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Category Archives: Misc Stuff

back in the saddle

I know I haven’t posted in quite a while.  First I was busy, then it just became habit not to write.

But lately I’ve been feeling the itch to write again.  So I’m going to try to post more often.

Quite a bit has happened since my last post.  Lets see, what to start with….
I lost my job a couple weeks ago.  They had been downsizing a lot, first with a dozen or so people in the shop, then with several people in the office, so I wasn’t all that surprised.  I was still technically a temp, even though I had been there over a year, so when I found out they were letting long time office people go I felt it was only a matter of time.
So now I’m on the hunt for a job again.  There aren’t that many prospects, so it might be a while.  But I enjoy being home.  In fact if it wasn’t for the money issue I would probably never leave my house.

The other thing of intrest has been my dog Lola.  She has had an on going problem with Mange, which is a mite that affects the skin.  Apparently dogs always have this mite, but when they are in poor health from a disease or lack of care the mites explode in number and become a big problem.  They burrow into the skin and cause itchy and flaky skin and then the dog starts loosing hair in patches.
I noticed a skin problem when I first got her, and asked the vet about it.  She thought it was ringworm (which isn’t actually a worm but a fungus) which I guess is a common mis-diagnosis.  Once she wasn’t getting better we started looking at other things and found the mange.
So for the last 5 months we have been treating that.  The vet has wanted to see her every 3-4 weeks for an update, so we’ve been there quite a bit.  But now in the last couple weeks I’ve seen real improvement, so much that the skin is almost all better!  So I thought that we we almost done going to the vet all the time.
But then this past wednesday she went out in the yard and came back in bleeding.  It wasn’t really bad, but it was more then just a drop or two.  I don’t know how she did it, but somehow she cut herself on the back of her leg right underneath the dew claw pad (the dew claw is that toenail that is higher up on their front legs).  It wasn’t bad enough that I thought she needed the vet right away.  I had some stuff that’s made for when you trim their nails to short and they bleed.  Being that it was bleeding about like that I decided to try that.  After I held that cut-stop stuff on there for a while the bleeding stopped, so I bandaged it up (so she didn’t bite at it) and thought that was that.  Which it was, until she got up from her nap and started really moving around.  Because that area is at the back of their ankle joint every time she bent her leg she pulled at that area and it would start oozing blood again.  So I ended up taking her to the vet where they gave her a stitch or two.

Then I had to go back to have the mange rechecked on saturday.  Her regular vet wasn’t there when she went in for her stitches, so we weren’t able to combine the appointments.  😦
After I got her home from her stitches I noticed that every time she went to the bathroom she acted like it was uncomfortable.  Then she didn’t really feel like eating, which being that they gave her an anesthetic to work on her leg I wasn’t surprised at (she takes a long while get over drugs like that) but then I noticed her butt was swelled up.  So since we were going to the vet anyway for the recheck I decided to ask the vet about it.  It turns out she had filled anal glands which that needed to be emptied.  Pour Lola really didn’t like that.  Not that I blame her or anything.  I wouldn’t like it if someone stuck a finger up my already sore butt either.  But the good news is that the vet thinks her mange is all gone, so she no longer needs to take meds for that.  🙂  🙂  Which is really good because she hated that stuff.

So now I have a dog with a cut on her leg (which needs to stay wrapped so she doesn’t rip the stitches out) and a sore butt.  What’s concerning me is that she sleeping all the time, still isn’t eating all that much and she hasen’t wanted to go to the bathroom because it still hurts.  I don’t know if that’s normal or not.  She isn’t dehydrated, and she’s still eating some, so as long as she does those things I guess that is alright for right now.  She was a tiny bit on the chubby side so at least she has some reserves to draw on.  I have to take her back to the vet (yes again!) later this week to have her stitches taken out, so if it’s still a problem I’ll ask about it.

So that’s what’s been up with me lately.  This last week has mostly been all about Lola, but I’m hoping that everything will get back to normal pretty soon.

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Posted by on March 16, 2009 in Dogs, Misc Stuff, Pets, Work

 

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this just blows

WordPress is now blocked at work.  Which totally SUCKS!  That’s where I did most of my posting from.

I could just do all my posting from home, but my time is always limited at home, which is why I started posting from work in the first place.  I’ve gotten used to posting something whenever it pops into my head, and I know I’m bound to forget what I wanted to post about by the time I get home.

Another option is that when I think of something I want to post about that I just write it in a email to myself and then quickly post it when I get home.

I have a lot of potential post ideas that have been rolling around in my head, but I just haven’t had the chance to write about them.

So I might not be doing a bunch of posting for the next little while until I get a new routine figured out.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2009 in EbN Site Stuff, Misc Stuff

 

a little pissed off right now

I order a LOT of stuff online.  Where most people check out stores for stuff they need, my first reaction is to hop online and see if I can find it.  The result of that is that I receive a lot of packages, so I’ve gotten to know the shipping companies pretty well.

There are three companies that are most commonly used (in my area at least):  Fedex,  UPS, and USPS (the post office).

Both Fedex and UPS are great.  They are fast, reliable and on time.  I get most of my packages in 3 or 4 days no matter the size or where they are shipped from.  If they say your package will be delivered on X date, it will be delivered on that date, if not sooner (the only exception I’ve found is extremely bad weather).  They have tracking information that is up-to-date, down to the minute (I once checked a UPS package and found it had been delivered one minute earlier).  UPS will even will put your box into a plastic bag if there is supposed to be rain or snow!  In short they do exactly what they are supposed to.  Every single time.

The Post Office on the other hand is terrible.  For a standard package it takes 7 days for me to get it.  Only on rare occasions will I get it quicker, quite often it will take longer.  They don’t take care of the packages, and quite often they come banged up, not enough to damage the contents, but still damaged.  And they have no respect for weather (this could just be my local carrier though).  I once found a package thrown onto a snow bank next to (not in front of) my door, and it had snowed since then and completely covered it.  The only way I found it was because I thought that it would be delivered that day and I rooted around in the snow just in case it was in there.  Their tracking information is terrible.  Quite often I’ll check after I receive a package to find that they only list three lines (even if shipped across the country):  1 – Electronic Information Recieved  2 – Packaged Arrived at Facility  3 – Delivered.  Quite a bit of missing information, don’t you think?
And, if all of that wasn’t enough, several times in the past year alone they have totally miss-routed my packages!  One time it was shipped from Illinois (I live in Wisconsin) and some how it ended up in MASSACHUSETTS!!  Where it preceded to sit around for another week or so (because they didn’t know what to do with it I assume), until they shipped it back to ILLINOIS and then finally to me.  Over all it took 2-1/2 or 3 weeks for me to get my package.
FROM ONE STATE AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Last week I placed an order with Amazon (which is my favorite place to shop, I even have their credit card which gives me money back to spend at Amazon 🙂 ).  I got my “your order has been shipped” email today (just a few minutes ago in fact).  Guess who they used?  That’s right THE POST OFFICE!

If they mess this one up I will totally loose it.  I can guarantee you that I will write both Amazon and USPS and tell them in no uncertain terms how pissed off I am!

Isn’t it bad that when I find out that something is being shipped by the post office that I feel like I have to cross my fingers that it gets here on time and in one piece?

Now it is quite possible that everything will be fine.  That my package will arrive with no damage and on time (one week from now, but still on time).

Keep your fingers crossed.  Say a prayer or two.  Wish on a falling star………

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2009 in Misc Stuff

 

Computers

My laptop has been giving me some problems.  It is my main computer, so it gets used almost every day.

First I had a problem with a new software that I installed, which apparently had a conflict with my anti-virus software, and caused the whole system to crash.  After a lot of work, and much pulling of hair, I eventually had to restore my computer to the first available restore point, which was about 2 weeks previous.
I have since changed my restore settings to automatically make a restore point 2 times a week and at every system change, I highly recommend you do the same.  (you can find the system restore program in your Start Menu/Programs/Accessories/System Tools folder)

So that was about two months ago, and since then my computer just hasn’t been right.  Everything I know to do has checked out fine.  I have run multiple system scans, virus & spyware scans (even online ones), defrags and a whole bunch of other stuff I won’t bore you with.  Everything comes back good.  But I’ve still been having problems.

Then last week my cd drive failed.  It will take the cd, and you can hear it spinning it, but it won’t recognize that there is anything in there.  I’m assuming that the mechanism that reads the cd has stopped working.

That was my last straw.  I could put up with little things happening, but I can’t live (long term at least) with out being able to access cds.

So I decided to buy a new laptop.  I have always bought IBM ThinkPad laptops (which are now sold by a company called Lenovo), which tend to work really well until suddenly they don’t.  I bought this one 3 years ago, and like I said it’s my main computer and it probably gets used at least an hour, but normally several hours, each day.  So I figure that’s a pretty good lifespan for a laptop.

The reason I use IBM/Lenovo laptops is because they have a unique feature called a trackpoint.  It is a little red button in the middle of the keyboard that you use instead of a mouse/touchpad.  The reason I don’t like the touchpad on laptops is that you constantly have to move your finger around to move the pointer from one side of the screen to the other.  With the trackpoint all you have to do is “lean” your finger in the direction you want to go, it doesn’t matter the distance (imagine it like a mini joystick).
Now these laptops aren’t cheap unless you get the lowest options available (they do have a prettier and cheaper line called the IdeaPad, but their ThinkPads are their more professional line).  If you get the cheap stuff on the ThinkPad they run $500 to $800.  But if you want a really good system you have to pay $1200 or more.  But they are so worth it.  And the nice thing is they don’t have “packaged” products at special prices.  So you can customize anything you want without worrying that you are loosing out on a packaged deal price.

So here’s the specs on what I’m getting:
(some of this is a little technical, sorry for all you non-geeks out there)
T500 series ThinkPad
15.4″ widescreen WXGA TFT, w/LED Backlight
2.56GHz Dual Core prossesor
2GB of ram
160GB 7200rpm hard drive
ATI Mobility Radeon 3650 graphics card
1.3 Megapixel integrated camera
Recordable 8x Dual Layer DVD drive
7-in-1 Media Card Reader  (for camera memory cards and such)
11b/g wireless network card
Integrated Mobile Broadband upgradable (which means it doesn’t have mobile broadband service, but it has the stuff to make it work if I ever wanted it)
Windows Vista Home Premium
Microsoft Office 2007 Basic

Total System Price:  $1,582

Now I didn’t have to get all that stuff, but I don’t like to cut corners with my computers.  Like the 160GB hard drive.  I’m only using 2/3 of my 60GB hard drive now.  But that was the one with the higher RPM speed (the others were 5400rpm), which the higher the RPMs the faster your info can get accessed and loaded.  And I could have gone with Vista Basic and without Office, which would have saved me $49 and $129 respectively.  I could have saved $70 more by getting the CD-RW/DVD combo drive instead of the DVD-R.  And the ATI Radeon graphics was an extra $100.
It all adds up.  But in the end I’m getting a really nice system that will last me for quite a while.  Even if I did have to pay an arm and a leg for it.

So in a couple weeks I should have a new computer!  I’m so excited!  😀  This is the best christmas present I could ever get myself.  It’s going to be hard to wait for it to come.
Is it wrong that a new computer is making me so happy and giddy?  Well if you didn’t know I was a geek already, you surely know it now!  😛

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2008 in Misc Stuff

 

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Catnip Experiment – Week 5

Preparation:   I mixed up a batch of both Baking Soda and Catnip.  I’ve found that I get the best results with the catnip when I take the time to shake it when it’s still hot.  Here’s what I do:  I put the hot water in a plastic container with the catnip, screw on the top, then I open the cap (or pop top?  I don’t know what else to call it) and squeeze the container a little before I close it back up (I do that because hot water expands when you shake it, I had it explode on me once!) then I shake it.  I spend about 5 minutes shaking it, letting the air out, and then closing it back up and shaking it again.  I also let the catnip remain in that water until it is completely cool (several hours) before I strain it.

Routine:   I poured the Baking Soda over my hair and massaged it around.  My mixture was a little weak, so I ended up using more then normal.  Once I rinsed that out and squeezed as much water out of my hair as possible I poured on the catnip.  After all the excess had run off I clipped my hair up and let it sit.  It ended up sitting for about 10 minutes, then I rinsed it out.

Results:   Pretty good hair.  Not fantastic, but better then just ok.  It was a little dry until I put some coconut oil on it.  Now it’s smooth and sleek.

Comments:   I think I need to start measuring the Baking Soda.  I’m not going to get consistent results if I don’t always use the same amount.  When I go to the store this week I’ll pick up a container that I can use to exactly measure out the amount of water, and I’ll also start measuring the baking soda it self.
Shaking the catnip really seams to help.  I think that maybe it ends up drawing more out of the catnip this way.  I think just pouring it in the container only gets a small amount of the oil out of it, but by shaking it you are pulling more out.  Like if you are making tea, if you just place a tea bag in the water it will make tea, but it won’t be very strong.  But if you repeatedly dunk the tea bag, or even use a spoon to press the tea bag to the side of the cup, then you get a much darker and stronger tea.  I think the same applies here.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2008 in Misc Stuff

 

Catnip Experiment – Week 4 – part 2

Preparation:   I used the second half of the batches of both Baking Soda and Catnip that I made on sunday.

Routine:   I put some of the Baking Soda on my hair and massaged it around then rinsed it out.  Then I applied the Catnip, starting at the back of the neck and working forward.  I clipped up my hair and let that sit for maybe 5 minutes and then rinsed it.
I put coconut oil on it this morning.

Results:   It was dry until I used the coconut oil.  It’s still a little on the dry side now, but it’s ok.

Comments:   This week was totally different then all the previous weeks, so I’m thinking I did something that made it this way.
1 – I think I used to much baking soda.  I think that made the solution to strong and dries out my hair to much.  I think I need to start measuring it rather then just dumping some in my shampoo bottle.
2 – I only let the catnip stew for little while (like a half hour), instead of several hours like I normally do.  I think that the oils in the catnip didn’t come out into the water before I strained it.  So I’ll make sure to make the batch early enough that I can let it sit and totally cool off for several hours before I strain it.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2008 in Misc Stuff

 

EbN Updates – My Store

I’ve added three new pages to My Store.  I’ve decided to separate the items by their design.  So I now have the Magic Square, Pentacle, and Wheel of Being pages.  You can go to the My Store page to see the designs and go to each of their pages.  On the individual pages all you have to do is click on a picture to buy it.

I’m having lots of fun making stuff on Zazzle.  So far no one has bought anything, but that’s ok.  I’m doing it because it’s fun, not because it’s making me money.  I’m thinking about other designs I can do to increase the line.  Let me know if there is anything you’d like to see.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2008 in Misc Stuff