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Archive for the 'Living My Life' Category

24 Jun

It’s amazing…

…to what lengths I will go to in order to avoid reformatting my hard drive. I used to do it once every year at the least, but once I realized how much more stable WinXP was over it’s predecessors, I started slacking. The last time I think I did a reformat was…um…three or four years ago. Point is, I need to reformat/reinstall XP, but I keep putting it off. Tweak the registry here and there, defrag constantly, and so on. It works…but no matter what you do, the system becomes more and more unstable. And the longer you go without, the more stuff you have to remember in order to reorganize the computing system back to the way you prefer it. I’m not talking about just backing up your “important files,” either. That’s easy. It’s more…

“Which settings did I tweak in Firefox, again?”
“Which things did I tweak in XP and how to do it, again?”
“What mods/patches did I use with that program/save game files/whatever again?”


Of course, the other bottom line in my case is that I also really need to build a new computer altogether. I keep almost doing it, but each time something (or my husband) convinces me it’s better to wait (more bang for your buck later). But frankly, there’s always a reason to wait…it really only, and always, boils down to “do I feel like spending money on that right now?” And unless you’re rich or a tech trend geek, the answer is usually “not really.”


23 Mar

Lifes little updates, part 3,423,531

I was going to post a few more squirrel pictures and other odds and ends, but became distracted by:

1 - An extremely bad case of “Unmotivateditis” and mental “CrashandBurnism”
2 - A general lack of interest in “doing” anything besides staring at the wall.
3 - A simple but fun single-player PC game called Mount and Blade. It’s a strategy/rpg type game about medieval Kingdom relations/war/combat that is completely open-ended/non-linear. Great horse-riding combat, too.

I haven’t done much gaming in a while, but it appears that whenever I’m struck by a bad case of the first two things, I tend to retreat back into spurts of gaming. Mount and Blade is an easy game to pick up and then drop, repeatedly, with no plot or escalating “missions” to make you feel you have to finish right now. The game doesn’t even really have an ending, you could play forever. Anyway, I enjoy it.

–In other news, after looking at, then deciding not to buy, another used van similar to the one he already has, hubby decided to just have his van painted. His van has had a bad case of flaking-off paint for some years and had a lot of rust on the roof. Not attractive. The van itself still seems to run ok, which is kind of amazing, really … and now it looks all shiny and new. Well, kind of. At least it’s not a rusting hulk anymore.

–During a couple of days where the sun was out and it felt like Spring I did some weeding in the yard. The dirt patch near the front door had become a hive of weeds seemingly overnight. As I picked and shoveled them out, I came upon the realization that I don’t like empty dirt patches, and I don’t like tanbark ground cover. Oh sure, it’s pretty when new, but a few years later…plus, with all the leaves that fall here, when you try to rake leaves over the tanbark, half the tanbark comes with the leaves.

–Baby-kitty still seems determined to outlive his human owners. Ok, not really, since if he did, he’d be the oldest house cat EVER, but he is one determined senior kitty. Every time I think “uh oh, might be put-down time” he bounces back again and seems fine. A little wobbly and weak hipped, which means he’s beginning to have a hard time balancing while squatting in cat-litter (sigh) but … yup, he’s enjoying his time being the only cat in the house, and he means to enjoy it for as long as possible.

–I’m apparently mildly allergic to hazelnuts.

–The constant stream of new allergies as I get older becomes more irritating all the time, especially when I don’t know what it is causing the problem for a long while. And despite all the “free” detergents they have now, I seem to still have reactions from those now and then, too. I think I’m at least mildly allergic to all the dust the sycamore tree leaves on our street put out - more contact than nose, but some of both. For instance, after weeding the front yard and stirring up a lot of that dust, I didn’t shower or change clothes, and later that day I had some bad contact rashes on the torso. I’d guess from the dust getting into my shirt and through to rub on my skin. A few hours after showering, it calmed down and by morning it was gone. Sigh. I should live in a bubble.

Well, that’s enough babbling for one day.

23 Dec


The above photo is actually from the fall, when all the trees were turning. Right now they’re almost bare. But it’s prettier to see fall foliage than naked trees. Since I live in the “evergreen” California coast, this is probably the first time I’ve lived anywhere that had a lot of tree color in fall.

Oh and btw, Merry Christmas. I wonder how many people this year are re-discovering, due to economic woes, that Christmas is not about how expensive or desired a material gift is … it is really, in my opinion at least, an extension of Thanksgiving. A time to ponder and be grateful for what you have, instead of being cranky/greedy about what you don’t have.

So be grateful, not cranky…and try not to develop that fanatic sale-mob mentality in order to avoid trampling any more Wal-Mart employees to death, k?

22 Oct

Word Press 2.6.2’s new menu layout sucks

I decided tonight that I was going to update my version of WordPress. Easy enough. Everything looks fine…but wait, what’s this. A new dashboard/write/settings menu layout for the writing and managing of all your bloggity stuff.

It’s a vast sea of white. White white white. What is the obsession with white backgrounds. Where’s the option to change the color? I haven’t found it yet, maybe I’m blind. Can’t we start making the default background color of word-processing type interfaces something more like, oh, say, light beige?

All the little menu options such as ‘tags’ and ‘categories’ are no longer next to/on the side of the writing area, but below. I don’t like that. No, I don’t. Maybe this is because I use 1600×1200 resolution, tho. I suppose if you still use 800×600, the writing ‘area’ and those menus wouldn’t fit. I don’t know. But now there’s a huge empty nothing of wasted space to the right side of my screen, and I have to page down endlessly - and unnecessarily - in order to click/check all those option boxes. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and I agree … it’s a major catastrophe! One that could send our planet spinning out of control towards the sun. Say your last prayers and hallelujahs, we’re all going down, and it’s Word Press’ fault. Yup.

Other than that, the update is peachy-keen.
Yes, I said “peachy-keen.”

And yes, I haven’t written anything in months.
No, I don’t know if I’m going to post regularly again.

That’s the joy of life … the mystery … the wondering wonderment … the not-knowing.


02 Jul

The importance of bees

As I blogged about a while back, we’ve planted some tomato plants in our backyard. Four of them, to be exact. And while they’ve grown pretty tall, two of them have a few small clusters of tomatoes growing, while two have…zero. El zippo. The tiny flowers bud, open, dry up, and fall off.

Hubby did a Goggle search, and apparently, while tomatoes are self-pollinating (they don’t need male/female versions), they won’t do it very successfully without bees buzzing around the flowers to shake the pollen around. So its become apparent that we don’t have any bees around here. Or at least, not any that visit our backyard. Oh sure, we have lots of paper wasps that like to buzz around the grass and make nests in the roof overhangs, but no bees. I suppose it’s possible that it’s too early for bees to be in the area - maybe most of the city plants that have flowers which bees would like bloom later in summer, and so the bees habitually come later. Or maybe they don’t like it this close to the salty Bay and it’s heavy breezes. Who knows…whatever the reasons, they won’t currently help our tomatoes.

According to one website’s info: “Although all current tomato cultivars/varieties are self-pollinated, the transfer of pollen to the stigma under greenhouse conditions may not occur in order to ensure complete pollination. Incomplete pollination results in poorly shaped fruit. If the flower blossoms are hand pollinated, flower vibration using a mechanical vibrator must be done daily based on a preplanned program, following the procedure needed to keep from damaging emerging fruit.”

Did you notice the part about hand pollination and mechanical “flower vibration?” Yes? Well, that’s what hubby has been considering doing. ie, he wants to try to make some kind of “flower vibrator.” Now, this may be horticulturally correct and scientifically sound, but you have to admit…it sounds hilarious. But if that’s what he wants to do, I’m sure he’ll find a way to do it. My husband likes projects like that. Assuming, of course, he has the time. He’s been fairly busy the past few weeks.

At any rate…bees are important. You may not like them at your picnic, but without them - and other insects that do similar work - entire crops of self-pollinating food plants would have to be “vibrated” all over the world. And the noise arising from such mass vibration could possibly be so huge, even if the cycles were so fast that we ourselves couldn’t hear the vibrations, that it might attract the notice of aliens - with better hearing - passing by in their spaceships…aliens that were hungry and looking for a new source of meat to farm…so be kind to bees and their ilk, for without them we might one day, in our folly to twist nature to our personal whims, become dinner ourselves. :D

26 Jun

I should’ve been a plumber

We have one of those washer-drainage systems where the washer dumps its water into a sink, rather than through a closed pipeline. We haven’t been able to do a “full/large” load of laundry since we moved in, since the sink would fill up too high and it was kinda risky. At first we thought this was because the sink was too small. Then as time went on, we realized there was a clog way down deep in there somewhere. We realized this because the sink began to overflow even during medium-sized loads a few weeks ago, flooding the garage a couple times. On top of this, the kitchen sink uses the same pipe, so whenever you used the washer you couldn’t run the dishwasher for hours, or even, really, use the kitchen sink much at all. The opposite also held true.

Anyway, the point is, after unsuccessfully mucking around with a store-bought “snake” and various drain cleaners, I finally called a plumber. The guy came, he used his professional strength super-snake and stuff, and the problem’s all gone. We can now do a large load of laundry and the water drains out of the sink faster than the washer can pour it in. I don’t know what the previous owners of this house were pouring down their drain to clog the pipes like they were, but it’s all gone now.

But you know what? It took the Roto-Rooter guy all of 10-15 minutes to churn that snake to the main line in the street, and for that it was $200. Now, don’t get me wrong…as always I understand why prices for services like this are as they are but sheesh. I was thinking it’d be around $100, maybe $150 at most. And of course, he tried to sell me some “special” drain cleaner for an extra $50. It should surprise no one that I said no to that one.

For the record, 15 years in that house in San Jose and our drains never clogged up once…even with all the cats I once had…so hopefully this is the only time we’ll have to fork over cash to a professional plumber-dude, barring some disaster like, oh, say a flood or hurricane or broken sewer mains.

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