Ok, thats kinda scary….

I was following links, from the Gun Blog Black List, and ran across this video.  Forgot to save the link to the blog where I found it, sorry, if you think it might have been your blog please let me know.

But thats scary to watch.  The fact that there was apparently no loss of life (at least in the mine itself) is amazing.

As much as I’m not looking forward to winter…..

…..I do have to say that I AM looking forward to getting rid of the mosquito’s.  I know some area’s of the country are dry as hell, but here we’ve had the opposite problem, its been so wet as to having low grade flooding almost constantly all summer (which the exception of the month of July), seriously, we’re talking standing water in my yard every time we get even a little bit of rain.  And that doesn’t even take into account what Irene and her ilk dumped on us.  So the mosquito’s are a constant voracious pest, even at high noon they’re all over.  I can’t wait till they’re gone!

Just came in from taking the puppy out for a potty break and even with the Off Clip On (which normally does a pretty decent job at keeping them off) I’m itching in several spots.

Facebook, part 2

The only reason I’ve kept my account there through all the things Facebook has pulled is because its the only contact I have with a bunch of people that I used to be good friends with.  After I moved out of state my contacts with them (partially my fault, partially not) dwindled and disappeared, so I was thrilled to see them on Facebook, where we could occasionally chat at least.

So this latest Facebook update has annoyed me to no end.  Don’t screw with my news feed dammit.  Its how I keep up with some of these folks.

Someone came up with a partial fix. 

1:Log into Facebook, on your homepage, in the top right corner is a down arrow, click on it, click on Account Settings in the box that pops open.  In Account settings click on Notifications, on the notifications page, in the top right hand corner is a box about email frequency, make sure it is NOT checked (default is checked and its a new “feature” so likely its checked).

2: Go back to your home page, if you have “Top Stories” sorted out of your feed by Facebook (seriously, talk about a stupid idea) there are two ways to unmark them as “top stories”, first on the top right hand side of each story is a down arrow, click on that, then click on “unmark as top story”.  the other, on the top left hand side of each story is a blue triangle, click on that (DO NOT DO BOTH, only one or the other).  Do that with ALL the “top stories” (note, apparently Facebook doesn’t ALWAYS sort out “top stories” so if you don’t see any don’t freak, just keep in mind what to do when they DO popup).

3: Now thats not perfect.  Facebook, in its ever so great wisdom, has decided that people’s news feeds were too crowded and thus things needed to be seperated out.  I don’t understand why, or  how they decide what goes in your main news feed or what, but unfortunetly there isn’t a good fix for this, only a really bad partial one (at least so far).  So, on the left hand side of your Facebook home screen is a set of “Lists”, defaults include “Close Friends” and “Aquantiances” among other things.  Now you can also create your own lists, so if you really want to be creative go for it, but that will only complicate things when you’re trying to read  your feed.  All you really need to do is put all your friends into one or two lists.  I sorted everyone by “close friends” (which means you want to see everything they post) and “Aquaintences” (which means you don’t want to see everything, you can change what you want to see on the list screen).  To do this, click on the list you want to add people too, then in the top right hand corner is a “manage list” drop down box, click on it, then click on “add/remove friends”  That will pop up a box with all your friends who have not been put into this list yet.  Click on everyone you want to add to this list, click done.  Now all the news from those people, that doesn’t make it into your regular news feed, you can see by clicking on the name of the list from your home page.  Yes its annoying as heck.

On a plus note to all this, as of 8am this morning viewing Facebook on the default browser on my IPad still shows the originial view, and  I’m hoping it’ll stay that way!  I also like that I can now go to  an individual person’s page and tell Facebook I dont’ want to see Game Updates from that person (you can also do this from the individual list page), as the Game Updates are annoying.  I’d figured out how to get rid of them under the old format, but it ment I had to do it for each game or app, now I can just say “no game updates” and there are no game updates, that IS cool.

Today’s links

Your car come with Onstar?  Might want to make sure you REALLY canceled that account….

THIS is how you handle a grizzly.  Ok, a high powered rifle from a safe distance would be even better, but I’ll take it.

Fark headline: Virginia looks at classifying Claritin-D and Sudafed as more dangerous than Rohypnol, since it’s not like you can make meth out of safe, harmless Rohypnol

Bet you thought YOUR kid was a picky eater!

Fark headline: Perhaps the second time you hit the same house is a good time to evaluate your driving skills

The Indiana Supreme Court is upholding a ruling that Hoosiers cannot resist police officers who enter their homes without warrants………The Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling [Tuesday] means that individuals still have the common law right of reasonable resistance to an unlawful entry, though there is never justification for committing battery against a police officer. In volatile domestic violence situations, police have the right to enter a home to ensure safety of others, but today’s ruling also means the individual has the right to stand against his locked door to protect his home and communicate with police outside without a physical altercation.”  uhuh.

Scientists on trial for Manslaughter after failing to predict an earthquake.  So according to the article, all the people wanted was to be told that there COULD be a big quake, so they could leave….sounds good right? Except since no one can predict WHEN a quake is going to hit, if one hadn’t hit right away then how long do you think it would have been before someone was suing for false info?  Talk about a catch-22.  And really, if you’re getting “minor” rumblers bad enough to feel, then a major quake is a possibility regardless of the scientific data, if only for what you should do for your self preservation’s sake.  Besides, what do you think the chances are of getting enough people with enough scientific know how to be able to understand the data as jurors!

Ok, just stop.

Well, the good news is that it could have been EVER SO MUCH WORSE.

The bad news is we just spent $500 more on my car than we expected too.

Took my car in for new tires today, I probly could have gone another winter on the old ones, but it would have been pushing it, especially if we have a bad winter again.  Cringed at the price of the tires, but yah, about what we expected.  Go ahead and do an alignment, and do an oil change while you’re at it please.  Did NOT go to the Dealership for this, unless its warrenty work we never do, a reliable local place is almost always cheaper, not to mention nicer to deal with.

So they put it up on the lift, pull off the tires, and come back out to tell me that there’s a problem.  The lower control arm/ball joint connection is badly rusted, on both sides of the car, and needs replacement ASAP, like “I’m not sure its safe for you to drive” ASAP (and they just don’t say that there, they’re the perfect example of live and let the customer do what they want).

Crap.  So while they’re calling to find out if they can get the parts and how much they’ll cost, I’m calling the Dealership to find out if they’re covered under warrenty.  Or, I’m TRYING to call the Dealership.  The line is busy.  How is the line busy, its a multi-brand dealership with major multiple lines?  Maybe I have a wrong number.  So I dig out a business card out of my purse.  Nope, right number.  So I use my phone to Google for a different number, if nothing else one of the other car brand desks can transfer me to the Dodge repair shop folks right?  Nope, every number rings busy.  WTF?!  So the shop guys hand me their landline phone in case its something with my cell.  Nope, busy signal.  F*ck.  Well I’m not going to drive it over there (risking life and limb, cause of course now that I KNOW there’s a problem it would be NOW that it would fall apart) on the hope that its covered only to discover that its not and that the Dealership is going to charge twice as much to fix it.  So I tell them to go ahead and do it.  This is why we keep a paid off credit card with a high availible balence around.  One of the repair guys, sensitive to the fact that I’m still not happy about not getting ahold of the dealership, tells me to come with him out to my car, and procedes to remove the passenger side lower control arm so he can show me how bad it is.

Now for those of you who (like me) aren’t car savvy, the lower control arm looks like a big metal boomerang with the ball joint inset at one end that attaches to the wheel assembly, and a bushing inset at the other to connect to whatever in the car it connects too (or at least the one from my car does, online data shows they differ from car to car).  From what I can find online its what keeps your steering tires inline when you hit bumps and bounce around on the road.  Having one fail (in any way shape or form) while driving can mean loosing control of your car in a very painfull way.

So he pulls it off the car, and says “crap, now I’m really glad we’re doing this…..” which doesn’t fill me with thoughts of joy.  He points out the ball joint, and the area around it, and how rusty it all is, and says that THAT is what initially caught his attention and the recomendation for the replacement.  He then procedes to point out the bushing on the other end, grabs ahold of the bushing and starts to say “but this is even wor….” and the metal holding the bushing in place disintergrates in a cloud of rust leaving him with the control arm in one hand and the bushing in the other.  Cool huh?  Yah, not so much.

So, $220each for a new control arm with ball joint and bushing for each side of the car, plus an hour’s labor, on top of the price of the new tires, and I’m off, and hey, the extra squeeling sounds I was getting on corners is gone!  Well thats cool.  Though I never did hear any of the other warning sounds the repair guys kept asking me if I’d heard (seriously, I think 5 different guys asked me the same question at some various point during this whole thing.  I promise I’m not that car clueless, if it had been clunking on corners I’d have already had it into the shop).

Seriously Life, I know it coulda been alot worse, but can we just stop now?  I’d like to have a few normal months for a change so I can get things back under control!!

Ever so proud of the puppy!

One of the hardest things we found in trying to teach manners to our pup is to teach him to drop or otherwise leave an interesting item.  This was especially hard because the most common methods for teaching this involve giving the dog a “high value” treat or toy in place of the “bad” item.  I know, that doesn’t sound hard at all right?

But see, Apollo, like most Tibetan Mastiffs, isn’t especially food or toy oriented.  Sure toys are cool, especially when they squeak, and cheese and peperoni are awesome treats…..but only till something CATCHES his attention, then I can wave peperoni in front of his nose all I want and he’s going to just ignore it.  Honest.  The lady who did our puppy class tried to tell us we must be doing something wrong if he wasn’t being attracted to the peperoni, the look on her face when she did it, and he ignored her and headed in the opposite direction was priceless.  To be fair to her she recovered nicely, and was able to help us cope and come up with alternative methods for most of the training regimen.  So sometimes offering him a treat in place of the “bad” item works really well, other times not so much.

Now over time (and remarkably quickly really) he’s learned whats his to chew on and what isn’t, but we’ve still struggled with getting him to “leave it” when something really tempting/tasty hits the ground or catches his eye.  Getting him to NOT steal cardboard or paper out of the box of burnable trash has been an on-going argument, and god forbid you drop something tasty food wise.  But over the last several weeks he’s headed for the burn box, grabbed something and attempted to make off with it, and I’ll tell him “no, thats not yours” and he’ll drop it and come over to me a bit sheepishly.  That all by itself was a HUGE improvement in that behavior, but then just now, I had a couple chocolate chip cookies on my plate, and I somehow managed to drop one on the floor.   Apollo lunged, and I said “no”, and he stopped and looked at me!  I’m so proud of my puppy!  (and yes, he got a couple slices of peperoni for that one).

It might be time….

….to consider finding a new blogger software, when I see this, and the first thing that occurs to me is “oh god, how do I turn it off!!!!”

Seriously, stop “improving” the software, and actually improve it.  Fancier is not necessarily better, in fact its often so annoying it sucks.