Ramblings, opinions, and general meanderings from the Deep South

Monday, April 30, 2007

It's Windex Monday and a Challenge

Several people have asked about Microsoft Windows Vista here at the beach house. With the exception of one audio driver upgrade it has been a smooth change over from XP Pro. The audio driver problem may have been due to a corrupt download. MOST frustrating trying to roll back the driver and finally solved the problem by uninstalling and then using the original disk. I'll keep you posted about future audio driver updates.

Vista is a nice operating system. If you are using XP the transition will be very easy after taking a few minutes to adjust to the new look. There are many things going on in the background that are major upgrades like the filing system, media player, etc. The new defragmenting program sucks. It is a window that sits there and tells you it is defragmenting. For almost 300 bucks I want coloful squiggly lines, some noises or general flashbang. But hey, MajorGeeks has several defrag programs listed under the drive utilities section.

The Media Player is big, bulky and pretty cool. Internet Explorer 7 is an improvement, but I'll take Firefox over it any day. Or even SeaMonkey. The browsing is quick and IE7 now has many features that have been needed for years. There is a sidebar on the desktop where you can load gadgets much akin to the styling of the latest Apple OS. Please remember that the Vista bag of goodies will require enormous hardware. You need at least 1 gig of RAM, a CPU clocking in at a gig and 50 gigs of hard drive space. Do yourself a HUGE favor. Use 2 gigs of RAM, a 2 gig CPU and at least a 128meg video card. And stay away from Vista Home Basic.

A challenge goes out to Steve Ballmer of Microsoft for a charity boxing match. We can call it the lardgut weight division. Let's contact Steviepoo Jobs of Apple to referee. And the winner gets to use a chair on him pro wrasslin' style! Proceeds can help furnish Windows Vista to those living the lifestyle of the poor and pitiful (self included, lol). Afterwards we can meet somewhere for a greasyburger cooked on a George Foreman grill thangy. Yeh, that's the ticket! Is it obvious I miss Howard Cosell?

"Hardware: where the people in your company's software section will tell you the problem is. Software: where the people in your company's hardware section will tell you the problem is."
~Dave Barry, Claw Your Way to the Top

Friday, April 27, 2007

Short Trip

The birds are singing, the sun is rising, the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is tasty and I must hurry. Returning the Harley this morning. The phone will be checked every once in a while and I should be back on duty early this afternoon. Well, it's time to hit the shower and then the road. Later.

"I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them."
~Mark Twain

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wordsworth Forgive Me

Tuesday evening found me tired, feeling ancient, suffering lower back pain and at a loss for something to post. As a joke I made an almost fatal attempt at poetry. Secure enough in my manhood here to admit Shelley, Byron, Keats, Sandburg, Dickinson, and many others have been read at the beach house. It's not quite as entertaining as Lewis Grizzard, Dave Barry or Ludlow Porch, but some of those people sure knew how to use words n make purty.

To lISA (why are you spelling your name that way?): Yes, I was in a purple haze.

To Robin: Thanks for the email and I stand corrected.

To Hoppa: Appreciate the kudos!

To Mudslingr: Yes, I wonder too. Why is she shouting?

To Beagle: What a great embellishment!

My attempt at poetry was lacking. My further attempt at Haiku was even worse (if you can bear it, look in the Tuesday comments). Come to find out it wasn't Haiku at all, but actually Senryu. Okay enough, go to Wikipedia if you need to know more. The 'Adventure in Poetry' at the beach house has screeched to a halt. Will try to never do it again. Let me just close by saying if you smiled at the above then I wish you peace and love.

"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."
~Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Be Careful Out There

Now that Vista has been out several months it's time to take a look at what needs to be done to protect the system. Last month on the 27th there was a post about the 5 necessary tools needed to keep the creeps away. All of these applications are freeware and there are links to each piece of software. The people that wrote them will gladly let you upgrade for a small fee or they will take donations. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the month of April 2007 and then scroll down the archive to the 27th. There you are---

Don't depend on the Windows Defender software that comes bundled with Vista. Microsoft has your computer "reporting in" all the time and their software will promote this bad, bad practice. The 5 programs referenced above will stop a lot of this garbage. Bill Gates, Fat Boy Ballmer, etc., have NO business snooping around in our PERSONAL computers. Think about it. Would you let someone come in and go through your underwear drawer or checkbook balance ledger? This is just another push to deleting privacy from our lives and that is not healthy on many levels.

For more on system maintenance PC Magazine has a series of articles that might interest you. Peace out and share the love, y'all.

"Please, please, please don't buy Windows Vista Home Basic. No matter how casual your computer usage is don't buy this software. Windows XP is a far better investment, if you can find it for sale."
~Billy Wobblynife

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

When Tired Wax Poetic

Long day
Did not pay
nothing to say
wolves stay at bay
now hittin' the hay


Monday, April 23, 2007

Lordy, I've Got Ramblin' on my Mind

It's Monday and several overdue service calls have to be done this morning. If all goes well another attempt to do away with the jungle around the beach house will happen this afternoon. The yard looks really bad and this is the last year for the ugliest fence in Lee County. Next year the wisteria can wrap around some new barrier to keep people from wandering into the yard on foot or via automobile. Hope Arnold, opossumus germanicus austriabodicus, will approve.

The riding lawn mower still has a cable snapped. My ability to replace this item is null and void. I'll gladly pay money if someone wants to tackle it. If you drive by the beach house and see a push mower still running beside what appears to be a beached whale be sure and have them sing "The Finer Things" by Steve Winwood at the funeral. It's a love song of sorts, but reflects positive and personal attitude about life, the universe, and everything. The Methodists won't mind.

or time is a river rolling into nowhere
We must live while we can
And well drink our cup of laughter

~Winwood, (complete lyrics here)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Server is Now in Tweaking Mode as is a New Site!

Good to have the web server up and running. It will go through more changes this week, but these outages should be brief and during off-peak hours. Ashby has organized our TS channels in a primomundo way and the descriptions of areas are accurate and funny. He also adjusted the codecs for speed and clarity. It's all good and users should see even better performance in the future. The wimpy network card has to change. Anyone have a spare 3Com TX905?

One of the new sites in the making here at the beach house is http://www.guildwarsammo.com. Well, it'll be pushed up to the web here but is a collaborative effort of 3 different local guilds so far. Anyone wanting to participate or contribute please contact us. The email addy is guildwarsammo@gmail.com. Email is being received and the site header has been made.

We need participation. In order to assemble and maintain a quality site we must be diligent and cooperative. Wow, what great fun is in store for those involved! And besides, you'll automatically have an invitation to the LAN parties, lol.

We'd like to see many people involved. If you have a build, article, comment, pictures, videos, etc. we will gladly help with the HTML and get yo stuff posted. With the discontinuation of GuildWiki's build section coming up in May here's a great place to be noted for an outstanding combination of skills and expertise. Join in! Will make a major announcement when the site launches.

Baby update: She's coming to see us this coming weekend! Rumor has it she needs to have a 'meeting' with Big Daddy and the Purple Giraffe. Yes, we are all excited!

"Every baby needs a lap."
~Henry Robin

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Server update

Update of the Server situation: It is running again, but NOT online. The boot drive is being formatted for a clean OS install. Need I remind everyone of the time it takes to format and set up a SCSI drive? Several more items had to be replaced; SCSI card, network card, PS etc. One of the resident drives is in an unhealthy state and may be replaced too. This has been a nightmare, but at least the machine is now working. TS users please be patient and understand your logs ins will be anonymous. The internal structure will change, but the passwords will remain the same. Will post later when it actually goes back online. Later

UPDATE - 5:20pm - Just brought the Web Server back online. Teamspeak is installed, but the Server is doing some very critical updates at the moment so it will not be available for an hour or so. Just so damn glad it is running again and hooking to the internet. This happened after trying 4 different NICs and the one that worked is an old Realtek WIN network card! This will certainly change to a better piece of hardware as it's discovered why, etc. Bear with me...I need a drink.

UPDATE - 9:04PM - With Ashby Rhett Culpepper, III, Esq., help the Teamspeak server is back online. Please call if you have trouble connecting. The speed seems better. Thanks to everyone for their patience, support and help. Y'all da bomb!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Teamspeak Server Hard Crash

Late yesterday afternoon and in the middle of the night the beach house experienced MAJOR power surges after power outages. The protection devices served well the first time but the second time the DLink router/print server and the huge web server went down hard. This means no Teamspeak 24/7 for a day or so. Sorry.

The router can be overcome (have them in stock) and I hope a power supply will fix the web server. Keep your fingers crossed. The server is a dual processor, 1gig RAM, SCSI HDD configuration with several drives and a netserver cabinet with six SCSI HDDs in a Raid 5 array. Heck, there are 9 fans in the server alone. This won't run on your average power supply. I just hope that's the problem. This machine cost too much to replace.

Please bear with me, it'll be brought back as soon as possible. Anyone have a huge power supply? Gosh, I feel bad-wimpy.

"Things are never so bad they can't be made worse."
~Humphrey Bogart, The African Queen

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Trash Day Started Yesterday

Yesterday it was decided to upgrade the Realtek audio drivers to the 6231 driver for Windows Vista 32 bit on the new Vista set up here at the beach house network. Whatever you do DON'T DO THIS UPGRADE. After several hours of pulling hair, editing the registry, cursing Steve Ballmer, whining to friends, crying in front of friends, considering starting a taco stand instead of doing computer work, taking extra blood pressure meds and sleeping on it, the original drivers just installed a few minutes ago and seem to be stable.

Once again I foresee several hundred patches before things become stable with this latest offering from Microsoft. Lordy I even considered wiping it, selling the new drives and reinstalling the previous SCSI configuration. Slow and easy must be the approach. My stress level does not need to be that high ever again. Dealing with new operating systems has always been a problem with me. I hated migrating from 3.1 to Windows 95. Of course after ME the move to Windows 2000 was a dream. The 2000 OS changed computing. Then XP came along with a new GUI ontop of the Windows 2000 kernel and...well, you know the rest.

Now I must get busy and catch up on the delayed work caused by this calamity. Everyone have a casual Thursday. If you live in Saltillo don't forget to put your garbage out for pick up. Just glad mine doesn't include a computer case, broken monitor, etc. (insert an evil grin here).

"Calamity, n. A more than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering."
~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Debt Not Payable

Looks like rain outside. Trying to mow the jungle that surrounds the beach house won't happen in the rain. The drainage ditch is blocked and hopefully the city will take care of the problem. Everytime it rains leaves, sticks, small animals, compact cars, etc., show up in the drive. It's a mess. Mowing needs to happen.

Murf sent a photo taken during 'The trip' and insisted it be posted. This was taken in Perry, Florida. It was early and we had just finished wiping the ice off the seats. Yes, ice. Later that morning when we arrived in Daytona people were wearing tee shirts, shorts, and flip flops. Here's my normal confused look:

This was an adventure of a lifetime. Tickles me that all the nay-sayers and doubters that poked fun and said I'd never make it have eaten some crow. The whole experience was just one laugh after another. We went for the RIDE and to have a good time.

Murf, I owe you...bigtime. Our friendship has survived over 3 decades and to ride over 2000 miles was awesome. There's one thing even more awesome. Harley riders don't want people sitting on their bikes without permission much less riding them. For you to loan me a beautiful Harley and tell me to ride it like it's my own, well that's the love of a brother. Thanks man.

It's going home this week. Couldn't pour the money together to buy it; computer tech here, not the best paying job on the planet. Never wanted a material thing so badly, but the Good Lord knows I will always cherish my time spent on it. Who knows? Money may show up!

You can read about 'The trip' by clicking on the archive March 2007, and scrolling back to the first week.

"But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine."
~Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Upgrade (No Profane Title Words Today)

After cooling down and getting over the fact that Microsoft now penalizes users for doing an upgrade instead of spending the extra money for the full version, the verdict is in about Vista installation. The 32 bit version of Ultimate was used and I followed the instructions in yesterday's post. It's a nice operating system that is hardware hungry. Don't expect it to run on anything with less than a gig of RAM and at least a 1gig CPU. There was no problem finding drivers and the installation was quick and easy. Feeling better about it, but advise those running XP or 2000 to wait. I still think Steve Ballmer is one of the biggest jerks on the planet.

The two SATA drives are striped and the speed is pretty darn good. Two matching Seagate 160gig drives were used and the installation on the MSI motherboard was a breeze. Certainly quieter than SCSI drives for sure. There is an issue with screen jitters at high resolution in Guild Wars, but this should be resolved with some research. Not a bad day and two other machines on the bench were repaired and returned. There have been worse days. Hey, my geekness yearns for more power. Next is a multicore CPU that can do speed o' light.

Actually there was one hard thing concerning this venture. I destroyed the package getting to the software. When the time comes to migrate to Vista be sure and have your computer nerd show you how to open it.

"How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

~William Shakespeare, Othello, 1604

Monday, April 16, 2007

Damn a Bunch of Windows Vista

If I had read the following article a few days earlier my purchase of Vista would not have happened. This is crazy! Microsoft makes your copy of XP non-usable after you upgrade with Vista. Are these stupid horses asses trying to go out of business or what? The beach house is beginning to lean towards the Microsoft Sucks group.

Workaround For Clean Install With Vista Upgrade DVDs
January 31st, 2007 by Corrine

ActiveWin published a workaround provided by Microsoft internal documentation for Vista Upgrade DVDs that will not invalidate the Windows XP Key, as discussed here.

Edit Update: As noted in the comments below, Blair provided the original source, not credited by ActiveWin, as Paul Thurrott.

“Per Microsoft’s new licensing requirements for Vista, users are required to install a Windows Vista Upgrade from within Windows XP. When this occurs, the Windows XP license is forfeited and the Windows Vista installation process can take place. Now, however, this workaround allows users to perform a “clean install.” The process is a bit tedious, but is not hard are all to complete. Users have to perform these simple steps to perform a clean install of Vista without a previous version of Windows installed with an upgrade DVD:

1. Boot from the Windows Vista Upgrade DVD and start the setup program.

2. When prompted to enter your product key, DO NOT enter it. Click “Next” and proceed with setup. This will install Windows Vista as a 30-day trial.

3. When prompted, select the edition of Vista which you have purchased and continue with setup.

4. Once setup has been completed and you have been brought to the desktop for the first time, run the install program from within Windows Vista.

5. This time, type in your product key when prompted.

6. When asked whether to perform an Upgrade or Custom (advanced) install, choose Custom (advanced) to perform a clean install of Vista. Yes, this means that you will have to install Vista for a second time.

7. Once setup has completed for the second time, you should be able to activate Windows Vista normally. You can also delete the Windows.old directory which contains information from the first Vista install.”

Here's the link to this article; TomCoyote. Be sure and read the comments left by other irate folks. Windows Nazis don't need to comment. This is wayyyyy over the top and I am now encouraging people to not buy this cheesy Microslime product. Hell, I may start using Apple!!!

"Like all valuable commodities, truth is often counterfeited."
~James Cardinal Gibbons

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Vista and CPAs

Several of my friends are CPAs. They all look tired. Today is normally the last day for IRS filing, but they've extended it to the 17th this year. God bless them all and help them survive the next few days. Their hours are horrendous during this season and they all work hard. Hope they get a chance to rest later this week.

Still thinking about the Vista installation. Gosh the more I read the more I am befuddled. Some folks actually hate the 64 bit version and say throw the disk away while others love it. I cannot take a chance on software not running so the 32 bit may be the choice. Tomorrow is decision time.

Sometimes it is amazing what people expect technicians to know. If you own a business and use accounting software for payroll, receivables, etc., then please learn to install and use it. I do my dead level best to leave accounting to the aforementioned CPAs and, for the most part, they leave the problems of computer hardware to me.

Please take note: If every software application known to man was running at the beach house and thoroughly understood I wouldn't be doing this job. Glad to help if familiar with a product, but don't think that I automatically know how to use "Norton's Automatic Dog Walking Suite" or "McNally's Accounting for Martians." The beach house deals in hardware and operating systems. Think about it...

Enjoy Sunday. Pray for your CPA.

"I regularly read Internet user groups filled with messages from people trying to solve software incompatibility problems that, in terms of complexity, make the U.S. Tax Code look like Dr. Seuss."
~Dave Barry

Saturday, April 14, 2007

To 64 or Not?

Purchased Windows Vista today. Have the Ultimate version and am in a quandary about installing the 32 or 64 bit version. Both DVDs are included. Some programs won't work with 64 bit like AVG Antivirus. This worries me. I think AVG is by far the best antivirus program. It'll be strange to not see the multicolored box in the system tray.

The 64 bit version is problematic when it comes to resident drivers so I am leaning towards the 32 bit version. Besides, I am setting up a RAID array of two SATAII Seagate hard drives and pushing the thru put to 300mb. May be best to move up to 64 bit the next time I reload when the processor is upgraded All my hardware seems capable so this requires more thought. Certainly in no hurry.

Got to put a PC on the bench and get to work. Later y'all.

"Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes."
~Edsger W. Dijkstra

Friday, April 13, 2007

Temporary Phone Failure

Tonight after fighting the bear all day I came in and dropped. The cell phone was dead, but a battery recharge seems to have corrected the problem. At first I thought there might be a problem, but after a review of today's schedule it was found that it used a lot to converse with many different clients throughout the day.

Please forgive my oversight about not charging it and DON'T bust my ass about it. I am human and make mistakes. While most everyone will enjoy the next two days off, I will work all weekend to aid and abet people with tech problems. It will start early in the morning and continue until Sunday night except for the short period the acre of yard will be mowed with a push mower.

Just finished an overhaul of a network by replacing the machine used for accounting with a new Vista Premium unit. The old unit was a PII 450 with under 10gigs of hard drive space and 192megs of RAM. Needless to say after wading through all the silly Peachtree snafus it is performing nicely. The old computer had 80mb of free space, lol. This project has been spread out over a period of a week and I am glad to see it marked off the "to do" list. Hey, critical mass was almost reached.

Really tired here. Going to bed. Later.

"As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes."
~Mel Brooks

Thursday, April 12, 2007

News Planetwide and Local

Some headlines today on planet earth:

iTunes to Offer MGM Movies for Download

Kurt Vonnegut Dies at Age 84

Chinese Premier Visits Japan

Snoop Dogg Pleads No Contest (and wins, sorta')

An email was received inquiring about the resident possum at the beach house. Arnold, opposumus germanicus austriabodicus, has been quiet since the effort he made to direct traffic during the local Christmas parade. He has been seen on occasion, but has made no attacks against the green garbage dumpster thangy or the barbeque grill in a while. I was awakened in the middle of the night last week by the howl of either a cat or dog just outside the bedroom window. Probably Arnold protecting his possum ponderosa. He likes to stir things up in warm weather so mention of him may become more frequent.

Enjoy the great weather today. Rain is in the forecast tomorrow.

"Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem."
~Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

There Be Whales Onboard, Cap'n!

The title will be best understood by trekkies. In Star Trek IV (one of the best trek movies) Scotty says this to Kirk after beaming two humpback whales onboard their Klingon spaceship. The whales help them save the world. These beasties are held in an aluminum tank that is transparent. Science Fiction you say? Do not be hasty brown bear. Transparent concrete with an alumina base is in development and it also seems to conduct electricity. Can you imagine the future of this discovery? Read about it at the Pink Tentacle. Thanks goes out to Slashdot for this link.

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny...'"
~Isaac Asimov

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Guild Wars Response

Here's the responses received from the Guild Wars people:

Recently you requested personal assistance from the PlayNC Support Team. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

If this issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may reopen it within the next 7 days.

If your issue remains unresolved, please update this question here.

Are you going to delete the Necromancers permanently?

Discussion Thread
Response (GM Oghma) 04/09/2007 01:24 PM

Thank you for contacting Guild Wars Support about this.

We encourage you to consider posting your suggestions on one of many of the Guild Wars Fansite message boards. A compiled list can be found on the official Guild Wars web site at http://www.guildwars.com/community/fansites/. By posting on one of these message boards, other players can comment on your ideas, concerns, and suggestions, and Development Team members are able to catch up on what the community wants to see in Guild Wars. Fansite forums make it easy and efficient for us to learn from those playing the game.

Thank you for your efforts in assisting us to make Guild Wars the best gaming experience possible.


The Guild Wars Support Team
Response (Ethan) 04/07/2007 11:32 AM

Thank you for contacting Guild Wars Support about this.

We encourage you to consider posting your suggestions on one of many of the Guild Wars Fansite message boards. A compiled list can be found on the official Guild Wars web site at http://www.guildwars.com/community/fansites/. By posting on one of these message boards, other players can comment on your ideas, concerns, and suggestions, and Development Team members are able to catch up on what the community wants to see in Guild Wars. Fansite forums make it easy and efficient for us to learn from those playing the game.

In order to better assist you with this issue, we will transfer your ticket to our Game Support Department. A member of that department will be in contact with you shortly. If you have any further questions, please let us know and we will gladly assist you.

The Guild Wars Support Team

They are basically sayiing , "Go away boy, don't bother me." There are two responses from two different "people" and the letters are all but identical. So, when you purchase another copy of Guild Wars keep in mind that customer input means nothing to these folks. This may not be the final chapter.

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did."
~Newt Gingrich

Monday, April 09, 2007

Power Down

There is a really nice Dell PC whirring in the background. It's a workstation that resides on a local network. A hard drive format and a re-installation of the Windows XP operating system are underway. After checking the event viewer to see why it was having problems connecting to its server the majority of shutdowns during the past month were improper. Damn it all, there is a RIGHT WAY TO SHUTDOWN A COMPUTER! The mistreatment of this well built, up to date, efficient work tool cost several hours of bench time.

If you don't know how to shut it down, ask someone or visit the Microsoft site and review the procedure. You can even email me and I'll gladly go over how it's done. In order to activate and register the software I'll be up at 4:30 AM to place a call that will go through without the horrible delay experienced during normal working hours.

Good night...

"Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom."
~Phyllis Theroux

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Peter Cottontail and Purple Giraffes

It's Easter: The Christian celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. It's also a day that children have fun hunting colored eggs and eating chocolate bunnies n such. The parents usually have ham and other health foods like mashed potatoes with gravy, yeast rolls with real butter, apple pie with ice cream on top, etc.

Yes it's Easter. Always has been and always will be for me. If you don't like the name because it's associated with old Celtic pagan fertility rituals then that's your uptight narrowed minded business. I love this holiday because it has the positive nature of Christ's rising and souls being saved. Good Friday I am not so crazy about...

Received the best email ever today. Tears filled my eyes with joy as I looked at the pictures of our newest edition and then saw the one with the Purple Giraffe holding her new cousin in her arms. Wow, this nailed me. There are many great photos so far, but one with both of them is a huge old tug at my heart. Yes, I realize my advanced years have made me somewhat maudlin. Don't care.

Now the hunt has escalated for a decent photo printer. Have the paper, but my old printer is just not gonna do the job. The two HP laser printers on the network have served for years without a glitch so it will be an HP more than likely. Besides, that gives me a chance to talk to Rajah or Omar in New Delhi if problems arise. Wonder how long it'll take the illegal immigrants to raise hell about them not speaking Spanish?

Later y'all.

"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there."
~Clarence W. Hall

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Letters, We Get Letters

Since I was an early participant in GMail I was able to acquire the address mikewest@gmail.com. I've turned down large sums of money to release this to several other Mike Wests. I don't use it that much so please be sure and send all email to cybersouth@gmail.com. Anyway received this message this morning:

Lisa West to me

Dear Michael,

Here is my reply:

Mike West to Lisa West


When did you change your name to Lisa and why? Is it warm there? Mississippi is experiencing a cold spell. Have you talked to brother Dan lately? How about Aunt Judith? Is she recovering from the wreck okay?

I love you too,


Think she will write back?

"A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than he was yesterday."
~Alexander Pope

Friday, April 06, 2007

For Guild Wars Addicts

This was just submitted to the NCSoft/ArenaNet folks:

"Soul Reaping functionality changed so that you may only gain Energy from Soul Reaping every 5 seconds."

C'mon, what gives? First you take away minions and limit us to 10. Since then it has been a steady stream of negative moves towards Necromancers. Let's see, no inherent running capability, extremely hard skill sets to become effective, armor not much better than a monk, energy management that's a joke and now you've messed with Soul Reaping!!!!

I have all three modules, am a guild leader, have a guild hall that's complete with all NPCs and a team that is really upset about this Soul Reaping nerf. People, my uber SLI machine, 22" Viewsonic, two Zboards (one has the Guild Wars keyset), a G5 laser mouse, dual processor server for Teamspeak, etc. don't need to go to waste. They were purchased to play Guild Wars and only Guild Wars.

Please, please remove this latest hit and go mess with another profession for a change! Since 2005 ALL our LAN parties feature only gaming in Tyria, Cantha and Elona. Your game is wonderful, but why this obsession with damaging the Necromancer profession? Other guild members won't write because they have heard that you don't care about your customer base and won't answer. We will see...if you do answer with an enlightening explanation, I'll gladly publish it on our website.

Will update my fellow GW nerdlings if there is an answer. Now I must go pick up my toys in the driveway and put them away.

"I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."
~Joe Walsh

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Whine On, You Crazy Vegetable

Today disappeared. It was one of those negative days of doing nothing. Meds for the back do that and I hate taking them, but at least the pain has gone away. People that have never experienced back trouble are certainly blessed. It hurt from my ankle to the shoulder blade. The only alternative was to take the muscle relaxer and become the Couch Vegetator. Enough. Being in warp whine all day wasn't fun either.

Closed the windows and brought out the small heater. This weather is crazy. Highs in the 40s and low 50s until Monday. Then spring returns. Dress warm for Easter this weekend.

"Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!"

~Pink Floyd

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Baby News, etc.

Finally talked to my oldest daughter tonight. Mallory was born on Friday and they went home Sunday. J.K. said that she is already a Daddy's girl. The conversation was up tempo. J.K.was excited and laughing which pleases me. Nice to know everyone is happy. I will be in Baton Rouge soon.

Moved some hardware around and felt the back go out. Have taken medication and played Guild Wars for a while. Sitting in a comfortable chair and not moving around can ease the pain. There's too much on the schedule to suffer immobility. Getting out of bed in the morning will tell the tale.

"Treat the patient, not the Xray."
~James M. Hunter

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hard Drive Babble, Mouse Review and Big Daddy Stuff

Changes are coming to the beach house network. For years I have been an advocate of SCSI hard drives due to their speed and dependability. My gaming machine presently uses SCSI, but that will change. I've opted to go for the SATA hard drive array in striped mode. This is a Raid 0 configuration that writes information to two different drives increasing the overall speed. Well, we will see if this theory holds up.

Seagate offers a five year warranty. They seem to have replaced IBM in the drive market as the leader. Man, those IBM drives were awesome. Hitachi bought this division and hopefully they will continue the tradition. Anyway, two Seagate 160 gigabyte SATA drives will be striped utilizing the controller that exists on the motherboard. Since this configuration boasts a 3.0 data transfer an improvement in speed should be apparent. Next update? Vista Ultimate.

There's a new mouse on the gaming machine. It is a Logitech G5 laser mouse. This is a mouse on steroids. It has a great feel, awesome speed and many features...just click on the link. It is a wired mouse. My years of obsession with wireless input devices has been shelved. The Zboard and ZBoard MERC broke my long cycle of using wireless devices. Now there's a mouse to match. BTW, the G5 is on sale at Best Buy for 49 dollars and change.

Mallory Elaine, her Mother and Dad are doing great. A trip is being planned with Beagle and Mudslingr. She's very cute and has features of both parents. Thanks goes out to everyone for the wellwishes and prayers.

"Married daughters with children...now there is danger of being classified a first edition."
~Billy Wobblynife

Monday, April 02, 2007

Got OS Backup Disks?

Have you created a set of recovery disks for your PC or checked to see if they came with it? Go do that, now. Recently such disks had to be ordered to restore a PC to working condition. After listening to someone in India get completely bamboozled while experiencing the trauma of conversing in English (his some sort of sub-English and mine flavored with southernese) and several phone calls later, the disks arrived almost a month after the order was originally placed. This is sad. Something has to give on the non-support of tech support. The beach house is still waiting for a comment or an email suggesting a company that has American based tech support. Please let me know if such a company even exists. This is, by far, the most common complaint about today's computer usage.

Besides, how can a nation of people eat that nasty curry powder almost every meal? Yuck! If I was force fed a diet of that garbage my language abilities would go out the window too. Please excuse me while I go get a piece of buttermilk cornbread. Later, y'all.

"All sorrows are less with bread."
~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

LAN Party was casual. The borrowed Wii and DVD Trivial Pursuit were never brought online. It was a night to chat. We did help some of the newer players get started and everyone seemed to not mind the change in menu to burgers and dawgs ( I burnt the first round of burgers, lol, a sacrifice to the Guild Wars Voodoo, Hoodoo gods). It had been a long week for everyone it seemed and a lot of people that were soooo absolute about attending didn't show. The weather was bad and can't say that I blame them. But, put Memorial Day Weekend on the calendar. That's the first big LAN gathering of the summer amd you don't want to miss it! Memorial Day is the 28th of May, but the LAN Party festivities will commence on Saturday the 26th around 5-ish.

It's time to take Flexiril for the back pain. To sleep perchance...

"A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow."
~Charlotte Brontë (as does a ruffled back)