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Monday, September 13, 1999 I'm worried about Georgie. We let him out into the backyard at night, because if we don't, he starts fights with the other cats. He probably just chases bugs while he's out there. When I got him in, he had some sort of uck on his side. It was stiff like when Junior licks his neck. But it wasn't clear. I wiped some of it off with a tissue and the fluid was yellow/green. I think, maybe he ate some grass then vomited it up, but how would he have gotten it on his side? It was like it had been painted on him with a wide brush. He seemed okay, didn't act strange and he chowed down. This morning, he was acting very cautious. He usually comes into the office for food and he didn't. I found him on his chair in the dining room and carried him into the bedroom to see Brian. I was sure Brian could soothe him down. Brian said something must have really spooked him when he was out last night. Which is a real puzzle since no one can get in the yard and no one can get out. I thought that maybe he might have rubbed against a broken tomato, you know, maybe one of the dogs bit into one at the garden. Then this morning I noticed that one of the aloe vera plants was broken, maybe he rubbed up on that, but when I check the garden and the aloe vera, I realized that it was neither of those. I got a small handful of his food and took it to him on the chair and he has an appetite. I petted him for a while and he's looking more comfortable.

I'm certain the gunshots last night didn't help any of the animals. Brian counted them as they were going off...I asked what kind of gun was it, he said a pistol and kept counting. Ten shots. I looked out of the window in the garage and the window in the bedroom. When we here these shots, you never see any neighbors going outside to see what it is. Never.

Jackie is finally getting to the point where he doesn't run when I put my hand out to pet him. Last night, I thought he was making his move to run off, when all he was doing was moving his head towards my hand. Brian said that he was able to pet him last week for about ten minutes. The only reason Brian stopped is that he was uncomfortable and he was afraid to reposition himself because he didn't want to frighten Jackie. I've been taking more pictures of the cats, too. A bunch of Jackie, trying to get his little white feathers into the picture.

I just got an email from the Roseanne Show, nervous that my permission fax hadn't shown up, would I resend "pronto?". Good. I used a new fax program, one that is supposed to send faxes directly from the computer and it obviously didn't work. For once, something that went wrong went my way. I emailed her back with this message:

Yesterday morning, I told Brian after he got the screen door up, we could go for a ride. He said "incentive, huh?" Yep. Anyway, there were problems putting in the door, but he got it installed. It was dark by the time he finally finshed. So, no ride, but a wonderful screen door.

The actual screen is aluminum, not nylon, so hopefully it will be much less scratch resistant than the other door. And not have these little tiny rips in it. It's weird when I walk by it. It's almost as if it isn't there. The old door had the pet guard on it, which took up a good portion of the bottom.

Had another rat in the yard Saturday. I wonder how many more of these will show up. I was able to save this one. *sigh*

Saturday, I decided to get hot on doing graphics for the teeshirts. I had one I liked and the darn printer wouldn't work. We got this one just for doing the transfers and the blasted thing wouldn't print. It was so strange. It would do the cleaning and testing via the computer, but it wouldn't print. The information would go to the spool and just sit there in queue. I figured there was something wrong with the driver and I deleted and added the printer at least ten times with no luck. I spent hours trying to get it to work. I went to the website for technical support and followed their instructions. No luck. I downloaded the new driver from their site and installed it. No luck. I was really frustrated. Finally, after hours of spinning my wheels, I emailed their support. Yesterday, I received an email explaining what to do to get the printer off of pause. I emailed back explaining that I couldn't get the thing out of queue to worry about pausing the printing. This morning, there was an email waiting with step by step instructions for installing the driver from the Windows 98 CD-rom. Now, this is stuff I did Saturday, but what the heck, I'll try it again. I did it, it didn't work. I take a deep breath. I delete the printer. I start over again, adding the driver. The message comes up for print test page. The printer starts to work!! My test page is there!! I go to PSP and try to print a picture from there. It still works!! Yay, I'm back in business.

A couple of hours after my fall last Saturday, my leg started hurting. My hand was okay. I must have pulled something in the bottom of my leg. It felt like a charley horse, just wouldn't go away. It's feeling much better today.


Tuesday, September 14, 1999 I got to thinking about the Roseanne Show thingy yesterday. I went to their website and they were supposed to be taping a show on "sex on the internet"!! So, why would they want my site? I check all of my counters and none of them show any visits from, the ISP that the email originated from. Hmmm..... Is there a possibility that they never checked the site? Or were they maybe going to pull a trick on Roseanne? Give her a list of sites to check out and go to a "cathouse" with real cats? I'll never know. Brian doesn't believe that they wouldn't have checked the site out first, but I don't know...... Someone who had been invited to the Roseanne show when it first started last year said that the audience was full of people who were hired from an agency to ask questions. They had gone over her questions with her before they started taping and she was unpleasantly surprised to find out what was happening and she didn't follow their *script*. Needless to say, Roseanne was put out and the person that talked to me about it said it was an awful experience for her. They may have changed their methods, but I'll probably never know.

I took some pictures the other night of the possom eating. They last night, I got some with the possom and the cats all eating together. Brian thought that was so neat. Big Opie and Angus and the possom all at separate bowls, heads inches from one another. I didn't see Blue or Little Opie last night, but Brian said he saw Blue.

My Netscape keeps crashing this morning.

I have a ton of paperwork to do (enter invoices into the computer, then make copies of them), then I'm going to go swimming and read by the pool. It got warm yesterday, back to normal September weather.

Buddy started barking at 3:30 last night. Brian got out of bed and put him in the shop. We have no idea what he was barking at.

A catfight got me out of bed this morning. I opened up the doors and let the cats go out. Still heard the fighting. I went into the garage and Boney was going after Bart. *sigh* Last night, I went through the house and put some Rescue Remedy in the cat water bowls, hoping to calm these guys down. DeeJay was very grouchy last night, really wanted to go outside. Out of character.

Lucky Stores now has a saving for Disneyland get five dollars off for each one hundred you spend, if you use your Lucky Rewards card. So, for every $100 you spend, you can take five dollars off of the price of a ticket to Disneyland. I mention this, because we'll be at Disneyland next month, the 16th, 17th and 18th. If you want to meet, let me know by emailing me. Oh, and don't forget, it's for my birthday, so you should bring a present for me. I'll be forty six. (Just kidding about the present.) I have a couple of boxes of blank paper visors and I can put something stupid on them about a birthday party. And even put nicknames on them. It might be fun, but it will have to be co-ordinated. Sunday, the 17th, would probably be the best day, because I don't know what time we'll get up there on Saturday. I'll try to put up a webpage with updates, if anybody is interested.


Wednesday, September 15, 1999 Here we go again. I didn't save and I lost. *sigh*

Well, I found yesterday that Gateway only gave me a $275.00 credit. They charged me $295.00 for the monitor. They also charged me 7.75% sales tax as well as shipping and handling. I'm not a happy camper and I'm in the process of working on a "why I'll never buy from Gateway again" webpage. I've emailed them three times already and not heard a word back. I think I already talked one person out of it.

I wish I could figure what was going on with the cats. Georgie is back to being spooked. Yesterday and last night, DeeJay was feeling off. This morning, I did find a little scab on Georgie's side. The same side that had the junk on it the other night. DeeJay was really tender on his back last night and his eyes looked bad. I started both of them on amoxicillan. Deejay does look better today.

Okay, now what was the lesson I was supposed to learn? Oh, yeah, to save my work. This is the third time today I've started over on this. *sigh* I write a little in it, get sidetracked, then do something that crashes my system and I lose it all. Darn it.

We almost have the highscore working for the blockbuster game. I guess I should start designing those teeshirts for the winners. High score wins, once a month. Starting next month.

Well, one of the things that might be bothering the cats were those "gunshots" the other night. I found out Monday night that they were firecrackers, not bullets. Whew.

Here it is four o'clock and I'm still working on this diary. I guess I'll just continue tomorrow.


Friday, September 17, 1999 The neighbors went somewhere bright and early this morning. Their oldest dog has been barking a lot during the day. She's at it again this morning. She's a beagle and her bark is almost as annoying as Buddy's. Their oldest daughter's dog is also visiting them. He's been there since last night. Well, he got Junior all worked up and Junior barked a lot last night. I'm thinking about bugging hubby to put up a privacy fence all the way up the yard, so the dogs don't see each other. This barking is getting tiresome. It's a good thing I guess, that it's cool outside. I can shut all the windows and doors and not hear the barking so much.

Jackie has discovered the aquariums. He sits in front of the one with the beta and the goldfish for hours, just watching. Every once in a while, he tries to grab the goldfish. He's so cute. (Jackie, not the fish.) Jackie is also letting Brian pet him. I'm glad. When Jackie wants me to pet him, he runs to the dining room and jumps up on one of the chairs that's pushed in under the table. I guess it feels better if he can't see who's doing it. *grins*

Well, the high score function is working now. On the Blockbuster game in Ben's den gameroom. Starting next month, the high score will win a tee shirt. It's a fun game, but addicting. I have other stuff to do and besides, I can't win. The man who finally got the CGI working was wonderful. He charged me for less than three hours work, payable in advance. Once I had sent him the money, he started work. I'm sure he put a good fifteen hours, probably more, of work into getting the script working. I meet so many nice people online. Anyway, if you like games, check this one out. I worked on some of the graphics for it last night and I finally logged off around ten. Brian had already gone to bed, so I went into the kitchen and did the dishes. I also put the ingredients in the breadmaker for buttermilk bread, set it to be done at 6:30 this morning, then readied the coffeemaker. I took some Exedrin and fell asleep on the couch. At 11:30, I went to bed. Where I tossed and turned. I hate that. After an hour of just laying there, I got up and went back into the tv room and fell asleep there. I kept thinking about the teeshirts I have to start designing.

DeeJay and Georgie are doing better. Gracie stood on the lid of the litterbox in the hallway this morning and started singing. The cats seem to like the cooler weather.

My wrist is starting to hurt from all of the work I've been doing online. I really should give it a rest, I don't want to get carpal tunnel syndrome. I'd really like to work some more with the graphics on the blockbuster game, but that can wait. Maybe housework will get some other arm muscles working.


Saturday, September 18, 1999 Ah, sleep, sweet sleep. I've been working so late on the games and so wound up that I haven't been getting much. So, last night, the new game working well, the dishes done and put away, the carpets vacuumed, tables dusted, cats fed, I turned the computer off early and fell asleep on the couch. I got up about a half hour later and went to bed. Didn't get up until almost seven this morning. It was nice. And the weather helped. It's cool and drizzly this morning. Brian wants to go for a ride, which should be nice. I'll take the camera and some film, start taking more pictures. I've been lax on the family album and the postcards this summer. I really should start adding to them.

I have done alot of work this summer on Ben's Den. I got so excited about doing image maps and his place was the perfect area. And I have to admit, it's my favorite part of my website. I think it's the most fun, anyway.

Jackie is just such a cutie. Have you ever seen a kitten, running at full speed, try to come to a dead stop on a tile floor? That has to be one of the most hilarious scenes in any kitten's life. This morning, Jackie and Lucky were playing chase, Lucky in the lead. Lucky runs down the hall from the tv room and jets into the living room. Jackie, who was after her, didn't see me coming from the other hallway at the end. The sight of me scared him and he had to stop or turn around, neither of which was an easy thing to do on a tile floor. The sound his little claws made trying to grab onto something to stop him, with no success was funny. He finally stopped his forward progress by sliding into the mat in front of the front door. Then he made a very quick U-turn and was gone back down the hallway in a flash. It was so darn funny.

Yesterday, as I was dusting, I noticed that a number of my little ceramic cats were missing from the shelf at the bottom of the living room mirror. This morning, I discovered why. They are just the right size for a kitten's mouth. Jackie was grabbing them, one by one, and playing with them on the couch. I had to move all of them. Not because I'm afraid of him breaking them, but because I don't want him getting hurt if he does. Last week, I had to move my Chinese solitaire game, the kind with marbles, because he was trying to bite the marbles. If he got one of those caught in his throat, it could kill him. Ah, the joys of kittens.

His fur is getting longer. He's looking more and more like his daddy everyday. The same sleek black fur (well, Blackie's would have been sleek if he would have lived long enough for it to grow back), the same yellow eyes. Jackie is going to be a beautiful cat.

He's also learning about cats in the kitchen. We had salad the other night, with tuna. And little Jackie was in there begging with the rest of the household. What a warm fuzzy feeling that was.

Boy, am I glad I saved my work. I would have just lost everything.

We still haven't decided on what the plan is for today. But I know I'm not going to spend the day in this chair in front of the monitor.


Monday, September 20, 1999 I slept alot Saturday. We watched that movie with Nicholas Cage and Lt Dan from Forrest Gump (Gary Sinise). I told Brian close to the beginning, you watch Lt. Dan. He's up to no good. Anyway, at an important part of the movie, we hear the front gate open and the doorbell rings. It's Brian's youngest nephew, selling wrapping paper for his school. I keep watching the movie, then Brian can't decide which paper to get. *sigh* I get up, pick the stuff I like. Of course, I never like the plain stuff, I always go for the glitter. And glitter costs more. Oh, well. Then I go back and sit on the couch. Now, the boys are trying to match the paper samples with the numbers in the book. These guys will never be interior decorators. I had to go show them how the samples/listing worked. The samples were in order of the numbers on the pages. They are pretty cool papers. The last time I got paper through a school was a couple of years ago and I'm still using it. It's a big roll. One of the papers I picked out where smiley faces. They are laser imprinted on paper that reminds me of mylar, maybe it even is mylar. Anyway, when you turn the paper this way and that, the colors change. I'm still a child when it comes to lights and colors, they can hold my attention for hours. Heck, in our living room I have a bunch of fun lighting things. One is a fiber optic peacock, another a fiber optic ball that turns. Oh, and the fiber optic cactus, that one is really nice. And I have a little wave machine and a tornado machine, too. Up on one of the big speakers, I have a "moon" ball, which was a little disappointing, it didn't look nearly as cool in person as it did on the catalog page. And in the tv room, I have a purple neon cat and one of those little disco lamps where the sparkles float in the water when it heats up. Anyway, we were able to finish out watching the movie. I'm glad we didn't go see it in the theater and end up spending twenty dollars for tickets, food and drinks.

I dozed off on the sofa and a little after nine, I woke up, startled. I hadn't fed the out front cats yet. So, I jumped up and got their dinner ready, took it out and fed them. They were all patiently waiting.

I heard back from Gateway. They are trying to say their invoice is wrong, that what it says isn't what they charged!!! I think I should make some phone calls. This just doesn't sound right to me. I'll most likely be scanning all of this and putting it on my website. I did email them and tell them that it didn't seem right and that I was planning on finding out how legal it is.

Ciara has the runs again. She had bad gas yesterday, this morning her bottom is a mess. That's what happens when she is able to get into food other than Nutro. Like Georgie's prescription diet. Darnit.

We went on a drive yesterday. I loaded up the camera and grabbed extra film. Taking pictures out of the window, I mentioned to Brian that I should take the camera in for maintenance. I don't know how long my dad had it before he died, but I had the camera for twelve years. Brian said well, why get it fixed if it isn't broken? I had finished one roll, a roll with pictures that I took of Jackie earlier last week. I pushed the button on the bottom of the camera, so that I could rewind it. The button stuck. ???? I ended up opening the camera and exposing all of the film. A part had broken in it and it wouldn't wind or rewind. I know I could have just left it and taken it to a photo place and they could open and save the film. But I didn't. *shrug* Anyway, that ruined my trip. We talked about where I could take it in to get it fixed. Then we decided it would be just as well to get a new one. I figured I could look for another Canon, so that I can use all of the lenses I have (the camera is an SLR). Brian says that I should get him another camera, because the one he has doesn't work right. A new camera would be nice, but this one has sentimental value. Anyway, we kept driving and Brian asked what I wanted to do. I could tell he wanted to go to Ranchita. So, I said, we can keep driving as long as I can turn up the music as loud as I want, with no complaints. Oh, that was a hard one for him. But, we went to Ranchita and I rocked out. LOL!!! Once there, Brian mentioned that he wished we had some good binoculars. So, I added that to the list. We finally get home and I flew back to the computer and started looking for cameras. At J and R I found a Canon body, Rebel 2000, which will take all of the attachments I have. It was about $280. Then I start looking at what this camera does. Wow. Automatic loading, automatic rewind, automatic advance.....or I can change it to do it manually. Okay...looks good. I'm excited about it. I ordered a point and shoot for Brian, another Canon, with a kit and I got some binoculars that have a pretty good magnification. The highest you can get for a hand held set. I also ordered insurance (3 years) which some consider a ripoff, but what the heck. The total price was just under $800.00 and Brian about crapped his pants when I told him. He definitely wasn't happy. But I told him that in all likelihood, we'll be using this same equipment in twenty years. When you look at it like that, it's a good price. It won't be shipped until tomorrow, because they are closed today for Yom Kippur. And we're going for another ride next weekend.

Jackie is getting so much better about being petted. And he purrs so easily. Before too long, he'll be tame enough to put in a carrier and take to the vet.


Wednesday, September 22, 1999 It dawned on me last night as I watched the outfront cats. The pictures of the possum were on the roll of film that was wasted. :-(

Yesterday, I went to another site with a catcam and saw that they had a java program that gave her the capability of live streaming video. So, I did a search, found the program and got it installed yesterday. So, now, if there's a cat in the cat cam chair, you can watch them move. It lasts for about a minute and you have to reload to get it to start again. You can even watch them breathe. I told Brian about it and he didn't understand me. He thought I said "screaming" video. *grins*

It's muggy this morning. Monday, I spent the afternoon by the pool, got some sun. Then yesterday woke up to cloudy skies and yesterday afternoon, it started to rain. Still going this morning. Now, how the heck am I supposed to get a tan when it's raining? *sigh*

Brian was in a bad mood this morning. Sometimes he gets so pissy about the cats pissing. He gets grouchy and it's sure not fun being around him. So, I come back here to the office. I know the lack of work isn't helping either. I liked it a lot better when he was working all the time. He was too tired to be grouchy. I'll be doing a lot of laundry today. The towels that cover the ends of the tv room sofa and all of the throw pillows. That should help. This warm, humid weather certainly doesn't help.

Sunday, when we went for the ride, at one point I got out of the truck and took some great photos of the desert panorama. Which of course, are now at the local landfill. Anyway, I had to go down this little incline, it wasn't bad. But I sure got winded on the way back up. I don't like this feeling and I decided forget the fat burn, let's get the old heart working again. You have to work harder to exercise the cardiovascular and I started that Monday. Yesterday, I got back on the Health Rider, a machine I hadn't been on in years. I stuck with it for the entire 25 minutes and boy, was it rough. I remember when I could do that thing for 45 minutes, no problem. I sure worked up a sweat. And this morning, I peddled the bike harder than I had been. Gotta do something. After this morning's exercise, the fronts of my legs hurt. Not a familiar hurt. My back is sore, too, but a good sore. Because I know I was working muscles that I haven't worked in so long. Right now, losing weight would be nice, but I think I'd rather be able to walk up a hill with ease.


Thursday, September 23, 1999 Well, now that I've finally cooled down....boy, it was hard on the Cardio Glide (it's like the Health Rider, but Consumer's Reports gave it a higher rating way back when we bought it). The fronts of my legs are now being affected. And the stinking thing doesn't count time when I stop to take a sip of my water. Kind of like commercial breaks in shows. It's funny (strange, peculiar) how a minute is shorter on the bike. A minute on the Cardio Glide is equal to five minutes on the bike. At least that's how it feels. I come so close to giving up, but Brian is there cheering me on (he's upped the intensity of his exercising, too, tightening the tension on the equipment) and I make myself remember how winded I was after the little walk up hill. Maybe I should get all of the stuff off of the treadmill and start using that, too. Adjust it so that it's at an incline, that should get the ticker working. And to top it off, yesterday I put on a pair of my jeans. Well, let's just say I put them up over my hips. There was no way I was gonna zip them. Back to watching what I eat and Brian said he won't buy anymore ice cream after this stuff is gone. I told him he could go ahead and get it for him, just don't offer it to me, but he said that wouldn't be fair to me. Isn't he the greatest?

I've started working on picking Jackie up in my arms. This is not going to be any fun in the beginning. He's so afraid that he tries to get loose and he scratched me a little, I can't see them today. But we have to get him in to the vet to be checked out and neutered. I'm pretty sure he also has ear mites. After the second time in a day of being picked up, he was running from me, but he's back to normal this morning. I've already petted him and so has Brian.

Talk about weird dreams....(we were?).... I woke up this morning, and I had been singing in my dream to someone who had been talking about gambling....
Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy,
She'll beat you if she's able,
The queen of hearts is always
Your best bet.
It seems to me some fine things,
Have been laid upon your table,
But you only want the ones
You can't get.....
Then I woke up. Brian thinks I have really weird dreams. I guess because one time I got mad at him because of something I dreamed.

It was really humid here yesterday. Inside the house was 81%. I turned no the A/C, not because it was warm, but because it was so darn miserable. It dropped almost immediately. Then the clouds started breaking up and it cooled off outside. We were finally able to open up the house after seven last night.

Watching the out front cats eat last night, I saw OC, Big Opie, Angus and Meezer all out there. Angus was the only one eating, the other three were just laying around in the entry way. Here we have four male cats, only one fixed (that I know of, we have to get hot on that) and they are getting along. I guess our yard is a "social area" for cats. In the cat world, there are some areas that are never shared, others that all cats can go to, but won't congregate and areas that they socialize in. I guess we have the rec center. *grins* Won't be too happy when the trap comes back out, though. At one point, all the cats were fixed, but more have shown up since then.

I've been trying to make friends with the visiting dogs next door. I bring them carrots, which they take, but I don't know if they eat them or not. I know our dogs love them. This morning, I noticed that Maggie just sits up on top of the polycarbonate pile that's against the fence and watches the dogs continuously. Benny came up to me and wanted to be held, then Maggie noticed me. The dogs are watching closely. Maggie starts to meow, she wants to be held. The dogs next door can't see her now, she's at my feet. The female dog gets this really strange look on her face, starts tilting her head and perking up her floppy ears. Maggie continued to meow, so I put Benny down and picked her up. The dogs went nuts. Started barking, staring at this cat in my arms. Maggie, I think to myself, what are you doing to these dogs? A little Maine Coon tease, maybe? Bad girl.

I think I want to change the look on the webcam page. It's gotten too long.


Friday, September 24, 1999 Boy, what a fun day I had yesterday. Now, my email hasn't been working right and I know I'm not getting all of my email. The last I had heard from Gateway was that they were sending my messages to their billing department. I was afraid that any email they sent me would be returned, like the test mail I sent to myself. *sigh* But yesterday, there it was, an email from the billing department letting me know that a check for $43.10 would be on it's way soon. They were sorry for any inconvenience. You know, I wonder how many people don't keep after them like I did and get ripped off? Take forty dollars times a thousand people (low estimate, I realize) a month and that's $40,000, close to a half a million a year. Easy money for them. Something ain't right that they can do this and get away with it. It's just not right. Add to that the fact that there is no customer service for billing inquiries, not with a live person. Something is terribly wrong here.

Brian has been telling me, often, that Jackie's ears are full of gunk. I didn't doubt that it was from earmites. I have the mitacide, but I wasn't comfortable with the idea of holding him down and putting it in his ears, I kind of wanted to hold off until he was more secure with us. But yesterday, I did the deed. Oh, man, was he peeohed at me. It took over eight hours before he would let me near him. But I think he felt a little better, because he was so rambunctious last night. Chasing, running, climbing the walls, at one point he was on one of the shelves by the door to the garage, he reached over to walk on top of the door, the door moved and he fell. I jumped up and went over to him to see if he was okay and he was. Then, for the first time, he got onto the couch while I was laying on it. And he attacked my feet. Man, that hurt when he ripped into my big toe. I didn't want to startle him, I handled the pain, but I started snapping my fingers, saying "No, Jackie, you don't kill my toes, naughty boy". I know that once he starts playing with the other cats, they'll teach him not to use claws and bite so hard. This morning, we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and I called him so that I could give him some bacon. He came. I'm not saying he knows his name yet, but we're working on it. That "Jackie" means something good for him. And once he learns that, well, that's it. He should start responding on a regular basis to his name. And he doesn't run from us any longer, he bounces away. It's so cute to watch. But I'm sure the medicine has made him feel better. He's all over the house this morning. Last night, he tried to take on DeeJay. Bad idea. *LOL*

Last weekend, I thought I would try out AOL. Put in the disk, set it up. Got in. Wasn't impressed. So, I decided I didn't want it. I took it all off of my hard drive. Called and tried to cancel.
"Why do you want to cancel?"
"I just didn't like it."
"But you weren't on very long. Not long enough to check it out."
"I saw enough and have heard enough to know I'm not interested. I didn't like logging on to all of that stuff, I like logging on and coming up with my homepage."
"Well, you can do that with AOL, you just have to change the settings."
"I just don't want it. Please cancel me."
He obviously checks my status.
"You were only on for seven minutes. How could you make a decision in that short a period of time?"
I laugh. "I don't want it. I've signed up with my current ISP for $8.95 a month, real, true unlimited usage, [ tell em lisaviolet sent you] for years. I just wanted to see what AOL was about, then changed my mind. I took it all off of my system, now would you please cancel my account?"
"But you can have more than one email address. ."
Laugh. "Besides, somebody has my name. I want to use my name. And I have three domains, I have enough email addresses. I'm not an internet newbie."
So, he gave me another free month (until the middle of November), asked me to reinstall the disk and try it out. I don't know what I'm gonna do. Maybe I should try it out, but why? He did say that AOL does have a program for unlimited access for less than ten dollars a month, but I think he was pulling my leg. And I am satisfied with my ISP. Maybe there are occasional problems, but that happens with every ISP I've seen. And you can't beat the price. I can imagine when I call in November to cancel....."but you were only online with us for seven minutes"..

So, UPS shows up yesterday with the dogfood from Petopia (which reminds me, I had better check about the catfood deliveries, I'm sure I should have gotten another order of dry by now). The bags are specially marked, they contain more food than usual. A company special. Great. I ask Danny if there are any other packages, expecting my new camera. No, nothing. So, I call J and R and find out that the items are shipping Fed Ex. Well, Fed Ex usually comes in the afternoon, not morning. (Remember to save your work, you've done a lot of typing here, you don't want to lose it, you know how that makes you scream.)

Fed Ex shows up a little after two. I'm happy, I come into the house, bearing box of new equipment. I open the package. My camera has a lens. Hmm.... The camera I ordered didn't come with a lens. I look at the invoice. They charged me about $322 for this camera, but the total is what I was quoted, so it looks like the salesman made a mistake when I wrote down my order to begin with. No wonder I couldn't get what I thought I was paying to add up to the total he had given me. The one I ordered was $280. I call them up. I found out that the camera they had sent me, wasn't the one that I was charged for. The one they sent sells for $400. Okay. This all took a bit of time as numbers were checked against one another. So, what they would do was to send me the camera body, and pick up this one. They can have it Fed Exed and I should be able to get it Saturday. Or, I can use this camera, making sure I keep it "pristine" and send it back. If I really needed a camera. I said "well, how about we pretend I never called and I just keep this camera? And pay the $322, which was more than I was planning on? Or will you want to charge me the difference?" He talked to his supervisor and said I could keep the camera, they wouldn't charge me anymore. Cool. I'm stoked. I find my old camera, take the lens off. Put it on the new camera. It doesn't work. My lens is too small for the new camera opening. Great. So, here I am with a brand new camera that is useless. Well, maybe not useless, but I'm sure I'm not going to throw out thousands of dollars worth of lenses that are in great shape. I grab the yellow pages and look under photography. I call a Canon place and ask if there is some sort of adaptor. I know it's a long shot, but it doesn't hurt to ask. *sigh* No such thing exists. I'm bummin' now. I know I can't keep the new camera. I know I have to get the old one fixed. I hate having to send stuff back (remember the Gateway fiasco?). I called J and R, but they close at six eastern time. It was 3:30 here. I have to wait to call. I start looking through the yellow pages, looking for a camera shop close. I start calling. I find out that it will take four weeks to get the camera fixed. They send it out. This is in a shop in La Mesa, but there's an authorized Canon shop in San Diego. I should take it there. I'm not happy any longer. I went into the bedroom and noticed that one of my closet doors was slid open a little bit. I go over to shut it and something on the shelf caught my eye. Oh, another camera!! I forgot all about this. I've been using the A-1. The one on the shelf is an AE-1!!! Yay!!! I can use this one while the other one is in the shop!! I'm happy again.

I hadn't ever tried to work this one, it's been in the closet for over ten years. I exchange the battery for the one in the A-1. I rewind, in case there is film, and there is. I'll take it in to get developed, I wonder if it will be okay? It's old, but it's been in a cool dark place all of these years. I bet mom will be surprised. Dad's last legacy. I take the lens off and clean the mirror. The foam is pretty much shot in this camera, too. I'll have to have it cleaned and maintained, but I'll wait til the other one is fixed. I put in a roll of film and started taking pictures. I'll finish the roll and get it in for processing. Then, I'll feel more comfortable taking the pictures, once I know it's working. If they don't turn out, I'll use Brian's new camera and we'll take both old cameras in for maintenance.

Now, how do I work this thing? What's this button, what's that button? I know I have the little manual around, but I'll be darned if I can find it. I found the manual for the A-1, but no luck for the AE-1. I went online, found a website that had scanned all of the pages of the AE-1 owner's manual. I downloaded them, thinking what a hassle to have to print all of these out and cut them out and staple them together. I look for places to buy the manuals. It didn't look good. One place had NO A-1 manuals availabe (I do!! I do!!) and an original AE-1 manual was twenty dollars plus shipping and handling. I could get a reprinted manual for fifteen dollars, plus shipping and handling. Forget that, I know it's around here someplace. I go through my files, thinking it may be with the documention of our other equipment, like the copy machine. Can't find the folder. I looked in the bookcase in the other room, the one with Britannica in it. I found old Christmas cards, but no camera manual. Spit. I went into the exercise room and looked on the shelves with the CDs. Not there. I looked in the bookcase in there, pulling books that I had double loaded out. Not there, either. I look at the closet doors. Hmm...maybe it's in there. I have boxes of old stuff, the closet is neat, but it's packed. In front of the closet door is the stair stepper, which is a storage unit for blankets and throw rugs. I pull everything off of it and get into the closet. The place I thought the manual might be, well, it wasn't there. Either. I did find a couple of hardcover photography books that my dad had and one of them explains the functions of the AE-1, and I'm sure that it will do, but it's not the same as the original owner's manual. I'm starting to lose hope. I know it's in this house, I just don't know where I could have put it. I went back into my bedroom and checked the shelf where I found the camera. Nothing, just clothes I'll never fit into again. I give up for the night.

I went into the laundry room and put some little pissed on throw rugs into the washer and walked back into the dining room. I happened to glance at the bookshelf on the other side of the table. The one with the Britannica yearbooks and our Disney books and my "stereograph" books. And on top of the books on the bottom shelf, I saw a little booklet, looked like the A-1 manual. I think, no, that can't be it, and walk into the living room. What the hell, it won't hurt to look. I walked back into the dining room and took the booklet from it's spot. The AE-1 owner's manual!! Yay!!! What a relief.

I called J and R this morning, got the return authorization number and will have the camera and extended warranty stuff back to them next week. The guy I talked to was telling me to send everything back and I told him no problem. He asked if I had used the camera and I told him nope. All I did was try to put one of the old lenses on and when it didn't fit, I knew it wouldn't work and I had to return it. This will give us back almost $400 on the credit card. Good deal. I wonder how much it's going to cost to fix the camera. I love that little camera. It's a reminder of my father and of something he enjoyed doing very much. I would hate to have to part with it.

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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.

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