Saturday, September 4, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
So, pretty much ever third time I click a link on the Microsoft Live/Hotmail/WhatTheFuckEver site, I get a page similar to the below:
This page is temporarily unavailableWe're sorry, there was a problem showing this page. We experienced some technical difficulties retrieving the content.
Please try this page again in a few minutes.
I mean, I never use the damned site. I have it because of my Xbox and MSN-chat. That's it. And, the only reason I was going there, today, in the first damned place was to tweak my privacy settings to cut down on all the damned "friend" invites from all the bots that run rampant on the service. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. I mean, even if I was thinking of actually using it for more than the bare minimum I'm currently using it for, this would be enough to put that straight out of my mind. Bigtime FAIL, Microsoft.
Important service announcement: Vox is closing September 30, 2010Vox has been a fun place to explore, create and connect with your friends. But Vox is closing its doors on September 30, 2010.This doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to your blog. We want you to make sure you can keep the great content you’ve shared on Vox, and continue to have a home for your blog. To help you make the transition off of Vox, we’ve added new export features that make it easy to move your blog to a free TypePad account, and your photos & videos to Flickr.If you’re an active Vox member we encourage you to read the information below about what's happening during the month of September, and learn more about how you can migrate your content. There is more information at closing.vox.com.What you need to know
- Vox is no longer accepting new user registrations. If you have an existing Vox account you can continue to sign in to manage your account and view posts from your neighborhood.
- On Wednesday September 15th, you will no longer be able to create new posts on Vox or upload new photos or videos. You will still be able to sign in to view your blog and manage your account.
- On Thursday September 30th, your blog will no longer be available at Vox.com, and you will no longer be able to sign in to Vox.Moving your blog, photos and videos from VoxTo help you make the transition off of Vox, we've made it easy for you to move your blog to TypePad and your photos and your videos to Flickr.
- You can move your blog to TypePad, for free. We've developed a simple process to help you move your blog to TypePad. If you don't have a TypePad account, we'll step you through the process of creating one, help you create a free TypePad blog, and automatically import your Vox posts and photos into your new blog. Learn how to move your Vox blog to TypePad at closing.vox.com.
- You can export your photos and videos to Flickr. If you used Vox primarily for sharing photos and videos, you may want to export those to Yahoo's popular photo sharing service Flickr. We've developed a simple process that will automatically move your photos and videos to Flickr, while maintaining your privacy settings on your photos. Learn how to export your Vox photos and videos to Flickr at closing.vox.com.Additionally, the Wordpress.com and Posterous services provide tools to help you import your Vox blog. Learn more about the import tools from Wordpress.com and Posterous at closing.vox.com.Thank you for your love and support of Vox over the years.- Team Vox
I've been bitten by closures in the past (and been scared by other threats of closure). Usually the closures are done with warning, but, sometimes, things just go *poof!* in the night. Even when given a nice warning, such as the above, few places bothered to aid in the transition. If they made your data available to you, at all, they typically did so in a (basically) useless format - either an unstructured dump or in a fairly non-portable format. Thus, over the years, I've become gunshy of committing my thoughts - trivial though they may be - to just one site. I've turned to using meta-posters, such as Posterous, to automatically duplicate my "content" to multiple sites.So, while it will be sad to see Vox go, I don't have to worry about its passing. All my posts to Vox are duplicated to multiple other sites. At worst, I will want to look for another destination to restore my posting backup/redundancy system. Fortunately, I also make most of my posts public, so, the various search engines are also (hopefully) finding and caching my stuff.At the end of the day, I just don't want to be a victim of internet alzheimers or stroke. I'd call the passing of Vox Internet-stroke.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Ok, I'll give Windows 7 this: it's privilege separation is much more manageable. I don't have to right-click to "run as" to do elevation - it just prompts me, as necessary, to select an admin-enabled account to do the operations. Makes it easier/more practical to run with a plain user account. FINALLY.Now, if the lazy app writers would address privilege levels in their programs. Not EVERYTHING needs to run with system or administrator privileges.
So my dogs, Lana and Puckett are both on Dogster; our cats, Bella and Grumbles, are on Catster. I rarely log into either site. Basically, I only log in when I get some kind of email that reminds me of their existence. Today was the first day in at least a year since last logging in.
So, I took the opportunity to look through our herd's profiles. Each has a set of "friends" (dogs or cats of people that like the looks of our pets and sent out a "friend" request). I was sad to note that several of the "friends" were listed as deceased. Sadly, I look at my 8 year old dogs and 11 year old cats and am reminded that, all too soon, they'll have "RIP" placed next to their names, as well.
Unexpected sobering reminder... Last time I felt like this was last spring, when we were looking at relocating to Germany and I was taking care of pet-related paperwork. On the dogs' health reports were their ages - 7 at the time. I realized that I'd been on the road, away from home and them, for nearly five of those seven years. Basically, I'd been traveling for slightly less time than we'd had both dogs. Was like a kick in the gut.
I needed a new laptop but I hate moving into a new computer. So much to do to recreate your prior environment and get functional:
- HP-specific Drivers: installed
- Windows Updates: installed
- A/V: Installed
- Chrome: Installed (but, not my extensions)
- PuTTY: Installed
- ThunderBird: TBD
- Cygwin/X: In progress
- Trillian: Trying the 5beta
- Office: Installed
- Gimp: TBD
- Others: (As I Notice They're Missing)
And, of course, it's exacerbated by having to move from one OS (Windows Vista) to a new one (Windows 7), having to deal with a new keyboard layout (this laptop has a US101 full) and feel, new display characteristics, etc. Bleah. THEN I need to copy over documents from my old system (before I flatten it and re-OS it with Linux).
This is where virtualization is helpful (though, eventually, you still gotta do OS upgrades).
Oh well, at least I'm moving from a single core 2GHz system to a quad 2.67GHZ system. Still gotta sort out the memory as 4GB appears to be "missing". At least I've got three years of onsite hardware support, if needed.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Then, you mix it in with new potatoes, chilis, onions and tomatoes - all fresh from the garden - and ladle it over rice. Bake up some papadams and grill up some lamb sausages. You get a nice, spicy, filling meal...
Unfortunately, NCIS was on and I loves Abby. So, ate on the couch rather than at the table. Thus, the pillow and laptop in the background. =)
- mango powder
- ground pomegranate seeds
- ground coriander and cumin seeds
- cayenne pepper
- sweet paprika
- kosher salt
- punjabi garam masala (fresh mixed and toasted)
Today's was a perfect case in point. When I looked at the suggestion, all I could think was, "um, FaceBook? Why would you suggest someone with no friends in common (nor a common language) as a friend suggestion?" I mean, I could see, maybe if we had a LOT of likes in common. But, even then, if there's no indication that I am in any way shape or form culturally or linguistically compatible with this person, why suggest them. I mean, I definitely do not speak Polish. I don't forsee having much to say to someone who's every communiqué I have to run through Google Translate.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Now, you might not immediately notice what's wrong with the picture, above. Take a moment to look closely. Can you tell me why this was not the breakfast I'd been anticipating? Yup: fucker was completely devoid of the delicious blueberry filling. So, I did not start my day with anything approaching a "complete breakfast". Hell, it wasn't even much of a junk breakfast, as, shortly after taking this photo, I dumped it in the compost. Don't get me wrong, the pastry was still damned good, but, the "total package" just wasn't quite there.
How the fuck does this even happen? Was somebody making a joke??
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The one's who are truly smart are generally off doing "smart things". The truly smart are the ones that are actually doing something about their world rather than just talking about how smart they are.
Observationally speaking, most of the people I've encountered who've proclaimed their own intelligence, their own statuses as "intellectuals" and, particularly, their own superiority, just ain't all that much better than "average".
So, Donna drags me out to help her pick fabric. Exactly what I want to do on a Sunday: drive out to Seven Corners and help pick out fabric. Joy.
The whole corridor from Bailey's Crossroads to Seven Corners is always a driving adventure. It's too much traffic for roads and intersections that were never really designed for the volume. In addition, probably 80% of the people driving it, if they drove at all before coming to the US drove in countries that had very different rules of the road. It's a stretch of road that manages to make most of the other DC-area driving seem safe and sane by comparison. But, you have to drive through it to get to the strip mall that houses Joann and G Street fabric stores. Between that stretch of road and what awaits the end of the trip, it's enough to really set the mood for the day.
In fairness, though, the mood was pretty much already set before heading out. I mean, StumbleUpon decided to grace me with a YouTube video of Blackeyed Peas' Let's Get Retarded. And, yes, that pretty much describes the whole debacle of the drive out...
The driving comedy started near the intersection where King Street meets the Semenary Rd entrance to I395. The intersection just before the interchange is right at a medical arts building and a low-rent apartment complex. As I'm getting to the intersection, the light turns red. There's a car in the middle lane, stopped for the light. There's a car in the lane to the right of mine that's slowing down for the intersection. At the intersection ahead of me, the lane is empty. This would be the far left lane. The car that was slowing down decides, "Oh! Empty lane at the red, think I'll duck in and take that slot".
Now, getting cut off like this - and having to radically increase the braking to make up for the now suddenly-reduced stopping distance - is maddening enough by itself. However, after the light turned green, it turns out that the dipshit that cut me off actually needed to be in the far right lane so that he could get onto I395. After letting the cars to his immediate right go (and holding me up in the process) he careened across two lanes of traffic, cutting several people off in the process, to make his exit. Douche.
The rest of the trip to the store was fairly uneventful - particularly given that yardstick. We get to the strip mall and I find a parking spot. I shut down the car, thinking, "just wait here for Donna to complete her errand," only to be reminded, "I need your help to pick the fabric." Things like this make me wish I was colorblind. So, I stalked into the store behind Donna.
While standing around, waiting for her to identify candidates, this "blonde" woman comes into the store and nudges by me. Now, by "blonde" I only mean in the most obvious of "fresh from the bottle" blonde. Even better is the hairstyle: she looked like a Jersey Shore reject - but was sporting the female version of the spikey-do. Lovely. Even better were the stylin' white tanktop and too-small sweatpants she'd crammed her fat ass into. Classy.
Eventually, Donna finds some fabrics she wants my opinion on. I give it. She seems satisfied, so, I beg my leave to return to the car. Even in DC heat/humidity, I'd rather sit in the car than wait the slow death that is time spent in a fabric and crafts store.
I turn to leave and start walking towards the front door. As I'm walking towards the front door, this nightmare in "I can't see colors so well, so I need to dress extra bright to match my colors" polyester waddles in front of me, drifting left and right as she talks with her friend. Who's her friend? None other but the Jersey Shore "blonde". When the aisle widens near the checkout counter, she starts slowly drifting her way towards it and out of my way. I stalk by and head out to my car.
I get to my car, get in and turn on the radio. It's the usual crap that DC 101 plays. But, still, better listening to that, in the hot and humid, than inside at the freakshow. As I'm sitting in my car, I notice a black Mercedes parked in the aisle ahead of my car. It's parked across four parking spots. Pimp-tastic. The back seat is full of crap and it's sporting a blinged-out license plate frame around a personalized Maryland license plate with the word "GUIDOS" emblazoned on it.
I shake my head at this and then drift back to thinking about nothing. Out of the store comes the waddling polyester monstrosity and her blonde friend. It hadn't quite registered in the store, but the polyester monstrosity's hair managed to be even worse than her "blonde" friends. It was one of those Brady-esque, "who electrocuted the poodle", over-done perms sprayed to the sky with, no doubt, Aquanet Ultra Hold. And, if you haven't guessed it by now, their destination was the "GUIDOS" Mercedes.
You can't make shit like this up. I wish I'd remembered to bring my camera with me so that I could have had photographic evidence of this natural comedy gold.