Called ISP with my findings about the one bar of signal and my suspicions that this is due to physics and not something I can easily upgrade. (The apartment has an eastern-facing glass patio double door. That is it for windows. It is also on the ground floor, with concrete above, and a hill, with concrete on it, and pretty much no place to put the device to get a good signal.)
A maintenance guy came in to see about the outlet problems. I started un-boxing books, as there was really no easy way to continue to wrestle with the internet.
He checked out the outlet that would not allow three-prong plugs first. He put a little probe up to it; it bleeped and flashed red. "No, the plug will not physically go in," I clarified, and grabbed a handy power strip to demonstrate. He tried, failed, and broke out the screwdriver.
I continued with my book un-boxing, but looked over at just the right moment. "You don't mean to tell me it was upside-down!" I exclaimed. Indeed, the outlet in the wall under the cover plate was oriented opposite from what the cover plate had been. He put the cover plate back on, correctly.
The other problematical outlet, the one that pulled out from the wall, had a box that was just plain broken, with a screw-holder that did not screw. It will have to be replaced; they don't have that part in.
The guy lit the pilot light in the fireplace and pointed out how to control it. There is a wall switch! It is great! I had not realized how very much I missed having heat-from-combustion in my years in Arizona. My other option for heating in here is electric wall-radiator-things, which is not my idea of happy.
After un-boxing the books, I started in on the couch. It took some assembly and cursing, but I got it together. Evidently I am a power user of IKEA directions, because they are clear as day to me.
My ISP called back, somewhat later. The guy agreed with my assessment of the situation: essentially, I am about equidistant from three of their antennae, but due to the fact that there are buildings all around me, with bonus hill, I have no clear line of sight to any of them. They have a more powerful unit that can make a difference in marginal conditions, but due to the laws of physics being what they are, he is afraid that it would still suck for me, as I am on the marginal side of marginal. We talked about my placement options; I allowed as how putting it up about a foot off the floor had indeed improved the signal to one bar, a massive improvement.
They do offer DSL, although this would require a phone line. Their user satisfaction practices are marvelous. (This is PacificaNet, for anyone in the neighborhood who happens to be Googling.) He put a month's credit on my account so I won't be billed for next month while I'm sorting it out; I can drop the device off once I do get it sorted.
I got boxes broken down and stacked in the top of one of the closets, as they are nice sturdy boxes just the right size for books. I got the couch-box broken down and thrown out. I got some more stuff a little more organized.
I wound up in the lounge around 9 with my laptop, and got some fast stuff done, including the suggestions poll. Some giggly early-teen or pre-teen boys wound up in there, shooting pool.
I inaugurated my new oven by baking some Trader Joe's orange chicken, supplemented with rice and carrots. I didn't measure either the rice or the water. I'm getting better at that. It came out just about perfectly, although I may have left it warming a little long, as it was slightly stuck to the bottom in one spot. The oven cannot be opened while the mirrored doors on the pantry-area are closed with the big end by the oven, or open with the doors by the oven. It either has to be open the one way or closed the other way.
There are various posts about various things that are making me think thinky-thoughts. Nothing coherent has come of them yet.
I think I want a coffee table (which I can push to one side in the line-of-sight for the fireplace when it's bedtime and the couch is converted and the fire is off) as well as the computer desk and chair and all. I also need a stepstool, as the kitchen shelves are very high indeed and I am short for a guy. (I'm tall for a girl, but I don't like being confined to one gender role.) I may also want a laptop desk (I'm thinking IKEA's DAVE) just because. Right now I have my laptop on a cutting board in my lap.