Sunday, July 27, 2014

Garage Project Finished and Atwoodfest

I spent a couple hours finishing the garage yesterday midday.  It went pretty easy, even though it was a bit warm it was mostly overcast.  Now I have to spend some time organizing and utilizing the new space wisely.
20140727 008

Afterward, Kate and I walked over to Atwoodfest, one of the neighborhood festivals with food, vendors and bands.  A lot of each, it was a larger deal than I was expecting.  We met up with James, our favorite cook at our favorite bar and grill, and later his friend, also named Kate.  We had a really good time trying different foods, drinking, listening to music, people watching - you know, street festival stuff.

It was about a 15 minute walk from our house, mostly on the bike path, longer than I have walked in some time I'm sorry to admit.  After stepping up and down a ladder dozens of times, and then, of course, we were on our feet up and down the street all afternoon.  The walk home was quite uncomfortable (my dogs were barkin'!), but an ice cream cone on the way helped make it better.  The bike path was busy that day, and nicely lined with community gardens for much of the walk and flowers everywhere.

We live in a pretty neat part of - overall - a pretty neat city.  We need to get out and walk like that more, a fifteen minute walk to get lunch, shop or have a drink is really not that much.  Just not yet, my feet still hurt today.

I believe that bikes would be soo much better, and we could go a bit farther.  We have discussed it, but they are low priority for now, added to an already long list.

Thanks for getting us out, James!  It was a great day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Garage Storage Project

There was a sale on lumber a couple weeks ago so got my friend Keelan - and her truck - to help me get some boards for a storage plan I've had in the garage.  Not cheap, just over 100 bucks with a box of screws, but it will be more functional and look a whole lot better. 
20140719 011
Above is how I had been storing things in the rafters, on every large, thick cardboard box I got - starting with the lawn mower box on the left shortly after we moved in.  I've since made most two boxes thick.  We don't store anything extraordinarily heavy up there, but boxes sag.  You can see a stick above the workbench helping support an area.

Last Saturday I got a start on this project while my wife was away and I was free to listen to music and play in the garage.  Not that I couldn't have done it with her here, it just happened that way.  I really enjoy projects like this.  I'm not working for 'the Man,' I'm working for myself and I can go at my own leisurely pace.  I've always got good music playing so I can rock out a bit when necessary.  I get real focused while I'm planning things on the fly.  And I love the feeling of having something to look at and say that I did that.
20140719 019

Well, only half of that, for now.  I plan on finishing the other half this Saturday.  Eventually I'll be more organized, I've also had thoughts of fixing up my work bench area and somehow creating a gardening station.  All in due time...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vertical Videos Are A Sin

I would agree.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Computer Issues

It was almost two weeks ago on a Monday night that we shut down the computer like usual, all was as it had been and should be.  Tuesday after work when we started it again all was definitely not well.  It took forever to start and then it moved slower than molasses, each keystroke would take minutes to register.  There was no getting online, no nothing you could do at that speed.  I spent that night and the next trying everything I could to fix it.  Nothing I tried worked, but I did manage to get the few recent files off that I didn't have backed up.  I even called StepDan for some advice, but even he couldn't think of anything I had not already tried.

So Thursday after work I went out and picked up a new one.  Wow.  First off, Windows 8.1 is waaaay different than 7.  And I noticed it seemed geared toward the all-in-ones with a touchscreen.  This would take some time to learn and get used to it. 

Setup went okay and I was learning to navigate somewhat, and I was able to connect to the internet, but then it would be gone, and then it would be back.  I was able to get a stable, yet slower, connection via wifi, but the Ethernet connection was on/off/on/off literally every few to 20 or so seconds.  It was maddening. We made do with the wifi connection for a while as I sought a solution.  I tried a different Ethernet cable, reset my router/modem and spent a good half hour on the phone with my ISP, but it was not their issue and they could not help.

There was no phone number in the materials that came with the computer but I found a number for the manufacturer easily online.  I called and a guy named Natesh walked me through a number of different things.  I remember him saying at one point that he thinks there may be a glitch - meaning a hardware problem.  Finally he had me do a factory restore.  On a brand new computer.  If I didn't know before, I surely knew then I was returning the computer.  This took quite some time so he scheduled a call back later that evening.  The callback was late and it was probably his supervisor, Natesh got stuck on another call, so by then I had the computer boxed up and ready to return.  When the factory restore failed there was a blue screen and a code and the message that the computer needed repair.  I had a lemon, all right.

But, I must say, they provided very good customer service.  They even called me back the next evening to make sure I was able to return it and get my money back before shutting the case.  That impressed me and I filled out their short email survey favorably a few days later.

So, I'm sitting with a busted computer again and I decided to drop the big one.  Restore to factory settings the computer we had.  Nothing else helped and I had most everything backed up, anyway.  And it worked!  It was acting normal after a successful restore.  The only thing is it was like a brand new computer that had sat around for about 5 years.  A lot has changed and updated in that time.

When this computer was brand new it looked totally different than the computer we were used to using.  Over the last several days it is slowly becoming the computer we had before the crash, but it has taken many hundreds of updates, downloads and service packs to get back up to speed.  I'm thankful because now I have what I had, what I like, and what I'm used to.  But even if we get it back to perfect for us, who's to say it won't crash again?

And that's where it stands.  I have no idea what the odds are or how likely another crash may be.  We may take a look at other computers as a backup plan, but for now I think we're just going to let it ride and see what happens - or hopefully what doesn't happen.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pizza Delivery Driver Joke

I've seen this kind of thing posted online before, so I have tried it a few times.  I think the first two were when we ordered pizza online during last winter.  In the 'special instructions' area I wrote something asking them to draw a snowman on the box.  Come to think of it, they may have actually done it one of those times.  I have no idea which delivery place did, luckily we have several options for food delivery in our part of town.

Tonight we got Domino's because of their 50% off online pizza orders deal.  In the 'special instructions for the driver' area I typed; "Write your favorite joke on the box plz.  Thx:)," or very similar.  I know it took up every character allowed.  When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised!  Although I had totally forgotten my request when I answered the door, I gave him a pretty good tip (as we always do) and as soon as he left I noticed the writing and remembered.  Kudos Domino's delivery driver!  I'm happy for the little participation in a bit of fun by someone who doesn't need to, but I hope it made at least him and maybe his co-workers smile.  Makes me feel a little better about, well, people.

Still, you can't offend me, delivery guy,  next time I'd like to see your real favorite joke!
201407196 zadriverjoke

Friday, July 18, 2014

I'm Back For Now

It's a story that I really don't want to take the time to get into right now, but I will surely tell the tale of my computer adventures in a post sometime soon. 

Meanwhile, we have been busy with real life and all it throws at you.  Weather-wise it has been mostly pleasant - we haven't had to use the central air conditioning in quite a while.  The news even spoke of a 'polar vortex' that brought us cooler weather.  Cooler, well, I wore a light jacket to work two days this week, optionally.  Still, it is different than those 90º humid days we usually see often this time of year.

I have to post about the garden soon.  Much has changed since the last post.  I took pictures last night and tomorrow morning I will take pictures again after my wife removes plants that are floundering, for reasons that my wife thinks and maybe I'll try to explain more when I post.  Basically, organic growing is very hard for some plants in our area, from what I understand.

Well, that's it for now.  I don't foresee another abrupt end to my access to the internet again, but I can't rule it out just yet.  More to come, I'd like to tell the whole story at once, and, hopefully, with a very happy ending.

Peace -The F**k- Out!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Spoke Too Soon

I'm having all sorts of trouble getting a stable connection.  Not fun.  Wish me luck, I think I need it.  And I think I will be returning the computer.  We'll see after this factory image restore and what HP's Natesh says when he calls back in an hour.
-Typed with one fat finger on my wife's iPhone.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Back Online!

I'm back!

When we shut down the computer on Monday night all was well.  When we started it up again after work on Tuesday it was slower than molasses.  I tried everything - and I mean everything - that I could think of to try and fix the problem.  I worked on it Tuesday night and Wednesday night to no avail.  Absolutely nothing helped.  I even called computer-savvy StepDan and he couldn't think of anything that I hadn't tried yet.  So I went out after work yesterday and got a new one. 

Now the real work begins.  I have things set up and stable enough to use, but we will be fine tuning and learning how to use the new PC for weeks.  A major pain, but I'm sure we'll adapt.  I'm okay with the new mouse, but I think I'm going to go back to the old keyboard.  This one is too flat.

But for now, I got some catching up to do!  PTFO

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I'm roughing it with a broken Internet machine. Back ASAP. Typing this on my wife's phone is a pain in the rump!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Peeps, Part Two

Last night we had our friends over for a fire pit, drinks and snacks.  Always fun to do, and it is a holiday weekend, after all.  I also had a lot of little sticks and bark I wanted to get burned up. Turned out pretty well.  While mosquito season is peaking, there was a good breeze and smoke to keep them at bay.  Also it wasn't a real hot day so sitting by the fire was more comfortable than it could have been.

It's been over two years since the original Peep incident (see the original video here), and last night Terry was ready to try and make lightning strike twice.  Well, I don't know if it matches the spontaneity of the first video, but it was entertaining nonetheless.