Archive for October, 2009

Happy Happy Halloween!

Technology OCD . . . Blah!

Oy what a day this has been. I thought I had the laptop all set up with Windows 7 and ready last night. Everything was going okay, except for one minor annoyance, getting my old copy of office to update. However by midnight every other time I rebooted or shut down and restarted, BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH! It still worked of course, but it would give me the BSOD, reboot then work. But then another reboot sent me to BSOD, rinse and repeat.

Being totally OCD about my PC’s, this wouldn’t do. I thought something I installed was doing it, so I took programs off one by one, till I couldn’t figure it out. Wiped the computer and started over again . . . then realized what it probably was. I had a TV tuner card in the thing all day and I think when I removed it, Windows 7 expected it to be there and that was the reason for BSOD. If that really is what it was, a fail on Microsoft and Windows 7 already. I should be able to take it out, it’s an accessory not a necessity! This is the first mark against Windows 7 for me. Microsoft, I’ve already vowed not to buy anymore PC’s after Vista, Windows 7 is in fact your last chance to convince me otherwise!

The other issue I was having was with my old-ass copy of Microsoft Office . . . 2000. Yes, I know, 2000. However it has Access, which is what half my dissertation data was put into. I eventually stopped using Access and started putting it into word files because basically I collected so much data that I broke Access and it wasn’t letting me add more without splitting the tables. I think it might have been a limitation of the older version, I don’t know. But Access is only available as an expensive stand-alone or in the incredibly expensive Microsoft Office Professional. Over the years the price has gone up up up, and I just can’t justify 300+ dollars for that version of Office. As long as what I have works and gets me to the data (to get it out of Access, as ironically I have to put it in a different program for statistical analysis), so be it. Of course the problem now is Microsoft doesn’t support Office 2000 anymore, and the updates they made available they’ve crippled (basically they’ve removed service pack 1, which means you can’t install any of the later ones). This is their way of making you buy a new copy of course. I had to do some googling, which lead me to some tech forums, which helped me solve the problem finally. So I do have Office 2000 with all the security and service pack fixes now. If Open Office would just open Microsoft Access made database files then I would not even need Office anymore πŸ˜› Alas it’s still the one thing Open Office DOESN’T do.

Anyways, now I really have to start cleaning my house for Keith’s arrival tomorrow. It’s a disaster, and I’m also OCD about having a clean (or somewhat clean) house for company. Even though everyone tells me not to bother, their house is worse than mine, blah blah blah – I want it clean. It doesn’t help that John is a slob (as is his brother) and has in fact turned me into my mother. “How hard is it to put your glass into the sink when your done?” “Can you not take 2 seconds to go through your mail every day? I’m sick of it piling up.” “Why can’t you put the food back on the shelf or throw the empty container away when your done?” “Don’t leave glasses of milk next to the computer, the cats knock them over, and I’m not buying you a new one if they destroy it.”

But I Still Love Technology . . . Always And Forever

So I finally got my copies of Windows 7, one for the desktop which John uses and one for my laptop. Thanks to Vista, both had been crippled to the point of crap. John had to reboot the desktop every 30 minutes to keep the internet from slowing down to mud, and I have to reboot my laptop if for some reason it gets knocked off the net as well, because it won’t reconnect to the router.

So I put 7 on the desktop last night, so far so good. I’m in the process of doing my laptop right now, which so far hasn’t been a problem. My laptop maker, HP, decided it was only going to officially support a very slim margin of their older laptops with Windows 7. Basically for everyone else, good luck, if you brick it, sucks to be you! I guess that’s their way of forcing people to buy a new laptop? After my problems with this laptop though, I’d never get another HP that’s for sure. Actually since I went Mac, I would never buy a PC again, except maybe a netbook for traveling. I’m hoping Windows 7 will make that not needed though.

With the laptop . . . so far so good. I probably lost a few neat HP features with some touch buttons, but I might be able to get them back with the old Vista drivers which I still can download. I never really used them though, so it’s not a priority. Frankly I DON’T want to junk it up with HP-ware again. Getting what I need on the laptop is what I care about, and that’s always the bitch about starting over from scratch . . . loading all the programs back on.

Of course, all this Windows 7 love might last about one month. That’s about how long it took for older Windows versions to have the registry clogged up with crap and lead to 10 minute boot up times. They say it won’t be like that with Windows 7, we’ll see πŸ™‚

Let’s see, what else is going on. My friend Keith is coming up this weekend. The weather can’t decide what it wants to do. We are hoping the rain just stays away till Saturday, that way we can go to a haunted house. I want to go to Bates Motel, where Emily and I went last year. If it’s raining though it’s back to Eastern State Penitentiary. Both are excellent, I just like Bates a little better (and Keith’s done the prison). I have to clean the guest room down here for Keith, cause you know John’s brother will be in the room upstairs.

I’m finally going to set up some RSS feeds via my Mac Mail so I know when everyone in my blogroll posts a new blog, since I don’t have Twitter to rely on anymore. Oddly still, I don’t miss it. Most of the people I followed rarely used it anymore, except to note when they had a blog post.

Finally, after about a week of fiddling and testing plugins, I found a subscription plugin that works! So if ou want to know when my blog is updated just head over here and fill in your email. It sends you a confirmation/click the link email, then you should be all set. You can also find the link in the side bar under the “Blogs” header (which you can also use to unsubscribe from the list if you wish).

Post Note: I jinxed myself. Having to reformat and re-install Windows 7 on my laptop. Every other reboot or shut down lead to a Blue Screen of Death. Not sure why, or if it was something I did. Go Microsoft! I’m might have to reformat and use an old XP laptop (so it runs relatively fast) as I refuse to fork over 400 dollars to Microsoft to upgrade office to use on Win7 JUST to get Excel, which only comes with Office Professional.

Post Post Note: After formatting and reinstalling, I think I realized what the problem was. A TV Tuner card I had installed and later taken out . . . another thing I really didn’t need anymore but installed the driver for. Oy! This is why I am not buying PC’s anymore! Mac’s rule πŸ™‚


“Trick’R’Treat” was a movie I meant to review awhile back. Given Halloween is coming up, I wanted to post it as an option for people to rent.

The movie is actually four short stories that occur on Halloween night in the same town and are all intertwined. If you remember the old “Creepshow” movie, it’s very much like that. However here the stories are connected in fun ways that are made known throughout the movie. It’s actually hard to talk about the stories honestly, because to do so gives too much away. I can say there is a story about a group of girls looking for a party, some kids searching for an old school bus accident that is a local legend, a principal who is a nasty individual in secret and uses Halloween to his advantage, and a neighborhood recluse.

The movie is fairly gory, I jumped several times, and the effects are well done. It’s not your normal cheap straight to video flick at all. It also have a cast of good actors, including Anna Paquin. Give this one a rent. The stories aren’t going to deeply move you, but the movie is a fun horror flick and is just about screaming and being grossed out.

Apparently I

Let’s see, what to talk about first? Well maybe the obvious. It has now been a whole week and I honestly don’t miss Twitter as much as I thought I would. I know people probably miss my insane ramblings on it and the updates, but I am shocked that I’m not missing it as much as I thought I would. The one thing I guess I do miss about it is knowing when people updated their blogs. I’m back to the old fashion way of checking via my blog links. I probably have to get used to not using Twitter anyway, as once I start back to teaching next year having it probably wouldn’t be a good thing . . . considering I used my full real name on it and all πŸ™‚ At the very least I would have had to have locked it and made it private (which in my opinion generally defeats the point of having Twitter).

I do miss my phone though. I never realized how handy some of the apps were, like the budget app I had to keep track of my spending and watch my bank account balances, stocks and bonds and shit. I am slowly finding replacements to put on my iMac though (already got a budget app, there is a built in stocks app, but need something to track my actual investments still that doesn’t require logging into the website, which so far I haven’t found).

Anyway, to the topic of the post. Now those who have followed the blog, or my recently deceased Twitter, know that this time of the year is when I’m graced with the presence of John’s brother on the weekends, and soon for an entire month. This is the one who has a habit of being naked or walking around in just his underwear. That is one of his many habits which annoy me to pieces, like brushing his teeth in the kitchen sink! Well he has forever had this girlfriend, who never comes down here. She apparently came down once and once only many years ago. He was mentioning to me last night he was trying to get her to come down with him recently, but she refuses. Why? She says there is too much tension and she doesn’t need that (she is for the record getting over cancer). The tension? Yup, between John’s brother and you know who πŸ™‚ So I’m not the only one anymore so it seems!

Boo! I Had A Bad Dream, Or Did I?

Just when I thought I would be taking a break, something worth while happens that fits in with this time of year πŸ™‚ Last night I woke up, swore I saw a dark shadow creeping up over the bed, kicked at it and started screaming “No!” really loud. Then of course I came to my senses and John woke up wondering WTF was happening.

When I looked around, I saw no dark figure. When I thought about it, it had its arms outstretched and a funny hat on. It reminded me of Freddy, which reminded me earlier that day in Philly I saw a kid walking around with a red-n-green Freddy like sweater on. The influence? I don’t know. I’ve woken up and thought I saw this weird figure in the bedroom before. Aliens? I really hope not on that one!

I am sure it’s not the influence of watching “One Missed Call 3: Final” before bed, cause that movie just sucked hard core.

Clarification . . . . Not Closing, Just Slowing Down :)

Okay to clarify my last post, yes I thought about closing the blog, but I haven’t, at least not yet. I’m just gunna be slowing down probably. When I started blogging it was the new thing, and it was one of those mediums where it was thought you had to post every day, or at least every other day. Then it started fading away, and now with the advent of twitter and facebook, blogs are becoming a dying medium these days it seems. People are blogging less and using the microblog services more.

I’ve just decided rather than force myself to come up with what I would call a filler post, or feel guilty if a week has gone by and figure out what to blog about just to blog, that I’ll blog when I feel like it. So if a week or two goes by and there is no new post, then I guess I felt I had nothing to get off my chest or blog about πŸ™‚

I’m gunna look into a way to email subscribe to the blog, so that when a new post goes out it emails everyone on the list. I know the plug-ins exist, it’s just finding one that works with the newest release of WordPress that can be tricky.

2005 Is Calling To Welcome Me Back Technologically . . .

Photo on 2009-10-18 at 17.51 #3 So I really did it this time lol. I deleted twitter again, and this time it’s not coming back. I also no longer have an iPhone, I am back on my old Motorola Razor. It cut my bill in half though, and I won’t be spending money on apps anymore.

I did delete my Facebook, but again brought it back. Too many people I can’t contact any other way but it it seems. Without the iPhone and Twitter though, I won’t be updating it as much obviously. Facebook is the one thing I did successfully cut back on these past few months.

Now for the really sad/shocking part. I had also planned to close this blog. I even made up a front page/goodbye post. It was up for about 5 minutes, then I took it down cause it sucked and was vague. Honestly though, I am still contemplating it. Lately I just feel like I don’t have much to blog about here, other than posting photos of my decorations πŸ™‚ I may just have to take some time off. So if the blog has a new post, it’s cause I felt like I had something worthwhile to post about. If it doesn’t, well it’s because I don’t have anything to say and don’t feel like reaching for something just to make a post.

As for why I did this (-again-)? I don’t know, I do know, it’s a lot of things, some I don’t want to go into here. This is the time of year I always get stressed and find myself down. John works longer hours (but doesn’t make more money). The bills for the January vacation come in, and I wonder again why I ended up booking these things when I pay for them (and shouldn’t be using savings to do so).

Will I regret this? I know I will when I start going through iPhone withdrawal. The idea of not being able to get my email on the go is already killing me, as is not being able to check the stocks and other things I liked doing. However if I can successfully get through iPhone withdrawal I’ll probably just stick to my Razor, or move to a “pay as you go” phone when my contract is up. That will cut the bills in half again πŸ™‚ The sad fact is, I use about 20 minutes a month at max on my phone, everything else was internet or text messaging. Even the texts I cut down on lately as well.

Drag Me To Hell Review

This is a film I wanted to go see while in the theater, but never got a chance. I ended up renting the unrated director’s cut Blu-Ray and am glad I did. This film was great!

Written and directed by Sam Raimi, most famous in horror circles for doing “The Evil Dead,” it was his return to the horror genre. It has a lot in common with “Evil Dead.” Believe it or not, when that movie came out, it was the grossest of the gross. Now it’s laughable of course. In this film a woman (Christine) working at a bank pisses off an old gypsy woman by denying her a loan extension. The woman curses her, and in three days she’ll be dragged to hell, literally.

This movie will cause you to scream from the jump out of your seat scares, then cringe. Make no mistake, there is an oral fixation to this movie, and not in a good way. It’s fitting giving the gypsy’s curse was oral. Things go into and out of people’s mouths a lot, and it’s not in a XXX way either. It’s in a “oh my God I’m going to vomit” way.

Only one scene in the movie pissed me off. It comes half way through, and let’s just say I think it might have been part of the uncut director’s edition. It will probably cause many to just stop the movie, just remember it’s a movie!

The conclusion, well I won’t spoil it πŸ™‚ This one gets a rent it, but only if you are the most hard-core of horror fans.

House of the Devil Review

House of the Devil So currently playing (probably) on your digital cable’s “On Demand” channel is the movie “House of the Devil.” It plays up till the end of the month, when it begins playing in select theaters nationwide. It’s an interesting way to market a movie for sure, putting it on Pay Per View before it’s in the theater.

The movie has a distinct look and feel. It opens with some facts about how in the early 80s, the nation was obsessed with the idea of satanic cults, with something like 30% of people believing they were real and sacrificing people. This movie plays on that hysteria, as well as clearly sets itself in the early 80s.

The movie on this level, setting itself in the 80s, makes it a visual feast for the eyes. You could just watch it and enjoy it on this level. There are no cell phones, pay phones are used, the main character listens to a walkman, even the hair style and coke cups are retro. Yes, there is an 80s soundtrack too! The film has also been given a ting of static feel as well, as if you were watching it in a theater on an old school projector.

The movie is about Samantha, a college student desperately in need for money. She answers a baby sitter wanted ad on her local school bulletin board, which of course leads her to a creepy house way out in the country. She finds out she’s not babysitting a kid per say . . . We’ll stop here with the details, to give more away would spoil the fun.

The story plays out much like an old school horror film, with the first half setting up the terror to come. Now if you want blood and guts, this movie has it, but not in buckets worth. It’s more of a psychological thriller if anything, with some creepy scenes thrown in at the end. Are these people nuts, for real, what’s going on? It’s not till the final moments of the movie you get it, which makes for a great ending (though it has been done before).

Definitely worth a see. It’s 10 bucks on demand, steep for an on demand movie. But it’s not in theaters yet (where most of us would pay 10 bucks for the ticket alone). If you want to wait for DVD to rent, it’s worth a rent for fans of old school 80s horror.