Things have been very up and down. Mostly down, although a couple of the ups have been big enough to offset the smaller numerous down issues.
The USB port issue became enough of a problem that after taking it to a Mac-knowledgeable friend who tested, troubleshot, and updated me to Snow Leopard without solving the issue, HRH took it into the Apple-trained guys at work. They thought they’d fixed the issue, only for me to discover at home that none of my USB peripherals worked, exactly as they hadn’t before, and then the Mini decided not to power on at all. Or rather, it powered on, but the startup sequence never happened. So now I had no computer at all.
In the Bad Timing column, the day before I sent the Mac in to work with HRH I was contacted by a national organization that wanted to know my rates for copyediting. A fellow spinner and copyeditor (hello Mitioticspindle!) had referred me to them, since she couldn’t take their contracts due to workload. I was thrilled about this, because the publisher hadn’t offered me a project yet, and money was getting whatever the metaphor is for way past tight and there are utilities getting very cranky because they are unhappy with the size of the payments they’re getting. So, without a computer on Friday, I checked my work mail via my iPhone (bless it) and saw that the client I was negotiating with sent me two documents for which to return an estimate. This meant I needed a computer that would open them so I could respond as soon as possible, so I scrambled around trying to get the rickety ancient Dell laptop to work. I needed to download new converters for Word, but eventually it opened the documents, and I sent in my quote. And then bang, okay, sure: the quotes were acceptable, go ahead on the shorter one because they needed it ASAP, but they’d need approval for the larger one. And suddenly I was working, and had a deadline. (An aside: In perfect irony, my publisher contacted me that same Friday to offer me a project, which I had to turn down because (a) I had no computer, and (b) the new client was going to pay me more than twice the hourly rate.)
So when the newly returned Mini didn’t start up Friday evening, I panicked inside while trying to get the Dell into some sort of usable shape. The project partially involved checking four pages of URLs, and the Dell took *forever* to open a web page. On top of that, it crashed a few times, and I either lost work (never very much, because I have autosave set to back up every five minutes or so) or lost time, which at this point was the more precious commodity. I’d quoted them for two hours of work, because that’s how long it should have taken. Instead, after factoring in the slowness of the computer, the crashes, and the couple of hours of research and my crash review course in APA style, which I hadn’t used since university, it took seven hours. HRH was home sick on Monday, thank goodness, because I’d budgeted three hours to be done over three nights, and I was nowhere near done on Monday morning when I wanted to do a quick half-hour review of the document before sending it in at noon. Blowing past my deadline is not how I wanted to begin my relationship with a rather important new client
The dead Mac was panicsome, too, because I have a book-length document to edit next, and there is no way I can do it on the Dell. So I contacted another friend with whom I’d discussed purchasing her Mac mini last fall when she no longer needed it. Originally it was for HRH, to replace his equally ancient Dell tower, but then he discovered that the new Star Wars MMO wasn’t being released for Macs (while disappointing, this actually saves me a heck of a lot of time) and so he ended up purchasing someone else’s secondhand PC. Fortunately she still had it, so once she clears her old files off it it will be mine, and I will have a computer with confirmed functional USB ports with no more iffyness. My mother is to be thanked for lending me the money to get this happening sooner rather than later, because the only way it was going to happen originally was for me to complete the book-length edit and be paid for it down the line, at which time I’d have the money to acquire it. I’ll use my Time Machine backup to set things up on the new computer, and all will be well (or else).
So the upshot of all of this is that there has been a lot of panic and tension in work-related areas. I am very behind on e-mail and news and online stuff in general. All my music and pictures are stuck on the Mac, and I can’t transfer new ones from the camera or the phone.
The Mac issue has also been interesting for the Apple tech who works with HRH. It’s a professionally fascinating and frustrating issue, apparently, because the USB ports are getting power, and yet won’t recognize or allow the signal of anything bigger than a mouse or keyboard to pass. He’s never encountered it. They’ve determined that it’s definitely a hardware issue and are examining code now. If it can’t be fixed beyond powering up and successfully initiating and completing the start sequence (which is now does), then we’ll have a media unit to stream stuff downstairs to the TV while I use the other new-to-me Mac as my work computer.
The computer issues and the new client have made the past six days pretty stressful. We had a bit of a respite on Sunday when we had the families with whom we’re connected by being godparents all over, and it was just a lovely afternoon. The food was delicious, the kids played together beautifully, the babies were all smiley and social and loved being passed around from person to person, and it was good to finally see people, which, as I have chronicled here, hasn’t happened since late November or early December since schedules and plague wrote off all social activity during the holidays.
So that has been my professional and technological life lately. Yay for new contracts and what is hopefully a permanent new client. Boo for computer issues that are really making executing those contracts nigh impossible. I’m getting tense about having gone two weeks without syncing my phone or backing up the computer, too.
Owlet has been delightful. We’ve been working on her sleep discipline by moving her into her crib in her own room at night, and it’s generally been going okay. The past couple of nights have been particularly good, with her sleeping four to five hours, nursing, sleeping two to three hours, nursing, then sleeping without the little wakeups till between six or seven in the morning when it’s time to get up. Naps are still all over the place. If she sleeps past her first couple of danger spots at twenty and forty minutes after she falls asleep then she’ll sleep for an hour and a half to two hours and is charming for the rest of the day, including a forty-five to ninety minute naps in the afternoon. If she doesn’t, then she only up for an hour before she starts being cranky and shrieky and needs to go down for another nap, which usually lasts only twenty minutes, and she catnaps through the day without getting proper rest.
Those two teeth finally cut within a few days of one another, and cut is the word; they’re so sharp that I’m reminded anew of how much teeth must hurt coming through. She’s sitting up on her own so much more securely. Her shape is changing again; she’s definitely stretching, as her trunk and legs are slimming out. All the socks that fit her chubby legs last week are beginning to fall off. Her balance when we carry her is different, too. Her winter hats no longer slide around on her head, like they did last week. She’s eating like a small, happy horse; she adores solid food, and I’ve given up on trying to keep her grabby hands away from whatever I’m eating, and just make sure I eat something she can nibble, too. The other day we went for a casual family portrait and Sparky had a granola bar to snack on while we waited. HRH asked him to move over and eat it next to me instead. Sparky assured him he wouldn’t make a mess, and HRH told him that it wasn’t because we were worried about a mess being made, it was to avoid Owlet kicking up a fuss because if she saw him eating it, she’d want one, too!
Toast is her newest favourite food. This morning I gave her oatmeal at breakfast, just like Sparky, and she was so excited. I don’t remember when we started giving Sparky three solid meals a day, but Owlet is all for it. New foods include toast, roast potatoes, real rice (not baby cereal), and she happily gnawed on a pretty bare chicken bone at supper the other night. I have to pick up some yoghurt, and maybe some red pepper hummus or something. I’m a bit concerned about how much solid food she’s taking in, because I don’t want it to crowd out the room for the milk that is supposed to be her main source of nutrition.
Last week she achieved a form of situational mobility. Baby on fleece blanket on hardwood floor; baby reaches out past the edges of the blanket and starts using her hands on the hardwood to drag herself & blanket around, inch by inch. She was thrilled. She adores her exersaucers, is getting very good at picking things up, and is developing a wicked sense of humour. Sparky had the day off yesterday and we three went out on a Valentine’s Day date, to get ice cream (no, Owlet just watched, although she reached rather stealthily for Sparky’s cone when he was distracted by something) and visit the local David’s Tea counter to taste their teas of the day, and she was quiet and well-behaved for the entire two-hour trip. Getting out is good for her. She’s a very social child.
Last night she sounded a bit stuffed up, and this morning she definitely has a mild cold, as do I. We are missing Sesame Street because she’s napping so well, but she needs to sleep. (LATER: A two hour nap! Hurrah!)