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Thursday, December 4, 2008

December Update

Way Past Due

To my followers and friends online, I apologize for my lengthy absence from commenting and blogging lately. I canít really make any promises for regular posting in the near future, the next segment explains the hows and whys.

More Technical Problems

After settling the issue with the printer, it was disagreeing with an MP3 player that had to use the same port, a whole new and more irritating host of technical problem cropped up and I have no way to solve it on my own.

Lately while online, Iíve been getting the error message (part of that problem reporting system): ďGeneric Host Process for Win32 Services has encountered a problem and needs to close.Ē Because thatís one of those hidden processes that only Microsoft knows what the [CENSORED] they do, I donít know whatís causing the failure, nor what I need to do to repair it. I canít even isolate when it started due to the daily AVG updates and almost constant FireFox Plug-in updates. I uninstalled some FireFox plug-ins thinking that an update on one of those was causing the problem, but after a few days of respite, the error surfaced yet again.

One of the immediate effects of the error is disruption of internet connection, usually while Iím online trying to do something like use instant messenger, comment on blogs, or post my own updates. Whatever that process is, itís apparently close enough to the core that when it shuts down, the machine literally chokes, forgetting how to do pretty much everything until itís restarted. The most annoying part is, sometimes the problem repeats itself even after restarting the computer. That headache has put a major damper on my doing a lot of activities I normally do.

If the problems persist, I may have to switch to using my laptop for online activity, but thatís a bridge Iíll cross when I get there should I need to cross it. I hope it doesnít come to me doing that, I donít like using my laptop online.

TheOtaku.com News

TheOtaku.com recently launched a new attempt at news coverage, a throwback to things they used to do well. I was impressed with the feature the day it launched, it was working correctly and the news items were relevant and interesting, but someone on the back end decided to go and break it for some probably asinine reason. After reporting the rendering issue several times with no evidence that anything is being done, and because reasonable/expected function doesnít exist there anymore, it has absolutely no positive attributes to me, and is added to my list of ďfeature spamĒ that the site has implemented since the Version Vibrant launch. It is no wonder that more people have indicated theyíll be packing it out, the site is a shadow of itís former self in more ways than one.

North Bend Rail Trail

A couple weeks ago, my brother and I set out to ride the North Bend Rail Trail. We hoped to hit all 72 miles of it, round trip that would be 144 miles. We would have made it had my brother not borrowed a piece of crap from a friend of his. We ended up hiking, with bikes in tow 26 miles in all, to get to a town with a bike shop. It was too late in the day to have the bike repaired and ride back the way we came, so we had to call for a ride.

The weather was cold, and snowing when we started, but it cleared up for a while, rained a while, we even got sleet. The high tension lines that crossed over the trail at one point buzzed loudly as we passed underneath them, and many of the railroad relics which have been removed from other parts of the trail still exist along the sides of the trail. Even out where there are no houses, thereís evidence of human intervention in nature, debris in streams, tires littering hillsides, flex pipe used to move natural gas through the mountains, there seems to be no place untouched in some way by humans.

I did get some photos along the trail though, and am sure that the mile marks on the written maps are incorrect, an abandoned tunnel that is said to be at mile 13 is actually at mile 14. The tunnel is collapsing inside, and I donít think there are plans to try to repair it since the trail bypasses right next to it, thatís why itís listed as ďabandonedĒ on the map, it really isnít safe to go into it.

I will try to get the photos online and linked here in one form or another, I got some really good ones. I had been wanting to see the trail in the snow, and I got a great photograph of that, but we were too far from a tunnel for me to get a photograph I really want, a tunnel in the snow. Not getting those photos just keeps me going back to the trail. With all the chaos and turbulence my life has weathered these past two years, it is one of the solemn spots in my heart, a place I can go where the weight of the world does not follow. There is serenity on the trail, and even crossing paths with other human beings is a positive experience.

The only downside to the 26 mile hike (I now know I can walk 26 miles in a day), was blisters on my right foot and aching knees. My brother had some swelling in his leg, but I kept my legs moving even when I was sitting still to prevent that kind of reaction. Needless to say it hurt to go up and down stairs for a whole week, and even now my right knee twinges with pain once in a while.

The Band

I donít recall blogging about it here yet, I mentioned it briefly on TheO, and hereís a more detailed accounting. There are some things going on with that band Iím always talking about, the one my friend plays drum with. I really canít make sense of the situation because Iíve been kept way out of the loop in ways Iíve not experienced before.

Iím suspicious, maybe just being paranoid, but I get the feeling that Iím not entirely welcome around the band, even though Iím their ace in the hole roadie now. I get their gear out of the van, and set up in an hour (or less), and I get it packed efficiently in the van when the show is over, not counting breakdown time, it only takes me about twenty minutes to load the van. I would think that kind of asset is one that the guys would welcome, but lately Iím seeing a trend that indicates something of the opposite.

It started a couple weeks ago with a phone call. I had told the bandís front man if he ever needed my help at a show to call me. He made the call on Monday, asked me if I could help out with a show on Friday night. Being the dragon of principle I am, I agreed to help out and things went well for the show. While at the show, a festival gig the band was booked to play the following afternoon came up in conversation. My drummer friend asked the front man about me going, to which several different very shallow excuses were presented as to why my presence at that gig was not required. The devil is in the details so to speak, and the excuses themselves got me thinking, but at the time I didnít really know much.

At the end of the show, we packed the van a special way to make it an easier trip for the guys to make, and I told the front man to call me when he got back and wanted to reload the gear for he next weekís shows. He uses some close to 100lb subwoofer speakers that one person canít lift. He didnít call me to help reload the gear.

The week after the gig that I was clearly not wanted at, which happened to be days after the painful hiking trip, I did not get a call from the bandís front man until an hour before he intended to hit the road to go to the show. That was a bit uncharacteristic. Needless to say I had to decline helping that time, I wasnít sure I could carry anything up any steps at the venue so I stayed home.

Just Friday night, the day after thanksgiving, was another show out of town. He didnít ask for help that time either, and from what I heard about the previous weekís show, the bandís front man was overly reluctant to have me along to to the out of town venue.

I put those and other experiences and information I have together, and Iím left with few logical assessments as to whatís going on. Any way I look at it though, I get the sense that while they may be humoring me, Iím not really a welcome part of that dynamic. I help the guys set set up because I enjoy helping the guys who work hard to put on good shows, and things like audio systems, acoustics, sound set-up and design, are fascinating hobbies of mine, I just like that king of thing.


I have read the comments, but due to the computer issues, I canít take the time to answer them like I normally do. Hopefully Iíll be able to cover them again next time. If thereís something specific you would like me to address, by all means bring it to my attention again and Iíll do my best.

Animť Dreams!

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