Sunday, January 31, 2010

My $29.95 Netbook

The weekend after Thanksgiving, I stopped by Verizon to see about upgrading my phone to the new Droid. I wanted better internet functionality than what my current device can handle. Alas, they said I couldn't upgrade until mid-December, but they had something else there that caught my eye.

A Gateway LT20 10.1" netbook for $29.95.

After seeing how much certain other bloggers love their teeny tiny computers (and double-checking that I did really read the price right) I took the plunge.

And after fooling around with this thing for a couple of months, all I can say is WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG??

It beats the daylights out of similar-sized, less capable products like the Kindle and iPad. It has full 3G built in, so I have wireless broadband pretty much everywhere. Plus built-in 802.11b/g WiFi and gigabit Ethernet.

The additional data plan doesn't add that much to my monthly wireless bill, and helps ensure I don't run over my bandwidth limit. Alltel's data plan on my air card was unlimited, but after Verizon assimilated them I have a 5 GB monthly cap.

Oh, and FTC? Nobody paid me one red cent to write this. Go screw yourselves.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Sound You Do NOT Want To Wake Up To

Running water.*

That's the sound that woke me up Saturday night. Seems the main water shutoff valve blew right off the pipes, in pieces. I had a mini-geyser in the corner of the bathroom.

No way to get at the water shutoff in the meter pit, buried under frozen snow. So I looked over the outdoor hoses, brought in for the winter. I whacked the female end off a twenty-five-footer with my trusty Spyderco Endura, took the spray nozzle off the male, and put that end in the shower so the water would go down the drain.

With the hose unobstructed, I could push the cut end over the copper pipe stub coming up through the floor. Add a stainless steel hose clamp from my car-repair supplies, and we now have basic control of the situation.

All that was left was to fold the hose so I could reattach the spray nozzle. Voila! Leakage stopped. I now have an indoor garden hose that will reach to anything that's supposed to have running water until I can get to the home-improvement store in the morning to get real repair parts.

But wait! This hose will also reach to all the places I wish had running water, but don't.

So one trip to Menards and a few hours' futzing later, I have a new shutoff valve and a new handy-dandy garden hose bib in the house.

What, you mean everyone doesn't have a garden hose hanging on their bathroom wall?

* This kind of crap is pretty much the story of my life these days. Hence the near-nonexistent blogging.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Now THAT'S What I Call Hope-N-Change

NRA A-rated Republican candidate Scott Brown won the seat Teddy "Diver" Kennedy had held for 47 years, breaking the Communists' Demonrats' Democrats' Senate supermajority.

Not even Dear Leader campaigning on her behalf could keep Martha Coakley from going down in well-deserved flames.

Take that, socialist elites. The midterm elections are coming.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.