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Friday, July 1, 2011

Doing their own thing……

Well, today we left St. Mary and drove to West Glacier.  Took about 2.5 hours for the trip.  Using the route 464 instead of highway made this a great drive instead of the rough one we had back on Tuesday.  Yes, there was wind along all but maybe the last 35 miles of the route, but no matter which way we went, we would have had that.

As Carol mentioned on her blog, her computer somehow or other lost access to all the USB ports.  This caused her major grief when she could not use her mouse.  I did some research online and found several others who had experienced this problem.  Unfortunately, they were unable to correct it even with a full software reload of the system.  Their only option was to maybe find a PCMCIA card with USB ports on it and install that as a work around.

Sounds so easy, but where the heck do we find one here in West Glacier?  These cards haven’t really been used for some time as all laptops in the last 7 or so years have built in USB ports.

So, we decided to drive 30 miles to Kalispell, a town of about 20,000 and see if the Radio Shack might have one.  We also planned to go to Wal-Mart there, so the trip would not be a total waste.

First, we went to Radio Shack.  No luck there.  They haven’t had one for 3 years or so.  But they did recommend a place called “Radio Active” which is a small electronics store.

After fighting through some traffic, our Android nav Program found the store for us.   (We have nicknamed the voice of the app “GiPSy” and in the interest of full disclosure, I must point out how much Carol hates the voice).  Went into the store, and of course, they didn’t have one either.  But they suggested Staples might have one.

So we fought the traffic in the other direction and went back to Staples.  You guessed it, they haven’t carried them for years.

We did pass an Office Max as we went to Staples, so we turned around and went there.  Nope, no luck there either.

We did find that the new Wal-Mart was out beyond the Radio Active store, so we doubled back (I think it is actually doubled forward by now) and went past Radio Active to Wal-Mart and bought groceries and some items needed in the RV.

On the way out, we decided to take one last stab and see if they had a Best Buy store.  GiPSy said they did and gave us directions right to the store which was out of town about a mile in the wrong direction (toward Whitefish).

We went there anyway.  By now, Carol was getting tired and just waited in the car for me to run in and check.  Well, low and behold, they had two of them!  So I grabbed it, paid for it, and took it to the car to be sure it fit her computer which it did.  Yippee!  Even Carol had to admit (after I forced her to) that GiPSy had worked!

We decided to just go to Whitefish and home from there rather than fight all the traffic in Kalispell again.  That actually worked out really well and the trip was enjoyable because a) no traffic, and b) we actually found the PCMCIA USB card.

Now the moment we were waiting for was at hand.  Would the card actually work as a “work around” and give her at least two ports.  Nope.  It never even had a chance to load its drivers – why? Well, because as it recognized the new card with the new USB ports, it actually reloaded the drivers (same ones I tried to manually load) for the old ports and they started working!  Yippee again!  Everything is back to normal.  I actually believe the new card would have loaded its drivers if I waited but I didn’t need them, so now we are going to hang onto the card.  Maybe just the threat of the new card coerced the old ports into working! <g>

On a different note (And more in line with the title above), it seems like the state and people of Montana have taken the concept of “personalized license plates” to the extreme!  We have literally seen all kinds of different plates here.  It is almost like everyone in Montana designs their own plate here.

Some, but by no means all, of the plates we have seen just in the last few days.


So we are here now for 5 nights.  Carol has her mouse working now and has good Wi-Fi to go with it, so she is happy.  The weather is going to be super for the rest of our visit and I will shortly be grilling some steaks.  Life is good.


Donna K said...

That's sure a lot of different license plate designs. Makes ya wonder how the patrol officers keep them all straight.

Glad Carol's got her mouse back. Sounds like you had a busy day trying to get that all taken care of.

Russ Krecklow said...

Sure sounds like a "fun" shopping trip! Glad things worked out. You sure saw a lot of different license plates. Thanks for sharing. That's very cool. Be safe coming home.