It was an almost fall like morning later, when I actually did get myself out of bed after having been up until nearly four the night before (yes, I had gotten my self very distracted with something fairly technical). To my amazement, the cricket – and the by the sound of it, the very same one, was still going strong after about a four-hour stint. Now maybe, he had taken a break in the interval of my actually getting some sleep – who knows, but he was still going.
A bit more investigation suggestion he was in the duct work in the kitchen – near the window that is beside the cupboard. At least when you walked close to that area or the washer – across the way went into a spin cycle, he would quite down for a short bit and shortly, go again.
Anyway, I was just quite taken with the thought that fall would soon be here. Or at least that is one of the indicators of such to me. I suppose part of that is from the tobacco fields, which always seemed to have an abundance of crickets in them. I know early in the morning and later in the day, just around dark they would go kind of crazy with their chirping. Of course, the could be heard in the fields of cut tobacco just about anytime of day, but especially at the two extreme ends of the day.
Nostalgia is a wonderful thing isn’t? I can all but smell the dirt of the farm along with that unmistakable odor of Burly after a day long wilt in the sun.
** – Image By Ghouston (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commoms]]>
I am not really sure where to go with this post now. I could lament the good times me and that cup have had. Many a morning with my preferred coffee that has cooled enough to be what I call the perfectly “gulpable” temperature… Or the more recent often cup of tea as coffee has begun to really bother my stomach – and all the while catching up a bit on my web browsing, general reading, or even starting a blog post. But alas, I knew when I saw the crack the days were numbered, and likely a small number at that. The mug itself is really nothing fancy, but it was one of a kind. Purchased as a replacement the last year I attended Gulf Wars (there was previous one just like that was taken) – there actually two at the time. One for me and one for the wife. I broke hers sometime ago though, as I used it almost exclusively. It was kind of special to me because of the associated memories of several years worth of Gulf Wars. And then there was the markings that were very similar to the first cave drawings known – a horse! There are other mugs to be sure, but that one was just the perfect weight and shape. The perfect balance of everything. And it was a bit larger than most mugs too. Which allowed for the right about of sweetener to be one packet to a full cup of tea – unlike the rest that we have which are much too sweet in my opinion in the cup to packet ratio. Heck, I even liked that blue to green color combination a great deal. Farewell mug! PS – if anyone knows the potter, let me know, as I would gladly pay for a couple more and cover the shipping to boot – I just don’t recall the name to locate them.
I was recently challenged to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I had, before that time had a conversation with a good friend about someone else ice challenge where instead of using a bucket, they had dunked themselves in a tub of water with a good amount of ice. I thought that would be a fairly unique way to complete mine as well. What follows is the videos of that act in progress. Note, I have already shared two of these on face book, but managed to find/get the first one that shows the amount of ice that was started with and just how warm it was and how rapidly the ice was melting.
** – Image from AllVoices.com.]]>
The short version of things to catch you up. On Friday night, the wife and I were sitting here with the television on both engaged lightly in the football pre-season game that was playing but also equally attuned to something else – I for one was working on computer at the kitchen table and in between catching up on some web-based stuff. During the previous hour or so, we had been subject to several severe weather storms passing overhead or at least very nearby. They were not big, but they were “training” in a line pretty much into the same area over and over – consisting of a LOT of lightning, a lot of a rain, a little wind in the first group.
At some point though a boom hit obviously very close simultaneous with the flash of light. The cats jumped as did my wife. Immediately I smelled that electrical ozone smell of something is dead and suspected the television, because it had flashed off and not recovered like the rest of the lighting in the house. Further investigation a little later suggested that it was not only a dead television, but also a dead DVR/set-top cable box and a dead cable modem to boot. (A little later, on Saturday we would realize the flashing around the electrical inlet was all curled up and the dryer had been gotten as well).
Fairly quickly I got in touch with TWC, despite my better judgement against the notion based on recent experiences. And after going through all the same things I had already done, and perhaps a few more on their end, they concluded the DVR was dead – as I had reported. That tech said I could come to the store in the morning and get a new one – just after I had gotten everything reprogrammed from the last TWC tech’s reset.
A different tech had to analyze the modem and concluded it may be bad, but a field tech was going to have to come out. They wanted to schedule it 3:00-5:00 on Monday and no matter how much I said I would not be available before 5:00 that was the time I was going to be stuck with or it was going to be 3-4 weeks. Let me say that is just ridicules on so many levels and really just unacceptable, but I know the competitors have similar situations and there is really no getting around that. I will be curios how that turns out this evening.
My Saturday morning consisted of heading over to the store, which had a line snaking around the barriers and looping a full-time around the inside of the building to boot. I waited a little over an hour to switch the box out. If I had chosen, I could have paid for a tech to bring that out (probably the same one coming out to look at the internet for free). To completely honest, I am not sure why they just didn’t ship it out. Would have saved both them and me a little headache – and was not like I will have a television for a couple of more days given the situation on the old one…
** – Image from WikiMedia Commons, by Mike Lehmann, Mike Switzerland and is licensed under Creative Commons.]]>
First up is which is pretty simple in its approach and starts a new link list (by image) very early every Saturday morning. It is required that you put a link on your site (hence why I am putting this post up for one) and that you visit the link above yours, right after you ad you link.
Next is , which does not require a link back, but does encourage that and checking out other blogs. I personally, find that checking out other blogs, and when it works, commenting, tends to drive traffic back to my own site for at least some amount of time – the more when there is a common interest of course between our blogs or at least some common ground.
The grand daddy of them all is of course, the ultimate blog challenge – the link up found on Facebook at the url https://www.facebook.com/groups/UltimateBlogChallenge/. There requirements depending on what you do, they vary. The results here speak volumes for the effectiveness as a general rule though.
This next one, I have only used for a short time and I am debating about the common interest that this has with my on blog and potential readership, but I am going to give it a bit longer and see how it works out.
** – Image from Wikimedia Commons by Nicholas P Rougier.]]>
First of, there is the why I am still even with TWC? To make a long story short, we did cut the cable television back sometime in 2013. We did at that time keep TWC as our internet provider. The rates they offered for the bandwidth were competitive with the primary competition in the market and the switch was seemingly not worth the hassle for the small amount of savings that would have been garnered.
But the reality is cutting the cord to the television service, even for the small amount to television that my wife and I seem to watch is problematic. I can name, and count while doing so, the shows we watch regularly on one hand. Two if I include those extra shows that I record and mostly fast forward through. But lets face it, waiting to catch “The Big Bang” and “Walking Dead” either on Netflix or syndication puts you behind in any conversations about the next few days. And lets face it, that real-time social interaction is at least part of our enjoyment of such things on some level. And while those extra few shows are not required, the one episode of Bill Dance that show some crappie technique that I was interested makes a world of difference in the justification of the cost. And while almost all UK games were available at some location out when not on a ‘regular’ broadcast network, that was not always handy, and I refuse to miss a few games with this team coming up on a principle stand like that. So, when we moved, part of our savings in rent went to put cable back in the house.
I had been debating of changing to a different provider as the offers look good. But you have to read the fine print and when you get the options that make one of the two satellite companies about the equivalent package, your cost is with about $10 of being the same after all. Add to that, once again the hassle of not only changing that out, but why would you keep internet with TWC? And that is a second change, along with the hassle that goes with it.
But then I made the mistake of chatting on-line with a service representative about just where I could find the SEC Network on my local TWC. I had been reading it was going to be available on TWC’s network and it was supposed to have launched last week at some point. As the latter three games of the UK basketball tour way down south was supposed to be on that network. Yet I could not find it on my guide and the website kept saying it was going to be available, but any guides there did not seem to list either even though the pages seem to indicate that is how I would find where it is.
The CSR suggested to me that it will be on channel 336 in my area. I wan than told, that while it is up, there is something about the implementation that is being problematic in my area and it may not be up yet for my house. To just keep trying. Call me skeptical as that 336 is in a block of children’s networks – not anywhere near where the typical sporting type of networks. And as of last eve, it was still not available.
Than the fatal question, is there anything else I can help you with? And I mistakenly brought up that my Discovery HD sometimes drops on specifically on Tuesday evening (as that is when I watched it). I was careful to stress it occurs with other channels on occasion, even the CN2 (the local cable weather and news channel). He said he could fix that no problem, just need to send some information and reset my box so the signal strength would be stronger.
After long minutes of things not doing what he said they would, he finally said that it was a broadcaster issue and not Time Warner. Keep in mind it was multiple channels, I had just specifically mentioned the one channel. When I complained that I thought his answer was BS, he scheduled a service tech – which itself took three times for him to understand that I would be working 8:00-5:00 daily during the week.
The back stab come though, when on the following day our shows that were set to record did not. In fact almost all of our recordings, all but 3, of around 20 that were set, were gone upon investigation. So yeah, there was some kind of reset all right. At this point, I am not sure if Discovery will crap out tonight or not. That situation does not really apply anymore as the show that was Tuesday night has had its run and will not be back until next spring sometime.
But now I am left to wonder with the next round of combinations in the market, how much worse things will get on that front.]]>
What happened? I go that glass of water, also a piece of hard candy. I had a scratchy spot in my throat. I was thinking as I gathered my thoughts – if I am going to post this idea in the morning, I need to move a couple of things I have on the blog calendar really quickly so I will not forget to that later and/or let them scroll out of sight because of the dates. And while making those two small, seemingly quick, almost mindless changes – my mind was so distracted that I forgot my original thought that had prompted me out of bed to begin.
So I recall that there was a term, or maybe an idea expressed by a word or two. Maybe something like – fantalism? Yes, I know that is a not a word, but it close to what the thought was. Maybe it sounds like that? That is not exactly it. But something close to that, but not the obvious of changing that around to an actual word either. What was the idea, the idea was what? I know I was thinking I would start out the post something like… Term x, when you hear ‘term x’ you probably think this, but what about what I was thinking?
It seems like it was even on the edge of technology, but yet not so close that I felt like it need to go into my new blog (that has had a really slow start) about technology. I was close up there at some point to rediscovery of the original idea, I am sure of it. But now as I am wandered on in this post and all the other odd things my mind flits here and there to I am pretty sure the idea is completely lost.
It is almost enough to drive one mad at times. And before all of you second guess me, I do keep a notebook or electronic device rather handy at all times for jotting down such notes of my brilliance – but I thought I was safe on this one instance since I was immediately moving to the composition. Lesson learned – make the title or first notes first, so that there is a record to jar the frailty of my on folly.
The idea now is but the faintest wisp of the curl of smoke from something small and distant, soon to be lost completely…
** – Image is by Shutter-Nub and is licensed under the Creative Commons.]]>
This has led to an all out war it would seem between the two. The most recent steps have seen Amazon no longer selling not only the e-editions from Hatchette, but also no longer selling physical copies either. This is of course the cause of the uproar, at least to the extent that the public has really become aware of the problem – so score one for Amazon on that front.
Amazon has argued that e-books do not cost nearly as much to make (no physical form, electrons are cheap by definition). The also have a lower overhead, as without the physical form there is no cost for delivery and best a minimum cost for storage, compared to warehouse size spaces for a physical book. They further say that there is no cost for returns and disposal there of, as there are if a physical book does not sell out, which is often the case. Because of this, they really want a sub $10.00 electronic of the book – which in theory (and practice) would result in more books sold.
Hatchette on the other hand, skips right past all the cost savings and counters that there are still editorial expenses, both from layout perspective and from the proofing that goes back and forth with a big publishing house. They further argue that there are marketing expenses that are not being considered either.
Me personally, I think Hatchette is being greedy. There is no cost comparison at all that can stand when you take the physical form of an actual printed buck out of the equation. At a lower price point, the book will most likely sell more copies. Even if it doesn’t though, if a book in physical form cost $10.00 and the e-book cost $1.00 to make per copy (editing and layout included) then the markup is crazy. At $10.00 the mark up on the e-book is 1000%. The markup from $10.00 to $19.99 for the physical book, is right at 50%. Now, if, and that is a BIG IF by the way, the author got the difference in that, I would grudgingly be more willing to agree to that. The reality is though, the author is not going to much, if any of that difference. It is the publisher who walks away with an extra bonus.
My opinion, I don’t necessarily agree with the tactics of Amazon – because ultimately the authors are the ones loosing – that at to a lesser extent the public. Though I guess the public can vote with their dollars at other booksellers, for at least the physical copies. But I do agree with Amazon thinking the publishing is being greedy and trying to take more than the appropriate share of the pie.
** – Image is Amazon logo.]]>
The Lexington Legends are a minor league baseball team associated with the Kansas City Royals of the majors. This team plays in Lexington in a ballpark that was built for them when they located to Lexington a few years back. The ballpark is a really nice facility for a minor league team, ranking in my opinion even better than some major league venues.
I did say free tickets, but that was courtesy of my employment at the newspaper, so can’t really help you there. I will say there are often opportunities for members/subscribers and advertisers to get the tickets – usually through contest, but I do not have any details and I know that nothing is left for the remainder of the season. The tickets were just off straight behind home plate though, and the face value was only $13 each – so economical for a family outing anyway. That is economical if you go on .36 cent hot dog night or eat before you arrive, food is not so economical at the ball park in general.
The Legends have as a mascot an old-time baseball guy with a big moustache, usually depicted with the waxed curl at the ends. That is where the stache comes into play with the whole thing. Last night (and for the next several nights) they have the “Fun Circus” in town adding to the entertainment, which includes three additional mascot type personas. There are also fun contests and giveaways of some sort at almost every inning, making for a fun evening even if you don’t care for baseball all that much.
Which is probably good. The Legends are, prior to last night around 29 games back of the first place team in their division. The hopes of post season play are long past and they are just having a good time and providing some entertainment at this point. Last night they did have a long part of the game with no score, and then both scored in the 8th Ending up with the Legends winning on a walk off run in the 10th.
To give some idea, while I don’t really care of the American League, and it is especially hard to get motivated for a hometown team that far out of it… I had enough fun last night that I am planning to go back next Thursday when they have “Bark in the Park” and take both my wife and my dog to see what is winding down to some of the final games of the year.
DRAT – Nearly left off the highlight of my evening. A popped up foul come over the backstop netting, without hitting the roof. Actually it was coming down right in between and slightly behind my wife and my mother. I had a hand on it, almost a single handed catch, but alas a drop. Would have been a catch if it had been a little closer and I could have cupped with two hands. Still managed to claim the ball – though my mother was about to fight me for it I believe.
** – Image is trademarked Lexington Legends Logo.]]>
I have been working in the Information Technology field in some regard or another for just about 25 years. My current employment has been for just about eight years. It is amazing the amount of old technology that accumulates in such a short window of time. IT folks, myself included, are notorious for saving this cable and that electronic gizmo because we never know when we might need it. From time to time a clean out is needed…
I am in the process of doing just that both at home and at the office. Rule of thumb is that if it has been more than six months since it has been used and is not related to a currently installed software licensing it needs to go, regardless of what it is. This is really getting rid of a LOT of stuff and making some nice headway.
This should especially include cables. I have boxes of cables scattered both at home and the office. Some of them are certainly older then my tenure is and I have no idea what some of them would even think about going too. This is something that can just be trashed by the way. While the copper inside is valuable there is no easy or legal way for the lay person to recover that and most (all that I know of) recycling business will not accept. I have hard of people burning off the plastic/rubber coatings, but that is both toxic and probably frowned on by the EPA and other agencies, just so you know. If someone knows of a legit recycle center that will take such, please let me know.
Old equipment is a bit if a different story. Monitors and computers need to go to an approved recycling or disposal center. The reason is simply that the computers and other equipment typically contains some heavy metal elements in them that are not appropriate for the typical municipal dump. A lot of recycling centers will happily take these kind of things as there is money to be made from some of the precious and semi precious metals found in some these type of equipment. Do check with your local municipality though, as some allow broken electronic components that are dissembled and others have special pickup days when they allow such.
If you do throw out anything that has a hard disk in it, I strong suggest pulling the disk out and wiping it. Another alternative the wiping is of course to hit is smartly on a flat hard surface with a hammer several times. You are wanting to insure a non-working drive so none can recover anything of it. My suggestion is a good wipe followed by the hammer personal. I would do the same with any floppies and CD’s, especially if they may contain any personal data. A similar approach with any static memory devices such as USB drives or SIM cards.
What UPS units? Those have batteries contained within and the same general rules apply. The recovery of some of that is valuable enough to some recycle centers they will even pay for it. Others are like above, it is a gimme, but at least you are being responsible about it.
It will feel good once you get rid of the older equipment and such that is sitting around doing nothing. You may even find that you had something that was no longer being used that is drawing some power and that would lead to some savings. Take it a step further, a lot of computer/electronic equipment out today is much more energy-efficient than that of even three or four years back, more so the older you get.]]>