Atomic Fungus by Ed Hering|
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|Monday, November 11th, 2013|
With nothing scheduled today, I had to get up approximately whenever the hell I felt like it, and that turned out to be about 3:30 because Mrs. Fungus and I got to bed rather late last night. Despite the cats' best efforts, I remained abed.
...as did, it turns out, Mrs. Fungus, who somehow managed to sleep through the alarm. I don't know how--it woke me
up--but the next thing I knew after it was turned off, she was getting back into bed with me and saying it was past 1 PM, and that she'd called off. She's still in bed as I type this, even though--
It's 11/11/13 and it is snowing outside. The grass is frosted with snow and the roofs are already white, but the pavement is merely wet. It hasn't been cold enough, consistently enough, for snow to really stick to pavement yet. If it keeps going some might stick, but I'm not going to bet on it; anyway it looks like it's a wet snow and it won't be sticking around in any event.
This is the earliest snow in my recent memory. In 1997 it snowed in Cedar Rapids in October, enough to accumulate and knock out the power for a large chunk of the city, but that was Iowa and it was still sixteen years ago.
The date of the first snow usually has no effect on what the winter is like, but of course you'll get the usual comments from people: "Oh, it's going to be a bad winter" blah blah blah etcetera.
Well, it's pretty, and I like it, so WTF.
* * *
Speaking of weather--Banning freon saved the environment.
As Purp explains:
Anyone who wants to keep pimping it needs to explain how their mechanism somehow bypasses the heat equation, and magically gets atmospheric heat to jump deep into the ocean without warming the surface waters significantly first. That's an amazing David Copperfield class trick if you can pull it off.
It's always an amazing trick when you can completely bypass the Laws of Thermodynamics
, isn't it? One might even call it a miracle
. But it was the best that the warmistas had...until now.
The new claim is that by curtailing the use of CFCs we have changed the curve for global warming, and the "pause" (ie the complete lack of warming since 1998 despite ever-higher concentrations of CO2) is due to the phase-out. It was only done to save the ozone layer, but it's had the side effect of preventing 0.2° of warming, and that--goes the "theory"--is why reality is not matching the computer models.
Problem: we're using as much refrigerant as ever, and (of course
) refrigerants absorb a great deal of heat, and despite the strictures of the Montreal protocol refrigerants are still ending up in the environment. It's just that said refrigerants are CHCs rather than CFCs. (The problem, we were told, was with the chlorine
atoms in the molecules. How does replacing fluorine with hydrogen fix that? We've gone from chlorofluorocarbons to chlorohydrocarbons; there's still chlorine in the damned things. But OHNOESTEHOZONEZ, so here we are.)
Other problem: there is still the little matter of the sun being in an extended minimum, because it's not a perfectly constant energy source--which, by the way, rather nicely accounts for all the climate change ever
But no one will buy climatologists Porsches if the sun is the cause of climate change. So now, with much handwavium and number-fudging, they will claim that a past econazi success--which had no other real effect on the climate--will end up being the reason global warming just stopped
in 1998. Yeah.
Or, rather, no.
* * *
Meanwhile, it's snowing outside, and it's warm inside, and that's what counts.
|Sunday, November 10th, 2013|
|#4030: At least I got something done, even if it wasn't what I wanted.
I got the kitchen cleaned up a bit, and took care of the ham.
Mrs. Fungus cooked a ham this past week--a big one--and of course we had legendary leftovers, so today I pared the meat off the bone and froze it. The bone and scraps got bagged up, too, because that
is going to be the foundation for another pot of ham and bean soup just as soon as I think it's a decent time for it. Oh, yeah.
One of the nicest benefits to having a freakin' job again is that in the past couple of days I've put gas in the Jeep, done some grocery shopping, and had a Subway sandwich, and I've still got money left.
It's not going to last, of course, because I have to make some sense out of the utility bills, but this is a vast--VAST
--improvement over how things have been in the past couple of years where I had to dread spending every penny.
I am going to do my best, however, to retain that dread. I rather like what it does for my frugality.
Still, that sub sandwich has been a long time coming. Mrs. Fungus doesn't like Subway, so we don't eat there; the other problem is that their hours are not very comprehensive. But when I know it's five hours until dinner and I can pay the freight, it's a nice change of pace.
* * *
Torgilgrimm has hit 88th level. I created the character the first time I played WoW
which was December 19, 2008; I'm coming up on my 5-year anniversary of playing this stupid game and I still
haven't gotten tired of it. On the plus side that leaves me about 38 days to get to 90th level on him. It's kind of a shame to have let it go this long; when I started him 80 was the maximum level, for crying out loud.
* * *
Even when the best thing I can do is nothing--my wife commanded me to stay in and do as little as possible today--even then, I feel guilty about it. But it's fine, because the work I did in the kitchen really
needed to be done, and a lot more than the outdoor stuff did.
Anyway the project now is excavating my computer desk, and among other things I want to move El-Hazard to the family room and connect it to the blab slab in there so I can watch anime. I also want to connect the stereo amp to its speakers so I can use that again, and connect a whole mess of other wires. Eventually I'd like to run wires through the attic for the surround speakers, and mount them, and-and-and, but that is going to take some serious doing. Besides, I need money for the terminal plates since I don't want just to drill holes in the drywall; and since I do not intend to have wires festooning the family room like some kind of weird slime mold, this is how it has to be if I want a functioning surround system. And WTF, my damned amp is Dolby 7.1; why wouldn't
I want to use its full capabilities when watching movies? Cripes.
I'll just get to that after all the other stuff I have to do. Whee!
|#4029: Dang, that was awful.
I went to bed last night and could not sleep for the aching of my feet and legs. It took Vicodin to quell that, and of course when I woke up at 8 AM for church I was in no shape for anything. *sigh*
Well, no one said it would be easy. I'm going to have to make the adjustment, is all, and get my butt to church, because what's the point of being in choir if you don't sing in front of people? Besides, Advent season begins fairly soon; we're going to be singing Christmas music, which is my favorite part of being in choir to begin with.
But it's not as if I'm going to be burned at the stake for, y'know, having some fallout from my return to responsible adulthood. These are people who know my travails of recent years and understand my situation, and who are glad to see me making progress.
I probably could have gotten by with ibuprofen and Xanax, to be honest.
I'm really not sure why my feet and legs hurt so much yesterday, unless it's because I did so much standing in the morning only to come back and stand more in the evening. My new shoes are Dr. Scholl's work shoes and they're a damned sight better than the simple loafers I have, but they can't work miracles. Og's suggested that I go to the WalMart near him and stand on the scanner thingy they have to get inserts, and I'm going to do that; I need to go get some black pants anyway, so that'll work.
Regardless, it's something that I've got to get through, because it's work, and they're not paying me to sit down. I'll adjust.
* * *
It's a very nice day today and I really ought to get the grass cut one last time before winter sets in. That means going out for gas for the mowers, of course, and scavenging up something to eat.
...80% chance of snow tomorrow.
"Any statement beginning with 'I really ought to' is suspect," Heinlein says (via Sam Russell) in Have Space Suit, Will Travel
. "It means you haven't analyzed your motives."
|Saturday, November 9th, 2013|
|#4028: My feet HURT but today was a good day.
Had kind of an odd one today: I had to be at work at 7 AM for training--store-wide, everyone
was there--until 10 AM, and then back again at 3 PM to work until closing. Naturally I had trouble getting to sleep last night, and ended up getting less than four hours of sleep; it was a bit of a pain but I got to work on time. Once I got home from the training I hit the hay for a few more hours. I woke up feeling inordinately refreshed, and the evening shift was a breeze.
I mean, it felt longer than the 6.5 hours it lasted because there was almost nothing
going on, but I got some very positive feedback from my boss about where I am and where I'm headed, and he was impressed that I've roared through the CBT stuff to the extent I have.
Five positive customer comments--which mention me by name--are all I need to get my gold Consultation Agent badge. (Friends and relatives can't shill for me, either; they have to be from strangers.) But today my boss told me to do the Advanced Repair Agent training...and all I needed to do to get "gold" in that
area was to do two generalized CBTs on cash registers and return policies. Before the sun set today I had finished them, and I'm now a "gold" ARA.
And I made some money today, so I call that a good day.
* * *
Please do me a charleston and send some love Wonderduck's way
* * *
I'm pretty wiped out, so I think I'm going to go lay down.
|Friday, November 8th, 2013|
|#4027: Five hours on my feet, moderate pain
Which is a damned sight better than I was doing two weeks ago, let me tell you, which means I'm getting used to it.
I'm starting to have moments where I get down on myself or am unhappy for various reasons. This is the "hump" portion of the whole process of learning a new job; I know how to handle routine tasks now but I'm prone to make mistakes and/or forget things, and I'm easily bumped out of my preprogrammed groove.
Well, that's how it goes. I'll get over it; it just means that I'm getting to the point that I've learned the easy stuff that I do a lot and haven't yet learned the more esoteric things. I will learn and improve and soon I'll be unstoppable.
* * *Poverty in America is relative, not absolute.
There is grinding poverty in America but for the most part it is statistically nonexistent. In the US you have to work very hard at being so poor that you can't buy food.
...much less the latest smartphone, elaborate tattoos, big rims for your car, a big TV, and so on. Look: obesity is a common affliction of the American poor; what does that tell you?
* * *
My feet hurt enough yesterday that I didn't stand at all during choir practice. I sat the entire time.
Yesterday I got my official Geek Squad polo shirts, and so I ducked into the mens' room long enough to swap shirts. (Of course I wore one to work today.) I look very nice in my uniform; now I need to go get a couple pairs of black pants. One of the nicest things about the dress code for this job is that it's perfectly okay--expected, even--to wear white socks with dress shoes. Whee!
A new belt might not hurt, though. Still, that's a task for another day.
Right now--I had to be up this morning at 8:15 and did not make it. Mrs. Fungus had to be up even earlier, and so we went to bed around 12:30 last night. Unfortunately I did not get to sleep
before 2 AM, and that required Xanax; when I woke up this morning I felt embalmed and didn't want to move. I ended up eschewing a shower (shaved yesteday and I'm still okay in that department, and I didn't do
anything so I didn't sweat or stink) and laid in bed for a bit too long. I got to work a bare 3 minutes after my scheduled arrival time, but I don't think they'll hold that against me, particularly since I don't intend for that to become a pattern.
But all that means I'm pretty well duffed, so I'm going to go lay down.
|Wednesday, November 6th, 2013|
|#4026: Today is even skunkier than yesterday.
Colder, wetter, rainier--why, you'd almost think it was November or something. They're predicting upper 20s for tonight. Yeesh.
The Jeep still hasn't had its heater core flushed, and Mrs. Fungus' car needs an oil change, and I haven't been able to do either thanks to the rotten weather. As things stand right now, though, next week I've been scheduled for two days, and I should have time to work on the Jeep at least. My boss may schedule me for a couple more days, and may not; we'll see--regardless I'll find the outcome acceptable.
* * *
The other night Mrs. Fungus and I watched Yellowbeard
because it was on-demand and free. She seemed to enjoy it, though of course it is not exactly art for the ages. Once again I was struck with how much Cheech and Chong simply did not belong in that movie, but that's a tale already plainly told so I won't go on that
* * *Og
informs us that the Illinois government has solved all the other problems and crises that face the state, leaving them time to legalize gay marriage in Illinois.
Yeah, I really don't know what to do with this, either.
* * *Obamacare is still fail.
A Democrat senator's son lost his health insurance because of Obamacare. I'm utterly without sympathy, of course, since I had to cancel my health insurance more than a year ago. I simply could no longer afford the premiums.
Mine started at $134 a month in 2007, but was up to $270 a month by the time I canceled it. Thanks to Obamacare, my premium doubled before
most of the law went into effect--and I'd wager that it has not exactly decreased since last year. That assumes that my policy would have remained in effect, which I'm sure it would not have as it didn't include a bunch of things that Obamacare requires. I would have ended up with a new policy that covered things I neither wanted nor needed to pay for, and cost lots more in the bargain. (If "bargain" is the word to use, which I do not believe is the case. "Assrape" is probably more apt.)
So now the press is scrambling and trying to protect Obama from his statements about people being able to keep their plans, because it's quite obvious that people cannot--and again this is something we warned you about, over and over and over again, in the runup to this thing becoming law.
The real problem for the left in this country is that the GOP did not
help them pass this abomination, and it is 100% Democrat owned and operated. There's no bipartisan cover for it; it was an unpopular law to begin with and the general population has not been given reason to change its mind in favor.
Even better: we're being told that Obama "misspoke" when he said, "If you like your plan, you can keep it." "Misspoke"! You know what that means?It means Obama is not fit to be President!
...after all, we were told repeatedly that Bush was unfit for the Presidency because he misspoke and made errors while speaking. Here we have a cut-and-dried example of Obama misspeaking, so it's time to fire up the impeachment machine! Right?
But better than that
is firing up the "Obama misled us!" machinery. Oh, yes--"Bush lied, kids died" was the catchphrase in 2004, and it was all because "Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq!" Where was the press then? Did they defend him by pointing out that all the major intelligence services in the world thought that Saddam Hussein had an emormous stockpile of chemical weapons, and that being wrong is not the same as lying?
Of course not. The press was right there with the rest of the left wing, claiming "Bush lied, kids died!"Borepatch
predicts that Obamacare is shaping up to be a very tidy disaster for the Democrat party. It seems fairly obvious that the people remember--quite clearly!--Obama promising them they could keep their health insurance if they liked it, and no amount of spin from the media will fix that; there will be plenty of examples of people who supported Obamacare until they learned that it doubled their premiums and shafted them on coverage--and those people will not react gracefully and say sympathetically, "Well, it's a complex problem, and they're doing the best they can with it."
Not when they have to pay so much for health insurance that they have to cut back on everything else.
The economic side-effects have yet to make themselves fully known, as well. We can currently point to a certain amount of un- and under-employment and say, "This is probably due to Obamacare" but the law has not fully gone into effect yet; when it does--hoo boy.
It's likely that the job I found would have been full-time, absent Obamacare. Well, them's the breaks.
* * *Guy gets several invasive searches after cops stop him for running a stop sign.
The cops were convinced he had drugs in his colon so they had doctors do all kinds of things to him to check him for drugs.
...drugs which turned out not to be present.
The best part is, the hospital that did the procedures is billing the victim--and if it were me, I'd say, "You can send the bill to the sheriff's department," and not send them one red cent, ever. The sheriff wanted the procedures, they got the search warrant, it is their
responsibility to pay the piper for this.
I'm glad that guy is suing. I hope he wins big
* * *
To get my gold badge at work, I need five positive comments from customers. In the "stuff I have immediate control over" department, there are five CBT courses left to do as well. That's not bad at all, considering I've been working there for a bit less than four weeks. But once I've finished the coursework for gold, I'll begin working on platinum.
I may get a name tag sometime soon, too. That would help.
There are now three weeks until Black Friday. I expect my schedule for that day to be...interesting. As I commented to Og last night in chat, while I do not expect that day to be a cakewalk I do expect it to be survivable. My schedule will determine what Mrs. Fungus and I do for T-day dinner, though, because if I have to be at work at 11 PM on T-day--well, work comes first. We've semi-seriously discussed not going anywhere regardless--just staying home, cooking our own dinner, and having a nice peaceful day together. If my schedule is interesting
enough that'll be what we end up doing. Regardless, we're planning to enjoy it.
That's pretty much my plan for Black Friday, too: I intend to enjoy it, because what I want to do is irrelevant; I can either like the chaos and noise, or I can lump it, and I know that choosing to like it will make the whole ordeal a lot easier. How you approach things helps determine how you will deal with them, and dreading a hard day is the worst thing you can do.
"How bad can it be?" Okay, a major electronics retailer on the
biggest shopping day of the year--I expect it to be bad
I have worked a Black Friday once in my life, just once. It was 1988, and I was the head sales clerk of a brand new Software Etc location; it had opened in late October and hardly anyone knew it was there. The store was mobbed all day, and there were just three of us working there: the manager, the assistant manager, and me. Whee!
Despite that, none of us had to work longer than eight hours that day, and I think it's because--at the time--Software Etc did not sell anything for game consoles. The original NES was popular then, and if that store had stocked NES stuff we would have been completely slammed--but it didn't; it was just computer software, and that made it a lot more manageable.
Nothing like what I expect 11/28 of this year to be for me.
But as I said, I'm going to approach the thing with optimism; I know it's going to be a madhouse, so I have plenty of time to prepare myself for that. I'll just have to decide that I'll enjoy it and otherwise "be the duck", let the water roll off my back, and keep swimming.
* * *
Gad, that's pretty nauseating stuff. Sounds like every bad motivational speaker I've ever heard. I'm going to head into the bathroom and be sick....
|Tuesday, November 5th, 2013|
|#4025: I can't do a Morgan Freeman
So last night, after dinner, Mrs. Fungus and I were trying to find something to watch, and we ended up on Morgan Freeman's "Through the Wormhole"
. It was the tail end of the show and I'm not entirely sure what it was about, but there was this Japanese engineer on it with his absolutely horrifying
robotic double sitting next to him.
"That's the uncanny valley
right there," I said. Seriously, the expression on the dummy looked like he was trying to hold back an epic bowel movement
and it was just fuckin' scary.
Anyway, after that segment was done Morgan Freeman came back on to close the show, and I made yet another futile attempt to do a Morgan Freeman impression.
I, of course, cannot do Morgan Freeman with any sort of fidelity. Mrs. Fungus is normally an AF booster--she knows my strengths and provides encouragement--but she says quite frankly that my impression of Morgan Freeman is horrible. I do appreciate the fact that she is not trying to give me false hope.
...and then the Emergency Broadcast System did a test, replacing Morgan Freeman with a test pattern and an electronic screech.
We found that hilarious. I said, "Oh, shit! That cretin in Illinois is trying to do Morgan Freeman again! STOP HIM BEFORE WE ALL DIE!
" I made a few comments about my Morgan Freeman impression setting off an alarm at NORAD and basically milked the joke for whatever humor I could, which--as it turned out--was quite a lot.
It's not going to stop me from trying to figure out how to do a Morgan Freeman impression, but that's going to be a rather long road. I suppose I should be satisfied with being able to do Sean Connery.
* * *
It's a gloomy autumn day, damp and unpleasant. Mrs. Fungus and I have nothing scheduled, nothing planned--glorious nothing, the kind of nothing where you can laze in bed as long as you like and take your own sweet time about doing whatever it is that you want to do.
The only chore that must be done before Wednesday night is for clothes to get washed, but that will happen in good time.
We don't even need to go get food; Mrs. Fungus bought a 9-lb ham and cooked it last night while I was at work. We have ham a-plenty, and once we've eaten the meat off the bone I'm making a batch of ham and bean soup with it, using the 15-bean soup mix in the cabinet.
I feel sorry for people who can't eat ham.
* * *
Little by little I restore my computer to its former glory. Sunday I managed to install quite a bit of software, so I can play MP3s again, and I found that the backup I did of my Documents folder was 100% intact, so I copied that to the C: drive. (I know that it's current because it's in "New Folder" on the D: drive. Recall please that I could create
folders but not name
I got Mail working again. I still need to attach the 320 in order to import the mail databases but at least I can send and receive mail without logging onto a web site. I also need my bookmarks from the 320.
Standard price for a 500 GB drive at work is about $65. I'm leaning towards buying one when it's time for me to move to Win 7, but I won't be doing that before I have another couple of paychecks under my belt and in the bank. First things first; the computer works again and no one ever died (in real life, I mean) because WoW wasn't as fast as it could be.
Because I'm working part time it's going to take me a bit longer to save up for a set of new tires for the Jeep than I had originally anticipated. That must
be my first priority (after paying utilities) as I cannot get to work without transportation.
Well, no one said it would be easy. I don't really mind, though, because as long as I'm employed the problems that I face are all solvable. That is to say, I'm not entirely helpless and unable to affect my destiny, the way I was when I was still trying to find a job, because I have some
income; and if hours dry up, the fact of my employment neatly avoids the "we won't hire anyone who's not currently working" trap that has become prevalent in the years since we were saddled with Obamanomics.
I'm going to say it again: there are no jobs out there.
This is a relative statement; the employment to population ratio is lower than it's been in thirty years and the only reason the unemployment figure is dropping comes from the enormous number of able-bodied people who are simply not in the workforce.
Hiring and firing happens all the time, even when the economy is straining at the limits of full employment; right now the employment statistics are significantly worse than they've been any time since 1939. There are no jobs.
I'm lucky to have one. But to some extent it's the "luck" of having an extensive background in customer service and computer repair, and applying for a job that requires both.
Anyway, the biggest hardship is that my feet hurt...but that's slowly getting better. Yesterday they didn't start hurting until I'd been on them for four hours, which is a new record, and the pain didn't get really bad until I hit the five hour mark. Progress!
* * *
I will admit, however, that I have been contemplating a new cell phone. That won't cost an arm and a leg, and this phone is old enough that its battery is beginning to show signs of unhappiness. Really, it's about five years old and what can I expect? It's served me faithfully but getting a new battery would probably be prohibitively expensive compared to the cost of a new phone, and anyway I have never been very happy with this phone's noise rejection characteristics: if you're not using it in a silent room, you can't hear shit
But I'm not planning to break the bank on it, either. It won't even cost as much as a new hard drive would.
|Sunday, November 3rd, 2013|
|#4024: Word, you can KMA.
Just wanted to do a little writing, and went to install Word since I had to completely rebuild my OS last weekend.
I use the version which was included in my old P3 desktop's purchase. It works fine under Vista, but you have to install Works and a bunch of crap before you can think about installing Word.
...and the damned thing installed Internet Explorer 5.5. How much do you want to bet that's the f-ing vulnerability that left my system wide open to shitware? And there's no way to un
install it, so it's still there on this
I can't get Win 7 fast enough. *sigh*
Anyway, I was almost done with the installation and said, "No, you know what? Fuck this," and downloaded OpenOffice instead. Works has uninstalled and now I'm in the process of installing OO, and we'll see if I ever need Word again.
I'm betting "no".
|#4023: I got nothin'.
It's Sunday, I have the day off, my legs hurt, and I'm hungry.
The latter issue will be dealt with in short order: I'm going to eat leftovers from last night's dinner, which was crunchy chicken and seasoned potatos.
I bought a pound of small red potatos, scrubbed them clean and quartered them, and then tossed them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Put 'em in a 13x9 pan, put some carrots on top, covered the pan with foil, baked for about an hour--tender and tasty.
Crunchy chicken is just two cups of deep fried onions (French's cheddar flavored) crushed and mixed with 2 TBSP of flour. Dip a boneless skinless chicken breast in beaten egg, dredge in the onion/flour mix, cook at 400 for about 20 minutes or until done. Makes two, and invariably comes out tender and juicy.
It didn't take long to make and the only processed stuff in the entire meal was the deep fried onions.
* * *
My legs hurt from my hips to my ankles, and my feet hurt from ankles on down. That's probably why I was so tired last night that I napped from about 8 to 10:30; I couldn't keep my eyes open. This job isn't physically hard work or anything but I'm not used to standing all day. Besides, I have to use my brain a lot.
The job at Target was 95% motion, and I could think about other things while I worked, but that's not so with this job. It's probably 20% motion and 80% brainpower, and anyone who says that using your brain is not tiring has never been in a job where he had to think
a lot. It's not physically tiring but it wears you out, and the result is a real feeling of physical fatigue.
Added to this is the fact that my computer repair and customer service skills are rusty. I knew, on some level, that they would be, but I hadn't realized to what extent they had atrophied until they were put to the test.
Still, it's not something you forget. It's like riding a bike or roller skating; once you've learned it, you might lose your edge but you won't lose the basic skills. It'll take you some practice to get back into form, but you don't have to start over from scratch and re-learn everything.
The important thing to bear in mind is that these are things I'm good
at. I worked as an on-site computer technician for six years; near the end of that time I was my employer's go-to guy for difficult or complex repairs, and I rarely failed to satisfy a customer. My skills may be rusty, but they're not gone.
It's just that scraping the rust off is going to hurt a bit. Well, no pain, no gain, I suppose.
|Saturday, November 2nd, 2013|
|#4022: A hard drive crash isn't accidental damage
And even if it is, it doesn't entitle you to an entire brand new computer. Okay? Are we clear on this?
When you pay for an accidental damage replacement policy, you're making a bet that you'll be clumsy enough to drop your laptop (or whatever) and break the screen, or that you'll drop it in the bathtub, or something similar. If something like this happens while your product is covered by such a plan, #Major_Electronics_Retailer (but you know who I mean) will fix it if possible or refund the price if it can't be fixed.
But if you bring in a nearly pristine-looking laptop that won't boot, it's not accidental damage and you're not entitled to swap it for a brand new unit. Not even if the manager of another store told you that you could. You take that laptop to that
store and talk to that
manager, and maybe he'll swap the thing, and maybe he'll tell you to take a flying leap, because if you read the fine print in the ADR policy you'll see that #M_E_R doesn't replace a failing unit with a brand new one.
(#M_E_R corporate policy on this kind of discussion? "Employees are entitled to self-expression" as long as that self-expression doesn't reveal any corporate secrets or the personal information of third parties. Nothing in this post is secret, I'm not being critical of #M_E_R, and I'm not naming any names; I am merely clarifying a policy that is--or ought to be--public knowledge, so F it.)
* * *
Today I completed all the CBT required to get my "silver badge".
The CBT is a bit uneven. One course will require intimate knowledge of the subject at hand; the other will be simple as pie and require only common sense. Even if they're equally technical!
I forget the exact area of expertise that I was working on last week, but the 101 and 201 level courses were more involved and more technical than the 301; I didn't need to refer to the source material at all to pass the 301. WTH.
...or maybe the knowledge I already possess is just that esoteric and eclectic. I don't know.
But I'm done with silver, and now it's on to gold; once gold is done, platinum. Whee!
* * *
But I've survived another week of work. Today was my first 8-hour day, with a lunch break and everything. The lunch break (and the training stuff in the early evening) helped keep me from wanting to cut my feet off. The new shoes help
but they can't eliminate the problem; again, this is something I'm going to literally have to walk off. I'm getting better!
I'm also getting better at doing the job; today I figured out how to ask for the sale when I was helping a woman with a dead hard drive. ("Is that something you'd like to set up today?" Okay, it wasn't the greatest effort, but I'm new at this. Really.) We're supposed to get some sales training, somewhere along the line, but the bosses may be waiting to see how many of the new hires survive Nov. 29th this year (Black Friday) before spending the money.
Love it or hate it, I expect to make a lot of money that day, because I know I'll be working more than eight hours. So I really
need to get these old feet of mine toughened up, and soon.
* * *
It's hard to believe that it's just 8:35 right now. I mean, it feels as if it should be a lot later than it is. Then again, that's how things go when you get up in the morning, go to work for eight hours, and then come home.
Tomorrow I am off, and to make things even nicer I get an extra hour tonight because of the end of daylight savings for the year. Woohoo!
|Thursday, October 31st, 2013|
|#4021: I actually FIXED something today
I was scheduled to be in the back today, and I've been looking forward to this since I found out about it. Sure enough, I was in back, working on computers; I was able to sit down
most of the time and so my feet are hardly bothering me at all.
Mostly I did Win 8 installs, but there were a couple of technical matters to be attended to that I worked on, and the seven hour shift passed quickly. Gee, what a surprise: the time goes fast when my brain is occupied. Who could have seen that
I had a pretty nice time at work today, actually. That counts for a lot.
* * *
So, let's talk about dark matter again!Vox Day is against it.
I still don't see it, myself. The notion that 90% of the universe is invisible and only weakly interacts with normal matter is bad enough, but to assert that it's proven?
(As the climatologists do with global warming?)
Here is the problem with dark matter: no one has seen any.
You'd think that's a feature, not a bug, right? I mean, after all, it's invisible and doesn't really interact with normal matter, right? (Do I have to link the Wikipedia entry on the luminiferous ether again?)
Well, Vox Day explains what's wrong with the whole thing in a very nice fashion, so I don't need to reiterate all my
* * *
ObamaCare Fail Express!Uh, no one told us young people we'd be the ones paying for it, brah.
No one, that is, except for almost the entire right wing
. "Obamacare Is The Apotheosis of the Progressive Mindset"
because you proles are too stupid to know what's good for you. Why, if we let you pick your own health care, you'd probably try to save money
, and then you'd spend your savings on stupid, crazy things like guns and private schooling for your kids. Dangerous
things. See?"If you like your plan, you can keep it" is turning out to be one of the biggest political lies in history.
I'm going to have to say it again: WHAT DO YOU THINK WE'VE BEEN TELLING YOU ASSHATS FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS?
And Obamacare is also going to be the single largest tax increase in history, no matter how you figure it.
* * *
So today is Halloween, and since I spent the entire day at work I'm pretty tired. When work was over I beat feet to church for choir practice; after sitting in the parking lot for about 25 minutes I realized that it had probably been canceled, and when I got home there was an e-mail message informing me of exactly that.
So I went into the kitchen and defrosted some ground beef, and while that was going on I washed the dishes; then I cooked some
steaming food paste
Rice-a-Roni with ground beef. Instead of draining the beef fat and then adding two tablespoons of butter, I left the beef fat in and 86ed the butter. Fat is fat; screw it.
Anyway, I'm going to go lay down once I'm done with dinner and the blog post.
...as an aside, I can remember when people used to spell it "Hallowe'en". It's not that far in the past!
* * *
So in about four hours it's going to be November already. I mean--damn it, where did the year go?
|Wednesday, October 30th, 2013|
|#4020: The Wednesday
Well, that's it for my weekend; I work every other day this week. *sigh*
Thursday I work until 6 PM, a total of 7 hours, and I expect to be footsore by the end of my shift. Then I get to do it all again on Friday. Whee!
But the money
will help matters so very, very much....
So what happened on Wednesday, after all the travails with my computer? Why, of course, Mrs. Fungus' monitor died!
She tried turning it on, and it would display an image for perhaps fifteen seconds before going dark again. I tried fiddling with it--including dis- and re-assembling it--but all that managed to do was get it going for thirty seconds rather than fifteen.
My inspection, however, revealed that three 470 uF capacitors on the power supply board are bulged at the tops. You know what that means: the manufacturer used cheapass caps and they died, and the power supply is therefore kaput. I went down to the basement and had a gander at my old toolbox from my tech school days, but sadly there weren't any 470 uF capacitors in it.
...why do I keep this junk? I never have what I need, so why have it take up space? *sigh*
Anyway, Mrs. Fungus really wanted to get "the Hallowed" in WoW, and with the end of Hallow's End in WoW bearing down on us we had gotten her highest-level toon to 89th level last night in preparation for doing the final achievement which one needs in order to get the title. But that was about 5 AM, so we went to bed, not suspecting that her monitor was about to die. Argh etc.
So I looked up some monitors on-line, and it turned out they had some pretty good ones on sale at work, so we put ourselves together and hied ourselves hence. It developed that I do not actually get my employee discount until I've worked there for thirty days (argh etc) but a new monitor was still within my means--barely--and we bought one that was a step above the cheapest one available. (My discount would have saved me about $10 on that price, and it only costs a little more to go first class....)
Got home, plugged it in--it looks splendid. Mrs. Fungus is happy with it, and I bet she'd be even happier with it if we were to get a DVI cable to connect it with, rather than the VGA cable her system uses now. (Yes, there's an adaptor between video card and the cable.) But that's a task for next week, or whenever we have time for it. The important thing is, the new monitor works, and we were able to get her the title she craved.
As for her old monitor, I believe that all it needs is a few new capacitors in its power supply and it'll be good to go. I just need to find a reasonable source for electronic components; I dislike the idea of driving to Fry's for sixty cents' worth of caps. (Tolls are egregious and the Jeep gets 20 MPG; you do the math.)
Of course I will not be able to buy them for that. If I can get them for less than a dollar apiece it will be a small miracle, and it's likely that I'll end up paying for shipping on top of that.
The thing that's most gravelling about all this is that one used
to be able to go to Radio Shack and buy electronic components, and there used to be about four of them within easy driving distance of the bunker. It's not that way any longer, sadly; there may be one or two but now all they sell is consumer electronics.
So I'll look for an online source, get three caps, and put them into the monitor; and if that fixes it, we'll have a spare flatscreen laying around, and I can't convince myself that's a bad thing.
|Tuesday, October 29th, 2013|
|#4019: Well, that was exactly as excruciating as I expected it to be.
There is a reason I haven't done this, despite knowing that my registry was a tottering, arthritic pile of loose sticks, sooner, and that reason isIT'S A ROYAL PAIN IN THE ASS
The registry cleaner coughed up an entire trainload of dicks on my registry, so thoroughly ruining it that I couldn't even rename a folder. I could create one, but if I tried to rename it, Vista wouldn't let me, giving a nonsensical error about how the folder didn't exist. (Duh!)
Turns out that this level of borked-ness resulted in Windows being unable to copy
things reliably...which is why the backup I did, to the external drive, has perhaps ten percent of the files I wanted copied.
I am so very glad I did this the way I did it. The 320 GB drive is totally intact, and if I can ever find my f-ing external interface I can copy the files I need to the 160 GB drive from it. Otherwise I'm going to have to open the case and patch the 320 in temporarily and do it that way. Either way, I still have the files even if I can't get at them just now; if I had done the reinstall on the 320, I would not.
Score one for me being paranoid; I was very resistant to the idea of wiping that drive, apparently for good reason. But that's practically the only bit of good luck that's come out of this bullshit. Everything else about this imbroglio has been an unmitigated disaster.
The install of Vista on this computer has been in near-constant use since March of 2007; that's six and a half years
and there isn't a desktop OS out there that can run that length of time without accumulating a legendary amount of cruft. The registry cleaner I ran found over 5,000 defective entries, and it crashed in the middle of trying to clean them up, and that crash mangled the registry.
The registry was so mangled that nothing but a complete wipe would fix the problems the computer was having. I spent literal hours trying to find my Vista install disk and then this computer's original hard drive; when I tried to do a recovery install it "recovered" the boot partition of the 160 GB drive instead of the 320, which was set as the main drive. So I decided to put the 160 in and use it until I can figure out how to rescue the stuff from the 320...and started that at 10:30 Monday night. I futzed with the computer--dumping bloatware, updating Windows, installing the software I use, etc--until bedtime at 5 AM.
I was finally able to play WoW again at 2:30 this afternoon. WoW wouldn't run until I got proper video card drivers installed; the video card drivers wouldn't install unless I updated Vista at least to Service Pack 1. And there is no simple "download Vista Service Pack 1", of course; you "install" SP1 by running Windows Update over and over and over again, which takes an approximate eternity, especially when you must install seven years' worth of patches
So here we are: my computer is functional again, although I currently have no access to any of my data and the only useful programs installed right now are WoW and Firefox. I don't have my Internet bookmarks, either. *sigh*
I hope I find that drive interface soon. This whole thing has been an enormous pain in the ass, which is why I tend to resist doing this kind of work on my own computers: no one will pay me for it.
|Monday, October 28th, 2013|
|#4018: Should I be worried?
Got home from work feeling pretty good today. My feet hurt, though not as bad as they did Friday, and when I was getting out of the Jeep I was feeling pretty well blessed. I was coming home after a hard day's work, in a bit of pain but otherwise feeling good. This evening is my "Friday night" and my wife and I share the same days off; I had a good positive day at work, and although I'm looking forward to my days off I'm also looking forward to working on Thursday.
"Blessed" is decidedly the correct word.
* * *But there's no inflation!
How can McDonald's be killing their dollar menu when there's no inflation?
* * *
Last night I made ham and bean soup. The ham has been in the freezer for quite a while--more than a year--but the soup came out tasting exactly as it should, even though the ham was freezer burned to hell and gone. It's even better today.
Mrs. Fungus didn't like it, so I cooked her a meal; that combined with the soup and apple crisp meant I spent a lot of time in the kitchen yesterday.
The first apple crisp of the year--yeeha. And it tastes good
It sure is nice, being able to cook good food from scratch.
* * *
The Obamacare debacle continues, exactly as predicted by those of us on the right. Sorry, but them's the facts; all of this was not only predictable but predicted
The biggest piece of fail in the whole thing comes from how the web site must hide premium information from the people attempting to use it. The site must first determine whether or not a particular person is eligible for a subsidy, and then apply that subsidy, in order to disguise the fact that OBAMACARE IS THE DIRECT CAUSE OF AN ENORMOUS INCREASE IN HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS.
The best example of schadenfreude is the anonymous young woman who wrote her health underwriter to complain: "I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it." Yeah--who did you think
was going to pay for it? There's a reason all those people didn't have health insurance to begin with, and it had nothing to do with intransigence or stupidity.
But the computer code required to accomplish that sort of sleight-of-hand does not scale very well. You can do something like that when you have a few hundred users, but the instant you try to make something like that work with literal millions of users
you find that it breaks very quickly and in unpredictable ways.
It does not help that the company that wrote the code is run by a friend of Michelle Obama, and it was a no-bid contract.
Meanwhile, as usual, Obama's friends in the media do their best to cover for him.
They're trying to convince us that Obams wasn't lying when he said "If you like your plan, you can keep it," because it's the insurance companies
who are dropping people.
But in fact Obams did lie
, because Obamacare sets specific requirements for what health insurance must do. An insurance provider is unable by law
to continue to offer plans that don't measure up to Obamacare's standards; they have a choice between dropping plans that are no longer legal, or providing coverage for lots of additional services for the same money. Guess which any reasonable person would choose?
The law makes no provisions for grandfathering plans which predate the law. This alone proves that Obama was lying.
* * *
I think I know what I'll do about the PC.
Step one: pull the 320 GB drive out.
Step two: do a clean new install of Vista on the original C: drive, the 160 GB one.
Step three: enjoy a brand new computing experience.
Last night I copied the C drive to an external, which means all my data is accessible; I'm going to end up having to reinstall all my software regardless of what avenue I choose to fix my problem (Win 7, Vista, Win 8, plus RAM upgrades as appropriate).
Unless I miss my guess the 160 GB drive already has a clean install of Vista on it. So guess what I'm going to do now?
|Sunday, October 27th, 2013|
|#4017: I'm gonna have to wipe out my hard drive and start fresh.
That's all there is to it.
I just finished running a system restore from the original hard drive that came in the computer, and it didn't do beans; in fact it did the system restore to the original drive
rather than the main boot drive.
People really like to bag on Windows ME, but when I had a similar problem about ten years ago I was able to run Windows Install and it fixed
the OS without wiping out anything. Windows ME simply worked
Not so with Vista. To fix what's wrong, I am going to have to wipe the hard drive and start over anew.
I really don't want to do all that bullshit
only to end up with Windows Vista Home Basic again, so I think it's time to find a way to buy Win 7 and some more memory, at least 4 GB worth. That would get me 6 GB on board, and that would do for now.
The only real problem, then, is backing up the C: drive and having the courage to wipe it clean. The best thing to do, actually, would be to buy a new drive and then pop the new OS onto it, and do everything completely from scratch, but the OS is going to run about $100 and the memory will take some money, too, and this comes at a time when I really don't have the cash for either. I will soon enough; just not yet, damn it. Argh etc.
Plus side: I do have the two external drives, the 1 TB WD and the 500 GB Seagate, which ought to help. Worst case, I copy the torrents from El-Hazard to DVDs, and use that
It's still dicks, of course.
|#4016: Money! Gasoline!
Had to go into work today for about 1.5 hours; there was a meeting scheduled for new hires. It turned out that it didn't have anything to do with my job, so my boss kept me in back and had me do more CBT. Also, he added hours to my schedule for this week, which means a bigger paycheck in two weeks. I'm for that.
The Jeep's "low fuel" light came on when I was perhaps halfway to work, so I was able to put off gassing up; and I dumped $32 into the tank on my way home. That should get me to Friday at least.
I got gas at the new GoLo station in the Fungal Vale and they have those annoying gas pumps that play commercials and other videos while you're pumping gas. I do not need to be inundated with advertising and information every second of my life; I can go more than ten minutes without stimulation without falling asleep and I actually like it when I'm pumping gas and can hear the environment around me and don't
have to listen to music or the latest news or commercials or what-have-you.
Still, it's probably part of the reason they have the lowest gas prices in the Fungal Vale, so I just shook my head and tried to ignore it...until the thing started playing a news clip about the failure of Obamacare.
I mean, they said it and said it, using sentences that included both "Obamacare" and "fail" (or "failure"). They didn't say "Affordable Care Act", but "Obamacare", and they didn't say "troubled", but "failing".
I mean, hot damn. The mainstream media certainly aren't using the words "Obamacare" and "failure" in the same sentences when they
talk about this; hell, some of them are trying to figure out how to pin the failure on Republicans.
...so I decided that maybe the gas pump blab slab thing isn't such a bad idea after all.
* * *
Knowing I only had to be in for about 1.5 hours today, I didn't get to bed until after 2 AM last night. It's my own fault, but it was a conscious decision.
I do believe that my employee discount will help me get memory for my desktop, too. It's not going to save me anything over buying it from an online vendor, but I'll have it in my hot little hands faster than otherwise. This is still a ways off, but it gets closer every day that I go to work.
Tuesday or Wednesday I really must get after the Jeep's heater core. It's still plugged, and since I want to have heat this winter, I'd better unplug it. I'm going to use the "CLR and backflush" method again; that almost
worked last year and should do the trick.
Besides that, though, I need to change the oil in Mrs. Fungus' car and the Jeep. *sigh*
* * *
Right now, however, I think I'll go lay down. It's already been a long day.
|Saturday, October 26th, 2013|
|#4015: Found the drive, found Vista, and did some cleaning.
That's what I did with my Saturday off!
...at least I think
this is the original C: drive from Cephiro. It's not really labeled as such, but it's a 160 GB SATA drive. Problem is, it looks as if I replaced it with a 1 TB drive...and that was a pure data drive. *sigh*
Well, I found the Vista DVD, so we'll see if I even need to go that route.
On the way to finding Vista, though, I dug into the pile of junk down there and sorted through it. I managed to reduce the size of the pile, and that's a good thing.
And now Mrs. Fungus is home and I'll be cooking dinner. Have a good one, all, and wish me luck with this dang computer.
|#4014: Damn it, this is dicks.
So I ran a registry cleaner on my desktop PC today.
...my computer works, I will say that much. The problem is, it doesn't work correctly
. The registry cleaner hosed up my registry but good, so that when I log on to my computer it opens everything in the root directory of the C:\ drive (or tries to) and won't let me make any changes to the user preferences.
Needless to say I cannot find my copy of Vista anywhere, which would let me do a repair job on the OS. My mail client is hosed, too, so I can't access my e-mail on the computer, and without the Vista install disk I can't fix that
, either. "Install/change Program features" just dies without displaying anything.
The Vista disk is around here somewhere
. I can't remember where I put it; when Mrs. Fungus moved in, this past January, everything got shuffled around, so it's likely that even if I could remember where I put it, that would be wrong.
Another option would be to find the original C: drive for this computer, plug it in, and dump the recovery directory to a DVD. That might
The other option before me is to delete the user profile I use and create a new one. That would also be a pain in the ass but it may be the only way to fix this.
* * *
I was able to go to the store today and buy things. It's amazing how that works; you work and get a paycheck, and then you can exchange that money for goods and services! Wow!
* * *
I wish I had more energy, but this OS problem is draining my will to live. Anyone got a Win 7 license they're willing to sell cheap?
|Friday, October 25th, 2013|
|#4013: O GAWD MY FEET HURT
...two seven-hour days in a row, on my feet almost the entire time but for a fifteen-minute break--yeah. Damn.
It probably would not have been so very bad if I had heeded Mrs. Fungus' advice and gotten new shoes Wednesday
night (rather than Thursday) because damn
. The new shoes kept me from wanting to hack off my feet at the ankles today, but not by much, and once I'm done at the computer I am going to elevate them and do nothing
for a while.
My training continues apace, and I was working partly without a net today...and have to say that I did not do too badly. Customer service comes pretty naturally to me--it's all I did for years
--and I am handicapped only by my lack of knowledge and the fact that I don't want to make mistakes. (And I know that the probability that I will make mistakes is approximately unity, so don't bother telling me.)
The feet are the hardest part, and there is nothing that can be done about it. I quite literally have to walk this off; the only way to get my feet toughened up to handle a day's work is for me to do it, and endure the pain while they get used to it.
But I know they will; I went through this at Target, though of course I was able to wear sneakers instead of having to wear dress(Y) shoes. The shoes I have now are very nice, dressy, and are very comfortable; I probably would not be hurting as badly as I am if I had had them yesterday.
Still, I lived through it, and I'm off tomorrow, and so I've got time to recuperate.
And today is payday. Whee!
|Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013|
Today I actually worked and didn't just sit at a computer learning things. Whee!
..."low fuel" light came on while I was driving in, and it turns out that I never want to risk driving home from work with that thing on, because damn
Okay, when the needle is below
the "E" you are moving on clean thoughts and righteous living, but despite all odds I actually managed to make it home. I kept playing the "just get there
" game--"If I can just get to that road" and "if I can just get as far as that place" and "I only need to go another mile and I'll be able to get off the highway" and "If I can just make it to the top of that hill I can coast most of the way from here" and finally "I just need to get into the driveway". But I made it.
I had to borrow Mrs. Fungus' car to go to the bank first, then to the gas station, where I filled a 5-gallon can; once home from there I dumped the entire contents of that gas can into the Jeep's tank, which ought to get me to payday, anyway.
I never want to go through that again. Damn. Fortunately, I'm earning money now, so hopefully I can keep more fuel in the Jeep's tank than whatever I can squeeze from a stone.
...but now it's bedtime--past bedtime--and I've got to hit the hay. Night all.