27 October 2012

Catching up with events....

Apart from the fortnightly visits to the chiropractor, I almost joined the Townswomen’s Guild (otherwise known as TWG) but had to cancel because at long last we were having the real Broadband installed at home. I say real because for four years I had been operating on mobile broadband by way of a DONGLE.

The telephone system proved to be very complicated when we tried to install Broadband twice before. The first time we applied to have it was just after we had our driveway paved and the engineer said he would have to dig it up to install the new system. We turned it down and decided not to bother.

However, we tried for Broadband again at a later date, this time going through AOL with whom we had accounts. Okay, fine! Things were put in place for the installation. The router arrived and a man from the telephone company called to install a box in the porch.  Please don’t ask me what the box was supposed to do.

After that was done we tried getting on line ... and failed. We contacted AOL who said the fault lay with the phone company. The phone company said it was AOLs responsibility. After several weeks of arguing (by phone) we felt disheartened by the whole thing. It seemed there was nothing we could do but demand our money back.

The financial side was sorted and I cancelled my account with AOL. Didn’t need an account anyway since everyone was offering free email. Hotmail, Google, Yahoo, and even AOL.

Then I heard about the newly introduced DONGLE and promptly bought one. My Guy followed suit a short while after, specifically to use on his own laptop. Admittedly the speed for getting on line was not high but it suited us.

And so came the time when my computer bit the dust and I was obliged to buy a new one. Unfortunately the new acquisition only had two USB ports. Don’t manufacturers realise that people like me need about five USB ports to survive? I do, of course, have one of those hub things, well several actually, but one has to remember that it also needs a USB point to operate, and when there are only two there are problems.

By the time I’d connected everything via a hub (including the dongle) I couldn’t connect anything else. By this time we had acquired iPads and needed to log on to iTunes before we could work them. We managed, but only after considerable difficulty on my part because of the lack of USB ports.

So we contacted our own telephone company and asked them to provide to Broadband, knowing that whatever was wrong with our system they would have to put it right. Which they did. We got the new Fibre Optic Broadband, no less. No digging up of driveways, no blaming anyone else for anything.

And to convince us that they were the cats whiskers in providing peace of mind, the phone company also installed CALLER DISPLAY, so that now we don’t need to answer the phone to unwanted callers. I have great satisfaction in ignoring INTERNATIONAL NUMBER UNKOWN.

I did get back on track with the TWG and to date have attended three meetings. I also paid a visit to another WI ... feeling the need to spread myself around. My own institute has got a bit dull lately and there doesn’t seem to be any prospects for livening things up. Added to this there was the Federation’s Annual Council Meeting to attend. That was really enjoyable. The afternoon entertainment came in the form of Two Blokes and a Piano with songs made famous by Flanders and Swann and Richard Stilgo. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of them or of the women singing their heads off.

Hubby's birthday went off like a birthday should, with nice presents, a call from Australia, and good food. He was also pleased to see all the good wishes on the blog from you lovely people. Thank you so much. Here are a few pictures to give you a flavour of the celebration meal.

Mixed Vegetables
Fillet Steak with peppersauce
Pan fried veal with mushroom sauce
Pinot Grigio
Dessert Menu
The Gavino family knew it was a birthday lunch but they didn't let on until the end of our meal. This was their way of wishing him a Happy Birthday.

Not only did they produce the surprise plate but they sang the usual birthday song accompanied by five people at the next table. The next picture shows a nice touch for the star of the day.

We were also given on the house drinks, the name of which I cannot remember, but I do remember how potent they were. 

The last time we were there was in May, for my birthday treat. I blogged about it at the time and was pleased to be told that the blog had been read by the family. What a lovely family they are. I do so love Italians.


  1. I am glad things are going smoothly and the way you want, Valerie, it must be very satisfying to have adequate broadband at last. The celebration meal looks delicious.

  2. Well everything you've said about broadband has just gone completely over my head! LOL I leave all that stuff to MWM. The food looks delicious and how nice that the restaurant owners made such a fuss over your hubby's birthday.

  3. Isn't it nice to have a special restaurant of your very own where everyone knows you? The meal looks wonderful. I wish we has a stronger wireless, It is adequate for our computing needs but can be problematic if we want to add a
    3rd wireless device while running the computers.

  4. oh wow...dinner looks the little touch to the coffee....ha...and the steak looks yummy!
    i dont even want to talk internet...all the companies here are terrible, need more options....

  5. Wow......that's some way to celebrate!

    And I hear ya on internet providers! I'm hopeful this one works well for you.
    We've had the same one for eons, but when it's smalltown USA, the pickings aren't that great....which matches the service. LOL

  6. I know how you feel about the internet problems. I have DSL which could be faster. That lunch looks marvelous!

  7. "I say real because for four years I had been operating on mobile broadband by way of a DONGLE."

    Wow...that's pretty darn great that you've been using mobile broadband for four years and it's been working well for you. If you can believe this, I used DIAL-UP Internet service for the first three years I was on the Internet, so when I finally got DSL I was ecstatic! You have no idea how hard it was to watch a You Tube videos on Dial-Up. It took FOREVER to load the video.

    Your Italian birthday meal looked and sounded awesome! So glad you and hubby had a wonderful celebration!

    Happy Saturday, dear lady!


  8. It was delicious, Pearl. I would go so far as to say it is the best eating place in my area.

    Ok Brian, I won't talk internet... smiles. I have it on good authority that the steak was pretty good.

    Ron, yes watching videos was awful some days, but generally speaking the dongle worked very well. Sometimes the signal let me down but not as often as you would expect. It was the lack of USB points that got me down.

  9. That Italian restaurant certainly did you both proud.
    There is a little Italian restaurant near me. I am going there soon, on a date, with a woman! This is what is called an 'in' joke isn't it?

  10. Heehee John, the in-joke is gathering pace.

  11. That restaurant sure sounds like an ideal place to celebrate a birthday. Sounds "homey" to me :)

  12. I don't know much about hookups for any electronic devices. Our computer is starting to have a few glitches and I dread having to make changes.
    The birthday celebration looked absolutely delicious!


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