Can’t understand the Vista loathing

Okay, let’s me just say this: I’m clearly a biased dyed-in-the-wool Microsoft user and I cannot fathom transitioning to Apple’s world. Nevertheless, I have used Macs and I will allow that they are definitely cuter than Microsoft’s offering. Still, I do think that their latest OS (operating system) stands head & shoulders above XP. I cannot get enough of how snappy my system is and I’m completely sold on their instant desktop search function. I no longer have to dig for programs or my files. I guess the difference between someone who would hate Vista and myself is the fact as much as spending hours troubleshooting can be frustrating, it’s incredible rewarding to me. With Vista SP1, I haven’t put in as many troubleshooting hours as I have put into my XP computer. I love Vista’s ability to self-diagnose issues and it gives me the feeling of complete control over my system. I don’t care that they ‘cribbed‘ some design elements of Macs. Heck, imitation is a form of flattery, no? 🙂 Anyhoo, I just wanted to add a consumer voice to the fray and tell Microsoft that I think Vista does rock. I am not a ‘regular’ user and yet not quite a ‘power user’. I do think the User Access Control needs to be toned down a bit because I can see how irritating it gets. I have it turned on right now, but for software installations, I tend to have it turned off because I know/trust the programs I install on my laptop. I love the improved version of Outlook 2007 so much so that I didn’t even bother installing Mozilla Thunderbird on my laptop. I don’t have any third-party media players (VLC, Creative MediaSource Player, etc) installed because Windows Media Player does a fabulous job of cataloging my modest music collection. Enough of my rant. I just wanted to say that I am really looking forward to their next version of the Windows Operating System dubbed “Windows 7“. My plan is to put this laptop through its paces and give its dead or dying body to Matt (lol. Kidding). I definitely see myself upgrading this laptop, but not anytime soon. I need to recover from the, ahem, financial mayhem. 🙂 There are a few issues with  my laptop that are mostly cosmetic. For instance, my mouse cursor is really small and Vista has made it supremely easier to personalize your PC. So, right now, I changed the color to something other than white and made the cursor larger. I would like to give my cursor a special color so I’ll root around my PC and find that option.

Enough of my mini-rant. My weekend has been relaxing and just sleeping in. I did worry a little bit about work and things I needed to do, but I intend on making this week a highly productive one. I’ve got a supportive work place so there’s nothing stopping me. With that, cheers!

Getting poli-ticked off. :)

It’s about time I said it: I’m not a Sarah Palin fan. Neither am I enamored of John McCain. In fact, I slightly abhor conservative pundits like Sean Hannity who are clearly in the GOP’s pocket. However, in terms of who’s policies will leave the US in the black, I’d have to go with conservative principles of less government spending on things that a responsible people could conceivably afford to pay for. This election has already been won by the usual suspects i.e. the Republicans because I just have this gut feeling. The Republican machine is an expert at smear tactics and right now, they are pulling out all the stops. As their “pitbull” a.k.a. Sarah Palin said, the shoes come on and the gloves come off. Before anyone thinks I’m being disrespectful, she called herself a “pitbull” on national TV. It’s a sad truth that she was picked for the single purpose of getting everyone in a tizzy and in a way, I think she has not arrived at this important position of contender for vice president in the right way i.e. by dint of hard work, etc. She was doing a darn fine job in Alaska from all accounts, but I am nervous about her being vice president.Don’t get me started on John McCain’s blatant disregard for his opponent during the two debates. He is really becoming crochety and it’s showing. I’m not going to post any “facts” or whatnot. Feel free to do your own independent digging and come to your own conclusions. I’ll leave you with some links:

  1. Memeorandum = Political news site/aggregator (right or left leaning depending on issue of the day)
  2. Google News = unbiased news aggregator
  3. NYTimes
  4. Yahoo News
  5. CNN
  6. BBC
  7. Google
  8. PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter
  9. Project Vote Smart
  10. FactCheck
  11. FedSpending
  12. OpenCongress
  13. OpenSecrets

There is a lot of information out there and it’s almost like drinking from a firehose. Anyhow, enough of politics. Work has been sporadic. Or I guess I should say I haven’t been as productive as I could have been. It’s been raining for the past 2 days and for some reason, it feels rather gloomy. That’s all I have. I’ll be upbeat tomorrow. 🙂

Can you tell?

That it’s been crazier than a bee’s nest over here? Well, I just feel like there aren’t enough hours to get what I need to get done! Today is the first day of labs for the students. I’ve been sitting in on their anatomy classes although I haven’t been doing much else besides just listening. I’m bad, I know, but I’m clearly in the “not-a-vet-student-so-I-don’t-need-to-study” frame of mind. lol. Still, it’ll do me some good to be able to converse intelligently with my bosses and the students. My laptop has been invaluable to me thus far. Even though my backpack now weighs at least 15lbs, I’m still doggedly carrying everything but the kitchen sink with me to work. M’s been hating on me, but I forgive him. I would hate on me too. lol.

I’m slowly getting back into riding. I haven’t ridden hard in over a month and that was due to certain circumstances, but things are getting better. 🙂 I went for a soft ride with M just to spin my legs. I think my aim should be just 4 miles daily without bringing my heart rate too high up. The weather’s getting cooler and according to M, it’s perfect riding weather. Yesterday was a little depressing for various reasons. One of them being getting royally screwed by Hewlett-Packard regarding the TV tuner issue. However, I should be returning that blasted TV tuner to them and getting my money back. It really helps that after using it once, I never used it again because it was more troublesome than simply turning on the TV. I’ve got a crapload of items to be returned to retail outlets and I will go into some detail about those things. I will say that if you can help it, avoid buying things you aren’t sure that you will need because the return process is a pain in the patootie. I’m returning my bluetooth mouse because that freaking mouse quit working on me. My tolerance level for appliances that don’t work as advertised is zero these days and I wasted no time in obtaining an RMA number. I’ll stick to my little USB mini-mouse for now. I’m returning an item I purchased from an online retailer I’ve done business with in the past. They were a bit craftier in their returns process, but after sending them an email that threatened a charge-back, they responded with an RMA number and the information I needed. I wanted an auto/truck adapter for my laptop so I can use it in the car and I thought I found a good deal on a site. I broke one of the cardinal rules of online shopping i.e. reading the fine print and not taking Google results as the Gospel truth. About 5 minutes after I hit “Submit Order”, I realized that their auto/truck adapter would not be compatible with my laptop. I inwardly groaned and set about emailing their customer service representatives. Even though I sent my frantic email to them saying that they should cancel my order, they didn’t get back to me till the next day (how convenient) and it was only to tell me that they couldn’t cancel the order because it had been shipped! Well, after I received the item, I had to send at least 3 emails (each progressively nastier than the preceding one) in order to get my RMA number. Now, I just have to convince M to take them to the various drop-off points: USPS, Fedex, UPS, et cetera. lol.

Well, I’ve got to run. I’ll post something a little bit more coherent later on.

Problems with Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Professional and more

Okay, this is a semi-technical, but bear with me. So, I purchased the educational version of Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Professional. Not a big deal because I’ve worked with version 6.0 before and it works perfectly on my Windows XP Home computer. Well, that was XP. This is Windows Vista and 64-bit vista to boot. There were so many problems that I don’t know where to begin. So, I’ll bullet-point the issues.

  1. The file AdobePDF.dll is needed“: The first time this happened, i panicked and quit the installation. I re-installed Adobe Acrobat 8.0 a second time and when this dialog popped up again, I looked for the Amd64 folder (versus the I386 folder it initially looks at for AdobePDF.dll) and found a file called AdobePDF.dll there. I thought, “Voila!”, all was well. Then, I discovered that printing was extremely sketchy i.e. it would print, then it would hang up my computer and I’d have to go into the Windows task manager to kill the process manually. The issue with printing to the Adobe PDF printer started with being unable to print from Firefox then Internet Explorer until the Adobe Printer entered an error state. At this point, I decided to “modify” my installation which, prior to all of this, had been since been updated to Adobe 8.1.2 from 8.0. Modifying my Adobe Acrobat installation was done by going to the Control Panel in Windows Vista (64-bit version) and clicking “Programs and Features”. I right-clicked on the installation I wanted to change and a dialog box came up asking if I wanted to: modify, repair or remove my installation. I selected “modify” and simply re-installed the program again. Notably, I didn’t get a dialog box asking for AdobePDF.dll anymore. So the point of my ramblings, if you are having trouble with your Adobe PDF printer, your first tactic should be to modify the installation and simply re-install.
  2. Here’s the gnarly part of my suggestion. After I had a second Adobe PDF printer showing up in my “Printers” list, I tried to print out a page to the “working” PDF printer. Well, it printed, but somehow it kept printing to the faulty Adobe PDF printer also!! I got my PDF file alright, but the other PDF printer was going nuts. I finally went into the printer properties by right-clicking the troublesome printer and then, selected “properties”. I went to the “Ports” tab and clicked the 2 Adobe PDF printers listed then. Then, I hit “enable printer pooling.” I have no idea what that did at the time, but I was just frustrated. To my uneducated mind, I understood the solution to my problem at the time (having 2 printers that did the same thing except one worked and the other didn’t) as being: I needed to merge the 2 printers. “Pooling” meant something close to “merging” so I pooled the 2 printers ports which were: (i) LPT1 (the bad Adobe PDF printer) and (ii) Documents\*.pdf which was the working Adobe PDF printer. Immediately after pooling the printers, the bad Adobe PDF printer disappeared from the Printers” list. Continue reading Problems with Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Professional and more

A little rant

Or not. People of the blogosphere especially anonymous ones tend to be really really mean. A professor and several others have said that it is much harder to run your mouth once people know you in person. Case I’m pissed about: the girls of Now, I’m coming out on my blog to say that I am subscribed to all 3 girls’ (Julia Allison, Meghan Asha and Mary Rambin) Tumblr blogs and now, I can’t get enough of their joint venture (NonSociety). That being said, each of those 3 girls are cute, witty and they are simply living their admittedly privileged lives. I’m not envious, but as you will find, there are people online who will stoop to any depths to bring down a good thing. Obviously, the girls did a stupid thing by not registering their website  in the popular top-level domains (TLDs) i.e.  dot com, dot org, dot net, dot info, dot me, et cetera. Hell, that’s a mistake that even social media experts fall prey to like  Shel Israel whose error was forgetting to register his own name. Still, it’s not a dealbreaker. Even Julia has her own imitator online and while it brings cheap laughs, I get depressed reading about these ‘parody’ sites because they exist for the sole purpose of putting down people so hard that I fear the weak hearted could contemplate killing off their online personalities. It sucks that we “can’t all get along”, but that’s the nature of the internet beast where all and sundry can talk out of their asses and claim ‘free speech’ or ‘artistry’. It simply disgusts me.


Another sick example of the left wing media establishment attacking a brilliant independent thinker happens yet again.  The liberals want you to believe that they are the open minded representatives of peace and a voice for the intellectual progressive youth.  That they are the defenders of truth, freedom, freedom of speech, the children, and the environment.  But it is these same “open minded” liberals who attack talk show host Michael Savage when he exposes corruption in the medical industry, the government school institutions, and the media.  Why?  This could be a perfect example of what you call irony.  I consider that an understatement.  But they will call it “hate” speech.  You be the judge.

Since when did these delusional “progressives” care so much about preserving the ethical values that are essentially derived from nature?  This would require a respect for the freedom to operate within the limitations of a natural law and perhaps a belief in something that is for many “progressives” incomprehensible, simple minded, or foolish. A belief in a system of natural laws that stem from one essence.  Dare I say?

With a little innate knowledge of this system, and an elementary degree of understanding of a cause and effect sequence,  One is equipped with common sense.  He certainly need not be religious or spiritual in order to exercise common sense, but it is those who arrive at a greater understanding of the spiritual laws that are equipped with the tools necessary to more accurately see things as they are.  Not the spiritual derelicts that dwell in the mundane.

What we have here are those interested in restricting the voices and views that are contrary to their own. Especially views of those dedicated to the protection and preservation of this freedom.  Don’t let these vultures fool you!   They take Savage’s words, which are out of sincere concern and brilliant observation, totally out of context, to make you think that he is ridiculing autistic children.  Lies, Lies, Lies!!!   As Savage says, how in the hell can Howard Stern, with total impunity, make a living out of showcasing, belittling, and ridiculing those who are misfortunate and handicapped?  While he(Savage), a voice for many conscience driven free thinkers around the country, is attacked and vilified with the worst intentions in mind?  There can only be one logical explanation.  Howard Stern shares the same political views.  He is a part of the left wing entertainment media establishment and voice for the degenerate American.  The desecration of truth has come to fruition, while it awaits a new morality, a new leader will rise…  God Forbid!

Foolish banks (Bank of America, I’m looking at you)

I realized I hadn’t kvetched in a while about finances. In this case, it’s going to be a very good kvetch. lol. You probably know that I’m not too fond of Bank of America any more. Yes, they were the first credit card provider that took on this poor needy post-college student, but now, I’m grown but they don’t want to acknowledge it! I think I can feel free to say that my card has a $1,000 limit. I currently owe nothing (zip, zilch, nada) on this account and right now, I’m only keeping the card to make my credit to debt ratio look good for my credit score’s benefit. Which by the way, according to all 3 credit bureaus, is so close to 700 that I can taste it. That’s awesome considering I only had credit starting in late 2006.  The other credit card is on its way to being paid down and I anticipate keeping this other card because they have a way more reasonable APR (13.99%) than Bank of America’s eye-gouging 20.49% for purchases and 23.99% for ATM withdrawals, etc. I’m just glad that I got rid of that debt and can focus on Sun Trust. I plan on closing out the account right before they have a chance to charge me almost $30 for the "privilege" of having an account with them. They can suck lemons. I plan on calling every month till about June to ask for an APR decrease or try to have my account converted (hopefully without a hard credit pull) to a credit card account without the annual fees & hopefully a reduced APR too. However, with the folks I’ve spoken with, I don’t think they’ll bite so the alternative: they’ll lose me as a customer. Just not yet. I’m going to milk this cow till I’m good and ready. Once again, let me see them collect fees on a $0 balance account. LMAO.

[in heavy drawl]Anyways,[end of heavy drawl], I’m doing fine. I just saw a brief glimpse of my sister and her husband (dang, we’re both off the market now) and she looked simply put, beautiful. I’m itching to get my hands on some video of the event. I’ll put up bite-sized chunks up on my gallery (password-protected, obviously). Life is good at Hotel California (inside joke) and I’ll tell the joke. In short, we (all the residents of the house we live in) got T-shirts that read "Hotel California" from one of the residents (JH) and that’s what we’re calling the place we live in: Hotel California. Where the thermostat goes straight up to 72 degrees Fahrenheit at the whisper of lows of 62F in Winter. Jeez. lol. Don’t get me started on this heat rant again. Our utility bills went up quite appreciably for January and I can tell you that that was not appreciated by yours truly. PC came over and kept trying to explain the reason for the jump and while there was one particular reason for it to go up (a leaky faucet that dripped hot water), I truly think it was the fact that I eased off on my fanatical monitoring of the thermostat. Well, that’s over. I gave PC the benefit of the doubt that he wouldn’t abuse it i.e. switching it to higher temperatures unnecessarily, but I can honestly say that there were several occasions that that heater did not need to be going on!! I mean, I just have to vent here because I can’t express myself to him without feeling like I’ll be construed as "ungrateful". Again, it’s going back to the whole mentality of knowing that he’s got tenants who will bear the major brunt of the utility bills and thus, feeling free to go crazy with the thermostat. Don’t tell me: it’s his house, yes and we can put up or shut up. Well, as it is, we’re in a symbiotic relationship and he needs us just as he needs him. We have a common ground even though I make Hotel California sound like a war zone. It’s actually nice and definitely keeping our living bills still below $450 monthly (I can’t say that for the summer though. It was awful). So, I’m not in too much of a hurry especially as the "deals" we’re seeing for housing aren’t that great i.e. ~ $455 just for rent and water excluding utilities. Right now, we pay for water and trash and they probably amount to ~ $60 so it’s a relatively small price to pay versus the ~ $100 utility bills we may be receiving in an apartment complex (that’s without cable). It shan’t be for long though and I’ll leave it at that. 🙂

I’m currently embarking on an "experiment" that’s leaving me a little bit more tired than I’m used to being. So, I’ll monitor the situation and then, make a decision to take it or leave it. Dad/Mom, don’t freak. I promise it’s nothing crazy. lol.

Finally, I need to put M on blast. lol. What did he do? Where do I start? 😀 Okay, I got a coupon book from a lab mate who was gracious enough to spare from her excess. It has great deals like buy one/get one free (BOGOF) from places we eat at (I believe I’ve mentioned this book before). Well, M decided to go eat at Subway (bearing in mind I’m not too big on the whole subs idea especially Subway’s subs). I went along because he’d been dropping mad hints that he wanted to scratch his sub itch. So, we broke out the coupon booklet and behold, we had a coupon for a BOGOF on 6-inch subs. Well, I decided to substitute my free sub for a salad which cost a dollar more. Then, suddenly and inexplicably, M asked me if I wanted a drink. lol. You have to be with us to understand why this was so earth-shattering. We never get drinks at fast food restaurants because we’ve both concurred (a long time ago) that those deals were rip-offs. Now, in his defense, he had just done an intense workout and I was even extra-tired too and we were both acting loopy. So, he got 1 sub, 2 small drinks and a salad that was essentially $1. The bill totaled to approximately $8.50. I literally did a double-take as did M. You guessed it, the two drinks were $2.60 and the sub was nearly $4!! That was what threw me for a loop. I didn’t know subs had gotten so damned expensive which is a testament to the truth behind my assertion that I really don’t do sub shops. 🙂 Anyhow, lesson learned: avoid getting drinks when getting meals. The main redeeming aspects of our trip to Subway were the awesome salad, the free refills which I took liberal advantage of (I made M get his refill too) and the pleasure of knowing that M was going to be hungry again due to the malnourished looking sub he got (I love you Matt!!).lol. I was right. Just kidding. I wasn’t being a downer, I promise. I took it like a champ and we had fun. Now that I’ve put him on blast, I know I’ve jinxed myself and will slip up on something. 🙂 *crosses fingers and toes*

And that’ll do it for now. Peace!