My World
      Blogging my Activities ... Interests

"Catastrophic Failure" - Obama

Wed 30 December 2009

Posted at 10:12 am in General | Comments (0)

Arends Clan

Mon 28 December 2009

I've had a busy Monday morning as is usually the case - I choose to get my tasks done on Monday after coffee. Today it meant a trip to Home Depot to pick up new indoor plants to replace my poinsettias which were going down hill fast. Then on to Publix, Wal-Mart, and then home. On the way out I dropped some cake samples by Mary Ann's house - these are the wonderful cakes my cousin Alice bakes for me. While visiting last week, Mary Ann got a sample of the apple bunt cake and thought it was to die for. I gave her more of that cake plus samples of a couple more. Tommy & Mary Ann are headed back to Atlanta tomorrow and the cakes will be with them.

John came by just after noon today to say good bye - he's headed back to Tallahassee until the next break. School will not start until after the first of the year of course but John's employer needs him to work this week. Last semester he made all B's - I hope he continues doing that.

Yesterday I received some Christmas pictures from the Arends clan in Holland. I thought I'd post one today so you folks can see how much the boys are growing. Everyone is healthy & happy over there in the land of windmills and wooden shoes. Both Syp & Sjak stay very busy with work and the two active boys - Djem is about 6 months old now so you can imagine the attention he needs and receives of course.

I watched the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" on HBO just recently. The movie was ok but I can't see why it got so much praise and awards. It was good enough for me to watch it without getting board so that's a good thing. The story line was good and very plausible yet I still don't get why it's so popular. I guess I generally like a mystery movie with twists and turns and plenty of action. Maybe I'll rent one on Amazon later today now that I have a computer set up to my TV. I did watch 2 of the Midsomer Murders yesterday afternoon and early evening - it's nice to see them commercial free. As we speak, I'm downloading yet another season but the going is real slow because few 'Peers' are available. At the same time, I'm uploading files from the series I previously downloaded - the torrent network works on the share bases and would not work at all if not for the peers uploading like me.

The additional memory for my main computer arrived which will max me out at 4GB - the new computers can go a lot higher into the 8+ KB range. I'll have to disconnect this main machine in order to install the new memory sticks so I thought I might just disconnect everything then hook it back up in a more orderly fashion. I might even use my 4 computer KVM switch so I can run for different computers with the same monitor, mouse, and keyboard. In addition, I've got that new back-up power supply which I can install in the process. Maybe I'll take this project on in the next day or two.

Posted at 03:13 pm in General | Comments (0)

Sherlock Homes

Sun 27 December 2009

I didn't feel good yesterday - I was not 'sick' but felt lousy nonetheless. When I awakened at 0-dark hundred my left eye was very painful - it felt like either my eyeball got sunburned or scratched. I know what sunburned eyes feel like because I once burned them with a sunlamp in my youth. Well I've not been under a sunlamp so I must assume it got starched somehow. There was this piercing pain along with watery eyes and running nose. This could have been an allergy I guess but having been allergy free most all my life I wouldn't know for sure. And if it were an allergy, why in just one eye and not both? It bothered me all day long although it got better as the day went along. This morning I don't have the problem. Strange!

When I can't keep both eyes open and I want to vegetate what better to do than to watch TV. Fortunately I found something I liked - TCM was running the old Sherlock Homes movies all day long. These were the ones made in the 1940's staring Basil Rathbone - there were 12 of them in all 6 of which I watched yesterday. The movies are about 75 minutes long and in black & white but great 'who did it' movies. I love 'who did it' movies which I why I've downloaded 6 seasons on Midsomer Murders to watch at my pleasure.

Speaking of the Midsomer Murders I want to be able to watch, yesterday I made that possible. I took the computer Kathryn's mother had and installed Windows Media Player on it along with all the codex available to run different formats. The 'standard' WMP 11 will not play .avi files which is the format of the videos I downloaded - installing a codex package fixed that. I also installed the driver for a wireless keyboard & mouse then put the computer in one of the cabinets in my big media center - the computer is out of site. After connecting my big screen to the computer, I'm now able to watch almost any video file via this setup by plugging in one of my external portable hard drives with the files in a USB port. Cool, huh?

The only problem thus far is the wireless keyboard has very limited range...about 6 feet I'd say so I can't sit at my writing table with this keyboard & mouse like I want. Worry not, I ordered a new wireless keyboard & mouse using the 2.4gh protocol which claims a range of 10 meters (that's about 33 feet in American). Soon Ill be able to keep the keyboard & mouse in a drawer in my writing desk then pull it out when I want to use it. Now to make things even better, I plan on installing a Linskys USB wireless device on this computer so I'll even be able to surf the internet or stream video which will be seen on the 67" Samsung - I may work on that today. Damn I'm good, huh?

It's the Sunday after Christmas which means all the boys are going back to work - I believe they'll all leave today. I'm grateful these young guys will be contributing social security taxes to help fund my old fart's social security income once I'm eligible next year - you can take early payments as young as 62 which I plan on doing while the funds last. While he was here, Drew made some sketches and took some pictures of my gold Spanish coin. He discovered from the markings it was minted in Mexico City and is a two escudo coin - he found identical looking coins in the State of Florida archives. What all this means I don't know but because of Drew, I know a lot more than I have over the past 45 years.

Posted at 10:03 am in General | Comments (0)

Christmas Feast

Sat 26 December 2009

Christmas was rather quite around my house and on the streets of Vero - most folks were in for the holiday thus not traveling much. I didn't check but my guess is all the stores were closed but today should be a busy day with returns and exchanges. Today is also a great day to buy Christmas decorations, cards, etc. for next year. I've got projects so I'll likely not even leave the house.

The dinner at Mary Ann & Tom's was wonderful as usual with many of my holiday favorites. The main course was roast prime rib of beef cooked to perfection and although there were 12 hungry dinners, it seemed only have of the prime rib was consumed. You never run out of food at a Barnes-Brennan affair. There was mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potato casserole (tasted like dessert), stuffed mushrooms, salad, and probably other stuff I just missed. Not only was the dinning experience wonderful but being with the Barnes-Brenna tribe is always fun for me. Another successful holiday event.

My take home doggie bag had more prime rib in it than I can eat in days - I had no idea Mary Ann loaded me up with so much meat until I got home. I'll be enjoying the Christmas meal again and again for days to come. Of course I also brought home some home made pecan and pumpkin pies - I think pecan is Mary Ann's favorite and she makes an especially good one. You've heard the saying "he's got a sweet tooth" - well, I got a whole mouth full of sweet teeth I got from my Dad's gene pool. This Christmas I received brownies, cookies, cakes, and pies - how much better could it possibly be? John even brought me two containers of that outrageously smooth & creamy ice cream from the beach ice cream shop - that stuff must have the highest % of butter fat of all the ice cream I've had and I've had a lot!

It was warm and a bit humid here yesterday but today is a bit cooler and dryer. I'm still getting used to the Florida Christmas season again. I still would like it to be cooler - my air conditioning was running yesterday. I bet the Dutchies did not have their air conditioning on yesterday - come to think of it, they may not even have air conditioning. I do like Winters here I just wish they would stat earlier.

I've got some projects on my plate for today. I might actually permanently hook up a computer to my big screen TV like I've been talking about for months. I've been thinking about using Kathryn's mother's old desktop because it is not noisy like others I have like Matt's college computer and the Dell Optiplex I bought on eBay last Spring. The computer is old with only 512MB of memory and a older Intel processor but it should be good to run Windows Media Player. I've got several things I want to try but I'll wait until later to explain.

There are at least 3 bowl games today with the 4:30 bowl game between North Carolina and Pitt being the one I think I'll like the most. I may catch a movie as well between computer testing and bowl games. John said he might come by today as well to help me with my Crown which is going bad - he leaves for Tallahassee tomorrow to go back to work and then school after the first of the year. My how time seems to just slip away.

Posted at 09:18 am in General | Comments (0)

Merry Christmas

Fri 25 December 2009

Posted at 08:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Computer Cleaned

Thu 24 December 2009

Once again I've gotten distress calls from folks who desperately want me to share my thoughts of the day with you. I understand - if I where you I'd want to hear from me too. Demand for me is always high but seems to be much higher this time of the year. I'll do the best I can but can't give promises now. Am I full of crap or what?

Much of the day yesterday was spent on Kathryn's mother's old computer - vintage 2002 - in cleaning it up, removing about 80% of the non-Microsoft installed programs, running scans for viruses & malware, cleaning the registry after all the uninstalls and then updating the operating system. It seems that the XP Pro operating system had not been updated in years and when you do update, there is a sequence you need to follow. I installed SP3 and about 45 other updates to bring it fully up to date. After taking all the old out-of-date security software off, I installed Malwarebytes and turned on the updated Windows firewall - I've not put an AV program on just yet although I did online scans to remove nasty things. I know have a clean, fully operational computer albeit old. It has a an old Intel processor and only 512MB of RAM but it works.

The first snag yesterday is the computer asked me for a password to logon which I did not have of course. I called Kathryn to see if she knew and the first suggestion worked. Funny, if I had to guess the password I would have tried the same one Kathryn suggested - wonder why I didn't even try? Hmm. Before I got Kathryn I researched ways to get around the password and frankly there are none without the original software disks. Jeez...I would have thought there was a secret but if there is, I could not find it. The only solution without the password would be to reinstall Windows.

Kevin along with his mom and dad came by for a visit early evening while they were out searching for Christmas displays - reports are the displays are limited. I remember my family would always ride around at this time of the year looking for lights and other displays - it was a tradition while I was young. Yes boys and girls, I was young once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away. Anyway we had a very pleasant visit and thankfully Kevin helped use some of my Crown before it goes totally bad.

I've got a couple projects I can work on today and I want to just kick back in front of my TV to watch a movie - if there's not one on cable or satellite I'll download one to watch. I may not even leave the house today - I've got plenty to do here. My cousin Alice brought me a wonderful apple cake she made for me yesterday so my goal today is to eat it...well, some of it anyway.

It's 73 here this morning - doesn't feel like Christmas after my 43 years in Atlanta where it was usually cold.

Posted at 10:47 am in General | Comments (0)

My Plate is Full

Wed 23 December 2009

Where should I begin with what I've been doing? Every time I think I have a little time to write a post something comes up. The good news is I'm well, happy, and as whacked as ever.

Let's start with the e-mail I got at 4:45 this morning while I was looking some things up on the internet - I'll talk about that later. Ebay sends me a letter saying to go to a site to change my password as requested but the trouble is I did not request it and it was a real e-mail from eBay. Then I get a e-mail saying my password has been changed a few minutes later. When I tried to logon to my account, I could not get in - the password had really been changed. So, I sent an e-mail to eBay saying I forgot my password at which point they directed me to a page to login to reset my password but first I had to answer questions which only I should know. I got in, changed my password so now whoever got in can't get in anymore. Frankly I've not quite found out why someone would want to get into my account because while you can bid for things, there is no payment information like credit cards in the eBay account. I then went to my PayPal account and changed my password there just to be safe.

The e-mail from eBay listed the IP from which the request was sent so I looked it up. It was a proxy server located in West Africa just like the TV commercials you see where someone's identity was stolen by criminals in Africa. The only info they could have gotten is already available in other places like a phone book. Now I'm thinking about changing all my passwords to 'critical' accounts like Bank of America, American express, etc.

I woke up on Monday with what was the beginning of a headache event which lasted until about midday on Tuesday - it was the same old usual thing. I've been ok since the headache went away - it was not so bad I did not want to do anything as long as I kept it under check with meds. I think I'll schedule an appointment with a neurologist to get checked out again like I did in Atlanta a few years ago. Dr. Director seems to think it is a form of a migraine and I tend to agree. My "regular" doctor would likely send me to a neurologist anyway so I'm not even going to him first. Reports to follow.

On my last post I talked about the British TV series I like so much called Midsomer Murders but I could not find it on any of those sites where you can watch TV series. So I found some torrents of the series including individual shows and collection of seasons which usually have 5 to 7 shows in them making the download between 2.5GB and 4GB. The speed of torrent downloads is dependent on the number of "seeds" available and the number of "peers" trying to download. The higher the ratio of seeds to peers the better. Well I was getting download speeds of 2, 3, 4 KB per second meaning it would take weeks, months, or in some cases over a year if the speed did not go up. The trick is to find a torrent with the largest number of seeders of course and the highest ratio of seeders to peers - I am a peer.

As you download you also up load giving back to the process so others can do the same. So, on any given torrent I'm both uploading and downloading at the same time and when I've got 100% of the torrent I could and should continue to upload so others can get what I've already gotten. Because I was getting nowhere fast I started researching how to get better speed - this is a complex algorithm almost like trying to figure how to increase your ranking on Google. First, you get a better download speed if you play by the rules and upload instead of just downloading then going away. Ratio of uploads & downloads and the speed ration between the two needs to be tweaked. I also discovered ISP's - including Comcast - "throttle back" speeds when torrents are being transferred to limit bandwidth but of course I found many creative users on forms with ways of tricking my ISP into not slowing my speeds down. My whole point in telling you all this is I've taken this up as a project to learn as much as I can. BTW, I was able increase my download speed by 1000% and now I have several seasons on Midsomer Murders downloaded.

Yesterday I went to drool over Kathryn's shinny new Dell with Windows 7. My initial sense is the new operating system is faster than Vista or XP and has lots f new bells & whistles. Her computer has 6BG of RAM - my computer can not handle more than 4GB of RAM without upgrading the hardware. When the right deal comes along, I'll like get a new computer because after all, I only have 4 working computers now. I told Kathryn what I was doing with Captain Matt's old computer so she gave me her mother's old computer to work with as well. I've not got a clue about the computer but will soon learn when I boot it later today (I think).

John turned 22 yesterday - he'll likely stay in bed most of the day to recover from his party.

Posted at 10:38 am in General | Comments (0)

Movies and TV

Sun 20 December 2009

My life of recent has been extra full with this, that, and the other thing. From the time I get up in the pre-dawn hours until I go to bed, I'm busy doing something even if it's just watching a movie. The weather has finally cooled down here in sunny Vero - it now "feels" more like the season . I know visitors and winter residence folks like warm can't we just keep things as they are today for the next couple weeks?

This morning I'm going to Wally World to pick up a prescription, some light bulbs, and the bottled water I like. On the way I'll stop by my cousin Alice's house (she's the fabulous baker) to give her Captain Matt's old computer I've cleaned and upgraded. She has a laptop which is 6 or 7 years old and on its last leg - the hard drive is only 20GB and continually makes a noise while running as it the mechanics of the hard drive are about to go. This machine of her's is sooooo slow I don't know how she manages to use it at all. I knew I would find someone who could use the Captain's old computer I just did not know who. She'll have to buy a monitor but other than that, she'll be good to go - at least that's the plan.

You folks now how much I love fruit, right? Well, the fruit this past Summer was not all that great - the peaches sucked, the melons had little flavor as did the plumbs. Now the US growing season is gone, fruit from Central and South America is coming in to the markets. The cantaloupes are great and full of flavor as are the grapes from Chile. Why are these fruits coming from outside the country so much better? I think it's because the US farmers pick the fruit way to green thus they never really ripen.

I've not seen John yet but frankly I didn't expect to for a few days - he has his hommies to hank with first. Tuesday is John's 22 birthday and to celebrate he's having a party at home. Starr is getting worked-up about the number of people likely to come (40-ish) and the food/beer required. There is also the issue of Alex's buddies still in their teens wanting to party with big brother John and the keg he'll have. Starr will manage as she always does.

Speaking of Starr, she's had the cold-crude for more than a couple weeks now - she sounds horrible on the phone. Rest is what is needed to allow time for her body to recover but with the substituting she's doing, the tutoring, the holidays, and John being home she has refused to rest. I've gone on runs to get medication for her but meds only cover the symptoms it's rest she needs. Starr tells me she'll rest between Christmas and New Year but I have my doubts.

Yesterday I decided to watch a couple movies - both kept my attention although "Rules of Engagement" with Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones and Ben Kingsley was the best (based on actual events) - the other one, "Max Payne" was just ok. So I'm likely going to see what I might want to watch later today in that I'm on hold with regard to my projects.

you know, it's damn amazing I can't often find something I want to watch considering I get both cable and satellite TV with over 7,849,734 channels to watch! I may have over stated the number of channels a bit but I really do literally have hundreds from which to chose. I've found streaming movies from Amazon which is a good thing but what else? Do you folks remember how much I loved the British series called Midsomer Murders? I watched it religiously ever Sunday while living in Atlanta. Well, I looked for it on the BBC network I get but it was not there but I wasn't going to let that stop me so I went online to search for it hoping I could get one of these sites which make TV series available. No go! Not one of the sites like Fancast have it available but that was not going to stop me either. I went to my favorite torrent site and guess what I found? There are many episodes available for a torrent download all of which are 650MB to 750MB in size which is the good news - the bad news is there's a lot of demand making downloads very very slooooow. I'm going to try a few things then report later - I did manage to get one episode downloaded overnight. Stay tuned.

Posted at 10:18 am in General | Comments (0)


Fri 18 December 2009

It seems with holiday season here I've gotten busier than usual. This is ok but it has caused me to skip a few 'regular' things like bring my pearls of wisdom to you folks. Be brave, I'll be back as soon as I can.

At the wee hours just before daybreak, John arrived from Tallahassee for the holidays - I think he'll be here a week but I've not talked to him yet. He drove down after work last night so I know he's tired - I get tired driving to Publix!

On Sunday, the Barnes - Brennan boys will arrive in Vero from Atlanta and other points. Tom and Mary Ann are already here leaving only Ryan & Heather to arrive on Wednesday. Although I think they will all be here for at least a week, the visit will seem to fly by as it always does on trips of short duration. I've alerted the local authorities.

It's been raining for the last couple of days but should stop before tomorrow leaving nicer weather with lots of sun, lower humidity, and cooler temps. GREAT! Isn't it written somewhere the weather is suppose to be clear and at least cool if not cold during the Christmas holidays? With good weather, the opportunities are many.

The Atlanta lawyer project continues as I better learn what he wants in his web site. I've set 4 templates I created for him to review - I really would like the basics resolved before I go on with building more pages. The 'basics' include the background , navigation bar location and style, and basic page format. Once these things are finalized I'll build the other 24 pages.

The additional memory for Captain Matt's old computer arrived yesterday and was successfully installed. What a difference the memory has made in the performance of the computer. I did go from a remarkable low of 128 MB to 630 MB with the addition of two 256 memory modules. To my surprise, the machine's mother board can actually handle up to 2 GB of memory! I've now got the machine clean and running smoothly so the question is now what? I'm not sure just yet - stay tuned. When it stops raining I'm going to take it outside to clean 8 years of dust which has accumulated inside. Geez...what a dirty mess.

This effort with Matt's old machine has inspired me to maximize memory in my desktop. It currently has 3 GB but the maximum is only 4 GB. I needed a new 1 GB memory module but had to by two 1 GB modules because the modules have to "match" on a dual channel memory system. Until the install ion in Matt's computer I didn't understand just how much faster enhanced memory could make. Yes, I knew it would make computers faster but my understand was the most important part of functionality was the processor speed. I hope to get the memory next week before Christmas.

Posted at 03:08 pm in General | Comments (0)

Busy Tuesday

Wed 16 December 2009

I hope this is not going to be one of my real bad headache days - the tell tail signs are there. Late yesterday afternoon it started in on my when my normal meds did not work so I moved up to the meds I rarely use - that did the trick. The reason I'm concerned is I awoke twice during the night with a headache and need some additional medication - I very very rarely wake up at night with a headache. Stop it!! I hear you people saying, "if I had a head like yours, mine would hurt too". This morning I've taken a little more and at the moment I'm ok - what I don't want is for these damn things to get worse leading to nausea like a few weeks back.

When I was with Dr. Director, I told him about these events I have to which he said I might very well have a migraine headache problem at some level. It certainly seems that way with the frequency of the headaches particularly the bad ones. However, I don't have some of the other symptoms of migraines to which Dr. Director said there is a whole range of migraines. For the moment I'm ok and I plan on a day at my office.

When I woke up at 4:45 this morning, it was so foggy I could barely see the Baptist church across the street. About a hour later the fog had lifted leaving a clear sky. I sure wish this damn humidity would leave and the temperatures would go down. The good news is both of those things should happen by this weekend.

Lina called asking for help with her computer - it was giving her strange alerts and asking for money. She had the nasty program installed on her computer without her knowledge. Here are some of the symptoms she was experiencing:

* A Window impersonating Windows Security Center stating that you should purchase Personal Antivirus.
* Numerous alerts stating that your computer is under attack or that you have malware running on your computer. If you click on these alerts, Personal Antivirus will be installed, or you will be brought to the purchase page for the program.
* Your Internet Explorer browser will be hijacked to show security warnings when browsing the web that stop you from reaching your desired page.

This damn thing hides itself meaning you can't see it in your Task Manger to stop it and it stops security programs from working like AVG and Malwarebytes. It basically turns itself on at boot with no option to turn it off! Using the HijackThis utility I was able to stop it at boot and then run Malwarebytes to pull its roots out of Lina's registry - her machine is now clean once again.

Starr has been sick and continues to be sick with a throat - nose infection thing. She sounded horrible yesterday! Frankly she needs to just go to bed for however long it takes to get ride of this crud - rest is what her body needs to have time to heal. Of course there's this little matter of work.

My new "client" called late yesterday to discuss the test page I created for him. There are some changes he wanted which I expected of course - my mind-reading ability was on the blink because of my headache. Now with his direction as to what he wants based on what I've done, I can work on completing the home page which will be the bases for all other pages - there are 26 pages in all. This will be quite the task but I'm up for it - I'm just awesome huh? After coffee this morning I'm going to create a background based on what he wants - a dark grayish color with a gradient from the center to the sides of the page. This will require a bit of trial & error until I get it just right - you know how demanding I am to get it right. It's tough being as perfect as I am!

New Project

Tue 15 December 2009

I know. I know. I've been absent for a few days and some of you are having withdrawal symptoms - some have even called begging for my views and wisdom. Well, I go a new project midday on Friday which has kept we working almost non-stop since then. When I do stop, I'm tired of being in front of my computer so I go watch FOX News to get irritated about the things Obama is doing to us. Then I watch something totally unrelated to the real world like "Bones" or "The Closer". So the bottom line is I'm just as fabulous as always just taken over by this project.

Now you are suppose to ask what project? A friend of mine from Atlanta has a neighbor who has been trying to get a website built but the people he hired to do it just failed. It was one of those big law firm related sites which build websites for attorneys and provide a national lawyer database. They had the project for months and months then what the produce had no resemblance to what the client requested. My friend said he knew a brilliant retired old fart in Florida who might help so he called me on Friday.

This project is different than any I've taken on before and because it has new challenges I find it totally fun and amazing. I get started in the morning and the next thing I know it's dark - the time on this project is "timeless" in that I have no sense of the hours going by. For me, if there is something I do without awareness of time, then I'm having fun. Now you want to know what's up, huh?

Once again I'm confirming I'm a geek under this kind, gentle, loving outer presences you admire sop much - I'm getting deep into the BS, huh? The "client" is rather interesting himself in that he was a practicing architect for 20 years then went back to law school to become a lawyer - he now practices the focused area of construction law with a base of knowledge very few lawyers have - he was in construction for 20 years. The guy created a 21 page Powerpoint presentation about his practice which if possible he wants it reproduced as a website. The presentation is very well done especially the layout and visual appeal but then you would expect that from an architect wouldn't you? So that's my project...take a Powerpoint presentation and write code to reproduce it into a HTML website.

This project may sound easy but it is not. You see, I'm starting from scratch creating all the code and files without an outline except for what amounts to a picture. The first thing I needed to do is figure out how to get the images in the presentation out of a .ppsx file - you can't copy images from Powerpoint. So, I installed the Powerpoint application and the rest of Microsoft Office 2007 onto my computer so I could manipulate the file - still not easy but learning all this stuff is fun for me. I discovered a way to convert the .ppsx file into a .htm file then save it to my computer. With an .htm file, the images are kept in a separate folder so now I have all of his original images - this took about half a day to figure out.

Now the question from those of you who know would be why not publish the .htm file as a website? Good question so I tried but the problem is the presentation just becomes viewable in a IE browser but looks like a slide rather than a web page - the steps to get this far were no easy task requiring a lot of trial and error.. Actually it looks ok but the bad news is it will not render in any browser except Internet Explorer - all other browsers fail to produce the page and with IE losing market share, a web site needs to work across browsers.

I'm back to were I started having to write the code from scratch and added web site flexibility to the images from which I'm working like navigation for example. Yesterday I created the home page and e-mailed a link to it so the client can view it online - I expect to hear back from him today and if he likes it, I've got 20 more pages to do. Now you see what I've been doing.

Today's image is a screen shot of the first Powerpoint slide and my coded web page - can you tell me which is which?

Posted at 09:52 am in General | Comments (0)

Decadent Brownies

Fri 11 December 2009

Just for the heck of it I looked around the internet to see if I could find more memory for Captain Matt's computer and if so, just how much would it cost. Google lead me to MemoryStock.com, a after market seller of various types of memory but not original Dell sticks. On my initial search I found sticks but they were really pricey as I previously mentioned - this site was more reasonable and more in line with memory sticks I've bought in the past. I already have 750MB of spare memory but of course it will not fit in the Dell antique. Because so many programs require 512MB I thought it would be good to get it as long as it was not expensive. I found two 256MB sticks for under $75 so I ordered them - they will make the machine more useful and you know how much I need yet another computer.

The poinsettia plants I bought last weekend are already looking bad! Plants I bought in Atlanta would last for weeks and weeks but not these. At this rate they'll be ready for the garbage by sometime next week. I got one at Home Depot and one at Lowes - they both seem to be going down hill fast.

I've made an observation about Sally Cat - she can distinguish words at a level which surprises me. Of course cats can learn their name but Sally knows the difference between 'back door' and 'front door'. You see, my security system will make an audible statement when a monitored door or widow is opened. If I open the back door, it says, "sensor 18, back door open" or when I open the front door, it says, "sensor 1, front door open". If Sally is asleep in my bedroom suite on the bed, she'll come running to the front door when I open it but will not come running if I open the back door - she likes standing on the window shelf and then poking her nose out the door to smell the air. It seems rather clear to me she can tell the difference in the similar - sounding monotone announcements. Of course she does not understand 'sit', 'stay', 'come here', etc.

The UPS guy brought me a box which contained the best (regular) brownies I've ever tasted and I've tasted a lot! Laura Gately made me a batch just like the ones from last Christmas. You know, I can usually buy things I want within reason but I can't make or buy brownies as wonderful as are these. I think Laura should contract with a bakery to bake her recipe then sell them online as one of those treats you can order online. Or sell them to non-profits as a fund-raising tool. Or make big ones and sell them to restaurants as a dessert for their menu. Of course this is easier said than done. She tells me the recipe is not a supper secret but buyers would not know that, they would just know the brownies are sinfully decadent. Why not ? Well the answer why not is she is a psychologist with a PhD which is probably much more financially rewarding that brownie sales. But let's not thought the idea away, just put it on the shelf.

Posted at 07:54 am in General | Comments (0)

More PC Work

Thu 10 December 2009

My trip to Dr. Director's office has become routine fat least for now. We talk about me - I of course love to talk about me - and how I've been doing in the past 90 days. For the most part, the answer is well although I still have periods with a lack of energy and interest. I thought about asking to increase my dosage of Adderall but I didn't even bring it up - I want to give it another 90 days of trying this and that without more meds. The only thing I wanted to do is take one pill in the morning without splitting it with 2/3rds in the morning and 1/3rd in the afternoon - I've tested this which is why I requested the change which Dr. director thought it was perfectly fine. My daily dosage has not changed. So I'll go back in March for another session. I really like Dr. Director.

After returning home I started in on Captain Matt's old college computer. After my failure to reinstall Windows yesterday I just went to work on what I had. I deleted almost everything in My Documents after downloading the data to a flash drive for Matt. Next I uninstalled about 70% of all the programs I found which for the most part were way out of date and thus useless - there were games and college programs which needed to go as well. The end result is I recovered a lot of disk space with the hard rive at about 10% usage.

I found some strange folders on the C drive with data which I also removed - I'm not even sure how they got there in the first place. So now I have a cleaner, leaner machine which needed updating. JEEZ! It took about 4 hours to first update to service pack 2 (sp2), then updating to SP3 , then instating the 61 upgrades since SP3. I started down this road because AVG would not install giving a 'God you have an old machine' alert requiring updating. Once completed I could install AVG which caused the machine to be slower than molasses in a Michigan Winter. The problem was AVG required 512 of RAM with only 128 of RAM in the machine - never before have I had to worry about having enough memory. Well it installed but did not function so I uninstalled it. Where can I find an AV program requiring only 128 of RAM? I couldn't so I ran an online scan which found 103 infections and took about a hour - I didn't bother to check the online scan requirements but it too was 512 of RAM. The machine is relatively clean, works fine at least for surfing, and really needs more RAM to be useful.

Bill Voegeli called to confirm my address so as his son, Will, can send me an invitation to his graduation. WHAT?! Will has finished college already? Damn time seems to fly by as I remember him in diapers. Jeez! What was interesting about my address is Bill put my name and Vero Beach into the Bing search engine which came back with me on the top, my address, my telephone number, and a map to my house. Who knew? Google does the same without a map. I also discovered if you search for "Bill Cherry's Blog" BillsView is on the top in both Google and Bing. I know I'm World famous of course but nonetheless I thought you'd need to put in Vero Beach or at least Florida but you do not. Cool.

Today's image is of Will Voegeli and a young lady from his harem. Will is the one on the left.

Posted at 11:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Matt's Old Dell

Wed 09 December 2009

After lunch yesterday (a Publix lemon-pepper chicken sandwich) and a 20 minute power nap I started working on Captain Matt's old college Dell. It booted and seem to run fine but I didn't try much before I starting working on it. The machine is good although the 40GB hard drive is small in today's standards and the 128 MB of RAM is a joke but if you're not trying to run Adobe Flash on it, even that tiny bit of RAM will get you by. I did look into increasing the RAM but the memory sticks are so pricey it would not make sense - a new machine would be cheaper!

First I downloaded all of Matt's My Documents and My Briefcase to a flash drive and then I erased all those files. I looked for his great porn but could not find any - he must have the videos hidden. Then I went on to uninstalling a whole slew of programs which are not needed or I could replace with a better versions if needed like Microsoft Office, Zone Alarm, and Norton anti-virus. There were a bunch of games and other programs I've never heard of before. During the uninstall process, often I'd get an alert like 'the blah-blah.dll is not needed anymore but may be used by another program - do you want to uninstall it too'? Well, far be it for me to figure out what .DLL's to keep so I trashed them all - my back-up plan was to reinstall Windows.

After all the un-installing I rebooted only to find a Microsoft alert saying 'Explorer has stop working' which is not a good thing. Jeez, did I uninstall something I should not have? You see Explorer is what renders your desktop and opens folders like 'My Documents' - when it quit, the monitor went blank...no desktop or system tray. I rebooted and got the same thing so I decided to reinstall windows but I ran into a wall. The Windows XP disk I have did not have the number of license characters the installer was requesting - it wanted 25 and I only had 20 - what's up with that? The only thing I can think of is that the machine may have had an operating system before XP and was upgraded to XP. Maybe it had ME originally installed? Anyway, I was now sucking a hind tit.

Never one to give up I rebooted the machine again with the same notice about Explorer but before I clicked ok, I tried to open Internet Explorer which did open then click ok at which point Explorer decide not to stop after all. The machine seemed to be working again and upon a reboot continued to work at which point I stopped fooling with it for the day. Now later today I'll boot it again, maybe do some more clean-up, install AVG Internet Security Suite, scan the machine, and then decide if I want to update the operating system - my guess is the machine has not had the OS updated in 10 years.

There are other things going on but I've got to go to my appointment with Dr. Director now.

Posted at 09:32 am in General | Comments (0)

TB's Hogs

Tue 08 December 2009

TB, great white hunter, dropped by early afternoon yesterday so I could take a picture of the hogs he bagged around noon in one of his groves. These were big pigs - they were over 100 pounds each. He shot the hogs because they've done a lot of damage in his groves and where continuing to tear things up. Hogs are very destructive in their never ending search for food. After I got some pictures, he gave the creatures to his work crew whom I'm sure will make good use of them.

This morning after coffee I went out to my uncle's house to see if I could fix his weather station rain measurement device. When I rest the station about a week ago, it did start working again but was clearly not measuring correctly. I took the rain collector device apart to clean it of debris and then re-mounted it differently and more securely. It now seems to be working when I tested it but the real test will come during the next rain event we have - I'm hopeful it is now fixed.

On Sunday I couldn't find a good movie on TV so I rented "Sate of Play" online from Amazon then streamed the movie to my laptop and then connected my big TV as the monitor. It was a good movie full of twists and turns with a new surprise every few minutes. It was fast moving so I was not bored at all. The basic theme dealt with Washington corruption, murder, and the news reports trying to uncover the evil deeds. It was a good choice. I'll rent another movie again via Amazon - I like the way this works.

Tomorrow I have my scheduled appointment with Dr. Director. At this point I'm not looking for any change in medication as to frequency or amounts. Believe it or not, I'm still learning things about how I can get things better and frankly I don't thing a greater dosage of anything is what I need right now. Sure, there are times when I feel I need a larger dosage but I want to minimize what I can relying instead on other non-pharmaceutical solutions. So I'll suggest I go another 90 days under the same plan as the past 90 days. Knowing myself the way I do, my default reaction is always more is better. So I want give myself more time before I suggest any chances if I suggest any changes. Stay tuned.

Yesterday I got Captain Matt's old college computer which he no longer wants. My thought is to reinstall the operating system with the idea of making it clean of the junk and like a new machine. I'll first save all his documents to an external drive before I wipe the hard drive clean. I'm not sure how big the hard drive or memory is at this point but I'll find out soon enough.

Posted at 01:38 pm in General | Comments (0)

New Cafe

Mon 07 December 2009

Posted at 01:16 pm in General | Comments (0)

Yellow Jackets ACC Champs

Sun 06 December 2009

I'm a happy camper this morning in part because Georgia Tech beat Clemson 39 - 33 to win the ACC championship and has been invited to the Orange Bowl to play Iowa in a BCS bowl game. And I can say the game was an exciting game just the way I like them. I didn't like the fact Tech was behind with a minute and a half to play but they did score again so I did not need to be taken to the hospital top have my heart started again. The game that surprised me the most was Florida's loss to Alabama - I thought Florida was going to take it all. Now college football is over except for the bowl games which can be good or nt.

Yesterday morning just after 8 o'clock I headed over to the Indian River County health clinic to stand in line to get a H1N1 vaccination shot - it was the first time the clinic was permitting everyone to get a shot even if they were not in the "at risk" group. Actually the line was not long at all and it moved rather rapidly. This was by far the best organized government sponsored event I've ever attended - I was in and out in about 20 minutes. They had the place staved with so many helpers no one had to wait long. I got the shot because I could - frankly I think my chances of getting the H1N1 virus was close to zero anyway. Besides, the reports say that old farts born before 1955 seem to be resistant to the virus - true...us old farts have been through a lot and are tough.

Later I headed to Lowe's to pick up a poinsettia plant for my kitchen. The stores were not crowded because it was early and raining water buffalo - I don't melt so the rain was not an issue. I don't plan on going overboard on poinsettia plants like I did in Atlanta - one for the kitchen and one for my office is enough. I reserve the right to change my mind of course.

Lina's Internet Explorer browser was broke - it would not load pages she visits requiring Adobe flash. Also, the browser did not have an address bar - Lina has been using Google to get to any and every page. The flash plug-in for the browser was defective and I could not uninstall the flash object to install a new one. Much to my surprise, her browser was IE 6 - I'm surprised because this is a new computer and not only did IE 7 come out about 2 years ago, IE 8 has been out almost a year. Me wonders...why would Dell install such an old browser in a new desktop? Needless to say, my solution to the various problems was to install IE 7 which when completed fixed everything.

I did scans on Lina's machine which lead to the discovery of 4 "MyWebSearch" adware infections but no virus - I removed the objects. I'm a bit surprised because of all the security I installed when I first hooked that machine up. These things were not real nasty but ultimately could become bad. For now, Lina is good to go.

The newsletter I get called Windows Secrets is just terrific - full of ideas, software recommendations, warnings, installation instructions, various fixes, etc. Well, the folks who are responsible for the newsletter have opened what was a previously restricted forum to all paid newsletter members which includes me. Knowing how great the newsletter is, I had to join...besides, it is only fair I share my wisdom with others on the forum. Heck, they may even beg me to become a contributing editor! Not!

Posted at 08:47 am in General | Comments (0)

Feast of Sinterklaas

Sat 05 December 2009

Happy Feast of Sinterklaas to my Dutchie family.

A couple days ago, Wednesday to be exact, this page was down with an access to the server and a 403 error. I discovered my 'Home' .PHP file was empty of all my code so replaced the file so all is well again. When I contacted the folks who own the server on which I lease space I was told my blog.php page was using too much CPU which interrupted others on the same server. Standard operating procedure for them was to such down the CPU hog, blog.php (the file in BilsView you actually see. Too much CPU...what's up with that?

I first looked to see if my comment pages were being spammed again even thought I installed a CAPTCHA requirement to post a comment - that was not the problem. Why so much usage? I looked at the logs of my page views which lead to the discovery I've suddenly have over a 100 unique visitors which it's self is not a problem - the problem is about a dozen of those IP's were viewing hundreds of pages with one IP looking at over 2000 pages since December 1. What the heck is up with that? Why are these hits coming? Nothing is happening to the site and no spam is added to my comments.

I've contacted the 'abuse' folks at my server to ask if they could give me further guidance. In the meantime, I've blocked access to my site from these 13 IP addresses with the hope this will fix the problem. It is also interesting to note all of the offending IP addresses are in Germany or the Ukraine. Are hackers trying to do something ? Or are they simply trying (successfully on Wednesday) to shut down my great site by overloading the server? Could I have had a DoS (denial of service) attack? Stay tuned.

Once again the Yellow Jackets are playing at night! Of course I'm most pleased they are in the ACC play-off game but why couldn't it be mid-day? The SEC play-off is mid afternoon but they are playing inside the Georgia dome so it doesn't matter what time it is. The Clemson Tigers are the opponents - a team Tech defeated early this year but not by much. It depends on which Georgia Tech team shows up to play tonight as to the possibility of winning the game. If the team without mistakes and enthusiasm goes onto the field, then Tech might very well win again. If there are fumbles, interceptions, special team mistakes, Tech might likely lose.

Last night was a sad night in that one of my favorite TV series came to an end - Monk is through although the ending sure left it wide open to come back at some time in the future (ie - no one got killed). The ending was good but not unusual to a typical Monk ending. I'll miss the series but there will be re-runs I'm sure.

The series White Collar ended it's season but will be back in January along with Burn Notice. The season finale for White Collar was cool leaving the view wondering what the heck is that all about - I'll find out in January. There sure are great series on USA and TNT cable networks.

It's been raining off and on for a couple days now which is good. I'm headed off to Home Depot and Lowe's to look for some plants. I may download and watch a movie later depending on what's on TV. I'm also joined another help forum to avail the good folks on the forum of my expert advice and uncommon bullsh*t.

Posted at 09:02 am in General | Comments (0)

News Reporting

Fri 04 December 2009

Is anyone but me getting tired of this Tiger Woods daily soap opera? With all the stuff that can really affect our lives going on right now, why start news casts with the Tiger Woods saga. None of what happens there will affect your or my life but what Obama and the Congress does will. Even FOX News has it at the top of their news leads. It seems Tiger has a domestic issue with which he must deal but that's all it is. Jeez!

Then comes these two people who appear to be desperate for attention so they "crashed" the White House State Dinner last week. Actually the overriding question is important and that concerns White House security - I dislike most all of Obama's policies and unmitigatedly disagree with his views but I don't want him dead, just out of office. The breach of security should be investigated but what should be avoided is the very thing these two wannabes want...attention. They are on the news everyday just before or just after the Tiger Woods soap opera. I'm tired of them like I'm tired of Tiger - there are much more important things to discuss.

So Obama had a "job summit " which I understand he only attended at the beginning and close to the end. Just what the hell does anyone thing a few hours of meetings will do for creating jobs? For the most part, many of the attendees do not hire people - the academic types, the union thugs, government employees etc. Oh, I was right on my guess yesterday, the president of Google was there. This was nothing but a show with little or no help for those unemployed. Many conservatives and Republicans have offered ideas which would increase jobs but Obama is going 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

Small businesses want a degree of certainty of the future before they hire people and expand. The huge and expensive health plan the liberals are trying to jam down our throats is certainly a major roadblock in hiring. If you don't know what taxes, costs, and mandates such a bill will impose on your business then smart businessmen will want to wait before hiring. The Cap & Tax bill if passed would dramatically increase the cost to run a business or a home for that matter. Uncertainty will stop the creation of new jobs. Obama is responsible for job loss and increasing unemployment. I hear you now...how can I say that you ask? Well, if Obama was to take the health bill debacle and Cap & Tax off the table saying we first need to get our economy in order before considering them again, I'm 100% positive you'd see immediate job growth. Instead of taxing people and business more, give tax credits for hiring and freeze any tax increases. And for God's sake quite putting America farther and farther into debit!!

My face is beet red so I'll stop before I bust a blood vessel.

Posted at 11:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

BillsView Down

Thu 03 December 2009

Did you try to view my pearls of wisdom on BillsView yesterday morning and get an alert about not having access to the server and a 403 error? Well as you can see, it's now fixed but there is a mystery about just what the hell happened. When trying other links on BillsView they all worked it was just the main Blog page that was not accessible. I went to work on the problem with my friend Google which suggested there was a missing index file leading me to look at blog.php which was the main portal page. To my surprise, when I opened the file on my server to see what might be wrong I found the file was blank - that was what was wrong! All the code in the file had been deleted somehow over the past 24 hours and I can assure you I did not do it.

My immediate solution was to delete the empty file and upload a new blog.php from my backup files I keep on a flash drive. I did that and all was well again - the site was up but what happened? I emailed my host server folks to ask them - they told me to e-mail the people who actually own the servers to report "abuse". What does that mean? Did someone hack into the file or is someone within the company up to no good? Why would they bother with my site? Maybe they are Obama lovers and don't like my comments? I hope I get an answer but frankly I don't expect one.

My much sought after opinion has polling groups always calling for me to express my sage and correct thoughts on a variety of matters. The latest is the well known broadcast polling group known as Arbitron. It's the ratings produced by Arbitron which among other things tells radio and TV stations how much they can charge advertisers based on the popularity of programming. I have a booklet in which I've agreed to keep a record of the radio stations I listen to and the times I listen to them. frankly, I can almost fill the booklet out now because for the most part I listen to the same stations and same times every weekday. It's WTTB from 7:20 to 7:30, WTTB from 8:30 to 8:40, and Waxe from noon to 3. On the way to and from coffee in the morning then Rush's program every afternoon. I listen at other times when I'm in my car but never at home except for Rush. But, I'll play by the rules and really file it in as the week goes by.

I've been thinking about disconnecting all my computer equipment then reconnecting after I move things around - there is a rat's nest of wires around my desk which interferes with my need for neat & orderly. I have several things I want to test including my 4 computer KVM switch and the combining of a 5 port wired router with a wireless router as one of the ports used. Why you ask? I'm just curious that's why.

I can't leave you today without my view on Obama's "Job Summit" to be held today in Washington. Boys and girls, Obama doesn't have a clue because he and 90% of his cabinet and advisors have never worked in the private sector so what will they know about creating jobs except more government jobs? Today's summit is nothing more than a photo-op to make uninformed Americans think he really cares. I've come to this correct conclusion by looking at who's invited to this summit. The invitees include union heads, non-profit organizations, and a few CEO types from big business - I bet GE will be at the table and maybe Google too. What's missing are representatives from small business where 75% of all non-government jobs are created - not invited are the Chamber of Commerce which represents over 3000 US businesses, the National Federation Of Independent Business, or any other private sector business organizations. Why invite union heads - what jobs are created by unions? Then there are non-profits - does anyone out there really believe non-profit organizations are the key to solving unemployment? The business heads invited that actually hire people are Obama myrmidons. Are you folks getting the picture - Obama either doesn't have a clue or doesn't really care.

Posted at 07:56 am in General | Comments (0)

Obama's Speech

Wed 02 December 2009

I'm back from coffee but I need to go out again this morning before the rain comes later today - Vero should get rain in the next 24 hours. The rain will be a test to see if I fixed my uncles weather station yesterday. Of course there is no problem for me to drive in the rain it's just that I got my car washed yesterday thus I'd like to keep it clean for at least a few days.

I want to look at Christmas type plants which may appeal to me for my house. I've already got a poinsettia for my office but I now need something for the open area around my kitchen - living room. Whatever I may find, I'd like to thing it will live through Christmas so already cut arrangements are out for now. While at the mall I want to pick up a couple things at Bed, Bath, Beyond, and Expensive. I think I may start using soap when I shower every Saturday so I need a soap holder for my shower.

Yesterday TB took the Florida Cracker in for service and a detailing job. I was his taxi service between the marina and his river estate. The last boat he had he kept tuned & fixed which is why it lasted so long. Just how long was that? 25 years? 30 years? I don't remember but I can say it was a long time. I'm sure this boat will last as long as he wants to keep it unless there is an accident. I feel the same way about my car - it will last as long as I continue to maintain it as long as there's not an accident.

I watched some of Obama's speech last night which for me and many commentators seemed academic in his delivery - he talked like he was giving a college lecture with no real sense of feeling or worse, no real commitment. He says he's send more troops but only for 18 months then he'll bring them home. How would you feel if a son, daughter, father, mother, sister or brother were killed in the next 18 months then Obama quits? If you are the bad guys, wouldn't you just wait it out until Obama leaves? I believe Obama is probably a good academic but he's a very poor leader without a clue. He's unwilling to make tough decisions as was obvious in the 3 months it took for him to decide if he wanted to follow the advice of his general. How do you think his weakness looks to others around the World? If you are on our side wouldn't you want to know the US is all in and committed? I will add that I'm glad he's at least doing some of what his generals requested.

In the Wall Street Journal, a commentator pointed out that Obama has had more prime time TV speeches in his first 9 months than President Bush had in his 8 years. The more you see him the less impact his speeches will have because it will seem routine. This same commentator pointed out some interesting but scary facts. A study was done as to how many 'private sector individuals" were in the administration of our presidents over the past 100 years. In other words, how many cabinet members or advisors to the president have had "real world" experience and did not come out of the academic world or another government job. Eisenhower had the highest percentage of about 70% while Carter had the lowest of about 30% that is until Obama came along. Less than 10% of Obama's cabinet and advisors come from the 'real' world and not the pointed-headed elitist world of academia or in some case another government job. Does that bother any of you? Do you see a problem here? These are the same people running General Motors and want to take over healthcare in America! We are in a world of hurt IMHO.

Posted at 10:04 am in General | Comments (0)

Fraud on My AmEx Card

Tue 01 December 2009

DAMN! It's happened again - my American Express card got compromised today. I received a call from AmEx as well as an e-mail questioning an online charge at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for about $279 and two $1 charges to an Apple store - I didn't make either one. American Express works fast in catching these things because they called me the day of the charges before I discovered them myself. As a matter of practice, I look at my American Express and Visa accounts several times a week - I do the same with my banking accounts. I'm wondering how AmEx could detect the charge was not made by me? I'll get a new card delivered to my doorstep tomorrow morning with a new account number. Now I'll have to change the card number on the various accounts I use which automatically charge to my AmEx card like The Wall Street Journal, all my domains and web servers, DirectTV, Geico, Amazon.com, Buy.com, etc. The process is time consuming but not a problem - the problem is I always miss an account or two.

The AmEx computer algorithm used to detected such fraudulent activity must be very complex - this is the third time American Express has called me. There have been occasions on which I called them when I found charges that were not mine like to Hungarian Airlines a few years back. Every time I get the charges reversed or cancelled but I wonder how the bad guys got my card number in the first place. My card never leaves my position or it stays within my line of site like in a restaurant. I don't get AmEx bills by mail anymore - they come via my internet account. I only charge on legitimate secure sites and I can't remember the last time I read my card to a sales person. I've had an AmEx account since 1972 and it's only in the past 4 years or so that this sort of fraud has occurred.

This morning I went out to my uncle's house to see if I could reset his weather station - it does not detect rain as it should. I went through a reset sequence so we'll see if it worked the next time it rains which should be this week. This is my favorite uncle but when I visit I know I'm caught for a couple hours - the man likes to talk. Most of the time he's not boring so it's ok as long as I'm not trying to get other things done in the same time period. He has a way of starting to talk about "A" then ends up at "Z" having covered a lot in between. I certain don't mind - he lives alone so having someone to visit is something he likes. It is the least I can do because of all the wonderful things he did for my Dad while I was in Atlanta.

It's almost noon so I'll get a sandwich then turn on Russ Limbaugh's radio program lasting the next three hours. I listen most but not all of the time usually while doing other things as well.

Posted at 12:42 pm in General | Comments (0)