Monday Morning – Resurrecting Old Computers, Installing update #120 of 220 —

Monday, August 31st, 2015 -( 16˚C / 61˚F — Cool & sunny & bright @ 8:29 am on my sister’s birthday here in Atlantic Canada )- (& it’s 2:29 am in Alaska, where she is 🙂 )

Denali photo in a tweet
A ‘Tweet’ this morning. – Says U.S. President Barack Obama is renaming what they’ve been calling “Mount McKinley” back to Denali – the Native American / First Nations’ name for that mountain – I’ve seen it, haven’t climbed it – my sister might almost be able to see it from where she lives or works on a clear day – Jim

— So, yes, I’ve been trying to fix some problems on an aging computer that came with Windows XP Media Centre back before Windows 7 was released and has had a few quirks – had its system font changed to symbols by a boy with an inquiring mind and fixed by his mother who had to jump through microsoft hoops to do that. – Had a houseguest mess around with settings so he could connect through proxy servers to a group in Africa that was closed to Canadians – and things like that. For the last week I couldn’t get a lot of things to work right, went out and bought some used memory chips to more than double the pitiful amount of RAM it had and deleted tons of redundant files and applications and it still wasn’t able to check for all those pain in the rump ‘updates’ that microsoft wants you to believe you need and really want. — until last night, about 12 & 1/2 hours ago, when it finally realized there was enough space on the newly cleaned and defragged hard disk to download and install almost three years worth of all those pain in the rump updates. – I think something might have frozen because it’s been sitting on “Installing update 120 of 220” at least since 7 am this morning. There’s a caution sign that’s warning us about trying to shut down or restart — Like “don’t do that-” I may have to close my eyes and push the button and see what happens and maybe start all over again with the updates shortly – maybe it has enough of them under its belt so it won’t have an electronic mind fart next time. ?

— Shrug –,

Happy Monday?  Poor Cathi had to go back to work this morning — it rained so much on her last week off that she didn’t finish working on the ‘new’ pallet bed frame she’s been working on this month.

— But, anyway, Happy “They’re changing Denali’s name back to what it was called all along by Native Americans Day” –,

And now the pets are threatening to tear me apart if I don’t feed them within two minutes 😉


Don’t Vote For Anyone Who:

Don’t Vote For Anyone Who:

— Believes they answer to some human being ‘higher’ than you.

— Believes they know better than you do how you should live your life.

— Believes there is any such thing as ‘The Great Unwashed”.

— Looks down their noses at any Religion.

— Looks down their noses at any nationality.

— Looks down their noses at any group of people.

— Looks down their noses at anyone.

— If you get the idea, add your own lines to this.


~~~~~ Jim

Weekend Progress @ the Pallet Factory?

“Wicked Early?” Monday Morning, August 17th, 2015 -( 17˚C / 63˚F Mostly Cloudy & still dark @ 5:30 am here in Atlantic Canada )-

Woodshed roof is in place.
We hefted the woodshed roof back in place on Sunday. – Still have to reinforce the frame’s leaning uprights. But we have the basic frame in place. And the cordless electric screwdriver’s batteries are either both dead or planned obsolescence has struck again and the charger’s warranty is finished. 🙁

I recently retweeted / reported that France has passed a law making planned premature obsolescence a crime. The less than two year old batteries to my cordless electric screwdriver won’t charge. Whether it’s the batteries or the charger – it’s a crime. Viva La France! Now all we gotta do is sharpen our teleportation skills and teleport the executives to almost every company in the US and Canada off to Devil’s Island, and just to make it interesting, maybe we should send them back in time to the height of that prison’s ‘effectiveness’? -Schnarr!

Pallet and patio blocks beside porch steps
Cathi wanted to sand her bed frame down and get it ready for paint on Sunday. But first she discovered that Jassper was digging a hole too close to the porch steps on the East side of our house. She filled the hole in, levelled the ground there, had to move a mint plant and set her flower pot full of lettuce on the pallet. The smallish patio blocks are still pretty heavy. While we were looking at her handiwork, Jassper had to come out and inspect it with us. He did a little sniffing, didn’t complain – Cathi thinks he ‘respects boundaries’ but- I bet he’s planning his next tunneling job while we sleep.
Cathi offering me a water bottle.
When she realized she needed to chill for a bit, Cathi went inside on got herself a refrigerated bottle of water. When she saw me taking photos of what she had already accomplished she came back out beaming, “Just in time!” and handed me a nice cold bottle of spring water.

It was hot and muggy on Sunday. Cathi got up and out with a plan to ‘get stuff done’ and basically, just got started on what she wanted to accomplish when the heat got to her.

Palet Factory?
After we got the roof up in place and Cathi went to put a monkey wrench in Jassper’s latest mining efforts, I started taking apart a pallet. Instead of getting the whole pallet ‘processed’ I got the boards off one side and needed to get out of the heat and humidity for a bit. I did knock those nails out of those boards and then pried them the rest of the way, And checking on the battery charger inside was a frustrating ordeal. But this was the ‘scene’ when I realized it was just too hot to continue. – before I continued by getting those nails out of those boards.

Then I went inside and instead of composing a diatribe against ice-holes who fiendishly plot and plan new ways to incorporate planned obsolescence into their ‘products’ I discovered most of the old ‘Handbook’/Guide to the Computer Game we just might get finished and up and running one of these days. — And I needed a little more frustration in my life, I guess, because trying to do too many things at once – I was experiencing terminal lag here and finally had to quit out of a couple programs that are  not usually memory hogs- but I think I survived. It just took me all night to do something that should have taken twenty minutes.

— shrug –,

~~~~~ Jim

This Week At The Pallet Factory

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 -(  24˚C / 75˚F — Cloudy and a bit muggy @ 2:57 pm in Atlantic Canada )-

Pallet Factory
Cathi’s hard work: the two pieces that will soon be the bed frame are leaning against the front of the steel tool shed. The shorter piece will be the ‘chair/couch back’ support when it’s up and the extension that turns the wide bed into a double bed when it’s down.

Um… Cathi was on ‘Holiday’/Vacation all last week, She got more done at the ‘Pallet Factory’ than I did, pretty much completed the basic design of her bed frame for the guest room. I mean she built it, pounded pallets apart, trimmed the pieces down to size, bleached the wood, screwed the slats into place on the frame, even took a break, and reclined on the bare wooden bed with the slats in place and said she was surprised at how comfortable that was. We delivered her latest painting to the community centre on Thursday, Attended the Centre’s opening ceremonies on Friday, drove across the river, had ice cream and lived to tell about it 🙂

Pallet wood leaning against a house
Another section of the backyard pallet processing factory: Pieces of wood that have been liberated from pallets are leaning against the house under the overhanging eaves. The long pieces have been bleached. The short pieces are waiting their turn under the sponge 🙂 On the left are pallets with ‘rescue-able’ plywood, waiting to be rescued.

On Tuesday, the 11th (Which I believe is my niece Jalissa’s Birthday) I went out and knocked apart what was left of one long (8 feet?) pallet, Reinforced the broken 2×2’s that are the frame of our wood-shed – which collapsed under the weight of last winter’s snow. We’ve been through two winters here and both had ‘unusually heavy’ amounts of snow, which the climate change prophets say we better get used to –

Underside of a woodshed roof waiting for repairs.
This was the wood shed roof, before it caved in under the weight of last winter’s snow. The one lighter coloured 2×2 across the middle is screwed into the weathered-grey 2×2. It’s not that easy to see the bits of ‘new’ 2×2 pieces screwed into the old, broken 2×2 at the top of the roof (which is sort of laying on its side, supported by a rain barrel) Um If your name isn’t Hercules, you probably shouldn’t try to move 8×8 feet sections of even a fairly wimpy roof by yourself. 😉

I’ve also been going through old photos I thought were lost and pieces of stories/novels that were hiding on old hard drives that weren’t really dead. ( “Only sleeping?” I’ve had to go into the control panels and tell every computer I’ve had in the past fifteen years not to put the blinkin hard drives to sleep, because that crashes the computers every time. Sometimes it takes two or three tries to get the hard drives to wake up. If I knew for sure this was something that evil ice holes calculated to purposefully drive us crazy I would have to struggle valiantly to control my temper and not want to join a jihad again ice hole planned obsolescence and computer frustration conspiracy proliferators. That’s a mouthful- )

piece of wood drying inside the porch
“Interesting” piece of character-oozing lumber that was used to hammer three pretty nice pallets into a three-tiered shelf system for plants ‘on sale’ this last spring. We pried the shelves apart from their vertical support pieces and diagonal bracing pieces. This was a diagonal, I think, I knocked all the nails out, sanded it, bleached it, stained it with an oak ‘gel’ stain and will coat it with maybe several coats of polyurethane before I use it to brace the legs of a desk in my office.

One piece of wood that has an ‘interesting’ look to it, which is destined to being cut to fit and screwed in place to support the legs of a desk here in my office, has been sanded, bleached and stained and is waiting for us to go out and buy some paint thinner so we won’t have to buy a dozen cheap brushes to add the several coats of polyurethane it will need to ensure against slivers.

Proud puppy horse after flipping a bowl upright.
m. LeBoof – proud of himself for winning a round of bowl hockey, and blocking my way through the kitchen for about five minutes- The point of bowl hockey is to keep knocking the upside down bowl around until it magically flips upright. & Why do dog’s eyes shine back white when human eyes shine back red? And cat’s eyes are usually either green or amber when bouncing back flash?

& the dog was so happy to see me come back inside from my afternoon of messing around with pallets he played hockey with one of the bowls that usually contains cat treats or ‘wet food’ for cats, but the dog sometimes gets anything the cats leave behind. And he’s become quite animated about batting the bowls across the floor and trying to turn them right-side-up. It’s quite a noisy and animated process, and I’m repeating myself -oops.

~~~~~ Jim


Cathi Delivered Her Painting to the New Community Centre

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015.

The new Community Center, which began its life as something like the Alex Gibson School in Marysville, New Brunswick, which has been incorporated into Fredericton – will open tomorrow, Thursday.

School Turned Community Centre
We were happy when we first saw new signs of life around the Alex (?) Gibson School off Canada Street in the Marysville Section of Fredericton. We saw kids playing, people improving the gardens, and then learned the building was being turned into a Community Centre – Which is something both Cathi and I dar-dreamed -without telling each other- that we’d do if we hit the lottery.

Today Cathi delivered a painting of hers to the new Community Centre, in time for Tommorow’s opening ceremonies.

Cathi at the Community Centre
Cathi, with her latest painting in a fabric shopping bag over her shoulder, paused to let me take this photograph in front of the Community Centre.
Cathi on the stairs in front of the Community Centre
We paused to appreciate the building and to read the sign over the front door that told us the name the school had gone by.
Painting in old classroom
We got tour of the new Community Centre, This classroom has a painting of somebody who looks like Winnie The Pooh Welcoming students (and now us?) to Mrs Hudson’s ‘Hive’.
Map Of Canada painted on a gymnasium wall.
The School’s Gymnasium was already seeing use by somebody teaching Ju Jitsu – and there was this nice map of Canada on the Gymnasium wall.

Cathi is off all week, we’re planning to come back tomorrow for at least part of the opening ceremonies.

— Today was interesting and fun 🙂

~~~~~ Jim

Sudden Rain Halts Work Outside, So Cathi Painted A Painting.

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 -( 17˚C / 63˚F Overcast & Dark @ 11:59 pm here in Atlantic Canada )-

— Cathi, who has been planning to get creative with pallet wood after seeing what several people have posted lately about what they’ve been doing with wood rescued from shipping pallets, had to halt her activities this evening and get everything – especially the electric drill and portable electric screwdriver – inside before the loud rumbling thunder split the clouds and pelted us with rain, and possibly hailstones- I don’t think we got any hail right here, but the area might have seen some.

— But also, she’s lamented lately that she hasn’t painted anything in years. There is a new “Northside” Community Centre open or opening soon and promising to display the work of local artists, so —

Pallet work in the rain
Not Orbs this time- those are probably reflected raindrops. It was pouring rain very shortly after Cathi made it inside. I got this photo by stepping outside under the bit of roof over hang here at the porch. Of course, there could be some ‘stealth orbs’ checking us out here. 🙂

— Left of center above is the frame Cathi is putting together for a guest bed in our guest bedroom. She was working feverishly, trying to fasten the last  of the slats, which will be vertical in this case- When the thunderboomers told her the downpour was almost here.

Painting on an easel on a credenza in our living room
Cathi’s painting is drying on the easel atop the teakwood credenza we sanded down and re-finished several years ago. Her box of art supplies is open on the floor and the paintbox is resting open, happy to have helped her accomplish something beautiful.

— No, she did not become discouraged and give up on her creative energy because one project had been thwarted- Nope, this is her 2nd week off this summer and she was determined to do things she could be proud of. So she sat down, got out her acrylics and painted a painting.

Cathi smiling
The beaming Artist.

— And, of course, the dog wanted to take credit for inspiring us to get outside and do stuff in the first place, and had his romp in the rain, came back inside looking daffy and ruffled and wet and happy, and, when I wanted to take a photo of Cathi and her painting, the dog wanted to get in the way and remind us that any time there is a dog in the room, we’re supposed to open up the ‘fridge’ and give him a treat. – hmmmmm —-

Dog in his crate.
Dogatory – The puppy-horse wants to show us what a good dog he is in the hopes that something edible will be his reward. 🙂 There’s a sheet over his crate that we pull down at bed time. This gives us maybe ten minutes of peace for a snack or something before he starts crying and whining and we want to cry and whine and remember the time before our long-term house guest hadn’t yet spoiled the almost trained puppy to the point where Cathi can’t bear to hear the mournful yelps and moans when he’s wondering what he might have done wrong to be locked up in his canine purgatory. You should see his eyes glow white through the security cameras.

— It’s been a productive day for Cathi, and an interesting day for me- after I fell asleep twice deleting spammed messages from this wordpress blog I took a nap and woke up to find that She hadn’t just started a painting, she pretty much finished it. 🙂

~~~~~ Jim

New Look- & Thank You Jassper!

Spooky photo.
Spooky photo of a reflection of me, Jim, taking a picture of my spooky reflection in a window or patio door, or something like that, in 2008.

Okay- We’ve been busy in a lot of areas lately and when we checked this page/ these pages for the first time in months, we found that:  1.) There were 1,942 spam comments waiting to be deleted. & 2.) ‘upgrading’ to a much hyped newer theme can be a pain in the, um, bum.

Jassper, bless his heart, has been fantastic at sitting there, going through the mind-numbing task of making sure none of those spammed comments had anything to say worth allowing them to be approved for, and posted live. I think he said that two out of the first 400 he’s gone through might have been legitimate comments and/or worth checking out.

The new theme, “evolve”, has a couple great features and, as far as our needs and tastes are concerned, a lot of superfluous nonsense-  The developers went way out of their way to make the theme user friendly, probably aimed at the 15 to 35 year old crowd – which means my step son could have whizzed through it at the age of 5. 🙂 But it has some annoying features that I haven’t been able to figure out. The suggested height of a header was “125 pixels”. This like almost everything else about this theme, is customizable. So I changed it to 200 pixels and that worked, for about ten seconds. Then the stupid thing snapped back to showing only 125 of the two hundred pixels of the old header image I had to re-upload. There probably is a setting in here somewhere that I can change, manually, by diving into the code in the code editor, reading through thousands of lines, finding the right line, overwriting the setting with the new numbers, re-saving or ‘updating’ and then sitting back while the wheels spin and hope that when I look at what I think I have just fixed, it just might be what we thought we had all along.


They have some color settings here that are marked “Important!” in the code, as seen through the editor. And I can’t figure out how to get rid of the plain vanilla overly white background all around the guts of the page and put in my own color, or ‘colour’ since we are in Canada. 🙂

And- I wasn’t thrilled with the very green colour block around the ‘sticky’ messages that are supposed to stay at the top of the list of ‘posts’ to be displayed whenever any of you out there in reader/surfer land come pay us a visit. But that may be one of the things in the code that is marked “Important!” And right now, I’m too tired to argue with them or mess with the code to see if changing the color setting launches an ICBM attack on our closest allies or anything.

It also took me between ten and twenty minutes of clicking through all the user friendly options to find the button to push to turn off the ‘featured image’ function, which grabbed the first image in the post and displayed it larger than the image was supposed to be displayed, and displayed it on top of the rest of the article, as a link, so articles with images had a huge honking featured image above itself and then the same image in its normal size down inside the article where it had been told to hang out- and articles with no images included had a huge light gray box with a spooky semi translucent image of a ghost camera above the article, so fraekin huge that the images were often twice the size of the article itself. But I did find that box and clicked it off, grumbling, “We don’t need no stinkin’ featured images.

And Jassper has promised to sit down and delete another couple hundred pieces of garbage ‘comments’ tomorrow and we’re pretty sure we turned off the ability of anybody to post a comment here if they’re not on our staff. So if you really have something to say that we might think is valid and worth posting, you can send it to “” and if you really want to become another unpaid volunteer here, say so, and we’ll send you a user password set to ‘contributer’ and screen everything you try to post until we’re damned sure we can trust you. Sorry, we only needed to get burned once before we turned hard on potential volunteers.

Don’t tell anybody, I just yawned.

— Thank you — And we hope you find something here that makes your day more enjoyable or at least more informed. And since these pages here are more or less aimed at relatives and close friends, we would probably be surprised if you did find something that really tweaked your interest here. But then, again, you may have found something in/or one of the other pages that fired your enthusiasm, and you can write to jassper and tell him you’d like to contribute to that page, include a user name and either a password that we hope you can change later or we’ll pick one for you. & don’t forget we need your real email address to send you this information.

& I’ve clicked every category we currently have listed as pertaining to this message, and that’s what we’re all about, so far. New categories might explode into our consciousness any time, day or night-

— Have a wonderful day, have a wonderful life time, and a wonderful happily ever after –

————— Jim