Thursday, 9 May 2013

09:49 – Barbara just left for the hospital. They’re discharging her dad this morning and transporting him to the Brian Center nursing/rehab facility. It’s one of the best ones available, and it’s where my mom lived for a year before her final illness. It’s also only about a mile from our house, which’ll make it a lot easier for Barbara to visit. Barbara’s sister works not far from it, so it’ll be easy for her to visit as well. No word yet on when Sankie will be released, but it may be this weekend. She’s recovering well, emotionally as well as physically, and told Barbara she wants to go back to their apartment at Creekside Retirement Village. Once she’s off the IV antibiotics, I’m sure they’ll be taking her home.

I was getting low on pipe tobacco, so I ordered five pounds (2.3 kilos) yesterday. It’s a Dunhill My Mixture 965 clone, and it cost me about $27/pound, with free shipping. Years ago, I used to smoke the real Dunhill 965, but Dunhill hasn’t actually produced it for many years. Instead, they license out the name. They’ve done that serially with two or three different manufacturers over the years, and it’s never been the same as the original stuff. The clone I ordered is actually better than the branded stuff from the current manufacturer, which costs about twice as much as the clone. The vendor was backordered for a couple weeks on the clone 965 product, which is fine. I always reorder when I get down to my last pound, and five pounds lasts me about seven months.

While I was on the phone with the vendor, I asked the guy about the possible new taxes on pipe tobacco. He said they were following the matter, but had no real idea if or when these new taxes would come into play. I’ve heard numbers as high as $100/pound in new taxes, and told the guy they needed to keep their mailing list updated on when these new taxes would come into effect so that we could stock up before the price skyrocketed. I also told him that I was in North Carolina and if it really came to that I’d just start growing my own.

Since I was making phone calls anyway, I decided to call DMV to make an appointment to renew my driver’s license, which expires next month. After getting busy signals several times, I finally got through and told the guy that answered that I wanted to make an appointment. He said “just a moment” and put me on hold. Eighteen minutes later, the call disconnected. So I called back, getting busy signals several times, and finally got a person on the line. I told him I’d been dropped after 18 minutes on hold. He apologized and … put me on hold. Fortunately, this time someone picked up after about 15 seconds and made the appointment for me.

I was on a roll, so I decided to call Time-Warner Cable tech support and see if they could do something about the Internet problems we’d been having for several days. They’d gotten much worse by yesterday, and I ended up connected to a nice young woman, who said that my modem had been up for six months and needed to be reset. She verified that we had Internet service and basic cable TV. She said the modem was a TWC Internet + VoIP modem. I explained that we formerly had VoIP but no longer had it. She said, “So you’re talking to me on a phone?” I said, “Yes, but …” She said “I’ll reset your modem now.” I continued “we’re on a third-party VoIP service so if you reset the modem you’ll kill our call”, but I was talking to dead air. I looked down to see the modem lights resetting. Oh, well. The reset worked, and our Internet is now running normally.

I managed to get 30 sets of the LK01 Life Science chemical bags made up yesterday, and 30 sets of the small parts bags. Today I’ll assemble shipping boxes for them and get some finished kits built. Then I’d better start on a new batch of biology kits, because we’re down to 20 or so of those in stock.