Category: General

October 20, 2012

Stop wasting my time

by Nori — Categories: General, Wising upComments Off on Stop wasting my time
desultory adj : marked by lack of definite plan or regularity or purpose; jumping from one thing to another; “desultory thoughts”; “the desultory conversation characteristic of cocktail parties”

Because up to now I have led a fairly desultory life, I haven’t taken a lot of exception to the amount of time I’ve spent filtering through . . . uh . . . crap.  Using the word makes me wince, but however high brow we normally are, sometimes it’s the really simple words that describe things best.

One of my very best friends, a woman who has acted both as best friend and mother, is now in a skilled care facility recovering from a massive stoke.  Because of my lack of a regimented life, I am free to spend time caring for her and acting as her advocate.  I see it as a vital job until such time as she is able to communicate clearly.  As a result, I have much less time for what has been life’s normal clutter.

Let me give you an example.  Chris Matthews proves how incredibly uneducated he is on the Constitution because he says it protects the President from rudeness.  Really?  This is news?  We already know Matthews is an ignorant shill.  It’s no longer news and hasn’t been for a very long time.

I use the Bloglines RSS reader for news and to keep me abreast of things that interest me.  To find the jewels, the bits of information I need to stay current on government overreach, political races, legislation pending in congress, major world news and the like, I have to filter through a tide of . . . well . . . crap.  This includes anything about Lindsay Lohan’s latest arrest, anyone with the Hollywood frame of mind ignorantly commenting on politics, all the various pundits’ take on the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates, the continuing climate change hysteria, the latest in Halloween costumes and anything I can even loosely define as gossip.

While I might find the latest fete on Elizabeth Warren’s purported native ancestry amusing (the woman does know how to shovel the odoriferous offal that continues to ooze into the hole she’s dug for herself), it really isn’t, in the face of my current situation, important enough to warrant a glance.  When it finally drowns her, now that will be news.

This morning, one of three or four mornings a week where my responsibilities to my friend are absorbed by others, I have nearly 600 entries in my RSS feed.  A few of those are CATO event videos I want to make time to watch (the list is growing because I haven’t been able to make time), and a few are articles I’ve been meaning to make time to read.  The vast majority of those ~600 entries will be deleted en masse still unviewed.  I think this is what we call “priority.”

March 22, 2011

Never stop learning

by Nori — Categories: Feeding the Soul, GeneralComments Off on Never stop learning

Any programmer will tell you, there are at least 67 different ways to get to the end goal of any programming project.  It never fails to amaze me that I’ll suddenly learn some new trick or method.  It speaks to our continued flexibility that, as we age, we continue to learn, grow and adapt.

I think we’re a product of our time, with technology continually producing new gadgets to do a wider range of things.  We have to keep adjusting to stay abreast of all the new stuff.  This wasn’t the case for our ancestors.  The growth of technology was historically slow in, for instance, Abraham Lincoln’s time.  It was only the people who were constantly trying to invent or improve something whose brain was continually challenged with new concepts.

In the age of printed news, staying up on what was happening in the world was a challenge.  It would sometimes take months to learn of the aftermath of a big quake.  Today we have minute by minute coverage.  We can eschew local and national televised news and listen to first hand accounts of events right from the effected country . . . in our own language.  Instead of hundreds of thousands dieing in a quake/tsunami as history tells, the loss is now restricted to tens of thousands.  Communication allows time for those in harms way to evacuate.

Technology is an awesome thing.  I watched a video today of a man using robotic legs.  His joy at being upright and mobile after years in a wheelchair was science at its best.  The mobility isn’t as immediate as the Segway wheel chair which lifts the occupant up to eye height with others, but it does give the ability to walk upright again and climb stairs.

 

November 9, 2010

On Hollywood

by Nori — Categories: Feeding the Soul, General, Social networkingComments Off on On Hollywood

I’m a little bit of a fashion junkie.  In my 30’s I belonged to a high fashion sewing group.  I made high quality lux clothes out of silk and linen and wool for wearing to work.  I designed my own patterns and generally enjoyed the creativity and exchange of ideas.

Because I like fashion, I enjoy watching Fashion Runway.  When I’m working within sight of the tv I’ll turn on a fashion show if no interesting home improvement show is available.

Yesterday I watched two episodes of the Rachel Zoe Project.  If you’ve never watched the show it’s where these supremely shallow and self-involved people dress other supremely shallow and self-involved people.  It’s like watching a slow moving emotional train wreck.  I feel for these people.  All they can do is complain about their situation and each other.  The interaction between Zoe and her husband (Bergman) is painful.  They don’t seem to like each other enough to be married, let alone have sex, yet they’re talking of having a child.  Ack!

The perfect Hollywood contrast is Mark Harmon.  He treats everyone with respect.  His co-workers laud him mightily, he doesn’t use his fame or power as a lever, and he’s humble.  His private life is PRIVATE.  What a contrast.

September 23, 2010

Canon rules, HP drools

by Nori — Categories: Economics, General, Wising upComments Off on Canon rules, HP drools

Unless we’re forced to change, we have a tendency to stick to what we know, however bad it might be, because we know it.  It’s the classic fear of the unknown.  Such was the case when my old HP printer bit the dust.  I blindly bought another HP.  Boy was that a mistake.  A BIG mistake.

I don’t need a lot in a printer.  It needs to scan, it needs to print.  That’s it.  It doesn’t need to make coffee, wake me in the morning or fax obscure documents to scholarly thinkers.  I don’t need a printer that prints both sides of a piece of paper.  The printer just needs to print and scan.  Oh, and have inexpensive ink or refillable cartridges . . . or maybe both.  And I don’t need add-on software that does everything under the sun.  While I may not be a simple woman, I do have simple needs.

So let me tell you about my last (not the last one I owned, the last one I will EVER own) HP printer.  The software install for the HP Deskjet F4235 should have been a clue.  The install required ALL the software or the product wouldn’t work.  There was a LOT of software, software I didn’t want, software I’d never use, software that took up space on my programs drive.  Yuk.  There’s something here that smacks of “we know what’s best for you” that truly grates.  HP uses what I call “progressive” software.  It whispers at us “we know what’s best . . . we’ll take care of you.”

And then the ink ran out after what seemed not very many printed pages.  I tried to find a refill kit for this printer.   Nope, not available.  HP created unfillable cartridges figuring they’d hold consumers hostage to purchasing their ink cartridges.  At this point I’m unhappy, but not truly pissed.  Then, with all the lovely automatic updates HP did to the force-installed software (auto-installed updates, mind you), the printer reached a point where the only way the computer would send work to the printer was if I reinstalled the printer software every time I booted my computer.

Have you ever tried to reach a real person at HP?  I wouldn’t advise attempting.  Trust me, I tried.  I tried to find answers to the problems I was having, I tried finding a live body to talk to.  The HP website said if I wanted to pay them, they’d talk to me.  Never mind that my printer was under warranty and virtually brand new.   By this point I’d installed new ink cartridges but over time I couldn’t even use it as a copier.  The brand new ink cartridges had dried up after printing maybe a dozen pages.  I accepted this purchase was money very poorly spent and resolved to move on.

When I posted the HP printer to our local FreeCycle list with a disclaimer on why I was replacing it, noone wanted it.  That’s pretty telling.  I dropped it off at Goodwill and thus ended my years long relationship with HP’s printer division.

After a bit of research, I bought a Canon Pixma MP560.  It prints, it scans and it connects to my network via WIFI.  Setup and install was a breeze.  It WIFI’d to my router effortlessly.  There’s no paper tray sticking out of the front collecting dust and it has a separate collapsing (with dust cover) feed for transparencies and photo paper.  The install disk allowed me the option of installing only the driver, though I also installed the settings software I need to tweak the printer settings.  The only problem I had was finding the serial number when it came time to register.  I can handle that kind of problem.  FYI, it’s on a sticker inside the printer in the center to the right of the centered print head.

And of all that blessing doesn’t have you just overflowing with joy, the ink cartridges are inexpensive AND refillable.  Picture me smiling.

September 22, 2010

If this weren’t so sad, it would be funny

by Nori — Categories: General, PoliticsComments Off on If this weren’t so sad, it would be funny

There’s something highly ironic about the “green” candidate expiring beneath the wheels of an SUV while riding her bike in the pre-dawn hours.

My condolences go out to the family.  The woman who hit her has to be in angst.  My sympathies extend to her as well.  I’m betting it will take as long for the woman who inadvertently struck and killed Pettigrew to recover from the emotional blow as it will Pettigrew’s family.

This is such an odd story I don’t even know how to classify it.

August 13, 2010

From the interesting to the bizarre

by Nori — Categories: GeneralComments Off on From the interesting to the bizarre

I spend a lot of time learning things.  It’s not intentional.  I don’t say “today I’m going to learn about . . . “, I just need to know things.  Today it’s all about bog coats (getting ready to teach a workshop) which lead to “guba”, an old European type of coat woven from roughly twisted fibers.  In trying to find a picture of a guba coat I Googled guba coat and clicked over to images.  Sometimes it’s faster to find what you need if you can see what the site’s really about.

So here I am searching for a picture or drawing of a guba coat, which I haven’t yet found.  What I did find ranged from interesting to bizarre.  Don’t believe me?  Try it.  Keep an eye out for “propeller man” (unprepossessing naked guy standing on the deck of a sail boat swinging . . . you guessed it), beautiful feet with bright red toe nails on a weight scale, a zebrula (horse/zebra cross), an artsy painting of a Rubenesque naked lady in skewed perspective . . . and still no guba coat.

March 31, 2010

Why I will NEVER buy another HP product

by Nori — Categories: General, Wising upComments Off on Why I will NEVER buy another HP product

I am beyond pissed.  If you know me, you already know it takes a massive amount to get me truly pissed.  Hewlett Packard has managed to do it.  Here’s the deal.

I replaced my old HP printer (PCS1210v) with a new HP F4235 sometime last year.  I don’t print a lot but since I bought this printer I have had nothing but trouble.  First off, the cartridges are NOT refillable (a cardinal sin in my book), the software that must install when the installation software runs includes lots of total crap I don’t want, don’t need and will never use.  The HP update software is beyond annoying and every time I want to use the printer I have to uninstall and reinstall it.  But that’s not the worst.  Are you ready for this?

I go to the HP site to get help.  The first thing I try is diagnostic software which told me exactly what I already knew.  Isn’t that special.  Then I tried their chat help.  Did you know HP’s chat software (the only help you can get without paying for support) is non-functional?  I’ve used chat software before.  I occasionally talk to the Hostgator support staff via chat with no problems but when it came to HP’s version of chat software it turns out it doesn’t run on any version of Firefox after version 2.  (I am now running ver5.)  What’s up with that?  So I try using it in IE.  Everything should run in IE, right?  NOT!  I went through the chat setup process FOUR times, got the same javascript error FOUR times. “Object expected LiveCustomerServlet.egain Code:0 URI: https://wimpro.cce.hp.com/system/LiveCustomerServlet.egain”.  Do you realize I would have to PAY HP to tell them their software isn’t working?  How’s that for awesome customer service.  Norstrom they aren’t.

So I go to the HP printer forum to try and figure out why my computer can see my printer but my printer won’t run a self-test or print anything from the computer.  Did you know the HP forum has a cute little logo with two little green hands around “HP Total Care”.  If that’s not false advertising I don’t know what is.  A search on my printer model brings up desktop posts, laserjet posts and inkjet printer posts that aren’t my model and have nothing to do with my request.  Pages and pages of posts that have nothing to do with what I have questions about.  It looks like their search algorithm is as outdated as their chat software.

So there you have it, the reason I will never buy anything HP again.  I’m going to chuck this printer and purchase another manufacturer’s product, a manufacturer who actually has online support that’s functional, accessible and topical, a manufacturer who doesn’t hold their customers hostage to ridiculous ink cartridge prices, a manufacturer with refillable cartridges.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

March 10, 2010

Packing

by Nori — Categories: GeneralComments Off on Packing

I’m going away for the weekend.  I’m doing my normal morning computer thing and realized . . . the number of electronic items I have to pack has really grown!  In the last two years my list of bits to take has grown.

I have a book I’m reading on my PDA.  I only use it for reading or listening to books and music, so I don’t normally pack it.  This time it goes plus its wall charger.  The car charger’s always in the car so no worries there.

Then there’s my new cell.  I have to swing by Radio Shack on my way out of town and get an IGo tip for it.

I need my laptop.  I also have one Sansa E with all my music on it and another with books on tape.  I got it because the PDA is heavy and runs out of battery pretty fast when listening to audio files.  The Sansa E goes all day.   Hmm.  I need to pick up an IGo tip for it as well.

Is your life like that?

June 29, 2009

Self-education

by Nori — Categories: GeneralComments Off on Self-education

I think anyone could learn most anything with enough research. I don’t believe (for most things) we need to take classes or pay money for most of what we need to learn, post secondary school. I say this because I am constantly learning. Have internet connection, will swell brain-power.

This last month I’ve educated myself on making shoes. I have huge issues with shoemakers. Yeah, they make shoes and people wear them, but they don’t make shoes in my size.  Try finding anything for an adult woman in a 3½EEE.  Okay, now that you’ve tried that, let’s pick the next most logical search.  Try finding a junior’s shoe (girl or boy) in a 3½EEE. Shoes that are “wide” aren’t anywhere nearly wide enough.  I can get shoes the right length, but can find nothing that is wide enough for my feet to fit comfortably inside.

The last off the rack shoe I bought that truly fit was a pair of StrideRite leather lace-ups bought 30 years ago at Nordstrom in the children’s department.  I literally wore those shoes out.

I can get shoes made to fit me . . . sort of.  A guy in CA cast my feet and made me a pair of shoes that were butt ugly and cost me $650.  <wince>  No thank you, won’t do that again.  I wore them almost out, passed them to my sister (yeah, same sized foot) and she really wore them out.

For $275 an outfit in Wisconsin made me a pair of moccasin type boots with the toe box so tight I can’t wear them.  They’re wide enough but there’s no room for my foot in the front third of the shoe.  I’m still trying to get up the mental energy to send them back and get them rebuilt.

There’s a guy in Portland (Mark at Multnomah Clogs) who makes clogs I can wear.  For $145 I end up with a comfortable shoe that fits, but clogs aren’t a universal answer.  It’s hard to chase horses around an arena wearing clogs.

So I’ve been researching making shoes.  I can do this.  I don’t need anything fancy, I just need something that will keep my feet warm and dry.  Is that too much to ask?

I’m attending a workshop to make a pair of moccasin styled shoes out of buffalo leather with rubber goop soles.  That should be fun and I should end up with something I can actually wear.  How great is that?!

As to my own shoe making efforts, I’ve got a pair of soles all ready to add uppers.  I’m getting the plaster of paris this week to make lasts of my feet so I can build the uppers.

I’d love to have a pair of wooden lasts but that just isn’t going to happen unless I can send my plaster lasts off and get good quality articulating wood lasts made.  I’m keeping an eye out for wooden lasts on eBay.  If I can find a pair that are close to what I need I can build them up/grind them down for a pair that will work for my neophyte shoe making endeavors.

Education is fun and . . . educating!  <LOL>

April 9, 2009

Ahoy ye, matey

by Nori — Categories: GeneralComments Off on Ahoy ye, matey

It’s now official, we’ve come full circle.  When our country was new we fought pirates to keep our ships safe and we’re having to do it again.

A couple of months ago we made a hashed attempt to handle some of the problems of the coast of Somalia and sank a peaceful vessel full of peaceful folk under the premise they were pirates.  Oops.  Check before you shoot someone out of the water, boys.  The result of that is we stopped trying to solve the problem.  It looks now like we’re going to have to do some solving or put our own interests at risk.

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