January 8, 2016: Quiet Day of Family Video Games

It’s Friday, the end of our first week in Greece and on Crete.  Going nowhere today, just staying home and getting work done.  I did a lot of writing and posting today.  I put in a lot of time today trying to figure out how to get Internet working throughout the house.  We have had nearly endless issues with the wifi reaching around the house, especially to the girls’ room and to the media room.  We have a Tenda WiFi extender that was included with the house but never configured that I worked on a lot trying to get working.

In the end, after several hours, the verdict is that the Tenda is broken and does not work at all.  The product was abandoned years ago from their website and the firmware that shipped on it is newer than the newer version that their own website has on it from 2014.  The device can only hold a configuration for about half an hour before it goes down and stops working and it does not correctly pass the network information along and so it breaks communications from anything connecting to it and it conflicts with the real WiFi breaking it too.  So it doesn’t just fail to extend the network, it breaks the networking that there already was.  Totally useless.

The ADSL wireless router is bad enough.  It needs to be rebooted easily four times a day just to keep the WiFi working.  We are constantly losing our connection everywhere and needing to power cycle it.  It is a bit ridiculous.  When it works, it works pretty well.  But the device itself is so cheap it just never works.  Thankfully I now have my Linux laptop plugged into the Ethernet on it rather than the WiFi AP and that is much faster and much more stable so my connection is pretty good when I am working from my little office.  Sadly we decided not to bring our Ethernet cables with us on this trip because they are so heavy and if we had it with us, we could have run a line from the router down to the Amazon Fire TV at least and had two machines with mostly solid connections instead of just one which would have, in turn, reduced the demands on the flaky WiFi portion of the device.  I don’t know how much that would have improved things, but rather a bit, I am guessing.

Domincia and Liesl spent much of the day playing hidden object games in the media room.  I really did not get to play anything today as they pretty much took over the room, but they are loving it and really getting into the games.  Dominica has been flying through video games since we got this system set up.  And Liesl is having a great time.  She is really good at the hidden object games and is a big help to Dominica.  The games are really good for helping Liesl with her reading as well.  She is learning so many new words.  She reads nearly everything that comes up in the games.

Last night Dominica started soaking a huge thing of chick peas that she had gotten from the grocery store yesterday.  We have never really done dry chick peas before so this is a new adventure.  Today she packaged them up for later use now that they are rehydrated.  The bag of dried ones turned into quite a large collection.  We have the equivalent of dozens of cans of chick peas!  For dinner, Dominica made a curried chick pea salad with apple thing that would kind of remind you of a Waldorf salad that we had on pita bread.  Another big meal fight with Luciana who refused to even try anything.  This is getting old quickly.

My bronchitis is greatly improved.  I should be well in a couple of days.  Looking forward to the weekend here.  I doubt that we will go anywhere tomorrow.  Still the lingering remains of jet lag haunts us and I am still catching up on several things and everyone just wants to relax.  But hopefully on Sunday we will be able to rally the troops and manage to get in the car and do some sight seeing.  We have seen so little of the island thus far and it would be really nice to be able to say that we had seen a bit of the region having been here for more than a week at that point.  It is not unlike when we first arrived in Spain, though.  Our first week was quiet but we were off to see another town across the region after our first week was up.  I feel like we are far less motivated to get out and travel here, though, for some reason.  Perhaps only because we’ve gone no farther than Rethimno thus far and we have been here this long and we have just settled in to being at home.  It is very true that the idea of heading out to see things does not really occur like it did in Spain.  There we were itching and so anxious to get out of our village and explore.  Now we are thrilled to have time at home and be able to just be a normal family doing normal family things.