Further to my last post, I did wind up getting the Samsung Galaxy S7 phone (gold colored). I had intended to buy it from AT&T despite the fact that they were selling it for more than all of the other phone companies. But they wouldn't sell it to someone without a contract. I use a Pay-As-You-Go card and stuff $100 on it once a year. I don't have any contracts. So I wound up buying it from Amazon. Got an international version (better innards, apparently) in the process. Love it. :-)
This has been an interesting summer. In June, I attended a 3-week workshop on teaching physics using a modeling method. This, I hope, will completely change the way I teach physics this year (and every year after) to a more effective way. It's exciting and daunting all at once. So I'd like to apologize (a) to all of my physics students in the past for not being very efficient at teaching you physics and (b) to this year's physics students who will have to deal with me learning how to teach physics in this new way. (By "new" I mean new to me - physics modeling has been around for decades, I've only just recently been trained in it.)
In order to continue having fun during this 3-week workshop, I visited several of the Metro Parks in the Columbus area. One was just north of the hotel where I was staying. The other 3 were between the school where the training was and my hotel. So each afternoon after class, I'd go wander for over an hour in the woods (or gardens in the case of Inniswood). It was lovely. I also tried out different restaurants in the area. But I packed my breakfast for each day, and the lunches at the modeling workshop were usually fairly nutritious. So I managed to keep my weight pretty stable during the training.
This was finally going to be my big Upgrade Summer for my PC. I discovered when I started researching parts that I was way out of the loop these days. So I went to CyberPowerPC to see what parts would make a good build. When I sourced them from newegg.com, I found there was maybe only a difference of $150 from what CyberPower would charge versus newegg. I decided it was worth the extra to have someone else build it for a change (and get Winders 10 working on it). It all worked out well, except for two hitches.
The first hitch was how CyberPowerPC ships their PCs. They used UPS, but wouldn't allow the recipient to make any delivery changes, not even with MyUPS. It was scheduled to arrive on a Tuesday when I was in Columbus. And I couldn't get them to change the date till Friday. Thankfully I was able to get UPS to hold the PC at their shipment location in Piqua (thanks to Justin S. from CyberPower!) and thus picked it up on my way home from Columbus. Yay, I had a new PC!
I had also bought a second SSD hard drive from Amazon (sorry, newegg, they had it cheaper) in order to install Ubuntu on it. Only I discovered that I had no SATA cables. Of course nobody local sells SATA cables. Thankfully, a former student of mine works at the local Staples and he gave me a spare that he had (one of many) in the back. Ubuntu and I fought for quite a bit, but I finally got it to play nicely in my new machine. Files were transferred, a new backup drive was fitted and LuckyBackup software was run. Things were perfect! (Well, OK, turns out I managed to pick the ONE sound card that doesn't and will never have Linux drivers. Gee thanks Creative! Thank goodness for (a) motherboard sound cards and (b) y-cables which allow me to have 2 sound cards connected to the same speakers.)
And then the second hitch hit... Before having the machine a week, I started seeing some weird flickering on the screen. At first it was just a little and only in Windows. Then World of Warcraft became completely unusable. Then I started seeing the glitches in Ubuntu. I did as much troubleshooting as I could (even tried to install the new card into my Old PC only to discover it didn't have enough power cables to connect it) and then e-mailed CyberPower. They had me try something else, but when it failed, they sent me an RMA and had me mail the dud card back. The replacement arrived on Tuesday and I've not yet seen any glitching!
Now, between sending my bad card out and getting the replacement, I spent a weekend with judiang and elsaf in Downers Grove. Of course, being the interesting summer that it is, it wasn't as straightforward as that. The night before my flight to Chicago, I got a text from Judi telling me that she had a detached retina and needed to have emergency surgery the next day. "Do you still want to come?" My question was did *she* want me to come. She said she could use the help, so I kept my plan to go.
Only apparently Southwest wasn't all that up on my plan to go. I was scheduled to fly out on Wednesday at 8:20pm, but Southwest's servers were all wacky. I had no idea it was happening - the day before I'd checked in with no issues. The folks and I went out for dinner before we headed to the airport. I got to the counter and they told me the flight was cancelled and here's an 800 number to call. By the time I got a hold of someone, my folks had picked me back up and were taking me home. I got another night with my kitties and resolved to call first thing in the morning.
Well, after 4+ hours on hold the next day (over 3 phone calls), I finally was able to schedule a new departure for that evening. The flight was delayed, of course, but we had some live music at the gate to entertain us. (Sadly, when the saxophonist was done entertaining us, we could once again hear the RNC on the telly.) Mum kept me company via text messaging, and eventually we got to take off. (Thursday's issue wasn't the servers anymore, but a really big ass storm over Chicago. Part of which Elsa had to drive through on her way to pick me up. Eep!)
Despite everything, I got to Judi's new place. I helped her where I could (mostly in unpacking her remaining boxes and helping her to organize stuff). I explored the neighborhood during my morning walks with Patty. We tried out a restaurant that serves Dim Sum (which was very good) and her local sushi joint (also good). Elsa and I checked out the farmer's market. And Judi got to keep her head down and sleep on her belly to help her retina reattach. Joy joy.
So August will start on Monday, whether we're ready for it or not. I get one more trip before school starts whereupon I shall invade my sister for a long weekend. Here's hoping there's no emergency surgeries or downed servers or big ass storms. I'd like to get there & back again with little fuss. I intend to start working on getting my lessons ready starting this Monday (since I have decided to take July completely off, heh.) With our current bouts out hellishly hot days, I have all this time during the day when I don't want to be outside (I do my walks in the morning), so working on lesson plans etc will be a good use of my time.
My final thing for this post will be to post the video that I made earlier today. I wanted to see how well my new PC can handle video editing. (Even *that* wasn't straightforward! The video playback was so choppy. It took some research, but I found out that it was an AUDIO problem... Once I had the right settings in Premiere Pro, it worked a charm.) The video clips are from my various walks at the Metro Parks plus from Memorial Day weekend (with Elsa & Judi at the Lake) and some Lucy & Linus, of course.