* * * * * * *

"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

How's your FAS?

Did you know that you have an FAS? Free Access . . . something (I forget). Anyway, Tom and I spent a most aggravating 3+ hours yesterday TRYING to get the live feed for the Inauguration celebrations up on the computer and fed through our flat screen TV in the upstairs library. We finally managed to get the laptop monitor's picture pulled up on the TV, but the live feed was STILL not coming through . . . despite monkeying with the modem, the router, the Ethernet cables, the EVERYTHING! Finally, the coverage (which we'd been listening to, at least, on the radio) was over, so we threw up our hands in disgusted surrender.

The aggravations remained, though: any/all Internet access was still as slow as molasses in, well, January! What the . . . ?! Finally, at the exact stroke of midnight last night, I had gotten deep enough into the bowels of HughesNet (our ISP) to discover that there are these pre-set FASes. Basically, you get a certain amount of bandwidth based on which "package" you purchase through your ISP. Yup, makes sense. But, certain online activities (such as trying to access/download a LARGE live feed . . . or watching a movie online with Netflix, etc.) exceed your "purchased" bandwidth. Such was our situation.

BUT, wouldn't you think such an activity would generate an automated e-mail that would explain the situation??? TELLING you that you were now on a 24-hour "probationary" period and that, after that time had elapsed, your Internet speed would return to normal (or, they'd be happy to move you up a level in "packaging" for more bandwidth)? I mean, it certainly would reduce the time that Tech Support (and/or we, their unhappy customers) had to spend on this problem!

Anyway, just let it be a lesson for everyone: if your Internet speed suddenly falls off the map and you've checked ALL possible issues . . . check your FAS.

Okay, rant over.

This morning I'm preparing for BUTCHERING! We've had too many roosters in the coop and an improper ratio in the flock ever since last spring's chicks matured. The culling process is wayyyyy overdue. Egg production has been HORRIBLE for quite some time, too (despite the addition of artificial light to bring them up to their required 14-hours-of-daylight-to-lay), so I have high hopes that this reduction in stress* will bring about positive changes. I don't have the full count in front of me, but I'm guessing we'll take out about fifteen.

* I'm sure the "marked men" and old biddies wouldn't agree that today's activities will create a reduction in stress!

I'm going to "chance it" and take all but my one, good old rooster, Big Boy. The only thing I DON'T like about him is that he's not a pure breed. Instead, he's one of my 'Taj MaCoop Specials', bred (no idea who his folks are!) and hatched when we lived at Hastings-on-the-Lake. But, he's huge, gentle and a good leader of the flock. If I lose him due to some unforseen accident / tragedy, I'll be sans a rooster until this spring's chicks come of age, but worse things have happened. Besides, I'd still have Turkey-Durk and at least one drake (I'm going to take all but one or two of the male ducks) to be The Man of the House.

Okay, I just heard the generator turn on (actually, I "hear" the change in electrical current cycle in the fish aquarium's filter & bubbler motors in the livingroom), so I'll take advantage of that on this grey day to throw in some laundry or get some ironing done.

Have a great Monday! (And enjoy this latest, favorite picture of Turkey Durk / Tom the Turkey.)


  1. Speaking of technology ... thanks to the magic of the internet, you can listen to an interview which includes shameless huckstering on behalf of Chicken Mama's upcoming course on keeping chickens - "Becoming a Chicken Mama" - in May.

    I'm sure you can contact Mama herself for more information!


  2. You're evil.

    But, notice how Scott glossed right past your attempt at shameless advertising? He wanted to keep you ON TASK! ;)

    P.S. I suppose I should start writing the lesson plans for that class soon, huh?


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