May 26, 2004

Brief Midweek Items

No Mercy For A Small Dog: Scout had another vet appointment yesterday morning; she still has enough of evidence of her injury that they want to see her one more time -- she got one more injection, a take-home baggie of steroids (a micro-dose, 2.5 mg, of Prednizone every morning for the next ten days), and instructions to come back on June 5th.

She's had her range of permissible activities expanded slightly. She can take 30-minute walks now (slow walks, no power walks, the vet took care to emphasize; not a problem with this dog) -- but she's really starting to lust after forbidden things; I've caught her casting a longing glance at the couch, and last night she stood at the bottom of the (blocked-off) stairs, scratching at the railings and looking upwards.

Six Feet Under, auf Deutsch: We watched last night on VOX. It was mostly understandable to me, not so good for Shelby -- but we'd seen this episode before, so we both knew the broad outlines of what was happening, and I could come in with translations of some of the finer turns of phrase. David's voice was all wrong -- kind of a generic "husky guy" voice, not the slightly nasal/whiny voice that fits his character so well. This episode suffered from a problem we've seen in many originally-English-language TV shows dubbed into German: they have to make the (usually longer) German phrase fit into the same space as the original English dialogue, so everyonespeaksreallyquicklysothattheycanfittheirentirelinein.

Everybody's Working For The Weekend: We're off (Scout, too!) on a small vacation trip on Friday morning, hitting some of the highlights of southern Germany. We'll be spending a night along the Rhine at the Hotel Landsknecht in St. Goar, a night in Baden-Baden (with a day at the Roman-Irish Bath), followed by a couple of nights in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It looks like we'll be in Rothenburg for their yearly Meistertrunk Festival -- no wonder we didn't get our first-choice hotel room!

THINK . . . About Shoddiness: My laptop, an IBM Thinkpad T40, has been having "issues". First, the driver for the (Cisco) WiFi card seems to have some kind of problem with the (Cisco) VPN driver that I use to connect to the corporate network from the outside world, so I can pretty much count on one major-league, blue-screen-of-death crash whenever I try to do anything work-related from home. I've become very blase about seeing the "Your system has recovered from a serious error" dialog box after I start up my machine.

But worse than that, my hard disk has started making the noises of a disk that's having trouble finding things that it knows it put away somewhere around here. Usually, it's most pronounced during startup -- click ... wait ... click .... wait ... click ... wait ... Eventually it clicks its way into loading Windows, and after that, everything seems to be fine -- but that isn't very encouraging, since these are the exact symptoms that the first hard drive in my last Thinkpad showed just before it died. I bought a ten-pack of CD-R's during my last trip to Saturn; I'd better hurry up and copy over everything I care about, while there's still time ...

I don't treat my Thinkpads harshly, but this is the second one I've had that seems to be heading for a major failure after about a year. Whenever people get into a "what kind of laptop should I buy" discussion, somebody always holds up the Thinkpad line as an example of uber-engineered bombproof quality. Ha! My Powerbook is a year older than this Thinkpad, without a single problem to date -- and the Toshiba that Shelby's using now has been cruising along for almost five years (I bought it before my first stay in Hamburg) without a hiccup!

Posted by Kevin at May 26, 2004 10:41 AM