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Thursday, January 8, 2009

January Update

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingCurrent Mood:

Somewhat Exposed.

Holiday Greetings:

Special thank you to everyone who sent cards and holiday greetings this year. I appreciate the thoughts and well wishes even if I didnít return them.

I hope everyoneís holidays were happy and bright. Some of my holiday adventures canít be discussed yet, call it a personal paranoia, but others I can bring up. Iíll get to those later.

Computer Issues:

Unfortunately, the computer problems have not been resolved yet. Good information about the specifics of the problem is hard to find because of the completely dropped SP 1 support even in the wider expanses of the world-wide web. If SP 2 wasnít completely wasted garbage on certain programs that others in the house like to run, I suppose I wouldnít be having the issues because I would have updated already and kept the update installed.

Because everyone and their brother decided to upgrade to SP2 blindly, they got rid of all the tips and tricks for SP 1, thatís not good for me because it means I canít troubleshoot the problem, itís like SP 1 never existed to all those hack job ďtech supportĒ sites, newsgroups, and forums.

So as it stands now Iím pretty much tied up from here on out indefinitely because I donít have a back-up in place, and I donít have the knowledge or the resources to repair my current internet rig. It means I wonít be super active, probably wonít get to comment on things nearly as much, and lengthy IM chats may be a problem for the foreseeable future. A frustrating and uncomfortable position to be in, but itís the only one Iíve got right now.

Computers shouldnít be so [CENSORED] costly to maintain. This is ridiculous.

Holiday Adventures; The Eyeglass Chapter:

Had a bit of bad luck with my glasses about a week ago, one of the welds gave out. Unfortunately, the break at the bridge of the glasses isnít in a spot that home repair can effectively be applied. Temporary soldering (which would damage the finish on the frames) or gluing is possible, and Iíve bonded the frames with super glue that holds for 1-2 days give or take, but neither of those are good long-term repairs. Thankfully Iím near-sighted so typing isnít a problem for me without them on.

The fun part of this adventure was finding replacement frames. Itís a logical assumption that the frame is broken, the lenses are still perfectly good, why spend a fortune on the whole eye exam and new frames and lenses when the only thing that needs replacement is the broken frame? I looked up the brand and model frame online, the company still makes those frames, and they had a list of local eye care facilities that carry their products. None of the places I went to for empty frames would even try to help me, even those so called ďurgent careĒ ones. Broken glasses fit into ďurgentĒ in my book, so I donít know how these fly-by-night WV eye care (and I use that term loosely) facilities get by. Lazy, inefficient, and unwilling service, the hallmark of the West Virginia business model, not something for them to be proud of by any means.

Itís amazing how people here willfully complicate basic common sense problems. How hard is it to wrap oneís mind around the idea that someone doesnít need lens prescriptions verified, guaranteed, or updated, but would like to take existing functional lenses out of the broken frames and put them into exact make and model frames that arenít broken? It seems that common sense solution is beyond the mental grasp around here. Instead of going the easy route, these hack outfits exercise questionably legal shady tactics. Thatís not the way to gain business, that drives it away. I had a very good pair of sunglasses made at one of the hack outfits back when I thought they were legit, never again will I go back there for anything. I do not play well with deplorable, unethical service, and to say theyíre simpletons is an insult to honorable idiots everywhere.

I ended up going back to my eye doctor for replacement frames, and at $130.00, not cheap. The new frames came on Monday and fit me comfortably well, so the end result is a positive one, even with all the headache to get them.

Entertainment Atrocities:

Part 1:

I saw a commercial for a movie a while back, The Day the Earth Stood Still. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that.

What happened to Hollywood? Were not those greedy, self-absorbed, egocentric writers demanding more money for their work and creative process? Modernizing classic cinema does NOT count in my book, an eight year old can update a film script to fit modern times. The writers who ruined TV and movies for a lot of people should be mandated to take a pay CUT for every script they produce that's an update, remake, or otherwise copy of an existing work, the cuts should be higher for content that's already well known or considered classics in cinema history.

The economy is bad, but that's no excuse for lackluster imagination on the part of the copy machines, I mean writers, in Hollywood. It's no excuse for not trying to produce original content after that three ring circus act of a writersí strike. There's talk that Tinsel Town is suffering because of the economy like the rest of us, with TV shows being canceled and so on. Cry me a river already I donít really give a tinkerís dam. They hurt themselves, the industry, and the entertainment image by not producing original content, and by trying to reinvent classics in the modern image. That kind of thing doesnít work.

Part 2:

Before anyone assumes anything about me personally, and before I continue, I present this disclaimer: I do not endorse, condone, or otherwise support whaling operations, scientific or otherwise. Killing is killing whether it be for knowledge, or profit, thereís no distinction. I also believe there is a right and wrong way to go about affecting change for the better, not every situation calls for being an obnoxious horseís hind end.

I stumbled upon a program on one of Discovery Communicationsí networks, Animal Planet, recently. The show Whale Wars is a testament to the greed and insensitivity of American television. Where else in the world can arrogant, racist, xenophobic, anti-social, terrorist pirates get an hour of TV to harass, threaten, and antagonize other nations without consequence? Only in America will you see that blatant offense to humanity and common sense go unhampered.

After seeing commercials for the program on various Discovery networks, I turned the program on once to see what exactly it was about. I would just as soon eat the discarded fugu fish trimmings out of a restaurant trash can that turn on Animal Planet again for the foreseeable future. I canít and wonít support, endorse, or interact with any channel that glorifies inciting international incidents and outright piracy. That offensive content should be banned, period. Encouraging people to do the right thing the right way should be the focus of any politically motivated programming. Vigilante justice only works in comic books and anime.

Itís amazing how one program can force someone into extremes. Iíve already thought about purchasing a signal trap to put on my cable to block the Animal Planet channel completely from my TV, and Iíve as much as told them that. In CATV lingo, a trap is what the cable providers use to block out specific channels, each one is tuned to a specific channel so that other channels pass through without interference. Most people are familiar with their use to inhibit access to premium channels like HBO and so on. Iím sure if I look hard enough, I can find one for the channel that my provider distributes Animal Planet on, from a company that will sell to a regular person. Iíve deprogrammed the channel from my VCR and TV, but I would really like the network to go off the air on my TV completely for now. All I want to see on that slot is static. I donít have fancy cable boxes or TV sets that will actually block specific channels with the v-chip (mine isnít that advanced), so Iíll do it the old fashioned way, even if I have to build the trap myself.

In the past, this is where I would start the ďstand with meĒ boycott campaign speech. Experience has taught me that my stands donít have the personal connection with others, or I lack the skill to properly motivate people to act. To that end, Iím not even going to try anymore. My personal stands will be my own thing.

TheOtaku.com News:

An update on the previous posting about News Nuggets. TheOtaku.com News Nuggets are working correctly again, it seems my posting the message that they were broken was the straw that broke the camel's back. I guess after bringing the problem to the staff's attention through legitimate channels wasn't enough to take it seriously, it had to be criticized harshly as "feature spam" in a post on the site itself to get something done. Beggars can't be choosers I guess, I'm just glad it's fixed.

They had some DDoS issues a couple weeks back as well. I havenít really been on nearly as much as I used to be to know if those have been completely resolved, but last I knew things were doing all right. The RSS feed for news there is working again, even if the quality isnít as good as it used to be, itís still something.

Trail Photos:

I finally put some of the trail photos up on Flickr which should be accessible here. They donít have an embed feature, so I have to make do with the link that way. Thereís only 4 pictures up right now, of my most recent hiking adventure, but those 4 tell enough of a story. My best photo from the trail is available on my Redbubble account because it is good enough for me to try to sell, which is why I canít post the link to it on some of my sites. Wouldnít want to step on anyoneís toes now would I?


I donít think the problem that the Microsoft Knowledge Base comes up with is the same one I have. The computer I use for the internet is still running Service Pack 1 because of software compatibility issues with stuff others use the computer for, even though the problem manifests the same way, that ďgeneric host processĒ thing. I couldnít make enough sense of the info provided with the patch on Microsoftís website to want to risk installing it, itís not really clear if that patch is safe for Service Pack 1. The problem with that is, lots of stuff I use, including my anti-virus, is dropping SP1 support, which means less ability to find and fix problems.

I hate updates of all kinds, Iíve broken more things by updating them than not, itís always bad advice to blindly jump into an update. Flash player 10 is garbage when Iím on the computer in my user account, but no one else on the computer has problems with it, and they use the same browsers I use, FireFox 2 and IE 6.

That explains why that hiccup breaks the internet connection if itís a legit process malfunction or malware interfering with the process. Iíll run AVG again and see if it picks anything up, that very well could be the problem. If it doesnít find the problem, it wonít because my AVG free edition is no longer getting virus definitions, they stopped supporting it at the end of the year and the newest version will not run on Service Pack 1.

Thatís very true, heís right, itís amazing to see the kinds of things that are well off the beaten path. I was sorry to hear heís retiring from the show, but that kind of thing is hard to do. Hopefully heíll do something for Discovery though, cause his personality is one thatís easy to get along with and one of the few things that holds me to the Discovery networks. My grandmother was hyper allergic to poison ivy, she didnít even have to touch the stuff, just going outside when it was around was enough for her to react. She had to get a cortisone shot one time because of it, and after that, her allergy seemed to go away. I have pollen allergies, but in winter, thereís not a lot of pollen or poison ivy to worry about.

Yeah, the Holidays are crazy all around, Iíve been busy and still have lots to get done. My sister had that earlier this year, it seems to be going around. Take care of yourself and get better soon.

It sure was an adventure, one I wouldnít give up for the world. The pain was worth it to me in several ways. I needed to push my limits, to go farther than Iím normally comfortable going. My average hikes have been anywhere from four to six miles, biking has only been fourteen. I now know I can hike 26 miles, so that means by bike I should be able to make the trail round trip of about 144 miles with minimal injury. Good luck finding your own adventure, the best ones come, like mine, without expecting it.

The tunnel is a profound ruin on several levels, itís a show of the railroadís glory days, when things were intricate and ornate. Iím personally tied to the trail because of the railroad history there, my grandfather was a railroad engineer. In the state itís in now, the tunnel is a testament to what was, and what will be. Thereís an energy that comes from being at a place in time like that, slipping out of time and into something timeless. The tunnel is in bad shape, but the arch ceiling is solid, itís not the walls themselves coming in, but the stuff beyond them that are coming in (some pictures from another tunnel will help me illustrate that in my next post). I did not set foot into the tunnel, as reckless as I am, I would never be that stupid, not even to get a ďcoolĒ picture. There are at least two other abandoned tunnels on the trail, one near the town of Cairo which I still canít place even though Iíve been on that section of trail several times, and one on a section of the trail Iíve never been to at all. I just have to get there in the winter months when the leaves are all off the trees to have any real potential of finding those tunnels.

I suppose I will have to be guarded around the band when I next encounter them, but I wonít really know that until the time comes. Stepping back and observing quietly will help me put the puzzle together, there are a few pieces that I havenít looked at yet to know where they go, but the big one Iím dealing with now, the unexpected distance, is a handful by itself.

I ran Spybot which found one potential item, AVG didnít find anything at the time of my writing this. I plan to run AVG again, and after updating it, give Spybot another go, and if Iím so inclined, Iíll even give Ad Aware a run (I hate the interface on that one which is why I donít use it regularly). As it is now though, Iím either missing something important, or the problem isnít malware, but Iím not sure.

The trip was one for the books, thatís for sure. My numbers arenít exact, the maps and trail have conflicting mileage information so Iím providing my best guess as to the distance based on what I know about the discrepancy. Oddly enough though, the trip didnít feel all that long when we were making it, it seemed a bit short, though it is by no means a breeze to make. Maybe Iíve walked further at some point in my life that the distance didnít make much of a time impact on me.

That covers the basics.

Time will tell.

Iíve said it here before eons ago, but I look smart for knowing how to find information most of the time, not because I actually know what Iím doing. General troubleshooting isnít too hard, but the devil is in the details.

Iím going to roll with the suggestions that came from posting here, hopefully a simple solution will be the result. I wonít know for sure until I hit this problem hard. Wish I could say I was 100% successful, but I really think technology out to get me, either for my inability to afford the upgrades, or just bad karma for the years of gray hat operating.

The next time I have a beer, Iíll drink to that first.

Animť Dreams!

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