February 17th, 2008

Ninja Pyrates!

Week End, or BossStaysHomeDays (tm Houdini)

Today's been more of a stay home day than yesterday was. Yesterday we loaded up some things in Forrest NissanPickup and trundled over to Horse Arena for a shire get-together. Herself commited to teaching a couple of classes, in the end only one of those got taught but she also passed on some info related to other items.

The class she taught was beginning mead-brewing, so one of the things we toted with us was her glass 5 gallon carboy, in the cab, on the seat between us. Now, if you've ever ridden in a Nissan pickup, even one with a bench seat as Forrest does rather than bucket seats, you'll know they aren't really designed for three people in the cab. And that carboy occupies about as much territory as a person, at least from the seat up. Shifting was interesting.

But, hey, mead! Well, in about four months. At the class she explained the importance of starting with really clean equipment, clarifying your honey (if necessary, the batch she used was pretty well clarified already but we did it again for the class), starting the yeast mat, then combining it all. We only poured the honey (20 pounds / 10 Kg worth, about 2 - 2.5 gal / 9/5 litres) and some water into the carboy for the class. Call it about 3 gal/10 litres of volume in there. That was enough, in terms of re-loading carboy into the cab.

Ate dinner, came home, found Sargent Smudge BorderCollieBro in with the maternity pen goats, all of them safely herded into a bunch in the middle of the pen. No one hurt, and we may of found some tracks we don't recognise between maternity pen and the hog pen. Got everything settled out, unpacked the minimum i.e. the carboy and yeast mat to the house, added about half the remaining volume of water then the yeast mat, then topped it off at that 5 gallon/ 19 litre mark. The yeastie beasties are contentedly doing their thing now, bubbling away and forcing gas out through the brewing water-lock.

Today it's been laundry, and in between laundry backing up some files on an old laptop which Herself's brother gave her a couple years back, when she started dealing with their mother's estate. It's not quite as old as Venerable Laptop of mine, has a smaller hard drive, and both of them the on-board batteries are toast. However, she wasnts a machine she can take with her to Gulf Wars, since she's going to be doing the Merchant Thing there and wants to give a shot at keeping sales and inventory current on-site.

Thus, first step backup. Which, since this old beast of a machine is running Win 98 with service packs, is interesting. It does not recognise USB drives of any sort (RAM stick, CD Burner, or external HD), does not have an internal CD burner, does have a 3.5" floppy (FLOPPY!?). Fortunately there aren't many data files, and no software we're worried about. I've made copies of most of the data, we've verified that the estate-related Quicken files are already backed up, and now I'm installing an upgrade to Win2K. Upgrade rather than hard-drive reformat because I'll need some hardware drivers to keep things functional, and that means hauling the beast into Hospital or at least determining what drivers and downloading them at Hospital.

Hauling it in is more likely, because Herself tells me the site for Gulf Wars has wireless Internet and she's going to want that. I guess that means getting another anti-virus installation as well, even though this beast won't be cruising the 'Net once it gets back.

First thing to determine, though, is if it will find external USB drives after the upgrade. Then I'll see about backup for the rest of the data files (why yes, I'm paranoid, why do you ask), plus ensure that the external drive works anyway because it's a dinky 4 Gb internal hard drive and I'm sending along a 40 Gb external HD, USB powered, for her data storage.

All this in between doing laundry. Or is it the other way around, doing all this laundry and in between doing this? Oh well, doesn't much matter.