So far, this year has mostly been an improvement on last year (well, on the last few months of last year, anyhow). We spent the weekend at Stabcon, playing games, drinking beer, and terrorising bits of Stockport. Even the journey to and from the con wasn't too appalling; the M6 Toll stretch has won my vote. Two quid isn't much to pay for the pleasant and unobstructed avoidance of Birmingham.
Three days in to working from home, and it's mostly going smoothly. I spent most of Monday trying to chase up paperwork from other people -- if I ever meet the company secretary of a certain large national service-providing firm in a dark alleyway with a baseball bat, his kneecaps are toast -- and much of yesterday sorting out getting the printer talking to the home network. The latter would have been easier if the alleged means of changing the print-server's IP address actually worked in the manner suggested by the manual. No, instead there were temporary arcanities involving resetting IP addresses of other computers and waving a dead chicken... er, crossover cable... round the back of the relevant bits of hardware. I also still haven't figured out why, if the standalone wireless bridge drops off the air momentarily (say, for instance, if a bunch of stuff gets piled on top of it while the Christmas decorations are being put away), the network behind it remains inaccessible until I go and do a manual ARP to tell my laptop where to find it. I can't tell whether this is a function of the wireless bridge being a bit funky, whether the router has something to do with it, or whether I should really consider upgrading from '98 at some point.
I also got a letter yesterday from the landlords at the Old Office, thanking us for complying with their schedule of dilapidations. They have obviously not taken especially careful note of the paintwork -- they wanted it all repainted with an undercoat and a top coat, whereas it got touched up where it needed it and also cleaned, averaging out at maybe a third to a half of a coat overall -- but I don't plan to point that out to them. They question whether we left the place 'clean and tidy' but, Gentle Readers, it was certainly cleaner and tidier than it had been in, at a guess, the previous 20 years. And I have photos of how we left it, and a copy (with photos) of the initial survey before we moved in. Bring 'em on.
Today was a bit different. At the moment I am in the process of taking over some bits of my dad's business so that he can continue retiring by working on something else. The plan was that he would drive his van up to us today, pick up some assorted office furniture that he wanted from me, we would use his van to take a bunch of stuff to the dump, and then he would take me to the other side of London to introduce me to one of his suppliers. (Sounds dodgier than it is. Really.)
He mentioned when he arrived that the van was sputtering a bit on some of the steeper hills between Somerset and here. I didn't think too much of it since we do not have any local steep hills -- at least, nothing compared to the soaring peaks (cough, splutter) which characterise the area in which they live. We loaded the rubbish from home into the van, then moved on to the storage unit where we picked up tables and chairs for him and for my sister, and some rubbish that had wound up in there, then drove to the old house where we'd stashed a bunch of rubbish in the garage.
It was when we tried to leave the old place that the van decided it had had enough of all this 'functioning' stuff, and resolutely refused to start. "Oh bugger," we thought.
My sister was, as it happened, on the way to meet us back at home. I texted her to tell her to call me when she got there -- which as it happened was only five or ten minutes later -- so that she could pick me and rotwang up. Dad had, meanwhile, managed to get a jump start from a nearby van owner and planned to take the van into the local garage to get whatever ailed it sorted out.
Back at home, I rang the supplier with whom we were supposed to be meeting to tell them that we wouldn't be making it today. Dad turned up with a loan car while his van was having its alternator replaced -- it was ready by about 4pm, but this wasn't early enough to get to the supplier or to get to the local dump before it closed. Luckily he volunteered to take the vanload of rubbish to his local dump when it's open tomorrow; I just hope he doesn't try to lift the 21" Sun monitor by himself, as it's ever so slightly heavy (rotwang, who despite his protestations is actually pretty good at this sort of thing, can only just lift it single handed).
Tomorrow's got to be simpler. Right?