Friday, December 25, 2009

The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think (or, Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying)

I woke up and had a small gasp. Well, a small, internal gasp. Had you been standing there you'd not have noticed. Or you may have assumed gas, rather than internal gasp. But that's not the point. (And what the heck were you doing in my bedroom anyway!?) The point is that I gasped, small and internally, over seemingly awakening to a white Christmas. Of course, I thought it was fog, but still, that's white. Anyway, no joy. I had slept to 10 minutes past eight, which is very late for me. It was light out and I am not used to that. I usually arrive at work before the sun is up. And the fog turned out to just be a gray, drizzly sky. So... the day was off to an inauspicious start.

I have not blogged or answered email for a while. See below.

Day 5 of the Windows Vista saga. A few weeks back my Windows Vista decided that even though it can see my DVD drive just fine, can ascertain that it is operating properly, and can determine that all of the drivers are up to date, it can't see it in the sense of me using it. It cannot eject, it cannot read disks, and it cannot spin the drive. But you know, other than that the drive and drivers are operating properly.

I hit the tech sites and attempted the known fix, but it did nothing. So I got to thinking. The Microsoft site states that Service Pack 2 will fix the known problems in Service Pack 1, and the CD/DVD drive problem was wide spread and well known. So I downloaded and installed that.

I pretty much knew I was fixing to have problems on the second day. When it was still trying to install and configure SP2. I do not care how large the program patch, whe you are 2 days in to it things are already headed south on you.

Some disclaimers:
1. I am not without computers. I have 4. 3 are working fine. That's not the point.
2. 2 of the other 3 are also running Vista and have none of the problems I experience on this machine. This machine has always had issues with upgrades, just not this debilitating. I assume it is a conflict between Windows and some driver Toshiba loaded.

So, after 2 days, I finally got this computer to load up and it immediately told me that my Windows was not genuine and would have to be reloaded. Um, what?? But it was insistent. No worries though, I put in a restore point prior to downloading to SP2. There were problems that I will call problem A and problem B. Problem B first. The system restore point that the Microsoft site built alled "SP2 download" did not work and restore me to a time before the download. It did, however, take nearly 11 hours to reboot (had to install and configure SP2 again for some reason). Problem B is that the restore point I built manually had disappeared completely.

So I pulled all of my files that I care about off of the suddenly non-genuine Windows running machine and prepared to load the rescue disk, wipe the drive, and start over fresh. No problem. I do it all the time. Oh yeah, have I mentioned that Windows cannot see my otherwise properly functioning drive?

5 days later and after 3+ hours of remote troubleshooting (I give control of my machine to the tech in India and watch him's cool) I am still having problems. The techs have been very eager to help and I cannot complain about the level or amount of assistance they have provided. I had, however, hoped for a little more than a proclamation of "Hmmmm... it shouldn't be doing that" at the end of each session. I mean, I was actually aware that it shouldn't be doing that before we even started.

I'm done bitching. Tech support is trying. And my ace in the hole is for him to reset my CD drive and I will reload all software. It has just been a hassle. I can see how people with only a single computer would hate Vista. However, like I said, I have had a number of Vista machines and this is the only problem machine. This is what I have to look forward to this Christmas Day:

Hi William
This is Suneesh with Microsoft Windows Technical Support. This is with reference to the Windows Service Request 1120436091
As per our last conversation, I am scheduling a call back from the Microsoft Technical Support Team.
Please find the timing that has been scheduled to continue working on the issue –
Call Back Date : 25th December 2009
Call Back Time : 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Time Zone : EST
Call Back Number : 6179575649

UPDATE: Now6 days and 4.5+ hours. What I have now is....

Hi William
This is Suneesh with Microsoft Windows Technical Support. This is with reference to the Windows Service Request 1120436091
As per our last conversation, I am scheduling a call back from the Microsoft Technical Support Team.
Please find the timing that has been scheduled to continue working on the issue –
Call Back Date : 26th December 2009
Call Back Time : 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Time Zone : EST
Call Back Number : 6179575649

Went to St. Pete to have Christmas Eve dinner with a co-worker. His brother and mother were there. It was a great day because in addition to turkey and green bean casserole and candied yams with marshmallows...mmmmm mmmmm goooood...... a pinochle game broke out. Yeah buddy, I love pinochle. Mom had learned from her husband, who was a lifer in the navy. She had taught her boys how to play. I learned to play as a lifer dog in the navy. So what I am saying is this: We all played by the same shipboard rules. Running trump, slapping down the cards, and, most especially gratifying, talking trash when you have the lead! What a great afternoon.

Mom & brother live in Brooksville and Johnny FN (my co-worker) lives in St. Pete. We all agreed to get together to play again and, as the gods smiled down on me, my house is the halfway point between Brooksville and St. Petersburg.

I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves. - Bruce Grocott
A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to. - Granville Hicks
A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. - H.H. Munro
...You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. - Bob Dylan
I didn't lie--I was writing fiction in my mouth. - Homer Simpson

No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong, out
Ramblin' Ed

Friday, December 11, 2009

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking

I have been mocked, yes mocked!, for things I find genuinely inspired. I find beauty in small things. But I suppose some definitions are in order here first. "Inspired" does not mean "good" any more than "unique" necessarily means "useful". And when I say "small things", I mean small of consequence and not necessarily small of size.

For instance, I am totally in awe of the lyrics in the song LUMP, by Presidents of the USA. I love all POUSA songs because they refer to worms and fuzzy spiders and dune buggys for toads and being old and naked and.... well, not your normal pop tune imagery. So I was hooked as soon as I heard the lines:
Lump was limp and lonely and needed a shove
Lump slipped on a kiss and tumbled into love
She spent her twenties between the sheets
Life limped along at subsonic speeds

I took the picture of the rubber minnows at the right while perusing the $1 store at the flea market. Still kicking myself now for not buying the fishmonger. I mean, it's bionic!

It's always one thing or another at my age. My friend's wife just left him. No animosity. Just a casual mention that she figured she might as well be moving along. Well, at least there's no drama. And he still has his job. My other friend still has his wife, but his job moved on. Yet another friend is traveling the world with his wife (on vacation from his job - so he's OK on both those accounts) because he figures his back could go out any day now and he wants to travel while he can because he thinks it'll be harder to travel when he can't. Which actually seems to make sense. I hope his back never goes out because he brings me Cuban cigars back. Note to Feds:, he doesn't. Just kidding. Heh heh heh.

So, there is a wise girl out there, who may or may not still drop by this blogstop along the slow lane on the information parkway. She's making now like what I was always accused of being before... the disappearing kind. And to be completely "jiggy wit' it", she may or may not be all that wise. That was a self-inflicted moniker, kinda like San Diego just up and proclaiming themselves "America's Finest City". Still, I was pondering on her and her tribulations and triumphs when the god of cold Nevada sunshine reached down and thumped me right betwixt the eyes. And then there appeared, glowing in bright Department of Transportation green, a sign. Literally. And I knew all was well. It was crystal and clear like... like... like something crystal and clear. If there were no joy to be had, then why would there be two lanes headed there? Yeah. There you have it.
(Yeah Waaaaah! You have to biggerize this to understand.)

Is Lump fast asleep or rocking out with the band?, out
Ramblin' Ed