marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Which, before I get started, reminds me *glances at title*...I have two problems with writing - besides, of course, the inability to proofread my own writing as objectively as I proofread in general, and a style so elastic that 10 years of online writing hasn't narrowed it down to anything in particular (but in truth, there are at least two major styles I display; one's very hard to use because I never use it, so it gives me a headache like the one I have right now; the other's conversational and therefore almost too easy to use; I don't like either) - commas and where they should go, and when to use 'that' or 'which'. And yes, I know the Internet's a thing I can use to look up the answers, but my mind riots against commas and wants to switch up when I use 'that' for 'which' with wild abandon and I'm getting so tired of fighting it.


  • The kittens need to be re-weighed for their next round of Activyl because the doses come in two sizes: over or under nine pounds. They were in the 6-7lb range a month ago but kittens do strange things, like grow, that I have to take into account in order to not under or overdose them.
  • The kittens completed their third round of dewormer two days ago. Never saw a worm again after the lone worm I reported before their first dose.
  • Tab-tab tried to reproduce with Pip the other day. They're boys, so I take it it's time to look into the removal of that which produces the need to reproduce. Income's been too low lately to consider it.
  • Roof's still not fixed. I was actually glad the due date of last week came and went because it was supposed to get fixed just before Matthew was to hit, so I figured the roof would get fixed, fly off or get broken by the trees in the next storm, then have to be fixed again. Spare me my rich landlord's crying about having to fix the damn roof twice. At least if it ever does get fixed, we're getting a new roof, end to end. No more leaking in my bed every freakin' time it rains. Yay-ah.
  • Comcast lied about giving me most of the credits discussed in this post. It's not that I never got them - I saw evidence of at least two: one under "My Account" on their website and one in an email confirmation, but the first $75 credit I saw was apparently rescinded by an auditor before it could be applied to my next bill, and the next $75 credit never showed up. While I had $50 credited by them last week to partially make up for one missing credit, I agreed to another $75 to settle up, but still haven't seen it, despite more promises made by an escalation agent than I can even count. Hours lost toward trying to get credits promised, both in person at the local office and on the phone: at least five. Years off my life over the stress of fighting with Comcast for the better part of three years over so much stupid shit: at least five. I've been in bad relationships with actual people that were easier to endure and ultimately to just get the hell away from than Comcast is.
  • I need to do more online surveys and start selling on eBay again. I put off doing eBay over the storm last month and haven't looked back and can kind of understand my trepidation over it now: I'm afraid another storm will hit and I won't be able to ship items on time because of it. Things like that terrify me because I want my customers really happy.
  • I need to roll my phone back toWin8, though it kills the battery to run Win8. 11-3-16: done, about a week later. Everything's fine except the battery. Pictures won't sync from Win10 Mobile to OneDrive. I can log onto onedrive.com and nothing on the phone now is there, which gives me the most fragmented mess of pictures I've had since before I owned smartphones. I have to manually import the pictures now but sometimes the laptop won't recognize my phone as something that can have a picture on it, another bug I can't contemplate without flailing, so it won't find anything to import and why, Microsoft, why do you make our lives such living hell.
  • The Dell got a new keyboard. Unlike my laptop's replacement keyboard, it's a genuine part and works flawlessly. I wish I had it that easy on my HP - but, fwiw, the seller's refunded 75% of the purchase price, so ultimately I only paid $5 for it.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Other Person has gotten the Dell laptop working again. The "i" and "z" keys sometimes stick or die and yesterday, of all things, the apostrophe quit so I had to copy one out of a Google search for "apostrophe", because I'm really nothing without contractions. Today the apostrophe's fine and after I sat my index finger on the "i" for a few minutes it sprang to life, as well. The rest of the keyboard seems up to speed and the laptop no longer freezes.

I didn't pay attention to what he did to fix it because I was on his tablet, because my tablet keeps freezing up now, too, but from glancing at him now and then I gather it involved taking the laptop apart, blowing some things out, re-seating other things, re-assembling it, and perhaps the chanting of incantations. The Dell cost me nothing, I've already fixed it once, and I would've tossed it rather than gone through what he did, but I'm kind of glad now that he bothered. My blog looks pretty good on it (better than it does on our tablets - those turn the page gutters an ugly dark tan color that I wouldn't have picked myself).

My replacement laptop keyboard's due here by the end of the week, but I'm worried about it being a crapshoot, so I'm keeping the packaging and will re-seal it like new to turn around and re-sell ASAP if it doesn't work out. The thing is, since the storm, my existing keyboard's bent toward the top middle, so I'm thinking it's because something under the bent part corresponding to the motherboard overheated and warped, in which case no keyboard (except an external) might ever work again.

If it does turn out to be useless, I'll need a new external keyboard because the one I'm using now has multiple dead keys, just like the laptop. The dead keys on the external aren't dead on the laptop so I've just been using both of them at once. I wish y'all could see this - I'm like a DJ working keyboards instead of turntables, which is sort of amusing.

We've lost power four times since the storm, for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Last night was for a few minutes, a few days before it was for a few hours, there was a quickie the night before that, and it was out a few hours the weekend before last. Every time we've lost power since the storm Comcast's cable modem has totally wigged out. It's always been slow - it takes a good five minutes to reboot, find its own ass, feel everything out and start pumping signal again, but since the storm you can add "find its own signal" to the list of things it takes too long to do. It has to reboot multiple times to finally stop claiming our signal's broadcasting when, in fact, it's not.

What sucks is that to our phones and computers the signal looks like it's broadcasting, and when you connect it doesn't show a yellow triangle to denote limited connection issues. But when you try to get online you can't, and when you check the network list it shows a full signal but then says next to that, "No internet", in classic, "Oh, NOW you tell me" fashion. So we waste a) five minutes waiting for the modem to reboot and decide it can do this, b) another five minutes for it to realize it can't do this and is totally lying, and c) another 5-15 minutes for multiple reboots to take place to finally push the signal back to life again.

I'm pretty sure it's a surge victim, though it was on surge protector - but there's nothing the storm didn't seem to touch - so we're planning a trip to our local Comcast office soon to get another modem so big I'll need both arms to carry it out. I'm going to hate having to swap these things out every time there's a storm.

To finish what I started the night the storm hit, I installed the latest build of Windows 10 on my now-collector's-item Nokia about five days ago. My phone restarted to install updates required to get Win10 (one tree had hit the house by then; the second tree was about to) just as the lights went out. My phone only installs updates over wifi, which didn't exist for another 14 days, so once wifi came back the phone automatically picked up where it left off.

I had to use the WinInsider app as a workaround against Microsoft's official app, which blocks my phone from getting Win10 because it's not recommended on phones with only a half gig of RAM. It's running great on my half gig, though. It's opening and resuming windows, menus, browsers and the app list faster than Win8.1 did and looks jazzier, too. The worst problems are with Edge windows - they tend to crash as much as Internet Explorer windows do on 8.1 - and with the native email app, which opens with the keyboard displayed every single time. I can't figure out why the email app thinks it's the messenger, but one press of the back button makes it go away, so it's more "annoyance" than fatal flaw.

Battery life, once the primary dealbreaker on Win10, is actually better now than it is on 8.1, so if you're an 8.1 user with just a half gig of RAM it might pay to go the WinInsider route and switch to Win10 to preserve battery life, but no, I never said that, EULAs be damned. It's helped my battery - a lot. On 8.1 I had to keep screen brightness on "low" to get the battery to last more than a few hours, which made the screen really, really hard to see because my eyes, as we know, are not the greatest. On Win10 I can get 12+ hours on a single charge with brightness set to "high", which means it would last even longer on a lower setting (there's a "medium", too).

I mostly upgraded to Win10 to use my bank's official app, which isn't available on Win8/8.1, but the one thing I wanted it for - to deposit checks, which I get a fair amount of each month - isn't working. It tells me it took pictures of the checks successfully, then says it can't read them, and gives me tips on how to take the pictures so they come out better. Reading through the tips, I can see I've done exactly what they suggest, yet the app still fails to read my checks.

The worst thing about Win10 Mobile is the News app. I don't know if I've discussed it before, but I've been addicted to it on Win8/8.1 for years. It shows lists of headlines with a tiny thumbnail next to each one. You click an item and it opens full page with larger pictures, which, if you click on those, can be pinched and swiped from full-size (like the actual size they were published at, which can sometimes be huge) back down to article size. If you swipe left you get thumbnails of all the pictures in the article, and you can swipe through those without the accompanying text, or cycle through them with accompanying text, one picture at a time.

It's the greatest app for looking at pictures, but it's MIA in Win10. You can't change picture sizes anymore - the medium-ish thumbnails found in the articles are completely WYSIWYG, which results in a loss of context because pictures are so often essential to understanding what's going on.

The other thing missing in Win10 News is the entire list of headlines. Now there's huuuuuuuge thumbnails and huuuuuge titles with loooong blurbs, so you have to scroll and scroll and scroll to see even a tiny bit of what's going on. I liked the cleaner, simpler, and for lack of a better example, Drudge Report-style lists (they're much nicer/calmer-looking than TDR, but otherwise it's the same idea) and the fact that the lists were truncated at 3-5 items per topic with no blurbs (you click on a topic name to see the full list of headlines on one page).

There's no truncation in Win10 now, just endless scrolling. It's highly inefficient, and totally breaks my reading flow.

It's gone from:

WORLD

This item
This item
This item

To:

World

This item

*huge thumbnail here*

Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah...

This item

*huge thumbnail here*

Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah...

This item

*huge thumbnail here*

Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah blah
blah blah blah blah...

And you can just rinse and repeat forever. It's awful.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
  • Each person in this house has their own laptop. Both laptops were working before the storm. Once the storm hit, both laptop's keyboard's stopped working, at once. Two different laptops - an older Dell, an older HP, two kinds of breakdowns - my HP has every other row of keys out diagonally from the left halfway across, and all four corner keys. On the Dell, which I fixed up from the side of the road after someone threw it there a month ago, the keyboard's completely MIA, though on power-up it sometimes makes a fast, repeated system beep to indicate a key could be stuck. Both keyboards have been removed from the laptops, cleaned, blown off, inspected, reattached, retried, and remain unusable.
  • Cell phones that won't stay charged for more than an hour. There is actually not a good battery on any phone or computer in the house except Other Person's tablet, which I'm on now but hate, and my dumb phone.
  • No apartment in this complex having a gas stove. After this storm I'd almost give my right arm for one. I'll admit I'm way too much of a priss to go outside and kneel or bend - oftentimes in the dark - over the hibachi or tiny propane grill to heat water up or cook. Not that I can't do it - I just don't want to.
  • Not having the 240 volt connector for the dryer or electric stove.
  • Walmart's prices. Sent Other Person out tonight after admitting I'm way too much of a priss to go off cooking outside, on a special mission to buy a hotplate. How many burners, he asked. I'd prefer four, I replied, but they won't have that, so just get whatever they've got. OP soon calls me: "They have a two-burner for $29.95, or a one-burner for $9.95. Which one do you want?" Um, neither? "Get the two burner", I said, my eyes almost snapping from how hard they rolled. "How about I get two of the one-burners?" he said. I said, "Well..that would be $10 cheaper, so yeah."
  • My utility company. From hell. Also, note to self, it's not helpful to tell people going ridiculous lengths of time without power that your utility is everything theirs is not. As an aside, I desperately wanted to break things even before the storm hit after [personal profile] andrewducker mentioned he lost power in his flat - after going almost 20 years without an outage. I'm lucky if I get 20 days in any part of FL I've been in over the last 16 years. I've had five different utility companies but they're more or less the same: you will lose power at least two or three times a month, sometimes up to a day or more at a time, sometimes for three to four days at a time, and always for at least a few hours, and usually over very minor stuff...a squirrel on the line, the guy who hit a pole, the tiny storm that barely breezed your area with no rain or wind, the gal who farted in the wrong direction last Wednesday...that sort of thing.
  • That my cope was only going to last a week. That I was surprised it lasted that long. That I have an absence of grace under pressure. That I keep wanting to cry but I can't. That the Jewish part of my DNA convinced me from the first unavailable cell phone signal and two essentially keyboardless laptops I was presented with the morning after the storm that I'm just fucked. That I completely and utterly suck at everything. I know this is my depression, which was with me right up until the storm hit, which I knew I could only fend off for so long afterwards, and which I think I did fend off mostly over the sheer novelty of so much happening at once. I was shocked out of it, I tell you...it's baaaaaaack...
  • Speaking of depression, having what it feels like described to me - in case I don't know, though I told this person I had it before they launched into their description - while I'm going though the very part of it being described is not cool. Which happened to me in the days before the storm. People can be so fucking condescending. Say you told me you have an active and quite severe case of chickenpox going on for maybe one week now so I start describing the sores, the stink of it and how much it hurts and oozes and the all-over crusty scabs you've no doubt got. Hell, let's pretend it's totally re-catchable and this is the second hundred time you've had it in 30 years, yet here I am, breaking out every gory detail to show you how much of an authority I am on it, and to explain it to others, because right, let's not forget that part. Jesus.
  • Working/not working. I've been told to go back to one job I finished and do it again because other people trashed the place once I wrapped it up. But I'm not being told I'll be paid for the additional work, and I have at least one witness besides Other Person to prove I left things right to begin with. Outside of the waste of time this will involve, there's nothing. There's one app I have in elsewhere that the potential employer wants me to completely redo because they recently changed to a new computer system. I'm kind of bug-eying over that and trying to figure when I can keep the generator on long enough to get it done, as their app process, the last time around, took over three hours to complete. Incidentally, I long ago decided not to sue the background check company over one of the last jobs I applied to after a lawyer told me I'd lose. I didn't take the job, either, because after the background was finally done correctly - and came back clean - the boss called me in and demanded to know why he should hire me after he already had, and sort of made it clear I'd have to work twice as hard to be half as good, over something a background company screwed up that was no reflection on reality nor my character. He was a jerk, in other words.