Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just Some More Pictures of Irises

I am obviously obsessed with my Irises at the moment. So here are more pictures taken over the last couple of days.

Later in the growing season it will be all about Echinacea. You've been warned.

Update: These images were taken late this afternoon to show 1) more of the large Perennial Garden and 2) some iris that fully opened today.

I'll post some pictures of the Iris Garden next week.

Friday, May 22, 2009

More From My Gardens

I stopped at the local garden center today. I really don't need any additional plants, but I like to look around anyway. I decided to get another Hen and Chick for my rock garden and a small palnt to provide a bit of shade for the base of my newest Clematis.

The new Hen & Chick

I ended up buying another rose bush. I really don't need one, but this rose is exquisite. It's called Ebb Tide. It's considered a black rose, which means it's dark purple.

Now I have to figure out where to plant Ebb Tide. Most likely it will end up near my Abraham Darby rose bushes.

Some pictures taken today:

Hope that everyone has a terrific holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just Some Pictures of Irises

Busy week for me so I'm just going to share the start of Iris season here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The "I"s Have It

"I"des. Today is not the ides of May. That falls on the 15th of May in the ancient Roman Calendar. However without comparing the ancient Roman Calendar to our present calendar, I can not be 100% sure that today is not the ides of May. March may have the most famous ides (as in "beware of"), but every month had an ides. For March, May, July, and October the ides fell on the 15th. For all other months the ides fell on 13th. Now you know.

American "I"dol. I have watched it for the first time this season. I don't even know what season it is though. I generally don't watch TV so you'll have to excuse me for not knowing. I'm ok with the 2 semi-finalists only because it makes my pick for the American Idol much easier. I doubt very much that I will watch another season of Idol though. It's a huge time sink. I don't have a lot of free time. I have many more things I could have done during all the time I've watched Idol. I do like that it has given exposure to singers that might otherwise not been 'discovered.' But one thing has perplexed me. Many of the people who audition can't sing. Why do they think that they can? My favorite judge is Simon Cowell. He's straightforward.

"I"rises. My Irises have begun to bloom. I prefer Tall Bearded Iris. When I was little my Dad grew them along the driveway at our old house. I've loved them since then. When we moved, my Dad planted more Iris but they became overgrown by wild flowers. Over the last three years I've rescued all of them and moved them into full sun with lots of space. They did not bloom the first year, but have many buds this year. Earlier this spring, I found two more Iris in the Wildflower Garden and have moved them. Here are some photos taken this morning of some of my early blooming Tall Bearded Iris:

"I"'ve got nothing else for today!

Qwill's Qwestions: Any factoids that you'd like to share? or What do you think of American Idol? or What's your favorite flower?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Monster, of course.

I have 3 computers - 2 desktops and 1 notebook. My newest (2 1/2 years old) and most powerful computer is named The Monster. The computer he replaced is called Old Computer. Very original, not.

Early on the morning of March 30th, The Monster booted without issue. I checked some mail, read some press releases. After that I made breakfast for Small Human No. 2 and put him on the school bus. When I came back to The Monster, he was trying to reboot. I ran diagnostics and found that one of his 2 hard drives was failing. It had to be the drive with the OS that was failing, not the drive that I use for storage. Of course. I immediately called HP and sought advice. They ran some diagnostics as well and told me to take him to an authorized service center. If I'd bought the 3 year instead of 2 year protection plan, The Monsters repairs would have been covered by HP. Of course.

I brought The Monster to the Geek Squad. They checked him in. After running diagnostics, they discovered that the CPU was also failing. I did not want to get a Vista PC, I'm waiting for Win7. So I decided in consultation with the Geek Squad to get The Monster a new CPU. You would think that this would be relatively easy. It's not. Of course.

There are 2 versions of The Monster's CPU. I found a site that listed the correct version of the CPU and ordered it with expedited shipping. They sent my the other version of the CPU. Of course. I immediately get an RMA and shipped it back to them. I was told that they would send the correct CPU immediately. I waited a few days and no CPU. I got someone on the phone who tried to argue with me that the incorrect version would work in my machine (it won't). I finally shut down the 'discussion' by pointing out that their website listed the version of the CPU I wanted. That's what I ordered. That's not what they sent to me. Case closed. Refund being processed. I have it in writing. Of course.

I found another site that listed the CPU, but did not list version numbers. I called the toll free number. I dealt with a wonderful person who confirmed the CPU version for me, had me order the CPU while he was on the phone with me, and sent me a follow-up email in addition to the automatically generated order email. The new and correct CPU arrived 2 days later. I brought it to the Geek Squad. and it was installed. Problem solved. No, of course.

After running diagnostics again, the Geek Squad found that the CPU was still not passing tests. It was a new CPU so that meant the motherboard was probably failing. I did not need a new CPU. Of course. (I now have a spare Core 2 Duo CPU if I need it.)

At that point, Geek Squad suggested I send The Monster to the PC graveyard. I asked how much a new motherboard would cost. My very helpful Geek Squad tech went on line, found what I needed, and told me it was $68. Quickly doing the math, I realized that I could not buy a new computer for $68 or for $268 (the cost of the CPU and motherboard). The fees that I had paid to the Geek Squad covered the diagnostics and data recovery and installation of the new hard drive and optical disc, which I'd also paid for. I decided to get the motherboard. Of course.

After the motherboard was installed, The Monster passed all his tests. I had made recovery discs when I first got the computer so system restoration should have not been a problem. It was. Of course. Because so much of the inside of The Monster is new, the recovery discs don't recognize him as the same computer. I could have tried to get HP to give me the OS, but it's XP Media Center so it was easy enough to purchase a copy. It's relatively inexpensive because Vista is the Microsoft OS of the moment. I dropped off the OS last Wednesday. I received a call from the wonderful Geek Squad tech on Saturday telling me that the OS was installed, but he was not finished restoring The Monster. Additional drivers were needed for the WiFi card and some other bits. Of course.

But all's well that ends well. I've finished writing this from The Monster! Of course.

Qwill's Qwestion: Do you have any technological tales of woe? or Should I rename The Monster now that he's essentially a new computer? I was thinking of calling him The Monster 2.0. Any suggestions?