Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Ghost of Print Jobs Past

When we moved into our proper quarters, the wireless connection on our printer stopped working. After some time of frustration, the paralegal physically connected the printer to her computer and then we sent all documents to her to print out. Clunky, but it worked for a week or two until I finally got annoyed enough to spend an hour or so in chat with tech support to get it functioning.

So the tech support took over the computer and did this, that, and the other thing. And then, suddenly, the printer came alive. And started churning out all the unsuccessful print jobs that had been tried and never properly canceled. Given the nature of our business, this turned out to be five copies of a fifty-page probate opening document.

I didn't want to turn the printer off, because the tech support people were still working their mysterious ways. So instead we dashed around trying to find which unworking copy of the printer on which computer had sent the job. I don't think we ever actually found it, but we managed to delete a few other things that would have come through next.

And now the printer is working. Which, I suppose, is worth half a ream of paper.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Grammar Commando: Decimated

The Grammar Commando has been quiet for a while, but it doesn't mean she's gone away. Just been distracted.

Also, the Grammar Commando is aware that words change meaning over time. This is understandable.

Sometimes, though, it gets taken too far.

For example, the word "decimated." This comes from the Roman practice of disciplining recalcitrant regiments by killing every tenth man. As a disciplinary measure, a pretty stiff one. It seems to have worked out for the Romans, though.

 Using it to describe, say, an all but empty city in a post-apocalyptic setting makes no sense. If only a tenth of the population was killed, you could probably even keep the lights on and the gas stations working. And it's not like the root "decem" is all that obscure. I mean, if you made it through fifth grade you should have some acquaintance with decimals, and possibly even have gained some idea about the month of December.

So, if your disaster has wiped out roughly one in ten people, then it decimated the population. If it wiped out practically everyone, use a different word. Obliterated might work.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Easter Saturday

Once again I've put off blogging for so long that all the long and interesting posts I wanted to write have coalesced into a lump of tedious goo.

We've moved into our office space. The offices, which used to be consulting rooms for the medical marijuana practice that preceded us, are a little small and the waiting area is far too big for current purposes, but moving walls around is a task for another time. In the meantime, a fresh coat of paint (which I, thankfully, did *not* have to apply) has done its hoped-for work in dimming everything down, as the preceding wall colors were aqua and mint. We are getting around to getting enough chairs and working out where Ron can park the wheelchair that isn't in the door to my office or the door to the break room. Well, we haven't really worked that out yet.

For spring break I spent the entire week cleaning the house for Easter. I'm not sure what possessed me. It was just something I needed to do. I haven't really had the time and energy to deep clean the house since we moved in, and I needed to scrub every surface myself and think about the rooms and arrange some things. Many years ago I noticed around Easter that I could not get the house and the children presentable on the same day. Now that the children can mostly manage the latter themselves, I can do both, but only if I don't have to cook. And since I had a Costco rebate handy, it made more sense to source out the cooking than the cleaning. However, I'd much rather cook and once the business is well established I will probably outsource the cleaning instead.

(And yes, the children did help with the cleaning. We had a daily Plants-versus-Zombies themed card game to select appropriate tasks. If you played "Sunflower Friend" you had to go weed for ten minutes; if you drew one with a cabbagepult you had to throw fifteen things away.)

The one thing that was really missing from the food I was able to find was lemon bars. Apparently store bakeries have never heard of such things. Indeed, store bakery options are pretty lame in general: you have the options of the cake with ooky frosting, or the box of generic chocolate chip cookies. Neither seemed very Eastery, even if dyed pink. Fortunately one of my sisters-in-law came through with lemon bars, and the other one had carrot cake, so we were well stocked with the appropriate desserts. And Costco meatballs topped with Costco pineapple habanero sauce are pretty tasty and take all of three minutes to prepare.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. School has started again, and I've rewritten our schedule to fit with how work is actually shaping up, and it's working well. I'm starting to think we can really do this. One little complication is that DOB is no longer able to self-propel, which means he must take a child along to almost everywhere except the office, where he has a power chair, or for short court appearances, for which he wears braces. That has played merry havoc with chore and school schedules, but it's good that we can be flexible for now and we hope that the insurance company will find it in their heart to approve him for a scooter.