Saturday, December 23, 2006

1028 Hard Disk Horror

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I've been uploading photos from my hard disk to, and yesterday I decided to look for other photos that maybe didn't make it into my "Photos" folder. So I did a "Find" for "*.jpg". The results were shocking. There were pictures out there from practically every product, every website, every banner ad, every online dating guy's profile, everything I'd looked at for literally years!

I do a disk cleanup every few days, and it says it's cleaning up temporary internet files, but that doesn't include a LOT of other temporary internet stuff out there. Like the cache. There was six-year-old stuff in the caches, probably left when the browsers bounce (one to five times a day these days).

About twice or more a week I have to push the "off/on" button because the system hangs, and every time I do that, Windows leaves temp stuff, and it never cleans it up! Would that be so difficult? If Windows expects me to recognize what should be deleted, then Windows ought to be able to identify it. Sheesh.

I also discovered that every time I download a photo from an email into my "photos" file, AOL plants another copy of the same picture in any one of at least three other places.

It's no wonder my hard disk is so cluttered I can't defragment it any more.

I have a copy of "Windows 98 for Dummies", but under "temporary files" and how to identify them and how to get rid of them, it says almost nothing.

Anybody have any ideas as to what I should do? (This is Windows 98 SE. What's "Explorer"?) I won't be ready to buy another system for another few months. I'd really like to clean this one up.


Complicating factors - The hard disk is partitioned. I believe there's a total of at least 9G available (Jay hand-built much of this beast, 11 years ago). There's a 2G C-Disk containing all the system and application software. There's a 2G D-Disk containing data files, like photos, music, some documents, etc. That leaves 5G more, which I believe are a E-Disk and F-Disk, but they are hidden! You can't get the system to admit they exist under any query. Jay created them to hold proprietary information that he was working on for The Company and for the clients of a partnership he was working with. I know there's a lot of sensitive (well, sensitive six years ago) information out there, and I'd love to kill it all and get that disk space back, but I can't. Worse, this disk arrangement makes it almost impossible to build any kind of rescue disk.

It's scary.

Friday, December 22, 2006

1027 Ditzy Dinner

Friday, December 22, 2006

Last night I went to the monthly Third Thursday dinner. There was only Roman, me, and The Ditz (I've mentioned her before). She really got to me last night. The woman doesn't have an ounce of common sense.

Now, I'm usually pretty easy to get along with. There are a lot of people who annoy me in one way or another, but I just accept that as a part of them. It's often the result of some kind of emotional need, so I just let it pass over me or work around it. I'm pleasant to them, no matter how annoyed I am.

But last night, as the dinner went on, I got more and more impatient with The Ditz. The final straw came when she said (again, she's said it before at these dinners) that she doesn't understand why they don't end the Iraqi war the same way they ended WWII - "just drop an atom [sic] bomb on Iraq."

I told Roman later that I slammed my mouth shut and waited for him to respond, and I'd follow his lead. He said that there are many good reasons why not, and listed some. My first impulse was to ask her how the hell she got into Mensa, and tell her "that's about the stupidest statement I'd ever heard, bar none", but Roman's patience cooled me down.

She has said the same thing at earlier dinners, and people have explained to her over and over why that's such a bad idea, and yet she persists in thinking it's a good idea. Like she doesn't listen, or doesn't think.

She's not only stupid, she's insensitive. She knows that Roman and I have been "involved", and she asks incredibly uncomfortable questions. She gets short answers, or redirected, but then she comes right back to it.

The woman has zero common sense.

I really really don't want to deal with her ever again. She doesn't come to these dinners often, thank goodness, and next time she does, I'm not going to hold back. I'm going to make her afraid to ever again open her mouth within a mile of me. I told Roman, if she says stuff like that to us, she must be saying it other places, to other people, too. I'd like to follow her around for a day just to find out why no one has strangled her yet.

He cracked up.

One significant thing, in all the time I've known him, Roman has never used a "naughty" word, not even "darn". Last night, in responding to The Ditz, regarding dropping the bomb, he actually dropped the "F" bomb, in all its purity. I was amazed!

Eventually she left, and Roman and I stayed at the table for a while to talk. We were about ready to leave when Roman said, "Hey, there goes Bob." Bob was a coworker of ours 15 years ago. He was sitting alone, so we joined him - for almost an hour. Bob and Roman both have elderly parents in need of care, so they had a lot to talk about.

And then we left.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

1026 Send Milk!

Help! I'm buried under an avalanche of peanut butter cookies!

(- a result of the note I sent to friends and family back in November. Next year I'll know better.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

1025 Mailbox

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

[Later Edit - The Hairless Hunk has a winch on his truck, not a wench. I'm surprised nobody caught that.]

I spent all day yesterday writing notes. I have old friends and coworkers scattered all over the country, and at Christmas I write them a (real, personal, handwritten, snail-mail, and very short) note. Then around the end of January, I get a real, handwritten, snail-mail response. And that's about it until the next year.

Email doesn't seem to work for us/me. I set an email aside, and then I seem to forget it wants a reply. I don't know why. Perhaps because it's too much contact for the kind of distance relationship that now remains. I guess we/I want to keep in touch, but not too touchy-feely. Or maybe it's my standoffishness. Whatever. I wish I could do better.

My mother always kept very closely in touch with practically everyone she'd ever met - and moving every three years, that was a lot. She always said that if she ever decided to drive across the country, she'd have a friend to visit every day. We spent three years in Ottawa, two in the house on Fairbanks Avenue, and forty years later, when she and our Fairbanks neighbor were both widows, the neighbor and she would spend a week together in Miami every year. I don't know how you maintain that kind of contact. She never taught me how.


My neighbors across the street put their house up for sale last spring. In preparation, they moved a lot of their belongings into storage, and borrowed a utility trailer to do it. Their driveway is long and narrow, and unlike mine, there's no turn-around at the end, so after they filled the trailer, they had to back it up the drive.

My mailbox is right across from the end of their driveway, and I guess they weren't able to turn the trailer tight enough when they got to the end of their driveway (and apparently weren't watching, or listening, the sound would have been pretty loud), and they rammed my mailbox, twisting it off true, and badly bent the post for my newspaper tube. I didn't see it happen, but that morning the trailer was in their drive, and two hours later, the trailer was gone and the damage was done. The direction of the twist and the height of the bend say "trailer, from THAT direction". We are the last houses on a dead end street. There is NO other traffic.

I had to figure it out myself because nobody from across the street came over to apologize or offer to fix it. I didn't say anything either. The Hairless Hunk used a winch on his truck to twist the mailbox back for me, but we couldn't do anything about the newspaper tube. Now, to get my paper, I have to open the car door a little and hang out the window to reach it.

Well, the house sold a few weeks ago, and they moved out last week. This time I think it was a moving van that hit my mailbox. It's twisted so far I'm not sure it will twist back. I'm surprised I'm still getting my mail.

Again, no one said "Oops, sorry."

I probably won't be keeping in touch with them.

Monday, December 18, 2006

1024 A Regret

Monday, December 18, 2006

When I was little, when other kids wanted to be policemen, or cowboys, or veterinarians, or beauticians, I wanted to be a forensic pathologist. Most people, including my parents, didn't even know what that was. I read about it in a book in about fifth grade, and I knew right away that's what I wanted to do, what I was meant to do.

When I graduated from high school in 1962, I still wanted to be a forensic pathologist.

There were a whole heap of barriers.

I hated high school chemistry. What I didn't know then was that our chem teacher was very bad. He was the local veterinarian, had never had any teacher training, and ours was his first teaching experience. Small mountain school. Things might have been different with a decent teacher.

I didn't think I'd be going to college, didn't even apply until after graduation, and then to only one school, where "everyone" decided I should go, and where there was no track leading to anything medical.

Plus, by then I had learned my place as a female. Forensic pathologists, like police officers, surgeons, and anything else of any import, were male, and that was that. I was not emotionally strong enough at that time to attempt to buck the attitudes (although I majored in math, and was usually the only female in the math classes).

I think I would have been very good at it, I really do.

I sometimes wonder how different my life might have been.

1023 Photo Badge

Monday, December 18, 2006

[Later edit - the photo badge doesn't show up unless you're on the main page. So if you come into a single entry, you won't see it. Tsk.]

I have added a Flickr "Badge" over there on the right. Look now, it may not be there long, because it makes the journal load a lot slower for me (12-year-old system on dial-up, and all that). But it's pretty nifty.

1022 Snowflake

[Later edit - changed the link. "snowflakeslookandfeel" has become all ads. (Caught like a fish on a hook.) The link now goes to the real snowflake maker.]

I made a snowflake, at

Sunday, December 17, 2006

1021 Generic Title

Sunday, December 17, 2006

One more commercial complaint - the Dunkin' Donuts commercial in which people at the "other" coffee shops complain about about being forced to order in French, or Italian, or Fretalian, but at Dunkin' Donuts, "you can order your latte completely in English". Are they really unaware that "latte" is not English? Aaaarrgh! Not being a coffee drinker, I'm not even sure what "latte" means. Isn't that like "coffee with milk"?

I went to work at the veteran's house again today. I half expected my back to be iffy this morning, but it was fine. My thighs were something else, though. They were screaming "Please don't do this to me again!" but I told them to shut up, it's good for you, and tonight they even feel good.

The men were burning the branches from the dead black walnut tree they had cut down, and the wood scraps from the construction. Being a bit of a pyromaniac, I was happy to take over the care and feeding of the bonfire. They had also replaced the toilet, and the plumber had been and gone before I got there, but by the end of the day, there was still no water. I guess the burst pipes (freeze damage) were most extensive than first thought.

They sent me to the hardware store to buy more roofing nails, and a second trip to Wal*Mart to buy venetian blinds, a shower curtain bar, a monster tarp, and bungee cords. That trip was a horror. I had to weave through the parking lot for 15 minutes before I got a parking spot, and the lines at the checkout were a horror.

I got thoroughly smoked. My hair turned gray-green from the bonfire smoke, and it felt stiff and pasty. When I got home I soaked in the tub and washed my hair, but my hair still has a slightly off color. I've got black in my pores, and I'm still digging soot out of my nose. Getting clean may take a while. (Now I remember another reason I dislike camping.)

I was so full of energy when I got home, I decided to find out why the bathtub in the hall bathroom drains so slowly. I took the works apart, and found that it wasn't just a water salts deposit problem, and not just a hair problem, it was both. I have extremely hard water, and water evaporation on the bits of hair in there had created a solid salt dam, about a quarter inch thick. Acid didn't touch it. I had to chip it apart. But now the tub drains.

I am content.