Rants Archive

Windows 10 “Upgrade”

Posted February 3, 2016 By Ruth

Yesterday I ran across this article.

For those of you who don’t want to read, I’ll summarize.  Starting immediately Microsoft will be downloading, to ALL computers, the installer for Windows 10.  It will be in your “Recommended Updates”.

I highly recommend the article though, at the bottom of it is a link to a Microsoft page with instructions on how to force off Win10 updates.

This morning when I got up my computer was yelling at me that there were 37 “Important Updates” and another 10 “Recommended updates”.  A check of what exactly the recommended updates involved (click on the update, on the right hand side will be a link to further info) and at least half of them were part of the update to Windows 10.

I’ve been keeping an eye on those since this whole thing started anyway, but I’m glad I had the extra heads up.  So here’s yours!  Check your updates and don’t just automatically install them!  Unless you WANT Windows 10, and I suspect you’d have already made that upgrade if you did……

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Politician pay raises…..

Posted January 5, 2016 By Ruth

Onondaga County NY (where I used to live) politicians have decided to give themselves a raise.  27% for the County Executive, and 15% for most of the rest of the county politicians.

The excuse?  Its been 8yrs since the last raise and:

even kids working at McDonald’s have had raises in that time.

There’s just one teensy little problem with that comparison……

Nobody, not nobody, in store level retail or food service, receives a 15-27% raise for staying in the same position.  Not in today’s economy!  And not for the past several years.  Certainly the largest raise I’ve ever gotten, with an Excellent yearly review, while staying in the same position, was barely 2%.  It was, btw, a whole $0.25 increase in hourly wage.  I guess, if you want to assume 2% times 8yrs I MIGHT see a 15-16% raise.  But in all honesty?  Not really…..

The County Exec will be receiving an additional $33,000 a year.

I don’t have a problem with the concept that someone who’s been in the same position for an extended period, who you feel has done the job well, deserves a raise.  But 15-27%??  No fucking way……

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Frustration

Posted December 15, 2015 By Ruth

Frustration is calling the doctor’s office.  In mid-Oct.  And being told the first available appointment with the doctor himself is mid-Dec.  Which does me lots of good when I’m having reasonably normal days that are ending in me barely able to walk cause ankles and knees have stiffened to the point of significant pain.  I could have seen a PA earlier, but is it worth trying to explain it all over again to another person?

Frustration is going in for that mid-Dec appointment and it being the one day that week that I didn’t hurt, wasn’t stiff, and wasn’t swollen.

Frustration is telling the above problems to the doctor.  And being told that if I need to take anything on top of the meloxicam to take tylenol.  Cause obviously if I wasn’t stiff that day, then I don’t actually need anything else I guess.

I almost missed his statement about not adding anything “else” to my drug regimen because it’s not worth lowering my immune system any further……except there’s nothing to add too.  He’d talked previously about prescribing me something to try to stop or slow the bone erosion in my hands, but that never happened.  Didn’t even realize he’d said that till I was home.  What did I miss??

Yes, finding the right pair of shoes helped my ankles.  It only took three pairs to find the right ones.  And yes, adding magnesium to my daily intake helped too.  But neither is a miracle cure.  Of course the next day, after the appointment, I spent the day at work in noticeable pain.

I felt like a druggie asking him for pain meds.  I hate this.  I don’t want codeine, or vicodin, or whatever the one is that’s the big one now.  If I ever get to the point where I have to take those on a daily basis just to function just put me out of my misery please.  But there’s got to be something in between the meloxicam and those drugs that I can take when I’m having a bad day?  I wasn’t even having this pain a year ago!  A year ago my ankles were fine!

Frustration is trying to find out what other rheumatology offices there are in the general area and coming up almost blank.  Basically I could ask to change to a different doctor within the practice and that’s it for my choice of doctors.  If they’d let me switch.  They might not.  Apparently they had problems with people “opinion shopping” so now all such requests to change doctors require all sorts of approvals.

And to top it off.  This screwed up weather is making my hands hurt.

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My magic wand is all out of sparkles…..

Posted December 8, 2015 By Ruth

This means that my ability to “fix” something remotely isn’t working.

So yes.

If you want a new pre-lit christmas tree cause the one you bought two weeks ago has stopped working then yes, you have to un-decorate it, and then take it down, and bring it in.

I don’t care if you want to do it today or wait till after Christmas, you do have 90 days from date of purchase.

But keep in mind that the longer you wait to do it the less likely we are to have a replacement for you.  Infact, you’re probably screwed as it is since the number of trees we have has dropped by three quarters in the last two weeks.

And yelling at me that I’m a horrid person and you’re not going to un-decorate the tree when I tell you that that’s your option isn’t going to get you far.

And when I tell you that I don’t understand what you want me to do if you’re unwilling to un-decorate the tree yelling even more isn’t going to get you any closer to a resolution.

Infact the manager is going to tell you the same thing.

One of these days I really am going to tell said yelling person that my magic wand is broken, that way at least I can laugh when they go through the roof……

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Dear Microsoft……

Posted October 14, 2015 By Ruth

Are you TRYING to force people to switch away from your products??

I’m sitting here reading about Linux Mint and how to run the Windows Emulator so I can have my Windows based software on a Linux install…..

What do you have in your hand?

Posted October 3, 2015 By Ruth

What’s right next to you within easy grabbing reach?

What do you have to hand if a gunman burst through your workplace door right now?

Obviously, for those of us in the firearm community, we hope, and plan, and practice, to have our guns on hand.  But in many situations that’s just not possible.

In most colleges a gun is just not an option, but I remember what my college backpack looked like.  What my classroom desk looked like.

Pick. Up. That. Textbook. And Throw IT!  Throw your pen.  Don’t throw your phone, you’re going to need it to call 911 after you and your classmates pigpile the shooter.  Notebooks, calculators, ebook readers, ultra-light laptops, they should all be headed for the shooter as soon as your brain processes the gun.

Might you get shot during this attempt to stop the shooter?  Sure.  But we have ample proof by now that huddling in the back of the classroom and hoping you’re not his target isn’t any safer.  And if he’s ducking things pitched his way he’s not going to be aiming.

Course, today’s college students are practically taught to freeze instead of act.  They’re being taught to stop and think through every action and even every thought, lest they give offense.  THROW something at SOMEONE?  How could you?!

We’re raising a bunch of victims.  The students who’ll be entering the workplace over the next several years wouldn’t dream of defending themselves, lest they cause offense and become a target themself.  We’ve turned our colleges, and very shortly our workplaces and lives, into places where we are victims, where shooters who want to publicize a thought process with their own deaths know that they can find willing and ready victims to add to the media cry.

Garden update, and a small outburst…..

Posted August 28, 2015 By Ruth

Another $3 or so of tomatoes

Say another $6 of hot peppers

Another two cantaloupes

Another Early Moon Watermelon

Two more Charentais

A million (only slightly an exaggeration) Rattail Radishes

 

 

Oh  yah.  If/when you do home additions, major repairs, deck building etc, I don’t care how far out in the middle of nowhere you are.  Please check building codes.  They’re there for a reason.  Even if enforcement doesn’t care about your area its very likely that the folks who live in your house after you will care ALOT when they discover stuff that’s not up to code.

And while we’re at it, nails are not appropriate for attaching a deck to a house (regardless of what your code says).  And if the deck is supposed to be “only temporary” then damn well reveal that fact to the folks buying the house.

We’re all fine, but the bank account is taking another hit.  And it could have been ever so bad.  So please.  Please.  Please.  Check building codes!  (and get permits, if only so that the folks after you can tell if you put in proper footers under that slab without having to break it up cause you didn’t follow code with anything else so why should we expect footers??)

Frustrated

Posted August 10, 2015 By Ruth

I’ve held off posting about this, cause it made me so frustrated…..

When we bought our house there was approx 20ft of mature daylilies growing on our side of the road side ditch.  A question to the seller confirmed that although the town mowed the ditch here they didn’t care about our side of it, even though legally they could.

Over the last couple years I’ve been adding to that line of daylilies.  That area is a pain to keep trimmed and the mature lilies do an awesome job at keeping down the weeds on the ditch-side.  Resulting in about 40ft of daylilies on my side of the roadside ditch.

A week ago, last Monday, I came home from work to discover that the town had been through and mowed the ditch.  Which was fine and normal.  Except that this time they’d also used an extended arm mower to mow the first 2-3feet on my side of the ditch.

KIMG0191 KIMG0197 KIMG0198

 

To say I was peeved would be putting it mildly.  But I took a deep breath and reminded myself that they have the legal right to do it.

Tuesday morning I called up the town’s Highway Dept Supervisor to ask if they were supposed to be mowing on my side of the ditch?  The answer is apparently no!  They’re only supposed to be mowing on that side of the ditch if its a visibility problem, such as at an intersection.  So I advised the supervisor of what had happened, and that in addition to taking down my daylilies they’d also taken the cap off of the water shut-off.  He promised to have a word with the mower driver, and that the town would be out to replace the cap on the shut-off.  Though they haven’t been out yet and I may need to call him again.

On my way to work that Tuesday I paid extra attention to the roadside of the rest of the road.  I’m hoping the supervisor got a few more phone calls.  There are daylilies missing in several places along the property owners’ side of the ditch.  And in one case, one homeowner had planted daylilies to edge his driveway and the first 3 feet of daylilies along both sides of the driveway are now stubs.  I’m thinking that someone doesn’t know what daylilies are……

The good news is that, at least on my property, the mower was mostly a couple inches above the dirt level, and so there’s a couple inches stub of at least some of the daylily plants, and so all of those plants should survive the experience.  However there are several places where the mower clearly hit dirt.  Plus I can’t find stubs for many of the newer plantings (he even mowed down the metal stakes I was using the mark them!), so I’m not sure how they’ll do.  Regardless though they likely won’t come back as full as they were, as it takes time for that sort of growth to appear.

A week later and the whole strip like still looks murdered and dead.  Though I’m sure the weeds will be shortly taking advantage *sigh*……..

Arista Power-review in progress

Posted July 30, 2015 By Ruth

I’m a little frustrated so bear with me.

Back in 2012 we had solar panels installed.  Arista Power, out of Rochester NY, was the installer.  Admittedly likely not who we’d have chosen had we done the picking, solely due to the fact that there are closer installers, but we were getting the panels done via a Solarize program and weren’t given a choice.  Despite that fact the install was done smoothly and we were quite happy with the whole process and the installing company.  Everyone was professional, great to work with, courteous of us and our dogs, and the equipment has functioned perfectly since.

I had a brief contact with Arista’s Installation Coordinator a year ago (March 2014), a check up on the system and to find out how much power it had produced.

Monday, July 20th, 2015, Monday of last week, I received a letter from NY state advising us that we were being audited for claiming the solar system on our taxes.  Not a particularly huge surprise, the system had resulted in a huge refund for us that year.  But frustrating since it was 3yrs after the fact.  Especially since I’d swear I included all of the requested paperwork with our taxes.  But I sat down and started digging through files to find stuff.  Found most of it, but came up short on a couple pieces, one of which turned out to be mis-filed and I eventually found it.  The other piece I needed is proof of how much we paid the installers.  A phone call to the auditor’s office confirmed that an invoice from the installer showing that we paid X amount on X date would be sufficient.

In the week and a half since then I have emailed Arista, both via the individual email address I had from when the install was done, and via the “contact us” on their web page.  I’ve left three voicemails, one on the voicemail of each of the two people I had contact with as part of the install and one on in the general mailbox.  I tracked down the names of their executive team and sent emails to what should be their email address (one of which bounced, but the others appear to have gone through no problem).  

I have received zero response.

This morning I filled out the “I want a quote” form, we’ll see if that nets me anything.

I realize this is their busy season, but in this day and age email and voicemail can be checked from any location (and I know from chatting with both the sales guy and the install guy that they DO check them from anywhere).  Even if they don’t have a secretary to man the front desk and handle basics in the office, and I can’t imagine they don’t have someone in the office to handle that sort of stuff.

My next step is to send a signature required return receipt letter to them, to see what that nets me.  And I’m seriously considering driving out there.

In the mean time we’re making progress on tracking down proof of payment ourselves.  Turns out part of the problem is that we had a different bank account then, which has since been closed.  I think we can track down the info ourselves just fine.

But this whole process is not giving me warm fuzzies about what’ll happen if we ever need repair work done.  Or if we have to replace the roof/shingles on the house for that matter, which will happen eventually, we’d need the installer to come out and remove the panels, and then put them back on after the roof is done.  And though I’m sure that any decent solar installer could manage the process I’d certainly prefer to have the original folks handling it.

Edit: The CEO finally contacted me Friday July 31st.  Now to see if they can produce the paperwork I need!

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!