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Tuesday, 02/22/2005 - 09:54 AM PDT
The topic: Trying something new

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 I'm trying something different for the journal, multiple user names (all me, of course), but to separate the entries about cat stuff from the other stuff that is going on in my life. Although most everything relates to the cats somehow, I thought I'd split it up. Sometimes there's a lot going on that doesn't have anything directly concerning the cats. Like the games I like to play. The archives will reflect the topic.

Okay, so, what's been happening? Rain. Lots and lots of rain. According to the weatherman on this morning's news, right now we're rated number five rainfall since they've been keeping a record. And that by the end of today, we'll most likely have moved up to number four. And there's more on the way for tomorrow. And after this storm, there's a possibility of more rain coming in on Sunday. Oh, boy. Right now, mudslides and runoff are causing problems in many areas of San Diego. It seems that San Diego has spent so much money on sports crap (the refurb of Qualcomm Stadium for the Super Bowl a few years back, a ticket guarantee (hey, Chargers, you don't sell out the crowd, well, we'll give you money to make up for it, just don't leave San Diego for greener pastures), a new stadium for the Padres), when the infrastructure of the county needs some serious work. The water pipes have passed their lifetime and they're having major breakage problems. Many of the drainage control ditches haven't had any work done to them in years. Some of them are shallower than normal because of the runoff of the soot and ash from the fires of 2003. The news showed one that has two feet of this stuff in it. Not all of the drainage is concrete and there is a lot of vegetation in these areas, adding to the problem. It's not pretty.

Of course, I like the rain. I like sitting here in the house, where it's warm and dry and look out the window to watch it fall. I like the sound of it hitting the roof. I like the clean smell. I was out this morning, early, taking pictures as soon as it was light enough. I got an awesome rainbow. I took pictures yesterday of the flooded backyard (and it was flooded). Brian has the streams running on the pool which will help with the overflow, since the streambeds leak somewhere along the way (that's the reason we don't normally run them).

The cats aren't happy, but that's another subject.

Okay, you know how I mentioned really liking the game Bejeweled. Well, I got Bejeweled 2 because of Charlotte's comment. I like it, I like it a lot. And this got me thinking about the old games I've got. Old DOS games. Now, my regular computer is Win XP Home. Brian's computer (the one that's on 24/7, the one with the catcam and weather station) is Win XP Home. But the old computer is Win 98SE. The last Windows machine that actually runs DOS, not some sort of phony, pretend DOSshell. But somewhere along the way, I don't know if it was when I upgraded from Win 98 to Win 98SE, but that system is finding an additional hard drive. It does have extra hard drives, ones from previous computers. But I have no idea where this other one came from. And when it showed up, it knocked my CD-Rom letter designation from D to I. This happened years ago and I never took the time to try to do something about it. After all, I have this new fancy computer, right?

Well, I figured I'd try to get the old games running. (The games are two Tex Murphy games-"Under a Killing Moon" and "The Pandora Directive" and two games about the toymaker Stauf: "The 7th Guest" and "The 11th Hour"; oddly enough "The Pandora Directive" and "The 7th Guest" both work on the XP machine) I spent all of Saturday trying to get all four of them to run on the XP machine. There's a program out there called "DosBox", that emulates DOS. I got it up and running and the games sucked. So, I figured I'd try to get them running on the old machine. Since the cameras I run there are shut down at night (no light), it shouldn't be a problem. I never could play them as long as the cameras are on because they need the full machine, not just part of it. The cameras can't work if I'm playing games. See what I've given up for you, the world at large? No games so you can see my pretty, pretty kitties.

The problem, I found out, was that DOS was not seeing the CD-Rom drive. I had to change some code. Great. You know, when I was younger it didn't seem so difficult to think this stuff through. But it would appear that my thought process has gotten sloppy with advancing age and this isn't a good thing. You need to keep your mind sharp if you want to live long. So, with both computers going and the printer at the ready, I crossed my fingers and got to work. It took me hours. I was getting closer when I shut down Saturday night (or should I say Sunday morning? It was after midnight) and by 9:30 Sunday morning, I had it done. The sad thing is it was so easy once I realized what I was doing. I had to change the config.sys and the autoexec.bat in DOS. I used the samples that I found on the internet and tried changing different parts of the code to get them working on my computer. Then I'd have to reboot to see if the changes took place (since they didn't seem to work, I thought maybe rebooting was needed). The computer would open to Windows, I'd have to restart, choosing "reboot to DOS". A lot of the time I was using was spent rebooting.

The sleep must have done it's job because it finally dawned on me that the code was telling DOS where the drivers were for the CD-Rom drive. And once it found the drivers, it needed to know where the drive itself was. At I. I made the necessary code changes, rebooted to DOS, did the C://I: thing in DOS (which changes the drive that DOS is reading from) and instead of the error message about no such drive, I got the I:// designation. Way cool! I put in the CD disk from "Under A Killing Moon", started the install program and now it's working nicely. As are the other three games. I was very pleased with myself.

When I got the new Bejeweled game, I figured I'd join RealArcade, spend the $7.99 for a couple of months and get some new games. You get one free one for that $7.99 each month (normally $19.99) and you can take $5.00 off for any other games you get. Not a problem, I'd just wait a month. Well, I was trying out other games and downloaded the demo for "Jewel Quest". Geez, Louise, I used up my hour demo time all at one sitting. I was addicted. I thought "I can't wait a month to get this game" so I bought it for $14.99. I'd like to check out the "Big Kahuna" that Charlotte mentioned, but I'll wait until next month. Because if I demoed it now and liked it, I'd most likely buy it now. So, I'll just wait. I've got games here I've never played (two Law & Order games, a CSI game, the MYST games just to name a few), so I have to practice some self control. Don't I? *grin*

So, while I'm doing all of this, I'm also trying to catch up on laundry. I did a ton. And with all of that laundry, came Brian's flannel shirts. Sunday (taking a break from the computers) I started ironing them. Now, I never used to iron them, but the collars and the front where the buttons are buttoned always seemed a little sloppy. I figured I'd just do a little touch up, you know? But once I got started, it was kind of hard to stop a the collars and front so I ended up ironing the entire shirt. I started doing this last month. Brian likes it and he looks so much better. It was bad enough that he's been letting his beard get scraggly ("you look like some sort of mountain man, it looks really awful, honey"), the wrinkled flannel shirts didn't improve his overall appearance. Well, I had about thirteen shirts to do (I told you, I had tons of laundry) and I put on the DVD "American Beauty" (which I'd seen before, but this time I realized I hadn't been paying attention before and the person who killed Kevin Spacey wasn't the one I thought killed Kevin Spacey) and got to work. I ironed through that movie, then put in "The Beguiled" with Clint Eastwood. I guess I was in the mood to watch movies that were a little on the dark side. Now, Brian had been spending quite a bit of the weekend working on his old tractor. He had come in and told me he was going to go get a bolt that he was missing so he could put the motor back on.

About a half hour into "The Beguiled" my cellphone rang. It could only be him. And it was. The Ranger broke down at the auto parts store. I had to go get him. I had to put the iron up and put on some shoes and on the way to the store, I passed his brother on the road. I don't think he saw me, but I recognized his truck. When I picked up Brian, I told him and he said to just take him over to his mom's (where Brian's brother lives most of the time, now, since he's trying to get his wife's house fixed up to where they can rent it out and it's taking a long time because he's doing most of the work himself; from what I understand she was supposed to be helping, but that doesn't seem to be the case at this point). He showed up a couple of hours later, with my Ranger on the trailer. They think it's the transfer case. So, he's driving the little green Bronco now.

Cox started sending out new modems. I guess the old ones aren't capable of keeping up with the new technology. I got mine yesterday and set it up in under a half hour. It might be my imagination, but the internet sure seems a lot quicker today than it did yesterday.

Well, that's it for now. I should really clean the house, take that last load of laundry out of the dryer so I can finish the floor towels (the ones we bought for DeeJay to pee on).

And maybe do another level of "Jewel Quest". Just one. Yeah, that's right, I'll just do one level.....

lisaviolet is fifty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

February 2005

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