Computer problems-Update

Posted July 26, 2015 By Ruth

Windows Defender was the cause of the problem.  I don’t even remember turning it ON, and I’d have sworn I turned it off.  So I’m pretty pissed.

So here’s your headsup.  If you’re having trouble connecting USB devices, or SD cards, etc, to your computer, disable Windows Defender completely!

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Garden update

Posted July 23, 2015 By Ruth

8 cucumbers out of the garden so far

1-Cherokee purple tomato so far

and a bunch of Black Plums (I forgot to measure or count, will have to guestimate) tomatoes.

Didn’t make it to the farmers market this week, so the estimate of cost of the above and the zucchini will have to wait.

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Computer problems……

Posted July 23, 2015 By Ruth


For the last several days I’ve had trouble connecting other devices to my computer.  Mostly via USB connection, but also SD cards directly.  Its not entirely at random, but it feels like it.

The pattern goes like this:

With a freshly rebooted computer I can plug in any device (my phone, ipad, camera, SD cards, etc) into the computer no problem and the computer will recognize them with no issue.  This will seem to last for several hours with no problems, and no matter how many times I plug stuff in and unplug it and plug it in and unplug it……

At some point overnight (I don’t generally turn off the computer overnight due to using it to play quiet music as white noise to keep Apollo from having a snit over night noises) this changes.  When I get up in the morning, anything plugged in the night before is still connected fine, but as soon as I unplug something I can’t plug it back into the computer.  Attempting to plug anything into the computer at that point results in the single-tone “duh-duh” noise indicating failed connection, and the computer not recognizing the device/SD card/whatever.  This lasts until such time as I reboot the computer, and then we start the pattern all over again.

My next step to try (tonight) is to try turning off the various scans that I normally run overnight and see if that fixes it.  If so I’ll then have to try each scan individually till I figure out which one, and then see if I can figure out what setting to change to fix it.  If turning off the scans doesn’t fix it my actual suspect is one of the 18 Windows updates that came in the day before this started happening……yah, that should be fun to figure out…….

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I’m having one of “those” weeks…..

Posted July 22, 2015 By Ruth

It could be ever so much worse, but still.

The last 5 days in a row we were predicted to get rain, potentially a lot of it.  We got a sprinkle once.  Looking at the weather map it looks like there were actually storms, but they ended up going around my immediate area somehow.  For 5 days in a row.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m thrilled that the yard has finally dried up enough for me to mow completely.  But it also means that I’m having to water the garden…..

Monday in particular was extra “interesting”. 

Monday we received a notice from the state that we were being audited due to our claim of getting solar panels put up in 2012.  We have 30 days to provide them with the paperwork to prove the claim or they’ll cancel the refund.  Never mind that I included copies of almost everything they’re requiring with the tax paperwork……So now we’re digging through files and muttering rude words as we discover that this or that piece of paper didn’t get filed properly.  We’ve got it all, but it’s still frustrating as heck.

After spending an hour digging through files and getting frustrated I went out to go spend an hour or so in the garden since I find that generally calming.  Keeping the volunteer clover from taking over is pretty much a constant chore anyway, and after the discovery of the giant zucchini hiding under the clover in that tire I’ve been trying to work my way around the various beds to at least thin the clover enough to be sure I don’t have to many other surprises waiting for me.  Everything was going smoothly till I grabbed a specific clump of clover in one of the cantaloupe tires.

There are yellow jackets nesting in that particular tire.  Under that specific clump of clover.  Immediately adjacent to a ripening pumpkin and a still growing cantaloupe.

And yup, I got stung.

Today’s Wednesday and I’m still swallowing the max dose of benadryl in order to keep the swelling down and itching from driving me crazy.

I hate using general insecticides in the garden.  I have, after much work, finally managed to have enough pollinators in the yard to ensure proper pollination of everything.  And the last thing I want to do is kill them.  But I’m not going to try to work around a nest of stinging insects either, even if we didn’t have family who’re allergic.  ESPECIALLY when the nest is immediately adjacent to two growing fruits that will have to be picked before TO much longer.  I picked up a bottle of concentrated permethrin, and have already treated the nest area once.  I’m being extra careful to ensure it doesn’t get onto any flowers or the like, but I’m still not happy about it.

I’m just hoping the rest of the week goes a bit smoother…….

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New York is seriously considering a minimum wage hike, to $15/hour, specific to fast food workers.  

The theory is that if minimum wage is raised for one portion of the employed people in the state, the rest of the minimum wage paying businesses will be forced to follow.

*pounds head into wall*

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Garden update

Posted July 17, 2015 By Ruth

So, I, er, forgot to watch the zucchini carefully enough…..


I pulled these four baseball bats zucchini out of the garden on Tuesday.  Well over a foot long, they’re at least twice the size I normally try to pick zucchini at.  In addition I pulled two more out of the garden yesterday that are closer to the size I prefer to pick them at (but still on the larger side).  And of course there’s more coming.  I think I have plenty of zucchini for the coming year…..

Next week when I hit the farmers market I will price out zucchini and see if I can get a guesstimate on what it would cost to buy this much zucchini for the records.

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Dogs in Cars

Posted July 16, 2015 By Ruth

Yes, dogs die in hot cars.  And yes, there are climates where, for most of the year, even parking in the shade with the windows for just a few minutes down may not be enough to keep the dog cool enough.  And yes, they cook to death in the heat.

But lets clear a few things up.  Cause this is just ridiculous.

First off, dogs don’t suffocate in cars.  I have yet to see a single consumer vehicle that actually seals air tight.  Maybe some of the newest high end fancy cars with extra good sound insulation are (though I doubt it, cause what car maker wants to be sued because you suffocated in their car).  But certainly the average car on the road isn’t.  A dog in a car with the windows rolled up isn’t going to suffocate to death.  No matter what the weather conditions.

Second, even in the hottest climates in the USA, if the dog is in a car that has been left with the AC going the dog is not going to overheat.

And in much of the rest of the country, parking in the shade with the windows most of the way down is plenty on all but the insanely hottest of days to keep a healthy dog from overheating.

And if the car owner has put up shading and a fan and water then the dog is REALLY  not going to overheat.

Oh, and while we’re at it, “panting” alone is not a sign that a dog is overheating.  Yes, I know that the little blurbs that the media keeps putting out say that “panting” is a sign of overheating.  You know what?  They’re fucking stupid.  Dogs pant for MANY more reasons than just because they’re hot.  Stress or excitement can cause panting.  You coming over to pound on the window and stare at the dog could be enough to cause a sensitive dog to start panting.  And even it the dog is panting because its warm it doesn’t mean he’s overheating.  A dog who pops up to greet you isn’t overheating.  Even if he’s panting.  Even if he’s fussing at you.  A dog doesn’t sweat, he pants instead.  Just like us humans can be sweating (even sweating alot) without being in danger of heat stroke, a dog can be panting (even panting alot) without being in danger of heat stroke.

A dog who’s panting due to overheating is ALSO going to be flat on the floor or footwell of the car in the only shade he can find, and he’s NOT likely to pop to his feet to greet you.  A dog who’s panting due to overheating will ALSO be drooling excessively.

You know what causes a dog to crash suddenly from overheating?  Assholes who can’t mind their own business and so over-excite the dog by pounding on the window and calling the dog and exciting the dog to the point where he overheats himself in his excitement and crashes.  Yes, by repeatedly “checking on the dog” you could cause him to overheat and potentially die.  So back off asshole.

And third……I keep seeing it reported that there are 16 states where it’s illegal to leave your dog in the car.  Do any of those folks actually bother to READ the laws they’re reporting on?

In 15 of those 16 states the laws  specifically require that the dog be left in such a way that harm or death will result in order for it to be illegal.  And in case you somehow got to this paragraph without reading the above, no, leaving your dog in the car does not automatically sentence him to death.

The only state with laws specific to dogs in cars that doesn’t have that provision is Tennessee.  And even in Tennessee you’d better be willing to swear under oath that you believed the animal was in imminent danger of death.  Unfortunately there are idiots who think that any dog left in any car regardless of anything else is in danger, which makes laws like this one dangerous.  

Now, I keep seeing online commentary that there are individual cities with laws prohibiting dogs in cars.  I’ve yet to actually be able to find any such law.  Several have laws similar to the above mentioned 15 states, where leaving a dog in a car in a manner that will result in harm or death is specifically prohibited, but again that’s not the same thing.  Mind, apparently even some responding police seem to be unaware of the difference, but that’s what the laws state.

In addition, not one of these so-called rescuers seems to care what the impact of “being rescued” can have on the dog.  There are many many dogs who are not stranger friendly, or who will guard their owner’s car, or who will even bite when cornered.  And contrary to popular opinion many dogs don’t give a care what your intentions are, all they know is that some stranger just smashed the window and is now cornering them in the back of the car…’s only a matter of time before some “rescuer” is bitten in the process of trying to “rescue” a dog who doesn’t need it.  And in many many areas that bite is a death sentence for the dog.  Especially since it would be considered “unprovoked” in the minds of many people. 

Now sure, in an ideal world no dog would ever be left in a car unattended.  But even the best laid plans can fail, and a bout of diarrhea on the way home from a 45minute trip can require an emergency bathroom break.  And a 5minute sit in the car unattended is nothing compared to the benefits of being able to spend the rest of their day with their human in the minds of many dogs (and owners).  Have you ever gone to a canine sporting event?  Very few facilities have the space to allow indoor crating of every single dog participating.  Heck, if it’s an outdoor event there may not be ANY indoor crating space.  And yet the number of canine deaths from heatstroke at these events is astronomically tiny (and even then, it tends to be after the event, on the way home, that it’s an issue).  

So lets stop this hysteria, all its doing is harming the dogs and the responsible owners who are caring for them!

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Garden update

Posted July 11, 2015 By Ruth

I pulled the garlic yesterday.  Might have been a bit early, but I waited till to late last year, and since I’m going to freeze it all anyway if its got an extra layer or two of paper on it, it’s not the end of the world.  Snapped this picture of the two largest and two smallest heads.  Wish I’d put something in for size comparison.  Those two largest heads are about the size of my fist……


I don’t think I’m going to grow garlic this winter/next year.  We still have a little left from last  year, plus this year’s crop.

The Long Pie Pumpkins are in their “huge zucchini” stage:

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I did grow zucchini this year, but didn’t get a picture this time.  So far none of them are as big as the pumpkins.

Jalapenos and Hungarian Hot Wax peppers look good:

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We got our first Black Plum tomatoes out of the garden this week, with lots more to come:

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Sugar Baby watermelons are coming along nicely:


The other watermelons I planted (Early Moon) have several tiny babies on the vines, so cross fingers.

So far neither cantaloupe has more than tiny babies either.  The one variety is a completely new one for me, and the other is the Charentais that I tried to grow last year and failed massively.  The vines are MUCH happier looking this year, so cross fingers.

Habanero’s have tiny peppers growing, and the Cherokee Purple tomatoes are growing big but still very green.  I planted my second crop of lettuce, and put in the seeds for Rattail Radishes.  So far neither variety of broccoli I planted has produced heads.  But the plants themselves are more intact than the last time I tried broccoli at least!  Carrots are growing, sunflowers are headed for the sky, and the okra is looking decent (though I’m not sure its as big as it should be).

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Posted July 6, 2015 By Ruth

A couple months ago Husband and I got new cell phones.  Both of our previous phones were pushing 4yrs old, and both were well past the point of showing their age.

I was disappointed to find out that the slide out keyboard were no  longer available on pretty much any smart phone model.

However in browsing cell phones I found the Kyocera Brigadier

Reviewers were reasonably positive, the only consistent gripe was the camera, and since a cell phone isn’t my primary camera anyway that didn’t bother me.

The pluses were huge.  Its engineered to meet Military Spec 810G.  It’ll survive total immersion (up to 6ft of water) for 30 minutes.  Temperatures between -4 and 140F.  Repeated shocks, drops, high dust, high humidity, extreme low pressure……

I figured if I could make my old Droid 2 last for 4yrs without any of that I ought to be able to get at least 4ys out of this one, and it didn’t cost any more than my old Droid did.

Today I found a new plus about those features.  High temps were mid-80’s with insane humidity.  And of course I ended up working outside most of the day at work today.  My shorts were soaked with sweat when I got home, and no, thats not a good thing.  My phone was in my back pocket, and is cruddy with sweat and dried dirt.

It works fine.

Works for me!


(btw, if anyone else gets this phone via Verizon….be aware that the default voice mail handler is the “Visual Voicemail App”.  This is a PAID SUBSCRIPTION app, and it USES DATA, never mind the security hole that it is.  You’ll have to call Verizon tech support and have them turn it off and switch you back to regular voice mail.  Which is a PIA.  Just to warn you.)

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Posted July 1, 2015 By Ruth

You know, when you talk about moving to central/upstate NY, everyone warns you about the snow.  Not only does the area get large total amounts of snow, but it gets lake effect snow, which is a special torture all of its own.

And a little research will tell you that the Syracuse area is one of the least sunny areas of the country.

Nobody tells you about the rain.  I suppose it ought to follow along with the previous two bits of trivia, but somehow it never does.

Its not till you move to the area that you learn that almost half of Syracuse is a flood zone.  They’re currently arguing with the Feds about whether those folks have to buy flood insurance or not.

That I81 itself floods to the point if not being drive-able, and if the rain is hard enough it’ll happen so fast you’ll end up stranded in the middle of it.  Seriously, go look at that picture.  Those cars didn’t drive into a “flooded road”, they were ON the road when it flooded.  To top it off various morons in charge want to turn I81 into a tunnel under the city.

We’re not quite breaking records for rainfall this month.  But we’re in the top 10.  There’s a reason my garden is all in raised beds.  My yard is a swamp.

I don’t want the drought conditions the west has, but I’d be happy if we could just have an average rainfall…..please!

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