Rotten Day

Rotten Day

It’s been a rotten day.   Murphy was right – if anything can go wrong, it will.  That’s how I feel about today.

I’ll work my way backwards…

Watching TV with my wife I began to loose my hearing again in my left ear.  It’s an awful feeling.  I went through this is 2003, and here we go again.

My heel is aching so bad I can hardly walk.  So, I’m wearing my boot hoping it will help ease the pain by the morning.

I still can’t get the router to access www.beckwithmansion.com.

The registration on my car expired 2 months ago.  I never received notice from the DMV.  So, I go to login to see if I can do it online (which you can), only to be told my car and my driver’s license information don’t match.  Comparing them side by side, the only thing that doesn’t match is how they’ve listed my name.  It’s a stupid program if that’s the case.  I will have to go to the DMV on Tuesday to straighten things out.

There’s Always Tomorrow

There’s always tomorrow.  I’m hoping Sunday goes better than today.

I guess if I can’t get my office computer to access beckwithmansion.com I will have to do it on my laptop from another Internet access point.

Handcrafted Christmas Present

Handcrafted Christmas Present

I’m making Elizabethe a handcrafted Christmas present.  She already knows what it is, so I don’t need to keep it a secret.  I’m making her a computer lap desk.

She sent me a link to a $50 product that was basically a board with a few added items and they called it a computer lap desk.  After looking at it and others, I thought… I can build that.

Today I spent most of my day working on it.  Yeah, my time is worth more and spending $50 would have been worth it as far as the time is concerned.  The parts, however, cost me about $12 and there is enough wood to make 2 of them.  (And, yes, I’m making myself one too.)

You know the old adage, measure twice, cut once?

Well, I did that.  What I failed to do is check twice.  Because I’m building two of them, one has different dimensions than the other.  One will also have the features Elizabethe wants.  Guess what?  I put her features on mine.

Oh, the grief this caused.  But, with a little ingenuity I was able to convert “mine” in to “hers”, and “hers” in to “mine”.  The result is it doesn’t look as clean as what I would have liked it to.  Yeah…. it’s looking more like a junior high school woodshop project.

Overdoing It

I ended up overdoing it today.  By the time we went to the temple I ached from head to toe.  I managed to endure my temple shift.  It’s not fun when you do something you like doing, but feel awful while you do it.  I learned my lesson.  Take it easier on temple days.

Cracking Walnuts

Cracking Walnuts

If someone uses a simile like, “as though you are cracking walnuts”, one should ask, “Black or English Walnuts?”  The expression was used while being taught a new exercise and it hit me later that a black walnut is tough as a rock, but an English Walnut is much easier to crack.

Okay, so that’s my silly sense of humor coming out.  We have a lot of black walnuts on our property and it takes a special type of tool to crack those things, so I surmise they must mean an English Walnut.

I met with one of the guys from my networking group who runs a computer services company.  We had a good discussion.  Even though I’m a bit older, he knows enough about computer history to make it fun telling him about the early 1980s and the exciting times that existed in the industry back then.

By the time I got around to eating “lunch” it was about 5pm.  (Honestly, I didn’t even look at the time.)  About the time I got done, Elizabethe came home from her errands and asked what we were having for dinner.

“Dinner?” I exclaimed, “I just ate lunch!”

I looked at my watch and it was 4:55pm.  I guess I just had dinner.

Elizabethe ate leftovers and I headed back to the office to work on some photos.

Any Recourse

Any Recourse

You have to ask yourself if you have any recourse after installing Windows 10.

First, Microsoft was supposed to call at 8am this morning.  That was the appointment time they set up.  They didn’t call me until 7pm.  Yes, 11 hours late.

After they called, the worked in my machine for a few hours and then decided they would let it sit and see what happens over the next 24 hours.

During that 11 hours I decided to go see what storage solutions I could find.  I’m at the point where I need to purchase a larger storage solution, but also, in case I’m forced to purchase another computer, I thought I’d go check out computers too.

I ended up getting a router that supports 2 USB 3.0 drives as well as an eSATA drive.  I also picked up two 5TB drives.

When I got home I tore things apart setting up the router and the drives.  However, it is all temporary as I need to make a shelf.

So, Elizabethe goes to Lowe’s to pickup the wood for my shelf, but their saw is broken.  Uhg.  So my office looks like a scene from Spies Like Us where the floor is all torn up and wires are all over the place.

Again, I ask if there is any recourse?  Can a consumer hope for anything better in a situation like this?

I’ve learned a huge lesson.  It is this… you get what you pay for and Windows 10 Update was FREE.  Yeah, I really got sucked in to being a free (unpaid) Beta Tester in this case.

Moving Data

I spent most of the day moving data on my hard drive.  For most people this might be a simple task, but when you have several terabytes of data, it takes a long time.  (A terabyte is 1024 gigabytes.)

While waiting for some files to copy, I did the grocery shopping at WalMart.  You know, if there were any truth in advertising, they wouldn’t (1) brag about the quality of their meat and produce, and (2) they wouldn’t claim to have such low prices.  I just went there out of convenience.

I looked at what routers they carried, and a worker came up and asked if he could answer any questions about routers.  I almost said, “No, but can I answer any of your questions?”  (but that would have been a little pretentious.)  And, speaking of prices, they were on the average about 10% higher in prices than BestBuy, which is about 10% higher in prices than many of the on-line stores like Newegg.com.  Needless to say, I did not purchase a new router at WalMart.

I returned home to find the files were still copying.  It’s going to be a long day.

The bishop and his wife came over as our home and visiting teachers.  We had a nice chat and then Elizabethe showed them how she organized her canning.  I think they were pretty surprised at some of the items we have canned.

Going back out to my office, I found the files were still copying.  It looks like I’ll just have to leave this to complete over night.

More Networking and Backup

Another networking meeting this morning. Today’s speaker was Garry Wolfe.

I’ll start by saying many computer geeks do not impress me. I spent 32 years in the computer industry and can see through a lot of smoke and mirrors. Garry impressed me.

The reason Garry impressed me was he talked about how he will clone a laptop drive (something anyone can do), but then he will test the backup and teach the laptop owner how to swap drives when the main one fails. I realize this is a rather simple thing for a computer-savvy person to do, but the fact of the matter is that many people are intimidated when it comes to messing with their laptop hard drive. And, many people take for granted that their back up works. The very fact that Garry will test the backup says he’s conscientious about his work.

Although Garry didn’t touch upon this, I would like to point out that if it takes a few days for you to backup your hard drive on Carbonite or one of the cloud services (they are slow), it is going to take you a while to get it off. For example, my Roadrunner service has about 3x the download speed as it does the upload speed. So, if it takes 3 days to backup my hard drive, it will take a day to download all that data.

The question is, do you want to wait a whole day when you lose your data?

So, if you carry important data and programs on your laptop, and you want a backup that you can trust, let me know and I’ll put you in contact with Garry.

My next stop was to the town assessors office to contest our 20%+ increase. We had a pleasant meeting and now we wait to see if our assessment is going to be lowered.

As we were leaving, a potential client called and said they have a deadline for next week. They need images for a magazine story and are in a crunch.

His timing was perfect. We went home, grabbed a quick bite for lunch, and then I headed off to their office to meet with them.

D. Brent Walton is a professional photographer, certified by the Professional Photographic Commission, and holds a Photographic Craftsman Degree from the Professional Photographers of America. His work can be seen at http://www.dbwalton.com and http://www.FineArtbyDB.com .

Old Sayings Have Some Truth

Old sayings have some truth behind them.  Like, “A penny saved is a penny earned”, or, “The early bird gets the worm”.  There is one I’ve heard several variations on, but it is so applicable to being self-employed.  It goes something like, “When you own your own business you have a jerk for a boss.”

Today was supposed to be my day off.  Nooooooo.  I couldn’t take the day off.  I had work to do.

So, what did I spend the day doing on my day off?

Working.

It is a matter of discipline, I know that.  I need to schedule my time better.  I rationalize this behavior by telling myself, ‘At least my clients get their product that much sooner.’

Even my play time can become work.  If I go on a bike ride, what do I do?  I take a camera.  What do I do when I get home?  I load the pictures on the computer.  What do I do after that?  I start retouching them.

Aye, yi, yi.

My boss better value me as an employee and start paying me better.  That’s all I’ve got to say about it.

That Was Fast

On Friday I shipped my dead HP computer back to HP for repair.  I really wanted a replacement, but the man I escalated the trouble to said they cannot do that at this point, but assured me the team working on my computer would be the best HP has.  Well, today that computer came back.

The slip inside said they replaced the video card.  Who would have thought a bad video card would have caused all the symptoms I experienced?  But, it did.

I spent a good portion of the evening re-installing software and all is seeming to go well.  If it continues this way, Hewlett-Packard will have redeemed themselves.

At work today a lady commented that she hadn’t seen me in the office for a while.  During the discussion, one thing lead to another and it came out that her mom was a Latter-day Saint. When I got back to my desk, I saw I had one of my 5×7 postcards of the Palmyra Temple.  So, I slipped it in her in-box.

After lunch, she came by my desk holding the card with tears in her eyes.  She informed me she had not talked to her mom in over 2 years and this card might be the way to melt the ice between them.  She expressed her gratitude and said, “I do not think this is a coincidence that you gave me this card.”  (Coincidence is something I don’t believe in anyway.  It is nice to hear someone acknowledge that things like this are meant to be.)

Teri Eisner came over to participate in a Little Black Dress book photo session.

At the end of the day came the emotional crash one experiences after having lost a loved one.  You don’t notice how much such events are draining your strength until the crash hits.  It is like all of a sudden you feel like you could lay down and sleep for a couple of days.