Maybe an internet solution

May have solved the internet problem with a wireless solution. We had been hoping the iPad was the solution but when Tom brought his up to the lake we learned that we don’t have 3G coverage. Then he brought up his new EVO phone on the Sprint network. Didn’t expect much from that since we have/had Sprint cell service and dropped it because the signals were too weak to give us consistent service. In fact the only way we could use the phone was outside the house. But surprisingly, he had good 3G data service – way faster than dial-up. So when I was in Wally World I noticed that they were selling a laptop USB data modem that worked on the Sprint network with no requirement for a network contract. Virgin Mobile. You just buy credit cards that contained a certain number of megabytes with a specific expiration date. I made sure they would let me bring back the modem, a $100 purchase, if it didn’t work at the house so the risk was the cost of a small $10 credit card. I called Tom from the store and asked him if he could think of any reason why it didn’t make sense to get one and give it a try. He agreed it was the right thing to do and volunteered to hop in his car and help me set it up. I jumped on that offer and an hour later, we were in business. We had one “it won’t work here” moment during the service activation. The process got hung up for a long period which I attributed to dropping signals. I was mentally ready to pack it up and head back to WalMart but Tom called customer service and they told him they were experiencing system wide activation problems and the service tech completed the activation process manually. It works like a world champ. We only have one bar of signal strength but it seems totally adequate. I bought enough time to last us a week or so if we use it lightly. That will give me some confidence that we have this level of service consistently and I’ll pump up the minutes to satisfy our needs. I love the fact that there is no contactual commitment but I am concerned that the megabytes will add up much faster than we think.

The tomatoes are coming on strong. For a few weeks I had been pulling more rotting tomatoes than good ones but the tide has turned and we’re moving into the overwhelmed mode. The good news is that they’re coming at a rate which allows Nancy to make spaghetti sauce from the raw materials – no canned tomatoes. I’m growing a variety called San Marzano which has a reputation as the best sauce tomato. They’re making up about 50% of the total count so I’m really looking forward to this first batch. We’ll freeze it and if all goes as planned, we’ll have enough to carry us through the winter.

Although I haven’t pulled any spent plants yet to examine the roots, I’m about ready to declare victory over the nematodes this season. It’s been extra hot and dry for the past couple of weeks and the plants are showing no signs of wilting. When the nematodes have done their job, the plants can’t handle the heat and always look like they are drying up. This is the first season I’m seeing no such signs since starting the garden. What I’m wondering is that if you once kill them off, will they come back or is that it? They’re a microscopic worm so in my mind it’s possible that once they’re gone in any particular area, they’re gone for good. I plan to call the extension center and see if anybody there has a clue. This season I went to extraordinary lengths during planting and I’d like to know if I have to continue with those methods or can revert to normal gardening.

Big problem. Sounds like most of the teams in the Big 12 conference are abandoning ship. The Big 12 was my second favorite conference so this is bad news. To make matters worse, so far the big names are heading to either the Big 10 or the Pac 10 – my most hated conferences. I haven’t heard anything specific about Missouri so maybe they’ll bolt to the SEC. That would make it all worth while and set up some great Missouri-Florida competitions. But Texas and Oklahoma in the Pac 10? That’s just wrong.

And while on sports – You know all you need to know about soccer when 1-1 ties are big events.

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