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May 24, 2012 -

A Day on Lion

My upgrade to OSX Lion did not go smoothly because Snow Leopard ate my internet connection. It came on and off until it finally decided to stay long enough for me to get the necessary software updates to download Lion overnight.

It took about an hour this morning to install Lion. Everything seemed fine until I tried to open Mail and I kept on getting error messages. I decided to trash the imported files and restore from my last Leopard backup, which worked. The new Mail looks weird and is taking some getting used to, but it now has threads, so I know I’m going to love it.

My only other complaint is that I had a dickens of a time with my transcription today. The file would stop and freeze periodically, like my foot pedal was jamming. If this had happened a couple of times, I would consider the behaviour coincidental to installing Lion, but the number of times it occurred is concerning me. It was a very frustrating transcription day.

Another thing I need to get used to is ‘reverse scrolling’ in that I have to roll the mouse wheel upwards to scroll down a page (or swipe upwards on the track pad). For some reason, this isn’t irking me at all and I think that I will get used to it quickly.

iCal has a pretty skin (looks like a physical desktop calendar), but I find the colours too muted. I put all my financial stuff in red and the bold red boxes were impossible to ignore while the meek pink ones kind of fade into the background.

I like the Address Book skin, too. It looks like the Address Book skin on the iPad, more like a real book.

The new Finder window is missing a crucial piece of information that I check all the time: the amount of space on my hard drive. I’ll have to get used to periodically getting the info from the hard drive icon on the desk top.

If I don’t have any transcription tomorrow, I’ll be taking the day off to explore some Lion financial apps. I’ve been wanting to move from my buggy free suite to bug-free paid software for some time. I also need to remove Office for Mac 2004 in such a way that I could restore it should I decide to go back to Leopard if Lion ever explodes in my face. Finally, I’m going to poke around iWork ’09 to see if it’s worth upgrading or not.

With Mountain Lion coming out shortly and so many apps now being updated for Lion only, it really was time to make the switch. The speed bumps aren’t much fun, but I’ll get through them. In the long run, upgrading to a new OS is almost as much fun as getting a new computer!

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Communications & Electronics, Computer, Finances, Internet, Technical, Work    4 Comments
May 21, 2012 -

Back to the Grind

It’s a holiday in Canada today, but I’m treating it like a normal Monday. I neglected a lot of projects over the winter and have tons of stuff to catch up on. I am also sending out tons of bids on contracts. I have no intention of looking for a part-time job this summer. My budget is solid into August, especially since I won’t have the car and car insurance payments, so as long as I keep plugging away at whatever transcription comes in, I’ll be fine. This is definitely a more relaxed start to the summer than was last year!

I’ve started to do some online shopping for my new toad. I’ve decided that buying it in Alberta really does make the most sense so I’m just waiting on the insurance cheque to buy a plane ticket. What I want exists, but it soooooo rare. I’d definitely have more choice if I was going with an automatic, but a manual transmission is a non-negotiable. I’m looking at 1990s models only.

My first choice is a Nissan Frontier, then a Toyota Tacoma. I’ve heard mixed reviews of the Mazda B-series, but am not ruling it out. I’m considering American models (eg. Chevy Sonoma and Dodge Dakota) on a case-by-case basis and I’d prefer a truck that already has a canopy/topper. One thing I have accepted is that I won’t be getting power windows and doors as those options just weren’t available, but AC is not negotiable. The Nissan Frontier is 3,000lbs, just under three times what my toad weighed, and that’s as heavy as I want to go.

I also hope to time the trip with the motorhome repairs and other projects (I’d like to leave a few thousand of the car settlement money to do some work on Miranda). I got a lead from my younger sister, who just bought a travel trailer, on a good place close by that could go through my entire list:

-the repairs covered by the insurance, including the bumper and the tow hitch, and I want them to confirm that my suspension is okay;

-remove the over hang window and fiberglass the overhang seams;

-replace my propane regulator (have the part, just need a pro to get it in);

-replace the house door window frame;

-square and plumb the house door;

-repair the body damage to the metal portion at the bottom of the rig and repaint that part only (I doubt I’ll be able to afford this right now, but I’ll ask for a quote).

Well, I just found out that a big and messy project is incoming so I’m off to get ready for that. Definitely a better to start to the summer than last year!

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Finances, Maintenance & Repair, Technical, Towing and Toad, Work    3 Comments
Apr 13, 2012 -

Final Thoughts On My Year in Lethbridge

It looks like I am on schedule to pull out sometime tomorrow morning. I have decided to meander through southern Saskatchewan rather than race to the border as I am leaving a couple of days earlier than planned. I’ll therefore be overnighting at the Walmart in Swift Current tomorrow.

I’ve been asked a number of times about how ready I feel about leaving, with the meaning being “How sick are you of Lethbridge?”

The answer is that I am not sick of Lethbridge, but I am ready to go. I know that what I needed to do here has been done and it’s time to move on to new challenges. My being here has not been unbearable and if I needed to stay a while longer, that would be fine. But I have come to a point where I feel that I would gain nothing more here.

As I wrote at the beginning of winter, I very much believe that we all have a life plan. I can always tell when I’m following that plan or not; the further I get from it, the more chaotic my life feels. When I am firmly on it, like I am today, I am awash with a feeling of serenity. When I ignore the niggle at the back of my brain, as I’ve done several times in the last three and a half years, I feel uneasy, worried, and out of control.

My time in Lethbridge has allowed me to gain professional growth that I truly believe I would never have had in my old life because I wouldn’t have believed myself capable of the challenges of management. When I last saw my boss, he confessed to me that it was only the office manager’s urging that allowed for me to take charge of the apartment complex starting in late June. He trusted her that I would grow into the position. I feel that it took me till well into November to really feel comfortable with the job. But he said that he knew by the end of July that I was going do great in the position! I appreciate so much that I was allowed to make mistakes and that my judgment was trusted. My feelings for this company are difficult to put into words. I am just so happy to have worked for it for the last nine months and am still in disbelief that I have such a wonderful tangible reminder of how I felt while working for them.

The personal growth that came from this job is also immeasurable. I was finally able to let go of my need to be liked and that enabled me to be respected. What an adventure and a half that was! I have finished a rough draft of the little ebook I’ve promised about my winter adventures and I hope to have it out shortly!

The idea of Travels with Miranda isn’t just of physical travels, but also of a journey of the soul, of a half-baked person seeking to find her true voice. So often we get lost in the minutia of daily life and others’ expectations for our life that we never learn to grow into our person. I am returning to Quebec very confident and ready to hold my head high against those folks who measure success in financial statements and who told me that I was throwing away my life. Oh, I did do that, and look at the life I am now living!

I have a ton more stuff to move back into the rig and an apartment to clean, so I’m off to do a final burst. Departure tomorrow is scheduled for 11ish, but no sooner than when an order of Jody’s muffins arrives. 🙂 I’ll post before I take off, then it will depend on cell coverage in Saskatchewan, which is spotty at best.

 

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Alberta, Canada, Finances, Musings, Nice Folks, Personal, Preparations for Departure, Social, Travel, Why I Do This, Work    4 Comments
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