Tuesday, June 21, 2011
While I was fussing with the computer I also shaved my head for a visit to the dermatologist. I was shocked to see three lumpy red circles about the size of a quarter (or maybe a nickel for one). He biopsied just five places (all on the left side of my head) and said he would do the left side first and take on the right side later. It turned out that one of the two spots hidden by hair was a cancer and two of the three tiny little things on the side of my face were. He can't do the first one until August 10, and will do only one Mohs surgery at a time. My first appointment was on June 9, so he won't get to the right side of my head until 8 months after starting the left side, if his backlog stays at two months. He suggested that I come back in four months last time but I said six, and now I figure there will be business for him forever. He has a captive audience.
As Art Linkletter said: "Old age is not for sissies."
Monday, June 20, 2011
I have experienced my first virus. After wiping out my computer I got into safe mode once and ran the antivirus through a complete system scan, but it didn't check as many files as it had before, and it said everything was fine (which it wasn't). I finally took this computer to White Hat Computers, and paid $160 to get rid of the virus and save everything on the computer. I had an external hard drive that backed up all of my personal files, but I didn't want to mess with a new computer if I didn't have to.
After a day and a half I got the computer back, and pretty soon I had three antimalware programs running. Two of them found a couple of viruses the first evening, and more the next day, until the computer crashed again almost exactly 24 hours after I got it back. I was angry enough to format the hard drive and reinstall a bald six year old operating system.
In the middle of all this I rented a post office box and bought a new notebook computer - not the best, but running with a dual core Pentium processor, which is better than the one singe processor I had - a 64 bit processor with a 32 bit operating system.
I don't know how many days it has been, but it looks as if I now have both computers up, configured with all the features I like, and with all the personal files I want. I have two copies of all the programs now - one in the external drive and one in this computer. I had them all in the notebook, but decided that I could live with just two copies. All of the ancient software is up to date, and today I got the 2003 Office, which was at 2007 Office status, updated so that it runs all of my Excel files. There was one that it choked on, and I'm not sure but I suspect that it's close to the 2010 versionnow.
At this point I am running just two antimalware programs and hoping for the best. I never experienced a virus before, and formatting the hard drive caused an amazing amount of work to recover. I hope it's my last experience with this. Now I don't know what to do with the post office box I rented while I was planning to go back to paper and mail.
Monday, June 06, 2011
When I'm out walking by myself I have all these neat ideas for a blog, but when it's time to actually write something my mind is blank. I guess I'm going to have to start making notes to trigger my memory. I have a new notebook started because I lost the one I had been using. That's pretty irritating, and may be an indication of advancing age because I looked in my two shoeboxes, and I even have a note from my fraternity when I was a pledge, telling me where to find pigeon droppings between Christmas and New Years. And I did find it. Since I have records all the way back to Case, I suspect that Alzheimer's is creeping up on me.
I mowed the grass this morning, ran the weedeater around the house, shed, fence, and sidewalk and driveway, and then broke out the blower and got rid of the mess left by the weedeater. This is a pretty neat blower - with the concentrator it puts out a 500 MPH jet of air that I used to clean out the mud and wet leaves in the gutter of our park model trailer porch. I was using it without the concentrator, of course, but I found out it could blow the sand out of the piles of the carpet I used to cover the sand on the east side of the garage. I had no idea how much sand was there until I accidentally hit the carpet just inside the gate. When it rains here it's usually a thunderstorm, and the water brings sand down the hill behind the house, over the sidewalk, and out to the street. Living on a sand dune has been a new experience for us.
After that I had a shower and shave and put on clean clothier, and my back hurt. I couldn't figure out why until I remembered picking up the top of the BW's concrete fountain yesterday, but I can't blame her much because after an hour in a recliner I felt fine again.
The Noble variety of muscadine grapes are still shooting up. Both vines put out three shoots after I cut off the growing tip, and I am keeping two. I did plant one cutting from this vine, pulling off the bottom leaf and leaving two baby ones. We'll see if I get another vine. Here are some picture of the south vine.
This is a view from the south, showing that the vine has two shoots - one nearing the top wire (about four inches to go to be at the 5 1/2 foot high wire) and the other unfortunately too high that I will train back down to the lower wire cable. The second picture is just the first one cropped.
These two show the same vine from the north. You can see the tendril wrapped around the clothesline and the highest tiny leaf if you look closely. It's getting close to a right turn, after which it will have 20 feet to go if the seedless grapes don't show a lot more enthusiasm. Three are sending out new leaves, but they look pretty sick to me. I can't wait to see what happens.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Today everything is back to normal. When I click on a browser or link to another page the display goes blink-blink, and I am there. Iím glad Brighthouse fixed the problem.
Our oldest daughter called today and bragged on her Kindle, and said you could check one out of most libraries, so we rushed down to Dunedin to beat their close. We started at 4:30 and made it there by 4:45, which gave us 15 minutes to turn in the old books and get new ones, as well as ask about a Kindle. It turns out the Palm Harbor library has them to loan out (if they are available) but Dunedin doesnít. So tomorrow Iíll stop by our library when itís open and see if I can get on a waiting list if they are all out.
On the way home, the BW had a chore for me in the back yard and was hungry. She didnít want to stop at a regular restaurant, but did want to stop at a Wendyís for a Chile. When we got there, they had a new kind of chicken salad, and she ordered that. I was sure it would make supper, so I ordered one too. They were $7.29 each, plus seven percent sales tax, so I gave the girl a twenty. Before I got my change another girl showed up and said they couldnít make the salads because they were out of strawberries.
Then the BW changed to half of a different salad, and I changed to half of a crispy chicken salad. Those were listed on the board at $3.99 each. I was offered six dollars and some change, which I didnít take. For some reason they said the salads werenít on the register, so I pointed out that each half salad was $3.99, which was a total of $7.98. With 56 cents tax that was a total of $8.54, so I was due a lot more change than six dollars. The manager and the two girls discussed it a little, then the cashier counted out $8.54 to me. At that point I repeated that was what the bill was supposed to be, and I expected $11.46 change.
Right then the fourth person, a boy, piped up and said I was due $6.40 change. I lost it, and just said give me back my twenty. After the third request I did get the money back, and we came home and had the rich home-made chicken soup and a slice of watermelon.
Then I went out to the back yard and disassembled the fountain so the BW could take in the pump to get an identical replacement.
I donít know if the registers were broken or the salads were too new, but the prices were posted and all four of the people behind the counter were at least in high school. When I was in school, we learned arithmetic in the second or third grade Ė addition and multiplication are pretty basic skills. No one offered to take a pencil and paper to work it out Ė they just seemed to want to wing it.
I told the BW afterward that she should have stayed with a small chili and a frosty.
One of our grandsons is in the National Honor Society, and Iím pretty sure he can add and multiply, and all the other grandkids can too. They all attend public schools.
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 Ė 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 Ė 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 Ė I can see all the material available, but I canít 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 didnít need), so everything is in fine shape except the cable coming out of the wall.
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