Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our version of chilly has arrived.  It's 59 degrees outside.  I turned the AC off yesterday afternoon around 2:00 pm and I haven't turned it on since.  The electric use yesterday was a little over $6.00 - YES!! - slam dunk, wham, bam thank you ma'am!!  If I can get it down to $5.00 per day, that would be about the best it's going to get.  The high today is going to be 79 degrees, I figure there will be a couple three hours this afternoon that I will have to close up the house and turn on the AC - it always gets warming inside the house than the ambient temperature outside if, for nothing else, the fact that the sun is baking on the roof and heating things up inside. 

I am reminding myself here that I need to buy a couple of thermometers for the ponds today, want to ensure that the temps don't get too low.  That water felt pretty cold this morning, but the ambient outdoor temps aren't low enough to cause any great alarm, yet.  I have all of those heaters, 300 watt versions, prolly 1 or 2 in each pond, on at night time should suffice.  I'll start with one since I do want to keep electric usage down. 

I am researching computers and whether I should buy one pre-made or build one myself.  I have never built one but there are step-by-step instructions on how to do it online.  In fact, I found a very good site and it has pics, very clearly communicating how to go about each step and what order to do it in.  I'm considering building my own because I will end up with a better machine for lower price.  I have written down the expert's advice for the type of computer I want as to what hardware and even brands should be bought.  I am going to Fry's electronics again today with this list in hand to see if it really will be better to build my own, though, there are a couple of online sources for computer compenents (Goodegg and Tiger Direct) that have pricing right there.  I would, however, rather buy locally in case I have a problem I can take the machine in and have it looked at.  Fry's has such techs available, not for free of course, but if worse came to worse at least I would have that option. 

The research is starting to give me a better understanding of how these things work.  The motherboard appears to be the component that needs a lot of consideration put into it.  DDR3 memory, DDR SDRAM with at least 1 gig.  Will I ever want a Firewire port?  How many PCI slots does it have?  What kind of processor will I want to use, and found out I HAVE to determine that first before getting a motherboard.  I like Intel but AMD has almost the same performance at lower prices.  So, probably AMD Phenom X4 series, versus Intel i5 or i7.  The video card is also a factor - what do I want in one and will it be compatible with the motherboard I buy?  Experts seem to lean towards the newer technology that everything is eventually going to go to in PCI Express video cards. 

Again, the geeks at Frys will be able to tell me if whatever I am thinking of buying is compatible with each other, versus me trying to figure it out myself.  I didn't even know there WERE variances, on another note, of hard drives with RPM speeds. I've been spending, really, a GREAT deal of time in persuing message boards and sites with experts that are giving all kinds of opinions, but much of it seems to agree with each other.

I am now a racist and a bigot.  For once, just once in a great while, I wanted a hamburger.  I left in the middle of writing this entry because I had to go to Walmart and get the bug bombs.  I bought 6 of them, more than enough to cover this house.  The house is, however, going to have to be shut for 4 hours.  No people, no animals, not even plants.  Taking out all food stuffs that could be contaminated by it, opening up all cupboards, drawers and doors.  That even is taking place in about - an hour and 15 minutes. 

Anyway, I stopped at Jack in the Box.  I ordered some tacos for Caleb and I ordered a Jumbo Jack - no mayo and no cheese.  The woman at the counter?  Didn't understand.  That's because she doesn't speak English.  Well, she speaks very broken english and understands even less.  I repeated myself 6 times at least to try to get her to understand.  No, it was more than that.  Between the tacos, the jumbo jack and asking for salsa on top of hot sauce, I had to repeat myself more like a dozen times. 

I forgot.  I made it a point that if I ever go into that place again (last time I went in there and yes, they totally screwed up the order) I was going to pull everything out of the bag, open it all up and make sure I am getting what I asked for.  I didn't do that this time.  I said "No mayo" 3 or 4 times to this woman because she did not understand me.  She apparently thought she "got it" and proceeded to ring up the order.  Fast forward, I'm home, pull out the Jumbo Jack and what does it have on it?  Not just a little mayo, it was SLATHERED in it.  I like mayonaisse, but not THAT much even if I HAD wanted it on there.

I called the manager.  I asked for the general manager, I was informed the general manager doesn't work at that store.  I then proceeded to verbalize my complaint:  You have people working the counter that do not speak english.  We went back and forth.  I was NOT rude to him,  he was very rude to me.  I was appalled when he got to his "belief" about this: "I am not going to fire an entire crew of people simply because they don't speak English.  That would be bigoted and racist and I am not going to do it". 

My jaw dropped, I am sure.  "PLEASE explain to me how it is racist and bigoted to ask for people who speak clear and plain English in an Enlish speaking society?".  The man called me ignorant, told me I don't understand English either, I mean, this guy went to town on me.  I asked for the name of the general manager.  Refused to give it to me.  No worries, I told him, you haven't heard the last of me.  You  are going to wish to high heaven that you hadn't called me names and called me a racist and a bigot for asking you to employ people that speak English. 

That was that.  For now.  Jack in the Box corporate is closed until Monday.  I have half a mind to forward this story to every local news source in town to see if they would be interested in what is, apparently, Jack in the Box's stance on people who asking for an English speaking customer service representative only to be told that for asking for such, you are racist and bigoted. 

Well, onto other things, I'm not going to fume over an idiot, which is what this "manager" is.  I just spent half an hour getting all the food together that is going to need to go outside.  Put it all in a large plastic bag and securely seal it.  Actually, I just had the thought that any opened boxes I am going to throw out in the trash in case there are roaches in there and then, I will have this problem all over again even IF this fumigation works.  Yes, there isn't anything there that costs that much - instant potatoes and instant rice. 

What am I going to do for 4-1/2 hours?  First, I am going up to Fry's electronics and get pricing on the parts that I will need to put together my own computer.  I am not going to buy anything today, just want the prices.  Then I can compare Fry's prices to Tiger Direct and Newegg.  If the prices are the same or close, Fry's it will be. 

Then, I am going to go buy a pair of gloves, go home and continue working on the landscaping out front.  Everything needs a good pruning. I got a good start earlier this week on it, just need to continue on with that. 

I also have plenty of work left to do on the pond I just installed.   I have some digging to do to let a couple of the shelves down so that it is all even at the top.  Tuck the plastic beside the pond and then fill it in with dirt.  That will take quite a while and I don't even know if I will finish that this weekend.  I also have to run a line and install another electrical box to get sufficient electrical outlets for the ponds to run the aerators, pumps and soon, probably a couple of heaters.  So, I have PLENTY to keep me well occupied. 

It's a beautiful day out, being out there even during the hottest part of today will be no problem at all. 

Finishing up, waiting for Kirby to get back from his bike road so he can get his stuff and leave.  He was going on a 25 mile ride, but he left 2 hours ago so hopefully he'll be back soon as I want to get this up and going and get it over with.  I don't REALLY feel like doing this - AT ALL - but I have no choice in the matter.  Well, I guess I do have choices but they aren't anything I want to engage myself in.

OH, I was going to pull some of the electrical covers off in the kitchen to make sure that stuff can find a way into the walls...............outta here!


Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...