Monday, June 29, 2015

Short Post. No Brain Left.

Home. Very tired. Cats are mad at me. Trip went well, though.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hitting The Oregon Trail! (Well, OK, Flying Into The Portland Airport.)

On Wednesday, I'm leaving for Oregon to attend my sister's wedding. (Congratulations, sis!!!!!) It seems like I have about five day's worth of stuff to get done in the two days until I leave, but I think I somehow used up all my stressiness last week. Right now, I'm feeling kind of mellow, and mostly just looking forward to it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I May Have Already Added At Least One Thing To My Wishlist Because Of This.

Today's book-related link: Whichbook, a site that invites you to move some controls around to tell it what kind of book you're looking for -- happy vs. sad, for instance, or easy vs. demanding -- and recommends things to you based on your input. I haven't played around with it too much yet, in part because more book recommendations is probably the last thing I need. But based on some of the results it gave me, I'd say it seems to know what it's doing. It's also coming up with lots of stuff I've never even heard of, too, which is nice.

Monday, June 08, 2015

The "How Is It This Far Into June Already?" Currentlies

Current clothes: Blue jeans. T-shirt from White Sands National Momument. White socks.

Current mood: Grrrrr. Computers are frustrating.

Current music: Nothing at the moment. Maybe I need some soothing music.

Current annoyance: I've been trying out various options for backing up my new PC. None of them seems to be quite what I want, and all of them have done at least one WTFish thing when I've tried them.

Current thing: Messing around with the new computer all day. And then playing Papers, Please on it all night. (Glory to Arstotzka!)

Current desktop picture: It's still this, although keeping it that way has been kind of an issue, because now that I have two Windows 8 machines (this and the laptop), Microsoft decided that clearly I want them both to have the same wallpaper. I got it to stop doing that, but I'm a little nervous to see if changing that setting changes anything else the next time I reboot.

Current book: Saving the Original Sinner: How Christians Have Used the Bible's First Man to Oppress, Inspire, and Make Sense of the World by Karl W. Giberson. Which I'm finding interesting from a historical perspective, and which maybe explains a few things about today's breed of evangelical Christianity.

Current song in head: Warren Zevon's "Networking". Dated, but thematically appropriate.

Current refreshment: Some kind of cheap zero-calorie black cherry soda water stuff. It's better than it sounds.

Current DVD in player: Disc 1 of season 6 of Dexter. Based on the fist two episodes, I'd say the storyline for this season could either be really cool and interesting, or it could get really stupid. Given that I know at least two people who bailed on the show at more or less this point, I'm not putting any money on Option A. As of now, though, I am still enjoying the show (for definitions of "enjoying" that include things that are dark and fucked-up). If nothing else, Michael C. Hall's performance alone would make it worth watching. The guest casting has been pretty great, too. But I think you could get an entire dissertation out of all the ways in which it consistently fails to evolve into the brilliant show it could be. (This spoilery AV Club discussion of the season 5 finale covers a lot of the reasons pretty well.)

Current worry: I think most of my worries at the moment, like most of my worries most of the time, boil down to a fear of not meeting my personal responsibilities. God, I hate being an adult.

Current thought: Everything actually is perfectly OK. Even if it does involve me having to act like an adult far too much of the time.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Hardware Upgrade!

I am writing this from a brand new computer! Yay! The PC I was using was seven years old, which, in computer terms, qualifies as advanced dotage. And it was getting increasingly annoying in various ways. Plus, it was running XP, whose lack-of-suportedness was starting to reach the point of actually being dangerous. Like, I couldn't install the latest version of Java. Or not without it giving me dire warnings about how it probably wouldn't work, anyway. Since I'm not yet ready to switch to doing absolutely everything via laptop -- I know, I know, I haven't given up my landline, either -- I figured it was finally time to replace the thing. Basically, I got a newer model of the same machine -- the Dell Inspiron -- because the old one worked fine for years and I'm far too lazy to research my zillion possible options and pick the very best one. (Hey, psychologists will tell you that doesn't make you any more satisfied with your choices, anyway.)

But, oy, why is something like getting a new computer up and running always so ridiculously complicated? Even just getting my hands on the machine was a frustrating process. First, the FedEx person left a "you weren't home" tag on my door, even though I was home. (I think I was on the treadmill, which is kind of noisy, and they didn't knock loud enough. Or, y'know, ring the doorbell.) After that, they'd only try to deliver it after 3:30, when I needed to leave for work. I ended up having to be an hour late for work just so I could wait for the thing on Final Delivery Day, because otherwise I would have had to drive all the way to Albuquerque to pick it up. I'm just glad someone was able to cover for me. I've had to make entirely too many trips up to ABQ lately.

And, then, of course, there's all the setting things up, and updating and registering and downloading and installing and file transferring, and beating Windows 8 with a stick until it behaves. Which you expect to take quite a while, but which somehow always manages to take longer than you allow for, ever after you try to allow for that. ("Oops, I didn't copy those game save files off the old machine! Guess I need to hook it back up and turn it back on... Wait, why is the mouse suddenly not working on it?!")

My big mistake, of course, was trying to set up a new printer/scanner at the same time. It's a wireless printer, which I figured would be nice. Fewer cables in the tangle behind the desk, and I'd also be able to print to it from my laptop or even my phone. Gaah, what an undertaking setting that up was. It went something like: "Wow, these installation instructions are confusing... Why is it not seeing the printer on the network? Oh, wait, there it is. Wait, why is none of my other stuff able to connect to the network now? How did this change my WiFi password?! Crap, what's the admin password for the router? Aaargh! OK, changed it back. Now I need to figure out how to give the printer the WiFi password. Clearly I'll need to plug it in for that. OK, now how do I... Man, this is the least useful help function ever. I'll just keep trying things that look vaguely like they might do setup stuff until I find it. Ah, there we go! Wait, the printer needs an admin password in order for me to give it the WiFi password? Were the hell do I find that?! This manual ought to win some kind of Most Craptastic Manual award. Half the entries say 'see instructions!' I thought this was the instructions! What is a manual if not instructions?! Oh, there we go. OK, and... It works! Wait, no it doesn't work. Oh. It's working now. I don't know why it's working now and it wasn't before. Or why the printer is listed twice on my devices list. But maybe I don't care anymore."

Inevitably, of course, you reach a moment where things finally seem to be more or less working, and then you suddenly realize that it's 1:30 in the afternoon, you've been at it since 9:00, and you haven't had lunch or, for that matter, breakfast.

But! Everything does seem to be working now! Yaaaaay!

And my brand new keyboard already has cat hair in it. So clearly everything is back to normal.