Tag Archives: computer

Snow Day – part two

Greetings, readers. What a miserable weather day we had yesterday. The snow began approximately 7:30 in the morning, just as our entourage was leaving for morning coffee. I told Smith and Traci, “It hasn’t started yet, let’s try to go over.” We were just getting out the front door of the apartment building when we saw the first flakes. The sidewalk that we use to get to Panera is always salted well, so I knew we weren’t going to have a problem there. But after an hour of coffee and conversation, I saw that the snow had already began to lay thick on the ground. The three of us made a quick but safe retreat to home. There I remained for the rest of the day.

It is supposed to get to 41 degrees F today. If it does I might slide down the hill to the corner store and pick up some extra cereal and milk. Meals on Wheels did not deliver yesterday, and I don’t blame them. In the afternoon the roads went from crunchy snow and, “Oh, we can manage,” to freezing rain and the entire town shutting down. Even Penn State called off classes. When this town shuts down, it shuts down. I had time to get caught up with the new season of One Day at a Time.

This blog entry today almost did not happen. I was doing my morning routine of Facebook, etc, when some kind of error message popped up on the screen, wanting my phone number or some personal information to verify something about Microsoft. I’m not that naïve. I restarted the computer and so far that message has not popped up again. Later on I am going to run a full virus scan. Oh, yes, with modern technology comes these vicious problems. I doubt that error message was actually from Microsoft. I’m older and wiser now and don’t believe everything I see … just most things.

Before I close, I wish to share that I have narrowed my choice of churches to two. The church to which Smith belongs, the State College Presbyterian Church, or the church my parents and I used to attend when I was a child, Grace Lutheran Church. Both are on Beaver Avenue, within easy walking distance. Since I don’t have my own car I can’t take myself where I really want to go, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. The bus I would need does not run on Sundays, and a cab or Zipcar would take a bite out of the wallet. Walking is free. I am leaning towards joining the Presbyterian Church. Sorry Mom and Dad, I hope you won’t be too disappointed. Yes, even though they are both in heaven, it is still very important to me what they think and that they are not disappointed in me.

There’s part two of the blog entry. I’m going to have a brand new one up on Sunday and weather permitting Rebecca will be back on Wednesday of next week instead of Thursday. We have an errand to run that morning so I am probably going to dictate Wednesday’s blog so we can quickly edit it and post it when we get back.

I wish all of you a great day, go somewhere warm if you can, and bundle up if you can’t. As always, enjoy and happy reading.

The internet has made me brain dead

Greetings, readers. Computers and the internet were created to make our lives easier and they have. In the process, however, I think they have turned my brain into oatmeal. Yesterday, I went to look up something in a search box on the Google homepage and before I could type it in I had forgotten what I was going to look up. OMG!

Now I know I’m no spring chicken any more, but if I can’t hold a thought for more than three seconds you might as well put brown sugar on my brain, add a little milk, and eat it. This is how I remember things being when I was a child.

If I needed to have a phone number, I went to something called the phone book with white and yellow pages and looked it up. Then I called out on something now called a landline phone. And in my earliest years, I put my finger in the little hole and used the rotary dial. Now, I bring up a name on my cell phone with a pre-loaded number and it auto-dials it. No fuss, no muss, no remembering phone numbers. If my mom wanted to cook or bake something she used something called a cook book and read it off the page. Today you go on your phone or tablet, punch in the recipe and read it from there. Also there are gizmos like Alexa that can talk to you via the internet and probably give you your cooking instructions. Another thing I used to do by myself is drive a car. Readers, as scary as this sounds, there are now cars that can basically drive themselves. Two words for you: No way! I’m going to be in control of any car that I drive. “Oh, but it is safer.” Yes, but if it breaks down and you think it is still working, then you better start digging your grave. You get my point.

When I was little I used to play something called a record made of vinyl. Then we switched to 8-tracks, cassettes, and eventually CDs. But now with companies such as iTunes and Spotify, you pay $9.99 a month and all your music is at your fingertips on phone, tablet or laptop.

I recently watched an episode of the X-Files from this brand new season where Scully and Mulder were eating in this restaurant run completely by machines. Mulder inserts his credit card and decided to not leave a tip because his meal wasn’t prepared correctly. All the sudden they find themselves prisoners in the café, have to break out, and spend the rest of the episode evading machines trying to get them. I’m going to have to watch the episode again because I really don’t understand why they were in Asia in these ultra modern houses where everything was run by computer.

Now let me explain something to you before I go much further. Do I use and enjoy any of these modern amenities? Absolutely. We couldn’t have done this blog without the internet. We would have had to put our thoughts down in book form or written articles for a newspaper. In the past, we would remember facts and figures either by writing them down or memorizing them, and children actually had to bring pencil and paper to school. Now in some places I’ve heard you can’t attend class unless you own a laptop. Have we actually begun to enter the Star Trek/Jetsons era? I suppose it is inevitable. In that respect I admire the Amish and the Mennonites. They try to keep it as simple as they can.

This afternoon, I have to go pick up two baseball tickets I purchased via the internet; yes, it is convenient. I am taking a friend of mine to a State College Spikes minor league game. Even in the age of the internet, we still have personal interactions.

Next week will go like this. Wednesday will be a regular day and Thursday I will have a doctor’s appointment, so I will dictate a blog via speech recognition to be edited later. I bid you a wonderful weekend, take care, and as always, happy reading.

My summer off is busier than expected so far

Greetings, readers. So far, in this early summer off, about the only thing that has kept to plan is me resting my feet. I wanted to have about 100 pages written by now. Lol, there’s a chuckle for ya. Between appointments and daily errands, my first two weeks off have flown right by with not much getting done.

It’s making me angry. I so wanted to have a schedule in place to write, write, write. It seems though that every time I get ready, I either receive a phone call, text, or am reminded of an upcoming appointment that day. There is a small part of me that wants to hang a sign on the apartment door reading Don’t Bother Me Until September. Of course, I can’t do that; I can’t be that anti-social.

This morning as I was trying to wake up, I checked my Facebook, email, and Twitter and then discovered the computer was running slowly. A page popped up in big red letters claiming I had a virus. It was probably a scam, but I stopped what I was doing and ran my virus checker anyway. There went 20 minutes. Luckily, all seems to be fine.

Today is kind of an odd day. After work hours with Rebecca, my accountant and I have a meeting to go to, which could take the better part of the afternoon. Do you see my problem with productivity, readers?

On to other news, I heard that the Hawaii volcano is erupting again. I don’t know how serious it is but hopefully everyone will be alright. I saw pictures last week of the devastation with homes and cars ablaze. Let’s face it, when you live on an island, you really don’t have anywhere to run. Also this morning I saw a blurb about a minor earthquake during a major league baseball game. It didn’t mention anything about deaths, so it was probably a minor quake. Again, hopefully everyone is okay.

An R.I.P. goes out to a great actress, Margot Kidder, who passed away at age 69. She was far too young, if you ask me. She played Lois Lane in the movies with Christopher Reeve as Superman.

Lastly, Rebecca’s husband Darren’s book, Four’s a Crowd, which is based on my play Kimberly, is almost ready to publish. We will go live for sale in a week or two on CreateSpace.com, and then it will be available on Amazon. Darren has worked hard on it, and I worked hard on the play. We are both very proud of the final outcome and we think it is going to be a winner. Hopefully it puts us on the writing map. Keep your fingers crossed.

There is our entry for today. Rebecca and I will be back tomorrow with a new blog entry, possibly another short story. I won’t say for certain. I’m trying to get out of the habit of promising things I don’t deliver. So until then, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Technology grrr 7

Greetings, readers. This morning I was up at 5am as part of my new daily routine. I had the computer running by 5:15 and all was well. It had had some problems with running slowly yesterday, just like my old ASUS had before I got the Hewlett-Packard this past spring. Then this morning in the middle of doing something, the HP decided to have a mind of its own. With my Facebook page frozen and the control-alt-delete function not working, I had to do a hard shut-down; holding the on/off button in until it shut off. My new HP didn’t like it.

The first time it restarted normally but was running slower. Something was beginning to be amiss. When it froze a second time and I had to restart it, all it showed was the cursor twirling with the HP logo in the background and didn’t do anything else. I let it sit while I made coffee and got dressed. Still twirling. I went to the bathroom to wash up, came out, still twirling. After what seemed like forever, I did another hard shut down. I got out the old ASUS computer, and to show you what kind of morning this was, I couldn’t remember the old computer’s password. Grrr!

When I went to get my laundry, I was literally talking to myself in the hallway when Rebecca showed up. I think she got an internal chuckle. I told her what was wrong and asked her if she remembered the password. Luckily, she did. We were all set to do the blog entry on the old computer, when she noticed that the battery compartment was becoming extremely hot. I had her immediately shut it down and I unplugged it before taking the battery out. The fan is probably not working in it anymore. At that point I was beginning to think that the blog entry was going to have to be from Rebecca at her place.

I decided to give the new HP one last try. This time the screen said something like Automatic Repair in Progress. That looked promising. We waited to see what happened. It then gave a prompt to restart the computer, which we did. And to our delight, the new laptop is once again working normally. No delays, slowness, or freezing. I still don’t know what is causing the issues, however.

I did not get to listen to my music, I did not get to check Facebook and Twitter, and all the other websites I usually check before work hours. So frustrating. I’ve decided I am going to take the computer into Best Buy’s Geek Squad and say, “This computer is only roughly three months old, it should not be having these problems. What is going on?” The technician will probably say, “You have two programs fighting one another,” or “Hey look, we found a virus.” This issue is not life-threating to my computer, it is just damned annoying. When the computer is shut down the correct way, all programs are supposed to shut off. I don’t think that is always happening with my machine. There goes $60 for the service charge, even before they do anything to it.

Before I close, I wanted to take a minute to send out prayers and good wishes to the flood victims in Texas, Barbados (where a new storm is forming) and also the victims of flooding in Asia during a rather bad monsoon season. Best wishes go out to those victims and families.

Next week, we will be working Wednesday and I plan to take a personal day on Thursday. I might use that entire day to begin a writing project. I have some good ideas cooking in my brain. So until next week, have a great day, take care, and as always, happy reading.

My thoughts on Window 10

Greetings, readers. We are back in action after my Friday off. Today I am going to share with you my thoughts, likes, and dislikes about the Windows 10 upgrade I downloaded on the computer last Thursday.

It did take quite a while to finish; well past the time Rebecca left. Here are some of the good points.

By clicking the start button I have several choices at my fingertips, or in this case a mouse click, with lots of new and interesting features. From that button, I am enjoying a very easy-to-use calendar, I can link multiple email accounts there, manage my photos, and much, much more. Also, I can finally download many desktop themes, which I could not do with Windows 7. I love variety and all those extra backgrounds have really given my computer a new and exciting look. I can choose from multiple sandy beach pictures, photos of the forest, wonderful city skyline pictures, and the snowy Christmas set. These have really made my computer look nicer and come alive. The computer seems to start up, boot up, and shut down much faster, which is good.

What did the Windows 10 update not do? I was hoping beyond hope that it would help the AVG antivirus eliminate the pop-up ads that have plagued this computer for about 2 years. The first day it seemed to, after that not so much. I’m still learning exactly what Microsoft Edge is. I believe it is the new browser they have. I like the look and so far I have had no problems with it.

Time to give ratings. For the Windows 10 look: a 10 out of 10, no pun intended.

For new features: a good solid 7.5.

For problem fixing: well I really wasn’t expecting it to run like a new computer, only a 5 out of 10.

On a side note, on Friday, the blog will be a R.I.P. tribute piece to the great Muhammad Ali who passed away on Friday, June 3rd. And next week will be another short week for us with blog entries on Wednesday and Thursday. Doctors, doctors, doctors, ugh.

That is all the news I can think of for now, so until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

Girlfriend is back in the hospital

Greetings, readers. I found out that my girlfriend Traci is once again having heart issues, so playing on the side of caution, she went to the ER to get checked out. I know we said this was going to be a From Rebecca blog day, but the computer went wonky and slowed her progress down. She will finish that blog entry and will post it on Wednesday.

Within the next half-hour I will be off to the hospital to see Traci and try to cheer her up. She likes when I make her laugh. Hopefully this is nothing serious, but I did agree with her decision to have it checked out. Her heart doctor should be on the way there now.

On a brief other topic. I was watching a documentary last night about a possible conspiracy theory dealing with the Titanic and her sister ship the Olympic. Could it have been the Olympic that sank that night? That very well might be next Friday’s blog entry. Usually I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but I will admit to you that this one intrigued me.

So sorry for the short blog entry today, much more next week. Take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Yesterday was a productive waste of time

Greetings, readers. I had planned to do quite a bit of work yesterday, including a phone call to an insurance company and taking notes on a new writing project, and then take today off as a personal day. But, because of computer issues, those plans were shelved until next week. It all began when my AVG anti-virus, which I just paid for, refused to open, much less run. Rebecca and I were able to go to the AVG website and find a phone number to call support.

A very nice gentleman answered the phone, and we were off and running. From an opened email from AVG, I read him all the information it contained. The one bit of information he needed, however, was not there. After about 20 minutes or so, he gave us the url of another support service where we could type in the box to someone. That’s where we spent the rest of our work day.

Rebecca had to briefly re-explain the issues via typing and then the second person did something with my computer which I’ve never seen before. He took over my machine remotely, after I gave permission. It was rather bizarre to see my cursor move around the screen completely on its own. It was quite clear to me that the person knew exactly what he was doing, for he was speedy and efficient. After a few attempts and re-starts, he got my old version with the corrupted files off, my newly paid-for AVG installed and running and it was time to re-boot the computer. He typed that he would be back and not to close our box, but even as Rebecca was leaving at 3:00, he had not returned. So I closed the computer.

This morning during personal time at Panera, AVG was chomping at the bit to run its “first scan.” I’m going to do that today after Rebecca leaves. I feel quite certain that all issues have been taken care of. Now all I have to do is find a good anti-malware program that doesn’t butt heads with or cancel out AVG. Wish me luck on that endeavor.

Well, that was the big news of yesterday. As far as next week goes, there will be a blog entry on Wednesday, possibly another one on Thursday, and I will be taking a personal day on Friday. Until then, have a great weekend, enjoy football and the baseball playoffs, take care, and happy reading.

Happy 4th of July… a few days late :-(

Greetings, readers. Happy 4th of July to everyone. I sincerely hope that you will be able to see this on the 4th of July. I’m having massive internet issues at the moment and said blog entry is being created on my word processing program. If the internet connection resolves itself, later I will be able to copy and paste this into the blog program and add tags and a category. Wish me luck.

The laptop that Rebecca and I use is a five-year-old ASUS brand which has been a Sherman tank. I really love it. With it we have put out the three books and all the blog entries that you have enjoyed. Sadly, I fear the old laptop is coming to the end of its twilight years. Time will tell.

We got an early start today and that’s okay with me because I have a full day of plans set for myself. Later on I plan to go to Panera, which is open today, and read the rest of Darren’s first three chapters. And of course tonight I will be watching the fireworks display from my apartment window, which looks out towards Beaver Stadium. I am on the top floor of my building, giving me a great view. It should be gloriously cool tonight with low humidity. The last two days and nights have been scorchers. My rule of thumb for fireworks evening is I turn off the AC and open the windows, so that Keekee and I can hear the kabooms as we watch the lights show. With temperatures expected to fall into the 50s, I may need to wear my hoodie.

4th of July is one of those days I look forward to every year. When I was younger, I always thought of summer in three phases. Phase one was from when the school year would end in early June. Phase two begins today. Not too long from now, preparations will be made to go to Maine once again, and the day I pull out to go to camp is the first day of phase three. When all the Penn State students arrive in late August, to me summer is over.

Getting nostalgic for a moment, today would have been the day that Dad would get out the old grill in the backyard, and have the first of two cookouts. We’d have steaks and corn on the cob with Hires root beer. His second cookout was usually right before we all went to camp.

Rebecca and I are going to wrap up this rather short entry so that we can edit and get back to trying to fix the internet issues. Enjoy your 4th of July, stay safe out there, have a great weekend and happy reading.