The other day I noticed that my Radio/TV card was not working. I kept reporting that another device was using something or another. This morning I decided to fix it. I uninstalled the software and while I was at it I uninstalled some other software I wasn’t using anymore. Then I uninstalled the entries in the hardware section using the Control Panel. While I was at it I also uninstalled another couple entries. There was a question mark item there too, so I thought that would be a good thing to get rid of too. Wrong! A couple seconds after I hit next, my mouse cursor went away and the PC kind of locked down. I fumbled around mouseless for a while and figured I should just reboot. As the PC came up I had a 640 x 480 display with only 16 colors. And it proceeded to find nearly every piece of hardware as if had never heard of any of them. I had to reinstall drivers for audio, video and networking to go along with my planned Radio/TV stuff.
Oh well, I’ve been threatening to reformat C: and start over again with a clean install…I guess I’ll start on that right after I get through with this entry.
A little over 2 weeks ago in one of the weekly email newsletters I get I saw an offer for a free CD from Microsoft that included every security update available up until February. Really free. No shipping even. So I signed up. It got here Saturday and I took it as a sign that I really did need to format c: and start over (along with the earlier deleting the question mark extravaganza.)After freshly installing Win2K I went to the Windows Update site and it reported that I needed to run 2 Critical Updates and Service Packs, 19 Windows 2000 Updates and one Driver Update. I didn’t do anything because I wanted to try my new CD. I ran it and whatever it did took like 15 seconds…WTF. I rebooted and went back to the update site, I now needed to run 2 Critical Updates and Service Packs, 18 Windows 2000 Updates and one Driver Update. Wow that was a big help.
Also in the same CD package was a trial version of a firewall and a virus software. I didn’t even investigate further.
None of these events are recent, but an ambulance sighting tonight made me think of this.
I’m not sure how many other places do this, but when we moved to Aiken, South Carolina it was the first time I’d ever seen it. People pull off the side of the road if a funeral procession of autos passes by. Even on the other side of a 4 lane divided highway. The first few times I encountered this phenomenon I just kept on driving. Boy, did I get some angry looks and an occasional ugly gesture. Sometimes I have stopped, but mostly because I’ve been trapped by cars half pulling over, usually I just keep on driving.
But for what ever reason, these same people are loathe to pull over for an ambulance. If they are traveling in the opposite direction from the ambulance they won’t even slide over in their lane any. If they are traveling in the same direction on a four lane road they might pull over out of the way if it isn’t too inconvenient. I have been passed and nearly rear ended by people who are wondering why I’m slowing down or pulling over.
This morning in my inbox I received this little ditty:
From: Beth Perry [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 09:16 PM
To: [Brian_the_Red @ barndoorfanclub.org]
Subject: barndoorfanclub.org ranked # 14 in Google for extenze ron jeremy
I’m a web master, and I was just searching Google for extenze ron jeremy. I found your domain, barndoorfanclub.org ranked 14, which is pretty cool.
My site is all about Health — Men, too . Maybe we should link up? I wouldn’t be stealing any of your sales, because all I do is write informational articles…not selling anything on my site at all. And most of my visitors write back to say that they love the fact that I only write good, quality info. As a matter of fact, I’ve got a pretty loyal following of people that come back over and over again (they use the site as a reference), so if you link to me, you should get some pretty good traffic from it — which is always nice.
Anyway, let me know if you’d like to swap links. I’ve already linked to you, and will keep it up there for a few days until I hear back. Hope to hear from you soon!
RAC IM: 1175455.
I actually did rant once about Ron Jeremy and Extenze so it is conceivable that I might show up on Google when searching for that combination of words. There wasn’t any clickable link to Beth’s site, so I typed in www.bethperry.com and got a “Page Cannot Be Displayed” error. Hmmm. Type in the URL in Google and get 3 options, 1) web pages similar to - nothing, 2) web pages linked to — nothing and webpages that contain the term — one hit, a fellow blogger with the same experience, just different search terms.
Curious, I type in extenze ron jeremy in the Google search window and there is my site, not at 14, but on the 3rd page about #27. Because I have been in a playful spam mood this week, I decided to write back to Beth:
From: “Brian Bogardus” [brian_the_red @ barndoorfanclub.org]
To: [beth @ bethperry.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2004 07:53 AM
Subject: RE: barndoorfanclub.org ranked # 14 in Google for extenze ron jeremy
I am afraid I am going to have to ask you to unlink me from your page. I just checked my Google ranking for the search term extenze ron jeremy and I have fallen back from your reported #14 to a disappointing third page listing of #27. I can only assume your recent linking to my site caused this. Having invested an awful lot of time and money to increase my Google ranking I am very upset. If the link to my site is not removed from your site forthwith I will be forced to take legal action.
Brian the Red
I haven’t gotten the email bounced back by now, so I’m betting that someone or thing got it. After I had a good laugh with my co-workers by reading Beth’s letter and my response, I got to thinking just what might this be about. It isn’t like comment spam where the intent is to spread the google ranking seeds of crabby internet scum sites hither and yon. The only thing I can figure is my little bit of fun played right into her hands. By replying I confirmed that they had a valid email address that they could then resell.
Anybody else heard from Beth Perry lately?
Continue reading Heard From Beth Perry Lately?
On the way home this afternoon when we got to the exit of the parking lot at work, Donna said, “Go left.” As we normally go right, that phrase meant, let’s take the long way home. This is a great stress reliever for both of us, I like the drive and Donna likes the ride.
I proceeded to wind my way home via some of our usual back roads. It was a warm afternoon, but it felt good to be out driving around. The dogwoods are blooming along with the azaleas and everything that is not flowering is turning green. Even though there were a few more cars on our route than usual they didn’t diminish our enjoyment. About 3 miles from home on a relatively lightly trafficed road we passed a little girl selling lemonade along the side of the road. We looked at her as she looked at us as we went by.
It is spring break for the local schools this week and both Donna and I envisioned this little girl telling her mom she was bored and her mom saying, “Why don’t you go sell lemonade out in front of the house,” in an effort to keep her entertained and get her out of mom’s hair.
We got about 200 yards down the road and Donna said, “Do you have anything smaller than that ten?” I pulled out my wallet and sure enough there was a single in there too. We turned around in a driveway a little further along and headed back. The lemonade was 50 cents a glass, so we bought two. We drank it right there at the side of the road and chatted with her a bit. It was from a mix and not too cold, but it did hit spot. When finished we turned around in her driveway and drove off with a wave and toot of the horn.
I think we kind of made her day, I know she made ours.
Ever since buying the new Garnet Red Miata, things are very slowly turning maroon around here. As I mentioned a couple days ago I will be painting our bedroom this weekend, we picked out our color tonight at Home Depot. Guess what it is called? Vin Rouge. Guess what color it is? Maroonish Red. Oh boy!Going to have to buy me some maroon shirts to replace all the blue ones I own…
Don’t do it. The girl at the paint counter at Home Depot tried to warn us, but we were undaunted. We had picked out a nifty maroon paint color called Vin Rouge to redo our bedroom in and went out last evening to get the paint. The girl, before she even mixed the paint up, explained that red based paints use an ink base for the color as opposed to clay based for the rest of the spectrum. She pointed to a board that was divided into 4 squares, one white , one a light pink, one a dark pink and another a light red. She explained that represented a white wall with one, then two and finally 3 coats of red paint. We want that color we told her and we will see her tomorrow if we needed another can. She also warned us not to panic when we opened the can because the paint would look kind of pink, but would dry dark.
After this morning’s one coat, it looks like we will need at least three coats. The first coat even when dry looks magenta except where there was some overlapping which looks more like the finished maroon. Good news is that it only took a half a gallon to do that first coat. We will be able to get by even if we need four coats on the can we bought yesterday (and the one we bought today.)
Now I know why you see red walls in rich peoples houses, they can afford to hire someone to do all this painting and all the paint they will need to do it. So take my advise if you decide to paint a room red, don’t do it, use wallpaper, one coat will do.
On one hand I like the cloth top on the new Miata, but on the other…It sure looks nice, but because it is a light tan in shows dirt easily. Not only that, but what do you clean it with? The vinyl top was easy, practically whatever was readily available worked fine. You sure can’t use Windex to clean off the bird doo off a cloth top. After some research in the Tops, Windows, Tonneaus, and Boots forum over on Miata.net I bought a 303 Cloth Top Care Kit. It consists of some cleaner specially designed for cloth and then a protectant that helps keep it that way and it restores the waterproofing too.It came via FedEx ground a couple days ago and maybe tomorrow afternoon I’ll go out and wash the car and then use my kit on the top.
Donna and her Mom usually go grocery shopping for the week on Sunday. Yesterday Mom was cooking Easter dinner, so I went with Donna. We took the Miata and because the trunk is a lot smaller than the Civic’s it was a lot fuller. No real problem fitting everything in there, but careless tucking in of the bags left us with the automotive equivalent of toilet paper on the bottom of your shoe, a couple inches of one of the plastic grocery bags stuck out of the trunk and flapped in the wind as we drove down the street. If the store had been more than the mile away it is, I might have pulled over and tucked it in, but we just continued on home hoping no one we knew would see us.
Finally accomplished what I set out to do all those weeks ago. To prevent to possible immolation of the dashboard I hooked the same +12v that goes to the fog light relay to where the voltage would be applied to the switch normally (how Mazda does it, just with a different source.) I then hooked the ground from the switch directly to the metal frame where the relays are mounted, bypassing the headlight switch, allowing the fog lights to operate without the need for the low beams to be on. Now if the ignition is on and the switch is pressed, the fog lights are on. I will now train myself to turn them on in the day and off at night, unless of course there is fog.
While I had the combination cruise control and fog light switch out of the dash I swapped the two colored light bulbs. For some odd reason the fog lights had a green lamp and the cruise had an orange one, while when the cruise is active there is a green light in the speedo cluster that says, oddly enough, CRUISE to let you know it is, well, active. My swapperoo matched greens for the cruise. The orange for the fog lights will make sense too when I do the future mod of getting some of that protective film in yellow to put over lights…
Just turned over 6,000 miles on the car today, so we are getting close to the first Mazda recommended service at 7,500.When I do take it in, probably after vacation, don’t let me forget a couple things. Have the them oil the trunk hinges as they are starting to creak when opening and closing the lid. Also, I noticed a couple of those plastic pins that hold in the splash liner in the right front wheel well are missing when I washed the car the other day. Nothing is going to fall out or anything, but hey some engineer thought they ought to be there and he must have had a good reason. The driver’s top latch still feels way to easy to close, no leaks or wind noises or anything, but something is not exactly right (maybe the passenger side is too tight?)
Two major events over the last 4 days to report:1) It has only taken 5 months for me to realize I can’t see very well close up. Way back when I had a the Splash Green loaner, I wrote about The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and under Bad #3 I mentioned that the speedo was calibrated in 2MPH increments between the major numbers making it hard to know how fast I was going. Today on the trip home while trying to set the cruise control at 65 I noticed that it wasn’t in the center. Upon closer inspection I realized that there are only 3 ticks, not four, between every 10 mile per hour mark. Doh!2) File this one under ugly. The night we left I slightly misjudged the location of a curb and drove right across the corner of one in a Hardee’s parking lot. The front tire went up and over and when it went back down I hit the bottom of the car hard on the curb and then the back tire went up and over. Big thud! I managed to slightly bend over the 1/4″ thick seam that sticks down along the outside edge of the car. Didn’t hit the red painted portion of the body, just the flat black area.
Don’t hate me, OK? I usually listen to Radio Paradise while sitting in front of the computer and just now they played “Clocks” by Coldplay. I love that song.