Fresh Paint
Friday, September 25, 2009
Still Even More Partly All There
Typing this on the new computer -- a widescreen, which takes getting used to. Screen is stunningly clear, and watching stuff on Hulu (which I did no more than 5 minutes after opening the box and plugging the sucker in) is wonderful.

I suppose I'll discover how fast this new one is after going back to the old one when I get around to setting up a network. Doing things on the internet is hobbled by the speed of my connection.

Next job (when I sleep and get organized a bit) is to install graphics programs, etc. and get the printer set up.

I think I'm going to like it. It's wide and a bit narrower than my old laptop. Still not sure how playing games formatted for the older screen will look on this one.

The older computer (which was at the time more than twice the cost of this one) does indeed feel sturdier and more substantial. Think I'll like this, tho. The keyboard feels very good -- keys a little firmer touch, which I actually like, and a little bigger too. Had got into habit of typing the "A" with my ring finger instead of the pinkie. Maybe will try to retrain it, so it doesn't get all flabby.

Touch pad has all sorts of new functionality I've been tripping over. May just disable it while I'm at my desk, since I definitely prefer a mouse.

One cool thing is that the electric cord has a little blue light along the edge -- like a night light. I didn't get the lighted keyboard option, which maybe I should have (since it looked somewhat useful in the store). At some point will turn off all the lights and see whether I like it.

For now, all is cool. Yes, it's another Dell -- not the XPS, just the cheap Studio 15 model with the XP Pro downgrade -- will upgrade (or not) to Windows 7 after Service Pack 1 or 2 comes along. These are things you can plan on with Microsoft.

That's it for now. Still have a lot of crapware to get rid of.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
A Little More Partly Back
This has been a big educatation for me (reinstalling from backup). I have learned a thing or two that may come in handy for you if you ever have to do this. I hope you won't, but...

1) When you're storing stuff, don't fling it all over the hard drive. Sounds boring, but storing all your data and files and such under the Documents tree is a good thing. A VERY good thing.

2) You should be shot for having major amount of data living on the desktop. For example (like me), I started storing all my scanned and manipulated and game images under a mess of files on the desktop. It's all over the freeking place, and it moves around constantly. When you restore, it DOESN'T DELETE DATA if you happen to have moved it.

3) If you do incremental backups, for GOD'S SAKE, don't let them accumulate for 6 MONTHS! I've had to start with my last complete "normal" backup from APRIL, then BY HAND restore forward my virtuously created daily backups. Many days I didn't store anything to speak of (especially when I was playing a lot of games over the summer).

4) I know it's free, but there has to be a better product than what Windows provides. I don't hold out much hope for Vista's version or Windows 7s version either. I think I'm going to have to find something that's SEARCHABLE and BATCHABLE. For the life of me I can't figure out why Backup doesn't show the creation date of each of the sets stored in the .bkf file. Maybe I'm missing a menu choice someplace, but it makes it STUPIDLY HARD to figure out where you are when you're restoring.

5) I have no idea why I've been backing up the system state all this time, since I couldn't use it.

6) I have no idea why the reinstallation created a funky user name with computer name prepended before the regular user name. I didn't realize it was there and so restored to just the user name file and got a duplicate and nothing over in the "new" user's Document tree. So have had to futz stuff and do weird moves and copies and shortcuts.

7) I love applications that don't write a bunch of stuff to the registry. Just have to point myself to the .exe in the program file directory and it RUNS. I love games that have no problem executing if you bought them and feed them the purchase key again. I especially love them if you can download a fresh copy and forget all this aliasing and lying crap. I HATE apps that have changed how they do stuff between the time you originally installed it and now (eg. "free" stuff from Gamehouse, which used to be relatively ad-less too).

8) Oh, well. Am procrastinating. Should get something to eat and probably sleep before I try the last of the "big" artwork and document messes. Think I'm going to restore to a new temp directory, then once everything is mashed together, try to sort it all out.

I suppose it's now a good thing I did practically nothing all summer long.

If you out there in TV land have never even looked at what's behind the icon you click on your machine, if you ever find yourself in this state, HAND IT OVER TO THE TECH GUYS and GALS to fix. If I had a bit of extra money, this is what I would have done (but NOT the Geeks at Best Buy, dear god, at least not the ones around here). They most likely have better tools to restore stuff with, would probable restore to a "clean" server, then move it all over pristinely. That's how I'd do it.

This is too long, because I haven't had sleep and am just typing at this point. Sorry. Nite nite.

Not looking forward to installing a brand new computer that will arrive at some point. Really not. But if I can get the artwork and image files and docs straightened out, at least I know what NOT to do now.

But then will have 2 completely working computers. Just hope I like the new one as much as this old one, even given the problems that arose only after 5+ yrs of solid use.

Probably won't. At least I'll be able to watch Hulu in widescreen.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Partly Back
In mid reinstallation of my poor old laptop -- have all the "big" software (windows, office, and photoshop) set up pretty much.

Had to start with XP Service Pack 1 (what was on my OEM distributed installation disks) and am all the way up to Service Pack 2.

One nice thing: the hard drive they sent me (after sending the completely wrong one first) got overnighted and is twice the size of the old one.

Unfortunately, it meant I couldn't just do an in-place install directly from the backup, since all the boot stuff was wrong, etc.

I tried it anyway, so have shreds of a botched installation all over the place.

At this point, am unsure whether I want to continue onward and attempt an upgrade to Service Pack 3. If so, will try to run it overnight, since I remember how long it took to do the first time.

Still have all my images and docs and games etc. on the backup drive. Thinking about moving them after SP3 happens.

In any case, just thought folks who were worried about me might want to know what's up. Will check in with youse guys later. Yes, I can get mail now on other than my phone or at the library.

I even watched something on Hulu tonight.


Friday, September 18, 2009
Hard Drive Hard Times
Hard crash.

Wasn't sure how to title this. Am at library (here we go again), since hard drive on the 6 yr old computer finally crashed. Am trying not to completely panic, since I have a complete backup as of about an hour before the crash -- and am assuming that the backup on the external drive didn't get fried. Am afraid to take it to an alien computer just to see.

So, have ordered a replacement drive for the old geezer and have ordered a new computer (not the one I wanted, since I'd really wanted to wait for a stable Windows 7, maybe next year after a service pack has been issued). Not to be, unfortunately. So threw caution to the wind and didn't get a boring old business Latitude, but got a widescreen Studio, packed with a ton of stuff and an XP downgrade, so don't have to worry about installing XP stuff into Vista from an XP external drive backup, which apparently you used to not be able to do.

Microsoft has always screwed us up with their backup software. On the one hand you're encouraged to keep making backups. On the other hand they do everything they can to make it impossible to use those backups if you upgrade to a new system. And then they complain that no one wants to migrate. Will they ever get it? Doubtful.

Is unfortunate timing, since I have a lot of stuff I have to get ready for fall shows. Have copies of much of my oldest images on CDs, thank goodness, so will have to dig out jpgs for submission from there else miss a bunch of deadlines.

Need to get the mini resume and links on side updated one of these days.

Now I just have to figure out how to pay for all this. If ANYONE out there is interested in buying ANY OF MY ART, I beg of you, let me know.

While I'm at it, Happy New Year to all! I hope the coming year will be full of kindness and peace.

Thursday, September 10, 2009
Speaking of Printmaking...
Thought I'd embed the new video put out by Deb Maris Lader at the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative. Good intro to them, and to printmakers printing.

That's all.

Nearly Art Fair Ready
... for the Wilmette Arts Fair, that is, (or whatever it's called).

This is what happens when you wait till the last minute:

1) When you're printing stuff out on the printer, you run out of cyan light, and can't print no more. You must run to Office Depot 15 minutes before closing and get an overpriced, actual Epson brand cartridge instead of the no-name stuff you usually get online.

2) You discover that, although you thought you'd bought 4 sheets of identical Fabriano paper, one of them has the watermark on both ends of the sheet, and it's rougher than the other sheets. This means you have to waste one piece of paper (or rather, set it aside for a different project, where placement of the watermark doesn't land in a weird place). Plus the edition has a paper change in the middle. Bummer.

3) You go to Paper Source to get envelopes and discover they'd discontinued the yellow ones that were a perfect match for 2 of your greeting cards.

4) You realize there are not enough surfaces in your house to put stuff on, especially surfaces that don't have a blob of soy sauce just waiting to getcha. The seat of your bicycle becomes a surface.

So we set up tomorrow night, then we're there all day (like from 10 am to 5 pm) Saturday and Sunday. We're right at the Metra tracks for the Wilmette North line station, in the big parking lot near Bank One.

We even have TWO TENTS -- a dozen printmakers -- fun -- prizes (well....they're hopefully giving the prizes to us) -- Julian Cox will be doing his famous printmaking demo with the tiny etching press on Sunday morning.

Look for the Evanston Art Center banner.

And Yet No Money for Health Care, Schools....
Ground broken on $3.4 billion Homeland Security complex:

"'It will help us hold meetings,' Secretary Janet Napolitano said."
Oh, OK.

Good construction jobs are being created, so there's stimulus happening, I guess. Still, I'm sure Napolitano wished she hadn't phrased her comment quite like that.

Good evening, friends. Do you feel sick, too? How's your health holding up, after the incredible, breathtakingly rude GOP outburst this evening?

I want to feel hopeful, but am just tired, tired of it all.

Thursday, August 27, 2009
Department of Things That No Longer Exist
Kitchen matches.

Actually, any matches.

Pilot light on stove went out, scrounged around looking for matches. Realized that since I haven't smoked in 15 years, I don't have any. Since you can't smoke in bars and restaurants any more, I apparently haven't restocked by picking them up near the cash register. Last time I recall using a lot of matches was at the start of the Iraq war, with all the candlelight vigils. Last time the power went out, I snagged a light for the candles from the stove, the one with the pilot light.

The clerk at Walgreens looked at me as though I asked where they kept the buggy whips.

They only sell lighters now that come in packs of 3.

In a box somewhere in my back bedroom is probably an old briefcase or purse or jacket from the days when I smoked (I used to smoke at work, too) that may have a squashed book with one or two left.

What I really want are the wooden ones I remember always lived in a box on a shelf in the cabinet above the stove when I was growing up. I think they were called "safety matches" but I never knew why, since the phrase seems a bit oxymoronic to me.

Until I find them, I guess I can coax a flame from the cigarette lighter in the car.

What? You say they don't exist any longer either?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009
And It's Raining Out, Too
Just learned we've lost Senator Ted Kennedy. I am so very sad for the family, but also for all of us. He was the last of the unapologetic liberals, whose ideas for health care for all were simple and workable -- Medicare for all, phased in by age group, shrinking from the top, growing from the bottom, a simple check box on your tax form as to whether you wanted to participate.

Will there ever be such as him again? Great wealth, great humanity, great sense of responsibility. An often messy, tabloid personal life -- gravitas on the job.

What can I say that hasn't been said, or will be said shortly?

Flawed as it is, we must pass if not univeral health coverage, a health reform bill with a strong, truly affordable, public option in his honor.

And I hope the next senator from Massachusetts keeps roaring until we do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
A Great Day
Smashed 3 fingers in my garage door, got stung by a wasp -- but at least I don't have affordable health insurance to worry about not affording! I feel so lucky!

Was going to blog earlier that today was a very good day -- first day in a long time I actually felt healthy, alert, and strong. All the rain of the last few days washed whatever was giving me allergies and keeping me from breathing easily out of the air. My back stoppped hurting. Someone told me I looked like I'd lost some weight (thank you, new-used bike!)

Why is it that the Great Joker in the Sky can always read minds and slap you down?

Friday, August 14, 2009
Thank You, Brits!
Britons defend their National Health Service
LONDON - Britons love to mock their creaky National Health Service — but they don't want anyone else poking fun at it.

They particularly don't want right-wing Americans to use Britain's universal health care system as a punching bag in their battle against President Barack Obama's proposed reforms.

Conservatives in the United States are using horror stories about Britain's system to warn Americans that Obama is trying to impose a socialized system that would give the government too much power, but Britons are digging in their heels, saying their system should be praised, not demonized.
I had a boyfriend like this once. He complained about his mother constantly, what a psycho she was, how manipulative, etc. etc. wait till you meet her, etc. etc.

Finally I met her. "Boy, I see what you mean," I said.

"How dare you criticize my mother!" he screamed, and that was the end of the boyfriend.

Here in this country we've been rationing health care for so long no one even thinks of it as rationing. Under my old health insurance (back when it was still theoretically good, only 500 buck deductible, etc.) I had to wait 4 months to get an appointment with a doctor who was IN THE NETWORK.

Now, of course, my rations are zero, since I have no health insurance at all, so I don't dare get sick.

I am certain that for every "horror" story a right wing politician here digs out about health service in other countries, a far greater outrage story is taking place right in his own legislative district, and he very well knows it but wants money from the "health" lobby to win him the next election.

We need a comprehensive national health plan. We need to stop thinking of health as a profit center. I find it morally repugnant that someone would consider the health of my body fair game to make a buck.

BTW, for the past week the trending topics on Twitter have all been an appreciation of the NHS.

Thanks again, youse guys.


Thursday, August 13, 2009
The Knife Grinder Is Here

This is a guy who on no set schedule that I can figure out shows up and will grind your knives for a small fee. He's not a chatty kind of guy. He has a strong Italian accent and a teasing nature. Coming back from my bike ride I spotted him on the street corner and managed to get this shot. An earlier group of dull-knife-wielding housewives had just departed leaving these remaining.

A set of steak knives was the subject of the current grinding.

I wish I could get more shots of him, but the camera complained that it needed me to change the batteries and refused to attempt more than this shot. Am sorry.

I have no idea how to get in touch with him. He didn't seem to have business cards, and no advertising or whatever on his machine.

If he comes this way shouting, "Bring out your knives!" maybe I can get a computer-powered shot of him.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Take Whole Foods Down
Being a mindless liberal, I guess I figured that a crunchy granola, earth shoe kind of store like Whole Foods would have at least an official fuzzy sorta progressive outlook about stuff I care a lot about (and what I thought the entire concept of Whole Foods represented), stuff like health care.


Did you realize that the head of Whole Foods, John Mackey, just wrote the most screaming, looney ultra-right wing bit of crap under the aegis of rational discussion about health care "reform"?

Basically, he wants high deductibles, remove any consumer protections and coverage requirements, pretty much get rid of Medicare, and throw my precious health and life open to the free and unfettered purity of slash and burn, take no prisoners, free-for-all of market forces seen at their worst. And fuck you, if you're sick or don't make enough money to stay healthy. Just continue shopping for my overpriced veggies so that I can pay for my own health insurance with the high deductible while getting bigger bonuses for self and cronies.

I realize many of you will laugh, remembering other great boycotts from the past -- lettuce, grapes, Domino's pizza. I realize many of us are sick of scrutinizing the political correctness of this and that -- but CHEEZ!

I hope this guy gets a TON of blowback from his customers. Former customers, I hope.

Monday, August 10, 2009
RIP: Patrick Sweeney

I am so sorry that my old friend Patrick Sweeney has died. I just heard about it. He was a fixture of the Carbondale music/farming/old hippie community for 30 years, and my sister's neighbor. I can't even begin to recount the good Patrick stories. This blog details a few and has some great pix as well.

Local Matters: Patrick Sweeney

I knew he'd been fighting pancreatic cancer for awhile -- just a few months ago the benefit that had been scheduled for him was blown away by the inland hurricane that hit southern Illinois. I'd been planning to go to it -- but couldn't get away for the rescheduled one.

This is such sad news. He'd already fought cancer once -- he was so amazed that chemotherapy gave him wonderful masses of thick, curly hair instead of the thin, stringy hippie hair he'd had for so long. But that was Patrick all over.

Thursday, August 06, 2009
Freeking Brilliant

This should get passed along to anyone who hasn't thought much about how perceptions about what "real people" think get manipulated by the GOP astroturf machine. Maddow calls them out by name, in glorious detail. Riveting.

I would do anything to be able to buy in to even a shitty government health program right now. Just open something up for us. PLEASE! I would like to live long enough to enjoy Medicare, like the previous generations of Americans have done for my entire lifetime.

And you folks who think you're against it? You are against something that is in your own self-interest, and just feeding the self-interest of the rich who just want to get richer so they can take your jobs away faster.

End of rant.

Maybe it should be the start of one.


--- Back to Main Page ---

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Site Meter