I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Las Vegas Fail

Now and then I will complete online surveys just for the fun of it.  Monday I did one which was supposed to be a lot of fun relating to the our new marriage equality.  The first question was "Now that the gay and lesbian community has marriage equality, if you were to get married, where would you want to spend your honeymoon?"  There were 2 blank spaces which I filled in with the cities 'Paris' and 'Rome."  Wrong answer.  The next question listed 5 American cities, including San Francisco, New York, Palm Springs and Las Vegas to choose from and I chose San Francisco.  Wrong answer.  The survey then zeroed in on Las Vegas.  In fact the rest of the questions were all related to Las Vegas which for me is a fail.
I have absolutely no interest in going to Las Vegas.  I'm a non gambling person.  I can think of better things to waste my money on, like video games, or dinner and a movie.  Being surrounded by thousands and thousands of tourists is not my idea of fun.  Seeing aging pop stars warble their greatest hits in a show is not how I want to spend my time.  In spite of all of the 'extras' Vegas offers with a wink, that city's main purpose for existence is gambling.  And as I said, I'm a non gambling person.

I realized this a long, long time ago.  Back when I was in the Navy and stationed in San Diego, I had a buddy who was from Vegas and as a result got to go there 3 or 4 times.  It got to water ski on Lake Mead, that was fun.  But mostly what we did was wonder around casinos watching people lose money.  This was a lesson in the pointlessness of gambling. So a survey attempting to extol the wonders of Vegas is a failure as far as I am concerned.  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Windows 10 knocks around Nvidia

It's been so long since I've written anything, and I've been so busy, but that's not really a very good excuse.
Anyway, yesterday was the big roll out for Windows 10.  I'm getting it free on both my laptop and my desktop.  The desktop was done yesterday afternoon.  On the positive side, well, I like it.  The 'Start' button has returned in a way.  Your Apps are still tiled, but they're more nondescript, there's no indication that it was designed specifically for 'touch screens,' the major flaw of Windows 8.  Functionality is simpler.  In fact, as far as I could tell, there was only one fly in the ointment, and, of course, for me it was a very big fly.  You see, the desktop is a gaming computer.  While it does everything else a regular computer does, its graphics card is designed specifically for gaming.  Where your average video card is adequate, mine is super fast, processing so many bits of data it requires 2 fans independent of a separate computer fan.  I have an Nvidia GeForce 760 GT card.
Yesterday, after installing Windows 10, I clicked on the Nvidia icon and was informed the card was not installed in my computer.  Not only that, my screen resolution was so LARGE.

It seems that the drivers Nvidia sent out which were supposed to be compatible with Windows 10 are not.  Of course they sent out a quick fix, however it's not a really good patch.  The screen resolution has been fixed, but I can't personalize my computer, can't change background, can't chance colors, can't do anything.  And, when I click on the Nvidia icon, it still says the card is not installed.  The Nvidia forums are filled with verbal screams of agony from others who have a lot more invested in gaming then I.  Of course it's just a matter of time until this issue gets fixed.  And I understand it's not just Nvidia who is having issues, AMD is also having problems.  It's an AMD video card I have installed in my laptop...  which is why I'm waiting to install Windows 10 in that piece of equipment.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Early Morning shcedule

I will be leaving to go to work shortly, and I'm not happy.  Because of my back issues I have weight restrictions - I can't lift heavy weights.  Even though she knows this, what does the ditz who writes our schedules do?  Gives me an early morning shift.  Early mornings are when our contractors show up to buy their paint and most contractors, if they're any good, use a lot of paint.  Translation:  they buy 5 gallon buckets, and I can't lift 5 gallon buckets.  Their 65 - 75 lbs is way above my limit.

When I pointed this out to our scheduler, instead of changing the schedule she said "well, you'll just have to call someone to lift them for you."  Since staffing is very limited early in the morning, those contractors might have to wait.  Now, let's talk about good customer service, shall we?
Anyway, I had a nice sit down chat with the store manager during which I told him I didn't want those little, rubbery disks between my vertebrae to start poking their little noses out again.  He agreed hardheartedly.  You see, if it were to happen again while I was at work... well, that would be a worker's comp issue.  That would be an expense they would not soon forget. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Password Hell

Back when I was a boy I used to watch a TV game show called Password on which contestants would try and guess the secret "password."  For example, the password might be Orange and single word clues would be given, such as "citrus," and "fruit," and "color" to help the contestant guess the password.  Today we all have passwords... some of us have many, many, passwords.  Thanks to hackers Internet security has intensified.  The protocols have changed.  There was a time when you could get by with just a word and a number for a password, and everybody used the same password for every account.  This is no longer the case, and I hate it.  The convenience of paying all of my bills online has a price.

Today's passwords need both upper and lower case letters, numbers, and a symbol; gone are the days of simply using a loved one's name.  And thinking of new passwords is... hell, which is why most people use passwords that fail.  No one wants to put in the effort for proper password creation.  I don't.  I look around the room until my eyes light on something totally illogical.  If I focus on a wall sconce, part of my password might be "sconce," or "wall."  Remembering these passwords is an even bigger hell then simply creating them, so I keep a written hard copy.  Google remembers them, too, which is a help.  Still, passwords are a true pain in the ass.  Like I don't understand why utilities require such security.  If there is someone out there who wants to hack in and pay my electric bill they're quite welcome to do so.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The gym and I

That's right, I joined a gym.  Today.  At first I'd thought of joining LA Fitness since they had the "one" rowing machine my therapist had recommended.  The cost there, however, was a major drawback:  a high $ to initiate a bare bones, basic membership, and then a monthly fee of $30, and that's just to start.  If you want access to a trainer you can start tacking on even more $$ per month.  And, of course, there are other amenities which jack up the price.  If you're not careful, you could easily find yourself being charged over $100 a month.   Now if you don't mind spending that kind of money, or feel that charge is giving you the most bang for your buck, then I'd say hop to it.  Me, however, I'm a bit on the frugal side.
I opted to join Planet Fitness.  I did chose the top tier, $19.99 per month membership since that gives me half-price cooler drinks!  Actually, you do get a bit more for that tidy, little sum.  And, surprise, surprise, that fee does give you talk to a trainer, in fact, on your first visit you need to set up an appointment in order to get a routine worked out.  Hey, I'll even be able to use their tanning stations!  I've been bright white for so long I've no idea what it feels like to be tan.

In case you haven't hear of them, they're mostly up and down the eastern seaboard, but quickly moving west.  Not too long ago they made a bit of a headline.  Evidently a woman complained to the desk  about a transgendered woman using the "women's" locker room.  The reps at the desk shrugged and said, "so what," which infuriated this woman, so she took her complaint to corporate and they shrugged their shoulders and said "so what."  Well, that's not exactly what they said, but it gets the message across.
Anyway, now I have a gym membership, now all I have to do is get my ass in gear and go. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rohan Dennis, almost a yellow flier

It's the Fourth of July here, which means the temperature is supposed to be in the mid 80's without a cloud in the sky.  People do cookouts, and shoot off fireworks and more then one will have a few too many cocktails... except not today since it's a rainy, shitty mess here in Central Pennsylvania.  Right now the temperature outside is a damp, chilly 68.  I spent the better part of the morning and early afternoon watching the Tour de France.  I always try to watch as much of it as possible, however my crappy work schedule usually dictates I am stuck watch highlight shows.  Not this year.  Thanks to my light duty schedule I'll be able to watch quite a bit of the race.  Since I don't have cable, I purchased the streaming version from MSNBC, a first for me, and which looks to have been an outstanding decision.  No commercials at all.  Today was the first stage, and I watched the whole thing... without commercial interruptions.
Anyway, I'd like to send a congratulation to Rohan Dennis, today's winner.

He's from Australia, their 6th cyclist to wear the Yellow Jersey.  Not only did he win, he set a world's record for speed in a Time Trial averaging over 55 km per hour.  There were times he was actually peddling over 60 km per hour.  For those who don't know, that's over 35 miles per hour.  When was the last time you rode a bike that fast... or, maybe I should ask, when was the last time you rode a bike.
Anyway, here's Rohan, who not only was the speediest today, but who also has a snazzy name.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The wondrous plank

Today was my second last day at PT and my therapist talked to be about my plans... he did not recommend I keep up the therapy until seeing my doctor, which was nice.  He did, however, introduce me to a number of new, core strengthening exercises.  Actually, they're not new.  As he was describing the first position he wanted me to get into, I said, "oh, you want me to do a plank."  He was a bit surprised and said, "oh, well, yes."  They're even going to print off some work-out routines I can do either at home or at the gym.  I didn't ask if there was going to be a charge.
Anyway, after PT I stopped by the store to speak to the manager because I was scheduled to open.  Opening shifts are off limits to me because that's when you mix all the 5 gallon buckets of paint for contractors and I, for the foreseeable future, will not be lifting any 5 gallon buckets.  When I told him that I was now doing planks he said, "I know how to do planks, I can hold one for a minute," and I had to contain myself.

You see my store manager is about 6' 1" and weighs in at about 265 lbs.  I am being very kind when I say he has some girth.  Now this doesn't mean I don't believe him when he says he can hold a plank for one minute.  It's just that I suspect he might have a little mid-section assist going on.  I just have to remind myself that even if his abdomen is only 1/4 inch off of the mat, for some people in a quarter inch can be as much as a mile.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Facebook - Financial Trap of a Lifetime

While I enjoy Facebook, I don't spend that much time on it.  Usually I'll scroll down through it in the morning to see if there's anything interesting and then later in the evening before I go to bed.  Even when I was totally incapacitated, Facebook was not a place I visited very often.  This is because most of what my friends post is not that interesting (sorry friends).  Yesterday was a bit unusual in that I saw one of my friends, a woman I graduated from high school with, was all hippy dippy happy because you can now use Facebook to transfer funds.  A bit of discourse ensued.  You need to use your own, personal debit card to process these transfers and I told her current security protocols dictate never using your debit card for Internet transactions.  Her response was "but it's Facebook!  It can't get any safer!"  Duhhh

The bait

There was some discussion back in March when the information was released, but there are still a lot of questions.  It's free for Facebook users, but is your bank going to charge you a transfer fee?  Or, if the receiving card is with a different bank, will they get a charge?  Right now it's only for debit cards but eventually they're planning on opening it up to credit cards.  If you use a credit card, will it count as a cash withdrawal?  One of the bits in the "fine print" that most people don't see is that it may take up to 3 days for the transfer to actually take place.  So what do you do if it's an emergency and someone desperately needs funds?  Use Western Union?
Of course none of these thoughts passed through her head because she was so caught up in her "how cool is that" moment.  Anyway, she wasn't too happy with me because I urged the use of caution and restraint rather than jumping on board the Bandwagon and starting to wave the Facebook flag.  For people who can't manage their finances this could be the trap of their lifetime.