REXTINE1   97,471
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Bad Internet Service

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Yesterday and today my access to the internet has been difficult. At first I thought something had suddenly gone wrong with the computer, but after a lot of checking I found that everything is fine except that I fail to get to a web site frequently, and when I do it can take more than 30 seconds to show the page. That is true after you are on a site too – going from one part of Sparks to another may or may not happen, and when it does it can take from almost no time to nearly a minute. I adapt – today I had three different tasks on Sparks going at once, and I would simply switch to another one while I waited for something to show up.

I have the same problem with Netflix – I can see all the material available, but I can’t actually show any video because the download never gets started. One movie once did start, but every other time I tried (maybe 20 different types of shows, from very short to standard movies) failed.

I tried measuring the download and upload speeds, and I got nearly 10/1 twice for Atlanta, and failed twice. The same thing happened for a little slower speed (7/0.7 for Seattle down to 3/0.3 for Los Angles). It gives you a speed sometimes, and fails about as often.

I had worked it down to possible the router, and to remove the router and plug the computer directly into the modem is a real chore because of all the stuff packed into this room, so I finally called Brighthouse, and their tech rep told me that they did indeed have a problem. I got tired of messing with things yesterday and gave up, but I went through my full routine today, except for the weights which I will do later.

I even ran PC Cleaner yesterday and did a disk cleanup and defrag check (which it didn’t need), so everything is in fine shape except the cable coming out of the wall.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLJ35 6/5/2011 1:53PM

    Computers are wonderful - when everything is working correctly. I was frustrated the other evening when I couldn't even get on the wireless, went to bed with very little Sparkin' done. I get mine from son's house next door and his router needed reset. So next day I was back in business.
I have enjoyed your Spark Page and comments you left on another's blog. Keep up the good work!
PS I am in 16th year of retirement and DH is in his 19th. We are so grateful for this time!

Comment edited on: 6/5/2011 1:55:06 PM

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DJ4HEALTH 6/4/2011 10:51PM

    I too have been having problems with comcast popping up on my page and we don't even have comcast but bell south as our internet provider. Go figure !!

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MS.ELENI 6/4/2011 9:17PM

    Hope your internet is working better today

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S3XYDIVASMOM 6/4/2011 6:07PM

    Bummer! It's rough being without our internet fix. Maybe tomorrow the problem will be fixed.

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MIRAGE727 6/4/2011 4:16PM

    RoadRunner sucks! I have BH I-net as well. I have the tech coming this Monday. But what do I know? I was Chief of Web Operations for the AF in the Pentagon from 9/1 in 2006! I was Verizon FIOS but they haven't hit my neighborhood yet! I loved that service.

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USMAWIFE 6/4/2011 2:01PM

    call you provider.. could be something wrong with their lines and it is affecting yours.

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Flighty Computer

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recently I have been cleaning up this computer - first to save money because I have been paying ten dollars per month to AOL for years so that our oldest daughter would have free antivirus software, as well as us. I figured it was about the same cost, even after the daughter (the last of five people who used the one AOL service that I had) bought high speed Internet service for herself, and AOL would let her keep her AOL e-mail address. Then Consumer Reports put McAfee down at the bottom of the performance list, and several free services much higher.

So I migrated, and stored all four of the recommended free services for future reference. I also learned that our son has four antimalware services running on one computer. Once I got started I cleaned up this old computer. It is a single 64 bit wide processor, bought just as the first dual processors were coming out about six years ago. In the end it now seems to respond at about the same speed as our son-in-law's liquid cooled quad processor computer. They're both HP computers, but his is nearly new and mine is pretty old.

Yesterday I wondered what would happen if I started two antimalware programs on this computer. I knew that I couldn't use one because it refused to share, but the Alvira and McAfee seemed to get along just fine, so I started to install the Microsoft program. It warned me not to do it, and I figured - "Everything is working fine now - why tamper and keep on until I mess something up?" So I quit.

Later, I couldn't answer an e-mail because Outlook couldn't open Word. I messed around a long time, and almost reinstalled the original 2003 Office software. I didn't because I know that Excel has been upgraded several times to run the latest version, and I could see no end of possible problems. I even went online and considered just using the Road Runner e-mail, but finally just left everything alone.

Today I logged on, and when I got around to reading my e-mail, EVERYTHING worked. There wasn't any problem at all. I wasted at least a hour messing around last night just because I have a flighty computer. In the old days, if a breadboard didn't work, it didn't work. Hardware almost never just gets well by itself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REXTINE1 5/31/2011 10:59PM

    What I didn't say was that when hardware does get well, it's usually called "an intermittent," which is short for "an intermittent problem." Those are the worst problems to fix. But a lot of times just turning everything off and letting the operating system start from scratch will fix a PC problem. I did that twice last night and it didn't fix this problem. So now I will keep my fingers crossed for a while to see if it comes back.

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MRDPOLING 5/31/2011 10:31PM

    I did a PC cleanup this past weekend and everything is moving so much quicker now!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 5/31/2011 10:11PM

    I've seen my husband "fix" computers like this and I always think it's just his aura. But he's like Brewmaster Bill, in that it drives him nuts when it's broke and he can't figure it out, and just as nuts when the problem spontaneously goes away.

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GLC2009 5/31/2011 8:33PM

    don't get me started on computers....aiyaiyai!!!

i am leaving home and going to a meeting right now, because my computer is driving me out of the house.

the meeting isn't really that important and i have lots of office work to do, but, i just can't take it anymore emoticon

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    Problems that fix themselves concern me, hardware or software.

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MS.ELENI 5/31/2011 7:12PM

    I know you have heard the old saying. If it ain't broke leave it alone. Everytime I try to do something new on mine I end up with a mess. Now I pay to have someone else deal with the headaches.

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Really Different Car

Monday, May 30, 2011

I slept in this morning, and didn't leave the house until 6:40. The sun still wasn't up, and there weren't any cars or people out anyhow, and I made good time with my walking sticks. I love holidays.

The first car I saw was at about 7:15, passing me on 19th Street. It is a late 1930's Ford that has been chopped and dropped, dechromed, and fitted with a V8 engine and dual exhausts and baby moon hubcaps. No bumpers, and a tan metallic finish that is completely spotless - the shine hurts your eyes. It looks like a custom car from the late 40's or 50's. I don't know where the guy was going - to a car show, or maybe just out driving it while no one was likely to scratch it.

I have seen that car twice before and I have no idea who owns it, but it is obviously someone's hobby. It's not the sort of thing you take to the grocery store.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 5/30/2011 10:06PM

    There are a few guys around me that have classic cars. I see them more in the sunny, warmer parts of the year. I've not seen them yet this year, but then again, until a few days ago, we've not had any sunny days.

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MS.ELENI 5/30/2011 5:07PM

    You call sleeping in leaving house at 6:40.LOL I call getting up at 10 or 11 as sleeping in.
There are some cool looking cars out and about in summer time.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 5/30/2011 12:24PM

    We have a neighbor about a block away who restores cars. We almost never see the fruit of his labors. I've always thought that that sounded like a very compelling (expensive?) hobby.

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Driving, Biking, or Walking

Saturday, May 28, 2011

These are my words, but they started as a comment on Redshoes's blog. She gets credit for the topic.

In the 1980's we belonged to CIBA - the Central Indiana Bicycle Association. We would go out and ride 40 or 50 miles every Sunday and see places that we would never know existed any other way. We didn't go very fast - usually about 15 miles per hour, but we averaged ten because we stopped to refuel every time we passed a Dairy Queen. The longest ride was 70 miles, and it was sort of tiring, but they all were neat because we were outside, seeing country that you probably wouldn't even notice in a car.

Now days I walk about three miles in the morning, and it's neat because I see streets and areas that I would never bother to drive through, and it's quiet - like the bikes. You would probably not notice most of the interesting sights from a car, especially if you're driving, but walking lets you see the world unless you are totally zoned out and lost in your head.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLC2009 5/29/2011 5:22PM

    i love walking around my area. i had a bike, but, it was stolen and i haven't replaced it yet.

i am hoping that my horse and i hit the trails this year and see alot of new country.

the only thing, when i'm alone, i am a bit uncomfortable thinking about the bears and cougars. i haven't actually seen a cougar yet, but, they are here. and bears, we have lots of. last year we had 2 adults and 3 babies pretty much living in our yard (we have lots of fruit trees)

cuz of this close proximity, i have managed to get over my fear of the bears pretty much, but, cougars still creep me out.

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MS.ELENI 5/29/2011 4:40PM

    I miss riding and walking. We use to do 25 miles runs every weekend.

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THINRONNA 5/29/2011 6:05AM

    I agree...we have no car...I get the same things done as those with a car it just takes more time and gives me a lot more exercise.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 5/28/2011 5:45PM

    So true. The BD and I love to visit cities without a personal vehicle. We end up walking and riding the bus. I know we see and experience these places in ways that most tourists aren't even aware of.

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NETGNAL 5/28/2011 5:29PM

    I'm fortunate enough to walk to work. I love the smells that I would miss if I was driving.

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Too Soon Old - Too Late Smart

Friday, May 27, 2011

There's an old German saying - "We get too soon old, and too late smart." I think I just proved it again. I read up on Muscadine vine culture again, this time about raising them in the home garden, and the university said to pinch the tip of the vine to make them branch where you want two separate branches. It also said to prune off all of the shoots from the main trunk for the first two years, so I was waiting for a shoot to appear - but none did. I didn't know how hard to pinch (the article didn't say) so I finally just pinched one on the growing tip and cut the other tip off with my fingernail.

The one I cut off now has two branches spreading from the base of the top two leaves, and I went back and cut the tip off of the other vine, which was behind the first. Unfortunately the first vine was about 14 inches above the first wire when I cut the tip off, so the second sprout is about a foot above the wire. If no other shoots appear, I'll just tie a string back to the wire and train it down to the first wire, but it would have been nice if I had cut it off way back when it was crossing the wire.

I tried to take pictures of the split vine, but it's hard to see, and a led display doesn't read well in the sun. I wish the BW hadn't dropped my Cannon, which had an optical viewfinder as well as the led one, and did work in the sun.

Here are three pictures, first full size and then cropped.

The one branch has very small leaves and is growing straight up, and the other branch is growing away from the post, on a stem that raised from the base of the big leaf.

I never knew that it worked like that on grape vines. I did know that if you cut the tip of the top branch off, a tree will send out branches, but getting just two for one was news to me. I'll know how to do it if I plant replacement for the seedless grapes, which are still struggling.

PS - Ralphie hid in the first picture, and the last one is probably the best picture of the branch - except the top shoot's small leaves are partly hidden.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S3XYDIVASMOM 5/28/2011 5:49PM

    We've been loyal Canon users for the very reason you pointed out.

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SUNNYDAZE9 5/27/2011 5:18PM

    We all have our problems to solve. I like yours.

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CAROLIAN 5/27/2011 4:46PM


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