23 July 2019

Hooray!

Refuge Mobile is back online!

We're back and better than ever, in fact. After doing some research I decided to go with a solid state hard drive rather than replacing it with the same type of standard disk as came out of it. It's a bit more expensive but all I read said it was both faster and more robust. While I was at it I decided I'd upgrade the size, so I went from 750G to a 1T drive.

The only issue I was having was with the software. The computer was delivered with Windows 8, but did not have the installation disks, nor did it have the software key. I had a copy of Windows 7, which I prefer over 8 anyway, so I just figured I would install 7 and be done with it.

Not so fast.

The copy of 7 I had was a 32 bit, this is a 64 bit computer. No problems, you can change the boot to take a legacy system. Bah. It just doesn't look good on the new computers. So, remove the hard drive, connect to the desktop, wipe it and download a copy of Windows 8 from the Microsoft website (the only thing you have to purchase is the key now). Then I shot a message off to tech support and found that the product registration key is programmed into the BIOS on the motherboard.

Load 8 and be done then, right? Yeah...no. I had some sort of error about the software not being able to load because the file system isn't right. Fortunately the Internet had the answer, I was able to reconfigure the hard drive and load the software from the CD and all is well.

A bit of Classic Shell to restore the start menu button and I'm all set. Now all I have to do is find and reinstall the rest of the software I want.

I also still have the boot disk, so I'm all set there.

19 July 2019

Wow (an update)

Mrs Hades got her tub installed yesterday.

Not one of those cheap Home Depot tubs, oh no, one of those walk-in tubs with the heaters and water jets and air bubblers.

Problem is, when they went to hook the electrics up for it there wasn't enough room in the breaker panel for the new circuits. So now we're paying an electrician to come in and install a bigger panel.

Add to that the ductwork has been smelling kinda moldy so we had someone come out to see what it would take to clean the ducts. Turns out that when I paid good money to have a new AC system installed nine years ago the ductwork was...let's just say, less than optimal. So it all had to come completely out and be replaced.

So! Tub, ductwork, electrical, all told comes to a little over 25K.

I'm beginning to think it would have been cheaper to burn this bitch down and put a new one on the foundation.

15 July 2019

Computers Are Supposed To Make Your Life Easier

ya right.

So Refuge Mobile has had what looks like a catastrophic failure of its hard drive. Honestly I've been looking for it to happen for a while, it got really unstable a few months ago and I had to do a recover on it. Fortunately at that time I recovered all of the data to a USB stick that I wanted so nothing important is lost. But the hard drive is toast, it will boot up Windoze (8) after a long while but then it does nothing. Click on all the buttons you want, fool, you will get nothing and LIKE IT!

Off to Amazon where a new exact replacement hard drive was 40 USD's and it's on its way. But, then I started thinking about solid state drives...more expensive but if they are better (and faster) that might be the way to go. Maybe another day.

The second issue is software, specifically the OS. I dislike Windoze 8 (it's better if you have the Classic Shell installed) but I loathe 10 (we have it on some of the work computers) and the last one I really liked was 7. So I'm thinking about Linux again.

I have been told that no one who has ever switched has disliked it, but I know there are some compatibility issues with software that was made for Windoze and some of the software I have I don't know if it will work (for example I have Photo Transfer App to move my pictures off of the cell phone through the wifi). I still have the desktop for all of that and I've heard there are emulators to make that software work with Linux.

The two versions of Linux I am looking at are Mint and Zorin. I've heard very good things about Mint and Zorin looks like it's very familiar and intuitive for us Windoze refugees. When the hard drive arrives I'll put some Zorin on it and experiment. If I don't like it I guess I will become a Mac user. Either way I think I'm done with Windoze.

29 June 2019

Wow

Mrs Hades just inked the deal for a new walk-in tub, the kind with the door, that has the jets and heaters and all of that, installed. She was expecting a price of X, I was expecting a price of 2X, but it came in at a little over 3X.

I'm sure she will really like it, and after a while the 3X price will seem more and more reasonable (she has RA and so we expect her mobility to decrease over time), but right now she's experiencing some severe sticker shock.

But tomorrow I have a wall to take out so that the tub will have a place to live.

10 June 2019

Old Dogs

Laura will be getting her dog back today.

On his last check up Boots had some swelling the docs wanted to take a closer look at, so today I dropped him off at their office for some Xrays and ultrasounds.

Dropped him in truth on the way out the door, actually, so he went in with a limp, the poor thing. His paw got caught in my shirt pocket as I went to put him down and he fell out of my arms. Xrays showed a broken outer toe in his left front paw.

Once there the tests showed that he has Cushing's Disease, an overproduction of cortisol. It causes a number of issues including tumors on the adrenal glands in some dogs, and of course he is one of them. The tumor is impinging on his heart as well.

So with the broken foot, his age (he's 14), and the extensive treatments needed for Cushing's it was determined that it would be kinder to just let him go.

So long buddy. Mommy is waiting.


06 June 2019

I Hate To Do It

but it looks like I'm going to have to purge my Wall O' Shame due to some of you not posting anything for years.

I mean, I'm lax as all get-out, but at least I will put SOMETHING up now and again.

24 May 2019

Yeah...

I've been off for a few days, Mrs Hades is still in school but The Boy has been gone all week. So I've managed to finish off a few projects and get some things done around the house.

Back to work tonight. All good things must end.

30 April 2019

Yeah

It's been a while.

It's not that there isn't anything going on. It's that there hasn't been anything going on that I've considered worth talking about. But it has been a half a year since I've graced these pages, and I have something on my mind for a future post, so I figured I'd play some catch up.

First off, M's new ride has a few blemishes on it courtesy of yours truly. First I ran it off the side of the road and scraped up the new wheels on the left. It was then we discovered that the warranty we had paid extra for to cover the wheels...didn't in fact cover cosmetic damage, only structural. Big surprise, the dealer lied, and the only thing that we can do about it is fume. Bastards.

Second, and worse, last week M and I were on vacation, and Friday I scarred up the corner of her new ride. We were in a rest area with diagonal parking spots directly across from each other and the guy in the one behind me started backing out at the same time as I did, we were both in each other's blind spots and we met in the middle. No injuries, just dents and scrapes which can be repaired. The backup camera (required by Federal law in all new vehicles starting in 2015 or so) was completely useless and so was the collision avoidance beepers; it went off a split second before the impact. I was able to push the bumper cover back into place but the scrapes remain, fortunately they are on the plastic bumper cover so no worries about corrosion. She's never going to let me drive her car again...

I also told you about my A1C levels being elevated. So a little more about that. Normal is actually under 5.7, the docs (as they are wont to do) have decided that they aren't making enough dough off of us (that's unfair I know, but I have a deep suspicion of the medical "experts" sometimes) so they have invented a thing called "pre diabetes" which means an A1C of 5.8 through 6.9. Funny thing is, the year before my A1C was at 6.4 and the doc said absolutely nothing about it.

Quick note, I've seen a different doc every year at the place where I used to go...which is nothing new for me, the Navy is good at rotating docs around, too. But I digress.

Anyway this one lost her ever-lovin' mind at me. She wanted me to go on three different kinds of medication (heart, even though I have no heart problems; blood pressure, which was a bit high but in spec; and cholesterol, which is also in normal range) and start going to the gym for an hour a day every day and see the dietician.

I told her that I'm not really fond of the idea of taking medicine every day for the rest of my life and expressed the opinion that maybe we should see what the diet does before doing anything drastic. I also told her that unless dieticians had learned something different in the past 15 years I wasn't going to bother because I've heard it already. I left out the part where I walk 3 times a week and that's all she's going to get.

Her response? Doctors ORDERS.

My response? I stopped taking doctors ADVICE as orders the minute my doctors were no longer commissioned officers.

Long story short, I have a new doctor and the diet is going well, my A1C in December, 3 months after I started the diet, was at 6.3 so I'm no longer going to die of diabetes tomorrow. I'm a bit curious to see what my A1C is going to be after I've been on the new diet for a year, I'm hoping for something under 5.7 - not that I'm going to revert, it looks like the low carb thing is going to be a lifetime commitment, but given the results so far I think I'm OK with that.

As a happy side effect, I've lost a bit over 50 pounds and my blood pressure has dropped back down into the normal ranges as well. I've even been able to put my old Navy uniform on, it's not a comfortable fit yet but it does fit. Another reason to keep the low carb lifestyle going...but I did gain back about 7 pounds on our recent vacation so I need to get serious about it again. Too much eating out during vacation, you really do need to cook to do the low carb thing because you really don't know what's in the food that you get at restaurants, most everything nowadays has some kind of breading or something on it anymore it seems. I'd like to lose another 50-60 pounds just to see if I can, but I'll be happy with another 25-30. The weight loss has slowed lately but I think that's more as a result of me getting comfortable and cheating on my diet a bit. Like I said, I need to get serious about it again.

I got the new barrel for the Glock 19 installed and got a range day to get it sighted in, and the results are greatly improved. I can actually consistently hit the broad side of a barn with it now. I want to get a barrel for the Glock 36 next and see if it cures the persistent FTE problems. I have a suspicion that it will, but I'll have to make a purchase and schedule another play date to see for sure.

M and I took a trip last week for the Easter/Spring Break holidays, we went from here to see her folks for a day in PA, to Iowa to see my folks, then down to Branson MO for a couple of days, and finally to Gatlinburg TN for a few days before making our way back. We had a lot of fun, we spent way too much money, and we were glad to get back home.

And now I have a large pile of laundry to do.