Friday, September 4, 2015

Day 247

This evening we picked up our newest addition to the Garrett clan, Monty the ball python. At 3-4 years old - and healthy - he is significantly larger than what Perry (RIP) was. Monty's previous family simply couldn't devote the necessary time to caring for and socializing him, so I think they (especially the mom) were relieved to surrender him to us. Having had Monty for the past two years, they seemed somewhat fearful and admitted to rarely handling him. They didn't appear to be "snake people" at all, but they had good intentions, and Monty seemed well cared for. As soon as we released Monty into his new, bigger tank, he explored every inch, stopped at his water dish for a very long drink, and slithered to the top-most branch of his tree to survey his kingdom. I think he'll fit in quite nicely around here. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Day 246

We got word of a 3-4 yr old ball python that needs a new home. In light of our sweet Perry's recent and unexpected passing, we offered to take him. We'll be picking up Monty tomorrow evening!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day 245

My youngest had a well-visit yesterday and received a tetanus booster. Later that afternoon she attended a three-hour gymnastics class. Needless to say, she went to bed quite sore and woke up this morning to a golf ball-sized lump on her left shoulder. Though the pain kept her down for the better part of the day, she's currently practicing back walkovers on the beam. You can't keep her down for long!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day 244

There are some things that should be relatively simple; hooking up a new computer, for example. We recently purchased a desktop for our son to use for school assignments and gaming. It's a computer he's been waiting the better part of a year to get his hands on, and it finally arrived this past week when he was away on vacation with his grandparents. Perfect timing, given the unexpected death of his beloved snake Perry. If anything could soften the blow, we thought, it would be coming home to a new computer all set up and ready to go. 

One of the first questions asked during the initialization process was whether or not we wanted to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. My husband clicked okay. Why not? It's free! Unfortunately, that was the beginning of all our problems. 

The connection was slow, we noticed, but at least it was there. We'd been talking about upgrading our wireless router, and it just so happened that the cable company was offering a combination modem/router that promised faster speed. We figured it was the way to go. Well, the product worked great for every device in our house . . . except our son's new computer. In short, his computer wouldn't recognize the router. Fortunately he could still connect to the old one and was able to enjoy playing games for a few hours before he eventually lost connection altogether. 

So back to the cable company my husband went for yet another modem/router, which turned out to be a complete dud. None of our devices could connect to the Internet from that one. Beyond frustrated, he said "forget it" (not in those exact words) and bought a brand new modem/router from Best Buy, which the salesperson promised was the Best of the Best. And it is! Rather, it works great for every device in the house . . . except our son's new computer. Sigh. (On an aside, the new device doesn't have an input for our digital phone, and we have limited cell service where we are, so after being unable to make or receive calls for 24 hours, we had to get a separate modem through the cable company just for the phone.)

All along I'd been wondering aloud to my husband if Windows 10 could be the root cause of our connectivity issue, or at least contributing to it. After all, our son was the only one unable to connect to the Internet, and he was also the only one with Windows 10 installed. I Googled the problem and found numerous people suffering the same issue after installing Windows 10. This article offers advice about how to fix the problem, but it didn't work for us. In fact, I am now unable to either downgrade to Windows 8.1 or reinstall it using the DVD and product key that came with the computer. Apparently the files are missing, whatever that means. 

I should mention I discovered we couldn't reinstall Windows 8.1 only after my husband brought the computer upstairs and used an Ethernet cable to hook it up directly to the modem/router so that we could FINALLY get online. We did achieve a slightly better wireless connection being within feet of the unit, which points to some possible interference in my son's bedroom (even though my husband and I were able to use our laptops in there just fine), but the cable made a HUGE difference in speed and, well, being able to actually connect. 

Currently our son's mammoth desktop is hooked up in our living room. We still don't know why his is the only computer unable to connect wirelessly, but perhaps the why of it really doesn't matter. Apparently gaming sites perform better using an Ethernet cable; there's less lag time, or something like that, so you can kill your enemies in one swift movement without the game glitching out on you. Our issue now is how to get the cable from the modem/router upstairs all the way to our son's bedroom in the basement. 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Day 242 - 10 Pound Challenge

The closer I get to 40, the harder it is to maintain my weight. I am now the heaviest I've ever been in my life, including when I was pregnant and full-term. According to my midwife, I am on the verge of being overweight, a result of having gained 10+ pounds in the past year alone. Not that stress is an excuse for packing on the pounds, but it was a tough year overall, and I suppose that's where emotional eating and drinking, and not enough exercise, will get you. 

I woke up this morning and took an honest look at myself in the mirror. Other than my new haircut, I didn't like what I saw. I've gone soft in all the wrong places and lost much of my muscle tone. My skin is blotchy and pasty, and there are dark circles under my eyes from lack of quality sleep. I spend a lot of time these days browsing the rack of size larges, instead of smalls, or even mediums, like I used to. Boo-hoo, right? Well, to put that in perspective, I spent most of my adult life hovering between 115-120 pounds. Then I had kids, hit my mid-30s, and 125 became my new norm. Closing in on 150 pounds, however, has made me realize I need to take charge of my health once more, for good. It's not only about losing pounds, though slimmer hips wouldn't come amiss; it's also about doing a better job consistently exercising and eating well.  

I've challenged myself to lose 10 pounds by the end of 2015, which amounts to 2.5 pounds per month. Instead of starting out full-throttle, I've decided to adopt just three easy changes to start: drink at least 64 ounces of water each day, eliminate all alcohol (with the exception of a glass or two of wine on celebratory occasions), and run one mile to get my heart pumping. I can do this! 

Starting weight: 145.2
Target weight by December 31, 2015: 135

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day 241

My son returned today from his trip to Vermont with his Granny & Papa, which proved to be a much-needed vacation in light of Perry's untimely death. As my husband said, dealing with a beloved pet's death is much easier when you've got a hut tub in which to relax.