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What A Wonderful Day

My day started at 3:30AM with a knock on my door from a neighbor telling me the power was out. He was playing computer games after getting off work, so he was awake. As I woke up I noticed the beeping from the UPSs confirming the problem, and walking outside showed it to be widespread. The neighbor knows about my Mother’s oxygen system, so he felt I should be told.

I went to my Mother’s house and hauled out a large tank of O2 and swapped the necessary connections to restart the flow. Then I called the power company’s outage line to get an estimate of the duration of the outage. They said that the power would be restored at 4:30AM, so I sat down to wait.

When the power wasn’t back at a quarter to 5, I checked again, and they said 7:30AM. That was too long, so I decided to bring the generator on-line to power the oxygen concentrator and some other equipment.

It had been a while since the generator had been used, so I checked with our lawn guy who had two gallons of fresh gas, and then went over to prepare the generator while he went after the gas. Amazingly the generator started right up the second time the starter rope was pulled, and we began running cable.

As I came around the corner, I saw the outside light by the kitchen door burning brightly, so I went back to the generator and shut it down.

Given the time this happened I would assume someone given the choice of 7 lanes to drive in, decided to drive in lane eight, where the utility poles rise.

April 5, 2014   11 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

A Banquet For One

Friday Cat Blogging

Mine… All mine!

[Editor: Froggy is taking advantage of the early start I made, as none of the others are around at the moment.]

Friday Ark

April 4, 2014   6 Comments

News?

A couple of thing on the CBS site struck my interest:

The first was – $1,000-a-day miracle drug shocks U.S. health care system. The health care system is reportedly upset because the corporation that developed a safe and effective treatment for Hepatitis C is charging almost $90,000 for the drug’s treatment regime that actually seems to eliminate the virus in three months.

Those who are shocked are the same people who charge $1004 for 2 liters of sterile normal saline solution – salt water.

The second was – Senate Intelligence Committee votes to declassify CIA report. The vote to declassify the introduction and summary of the report wasn’t even close. The CIA got caught spying on the committee, and that upset the members, who don’t like it when they are treated like ‘regular citizens’, instead of the ‘special people’ that they see themselves as being.

April 3, 2014   7 Comments

The Poor Have No Rights

Jeffrey Toobin explains about the latest 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court to increase the ability of the 1% to buy political influence because money talks and fairness walks.

It was certainly a terrible imposition on the 1% that they could only buy a dozen or so politicians every election. [/snark]

When you look at the 5-4 decisions about elections and voting it because obvious that the ’5′ think that elections should go to the highest bidder, and not the result of votes by the ‘lower classes’.

April 2, 2014   No Comments

A Lack Of Trust

It took a few stories before I realized it was April 1st and much of what I was reading was probably bogus. Much of the output was obviously at joke because the pride in a good ‘goof’ has disappeared. There certainly hasn’t been an attempt to approach the quality of the BBC Panorama Spaghetti Harvest program.

It is a sad commentary that we can’t even create a decent prank anymore. I realize that our media and political organizations are huge jokes, but they don’t know it, so they can’t be counted as pranks.

April 1, 2014   5 Comments

Real Life Sucked Today

A drug interaction got by me and it created havoc.

Hopefully things will return to more normal after the drugs are out of the system. Both are good at what they do and cause no problem with the other medications, but taken in close time scale they produce a ‘bad acid trip’. It is very hard to deal with someone who is lucid one moment, and in a different universe the next.

Tomorrow should be better.

March 31, 2014   6 Comments

What A Mess

The problem with having cable companies and telephone companies as ISPs is that they don’t have any real experience creating web sites, and so they contract the job out. My current ISP must have hired someone who was too terrible to work on healthcare.gov.

First off, they don’t understand the difference between a sales and marketing web site, designed to bring in new business, and a web sites for the people who are already customers.

Trying to establish an account was one of the worst experiences with a web site I have ever had.

First off, there is the assumed knowledge – I was expected to know that they only gave me the part of the account number that changes, and I should automatically insert the 6 digits at the beginning that all accounts have in common, 6 digits that will appear on the written bill, if I ever get a written bill. Then there was the Personal Identification Number that no one told me I had or what it was.

The other annoyance was their password evaluation app. I generated a 14 character password with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, and their ‘evaluator’ declared it too weak to use. So then I went back and re-entered the first 8 characters, and the ‘evaluator’ found it acceptable. There is no information as to what they consider acceptable in passwords, all you have is the colored bar graph.

I assume that these guys provide e-mail accounts, but I’m too busy to find out if they exist. I may get one later that I can give to annoying people because I certainly have no intention of looking at anything that goes there.

March 30, 2014   5 Comments

Revenge?

Who knew the Phone Company had so much pull with the computer gods?

Since switching, the company that provides the e-mail hosting for dumka.com has had a radical increase in its security. It has changed to the point that my favorite e-mail client could no longer connect with the SMTP server to send e-mails. So I’ve had to shift to Thunderbird, which does connect properly.

Then my host for this site had a server fail, and the backup corrupted, which is why you will have seen the maintenance message for the past few hours.

At least downloading the software is much quicker on the new system, than DSL.

March 29, 2014   12 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

A Gentleman at Leisure

Friday Cat Blogging

Keep the noise down.

[Editor: Ninja out and about on his rope, enjoying some of the rare sunshine. Obviously not taken today.]

Friday Ark

March 28, 2014   5 Comments

No Bed Of Roses

The basics are all working, but little problems keep popping up with the new system. I’ve found a few cables that no longer work after being unplugged from the old router and plugged into the new one, Fortunately I had working spares.

The most serious problem is with e-mail. I can receive e-mail without a glitch, but I am being rejected when I attempt to send an e-mail. I need to contact the new guys and find out if their spam filter may be unhappy with my e-mail host. I have to wait to talk with a person by phone, because they haven’t given me my account name and initial password yet, so I can’t access their on-line system.

These things scarcely affect the joy I felt when I worked my way through the Phone Company’s menu system to cancel the service. All of a sudden they discovered that it was possible to lower my bill, a bill I’ve been paying since I got a phone from them in 1991.

The news seems to be about the fact that the airliner still hasn’t been located, while the death toll increases in the Washington State mudslide.

March 27, 2014   7 Comments

Free At Last

The Phone Company’s DSL line is finished, over, done. I pulled the plug this evening after a lot of testing of the new connection and equipment. The landline phone is also over. There are no more dial-up ISPs in the area for back-up in the case of emergency, so there was no point in keeping it.

The new cable system is working, and it was actually installed on time. The installer knew what he was doing, and fixed a potential line problem [the signal was too strong] with a solution that will allow a quick fix if the signal strength falls.

Things are noticeably faster for both ethernet connections and WiFi.

The best part will be when I call the Phone Company and tell them good bye.

March 26, 2014   4 Comments

Just Amazing

I’ve hearing about the missing airliner on the radio, but reading things like the BBC article, Malaysia Airlines MH370: Search for missing plane resumes, and related stories, I’m simply amazed that commercial airliners are not tracked as well as the sleds in the Yukon Quest or the Iditarod.

Having a beeper ping once an hour when an aircraft is flying at 400+mph isn’t a lot of help in locating it if something goes wrong. You would think that airlines would want rescuers to reach the scene of an accident as soon as possible, and it really isn’t that much more expensive to add the capability to a jetliner.

Just amazing.

March 25, 2014   6 Comments

I’m Still Here

The CBC reports that G7 leaders put G8 on hold ‘until Russia changes course’. Russia says that it doesn’t care that the showcased meeting in Sochi won’t take place, because they didn’t really want to be part of the ‘club’ anyway.

Vlad is letting the testosterone get the upper hand. Leaving the status of the Crimea unsettled was a better outcome than making it part of Russia. Putin has significantly reduced his ability to sway Ukrainian policy by removing all of the pro-Russian voters in the Crimea. This was badly handled by a man who should have known better.

The BBC reports on Dissent among scientists over key climate impacts report.

Actually this is just the summary of the report on the impacts of climate change, and some of the people who worked on the report think the summary is ‘too alarmist’. The purpose of this report was to list the possible problems if nothing is done to ‘fix the problem’. The US Pentagon already lists Climate Change as a major threat to peace and security in the world, so the IPCC report isn’t covering any new ground, it is just concentrating on specific problem that have already occurred, and pointing to other potential problems if nothing is done.

March 24, 2014   No Comments

The ‘Net Is Really A Wonderful Thing

Stuck down here in the middle of nowhere, I’ve come to really appreciate the ability of the Internet to solve problems. I can go out and get information on what people are telling me. I can find products that will never appear in any local retailer. I can notify a network of people of the situation with one message. It really is great.

One of the things it provided today was a menu of a regional restaurant chain, so people knew what they could order before a friend picked up dinner. It is a small thing, but it saves time, which a lot of us are running short of, something you figure out about the same time you admit to yourself that you are a ‘senior citizen’ and need to stop denying it.

It is so much more convenient than getting catalogs and making orders over the phone. Most of the things I’ve been buying have never been in the dozens of catalogs that my Mother receives.

March 23, 2014   9 Comments