Saturday, July 30, 2016


Found out that our new, faster router can have three networks = two 'primary ones', one that puts out a stronger signal but in a limited area, and one that puts out a weaker signal but more generally accessible, and a guest one which can do the whole internet connectivity thing but won't give access to local files.  Fine.

Turns out that printers can only connect to one network.  Your device, like your computer or tablet or whatever, has to be on the same network as the printer; otherwise, no go.  The printer might as well not exist.  According to a brief search I did, lots of people think wait, WHAT?  Only one network can have the printer, unless you want to do some magic or have a dedicated print server or whatever?

Well, crap.

Friday, July 29, 2016

What's Up?

Well, I have finally finished unpacking.  We've been home about two weeks now.  It usually doesn't take that long, but this time I just had no urgency about it.

I see where Air France is on strike again. A news article says that about 30,000 people per day are affected.  Its not clear to me whether it's the flight attendants or the air traffic controllers or both that are on strike, but its a moot point.  I'm here, they're there, go strike all you want.  But don't expect me back on your airline unless I don't have a viable alternative. Next time we go there -- which, I am sorry to say, will likely not be until 2019, since next year we are planning to go to Italy, and the year after that, to do a little traveling in the United States (let's hear it for airport departure announcements in English) -- we will likely take KLM or Lufthansa, at least if we're going during the summer.  Air France just likes strikes too much.  Of course, that's not just AF; other municipal services, like SNCF (the intercity trains) also like to play that game.  But only Air France, by going on strike, could keep us from actually getting home.

Went to see Star Trek Beyond.  Much better than the second one -- much more like the feeling of the first.  Some sad parts, including being aware that the guy who played Chekov won't be in any future ones (the actor died), and some of the really bad things are happening sequences were a bit painful to watch, even knowing that, of course, its all fake. And every so often there was a miracle. But still, overall, it was good. Quite glad to have seen it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


We have an email ID that we use when we are in an insecure environment.  On this trip, it proved its worth.  We have received about four hundred emails to multiple organizations, all with different user names but all allegedly coming fom our email ID.

Very glad we did not use one of our primary IDs....

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Three Weeks Is a Long Time

Yesterday we returned from a trip to France.  Much of it was lovely.  I had the best bowl of strawberries I have ever eaten, while I was visiting a friend at her farm in southern France (the strawberries actually came from a neighboring farm, but who's counting).  Driving to the Jura region of France to see the girl who had stayed with us was prettty delightful, though having to go up a windy mountain road, dodging bicyclists in packs, was a little scary. (They are likely always there, but I suspect that their numbers were augmented by people pushing to be able to say they had biked on the same road as the Tour de France, which is starting soon.)  I could see several white-capped mountains in the distance, including Mount Blanc, which my wife refused to believe was named after the pen.  Go figure. Northern France, in the almost-Belgium part where Lille resides, was fun, especially when we encountered happy-but-not-rowdy groups of Belgian fans on the Lille metro, heading for the stadium and the Euro2016 football matches.  (France did pretty well, getting to the final, before being knocked off by Portugal.)  We were in Nice, thinking about how terrible the traffic was, two days before other events there led to Solidaire avec Nice signs on the highway.  Paris was good, even with the weather.  My wife fnally got to see the Musee D'Orsay, which I thought was pretty, and we both spent time chilling in the Luxumbourg gardens.  So that was fun.

The trip was not without incident -- mostly, nasty surprises as the European GSM phones we'd gotten failed to just work - turned out one phone was incapable of using a new SIM, while the other worked okay in Paris but only intermittantly in the countryside.  We swore a mighty oath not to look at our credit card charges -- at least, at the part that shows how much we were paying for connectivity that was inadequate at best and non-functional at worst.  Frequently, it was just irritating. I don't know how people get those awesome photographs from cell phones -- ours ended up looking as if it was raining or foggy, even in bright light.

The best part of the trip was seeing my friends.  Their awesomeness cannot be overstated.