Plagued by Viruses!

It seemed fitting that since Chris caught H1N1 that I would get a virus too! This one, however, was far less uncomfortable for me but did cause me to hyperventilate!

I caught it in rather amusing circumstances: it was a computer virus and I’ve been as diligent at avoiding them in recent years as I have been in handwashing over the last few months…

Since Chris mistakenly opened an attachment on HIS computer (probably the one I’m using now) about six years ago and swore and curses for days, I’ve been pretty sharp-eyed when it comes to emails and attachments.

While at Sun Peaks (on the last evening) I received an email from DHL informing me of a parcel that couldn’t be delivered. I asked Chris if he was expecting anything and he mentioned that his brother Andrew, had sent the kids’ Christmas presents. Hmmm, I thought, of course they couldn’t deliver them…we weren’t home!

So, I blithely opened the attachment (the weighbill) and watched it try to open a zip file for about 10 seconds before I realized that Andrew usually sends the package by Canada Post. I quickly canceled the operation, thinking I’d ended the whole thing. I closed my laptop and went to bed.

The next morning all sorts of flashing red lights were going off on my computer and there was a demand to purchase software to get rid of the virus. Chris was pretty sure at this point we had a problem, but when we passed through Kamloops that afternoon I went into DHL to ask them if we had a package.

Nope, nope, nope. In fact, they knew about the virus (it surfaced in March 2009) and the perpetrators had also used UPS and Purolator in their phony emails.

#**^$#@#.

After listening to Chris curse most of Saturday afternoon (#*%# -heads who have more time than brains #%$@ take them outside and bash their %$#@&) brains…you get the picture!), I called the Future Shop.

They had heard of the virus and could wipe it out for between $49.99 and $79.99 (depending on the virus’, well, virility!

Chris didn’t like this idea, not just because of the money, but he doesn’t like to…FAIL, especially on computer related things, which, I have to admit, he does know a lot about.

Last night he started running an anti virus program only to find out this morning my computer took a ZZZZZ overnight! He restarted it and he and Helen had a grand time today while the Newtons cleaned house. Every 10 minutes or so Helen would ask, “Dad is it done yet?” Chris progressively became more terse, “No, I don’t know when it will be done!” Turns out Helen wanted to feed some animal or something on her Ty.com page (Ha,ha, we all have our priorities.)

I had pretty much written off the computer (we managed to copy all my data files to our external drive before Chris started tinkering). I was even starting to look forward to a new purchase! Long overdue, by the way. The external keyboard has been working very well, but it’s a pain in the ass.

So far, though, frugality is still winning. If the fix Chris finally achieved tonight is a good one, we will still wait to replace this laptop until sometime in the spring. We’ll have saved $80 (plus taxes) to hire a technician, and $700 for a new laptop (it’s becoming a deferred cost, we realize, but deferment is a hallmark of frugality.)

I’m extra vigilant again; seeing an email with an attachment is like watching a loaded gun on my screen. I received a word document tonight from Jody Schilling (who works with us to put on ski league) and I actually stopped to think about it before I opened it!

So while you’re all handwashing away the season, please be warned to keep computer viruses out of your home, too! What a hassle!

The Building Site – Winter is here

We’ve had snow over the last couple of days. So far none of it is sticking!

I have been slow to post updates the last while … so lets see.

In mid-october we backfilled the exterior walls. The walls are now ten tires high (8′) and bermed on the outside right up to the tenth row. The exterior walls are very stable, but the interior walls (which are currently unsupported) are wobbly when you stand on the top and hit them hard with something. Most of the construction accounts I have read describe this instability. When the walls are restrained by the bond beam and roof they are very solid.

Before we bermed to the tops of the walls we had some heavy rain. At that point we had not sloped the ground behind the building site away from the building. Runoff pooled behind the wall in the kids’ bedroom and flowed through the tire wall. Not something you want to see! When we backfilled in October, we also contoured and sloped the land behind the building so that runoff moves away from the building. We have since had even heavier rain and the walls looked great. It is always nice to see things work the way they are supposed to!

Since that time Sandra and I have been winterizing the property and getting ready for winter.

At this point we do not think we will make significant progress on the house over the winter, but we will take things as they come. The next steps are pouring the bond beam and starting the roof.

I have been thinking and doing more about electrical generation and heating systems, and I will start posting some of my thoughts and work in these areas in the next little while!