Yesterday morning (alarm went off at 7:40 — on a Saturday!) I hopped on the train and travelled to my aunt (+ family) near Hämeenlinna
(Map from Wikipedia is in public domain.)
They had bought a new laptop, printer/scanner, and ADSL connection a few weeks ago and needed me to hook it all up. I don’t understand how anyone can keep their hands off a brand new computer, but they’re the sort of people who think computers are the Source of all Evil. Which is why they’re probably planning to keep the thing secret until their 4-year-old and 6-year-old both turn 18.
Nevertheless, off I went and hooked it all up as requested. I didn’t have to do much though, the Internet connection worked as soon as the computer had had time to think a little and the printer-scanner combo had some Easy Peasy installation application (which I didn’t use though…). At least I taught them a little about the programs and created a new Email account (on Outlook Express, ick). I was planning on installing a Real Browser, but I guess it’s easier for everyone if they just use Internet Explorer. Mozilla’s localisation is horrible and incomplete (at least the last time I checked). No offence, Mozilla Localisation team.
When I was done, I headed to my grandparents in Hämeenlinna proper. My uncle (not a blood-relative, but I guess one calls the spouses uncles/aunts, too?) drove me there because he went to pick up their kids. They were care-of the grandparents because, as I said, they weren’t allowed to see the new toys. (I suspected that they probably smell that there’s something new and electric in the house…) When we were sitting in the car he asked me when was the last time I drove. I ho’ed and hummed and replied I didn’t remember (probably 2-3 years ago, at a different aunt, forced by a different uncle). He said I should try it out. I said I didn’t have my driver’s licence. “That doesn’t matter, we’re in the country side now! And besides, the police could look it up on their computer” (already having police in the picture, hu?). I politely turned the offer down a couple of times but when he suddenly pulled over I didn’t really have a choice. So — trembling — I circled the car to the driver’s side, sat down, struggled to position the seat so I could even reach the pedals. At first I didn’t realise I could hold on to the steering wheel to pull myself forward. Instead, I kept sliding back.
The car was wonderful to drive compared to our humongous VW Passat whose sideview mirrors feel 10 meters apart, ready to collide with the passing cars, mobile or immobile. Alright, maybe it’s not that bad but I haven’t driven the Passat for… hold on, have I ever driven it?
The road was wonderfully empty except once I had to pass a car on a snowed-in road. It went alright if going a little over the snowbank is ‘alright’. When I turned to the grandparents’ house Grandpa was outside and surprised to see me get out of the car on the wrong side. He said my entrance had been quite swift but I don’t think I drove that fast… If I did, I’ve been known to do that. I’ve been known to cause grown men slap their hands over their eyes — at least mentally. But hey, the entrances have never ended with a crash.
At my grandparents’ I helped them with some anti-virus woes — the software wanted to upgrade and there was a double icon in the tray. The double icon made Grandpa nervous. The download took a while with their 56kb modem. Yeah, some still have those things. I also installed a similar printer/scanner for them, this time using the Easy Peasy installation wizard (took considerably longer than the old school installation). The printer is pretty nifty; maybe I should get one of those.