Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Prescription For Your PC Problems

I was reading an article on AOL that had that title: The prescription for your PC problems.
They are advocating a "health care plan" - some sort of paid-in advance plan to have your PC under coverage for when something goes wrong.

Here is the list of potential problems:
"For example, here’s a list of computer repairs and tasks many people will do over the course of a year:

- Add a new printer
- Remove a virus
- Install and troubleshoot new software
- Improve your computer’s performance
- Add and configure a compatible device – for example, a scanner or webcam"

I'll take it from benb's perspective in order.

Add a new printer. Are you kidding? Adding a new printer is EASY, even if you don't get the software that comes with it. You can ALWAYS find the software online, it is a very simple process, I would NEVER pay to have this software installed.

Remove a virus. DEFINITELY something that has given me problems. There are lots of programs available online to scan your computer's memory and find viruses. I have Avast. Today, Avast stopped a Trojan Horse in it's tracks. It wanted to infect my computer, Avast said not and got rid of it without my having to do ANYTHING. Avast has changed it's modus operandi, apparently. It used to be a screen would come up and would ask you what you wanted to do with this virus, now it deals with it by itself, tells you that it dealt with it and that you have nothing further to do. BTW, Avast is FREE for home use.

I have had viruses in the past, however, that I could not do anything about. The first time, I paid a guy to come over and fix it. His fix? Reinstall Windows. I lost all of my data. I quickly learned how to reinstall Windows and all the software myself.

Install and Troubleshoot new software.
Well, if your new software is installed with a disc, you shouldn't HAVE to troubleshoot it. Usually, troubleshooting comes down the road when something happens to it. KEEP all of the discs that come with whatever you have installed. ALWAYS. When there is a problem that you can't fix, simply uninstall the software and then reinstall with your disc. Simple, effective and free.

Improve your computer’s performance
Look, if you have a computer, you are going to have to learn how to do this on your own. Do you want to pay to have someone come out every week? I didn't think so. Yet, I meet people that have computers, have had them a long time and yet know nothing about deleting the history/cache. They know nothing about running a defrag program. They don't know how to go through your programs and weed out junk that has automatically installed itself with other software that you installed. Or compress files. I learned through a lot of irritation, a LOT of time - at least hundreds of hours (I did not grow up with computers and learning how to deal with them was VERY irritating and STILL annoys me to this day, even though I can deal with any problem to whatever extent I have to deal with it effectively and efficiently at this point) and now have some experience how to get the thing to run at the same speed when you first install the Windows software.

I still get messed up at times. My recent ordeal is proof. My computer started running VERY slowly and I went through every thing I knew what to do. This went on for weeks - I was at the point of reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows. I could still USE the computer, so I uploaded onto internet sites my pic and videos I didn't want to lose, the rest of it I didn't care. I could have simply attached all that stuff to an email and then downloaded it to my computer again after the fact - but I didn't have to. I had forgotten to do an internet speed test. After doing half a dozen, it was obvious the problem: my Qwest provider was giving me LESS than ONE megabyte per second of delivery versus the 7 I am paying for. I hate myself sometimes, lol. WHY didn't I do that to begin with? A lesson I won't be forgetting anytime soon, I'll tell ya that.

- Add and configure a compatible device – for example, a scanner or webcam
The computer configures this stuff for you, you don't have to know html code or whatever to install a scanner of a webcam. The experts have made computers relatively easy to use. They HAVE to, they know people like me are using them. I don't WANT to learn all of that stuff. I shouldn't have to, a computer - computes - it should be able to do that junk itself........and it does!!!

Take the time to learn. Trial and error if nothing else. That's what I did - for a long time -yes. I did it because I can't pay $100 or more every time the thing starts acting up. I wouldn't be able to OWN a computer if that were true. If you are a total novice like me - even if you have been using computers for years and years, the VERY least you should learn is how to back up your files and how to reformat your computer and reinstall Windows. Installing Windows is actually pretty easy once you get beyond the "boot" issues - how to get to the installation process while the computer is booting.

Just make sure you keep your copy of Windows in a safe place where you know you can find it. There is nothing more disconcerting than to sit in front of a useless computer and not be able to revive it. You CAN learn, you don't HAVE to go to school to do it, and you definitely don't HAVE to pay ANYONE to fix your problems.

Tuesday Final

I must admit I am looking for a much larger, pre-formed pond to seal the deal on this setup.
I don't have to admit to anyone that has read me for a while that I am looking for very, very cheap.
My thinking: It will be a long, long time before I can afford the big, liner-formed pond that I want. It is just out of reach right now and I don't see any changes anytime soon.
Well, I may have struck gold-dirt.
I put an ad on for one. Nothing hurts to try. There is one guy that has had 2 ads on CL - Craigslist - forever. He only recently came down by $20 on one pond with a waterfall. He's WAY out of touch. People simply aren't getting that much money for that stuff on CL.
The other ad? At least 1,000 gallons worth of ponds and filters and pumps and tubing - he wants $500 for all of it.
Again, it may be worth a LOT more than that, but - no-one is biting. We are in a recession. What you might have got for something 2-1/2 years ago doesn't apply today. It simply doesn't. People know that there are far better deals, people will wait.

I am one such person. I have written this guy twice now, he is unrelenting. Not a problem, but he does have a pond I would LOVE to have. It is a HUGE pre-formed pond.

However, I would be just as happy with a pond that is at least 8 feet by 5. That is what I advertised for and that is one response out of several that I got. I talked to this man today: $35. This is a STEAL for a pond that big. I am going to takealookatit tomorrow. He does NOT have it advertised on CL, which is a big plus. He just saw my items wanted ad and contacted me and even offered to bring it over - for a price. No thanks, I'll come get it.

My manager called this afternoon. Apparently the place blew up (not literally of course) on both Monday and today. He wants me in and starting work at 5:00 am tomorrow, a full hour before my normal log-in time. If I could say I have a problem with that, I would. I don't. I don't really care how early anyone wants me to start. I have worked all night long many, many times over. I have started jobs at 1:00 am; 2:00 am - etc. I never complained about it and I never will. Getting up early has been a part of my life for 3 decades now. When something becomes a way of life, it isn't an issue.

Frankly, I would far rather start early than working late. Right now? Starting early AND working great would be great!

Trailer tenant dude finally called. Yes, he is still in the hospital. He isn't - well I hope you aren't eating now - crapping. His continual reference to that was more than I wanted to hear, once would have been enough, thank you. He informed me he had the money for last week's rent in his wallet and that his girlfriend would be getting the rest by tomorrow.

I'm taking it they are really wanting to have a place to live that doesn't have the continual threat of throwing them out.

I have not done that with them, even when they couldn't pay the $25 per week they are required to pay - which, actually - they managed to pay back. Even homeless people can come up with $25 per week, TRUST ME, they can. These 2 people do NOT want to be homeless. I opened up my property and bought a travel trailer for them to live in. When they leave, I will sell the trailer. When will they leave? I have no clue, but unless they start engaging in activities that are extremely stupid, agitating and irritating to me, or just plain unethical or immoral, I won't be asking them to leave. I don't really care. I have lived my life in attempting to help people however I can, that won't change any time soon. Unless, of course, I die, then all bets are off : )

I have learned, however, to pass by those that are asking for help but - you see that they want a continual handout. Lazy, unmotivated and unwilling. I will give such people food because I believe the Lord would have me do that, but beyond that, nothing. Leave that up to God. And them. There is a 2-way street with God, I believe anyway. You have to act when action is necessary and prudent. From my ample experience, God requires action on our parts in any and every instance. WHAT action, can't tell you that = YOU KNOW what action needs to be taken, or you will be guided into it. I can say that for a fact. Or you might just "feel" that taking a certain step is the right way to go. Yes, probably it's the Lord though the Holy Spirit giving you that urging. Whatever the case, I have found, YOU must ALWAYS take a step. And sometimes - or many times - that first step is painful. It is HARD to do. It is almost out of your realm of engagement. That is where God - however He does it - helps you. I can't say how He will help you because He is God and I am not. I am a mere mortal. I have seen a thousand ways of how He works, He undoubtedly has limitless ways that He works in people's lives.

I am not sorry for the mini-sermon, I felt compelled for some reason to write that, therefore, I believe it will fulfill the purpose that was intended of which - I have no clue. No-one can ever really say: "That is how God works". I have said it and look back and realize what a dumb statement that is. The Creator can work anyone He wants, and He does!! And oftentimes, we don't realize what's going on until it's happening! "Hey, that's GOD at work!" Wow!! I am dead serious - this is not a mocking session in case you are wondering. God is truly AMAZING!!

Edited: My Hyacinth - Floating Water Plant, Eichhornia Crassipes - Water hyacinth - elucidated because there is non-water/floating/earthbound Hyacinth that is also beatuiful, but doesn't grow in water - is growing like CRAZY!! I acquired 3 of those plants and all 3 of them are shooting out new branches/leaves. 1 of them already has 4 new leaves either coming out or already out! Crazy. The guy that sold them to me - for $2 per plant - said they collect the junk in their roots and keep your water clean. Yes, they float and they have huge root systems floating under them or even beside them. And yes, they collect junk!! Several of the water lillies are also putting out new leaves and the other plants are doing the same.

This puts me a little at ease: I have spent some time in acquiring all of that. When they grow "normally" they will take over the ponds and I will have to get rid of some of it. I look forward to that day. I want the lillies to cover 80% of the ponds.


That is all.

ben

Napolitano Admits To Not Reading SB1070

Another mindless, mouthy, arrogant, crass and stupid politician, Janet Napolitano (do NOT confuse that name with Arizona's Governor: Janet Brewer), has admitted that she has NOT read the Arizona Immigration bill, even though she has HARSHLY criticized it.

We have idiots running our nation.

I don't know how else to put it.

Pics are not in order! Oh well. End of project - make sure dogs are out of east side of house and gate is closed. I had wondered, when I set up that fence, whether I would hate having had put it up in the long run. Definitive answer: NO!! I LOVE that fence and gate, one of the best ideas I have had. The dogs are not getting into stuff as much as they used to, but still.


Not yet finished product.


Ummm, if don't want the sides of your cement to look craggly and stupid, you must tap it all the way up and down for a while - tap the wood that is holding it that is, so the concrete comes flush with the wood.



My exercise in tapping continued.


When mixing concrete, be SURE you know where you are going to do your cleanout - that is, washing out your wheelbarrow and whatever tools you used - BEFORE you mix the first bag of cement. I learned that a LONG time ago.


Click on the pic for larger view, you might be able to see the rather large goldfish.


Remember to close the gate! I had the 2 bags of "Crack resistant concrete" out front. 80 pound bags.


Told ya this wasn't in order and I didn't feel like making it so. This IS the finished product. I will be putting some sort of "wall" on the sides of this cement - the whole point is to have a waterproof set up. If water DOES somehow get in the rocks and down to the bottom, it won't be going into the ground, it will be going back into the pond. I have a plastic liner that I will be putting on that concrete that will overlap into the pond. The first large rock will actually jut out from the front of the concrete and, of course, water will spill into the pond. I may have 2 rocks together, who knows? I'm not at that part yet!


I'm very glad that I happened to buy 2 bags of cement to start this project. I was only going to get one. That is one bag of cement in there, definitely not enough cement.


Bag 2.


Back to the first mix!


Initial layout and getting prepared to mix the first bag.


Another view of the layout. Perfection wasn't necessary since it will be blotted out of view in the end, therefore, perfection was not acquired (but close enough!).


Pic before I started doing anything.


Just a pic of where I was going to place the waterfall.


BTW, SRP called me yesterday after I sent them a request about all the info I needed on their easement. The lady went right into "I don't know WHERE you got the idea that there is a 25 foot easement on the back of your property, cause' sir, there isn't one THAT big". I had corrected myself anyway - I remember they told me it was a 20 foot easement, not 25 feet. The 25 foot easement is on the front of the property imposed by the city, the 20 foot easement is on the back of it, imposed by the utilities.

Now, I AM sure I was told it was a 20 foot easement when I first started looking into putting another house onto this property.

The corrected version? 8 feet. That's 12 more feet of MY property that I can use for whatever. A 300 sqare foot casita on the southeast side of my property with a good sized pond "lapping up" in front of it would be awesome. Yes, I would live in it. If I really wanted to go as far with it as I may have to anyway, that master bed and bathroom of mine could be rented out.

However, I really have no intentions of renting out more than 3 rooms of my house at any given time. At the same time, that room setup could be rented out and I could have another, smaller bedroom as my "inside" place. Just thoughts for the future: I have no money whatsoever to even think about beginning a project such as this. It would cost thousands of dollars to build what I have in mind, even IF I did all the work myself. Just getting the permits from the city would undoubtedly be a pain in the rear. Everything has to be inspected and signed off by the city as you move along with such a project. If they don't like something you did, you have to do it over. I would have to have professionals do the slab cause' I wouldn't want to have to do THAT over. A 15X15 guest house, basically, with a small porch.

Hey, if I'm stuck here for years on end I'm going to work towards making this place a dream home, even if it never really will ever attain that status, at least for me.

It WAS a big sigh of relief to hear SRP telling me, after looking at the plans of my property, that it is only an 8 foot easement, not 20 or 25 feet. Were that there was no easement at all, but I can deal with 8 feet. It will allow me to make my future, large pond the size that I want it to be instead of having to cut size because of space constraints.

That's it.

ben

Final Day






As I had thought - after I had already asked for the time off - I should have asked for 3 days off instead of two.
Well, huge deal - I can deal with a 3-day work week. Sometime soon is Memorial Day Weekend and that will be 3 days off as well.

Regardless, I am headed over to a Maricopa County location in southwest Phoenix in a little while to get some Mosquito fish - free. I like the free stuff, lol. These things eat flies, apparently. A pond can be a breeding grounds for mosquitos - but not if there are little fishies in the pond that like to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'll only need 2 per pond, I'm thinking, every says they multiply in numbers quickly.

The cement for my posts has still not dried yet, I can't really finish that little project until that cement is set.

First pic: At the bottom is where I have finally determined to put the waterfall versus at the "top" of the ponds where you see some large rocks situaited.

Pic 2: I just got back from the County building - which is nestled in the midst of the Durango jail system which is also where Sheriff Joe Arpaio hangs out, lol. They gave me about 20 of the mosquito eaters for free. They do not need to be fed, the instructions say they will find all the food they need in mosquitos attempting to hatch larvae in the ponds themselves. I do NOT want mosquitos taking over my side yard. Apparently these little fish are VERY efficient in eliminating any problems. I saw a bunch of flies on the surface of the water this morning which got me moving a little faster to go and get these free fish. The pic is the lower pond - the green is clearing out quickly. I put some algae killer in there yesterday. The bottom of the pond is a bit dirty - got dirt and sand in there in my construction operation and may or may not clean it out. It's only natural for a pond to have dirt in it, yes?

Pic 3: From "above" the ponds, a view of where the waterfall is going to go. This is a learn as I go type of deal here.

Pic 4: Just another pic of where I was going to have the waterfall. Although I came to the conclusion on my own that it was not an ideal location for one, I was reading yesterday that you really want to situate the falls wherever you are going to be sitting or standing to view them. The new location is ideal for that.

Pic 5: A bit more broader of view of the posts I installed yesterday and STILL waiting for the cement to dry. Hopefully soon I can put the shade screen on it. Going to try to make it look nice, not junky, not sure how that will turn out.

That's that. It was cool out last night to the point that the pond water was very cool this morning. The goldfish are terrified of me. When I walk up to the pond the go hiding. Just trying to feed them, not kill them!

I am sort of taking my time on this waterfall project. I was in a hurry to get it done for the cooling effect it will have on the water, but, the more information I gather, the more I have a better idea of how to do this thing. For example, I had thought that I better build the waterfall first - before cementing it or anything, make sure it's how I want it and then - take it all back apart and go ahead and start the "real" construction of it.

I then read yesterday online that if you don't put it together first before making it permanent, you are likely to regret that action. yes, well we don't want to go regretting things in life, do we? I have enough regrets in human personal interations, thank you, don't need any more, such as putting something together with cement and then realizing I am going to have to take it apart again to fix whatever I may have done wrong in the first place.

Another thing I learned was to make sure the fall plates are perfectly level or the effect you are attempting to gain is not going to work. Good advice.

Onto a few other items. The trailer tenants are nowhere to be found, but their stuff is still in the trailer. He had major surgery, I'm assuming he is either still in the hospital or perhaps they found a place to be put up temporarily while he is recuperating. Dunno, really, haven't heard from them. The female tenant is gone for the week. The temp guy paid up another week in advance and was hinting at possibly staying until the end of the month. He is a very reserved, quiet individual and chooses to keep to himself, which is fine, I have no idea what his situation is but I will guess that he's looking for a room to rent somewhere and apparently is taking his time about it. Fine by me, I need the additional funds from that room.

Have put off cleaning the carpet in the living room only because I simply don't feel like doing it - cleaning it that is. Work tomorrow - not a bummer just would have liked a little more time off and have only myself to blame. I'm sure they would have given it to me if I would have asked. A full week off is really what I'm thinking now, I have plenty of hours for it. Michael IS in school now. He has been for a couple of weeks. It's a "special" school - basically for kids that get themselves thrown out of regular high schools. 3-1/2 hours a day. That's all it is. I have taken him there a few times including yesterday, did so to actually ensure that he IS going to school and not making it up.

Whatever the hours, it's better than nothing which he has been doing for quite a while now. He is not staying here permanently per his own words. I'm not sure why he is here after hearing him say that, assuming the situation at home is a bit tough to deal with in thinking about having to live with all of those people. They do not have internet, or possibly they do but I know the computer is old and it is very slow. The creature comforts here are probably a LOT better than there. I have made no attempts whatsoever to either encourage him to stay or to leave, I'll leave that up to him.

As for now, well, I want to lay out the form to pour concrete and get that footer poured if at all possible.

G'day.
ben

Dad

SO the trip to visit my dad. Space but the elongated Drive no doubt about that. However I tend to drive rather fast so the 15 hours was prob...