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Still here… somewhere…

I’m sitting in a local Starbucks, for coffee and Wi-Fi access.  A lot has happened since my last update, which I hope to blog about again.  The holidays came and went, we sold our house and bought a new one and are now trying to do some important repairs updates before we move in.  I think it would have been interesting to record my stress levels during the past four months, but sadly, I was too stressed out to even think about doing so.  OK, let’s be honest, it would probably be a spiky, upward-trending graph that only now has finally started to turn around.

Mostly, because this week, I finally caved in and started calling a bunch of different contractors for electrical, carpentry, plumbing and heating work.  Up until this point I had believed I could do most or some of the work to help offset costs and because, well, how hard can it really be?

Without going into all the detail that I don’t have time to blog about at this instant, the past seven days have been a roller-coaster through the complexities of buying a 42 year-old house where it has become exceedingly clear that the original (and only) owner did *nothing* to update the house, not even a fresh coat of paint.  We are coping with the interconnectedness of all the utilities in the house, and there is so much work needed that I had to transition away from doing it to become the general contractor.  I’m sure I could blunder my way through some of the work, but I had to admit to myself that I didn’t have the patience to wait for me to do it all.

On the positive side, besides some relief of pressure, I now have more time to plan for things like the new home network and media system.  Anyone have recommendations?  Stay wireless or install structured cabling?

Ah well, my time is up, mustn’t keep the contractors waiting.

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Sadly, you are not a monster

Yes… I love the Old Spice advertisement and the copycats, and the voicemail generator and, of course, the video in this post.

In other news… I have to admit I’ve lost the will to blog!  I *want* to blog, and even though I’ve got a whole list of topics I want to talk about, they never make it to publication.  Heck, I haven’t been on Facebook in weeks, and until 2 months ago I was on virtually every day at least to see what all my friends were up to.  As my friend Jimbo would say, “Real Life 101” is keeping me busy.

There’s LOTS of work to do at work.  The kids have entered a phase where the 1.33 year-old son is getting very “clingy” and the 3.5 year-old daughter needs to be engaged almost non-stop.  And by the time I’ve got time to think about a post, I’ve got very little inspiration or creativity left.  And lately, even when I try for something more than 5 hours of sleep, like 7… I still feel like I got run over by a Mack Truck.  I can feel the stress of the “holiday season” building up, which I think began back in August when stores started to sell Halloween junk.

On the bright side, the kids make me happy.  They can both *really* turn on the charm and cuteness, they greet me like I am the very best thing in the world to see when I drag my tired ass in the door and at the end of the day, that helps to ease the weight on my shoulders, if only just for a little bit.

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We No Speak Americano

I was bopping around some of my favorite links and came across this video at Jimbo’s site, ParkwayReststop.

The last several weeks have been tough — lots of work, and then the last thing I have energy for is putting thought into blog updates.  Best laid plans, and all that.  But hopefully with some alterations to my schedule I can return to this endeavor.   (Maybe that visit to the dentist was far more traumatizing than I thought…!)

In any case, enjoy the table-thumping.  Like Jimbo, I too am a table-thumper, as well as a pen-clicker, pencil tapper, anything-smacker.  I probably should get a drum set.

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Silently screaming

So tell me, how are the wife and kids?

I spent an hour in my dental hygienist’s chair today, wondering about the state of affairs of Dentistry.

I can distinctly recall a time when a dental check and cleaning took half an hour, involved 5-10 minutes of some mildly-painful poking and scraping, 10 minutes of polishing with some fluoride gunk, and then maybe 10 minutes of X-rays.

Now, it’s 5-10 minutes of poking, scraping, 5-10 minutes of checking the gums and then 15 minutes of star-gazing at the inside of your eyelids fireworks as the hygienist sandblasts your teeth, gums and everything else in your mouth.

It has evolved from an unpleasant affair (and I’m not referring to the noxious gut-smells that must assault the senses of any hygienist that has to hover of my mouth no matter how much scope I’ve gargled) to a white-knuckled, chair-gripping, eyebrow-raising, jaw-clenching, hygienist is going to murder my gums affair.  (By the way, have you noticed that as you force your mouth open to allow a dentist or hygienist to probe your mouth, your eye brows try to jump off your head in a forehead-creasing arc?)

When did this happen?  Was there some industrial accident that crossed a sand-blaster with a water pik?  Am I the only person that wonders why this barbaric practice is considered state-of-the-art?  I wonder what the statistics are for people that die of a stress-induced heart-attack right there on the dentist’s chair…

So there I was, trying to induce a state of calm by thinking about more pleasant things.  But there’s little to ease the mind-shrieking stabs of pain as the industrial strength water pik (or whatever tool it is) taps its stiletto heels into the deep recesses of my gums.  There’s nothing that says “be calm, this won’t be any trouble” like the welding-helmet she wears, and the goggles she hands you to keep the bloody spray from your eyes.

Instead, a singular vision kept playing itself out on the insides of my eyelids in-between pokes, of Steve Martin in his role as a dentist in Little Shop of Horrors.  Here it is…  (I’m the guy on the ceiling).

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HULK SMASH ALL-IN-ONE PRINTERS!

HULK SMASH inkjet cartridges too!

Today has been scarred into my memory.

When I came home today, my wife reminded me that she couldn’t print anything from her computer.  The printer (which happens to be an HP C6150, one of those “all-in-one” printers) is fairly new, maybe a year or two old.

So off I go into the basement, with a “be right back.”

Fixing computer things is my job, it’s in my blood.  I have a short mental list for getting printers back into shape, and knew it would take just a moment to set things straight.  Literally, less than five minutes.

What follows should curdle the blood of any sane person.

First…  I couldn’t print from my computer either.  The printer had lost its network address.  OK, easy fix.  (But why or how did it lose that setting?).  Next, the printer complained that an inkwell was empty.  This printer REFUSES TO PRINT ANYTHING when an inkwell gets low.  Not EMPTY.  LOW.  It’s maddening.  Sure enough, I’ve been through this grinder before, so I swap in a new cartridge from the office supplies.  Now it complains that ANOTHER inkwell is low, so I swap in a fresh one there too.  And NOW… this is when I started seeing green, started thinking about Bruce Banner… the printer complained that the INK HAD EXPIRED and that I would invalidate my warranty if I hit the OK button.  EXPIRED!  It was in a hermetically sealed container, you could hear the little gasp as I peeled it open.

HULK SMASH OK BUTTON!

I can still remember the day I sold my 10 year old HP LaserJet IIp.  I had to replace the cartridge in that thing ONCE during it’s lifetime, it was the best personal printer you could ask for.  It never complained, it just. kept. working.

Now I’m afflicted with this cheap, blood-sucking, wallet-emptying, life-shortening multi-function device from HELL.  We hates it!

Is this what home printers are like, now?  Do they all stink of foul marketing gimmicks?  We’ve spent more on ink for this infernal contraption than it cost to buy the thing.  I hope it craps out completely.  Now.

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Delicious Links

Delicious Links (Not sausage!)

Here’s a quick list of links that I gathered at my Delicious account this week.  If you’re not already using Delicious, you should at least know about it — it’s a great tool for cataloging all the links that you collect.  Extensions exist for Internet Exploder and Firefox, which add buttons to your browser’s toolbar, making it easy to add a website to your Delicious “favorites.”  Prior to using this tool, I had favorite links at home… favorite links at work… favorite links on my smartphone… it was getting out of control!  Now I can access a single list of my favorites from anywhere.  Well… eEnough of my blathering, Delicious has a better introduction directly on their website.  On to the links!

Humor

Tech

Blogs

  • I, Cringely (Worth at least a quick look for a different perspective)
  • WWdN: In Exile (You *do* know who Wil Wheaton is, right?!)

Web Design

General Interest

Have a great weekend!

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