13 September, 2013

What *ls* *an Go Wrong?

If you *an't gu*ss, my k*yboar* has gon* on th* fritz.

When I first got up this morning, I did my usual of logging on to my laptop, or at least I attempted to log on. What I got at the log-on screen was a rather terse "Password Not Valid". No big deal. I probably fumble-fingered it, so I re-entered the password. Two down.

I carefully re-entered the password. Same thing. Uh-oh. Did my laptop get hi-jacked during the night? Impossible. It wasn't on. Perhaps a sleeper bot of some sort? Or maybe when I turned it on this morning, some neer-do-well just waiting for me to log-on.

After nearly having a coronary, I decided to try one of those special log-on screens that you usually ignore and blow by. So, I re-started and hit F2 to boot up in safe mode. Once I got the log-on screen I re-entered the password. No go. But, at the same time, inspiration hit. Bring up the on-screen keyboard and give it a go with that.

That was the magic thing. It soon became apparent that my keyboard was screwed up, and that the '3', 'e', 'd', and 'c' keys had decided to take a holiday. So, what do I do now? I decided that I'll pop off the offending keys and see if there's some debris under them that is hindering operations.

As an aside here, you might be wondering how I'm writing this without lots of errors. That's because I've borrowed Dianna's laptop to write this. Pretty smart, eh?

So, far, I only removed one key to see how hard it was to remove and replace. I just haven't gotten around to doing the other keys yet. If that doesn't do the trick, then I'll remove the whole keyboard (easy-peasy. There's even YouTube videos on how to do it) and see if I can clean up the whole thing. Maybe that'll free up the keys in question. If not, then I think I'll have to go down to BluePC and have them order me a replacement keyboard. Hopefully, that will be easy to do.

Speaking of things being stuck - Day before yesterday, I had my trusty shopping list and went out to the Isuzu to head into town, check the mail, get supplies, and give Otilia, out cleaning lady, a ride to our house so she didn't have to snorkle through the puddles.

The Isuzu fired right up, I dropped it into reverse and sat there. I couldn't even spin the wheels. Uh-oh. Not a good sign. Brakes are jammed. I wasn't real sure what to do, other than give our mechanic, Rick Magaña, a call and seek his advice.

He said it was doubtful that it was the front wheels. "They're really hard to jam up.", he said. You'll need to jack up the rear end and see if a wheel won't spin in neutral. Then you'll have to un-jam it.

I also checked the Intertubes for advice and videos on just how to do that. Then, I remembered I didn't ever replace my hydraulic jack from Cinty's. It was too short to work as an effective jack. So, I called David and asked if I could borrow his mega-heavy duty hydraulic jack. "Sure, no problem." In fact, they were nice enough to bring it by for me.

I delayed using it till the following day (yesterday) when the parking area had dried out enough - more properly, become water free enough that I could lay down and slide the jack under the rear axle.

As luck would have it, I found the stuck wheel on the first try. It was a relatively simple matter to jack up the Isuzu, remove the wheel, whack the drum several times with my small sledge, get the wheel to spin, re-mount the tire and be able to head into town for necessary shopping.

I suspect it froze up because of the many trips through the water on the roadway, and the mud, and who knows what else. Anyway, Rick was nice enough to call back yesterday to see if I had gotten it un-frozen. I thought that was a nice touch. How many mechanics up north would do that and not charge you anything? I told Rick, that as soon as I was able, I'd be bringing the Isuzu to him for him to go through the parking break stuff and lube/replace the cable and springs for the parking brake, as needed.

Let's see, what else? Nelson, is quite the dedicated hunter. He's been bringing in, at least once an evening, either mice, Jesus lizards (basilisk lizards), geckos. or huge moths. The moths are a favorite of his as they give him the opportunity to really show off his athletic prowess.

We always know when he's coming in with something, because he comes through the kitty door or through the people dore and doesn't look in our direction. He heads straight for the bathroom, where we soon hear him jumping and thrashing about. Although April is also a hunter, she's not near as single-minded about hunting as is Nelson.

Here he is with his catch from yesterday evening. One of his favorite big moths. They apparently make for great sport as well as a good snack. Most everything gets eaten - including wings. Ummm, good, I'm sure.
Nelson and His Playtoy
Now, I'm loath to mention it again, but rain, that four-letter word, is still with us. So far today, we've gotten over .40 inches of wet stuff. Yesterday, we got a little over .53 inches of it, and for the month, we've gotten over 8 inches.

I just want to remind you what we're here for and it's not the wet stuff. The photo below is one I took one of the last times I could walk the doggies (29 August, 2013) of an actual sunrise here in Corozal. Isn't that spectacular? Makes you want to put your shades on just to look at it.
I Remember What This Is Called
OK, that's enough torture for now. I've got a keyboard to look after, and moth wings to clean up.



Mr. Pancho said...

Sorry to hear of your 3edc issue. Sounds like the keyboard is toast. I think if you're in a pinch you could sub a USB keyboard?
Those are the kind of things that always make me think that I'm on the giving end of a "One D Ten T" Error (1D10T). After I realize it's not me, I immediately blame someone (in this case) of switching the keys!
Do you suppose it's another corosion issue?


Dave Rider said...

Hi Rodney,

Yeh, my first thought was that I had screwed up when I recently changed from satellite to MiFi. Once over that, it really didn't take too long to ferret out the problem.

I agree about the humidity - that and the heat smoke lots of electronics. We just had battery-powered clock that toasted itself. Battery is fine.


Mr. Pancho said...

It dawned on me that you snuck in that you switched form satellite to MiFi. Could you elaborate on that? Amy and I will both have internet jobs if we move to Belize (doing medical coding work) and will need a reliable internet source. I doubt there will be any wires ran up Consejo road for a wired connection.