Didn’t someone mention spring?

*grump* I’m in a bad mood. You know how it is–a million little things, and they all pile up.

I’ve been having a very annoying time with this journal, or more accurately, with this domain it’s on, vyrdolak.com. I have four domains hosted on GoDaddy, each of them with a WordPress blog of its own, and none of the others are causing me any of these problems. It’s not my files or blog–the server times out searching for the domain. I’ve been on the phone with GoDaddy twice and sent them emails, and apparently there’s something glitchy with the server hosting the domain. It keeps being fixed and then going down again–I never know whether the domain is going to be there or not at any given time! I’m really starting to feel like vyrdolak.com is jinxed!

The weather is driving me nuts. It’s been doing nothing but rain–except when it doesn’t. Today, all the forecasts said rain and thunderstorms, and the sun came out! This is frustrating because I want to be doing more yard work and I can’t plan anything, not even one day ahead. Today, it was just too wet for what I want to be doing. I’m pulling up ground ivy and clearing leaves, brush and debris, and it poured rain just before dawn, so I’d have gotten soaked raking, digging and picking up stuff. I hope to get out there tomorrow. But I didn’t get nearly as much done in the yards this past week as I did the week before. I did manage to clear out more ground ivy and a big messy overgrown pile of crap that had been sitting at the head of the driveway for years–and that included digging out big clumps of roots with the mattock. I haven’t gotten out the chainsaw yet–that comes next!

It looks like the peas are finally coming up, and the spinach, I think. The seeds I started indoors are all up and growing except the peppers, of which there is nary a sign. I’m giving them up for a bad job and replanting them. They can’t go into the garden until June so there’s still time. I was pleased to find a number of iris coming up when I got the ivy-choked old flower beds completely cleared. I didn’t see any iris blooms last year and I thought all the rhizomes had died off, but nope! They’re still truckin’. Iris are among my favorite flowers. The grass, everywhere, very suddenly turned deep, dark green this week, the forsythia and daffodils are blooming, and there are sprouts poking up from the bee balm.

I have swarms of birds in my yards and at the feeders–bluebirds, cardinals, goldfinches, robins, several other kinds of finches, chickadees, woodpeckers, juncos…they empty the feeder in a day. I haven’t seen this many birds for years, and I had very few over the winter. I thought I’d have fewer birds because I’m cutting down so much of their habitat, but the better the yard looks, the more birds are attracted to it. Interesting. I’m curious as to where the bluebirds are nesting, because they’re in the yard all the time, so it must be close by. They love the suet.

I took my Samsung camcorder to a camera and video repair shop in Arlington on February 9, and it’s still in limbo. The camcorder is a model that records to a mini-DVD, and the DVD cover jammed. That was the only thing wrong with it: the camcorder itself functioned perfectly. It even recorded to, played back and “finalized” the DVD just fine. But I couldn’t get the DVD cover to open, no matter what I did. A couple of days after I dropped it off, the repair shop called to say they needed to replace the latch mechanism, and they gave me an estimate, which I approved, even though it was pretty high.

Well, on March 30, after they’d had the camcorder for six weeks, I called to see what was happening. At that time, they checked with their “technician,” who apparently doesn’t work in-house or full-time, and then called me to say that he’d had to order a part and it would probably be “another week or two.”

As of tomorrow, it’s been another four weeks or two. So I called again today, and was told they’d have to check with the technician, who won’t be in until Thursday, and see what the status is. But, honestly? It’s now been three months, and I just want to pay them their minimum for looking at it, tell them to keep the damn thing and buy a new one. The only thing holding me up is that I want the mini-DVD that’s stuck in it. The DVD has several hours of perfectly good, “finalized” video on it that I recorded at the 2008 IPNE conference, which IPNE would like to have. In my present mood, I just feel like smashing the camcorder open with a hammer to get the DVD, I’m about that aggravated. It cost me $250 on some big special sale price up at Target, originally–the MSRP was about $80 more than that–and I don’t think I got 12 hours of use out of it. Of course, the DVD cover jammed about three months after the warranty ran out. But if the technician has waited twelve weeks for a simple, mechanical replacement part from Samsung, I strongly suspect that part is never going to arrive.

I will most definitely never, EVER buy another product from Samsung, let me tell you!

Last Tuesday was Dad’s birthday. I asked him several times if he wanted anything for a gift, or if he wanted to do something, and he just couldn’t come up with anything. I suggested a couple of things I knew he wanted but he claimed they were too expensive. Finally he asked me to make him some of this bean soup he really enjoys. So I spent most of Monday cooking: the soup, and then little key lime meringue tarts, because he loves key lime pie. I also made him a birthday card with a still from Fringe (he’s a mega-fan of Fringe). On Tuesday afternoon I went up to the lake with the food. We hung out and watched The King’s Speech on pay-per-view. Dad didn’t think he was interested in that and he ended up liking it a lot. I don’t know what he expected; I actually thought he’d probably like it (and I was right) but he said he thought it would be “maudlin.” FTR, it’s not. :-)

Then on Sunday, I had an Unnecessary Dad Scare, whereby my sister called me from Chicago saying that she’d been trying to reach Dad all day and he wasn’t answering either of his phones. Dad can be very annoying that way; he kind of lives in his own little world and it doesn’t occur to him that anyone would worry about him–he’s fine, why on earth would someone worry? He gets lots of spam calls on his land line so he won’t answer that, he wants people to call his cell phone, and then he doesn’t hear the cell or didn’t turn it on or the battery has run out. *sigh* Anyway, I told my sister I hadn’t spoken to Dad for a couple of days, and she said maybe she’d try him later, and casually segued to, “so, how are you?” And I’m just stammering, “uh, well, fine, I guess…” because all I can think about is why Dad isn’t answering his phone, and I want to get off the call with my sister and try to call Dad!

So my sister signed off, and I tried both of Dad’s numbers, and got no answer. I’d just started a batch of bread, but now I was all panicky. So I put the bread in to rise, jumped in my car and drove all the way up to Dad’s (a 24-mile, 40-minute drive) to check on him, thinking the whole way that he probably just got tired and went to bed early and everything was okay–but what if it wasn’t? And of course, what happened is that I just woke Dad up. :-( I called my sister (who was actually on her way to the airport, taking the red-eye to Europe for her job!) and let her know Dad was okay, and went back home. So that was my Easter Sunday! But if I hadn’t checked on Dad, I’d have spent the next 18 hours worrying about him. The bread, by the way, turned out perfectly.

But all that had me thinking more than ever about moving up closer to Dad. I keep getting updates about properties in Winchendon that I’ve flagged, from Zillow.com, and I just got another email about one I really may go take a look at. Because of this, I’m holding off on some of the gardening ideas I had last year, like putting in some Concord grapes or fruit trees, because there’s no point if I’m going to move. One stumbling block I’d been having was the lack of Verizon DSL in that area, because I really, really hate to have to sign up with (hack, ptooey!) Comcast. But I just discovered that I can get high-speed Internet via DirecTV, so that obstacle is now resolved. I also dislike the prospect of moving to Winchendon, because Winchendon is an armpit. But then, there are lots of affordable properties in Winchendon, and nothing in the abutting communities close to Dad, precisely because Winchendon is an armpit. Pepperell isn’t the world’s classiest burg, by a long shot, but Winchendon’s town politics make Mississippi look progressive.

I’ve been all disoriented this week, anyway, because Monday was a state holiday (Patriots Day), I spent two days on Dad’s birthday, which bumped my Tuesday chores and the transfer station run a day ahead to Wednesday, and then Sunday was yet another holiday. This might help explain why I was unreasonably outraged by the DVD of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, which I started for cycling last night: it begins with seventeen fucking minutes of ads that you can’t skip past–not trailers for movies, but stupid video games and a long puff piece about the new theme park. That was NOT what I wanted to be cycling to and I was pissed! I’m definitely complaining to Blockbuster–and I won’t be buying this DVD! I’m enjoying the movie itself, now that I’m finally getting to see some of it. I was starting to wonder if there was a movie on the damn DVD at all! The previous two cycling movies were The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Tron: Legacy, and I was disappointed by both of them.

Gods, I am so ready for spring!!!! But I’m laying out the ARC cover for Marco and it’s almost ready to upload. And Applewood comes out on May 15!

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