Friday, October 17, 2008

The ol' switcheroo

Several times tonight, Luna has come up on the couch and rubbed herself lovingly against my feet. I'm not allowed to move enough to reach down and pet her with my hand, mind you, but it's still active seeking out of affection, so I'll take it. I just wish she didn't feel the need to lovingly nibble my toes. Eep!


It all started last weekend with the computer. I decided it was finally time to upgrade our antivirus software (AVG free) on our older desktop, since the version it had was no longer being updated (we rarely use this computer). Only I was getting more and more frustrated with the fact that AVG has gone from generously offering up their free version to hiding it in the electronic version of a locked cabinet in a basement of a closed municipal building with a sign on it saying "Keep Out - Dangerous Tiger!"

In a fit of pique, I decided to try out Avast, another free antivirus software that is rated equally well with AVG in terms of protection. And I can't say there are huge advantages to Avast in terms of interface or useability (although it gets 1000 points for not having AVG's stupendously annoying linkscanner, which scans every link or your results when you do a web search). But I'm incredibly happy with the tone of their website, which puts the free version right there on their front page and says straight out that they're happy to provide it in the name of creating herd immunity on the Web to keep virus infections down. I like this attitude so much I installed it on my laptop as well.

Then I decided that while I was at it, I was very tired of Spybot and its refusal to let me turn it off until I explicitly want it, instead of letting it sit there hogging memory and hyperventilating and wringing its hands when I do such dangerous things as switch logins on the computer. So I switched to Ad-Aware, which has a service for sitting in my system tray and annoying me, but I have to explicitly turn it on. Much better. As an unforeseen bonus, my laptop is now running about three times faster with the new software.

Not content to stop with the computers, we then decided to kick Veriz0n out of our lives completely and called C0mcast to switch our phone to them. Months of conveniently "forgetting" to give us all of the discounts they had promised us, twelve layers of obfuscation when we tried to call to correct the bill and the last straw, our phone line going down twice in the past three months, giving us a total of 10 days without phone service which they still charged us for anyway, had built up to the point that we were ready to try a different evil for a while. Not to mention the fact that adding phone service would add only five dollars to what we're paying for Internet as opposed to the fifty we pay for phone from Veriz0n. And we can keep our phone number. It's something of a no-brainer, really.

As our final coup-de-grace, we spent Monday's holiday switching K's bedroom with the guest room. When we first moved in, I had been planning to do most of my sewing in the guest room, so I needed a room large enough to still have enough floor space to cut fabric and house the futon. So of the three bedrooms, we took the largest, the next largest became the guest room and we stuck K in the glorified closet. It wasn't a big deal, really. She does most of her playing in the rec room downstairs, and the main reason we got her a toddler bed was her room in the last house was also tiny. In fact, pretty much every bedroom she's ever had has been tiny now that I think about it. Then again, she's pretty small too.

However, I've wound up doing most of my sewing in the basement, while the guestroom became the Pit From Which No Junk Returns. It didn't seem particularly fair to K to have her in such a small room while a larger one went almost entirely unused except when we force open the door to chuck in more mail. An added bonus of rearranging has been that we've been forced to deal with a lot of the crap and finally finish the organizing we should have done when moved in ten months ago. Yes, I know you now stand in awe of our efficiency and timeliness.

It was definitely a good move. Bedtime with all three of us in her bedroom no longer requires a degree in Tetris to move around the room, and there can be more than three toys on the floor without all available floor space being covered. K loves anything new, so she's delighted both with the room and the cheapest bookcase Ikea offers that we got for toy storage.

I think that's probably enough changes for one week. Tune in next week when we decide to change our names, paint the cats green and convert to Hare Krishna.

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