Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Flake Day - the proof

This really is "First Flake Day", skiers.... so start thinking about your season's pass. Or your new snuggies. Or all of the above.  And remember - "Old Skiers never die - they just lose their poles."

Your last real estate purchase....

Just might look something like this, rather than the more old-fashioned cemetery plots that were common many years ago. Our local cemetery back home was across the street from the home where I grew up, and it covered a lot of ground on top of a very windy hill overlooking a wide shallow valley of farmlands. From in there, you had one of the best views in town of the countryside around it, but there wasn't one of those buried in there who ever enjoyed it. Only those who came to visit them could see it, and your importance in this life didn't seem to make much difference when it came to receiving visitors after you got moved into the cemetery. Sure, the bigwigs had fancy funerals, with lots of flowers and carloads of mourners and all that, but afterward, most of them were just as forgotten as anyone else. So fancy headstones sitting on relatively ostentatious bits of land in there didn't guarantee any regular visits from former friends or relatives. Those were mostly a statement of their owner's ego, or the pretentiousness of his family. Being the double-distilled nobody that I am, I don't need any of that. I just want a spot that's out of the way, and overlooking a nice pond full of water lilies and small fish. Somewhere quiet where I can't smell anyone trying to barbecue a goat or a camel or some other roadkill. Someplace that reminds me of the Canada of my youth, and perhaps evokes memories of another cemetery where I once played Cowboys and Indians with my cousin and our pals.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today's mail and other things....

Here's a copy of an e-mail sent to one of the Toronto Star's columnists, and his response....

Thanks for the note from North Van.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ray Sutton []
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 12:06 PM
To: Walkom, Tom
Subject: Re: 'Chest deep in Afghan quagmire'

Dear Thomas:

My perception of all this is that we're simply
making it easier for those Afghan poppy farmers
to raise bumper crops for the opium traders,
who in turn can afford more and better weapons
with which to kill off the foreign invaders.

If the Russians couldn't do it there, what makes
us think that we can? Osama Bin Missing is probably
laughing his ass off at us. How stupid can we get?


Ray Sutton in North Vancouver, B.C.
And on the weather front, it changes quickly here on the 'wet coast' for sure. Overnight, it got colder and rainy, and this morning, it was only 46 Fahrenheit on the balcony, and pouring buckets. This gave me a great opportunity to really test those new flat-style windshield wiper blades that I got a few weeks ago. These don't have any of those little bow-shaped supports normally found on the regular style blades, and the Good News is that they really work in a heavy rain, and they don't make weird noises, and they don't skip parts of the glass. I'd rate them at a 9 out of 10, only because nothing's perfect. But these are very close. You should try them.
Now that the weather is once again clearing up, with the sun coming out again, I may not get a wet posterior later this afternoon when I drop by the local First Memorial Funeral Service up on the hillside near one of my formerly favourite watering holes and show lounges next to a local College. I've had this prearranged plan for years already, but I haven't yet been around to actually check out the real estate where I will eventually end up. So today, the gentleman who runs the place invited me to come over and decide where I'd like to be located. Actually, I was sort of thinking about a clothing optional resort in the Caribbean, or maybe a little beach on the dry side of Bora Bora, but since I've already paid for all this, I guess I'll have to settle for something closer to home. I grew up back east on a street where the local cemetery was right across from us, so it's not exactly unfamiliar territory. And people are still dying to get in.....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another nice day

Our nice weather continues. Enjoy your day, everyone.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


This is a preview of tonight's sunset, in case you miss it....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How do you get bald, toothless & impotent ?

We surveyed 100 lounge lizards and among the top ten answers, the most popular one was:- "Running around the block before breakfast in your underwear on cold mornings." Would I lie to you? Have I ever? How often? That often? - Enjoy your day, Joggers.

I've never been a jogger, but I've been a biker since I was 10 years old, and I still get out on it periodically, and go play in the traffic. I wish I'd improved as much in the last 65 years as bicycles have. But I have trouble believing some of those prices. Some bikes today cost more than my first brand-new car. That was $2995.00 and included a full tank of gas.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall....

Now you know why I don't do this very often - who needs to be reminded they look 110? This was one of the reasons I started calling myself the 'Oldest Living Blogger' back about four and a half years ago, when I first started that first other blog. A gal working for the Associated Press in Chicago stumbled onto it, and wrote about it in 'USA Today', and the guys who were developing that other blog program at the time got all excited and began thinking we were famous or something. Famous, Hell! We vanished from the radar even faster than it found us. Just another momentary curiosity, Folks... But anyway, I proved I could grab a headline using pure bullshit, just like the pros do. For real fun, though, I still like to unspin the spin-doctors. I had a lot of fun with that for several years while I was doing that daily fax to Dear Editor at our local daily paper back when the politicians here were at each other's throats. That was before I discovered computers. Since then, it's even easier to shoot from the lip, and send it almost anywhere. But I'm mellowing in my old age, and being nicer these days. Although sometimes I wonder why.... the political world seems to have just as many unprincipled rank opportunists and two-faced lyin' bastards as it ever had, and there never was a shortage of either.  'Dubya' has to be a prime example; if he had one more brain cell, it would be terribly lonely!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another nice day in British Properties

I'm still getting used to Google's new composition editor, with added variables. Not bad, but my biggest beef with this whole Blogger thing is that every time I write something on here, I usually have to go back through it, and re-format all the text, because Google's system isn't word-wrapping ends of lines consistently. I guess this is part of the price we pay for getting a 'free' blog page. On the other free community blog I first began blogging on, this kind of problem never happened. There was only one thing wrong with it - there
were only about five of us regularly blogging on it, and the other four guys all worked for the company that created its programming. I eventually got tired of slaving away in good old Obscurity, valiantly trying to breathe a little life into that dead horse, and gave it up.
That's when I decided to move to Blogger, and see how this goes.

I'm thinking that the experts are right when they say that most regular blogs these days have become corporate advertising media, and the rest have died on the vine from lack of interest, or insufficient capital, or sheer exhaustion, or something. Blogs are only worth doing if others read them, and the Technorati people did a survey about that, and found that over 97 percent of all the hundred-million-plus blogs in the world were basically just 'labors of love' wherein their authors were slaving away in beautiful downtown Obscurity, where writers are too plentiful, and readers left there ages ago.

This leaves only about three percent of us who have any readers at all, other than ourselves, and included in that three percent would have to be all those corporate or professional bloggers who are basically doing a regular newspaper column type thing, but over the Internet instead of in your local daily rag where it probably belongs. If I wanted junk mail I wouldn't have two kinds of spam filters and an automatic deleting program activated in my email client. But nothing's forever, and the blogging scene was ripe for a take-over by the professional bullshit-to-go types. Too bad - it was a great concept while it lasted.....


Thursday, September 24, 2009

During rushhour we all pay a price...

....And even if we've been retired for years, we still have to listen to the noise from these traffic helicopters with their 'eye-in-the-sky' cameras, showing the folks at home what they're missing by not being out there playing in the traffic. The sad part of all this being that a healthy adult on a bicycle can make better time around the city during rushhour than the unfortunates trapped in their cars, admiring each other's exhaust pipes, and fervently wishing everything would just start moving again like it did back in the Good Old Days, when men were men and the gals were just naturally double-breasted. Ever wonder why they make the new cars capable of 130 MPH when it's impossible to get yours going faster  than the kid next door on his 21-speed bike? What's wrong with this picture? And please don't all yell at once. I'm fighting off the Swine Flu and my nerves are already shot...

The Electric Squirrel

Finally, I got a picture of this little rascal while running along the cable from place to place.
This squirrel uses these cables like its own private sidewalk, to travel everywhere. When it comes to a place it wants to go, it jumps off into a nearby tree. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Pentax X70 test....

The evening sun on the neighbour's flower garden.

Now for something completely different....

This little green critter was clinging to the kitchen ceiling this morning, and I caught him in a container, and put him back outside. The last I saw, it disappeared into the trees by the back street down below. There's been a bountiful crop of these this year - this is about the sixth one that has got around my screens and into the apartment. Usually, I only see maybe one of these in a season. If anyone knows what this is, please leave a comment below.

First sunset of Autumn, 2009

How about this one?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This must be Aircraft Day.....

Are we on 'Candid Camera' ? Looks like we could be....

Coming back to refuel and reload

It's a great day for it...

And away it goes....

This is one of the many Beavers that are a part of "The Vancouver Air Force" as it's called, and which fly around the coast here carrying tourists and fishermen and locals and whoever. Now that I've got 24X optical zoom available, I can grab the camera after I hear the plane coming, and still get it operating in time to grab a picture before it gets out of range.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The last sunset of Summer, 2009

No, this wasn't taken on my new Pentax. It was taken with my Canon G9, in case you wonder. I love this range of colours. And when the rainy season comes, I can look at this and remember we do have some nice sunsets here.

Testing the new Pentax X70

The thing that's notable about this one is the clarity of the details in it at 24X. I can do 24X on the Canon G9 as well, but even using a doubler on it, there's going to be digital zoom included in a 24X shot, because optical tops out at 6X, and with a doubler on that, 12X. This doesn't require the doubler, and it goes all the way to 24X optical before going into the digital parts. The clarity and detail are obvious.

This is a nice little camera, and another thing I really appreciate about it is that its image stabilization really works. Not just some of the time, but every time, like it should. Mr. Canon, please take note, because your image stabilization on my G9 sucks! About half its shots are wasted because they are blurred. This Pentax doesn't do that, and I could easily fall in love with it for that reason alone.

One of the things a good zoom can do....

One of our local Blue Jays out looking for breakfast. It starts at the bottom of our building, and flies upward from balcony to balcony, until it gets to the top, and then rests in a nearby tree.
It doesn't know we aren't allowed to feed them here, even though it may be tempting.
(Today's Trivia: A slice of bread, Frisbee'd out a 16th floor window, can fly for half a block!)

Another nice day coming

Dawn, creeping over the hill. The last day of summer promises to be a nice one. Enjoy it.


I removed this, because Monsieur Beep's comment made me nervous. I realized that this was not the work of the artist I thought, but rather of someone else, whom I don't know. So it has been
removed. Monsieur Beep has seen it now anyway, and that was the whole idea.
- R.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunset at 24X

This new camera is going to be fun.

The Pentax X70 showing 24X optical zoom....

At last - a small camera with big optical zoom and other good things. Now I can forget about digital zooming. If it can't be captured with 24X optical zoom, forget it! You probably don't need it all that badly.

Did I mention that this is quite new, and that Pentax has done a nice job on it? They've had a lot of experience making cameras, and they're still doing it right. I guess now I can retire my Pentax zoom 105-R, or maybe not - it still works perfectly too.

The morning snow report....

First Flake Day has not yet arrived, but we have it on order. Any day now....

Removing noise from images....

There are quite a few programs that claim to be able to remove the noisy artifacts from your jpeg images, but Neat Image is the only reasonably-priced one that I've tried that really works. Their website is here if you would like more information.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another handy tool....

Here's ZoomIt the handy little zooming program. It's meant for using during presentations, but it also does other neat stuff, like magnifying pictures, and allowing you to type or write on the screen by choosing another set of keyboard shortcuts for that. It works in Windows 7 and Vista. Check it out.

And I just solved a mystery effecting the Clipboard, so if you're using Firefox as your browser of choice (and all us Good Guys do!) and you've found that your "copy" and "paste" are not doing their usual things, ( mine weren't!) then please read this before you start cussing a blue streak. I went into Registry and deleted that "AppInits_DLLs" string value like it says to do, and suddenly the 'Copy" and "Paste" are functioning normally again, after several days without them. And we use those a lot, don't we? So I'm glad I found this solution. I just wish I'd found this before I re-installed Windows 7 yesterday in an unsuccessful attempt to cure this problem.
Which just proves that a re-install isn't always what it takes to fix something. Sometimes, the answer is found on good old Google by using the right keywords in your search.

On second thought, forget the mall....

It's clearing off nicely, and the sun's shining again, proving once more that if you don't like the weather in Beautiful British Columbia, just wait for an hour....
....and you'll even be able to see Vancouver Island across Georgia Strait, if you're looking in the right direction from our left coast.

Must be a weekend.....

This picture says "It's a Saturday - go to the mall. They're getting tired of running all those "Going Out Of Business" Sales..." Maybe later. For now, another cup of coffee and finish waking up. It's just after 8:00 a.m., after all, and it is a Saturday.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Find the solar panels....

I'll give you a little hint - it's the second house from the right, in the second row from the top. And it's nice to see folks who don't have to conserve power actually taking an interest in our environment. To them, our Daddy Bigbucks' Good Guys of the Week Award.

On the hill

This was the scene around the upper terminal of the Grouse Mountain Skyride yesterday afternoon while I was testing the camera's doubler and image stabilization. They don't have any peak-to-peak gondola system like Whistler, but they've got something Whistler will never match - the city of Vancouver spread out below for everyone to see. And on a nice clear evening, this is a romantic spot for a quiet dinner for two and admiring the city lights.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Question Everything: Why the pendants in the trees?

This passionate pink place on Millstream Road at the top end of British Properties has two lines of pendants or flags hanging between a couple of big trees behind it, and we have to wonder what the story is on that. It couldn't possibly be the washing on a clothesline, but that's what it reminds me of. When I was a kid, the drier was a big loop of stranded wire running on two pulleys attached to poles at either end of the back yard, and you pegged the wet wash onto one strand of the wire, and then ran it out along the line as more was added. Mother Nature provided the laundry freshener with lots of fresh air. And the price was right. We didn't leave it hanging between the trees for weeks, though.... And this isn't laundry, I'm sure.

Today's weather.... and stuff

On a scale of one to ten, about a seven today. No wind, no rain, no flies, no smoke, and no bullets. Also no bikinis, no tall cool ones, or short snappy ones. Coffee, anyone?

Helpful Hint: If you want to help keep your computer in the pink, here's a little trick that may help:- make a shortcut to each of the folders (in Windows) called 'Temp' and 'Prefetch', and then every three or four days, click on those to open their folders, then 'Select All' and 'Delete' - clean them right out of there. The stuff in Prefetch is automatically renewed on a reboot, and the stuff in Temp is there because it's strictly temporary, and you don't have to preserve any of it for posterity. If that were necessary, it has already been done by the time you read this. So away it goes! This will help to keep your computer running well, because it isn't sorting through a long list of junk looking for something useful every time it starts up or does a reboot. Please Note: Mighty Microsoft, bless their concerned hearts, will tell you that you don't need to do this, because it simply isn't necessary. So two things: (1.) They are in the business to sell you something new when your old stuff clogs up and slows to a crawl; (2.) If it doesn't do any good, why does it seem to work for me? What have you got to lose besides your unnecessary files and folders? Would I lie to you?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Not a nice day on Snob Hill....

The rarified air of billionaire's row isn't any better than mine down here in the cheap seats today. In fact, I think it's better down here among the peasants, even if we do occasionally get shot at.

Computer Update: Found out today what went wrong with that one-month-old Acer x3200 that died on the weekend - it was the hard-drive that packed it in. A new 640 Gb drive that only lasted 30 days! Wonderful. And I used to make jokes about my first old used Dell with its little old hard-drive that was only a fraction of the size of present ones. Hah! it lasted longer than many of these fancy newer ones. When I junked that PC, the hard-drive was still fine.

I spent an hour or so today in the computer department at London Drugs, trying out a couple of new computers there. I found an HP with a 22-inch touch screen that I could easily fall in love with - it has everything, and can do everything but prepare dinner. It looks a lot like the big Imac, but it has a lot more under the hood, including more RAM, more USB ports, and a nicer keyboard & mouse. The big Imac is nice too, but it's a little lean on RAM, and its hard-drive isn't the greatest either. Coupled with the fact that there are only a limited number of third-party programs that can be run on it, and that made it not my first choice. Or, as Dwight at the repair shop says, "You're a guy who loves to tinker with all kinds of weird and wonderful programs, and you'd hate a Mac - you couldn't run half of them on it, and you'd be ready to trade it back in after a week. And besides, you're already getting a bigger bang for your buck with what you have now." He's right about that - I can't argue about that. But if I suddenly decide to go nuts and go first class, I'm going to be looking at that big HP with the touch screen technology, and the built-in camera, and the connection to plug in a TV signal, and......(the list goes on and on...) because it looks like it's really worth the $1800 plus tax that it would cost. It has the most impressive list of "standard equipment" I've ever seen on a computer, and it takes almost an hour just to check out most of that, and try it out. Like I said, I could easily fall seriously in love with that one.

How safe is my neighbourhood ? - not very.....

This peaceful suburban scene is noteworthy for what it doesn't show this morning: a couple of bodies lying in the roadway, after a drive-by shooting incident here yesterday afternoon about 4:40 p.m.

Witnesses interviewed by police and media say they heard three shots at about 4:38 pm, and I would disagree with that. I was sitting here at the computer, and I heard one shot, followed by a brief pause, and then three more in rapid succession, for a total of four altogether. But regardless of that, it's fairly obvious that there are some of the 'bad guys' hanging out in this neighbourhood. That doesn't surprise me, because I've long suspected that some of these rich and wannabe-famous types around here didn't make their fortunes legitimately. Yesterday, we had a little proof of that, when persons unknown tried to kill a couple of them in the street. We still haven't heard if the attempt was successful or not. All we know for sure so far is that the two individuals who were shot are in critical condition in a local hospital.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dawn creeps over the hill...

....and it promises to be another nice day. Enjoy it, everyone!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nice sunbeams through holes in the clouds

I'm getting 'arty' - framed this one for you. Those shafts of sunlight streaming through those holes in the clouds looked more distinct when I was taking this, but for some reason, this image seems to have lost some of that in translation. Maybe I need a more sophisticated editing program, so I could 'doctor' these up more. Trouble is, the really good ones can cost hundreds of dollars, and I can't justify that kind of expense just for fun.

Moving right along here, I bet you're just dying to know the latest in my ongoing saga of the new and uncooperative Acer x3200 desktop, aren't you? Today, it went back to the shop where it came from, and our resident expert there had a look at it, and asked me what I saw on the monitor when it failed. I said that I hadn't seen anything but a few very faint flickers on the monitor, and nothing intelligent ever showed up on it. He said that maybe I had two problems - the computer itself, and the monitor. I said that the monitor is only a couple of years old - it's a 2007 model. He replied that it doesn't matter - if it dies, it dies, so we should check it. I came home, got the monitor, returned to the shop, and we checked it. Dead! He says these flat-screen monitors are usually covered by a three-year warranty, but I said that I'd prefer not to get into a hassle with Acer over the monitor, because they seem to be having enough difficulty already with their ESL studies.

The day ended with the news that the computer has to go back for warranty service, and it isn't a quick fix. This has me wondering which piece of equipment went bad first, and if it caused the problem with the other one... I won't know until I hear what's wrong with the computer itself. Meanwhile, it looks like I'll also have to go shopping for another monitor. Acer products are attractively priced, but there seems to be a problem with the quality, and lack thereof. Before I returned the computer to the shop, I pulled the side cover off it for a quick look inside, and I couldn't help noticing that there were screws missing in the framework which holds the power supply in place, and others missing for the side-panel cover itself, indicating to me that it seemed to have been rather hastily assembled and not checked afterward to make sure it was properly done. Did I get a "Monday Morning Special" as we used to say in the car business, or are they all like this? I'm not prepared to invest in the answer to that question. I'd rather switch than fight.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yes, sometimes I do see the sunrise....

And this morning, so did you! Enjoy your day, everyone....

Speaking of new computers (weren't we?) I started the new Acer this morning and it didn't! Everything happened like it should, except the monitor screen stayed totally black - nothing. I tried using the 3 special recovery disks, and they didn't do anything either. It was new just a month ago yesterday. Performance like this is absolutely breath-taking. And now you'll have to excuse me while I recite two minutes worth of my favourite cuss-words.....and now you know why I have two computers even though there's only one of me. I really need a spare!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More clouds for Windows 7 desktop backgrounds

People collect different things - I like to collect different cloud formations for one of my home-made desktop backgrounds collections. This is a sample of one. The set now includes 20 images, and each displays for 3 minutes, so the whole set cycles once per hour. This feature in Windows 7 is one of the 'fun' features of it, and helps make it more enjoyable to use. After using it for several months now, I am beginning to wish Microsoft would enable a couple of these features for Vista as well - but I suppose if they did, it might effect Windows 7 sales. Personally though, I can't see anyone using Windows 7 actually wanting to go back to Vista. I sure as hell wouldn't.

I've got Vista on the newest PC that I just bought last month, and it has been updated with all the updates, including the Service Pack 2, and Windows Explorer is still showing "Not responding" whenever I try to do something like downloading images from an SDHC Card.
It's bullshit like this that makes us all just LOVE good old Vasta Vista.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Time for another panorama shot....the sunset.

For the larger view, click inside the image... this was five images combined by PhotoStitch.

Me and my Acer computer - The Sequel...

I received an updated response today to my (ongoing) support adventure with Acer Support.

I'm getting the picture: it's an extended 'make work project' for them, and they will not reveal anything useful to you until they have frustrated the bejeezus out of you, driven you to drink, and tempted you to invent a whole new set of cuss-words. Then, when you're crosseyed with frustration, and ready to throw your goddamned Acer computer out a 16th-floor window into traffic below, they politely inform you that the reason your computer doesn't qualify for the free upgrade to Windows 7 is because they can't find it on their list of approved models - and that's what I had already verified before I ever contacted them. I was trying to discover why, and ask if there is any "plan B" for the problem - other than buying a full new program at retail to replace this Vista that I never intended to keep in the first place.

NOTE TO SELF: "Dear Self, you poor gullible boob, please try to remember that Acer is not in the happiness business - they're in the let's-make-some-money-selling-computers-to-users-who-will-not-be-given-any-help-from-us business. So if you're looking for a hand here, then look at the end of your own arm, and don't bother those Taiwanese - they're having too much trouble already with their ESL lessons.

You saw it here first, Kiddies.

And by the way - speaking of your handy-dandy Acer PC, with its own Acer Mouse and Acer Keyboard, these show on the Device Manager as "HID devices" and there's no special drivers available for them for a 64-bit Windows O/S. On the other hand, if you remove them and put back your Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard and your Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical, then you can get the latest Microsoft drivers for those from the Microsoft Downloads Center. Then your input devices will be 64-bit compatible and up-to-date, unlike your Brand-X stuff that you thought was going to save you a couple of yuan but ended up not saving anything, including pains in the posterior. ('Acer' is pronounced 'Acher' because that's its effect on your ass!)

Me and my Acer computer...

You'd think this means you'd get a response when you sent them an email, wouldn't you? Well, Pilgrim, you'd be dead wrong about that. You have to send them one email, then wait two weeks while they fail to respond, and then send them another email more pointedly worded this time, to make sure you got their attention, because it isn't easy - trust me.

I have been trying to get them to say whether or not my newest Acer desktop just recently purchased will qualify for the free upgrade to Windows 7 from its installed-at-the-factory Vista (ugh!) after Windows 7 comes out on October 22nd, to wild applause. I actually did get an answer today to my second email - sorta. The first problem communicating with Acer is that English is definitely not their preferred language. Next, I'm informed in somewhat garbled tones that they don't recognize their own 22-digit alpha-numeric serial number, and they request another one called the SNID number - another 11 digits. I'm immediately thinking "if they can't (or won't) recognize their own goddamned serial number, then what the hell am I doing buying this piece of shit?"

I re-sent the serial number they can't understand, along with the date of manufacture, (2009/05/21) and that SNID number, and for good measure reminded them of the model numbers of this thing. I am awaiting their next response in fractured English. They obviously can't afford to hire one of us palefaces who speaks fluent North American. Anybody else out there having any similar fun with Tiawan's Ah So Workee Four Uz Kompyootering Kumpknee???
If so, my complete sympathy to you. I bet you won't do that again, will you?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today's weather is.....

And it's getting better as it gets older. Wish I was :) This is looking at Vancouver Island.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another freebie - but it didn't work for me....

The problem I had with this is that it asks some rather ambiguous or confusing questions at the beginning, to get itself configured to look at your present setup of Services. Then, when it collects that information and does an automatic adjustment, it turns off some things that I did not want interrupted, like my Internet connection, for starters... Fortunately, Vista can do its own repair on the Local Area Connection, and that came back on alright. But it also shut off some security because it thought I didn't want the factory-equipment Windows security items running alongside my third-party ones. So that had to be re-started, too. By the time I got all that done, I'd decided that I didn't need this aggravation - it's really simpler to just go into Administrative Tools -> Services and select individual ones, and then click on Properties of that, and check for its dependencies, and decide whether you need it in Manual, or Automatic, or Disabled - and then move on to the next. There's a whole bunch of them, and it will take some time to go through the whole list, but when you're done, you'll have your Vista (or Windows 7 or XP) tuned to exactly the ways you want it, according to the features that you're using and not using. And you won't have to reset your Internet connection afterward, unless you've cut off something you shouldn't have stopped. And you'll find that out soon enough - trust me. Have I ever lied to you ?

64-bit Windows and security programs....

This is something I found on using Avast Home on a Windows 64-bit operating system, and I'm including it here, because it helps to explain some of the differences between a 32-bit (x86) operating system and a 64-bit (x64) operating system. Luckily, the same security program that I'm presently using on my Windows 7 (32-bit) PC is also fully compatible with this Vista 64-bit that I got most recently. I like Avast security software, not just because they make a freebie version, but most of all because it really works - unlike some other brands I could name.

There's a lot of different brands, and a lot of pure unadulterated bullshit in the security game, and you definitely can't believe everything you read. The 'Good Guys' cover your ass as well as their own, while the others only cover their own asses, while treating you to the well-known old Mushroom Philosophy: Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em horseshit.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Those huge rocks at the new house....

The backhoe operator finally came today to run the machine and remove those huge rocks from the middle of the driveway, and place them against the uphill side of it, and covered over the crushed rock that was on the driveway.

Today's Question Everything is:- How many of you think this improves the look of this place, as opposed to how many of you think it makes it look like hell? I'm among the latter, myself. This reminds me of the wit who said "There are very few problems in this life which cannot be resolved by the judicious application of high explosives."

Togetherness - The Bucket Brigade...

From here, I couldn't really see what they were doing for all these trees in between - and there's lots of them. It's a jungle out there.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Isn't this a stat holiday ?

When I was a member of the IBEW, we tried not to work on these statutory holidays, and we usually didn't engage in "make-work" projects to make the time sheets look better - we didn't need to. How times change! Christine couldn't figure out what this guy was up to, when he first pulled into her driveway and started setting up. Kind of puzzled me too.

Right on schedule....the weekend's almost over.

It's clearing up again, now that the long weekend is almost history. Mother Nature is a bitch!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Same old, same old... ho-hum...

The summer's last long weekend goes out with a whimper and a fizzle....and the rains come.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More about your computer.... an 'FYI'

Monsieur Beep writes that he consults his weather channel (in Germany) several times a day - so here's perhaps something helpful, Monsieur.... In Vista (and Windows 7) you can load more than one copy of a gadget onto the desktop. Please see the examples of the weather gadget from Vista's standard default set of gadgets, shown on the right, above. So grab the good wife's new laptop and add a couple of more weather gadgets to its Vista Sidebar :)

The long-range forecast -

Got a wet-suit? You could always go surfing, or scuba-diving....

Or maybe just stay inside where it's warm & dry, and the coffee's handy, and the computer's working without talking back at you for a change.... and if that doesn't grab you, there's always the mall. We've got the oldest still-operating mall in Canada just a couple of blocks from here, and it's a biggie, too. Maybe mall-ratting is your thing....

Friday, September 4, 2009

Windows 7 Launch Party on

I got an email today from Microsoft, inviting me to try for a chance to host a launch party for Windows 7 sometime between October 22 and 29, and maybe receive a free signature edition of Windows 7 Ultimate and goodies for the guests. Sounds lovely, and I really like Windows 7 Ultimate, which I've been testing now for most of this year. But I did a little research on this organization and learned that my chances are slim to none of being picked to host a party for Microsoft's Windows 7 launch. There will be events all over the country, and around the world, very likely, but getting chosen to host one is a lot like winning the 'big one' on the lottery - you probably stand a better chance of being hit by lightning, or suddenly becoming 20 years younger and twice as nice looking. Not something to get too excited over.

But that's OK - about ten million of us have been testing Windows 7 already for months, and most of us have been very favourably impressed by it. Most of us have probably already said so, to anyone who would listen. I know I have. I think Windows 7 is the best Windows yet, and I believe anyone who gives it a fair trial and especially anyone who has compared it side by side with Vista will definitely prefer Windows 7. It's the kind of program that will practically sell itself, if given a chance to show what it can do. It's classier and prettier than XP, but just as versatile, and much more user-friendly than Vista, so it has all the makings of a real winner in my humble opinion. Add to that the fact that from practically Day One it has been a very solid and dependable platform, and you've got something you can trust. Behind it you have people who have learned their lesson about paying attention to their users and trying to keep us satisfied with the product, and that makes a big difference for everyone. So I really don't need to hold a launch party for this newest operating system - I was sold on it months ago, and already have a copy pre-ordered.

Today in our local newspaper.... election fever?

Above is my response to Barbara's always-excellent perspectives on the national political scene, and her closing thoughts on a fall election. Here's Barbara's column that prompted my email to her. Enjoy!

And this being the Canadian Labour Day long weekend, here's a quote from the famous Will Rogers on that topic:- "Tomorrow is Labor Day, I suppose set by act of Congress. How Congress knows anything about labor is beyond me."

Enjoy your day, everyone.