Saturday, September 18, 2010

3091 Photos from the picnic today

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The trouble with, "A place for everything and everything in its place" is that there's always more everything than places.
-- Robert Brault --


3090 Goodbye Bloglines

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.


Bloglines is going away, so I'm switching over to Google Reader. It's not quite as easy to use, but like everything else, once you figure it out and get used to it, it's ok. There are a few things I miss (or haven't figured out yet), like when I make a comment somewhere and want to go back later to see if there was a response, in Bloglines I'd just mark the post "Keep New". In Google Reader I have to either mark it unread, or star it, and neither is as convenient. Also, in GR there's no way to see how many other people have the same blog on their lists.

Today I'm going to a picnic in a riverside park in Wappingers, and then maybe later today or tomorrow to a gem and mineral show in Rhinebeck.

Friday, September 17, 2010

3089 Friday

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's frustrating when you know all the answers,
but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.


Yesterday was filled with shopping and lunch with people. Today was not filled, but somehow disappeared anyway. I don't understand.

Jasper woke me a little after 3 this morning, chasing a mouse. Thud. Scrabble scrabble. Crunch. Long pause. Thud. Bang. Scrabble scrabble. Then he'd finally catch it, and bring it onto the bed to present it to me. Of course, the instant he set it down next to my pillow, it escaped, and we had another series of thuds and bangs. I think over the next three hours he captured and released it on my bed four times. The fourth capture was at 6:30 am, and this time it stayed still. I thanked him for the gift, tossed it out the front door, read a book until I fell asleep again, and slept until 11 am.

Went to dinner in Troy this evening with six other people. An Irish-Mexican restaurant. Nobody was quite sure what the Irish part was. Even the potato salad was full of cayenne and cumin. Maybe it was so that if anyone complained about any inauthenticity in the Mexican dishes, they could claim that's the Irish part.

I drove Fred, the minivan, to dinner - it's his first longish trip since his refurbishment, kind of a test before I try to drive him loaded to NJ - and he behaved beautifully. I'm beginning to have second thoughts about selling him after the move.


There are all kinds of horror stories about trademarking and patenting, like people trying to trademark ordinary everyday words and phrases. The latest is that 14 years ago some guy in Wisconsin put goats on the roof of his restaurant to attract business - and he trademarked the idea!
Last year, he discovered that Tiger Mountain Market in Rabun County, Ga., had been grazing goats on its grass roof since 2007. He filed a federal suit in Georgia.

Danny Benson, the owner of Tiger Mountain, says that “legally we could fight it, because it is ridiculous.” But it would have been too expensive to fight, he says. He considered replacing his goats with pigs before deciding their heft and tendency to “root around” would pose a danger to people below.

Earlier this year, Benson agreed to pay Al Johnson’s a fee for the right to use roof goats as a marketing tool in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.

In July, Virginia news outlets reported that goats on a hillside routinely hopped onto a platform under a billboard advertising two International House of Pancakes restaurants. Drivers pulled over to snap pictures, and one IHOP manager was quoted saying he enjoyed the publicity.

Johnson says his lawyer is monitoring the situation in case “they take it a step further.” Lisa Hodges, who manages one of the restaurants, says she doesn’t plan to intentionally use the goats for marketing. “We can’t help it that they climb up there,” she says.

Story here:

And then there's IHOP(pancakes) v. IHOP(prayer), and Macedonia v. Macedonia. Story here:

I'm sorry, but I find all this completely ridiculous, and it bugs the hell out of me that even though most people would find it ridiculous, it's true that "it's too expensive to fight it". Let's get together and find something simple and stupid to trademark or patent, and then we can sue everybody who has used that phrase or idea for decades and didn't have the foresight to trademark it. We could make millions selling the rights!

P.S. - you'd better trademark your own name. Someone else could take it away from you, no matter how long you've been using it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

3088 HOTW - Tom Selleck

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Never do anything that you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics.


Honey of the Week - Tom Selleck.

No way I could leave Tom out of this list. I think it's the glimpses of confused little boy in that extremely masculine face and body that does it for me. (And I do like my men furry!)


3087 Book site alert

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?


Looking for an out-of-print title? Need to sell some antique or rare books? Check out Zubal Books, at

Established in 1961 by John T. Zubal, Zubal Books offers an outstanding selection of used and antiquarian titles. This Web site provides access to one of the largest collections of out-of-print titles available on the Internet.

The Zubal Books warehouse maintains close to 5,000,000 volumes of scholarly and rare books in the fields of Literary Criticism & Biography, History, Philosophy, Science, Anthropology & Archaeology, Religion, Historiography, Linguistics, Occult and Fiction.

3086 The internet is going to kill us

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.
-- Erma Bombeck --


The internet is going to eventually kill us.

Stuff gets around too fast, and to everyone. People are able to organize too easily. The human mind hasn't kept pace with the availability of information. It's too easy to quickly inflame emotions.

World war III, the final one, will be kicked off by some idiot in the backwoods with a smartphone, who gets the wrong people excited, and within minutes pisses off and divides the world. Those excited people don't even have to be the people who had enough diplomacy and smarts to have power. (That's different from how WWI was "started by one guy with a gun". He shot an internationally known person, the emotional conditions that fed the reactions had been brewing for a long time, and the decision to go to war required time for thought and organization.)

These days, one guy can do or say something stupid and instantly, with no forethought, everything can explode.

This scares me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

3085 Laptop is knocked out

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

“Great minds like a think.”


Last post I mentioned that one should not temp fate by complaining about dullness or rejoicing over good fortune. Hal's "flat" tires were the first thing to go wrong on Sunday, and they ate up a bunch of time on Monday, going to BMW service and all.

The second thing to go wrong on Sunday was the laptop.

I didn't do anything wrong, actually. I hadn't even gone anywhere I don't go every day. I figured out later what had happened. It seems there is a Trojan out there, one of the Vundo family, that infiltrates through a popup. I have a popup blocker, so I rarely see them, and when I do I never ever click on them except the "x" in the upper corner to close them.

Well, with this one, closing the popup turns it loose. I do remember there was a popup just before all Hell broke loose, but I don't remember where it came from or what it said. Nothing remarkable about it.

Anyway, it declared I was infected, and I needed to download their virus scanner to fix it, and it wouldn't go away. It put up window after window, and wouldn't allow me to do anything else.
It even took over McAfee.

Luckily, my internet access is through a little plugin box, so I immediately unplugged the box. Nothing was going to be downloaded from anywhere! Accidentally, sneakily, or otherwise.

It wouldn't allow a shutdown, so I "pulled the plug" and did an emergency shutdown, thinking I'd just do a restore from my external harddrive when I brought it back up. Luckily, I had done a C-disk dump to the external drive just two days before.

No such luck. The virus started on IPL, and wouldn't allow anything.

So, I packed up everything, including the external harddrive, and took it all to Office Depot.

They had it overnight, into late Monday, and "cleaned" it - for $169. The guy said they didn't have to restore from backup, they just "cleaned" it. I don't know what the devil they did, but it seems like everything is back to default settings, and I'm extremely unhappy. It took me 3 years to get everything exactly the way I want it, and now it's all gone. All the little icons down there on the lower right are gone, and I don't know how to start Spybot or McAfee without them! Or a half a dozen other things that now that they're gone, I don't even remember what they were, but whatever they were, they sure were handy.

The worst is that the touchpad is back to default settings. That's not only inconvenient, it's DANGEROUS! I had it set for vertical and horizontal scrolling, and no tapping. Now I have no scrolling, and tap is on. Tap means that if you simply touch the pad lightly, that's the same as a left-click, which means that you are constantly accidentally clicking on stuff. My windows are bouncing around, I'm going to links I thought I just skimmed the cursor past, and that is more than inconvenient - it's dangerous!

I tried to rest the touchpad options, and I'm getting the message, "Unable to connect to Synaptics Pointing Device Driver". The touchpad driver has to be there, otherwise I wouldn't be able to use it at all, right? So why can't I get to it to reset the options?

Actually, there are a couple of drivers and other things I can't seem to get to any longer. Like, uh, the Dell Help files. Hmmm.

This thing is going back to Office Depot tomorrow. They've got to fix the touchpad, at least.

Oh, and I ran a full McAfee scan and Spybot scan last night, after getting it back from the techies, and there were still pieces of Vundo-cousins out there. I removed them myself.

Sheesh. You'd think that for $169 they'd have at least vacuumed the cookie crumbs out of the keyboard.

3084 Hal has flat feet

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves
as the sole cause of all our adversities."
-- Sophocles --


Last time I visited here, on Saturday, I complained that life was boring.

Moral - never complain when life is boring. And don't exult when it's going well. Life'll getcha.

Sunday morning I started up Hal to go to the deli, and he immediately complained that ALL FOUR tires were flat. All four? I can assume that
- the computer has found another way to bug out, or
- the cold has caused the tires to register lower, or
- someone let air out of the tires.
All are possibilities.

They're "run flat" tires, so I can drive 150 miles before I have to do something about them as long as I don't go over 50 mph, so I drove to the deli, hoping that if it was because of cold, they'd warm up and the lights would go out.

They didn't.

I didn't bother to check the air pressure, because he had to go in for the recall anyway, so I'd let BMW take care of it.

But, the parts for the recall hadn't come in, so on Monday BMW called to cancel the appointment, so I mentioned the tires, and the gal said to come in. That's a 60 mile round trip. So far, of the 3,000 miles on that car, 360 of them, more than 10%, are trips for service.

Yeah, it was the cold. The mechanic said, "So, you haven't gone through a winter yet, eh?" He says I can expect to see this a few more times (unless I pay $69 and have nitrogen put in the tires), and he taught me how to reset the alert.

So, now I have TWO do-nothing alerts. I am to ignore the "service engine soon" light unless the car "is acting funny", and I should just "ignore and reset the low tire indicator".

Um, why do we have these things if they can be safely ignored? Why bother?


The other BIG thing that went wrong on Sunday? Next post....