michigan, internet wasn't as fast as it is today anywhere. 10mbps is probably the fastest internet I've ever had. I was now as happy as can be and I forgot about my problem with them not taking care of this easier for me.

Then when I called them to get that switch flipped, they told me the cost would be different. Can you guess what the difference might be?

Not only did they upgrade my current internet speed, but I now pay only half the price I was paying before. I'm finally feeling good about my internet here. I can even watch HD video content now. And the only thing holding me back from posting new stuff here is my own laziness and the weather you see in today's pictures. I'll talk to you later, hopefully sooner.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Internet Problems And The Solution

No pictures this time because I'm having terrible internet issues. My internet connection is so unstable that it's almost unusable. I called the service provider and they told me my whole setup is old and needs to be updated. They've been getting reports like mine from most of the users of my particular equipment.

I had to order a new router on Amazon to replace my old equipment. It will get here in a few days. Once it gets here I can then set up an appointment for the service provider to hook that and the other new stuff up. Hopefully, then I can get everything back up and running normally.

I also received some very good news from my service provider. My current internet is only DHL, which is very slow. They informed me that we here in this part of rural Iowa are getting switched to fiber-optic broadband high-speed internet in this area within the year.

So I set up another appointment for them to come out and survey my property to get the fiber-optic stuff ready for me. I'll finally be back to the internet speeds of the rest of the civilized world. I can't wait!

That's about it for this post. I just needed to share this news while I could get on here. I'll talk to you later.