My Blog

Work, work, work….

I’ve just finished my seven-day shift break, so the title of this post does not mean that I am overworked.  We do have some household stuff going on that involves work, thus today’s snappy title.

First, happy four months old to Anna.  Details here.

Yesterday was my lovely wife’s first real day at her first job in the US.  She did fine.  The first day at any sort of job can be pretty tough – I’m proud of her.

While Monica was gone, I worked on stuff here at home (see, there’s that word again!).

First, I had to repair computers.  About two months ago, I purchased supposedly legitimate Windows 7 software keys on a popular auction site.  I was able to install them without problems and began using them on my Dell laptop (now the property of my wife) and our main computer in my office.  Microsoft has since marked both of the keys as bad, so I was ripped off by the Ebay seller – note that I paid about $30 for two keys, so I’m not totally surprised.  Monica’s laptop was complaining that her copy of Windows was not genuine, losing her beautiful Brazil theme and going to a black desktop background (reduced functionality mode).

One advantage of Windows 7 is that I could easily download the full Brazilian Portuguese language pack for my wife’s laptop (she is comfortable with English, I was just trying to be nice).  I pulled out the original copy of Vista that came with my laptop, reformatted the hard drive partition and reloaded my original software.  No problem, I’ve done this kind of thing before.  Once loaded, the laptop functioned perfectly (in English) and started to download updates from the Internet.

There were over 150 updates.  The laptop choked on them.  It tried to load all of the updates at one time, spending all night trying to complete that task.  When I got up in the morning, the laptop was still trying to install updates.  Eventually, it finished, but the computer was not able to start up afterward.  Vista has a startup repair program that was able to eventually get the laptop to start, but it involved using System Restore and undoing the update work.  Last night, I went through the 150 updates abut ten at a time and eventually got the machine to accept them all.  It took about four hours, and I’m pretty disgusted with Microsoft right now.

On my other computer (I bought two keys from the same guy and didn’t wait for my desktop computer to denounce me), I took a different route.  The desktop is used by me most of the time, so I can mess with it.  Rather than fight through the Microsoft morass again, I installed a copy of Ubuntu 10.04 Linux.  I’ve fooled with Linux before, but it was not yet ready for prime time back then.  A few years ago, a proper Linux installation could run rings around Windows, but installation involved customizing for a particular computer’s hardware and usually some kernel recompiling.  I downloaded the CD .iso and gave it a shot again.

It loaded perfectly on our plain-vanilla Dell desktop, even the wireless mouse worked from the beginning.  I did have to give the machine permission to use a non-open source Nvidea driver for my video card, but the rest of the installation was automatic.  Network, check.  Wireless networked printer, no problem.  NAS access, check.  Cool!  I had a fully-functioning system in much less time than it takes to load Windows.  I had to add some internet software libraries to the original list to allow DVD watching (legal reasons for that), but the directions for this were easily found by googling.  So far, so good.  I’ll continue using Ubuntu on my desktop until I have a reason to stop.  Right now, I don’t see one.  An excellent article about setting up a Linux desktop. There is a big performance difference with the new system.  Linux snaps.  Windows dragged. More to come on this.

Tile floor is in

Bathroom work continues.  I have ceramic tile on the floor! I also have the plumbing work for the bathtub/shower completed and the tar paper installed on the walls around the bathtub.  Next step will be the cement board over the tar paper – I should get that done today.  We will install tile over the cement board.  The tar paper keeps the moisture away from the walls and the cement board gives a fine waterproof bonding surface for the tile on the wall above the new tub.  I have never done this before and I’m trying to do the best job that I can.  Work goes slowly though.

I worked on our new car earlier this week, adding the sound system that once lived in my old Explorer.  I can use thumb drive audio again and I have HD radio.  I’m still pretty happy with our new (to us) Mazda Tribute.

I had an interview at the refinery yesterday.  The new owners are starting to put together the staffing for the refinery restart.  I think that it went well (but I always think that).  We’ll see what happens there.  For now, I still have a job, and I still have to go to work tonight.

End-of-the-blog-post government outrage.

Yesterday, the esteemed Senator Kerry introduced legislation that will allow the government control of virtually all energy use in the country, their version of ‘cap and trade”.  Yet another huge bill, entangling government regulators in every part of our lives.  Note that we’re still finding out the wonderful stuff that was hidden in that crappy ‘health care” bill passed last month.  I was going to put a link here, but there are just too many articles.

Here, we’ve got a government tag-team approach.  Obama’s EPA is issuing regulations to cripple our economy regulate CO2 as a pollutant (even though it is a trace gas in our atmosphere and necessary for life on this planet).  There is a threat (not too strong a word here) from the Obama administration that if we don’t pass Kerry’s bill, the EPA will step in, and that will be worse.  Look, Chicago-style politics again.  Pass what we want, or we’ll do something even worse.  This very bad cap and trade bill (now known as the 987 page American Power act) will likely be rammed through our Senate in the same fashion as the health care legislation that we were served last month.  The elections are in November, and the Democrats are not fools.  They will certainly lose their ability to jam this crap down the throats of the electorate then, and want to get in as much as they can before the door closes.  One quote about this bill….

The Institute for Energy Research think tank said, “Two things are certain if this bill becomes law: energy prices will skyrocket, and jobs will be shipped overseas.”

Hey, just in case anyone in Washington is listening…  Our economy is in a recession (arguably caused by govt. meddling in mortgage markets).  Our recovery will be hampered by one huge 2000+ page bill that makes it more expensive to hire people.  We have a bunch of new mandates and taxes already.  We cannot afford this.  It is not about energy, it is a blatant government power grab that will cost every family thousands of dollars a year.  Hey, Senator Kerry, if you want the US to acheive energy independence, just let us drill for our own oil.







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