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      Sunday, December 17, 2017

09:04 AM - 12/17/2017

The topic: Cards are done!


Finished the envelopes last night. Yay! Now, to figure out who to send what. And one of them needs a little message about how to open the card, it's not tricky, but it's not obvious.

We might go see a movie this morning, Brian needs a break. Then when we get home, I need to wrap some gifts for shipping tomorrow.

I also need to get the cards addressed and stamped. I'm really sad that most of them won't get to their destinations by Christmas, they didn't last year. That's why I started on them so early this year, before Thanksgiving. The best laid plans...

I'm getting excited about setting up my new computer, I keep thinking about it, but I have all this other stuff to do first.

Darn it.

      Saturday, December 16, 2017

08:32 AM - 12/16/2017

The topic: And then, there’s number four


During the sleep time on Thursday night into Friday morning, Mario was very growly. He's growly at the other cats, but he was particularly bad this night.

There was a lot of "shut up, Mario" from both of us.

Friday morning, I found out why. His back end was VERY painful. Ah, come on.....

I wasn't sure what it could be. Thoughts were urinary blockage or constipation. Neither were good options. As soon as it was eight, I called the vet's office. We made an appointment for ten am. Then I saw Mario in the office, on a throw rug. He was trying to poop. He had urinated. So, this narrows it down.

The doc checked him over, took a mini-blood test, and Mario got an x-ray.

Mario has always had a problem with his lower back. And it's gotten worse as he's gotten older (he's seventeen). We could see the deterioraton on the x-ray. The vet called it stenosis. And pressure was put on his nerves, think along the lines of sciatica. And it's hard for him to push out these hard, dry little stools you see here in the x-ray.  It's not that he can't push them out, it's just too painful.

So, Mario got fluids, Mario got an enema, Mario got to stay at the vet's office until he passed the stools, then he came home with some steroids (for the back problem) and stool softener. And from now on, he'll get psyllium added to his meals. Of course, these will be special meals, just for him, so I know he's getting what he needs to be getting. Vet said if possible 80% wet food for him. Yeah, okay. I just wish he wasn't such a slow eater.

I finished one card yesterday. Four to go.

vet    stenosis    sciatica    mario   

08:08 AM - 12/16/2017

The topic: Plan interference part three


So, all the pieces for the last three cards were cut last Sunday. Fifty-three sheets of paper. At this point, I'm trying to decide what to use for sentiments and embellishments. I needed a certain text on a curve for a banner.

I decided to use my Mint stampmaker.

I got the stamp designed and started the process and the computer wouldn't recognize the stamp maker. Oh, if I disconnected it from the computer and reconnected it, I got the little box saying "installed". But I couldn't get the Mint software to recognize that it was connected.

I restarted the laptop. It stalled. NOOOOOOO!!!!

I restarted again. Same thing. I finally ended up doing a recovery (yeah, just like Brian's all in one). I did research new laptops, found a couple I liked, Brian said I could get one, but if I can get this one working again, I won't worry about it.

Luckily, I did get it working again. I'm not happy with losing my settings, but it's not like there's a lot of stuff on it that can't be replaced. And I did use the save your stuff option, so if there are any pictures on there that hadn't been transferred to the external drive, they are still available. Somewhere.

I got my stamp made. I did a test ink of one, not happy with it, spent some time researching the best way to emboss using a Silhouette Mint stamp, did a couple of test stamps and I figured I could do this on Friday. Yay!

Shut down for the night.

stamps    geekstuff    craftstuff   

07:49 AM - 12/16/2017

The topic: About plans


Brian had an appointment Wednesday and I was going to go with him, but Tuesday night my IBS or whatever the hell it is flared up. This thing I've had since my twenties. I didn't want to be sitting in a waiting room and have the pain hit, so we decided I didn't really need to be there. Sleep that night was awful.

I spent the day dozing off and on. I lost a day of papercrafting.

I decided this time I didn't want to take any pills to help things along. I wanted my body to do it on its own. After Brian's colonoscopy a few months ago, he was told to take a fiber supplement for is diverticulitis. So, he said I should take it as well. If it would help this from happening, I was all for it. But my body wasn't used to the fiber, I guess.

Ever since my gallbladder was taken out, I've had a reflux problem. It's really been a drag on my activity level, having that acidic stomach. Omeprazole works, but it's not a long term solution. So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try a Zantac in the morning and at night (don't take more than two tablets a day as per directions). Yeah! No stomach problems. Well, there was some breakthrough, but it wasn't really bad. It really sucks to be wakened from a deep sleep by stuff coming up your throat, burning along the way. Burning is what acid does. But the Zantac has a side effect. Constipation.

And yeah. That happened. So, with the Zantac side effect, the upped intake of fiber, my poor intestines were lost. They didn't know what to do. So, they just hurt.

Funny thing, though, for years I've taken an orange soda flavored Zipfizz in the morning, before breakfast, with my BP pill. Well, Wednesday, I didn't have one. At all. I didn't have one Thursday, or Friday. And you know what?

No reflux. No upset stomach. And Thursday we had Taco Bell for dinner. Amazing.

So, Zipfizz will now be used for it's purpose. As a pick-me-up when I really need one (it has a ton of vitamin B). Not as a substitute for good old boring water. I'm not saying Zipfizz is a bad thing, I'm just saying I can't take it every day, first thing. My body doesn't process things like it did when it was younger. Your mileage may vary.


07:07 AM - 12/16/2017

The topic: Life has a way of getting in the way of great plans…


My plan was to have all of my cards finished and out at the beginning of this week.  That didn't happen.

The problem, mostly, was that computer we got him. The all in one. Remember in my previous entry I mentioned having to find another outlet to run it on? I knew there was something just not right with that.

The screen blacking out did not stop. I added programs. I removed programs. I contacted the manufacturer's support and I was told to install these updates (there were three links, one for the BIOS, one for the chipset and one for the graphics card. "If these don't work, contact us and we'll set up for you to send the unit it for repair.".  "Uh, no, this is a new computer, I'll just return it" was my response.

I installed the updates. For about a half hour, there was no flashing. Then it started again.

Frustrated, on Monday, I'd had enough. We would return the machine. I started the process of wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system to factory settings. Got it up and running and it worked. No flashing. Great! Maybe we won't have to return it.  It goes into sleep mode. It comes out easily. Just to be safe, it stays on sleep mode overnight. It wasn't turned off.

Tuesday morning, he comes in, brings it out of sleep mode. No monitor. Oh, I can talk to Cortana, but there's nothing on the screen. That's it. I'm done. Start the wipe of the hard drive again. It gets so far and stalls. To hell with it.

I unplug it, take everything apart and it's ready to be returned to CostCo. We were there when they opened.

I hadn't installed my new computer yet, it was still in the box, I was getting his up and running and working on the cards. It's not  a priority.  After the unit was returned and our card credited, Brian did the shopping and I went to the computer section. Found a really nice model, a Dell XPS, and checking it against the specs for my new computer, the one sitting at home on the coffee table in its box, the HP Envy, this was a more robust unit. 4GB graphics card, 16GB of RAM vs the 12GB of the one on the coffee table.  I salivated. We got this computer, and this would be mine and Brian would get the one on the coffee table. He also got a new monitor. The man who worked in the tech area came over and we discussed the problems with the all in one. He said the problem with those is when something goes wrong, the entire system doesn't work. He said he didn't care for them at all. Yeah, me either. It looked nice and was great in concept, but possible downtime was a major consideration.

We get home, in less than three hours I had it up and running, most of the programs he uses installed.

He has had no problems since. And I started working on cards.

geekstuff    computer    all in one   

      Monday, December 04, 2017

01:54 PM - 12/04/2017

The topic: I think Brian’s new computer is pretty close to him being able to use it


So, I get the new computer unboxed, put the stand on, pull the old monitor and computer out, vacuum most of the dust bunnies from that area, all nice and clean, set up the new computer, plug it in and start it up. The monitor keeps going black. Huh? What the hell? I finally unplugged it from where it was plugged in (to a battery back up system) and used a heavy duty extension cord for a plug in across the room. No more problems. Okay, we'll have to find a more convenient outlet to run this thing.

Then there was the installation of the mouse and keyboard. No place was it mentioned that it was a unifying receiver, one that took information from both the mouse and keyboard. I kept looking for the dongle for the keyboard, but there wasn't an additional one, it was with the mouse dongle. So, very few cables on his side of the desk now.

Cortana kind of surprised me. When she started talking, I about jumped out of my skin. But I must say, the speakers on this system aren't half bad.

For some reason, the DVD drive won't open, it opened earlier but won't now. Not really a problem at this point, I have a bunch of portable DVD drives that I got when I used to make the Disney movies after the meets. I can just plug one into a back USB port and leave it. If anything else goes wrong, then we'll address it. We have a four year warranty on it (Costco concierge automatically doubles the standard warranty and I don't know if it's a seasonal thing, but then doubled the warranty that they usually have, so four years).

I installed Paint Shop Pro X7 from a DVD, that I got back in 2002. Guess what? When it checked for an update, it updated to a version that came out in 2014! Checking, I also purchased the newer upgraded version for cheap in 2016, so....it's not like I'm getting something for nothing. Anyway, I think it will be a lot easier for Brian to manage his photos now. The application is a lot more user friendly. He doesn't edit much, just resizes.

I went into his email and sent some test mails to myself, with attachments (that's why the photos are important; he wants the potential customer to see what they'd be getting, how well they're made....and also, he told me later, when they go someplace cheaper and compare what they got with what he makes, they'll understand why his cost more). It kept trying to pull the photos from onedrive, what the hell is onedrive? I check on it, nope, don't need access to his photos from everywhere in the world, I can do that with my NAS. It would only serve to confuse him.

Fortunately, on this system, it can be uninstalled and it is.

I don't know if I mentioned it here, but I had a problem with his old computer, which is destined for a new home, a long way from here. When I plugged an external hard drive in to back up the info on that computer to transfer to the new computer, the blue thing in the front USB i/o port broke. And neither port would work and there was a strong probability of shorting out the computer. I spent a week looking for a replacement part.

First place I bought it from was a scammer. Supposedly was sent out on the 20th of last month, I should have had it Saturday, the 22nd. Nope. I contacted them Monday. "Oh, the post office damaged it, we're getting a replacement tomorrow, I'll send new shipping info".  I waited until Thursday and nothing. I contacted them, they blew me off. I put in a dispute with my bank. Then I found another place, with shipping it was almost a hundred bucks, but I wanted that part. I ordered it, then got a notice from them that they cancelled the order, the part was on backorder, didn't know when it would be in.

I went over to the Meh forums, I know people there work with computers and posed my question. Where to find this part. And someone found it on eBay. I checked it out and it was only $28, so I went for it. Supposedly brand new. Of course, I was a little nervous about it, it said it was for a different computer than mine and looking at the specs for that computer, this part would never work in my system. And the number was different. I paid with PayPal so knew I'd have some recourse if it was wrong.

It got here Saturday. It was right! And the number was right! I took the old computer back to Brian's shop this morning, blew all of the dust and stuff out with his compressor, came back in and the old part came out smoothly and the new part went in smoothly. I put the front and side back on, took that and the old monitor into the kitchen, plugged them in and we have working USB 3.0 ports on the front!  I felt so geeky!

So, I've been going from the kitchen to the office, from the office to the kitchen, looking for files I need for the new system. I'm getting a lot of walking in. lol

Of course, all of this takes time and Brian is antsy. He asked what I wanted for lunch, tuna sammies, I said. He made them, and came back into the office, I tell him "okay, I've got your pictures on the computer, but I don't have it set up for you to access them via your email, so you can't work with them yet." 

Him: Oh, but I can do quotes?

Me: Yeah, you can do quotes. But you can't add pictures. (There's a little eye rolling on my side of the room.)

Him: No pictures yet?

Me: What did I tell you?

Him: The pictures weren't ready yet.

He went back out to work on hydraulics.

So, I have a few things left to do, but I don't think I need to install some of the old programs he had. I think using the new Microsoft Edge browser should work nicely. For pop ups and ads (but if it doesn't, I'll install an add blocker). I have to put the security software on it still and maybe Roboform (the old version), but if I can get away with not, just tell him his passwords, the browser software should save them as he goes along.

So, that's what I've been doing this morning. When Brian asked me if I'd done my computer yet, I just looked at him. Really? Are you kidding?  "Well, you're just so fast at this."  Yeah, nice save, buddy.


geekstuff    conversations   

      Wednesday, November 29, 2017

09:52 AM - 11/29/2017

The topic: Conversations


So, we're back in the office, I'm finishing up here on the computer for now and Brian is checking his email.

Sometimes he reads snippets out loud. Sometimes I respond.

He was moving some paper around, while he read from the latest email.

Him: "I wonder if you have a solution..."

Me: The solution that works best for me is one part vinegar, two parts water.

Him: keeps moving paper. Then he starts laughing. He just realized what I said.

Him: "It's really not worth the price of shipping, you can just go down to the grocery store and get what you need...."

Man, we could have so much fun with his emails.


      Tuesday, November 28, 2017

06:09 PM - 11/28/2017

The topic: More boring adventuires from the home of lisaviolet


Last weekend, I got some movies from Amazon. DVDs. I got all of the Harry Potter movies (only seen one, read part of the first book, still have the rest of that book and seven more to go) and the Riddick complete set. Unrated.  All three of them. In Blu-ray. The Blu-ray comes with codes for digital copies.

The movies get here yesterday, fairly early in the day. Delivered via Amazon delivery. I rip the covering off, find the codes and go to the website mentioned on the paper. Login? What's my login? I can't remember. So, I login with my Google account. Put in the codes for each movie and voila! I have three new movies to watch on Vudu or Google movies or Amazon! Or so I thought.

They didn't show up in those accounts on the Roku. Huh. Interesting. So, I try to connect the moviesanywhere account to each of those services. They're already connected. To something. What did I do? What on earth did I do?

I start a chat with support. Coming to find out I have three accounts!  141031022

One with Google. One with Facebook. And one with my regular email address. My Riddick movies are in the Google account. All the other ones are in my Facebook account. Which is the account that is connected to Google, Facebook and Amazon. There's nothing in my regular email address account. Swell.

So, she walks me through what I need to do on my end, it's fixed and a different department has to take care of moving the Riddick movies. That should take a couple of days. I can handle that.

I think that was my excitement for yesterday.

Today, I cut paper. I had gotten most of the paper for my next batch of cards on mats Sunday and yesterday. Not all, but most of it. It really helped out.  I had all three machines going. A couple of things I've learned. Not to use the Cameo 2 for heavy foil cardstock. And when I'm working with heavy foil cardstock, to wash my hands first. Especially if I've been eating barbecue potato chips.

I mentioned going to the movie on Sunday. Well, my movie watch wasn't working. The battery died. I took it apart Sunday and found it has two batteries. One runs the light in it (which is why I call it my movie watch...), The other runs the clock. There were four tiny black screws and four tiny silver screws. I found the numbers for both batteries and ordered from Amazon. Then I put it back together and lost one of the tiny black screws!  It flew off when I was trying to put it back into that teeny, tiny hole. I did find another screw in a piece of jewelry that worked. But, geez...

The I decided to see if I could find my indiglo watches and I found one of them, took the back off and got the battery number off of that, ordered some of those.

They got here this afternoon and my Indiglo watch is running (it also has a light) and my Armitron watch (the "movie" watch) is running! I changed out the battery in my other indiglo, the light works, but the watch doesn't. So, I opened up my Winnie the Pooh mood watch and the battery was the same as the little battery in the Armitron and I changed that out. My Winnie the Pooh mood watch runs now! Yay!

I'm not getting payment notifications from our credit card processor. I called them this afternoon and it's not on their end. I put in a support ticket with my webhost. I was asked for headers of an email. I sent headers along with a message that they were from the last email I received (the 20th). The response? "We show you got that email on the 20th". 

What? No kidding! I can't send headers from email I haven't received! So, I sent back a message that I should have gotten two other emails, one on the 24th and one today. Didn't get either. Waiting on an answer to that.

And there you have it. My exciting life.




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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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