Fith-Fath Farm

A suburban farm of 6th Happiness.

Update on Computer repairs, Thank yous, and life….

by Alan - May 15th, 2017

Thank you to everyone who has helped us get my laptop touch screen and wacom pen fixed after they were damaged during a 911 emergancy call (see previous post here: http://fithfath.com/farm/2017/05/08/need-help-with-laptop-damaged-during-medical-emergancy/ )

I know some of those who have helped are cautious about their real names, which are often attached to the paypal accounts, being shared publically, and I forgot to ask how/if people wanted to be thanked since I am not using something like GoFundMe (why is also explained in previous post/link) which automatically does that.  So I’ve just given initials, and if you’d like me to expand to the full name and/or change it to a different name you use online, just let me know.  I also want to be sure I get everyone thanked, as I’m still pretty sick and low on spoons and don’t wan’t to risk making mistakes and forgetting anyone…so!

Thank you kindly to:

  • TA  $  5.00
    $  5.00 (sent separately)
  • EF  $50.00
  • AL  $50.00
  • JL   $20.00
  • GvL$20.00
  • LC   $33.00

We’ve raised $183.00 !

THANK YOU ALL very much!  I found the screen for my laptop  (HP Omen P/N: 811202-001) on Ebay ranging from $150 to $300.  I’ve Messaged the person selling one that is now in my price range thanks to your donations to verify that it has the touchscreen capabilities, and is not JUST the visual part.   I really hope so!  Because I can afford that one now.  The other one I saw on ebay was around $300.  Waiting to hear back that it is exactly what it claims to be by the part number, my fingers are crossed!  Will update here when I find out.

UPDATE:

I am so depresssed!   The item on ebay with the right part number turns out to only be the visual part of the screen, NOT the touch screen.  Why would you use the same part number for two different things??? 

Unless someone knows where else I can get the parts, or has the same laptop that is dead for another reason (eg: dead motherboard etc), I need to raise almost double what I have already as its $300 🙁  Here’s the reply from the seller I asked just to be sure before spending the money… (click to enlarge).

SO… I am still accepting donations because I still need to:

  • raise another $120 (not counting paypal fees if sent via non-friends means) to cover the cost of the replacement touch screen,
  • need to get the Wacom tablet pen replaced, and
  • if at all possible would like to get enough for the laptop repair work to be done at a repair shop. 
    While I CAN do it on my own if I can’t raise enough, but because of Ehlers-Danlos, (which is why the need for multiple assistive input devices to switch between frequently so my joints don’t lock up, like the touch screen and Wacom tablet pen), I have bad arthritis / dislocating joints, and dismantling a laptop to replace the screen is a very involved job- you have to pretty much take everything apart to get at the connectors, and all the screws and other parts are so teeny-tiny, then put the entire thing back together again.  I’ve done it before, when I was more able bodied, and it was horrible even then.

With the Intuos Wacom Tablet- the tablet itself, and the mouse, are fine, I only need the pen… if anyone has an old pen they no longer need/use, you could mail me that and then I wouldn’t have to buy it!  I even have extra nibs, so if yours is missing the nibs, no worries!!!  Then pens seem  to be inter changable, you don’t have to have had the same size/model tablet as i have, just Wacom.   It looks like the one in this auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wacom-Intuos-2-Grip-Pen-XP-510E-03A-with-5-New-Nibs-New-Button-New-Grip

Some people also asked about ways to help that did NOT involve PayPal / cash.   Totally understand that…  

Per private chats, we still need to figure out proper scripts for glasses as we have been sharing the same pair that is about 5 yrs old.  How pathetic is that?  Our health issues make it difficult for us to both be able to get out to get something like this done at the same time (Tam can’t drive due to the seizures, so we both have to be well at the same time, and i can’t be suffering from insomnia etc to drive safely)  Until I figure out the right script, there is no use in wasting money on something that will be the wrong prescription.  We’ve made it this long.

I made an Amazon Wishlist that is basic needs for the two of us.  You can find that here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1V8J4ZDQB06Y0/ref=cm_wl_list_o_3?&sort=priority  It’s what we spend most of our money on (other than mortgage and utilities and medical prescriptions), so any help with those things means we can divert money from that to the computer repair (and glasses etc once I get that figured out).

If you want to give me something for fun, to distract me from stresses, my regular  ”wishlist” (mostly books) is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/3L8OAYYUWCO7D/ref=cm_wl_list_o_0?&sort=priority  But the other wishlist is far more important.  Thank you.

IF YOU HAVE A WACOM PEN to mail or other supplies etc to mail, contact me for a mailing address.  THANK YOU!

Exhausted must try to sleep now.

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Need help with laptop damaged during Medical Emergancy

by Alan - May 8th, 2017

A few weeks ago, my spouse was in the hospital.   It was in the middle of the night and our brilliant Service Dog, Mikołaj, woke me up– barking and literally dragging me out of bed by my sleeve.  I have a sleep disorder so its very hard to wake me up, but he did it.   When I finally woke up, I found my spouse (Whom some of you know as Tam, or Bug) non-responsive  – as in, cold to the touch, purplish blue lips, and not breathing.  If it was not for Mikołaj, I do not think thay’d be alive today.

I tried CPR and Heimlich- that worked, some food and lots of vomit!   They had choked on something during a seizure.   911 was called and the emergency workers came in with all their equipment, and proceeded to make hostile accusations about the cause of their condition that deserves a future rant, and more, but that’s another story and not what I’m writing about today.

What this post is about is that the EMS workers dropped a large box like thing on the bedside table.   On this table I had my laptop, carefully closed and in its case.   This is normally a very safe, and easily accessible place for me.   After the hospital ordeal was over and I got on the computer, I  found that my Wacom Tablet wasn’t working right.  Further, the laptop wasn’t working right.  At first, it was minor, then it got worse- the cursor jumping around erratically, windows closing or popping open unexpectedly.  I thought maybe there was a virus.  Maybe some driver was updated and incompatible.    I even went and tracked another mouse down, with no luck with it.  Then I saw it:  the screen was cracked.  And I remember that’s where the EMS workers dumped their stuff.

The thing about my laptop, is that I carefully chose it because it had the memory etc I needed to do the things I do, and to multitask (I not only often need a text editor and web browser (with multiple tabs) open, and an art program, all open at the same time, I need assistive device programs running in the background – such as voice recognition, or for the drawing tablet, or to catch typos etc).  The second reason I chose this laptop is that it has a touch screen which isn’t that common on laptops.  Although I do have a cheap tablet which of course is a touch screen device- it doesn’t have the memory needed, nor does it have a keyboard or multiple ports for adding a mouse a wacom tablet etc.  Plus, the size is hard to use because holding it forces my thumb out of joint.

Because of my physical disability, Ehlers-Danlos (link for more info/links), I use multiple assistive devices with my laptop: I switch between the touch screen, the mouse, a wacom tablet and pen, the touch pad on the keyboard, using ‘mouse keys’, and sometimes voice recognition- often within minutes of using one of the others.  If I use one input method for more than a few minutes, my fingers and wrist lock up; the pain travels up my arm to my shoulders neck and back and I end up in pain that even a strong dose of prescription pain killers can’t stop.  I end up moving between the bath and bed for the rest of the day, trying to get it under control.

When the EMS workers dropped this big box thing on my computer case, it cracked the touch screen on the laptop- it’s a very fine crack on the screen, that is not yet affecting the visuals, but makes the touch capabilities impossible to use.  I was able to turn off the touch-screen driver, so I can use the laptop, but I’m currently restricted to the keyboard or the mouse.  I’ve lost the touch screen and the wacom tablet as assistive devices.  While I can use the laptop still- I thus limited to using it only for very short periods of time or else my joints get all locked up.  This seriously limits the time I can get anything done on it.   Plus, that crack is going to grow- they always do.  Eventually, the visuals will go, and the computer will be useless then.

The Wacom Tablet itself didn’t crack – as the mouse still works- but the PEN that comes with it, that did break somehow.  I don’t know what/how, but the pen costs around $100

Almost all of my work is done on the computer, both online and offline.  Being Autistic, almost all of my social contact is also online, even with people I know offline.  It allows me to do things like banking and shopping and making Dr Appointments- which would otherwise, due to social anxiety and environmental sensory stressors, be difficult to impossible for me to do offline.  So loss of the computer is also loss of independence.

In the past, I have tried to raise money for things we needed by putting things on Ebay or Etsy or the storefront software I wrote myself… I have spent several weeks since the incident and now, trying to get together stuff to sell. It’s proven impossibly slow since I can only use the laptop in spurts and the tablet cannot handle the size of the images from my camera.  Just to get ONE item photographed, edited, uploaded, weighed to figure out postage, a description written for the store front… it had taken a full week.  At this rate, the screen will certainly be broken and computer unusable long before I get my online store restocked, and running again.  I don’t even know if what I have would sell well or not (mostly pet supplies, some artwork, other random stuff), or bring in enough to help cover the cost of the laptop.

The Laptop is a HP Omen.  I was lucky to get it on clearance after Christmas as a gift to myself with Holiday and birthday money I saved up (so I have only had it a few months!).  It was around $600.  At Microcenter you can buy accidental insurance, which I did, for 2 years, so that brought it up to 7-something I think.  I checked their website, and there are currently NO OTHER LAPTOPS that have close to the amount of memory that this one does AND that have a touch screen which has been a huge help for me due to my joint disease.  I have asked before, and they will not let you buy a computer from another store online and have it shipped to your local store.  If I bring them the damaged computer, they will give me a gift certificate, and I will be stuck unable to buy a replacement laptop that can run half my software (or multitask assistive software) or provide one of the best assistive aides I’ve had on a laptop for a long time- the touch screen.

Further, my Wacom Tablet’s warranty has long ago expired, so a new one would have to come entirely out of my pocket.

The problem is, being on disability, our income is just above the poverty level.  Enough to keep us out of most help programs, but low enough that every month is a scramble just to cover the cost of food and medication copays.

Fixing the touch screen is the FIRST and most important thing.  If the screen cracks further, the laptop will become useless.  If I can get the Wacom tablet replaced, it will be a huge relief to my joints and stress level.   I have found the screen can be purchased on Ebay for around $150 to 300-some dollars on average- there may be other places to buy it, I am not sure where to look though that is reputable.

I have the know-how to replace the screen myself.  Hard my hands as they are prematurely arthritic and my joints all dislocate, but it is doable.  If I could raise extra money, I could maybe buy the screen and afford to pay a local repair shop to do the work.  I will be surprised if I could raise enough money to also get a new wacom tablet, but as mine was several years old, I don’t know, maybe someone has an old one they no longer use and would be so kind as to gift it?

If you are able and willing to help, I thank you very much.

Because of being Autistic, the computer is my lifeline, but because of the Ehlers Danlos, using any computer has become very physcially painful and thus I need multiple assistive input devices.  

These are the ways you could help:

1. Send a donation via PayPal.  Please send as a ‘friend’, otherwise PayPal will take a chunk of the donation out for “fees”, and every penny matters for us (and you are helping me as an online friend, so there is no reason to feel awkward sending this way.  If however it does really bother you, you can alternatively use the ‘donation’ link.

  • PREFFERED: help by sending money by PayPal as a Friend here: https://www.paypal.me/PetNouveau
  • Alternative: if you have an PayPal account, you can send money directly to me via the email below, or use this donation link (will deduct ‘fees’, so I won’t get the full amount):

2. Send used or purchased parts.  If you have an old wacom tablet (compatible with Windows 8) you no longer use, or you happen to have the same laptop I have- maybe the motherboard died and you got a replacement, I could scavenge it for parts.  Here are the Specs on my laptop:  HP Omen with Intel Core i7-4720HQ,  8 GB RAM memory and Running Windows 8.1 And these are the parts I need to get fixed:

  • 15.6″ Touch Screen Display <- THIS IS THE PART I NEED REPLACED.   IT IS HP PART NUMBER: 811202-001 “Display Panel Kit” I found it on EBAY $300 (Edit: the one I thought was $150 turned out not to have the  touch screen part) is it available anywhere else?  The official HP store wants $900 which is more than I paid for the laptop itself!).  As said, I can replace the screen myself.  But, it will be hard on my joints.  If I can raise enough money, I could have a local repair shop do it.
  • Intuos Wacom Tablet PEN.  Mine is a medium and has both a mouse and pen.   Only the pen broke.  I had lost it several years back and was able to buy a new one (before my medicine copays got jacked up) and it was around $100 for just the pen.   Looks the model is pretty old that buying a used tablet as well as the pen may be cheaper than that even.   If the pen can be found cheaper though, that is all I need.   This Ebay Auction shows what my tablet and the pen look like (they don’t have the mouse for some reason): http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wacom-INTUOS3-6-x-8PTZ-930-Graphics-USB-Tablet-GRIP-PEN-/282464839480?hash=item41c4376738:g:6iIAAOSw42JZDoP4

3. If you live in the Chicagoland area and happen to want some pet chickens, I have a whole bunch of chicks that were hatched between April 4th thru 14th).  They are $5 – $10 each depending on breed; http://fithfath.com/farm/poultry/chickens/a-new-chicken-breed-for-the-city/ I actually talk about them in on another page so I won’t describe them here.  I also have some Dog toys (large stuffy octopus, collars, leashes, glow in the dark ChuckIt frisbees, treat dispensing toys etc) Cat Toys (handmade little stuffies full of sheep wool and/or catnip and some with naturally shed chicken feathers) Bird/parrot toys (both commercial and handmade) and toys/supplies for pet rats, hamsters, gerbils.  I wanted to get this stuff online to sell, but it’s taking me too long, and I fear that either it won’t sell, or that it ill but I will loose money on shipping so that what profit I make is pocket change.  If you live nearby though, it might be economical, so feel free to contact me by email if you’d like more info:

ETA 15th May: Update on what has been raised, and how far I have to go still is available here: http://fithfath.com/farm/2017/05/15/update-on-computer-repairs-thank-yous-and-life/

These photos show the screen that was cracked.  On one of them, I marked the crack out in red as it is very fine and hard to see.   I put some ‘gorilla glass’ over it that was meant for a tablet, so it doesn’t cover the whole screen, and is really really annoying when reading to see the text ‘warp’ at where the gorilla glass edges are.  But hopefully it slow down the crack getting worse.  (Wow, the camera flash really makes all the dust stand out.   I can’t see any of that in the room’s lighting.   Guess I better clean it.)

ETA: for those who have suggested GoFundMe, yes I know of it.  I tried it before when Tam/Bug’s home aide left, and their dog was dumped on us.  I tried using GoFundMe so we could afford basics of dog food etc while trying to get her into a no kill breed specific rescue… it was one of the most depressing things I’ve failed at.  The website kept sending me suggestions on how to fundraise- but either I couldn’t do them due to the disabilities, or I tried and the suggestions didn’t help us gain any donations or even views.  I ended up returning the few donations we got, as after fees, it wouldn’t even have been enough to buy a bag of dog food, and we had to take the dog to the local ‘kill’ shelter.  They do have a low kill rate, and the dog was friendly and trainable, so I do hope it turned out well for her, but I don’t want to use their site or anything like it as long as I live.

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Baby Chicks, and the start of a new breed project…

by Alan - April 25th, 2017

I am very excited about our baby chicks this year!   I am still working on the page about them, and which will be available for Chicago area enthusiasts to purchase.   The reason I have so many extra chicks to place this year, is that I have a genetic project I have long drempt of doing… to get all the foundational breeds / genetics to start working with, I had to order from different hatcheries, from breeders who sold hatching eggs, and also have some hatched from our own flock!  I couldn’t find all the breeds/mutations I needed at one place,  so I had to go to another, and yet another…. and each one has shipping minimums, so I had to order extras.  I will soon get a page up listing the extras I have available for purchase.   You can read about the new breed project on the page I have set up for it.

And as it was impossible to get all the breeds/genetics from one hatchery. I will also soon have up reviews from three hatcheries and an egg supplier.  For those that want home-hatched eggs, I have some of those available too!   Watch this space 😉

 

tags: chicken breeding   chickens  

The City of Austin Wants YOU to keep Backyard Chickens!

by Alan - April 22nd, 2017

It is always good to see a city that “gets it”!   As a part of Austin Resource Recovery’s Home Composting Rebate Program, residents can attend a “chicken keeping class,” buy a chicken coop, submit a rebate application online and receive a $75 check from the city.

They are promoting the program as a way to help reach the city’s Zero Waste goal by keeping food waste out of the landfill.

“Chickens recycle your food scraps while giving you fresh eggs and creating healthy soil,” the city said in an email.

Read the story here: http://www.kvue.com/news/local/city-giving-free-classes-cash-to-austinites-who-plan-on-keeping-chickens/431009868

Click to see this Historical, pro-backyard chicken, USA government ad, full sized. It is your patriotic duty! 😉

 

 

tags: eggs   self sufficiency   sustainable agriculture  

Pisanki (Polish Painted Eggs)

by Alan - April 17th, 2017

Polish pisanka painted wooden eggsAlthough it is a little late for Easter, but I wanted to share a photo of these special eggs.  They are painted wooden eggs given to me by my grandmother who brought them with her when she moved to the USA after World War II.  Called Pisanki in Poland and Belarus, they are popular in many eastern European countries, where they go by other names as well, such as Pysanka in the Ukraine, kraslice in Czechoslovakia.  Originally of pagan origin, they were incorporated into christian traditions and continued to be shared as symbols of friendship to this day.

Further Reading:

tags: crafts   Easter   eggs   painted eggs   Pisanki   Poland   Polish cultural heritage wooden eggs   Pysanka  

Today’s Cuteness…

by Alan - April 2nd, 2017

Two of our ducks, and the two available ewe-lambs.

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Chicks available in April

by Alan - April 2nd, 2017

Not to ‘count our eggs before they are hatched…. but we will have extra chicks this year, so if you are interested in some started pullets (or even roos!) you may want to bookmark and visit back in a couple weeks.  Our chicks this year will be a combination of hatchery chicks, and incubated eggs, from both our own chickens and from hobby breeders.

I’m very excited about this years chicks as I have been planning a project to create an unique breed, and some of these will be for that.  Others are just because some of my hens are getting up in age and these are breeds I happen to like for eggs and for pets.  I also really like the Speckled Sussex breed, and when someone gave us a male bantam Speckled Sussex, I just loved it.  I finally was able to get some hatching eggs, so I hope to start a little flock of those.

Chick breeds I am getting are listed below.  For ‘newbie’ backyard chicken keepers, ‘straight run’ means that you just get what is hatched- so generally a 50/50 male to female split.  Bolded ones I will have the most of, by which I mean 8 – 10 available, limited means I’ll have 1 – 3 available, assuming that most hatch/survive:

Standard sized:

  • Cuckoo Marans (Females)
  • Speckled Sussex (Females and a couple males)
  • Buff Orpington (Females)
  • Rhode Island Reds (Females)
  • Salmon Faverolle (Females and a couple males)
  • Egyptian Fayoumis (Straight Run; very limited)
  • Silver Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben (Straight Run; very limited)

Bantams:

  • Speckled Sussex (straight run, but will be sexable on hatching.  These may not be available until early May)
  • Buff Brahma Bantams (straight run; very limited)
  • Buff Orpington (straight run; very limited)
  • Dominique (straight run, but will be sexable on hatching; very limited)
  • Easter Egg Bantams (straight run; very limited)
  • Black Breasted Red Phoenix (straight run; very limited)
  • Mille Fleur D’uccles (straight run; very limited)

I’m told I’ll get some ‘extras’ thrown in but no ideas yet what those breeds will be.  Both large and bantam sizes.
I’m also getting Light Brahma (had one but getting them a friend) and Lavender Orpingtons, but will be keeping these for breeding.

Later in the year, I may try hatching some large/standard sized Easter Eggers, but I don’t have the incubator space to do that now.  If you are interested in EE chicks, or would like some eggs to try hatching yourself, let me know.  I have 2 hens and a rooster.  I could also hatch or provide eggs from our EE rooster over Cuckoo Marans, Speckled Sussex, and Rhode Island Reds – mixing blue egg gene with brown egg gene produces green shelled eggs.

IMPORTANT NOTE ON ROOSTERS: Due to the difficulty in placing roosters, if you want a rooster please contact me ASAP.  I will require a deposit if you cannot pick them up within a few days.  Any roosters that do not work into our breeding plans, and are not claimed before they start to crow, will be humanely euthanised and offered to local snake owners, or wildlife rehabbers, as food.

tags: chickens   chicks   hatching eggs  

Chicken Eggs Come in Different Colours & This is Useful to the Backyard Chicken Keeper

by Alan - March 31st, 2017

a wicker basket full of chicken eggs of many colours from various shades of blue to green, browns, and cream; also there are two black cayuga duck eggs.

Our hens are in full swing, giving us eggs of all different colours!  This year I made sure to share the first spring eggs with our neighbours early enough that it could be appreciated (last year I made the mistake of waiting too close to Easter, and people awkwardly admitted to having 4 dozen already because of store sales at that time of year.)

I love how every day the egg basket is full of different colours: white, cream/pink to shades of brown, and multiple shades of green to blue.   I always try to give neighbours a variety, unless they ask otherwise.  But besides being beautiful, the wide variety of chicken egg colours can actually be very helpful for backyard chicken keepers’ tracking the health, well-being and productivity of their hens. Continue reading »

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Available Ram 1 yr old

by Alan - March 29th, 2017

After much family debate, we have agreed on rehoming Diego, our current ram.  He is 1 yr old and will be NABSSAR registered very soon.  He can be purchased unregistered if you want for a little less, but I have to register him anyway for his offspring I am keeping.  You can READ MORE ABOUT HIM on our available sheep page– scroll down, past the current lambs and the ewe-sheep to read about him.


This is what his father, Poppy, looked like.  Diego is the result of backcrossing one of Poppy’s daughters, back to him.

 

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2017 Lambs

by Alan - February 28th, 2017

We have 2 lambs this year, both are white ewes.  One is from Carmen, and the other is from her daughter Equinox Joy.  Carmen’s other daughter, Sheepdog sadly had stillborns possibly because a lamb was on the large size and may have taken too long in labour. This was her first year lambing so based on feedback from others in the babydoll community, we will give her another year as this may have just been poor luck combined with inexperience.  Information and photos of our sheep, and availability, can be found on the sheep page.  You can also email me at:

 

Mikołaj (POlish Tatra Sheepdog) with our second ewe lamb of 2017

Mikołaj (Polish Tatra Sheepdog) checks out our second ewe lamb of 2017

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