Monday, December 22

2008 Yule Holiday

All the presents plus one human. Clik 2 enlarge

Yesterday we celebrated Yule, the first official day of Winter. We got up before the sun rose so that we could be mostly alert when it did come up. Prior to going out, we collected enough noise makers (coffee cans) for the four of us to bang on to thank the sun for coming up again on 1st day of Winter. Wow, I was writing that down but not really feeling it. I mean, yeah, it was officially the beginning of the winter season, and the point is? The reason for us celebrating on that day is because traditionally it's the longest night and shortest day of the year and we are welcoming the start of the new season and that the days will become longer. Personally I am just 'whatever' with it, but because my wife wants/needs to feel that things are looking better or looking up, then I try and get into it as well. So anyway... we walked around the house and swimming pool, traveling in a clockwise direction, banging on our cans until the sun peaked up over the horizon. Then we came back in because it was freakin' cold out there! I believe it was right around 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but the wind-chill was much colder. After we got back inside we brought all the wrapped gifts out of hiding into the living room. Then we divided them by the 'to' name on each until everyone had their gifts. I took a picture of them all before they were distributed. Good thing we put recharged batteries in the camera the night before, eh? We all liked every present we got. This year we mailed out holiday cards for the first time in a couple of years (we kept putting it off till it was too late), and this year only got a few FROM people. Actually we usually do, but we always hope for more but understand that because we didn't send many out the last couple until this year that it'll be next year before we get many (hopefully). The rest of the day was spent watching football and eating chocolate and cookies, playing on the computers and having a pretty usual day.

Now that I've had some time to relax and write, I'm not nearly as cranky as I was while we were shopping. I mean, the very first thing I was confronted with in town was one of those freakin' annoying bell-ringers. What the hell is the reason for those damn bells? Do they really think we can't see them? Just pisses me off that they expect people to contribute. However, that's just me. Rain almost always drops some change in their containers. Personally... I don't understand why all those alleged millionaires and billionaires can't fund them more and let us peasants spend our money on gifts and supplies for our families and people we know need the help. Plus it seemed liked people in the grocery store were oblivious to anyone but themselves. Stopping in the middle of isles to look around, talk, whatever. In the non-supercenter Wal-Mart, that continued but because the isles are so close together (IE narrow), it made it even more annoying to me.

Of course while in the stores they were playing the traditional holiday music. As freakin' long as I can remember, that same damn music has been played since I was a kid. I haven't been a kid for 3 decades now. I would just think SOMEONE could come-up with different music, or at least quit playing the same stuff every freaking year! Sigh! I swear if I hear the word "Santa" one more time, I going to kill whoever said it. Not really! Happy freaking holidays everyone.

P.S. Just wanted to say that I'm not cranky now. I was while at the store, but not anymore. *smile*

Saturday, December 20

Window's updates and firewalls

The road out?

Crap! I've been thinking about journaling for over an hour now I think. Got sidetracked with a search to find out if the Westell VersaLink 327W had a built-in firewall - still not sure whether it does or not. Found a few semi interesting replies on-line, but since they were pretty geeky/technical, they didn't really mean a whole helluva lot. IYKWIM. Debating if I should say exactly what firewall or walls I'm using or not using, LOL, because I don't want some mischievous troublemaker to find my status and hack my computer. Inside I'm laughing because I seriously doubt they'd find anything juicy. Then again, I'm not really sure why they hack the computers they do. Perhaps they just get in so that they can use the computers to send problems from so that the real computer isn't found, like using a decoy I guess.

As you probably know, I can't install a couple of Window's Office updates that are allegedly high priority. They are KB953404 & 4478. Had been trading emails with 'support' without successful fixes. A couple of days ago they wrote and gave me a phone number to call. Yesterday afternoon I called that number, they gave me another number, then I was connected to an alleged technician who worked specifically with M.O. FrontPage who told me that FP is no longer supported via phone and that I needed to go to their website for email support (this was after being on the phone for an hour with people I could barely understand). And the runaround continues. This morning I found yet another email asking me for a two hour window when it would be okay to call me to fix my issue. I wrote back stating that I would get back to them next week IF I decided it was worth the hassle. I still haven't decided. FYI: Prior to sending me the support phone number, they sent me a long email with 6 methods of fixes. None of them worked.

Friday, December 19

Table, dog, and heater

Enlargable by clicking

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about vacuuming. That meant I needed to move the coffee table, which was a pain in the ass. That's when it occurred to me that we had replaced an office chair with another one and the bottom was in the shed doing nothing but taking-up space. So I decided to put it to use and create the coffee table that not only rolls, but also spins and can be raised if you want so you can use it like a bar table. LOL.

Click Sugar to enlarge her

This is our dog, Sugar. I have no idea why she wasn't in her bed. I thought it was funny and kind of cute so I took a picture.

New heater to get off of wood burning

I know I've mentioned in the past that we got a new large electric heater to see if we could go longer between wood fires, thus lessing the physical labor needed in late Fall and Winter. In this picture it is heating. BTW... it keeps about 800 sq. ft. of living space close to 70*F unless the outside temp stays below 20 for too long.

Saturday, December 13

Esoteric thinking continued...

Clicking enlarges, and I just thought this to be a beautiful picture

More on the deep thoughts or esoteric thinking. Oh wow, I actually spelled esoteric correctly without any hints from the program or spell checker. That has special meaning because...(?) It's just something I thought of and wrote down. If it means something to you... great... if not, that's cool too. What I've been trying to figure-out is not only what to write, but why I should write down what I'm thinking. You know, that ol' "why would people care what I'm thinking?" thoughts. That's when it came to me, or I had a realization, or perhaps it could be called an epiphany... That I should just write what I want and let the words speak for themselves, so to speak. I do think of myself as a rambler. Which is basically a justification for being (want to say flaky, but that's not the right word) all over the map as far as consistency goes. Maybe a better word would be congruity? Hmm... I'll have to think about that. Anyway, today I'm just writing whatever comes to mind. Not worrying about who is interested in anything in particular. Only that I think it's interesting.

We've been watching a PBS channel all morning that has the 'Create' station-symbol in the bottom, right-hand corner of the television screen. Ordinarily I wouldn't choose this channel or any like it, or I would change it. Today I decided not to change it and just do other stuff if the content of the program didn't hold my interest (also, it was my wife who chose the channel). Oddly... I've actually stayed fairly entertained with all the cooking shows that've been on. They've all been about holiday treats like cookies, cupcakes, candy, and things of that nature. That's weird because I've never been a person who cooks, other than something quick because I just can't wait for anyone else to cook for me any longer. LOL. I suppose I do like food, I just don't enjoy the making process enough to be a cook. That and I don't really feel the need to experiment with different flavors that aren't readily available. In other words I don't do much searching for new or different food than what I'm used to eating on an everyday basis. It is the holiday season... so I'm trying to be a little more cheerful, upbeat, fun, light, and in general more in the celebratory mindset. In other words trying not to be a downer to anyone's happiness or frivolity.

In other matters... I do feel guilty of not being a good creativity motivator for getting the kids (used loosely because they're really teens, not kids) to try and do other things to entertain themselves with things that don't involve a television or computer screen. Unfortunately for them, I've never really been a craft seeking person. I don't know what to suggest to them, or even if I should be suggestive. They've never really been the type that cared a whole lot what you think they 'should' be doing. Since they seem to be pretty normal for their age, at least from what I remember from being a teenager, I'm constantly thinking of what, how, if I should teach them on any given day. Whew! That my friend... I recognize what an extreme example of a run-on sentence. LOL.

Brought to you by: FringeFolkFarm

Wednesday, December 10

Sunset picture with deep thoughts attached

I took this picture last month after we got our new-to-us camera. Wanted to see if we really could take pictures that actually looked like we hoped and expected. Yes. I've always like taking shots of sunsets but haven't had a good enough camera for a long time. Anyway, this is a November 2008 sunset looking toward our pasture toward the west.

Was playing a game of pool that I suppose could also be called practice. I was trying to think of a good reason to write in my blog, although already writing in my private journal. No, I don't think that much else besides what I wrote in my journal is interesting enough to anyone but me, to share. I started asking myself why I should write, as if I was someone else. That's when I thought a good answer would be, "Because I can, and that's going to have to be good enough! That's why!" After thinking for a while longer, while still practicing pool shots, I remembered that song by whatshername where she sings, "Do it anyway. hum hum hum hum hum-hum". Those hums are real words that I simply cannot remember. *smile* I'll see if I can find a link to the video, song, or both at the same time, in a minute. It's moments like this that I'm totally unsure on which if any words I should have link to wherever. *sigh* For some reason I have been super contemplative and aware of things I say. Thinking that whatever, is probably just really obvious to everyone else, hence questioning whether I should say anything or not. Questioning why my particular opinion make any more sense then what they already know or think anyway. The funny thing is, I really am not depressed, just having these super deep thoughts all the time. Have you ever experienced that? If so, how long was it (if ever) before you got back to normal hum-drum thinking?

Saturday, December 6

Plastic, pool and sickness continued

Well, don't feel any better this morning. Nose is still stuffy, and when I breathe harder than usual for any reason, I have to fight-off a cough. Which means I shouldn't exert myself, that's all. Not hard since I don't exert much cough inducing effort most of the time. Guess I could mention that when I got outta bed I had a headache and a backache, so first thing was ingesting some Ibuprofen, Mucus relief via generic Benedryl and another medicine. That can't be good for a stomach with nothing on it.

Played a game of pool. Didn't play using regulation rules, just got the ball that was easiest to shoot at, in the pocket. Still took me about 15 minutes, which is what a normal game between two players take-up in minutes.

I mentioned yesterday that we put a sheet of plastic on the north side of the house. Don't know whether it helped the heaters keep the house warmer or not. I know now, because Rain told me, that we need to put some heavy rocks and whatnot along the bottom edge on the outside to keep it from blowing too much. If it blew too much then it would temp fate to raise a wind which might blow the entire sheet of 10X25 foot plastic away. Don't want that to happen. That would hint that we should buy another sheet and put it up to replace it. Don't want to drive into Buffalo to get one, so we'll do everything we can to keep the current one attached to the porch. Anyway that's what I think Rain was possibly thinking when she told me about it needing rocks moved to the bottom of it. Will probably get to work on that after I eat brunch since I can't think of anything else that needs to be done. Well, other than another load of laundry. Need would be too strong a word as I'm not feeling THAT energetic or motivated. The bathroom hamper-basket is full, so it would be appreciated if the things in it were washed. It's mostly towels, but since we still have a couple of clean ones, it's not an emergency to get the dirty ones taken care of.

This morning's been alright. Drank a pot of coffee while watching cartoons that weren't for a less immature audience. Then played pool. Bye.

Rain's new e-store

Friday, December 5

Cold, errands, decorations

If you click it, it will grow

Don't know why, but I cannot get rid of the table-lines while using OpenOffice 3. It probably not even visible to the reader, only to the editor. Doesn't matter. It's my journal and it doesn't need to be perfect.

As you know, I came down with a cold that my wife had earlier in the week. It started with my tongue being extra dry. I thought it was from smoking a pipe. I had planned on not smoking it anymore, ever, but once I figured-out that wasn't why my mouth was dry, I didn't stop. So buying the mint lozenges was really a waste of money even though I do like sucking on them. That was a couple of days ago and today I'm doing a lot better. Seems as though the dry mouth only lasts for 2 days. Today is day 3. Now both of the teens have the cold. E-teen said his throat was dry last night. A-teen said hers started getting dry this morning. Plus she said that she didn't sleep well because she just couldn't get warm. Don't think I had that symptom, or if I did I stayed busy through it. E-teen hasn't said anything about being or getting cold. I started taking a Benadryl pill every four hours or so. Started doing that yesterday afternoon to dry-up any phlegm that may have accumulated in my sinus cavity or lungs. You know, to dry the phlegm before it became a problem, which it hasn't except for a slightly stuffy nose this morning and early afternoon.

We did manage to be feeling good enough to go into town. Stopped at Woods to check and then get new lottery tickets. After that we stopped in the Wal-Mart for an ink cartridge for the computer. They didn't have the one we needed. We also wanted to buy another jar of Teatree oil but we couldn't find that either. The reason we need a new bottle is mostly because the eye-dropper on the old one quit working. Since they did have eye-droppers, we got a couple of those. One for me and the teatree oil and the other to use to squirt oil into the cats' ears to drown the ear mites. Have NOT done that yet. Also stopped at Mickey D's for lunch, then stopped at Meeks to price and/or buy some plastic sheeting for the porch. Meeks didn't have any, so we went to MFA next-door and got some. We've already put it up. Put it up/across the north side of the porch to block the northern wind. Hopefully that'll make it easy to for the house to stay warmer, longer. The living room and computer game/wood-stove room are on the north side, so we're hoping they stay warm longer. Speaking of staying warm... We've gotten used to the living room being either right at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or a little above or below, using only the electric heaters. Haven't started a fire in the wood stove for several days. Did start one a few days ago because A-teen said she was really cold. However, right after I started it she went and took a hot bath. I wouldn't have started a fire if I had known she was going to do that. Oh well, I suppose it's good to keep familiar with starting one just in case our heaters break or can't get the house any warmer because the outside temperature took a nosedive. It has been dropping into the mid to lower 20's the last few mornings. Once the sun is up and shining, the house has warmed-up pretty quickly. Hence why we haven't started any more fires recently. It's kind of nice not HAVING to go slit wood. We have enough already split for the occasional fire.

Speaking of lights, we did put up a few around the inside of the house this afternoon. Rain wanted it to not only be a holiday season, but to look and feel like one as well. Once I got into it I could see the plus side of decorating. It didn't take me long, just didn't really understand why it was necessary. It was explained that it's done because it's winter and "to keep people from slitting their wrists" because everything is dull, bland, and "just another day/season". I guess, it just it necessary for ME, but I understand that others like to cheer-up the place at least once or twice a year.

Wednesday, December 3

Nothing is new, birthdays, computer updates

I was just checking for updated blogs of friends and family. Suffice it to say they're not being very verbose. So it occurred to me that someone may check my blog for updates sometime too and they would probably like to read something new-ish. Truth be told, I haven't been able to think of much 'new' to say. In fact I've been thinking a LOT lately that nothing is new anymore. Almost all of the TV shows we watch regularly are running repeats. We watch pretty much the same things every day. We do many of the same things every day. But today was payday for the month so we went grocery shopping. Our pantry is now mostly full. Got a few things in the freezer and refrigerator, cat food in their feed barrel, boxes of dog food in the pantry as well. Oh yeah and let's not forget the same frikkin' christmas music that's been played for as long as I can remember is being played in all the stores and restaurants these days and it pisses me off! Why can't anyone come-up with some NEW FREAKING CHRISTMAS MUSIC AND MOVIES?!?

I suppose since my birthday was just a few days ago that you might be wondering what I got. 2 shirts, a box of chocolates, a homemade card, cake, pizza, and several hugs and kisses. It was a good day!

On the computer front... still can't get the latest 'Security updates' for 'Office 2003' to install. Uninstalled, reinstalled, changed the registry, ran 'find and repair' programs on FrontPage 2003 and Office Viewer 2003. I've ran update checks several times and only need the ones I already have that won't install. I even downloaded them and did manual installs of said updates to no avail. The only thing I haven't done is call Windows Support and talk to them about it. Which will probably be this week if it's a toll-free call.

Monday, December 1

Thanksgiving and Computer stuff

As you know, Thanksgiving, the holiday, is over. Obviously since it was only one day. That day however, was a good one. Spent all afternoon at our friends house. We had lots of great food, including the Pecan and Pumpkin pies that Rain made for the occasion. Of course she also made brownies that were mainly for our friends. While there we played a couple of games of 'Life - Pirates of the Caribbean'. I won one of them when I played with E. and D. H. started that game, but opted out when/because she was too easily distracted by the movie that was playing on the television. We also talked and ate with A's mother in-law and son in-law.

I had to basically reformat the hard-drive on this computer. Luckily I didn't lose any program. All because I got the icon with the caption that I needed to activate (reactivate actually) my Windows operating system. But I couldn't get the computer to acknowledge that I was doing it. Clicking the icon didn't do anything except make the icon disappear, only to come back the next time the computer was restarted. I read online that if you could uninstall XP SP3 the system would revert back to SP2 and the icon would go away. However, since SP2 wasn't available, that didn't happen. I spent the next 2 days downloading SP2 and in the end went back to SP3 so that the defragment program would work the way it did before. Lots of Window's updates later it's finally (hopefully) back to normal. I've been seriously neglecting my Internet family. Since yesterday, also known as Sunday was my birthday, I didn't worry about them. In fact I was in a mood to take the weekend off of being online much at all except for downloading and reinstalling whatever I needed for the computer. A couple of weeks ago we bought some DVD-RW disks that have 4.7 GB of space. I was thinking at the time they'd be just like regular disks, but they're not. I found that out when I tried to save a full-system backup to one, only to have it (computer) say there was no disc in the disc player. Not real sure, but I think you need a program that converts files into DVD format, which I don't have. Actually, I downloaded something like that a few weeks ago, but I think it's since been deleted for some reason. Probably because I only downloaded it to get the Linux program Ubuntu onto disk. No, I haven't been successful with installing that because I get nervous when it comes time during the process the format the partition. I worry that I'm going to erase the current system by mistake, lose everything again, and have to reinstall everything. So I stop. Or I get brave and try, only to get an message saying there has been an error and the application was not complete and is being canceled.

Wednesday, November 26

Who really cares and why?

Picture taken by Rain of FringeFolkFarm. Click to biggen.

Just saw something on a PBS channel about a dead president from a long time ago. Did NOT interest me at all because I don't think ONE person is really all THAT important to the world. Like a raindrop in the ocean. Which one is more important than the other? One drop isn't. That's why people said to be important by other people I don't know, simply isn't important in the grand scheme of things. Just because YOU think they were or are doesn't mean I do or even should. That's another reason why I haven't been uploading my journal pages or writings as often, to my blog site or other social network(ing) sites. I guess I would be really surprised if someone found this page after I die and think, "Woo, now this changes everything!" I think not! Of course that's why I am having a really hard time believing that a book that I write, which contains writing I did years ago will ever sell. I'm just not understanding why people think what they think means something or will mean something ever. I was saying to Rain just last night that my biggest issue with Christians asking me whether I believe in God or not. Why do they care? Do they get a private suite in heaven when they die if I say yes? Does God give them credit or something? I'm sorry, but I just do not get it! It may or may not mean piddly tomorrow after they wake-up. Probably won't even remember me. Perhaps they'd feel that they did something important. Seriously. Do they really think God is keeping score? I just don't think so.

We drove into Buffalo today and picked-up a prescription that I called in asking for a refill. Not surprisingly, at least not to me, they did indeed give me another pill bottle that looks exactly like the last one I had with the same type of pills a month ago. Technically nothing got refilled, just duplicated. I know, it's all semantics. We also got 4 cans of cola and other stuff.

When we were waiting in line to pay for our groceries, there was a man ahead of us. The cashier was saying what she thought were humorous things to him and he gave absolutely no inclination he heard her or even cared. I thought that was just rude of him to totally and completely tune her out. When it was our turn to be serviced I made an extra effort to talk to her and interact. Hopefully that means some day when I need a good word put in about me or my family, that someone I didn't even know was paying attention remembers that I tried to make her day even a tiny bit happier. Aw! LOL.

Saturday, November 22

Typing, electric heat and wood

Just got through taking a typing-speed test. The first time I did it I got 30 words per minute at a 49% accuracy rate. I think that was because I got off by a space and didn't think I could go back with the backspace. The second time I discovered that you could go back if you made a mistake and scored 31 words per minute with a 94% accuracy rate. The reason the typing tutor program is installed is because we want our 13 year old boy to be able to type what he's thinking since we can't get him to practice his hand writing. Got him to practice his signature so he could sign his passport. When we went and picked it up though we parents were able to sign for him. Since then we haven't made him do much hand writing.

The new heater is working well. Last evening I put a small, portable heater that also has a thermostat control across the room from the new one to see if the room temperature would/could be more even all over. This morning when I got up the living room was right at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't know if that was because it didn't get as cold outside this morning or if both the heaters just worked well together.

I did get a load of laundry hung out on the line this morning but haven't checked it's dryness yet. It's been a few hours though so it's possible they're ready to come back in. I know that while hanging them out, although it was 50 degrees on the porch in the shade according to the porch thermometer that my hand still got very cold hanging clothes with the wind blowing.

It's almost 2:30 in the afternoon and I still haven't gotten any wood cut into log-size pieces. Honestly... I'm not really sure if I really NEED to worry about it. I'm thinking that if the electric bill jumps because of the use of the living room heaters that we might need to go back to using the wood stove more. If that's the case then we'll definitely need to have wood available, which there isn't much of at the moment. What to do, what to do? (rhetorical in case someone besides me finds this). Probably should ask the teens to at least split some wood so it can dry more quickly. At least quicker than remaining full-log size logs stacked in the shed. Part of me is thinking, "It's cold out there so we don't have to work in the cold if we don't want to". The other part is thinking, "But why not? Won't you, or they, feel better if SOMEONE does?" The answer is of course, "Yes, at least I would feel like I'm not the only one working around here." Work so far for me today includes the aforementioned laundry and running the dishwasher. Feel like I should do more. Don't really feel comfortable asking anyone else to though because of the cold yet sunny outdoor weather. I am SUCH a softy. Hopefully that DOESN'T mean I'm doing the teens a disservice, but I can certainly hear arguments coming from the Puritan types. Smile.

Okay. Now that I have managed to lay a guilt-trip on myself, lol, I am going to wrap this up. Then post it too my blog and Gather sites. Probably won't post it to my e-group since it (this blather) doesn't feel important. Although, I am the owner of said list and can post it anyway since only my wife and I can unsubscribe me if it isn't taken well (I think). Now the time has come to stop procrastinating and bring this to a close and get some work done outside. Perhaps with help from the teenagers that are currently sitting in front of television screens. Snicker!

Friday, November 21

Window's High Priority Updates


For the last week (approximately) I have been unable to install 3 Windows 'High Priority' Updates for the Microsoft Office 2003 and Office 2003 programs (KB951535, KB953404 nor KB954478). I have a feeling that perhaps it's because I deleted the temporary installation files from the Microsoft FrontPage 2003 installation before checking for updates. Did that because I didn't think I would need any so-called High Priority updates (Microsoft), although in the Disk Cleanup window said not to because that could affect updates. I have tried doing an install repair for MO 2003. That didn't change anything. I think I also did a complete reinstall, but I did that without uninstalling the first installation. I guess I'll try that next. The thing is though that I'm not even sure how big of a security risk I'll be in should I not be able to ever install those updates. Thinking it probably wouldn't be a big deal, but who knows? Pretty sure it wouldn't hurt to have them installed. I have enough free space to keep them in. It's just that I'm kind of getting tired of screwing around with the whole program/update issue. Thinking, "I've got things I should probably be doing besides that like cutting wood, splitting wood, burning trash, and running the dishwasher."

P.S. Yes, I have searched Google and the Microsoft Window's sites without figuring it out.

Wednesday, November 19

My Wife's Store


If you're looking for presents for yourself or your loved one to wear, please stop by my wife's brand-new on-line store. She makes shirts, is selling a vintage bluejean jacket that she hand embroidered with a Wolf Medicine Wheel. There's also a skirt on which she hand embroidered beautiful designs. :-)

Infrared Heaters and wood heat

Click to enlarge

Went to town yesterday to get one of those Sun Heaters. You know the ones... the infrared quartz ones for around 400 dollars. However, when we got to the one place we thought was selling them at the lowest price close to Buffalo we discovered that they were more expensive than we thought. FYI: That was at Hostetlers just outside of Buffalo on the way to Springfield on Hwy 65. We didn't get it. We decided to see how much they were at MFA. They were a little less but still more expensive than we wanted, so we decided to get a $50 Infrared with a thermostat instead. Much more affordable. I had looked up reviews of the other one on line on Monday evening to see what people who had bought the 400 dollar ones thought. A few people said they were great, but most of them said that they weren't worth the money and that the less expensive ones like we got were just as good. We were hoping to be able to not need a fire on those cold mornings. Before the new heater it rarely dropped below 65 in the living room on those cold mornings, this morning when Rain got up she said it was right about 68 degrees and that was with the heater being on all night. It would appear as though we're still going to need a fire on some mornings. I suppose we probably could not have one and the heat would eventually become warm enough to be comfortable. We will see how much, if any, our electric bill goes up in a month or two. The important thing to me is that if for some reason we ran out of wood that we would still be warm enough not to freeze. The heater we got was the Holmes 1Touch Tower Quartz Heater. I like it. I think it's cool looking when the coils are hot, red and glowing. We have friends that have a bigger, propane, wall mounted one and I think that's really neat too and wouldn't mind having a similar electric one, but am happy with the one we did get. Meanwhile, there are still logs in the wood shed that need to be split. There is also a tree on the other side of the brush pile that needs to be cut into logs. Of course there are a few branches on one side to the wood shed that need cut-up, plus all the ones laying out back in the wood lot that need to be harvested. That's all not as critical as it was but still should be done eventually. I mean, sheesh, we shouldn't (really dislike that word though) just sit in the house all day watching television and playing on the computer. It's good to be outside in the fresh although brisk air. Good for the mind and good for the body, good for the spirit. It just occurred to me that when it's REALLY cold then we don't HAVE to go out if we don't WANT to now. Really though, we never just sit around inside. We're always doing something like cleaning, caulking, dishes, rearranging, vacuuming, etcetera. Sometimes I need to write all that down just so I don't think that somehow I'm not living up to someone else's standard of what I should be going.

When I started this the Anti Virus scanner was running and it still is. Not real sure why it is running. It did run it's scheduled scan this morning after we went to bed. That's neither here nor there though, just thought it would be something to write because there is just a few more lines until I reach the end of the page. Figured that I might as well be able to start the next daily writing on a new page. Not sure if that's good or bad, but there ya go.

Tuesday, November 18

Starting point and other blather

This is just weird feeling. I am sitting at 'the other computer' which I *rarely* use simply because I don't do well with the keyboard that is part of it. It's too small and my fingers don't feel comfortable. Which makes for odd typing. I think it needs a keyboard with bigger keys or keys that are spaced differently. I don't know. I suppose that with practice I could get used to it. But why if I don't have to? Ordinarily this writing would be for my eyes only. However, since my writing software that I usually use to type my private journal is over there, I thought I'd be different today. Not that I'm not different most days, but you know what I mean. LOL. Not only that, but here's an interesting factoid... I have had a blog here on blogger for a few years now and this is the first time I've ever used the writer in the browser directly to enter a journal. I just got used to being able to use the offline writer, although it's not foolproof as I've forgotten to use the spell checker a few times. Isn't that kind of the point for using an off-line writer? To create a draft *before* sharing so that you don't look like an uneducated grade-schooler? LOL. Anyway, not a lot going on. Got a little shopping done yesterday, and that's about it. The other day we did totally rearrange the living room. The other computer is now in the living room instead of on the other side of the room divider. The brown sofa that was in the living room is now where the other computer's desk was. And the sofa that was up against the divider has been moved under the living room window. Took a few hours longer than we anticipated because we hadn't factored in all the vacuuming and cleaning where stuff was being moved from. That's all I've got. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, November 12

Comfy chair and other stuff

Color me comfortable in my new chair. You see, the other one got switched with the really uncomfortable desk chair, that uncomfy one was moved here, but I couldn't get comfy so I had a folding chair for about a week. Had a little extra (beginning of month) and we used part of that today for this 50 dollar chair. The rest went for some crack sealing stuff and various household items like food and stuff. In case you're wondering... we had to go to Lebanon so we went to lunch, then Wal-Mart, and obviously came home after that (maybe not though, but we don't have a notebook PC so it was obvious to me anyway). Oh yeah, and we stopped in a hardware/building supply store and bought a new chain for the chainsaw (what other kind would it be for?).

I should be outside cutting the tree that I couldn't yesterday because of a dull chain. It wouldn't to split some of the dryer stuff either. Perhaps I can get one of the teens to do that while I'm dismantling that felled tree.

At some point today, later, I want to work on the book editing for at least an hour before I get back to doing the email and web thing.

I've been wondering all day why my back is sore. Now I know. Because I spent a while laying on the kitchen's linoleum while foaming the gap underneath the bottom cabinets last night.

Later we also need to put plastic over A's window, the bathroom window and the pool room window. Maybe later today, maybe not, I just know that eventually we'll get that done.

Gosh, I keep thinking of new things to say after I write what I thought was the last thing I had to say. Anyway, just wanted to add that we also got another portable, thermostatted heater. Right now it's in the living room, but it will also be used in the pool room when needed. I still wonder sometimes how much our electric bill would go up if we just used the portable heaters in each room and not use the wood stove at all. Then I remember that the wood stove actually isn't that hard to heat up as long as we have wood. Right now we do, and we'll have enough to get us through the winter, I'm just wondering "what if?"

Tuesday, November 11

Fire, log cutting, chain sharpening, book writing, caulk laying

Got a fire going, so I should be able to spend a little time writing without interruption. Course knowing me I will probably feel the need to get up and check on the fire every few minutes to make sure there's still a flame. You'd think knowing that about myself would have me working on not doing that. What can I say? I'm who I'm. That doesn't even look right, but I hope you know what I meant about being who I Yam. Yes, I did stand up and make sure there were flames in the wood stove window. Then I noticed that the paragraph above wasn't justified, so I went on up the document and formatted each paragraph I could find that needed justification. I feel better, but I'm still going to have to make sure they're all like that before it's all said and done.

Yesterday I went out to try and cut some logs from the half tree I felled a couple of days ago. But before I could I needed to sharpen the chain on the saw. Unfortunately it is beyond a simple touch-up sharpening and needs a professional one. I know this because I tried to hand sharpening it three times to no avail. There might be an already pro sharpened chain that I haven't used yet hanging in the shed. If there is then of course I'll be able to get some cutting done today. If not then the next time we're near an MFA machine shop we'll drop off a chain or two for sharpening. It's windy right now, so I won't even be going out anytime soon. Besides, I need to eat breakfast, finish my coffee, and complete the waking up process. Just remembered that I also need to work on editing my book for an hour before I head out as well.

Decided that if I'm ever going to finish it I'm going to have to work on it on a regular basis. I've decided to set a timer and stay on the book for an hour without doing anything else, every day.

Finished caulking the bathroom last night after I saw a spider who had just come out from under the baseboard just inside the door. Of course I did that wall first then moved the towel rack and did along the window wall. Now the only place they can get in is from underneath the bath tub, which I'm considering spraying foam under the step to seal. Then the only place will be from the kitchen under the door into the bathroom. Still need to do the cove with the washing machine and dishwasher, along the floor of course. Then the kitchen will also be completely caulked. Oh wait, I still need to do behind the cabinet top from the left side of the sink around to just under the light switch on the other side of the stove. But then it'll be done. Actually, I still need to put tape under the cabinet above the floor board under the cabinets that the spout on the caulking tube was too short to reach. I'm thinking I will just use some clear packing tape or duct tape, unless there are tubes with longer spouts that the caulk comes out of available. Have never even thought to look, but definitely will the next time we're at a store with the stuff. Now that it's mentioned I guess I'll check on-line and see what there is. Duh! I'd just like to say that I'm feeling good about all the caulking I've done, makes me feel like I've been useful and accomplishing something important for the family.

Thursday, November 6

Out of commision, but back

It all started a few days ago when I got busy winterizing the house, cutting trees and branches that'd fallen, cleaning and putting up pictures on the wall to make the house look more lived in and therefore homey. Then I decided I would give the Linux program "Ubuntu" a try and was having nothing but confusion problems. Then in a error in judgment because I was tired after spending all freaking day trying to partition my hard-drive, I reformatted my Windows partition and spent all freaking day yesterday reinstalling Windows and getting updates for it and also driver updates from Dell. Plus of course I had to reinstall a bunch of programs, run tests, etc. Should be doing more outside in the wood shed, more caulking, more foam sealing on the roof, etc. But I figured since someone *might* be missing me I should update the masses. LOL.

Picture that may or may not show, but it's each hour of the last 24 with zero usage for each. *sigh*

One of the programs I reinstalled is this one, Zoundry Raven. In it I the option of setting up on-line storage of my pictures to automatically upload to at So I set it up as usual, only to get an error that the test of my settings (which are exactly how they were before). So I go to the site, log in, and get the message that my account has exceeded the 24 hour download limit, has been temporarily suspended, and to check on the chart on the page showing what that usage (people viewing my photo on various sites) has been, to explain when exceeding the limit happened, and see that every hour for the last 24 are ZERO! How the hell does that make me exceed my limit? I sent them an email and am now waiting for a reply.

Thursday, October 30

Working with wood, downloading files

Definitely got more done today than I did yesterday. Not all that surprising though because that sometimes happens when you're trying to be totally sure of a "clean" computer for hours on end. Most of that time was spent with me watching a TrendMicro/Housecall on-line scan for malware, grayware and spyware (which took hours and found 4 infections- sigh). But, this afternoon I went back and did another recommended (by TrendMicro) full system scan and they found only cookies. YAY.
In response to my last blog it was suggested that I try Linux 'Red Hat' and avoid those infections all together. I was told about a way to try a version of it via a "Live CD" without having to install it on the computer (the CD is basically the hard-drive). If you decide you like it you can just transfer it to the actual hard-drive. I'm still in the process of downloading the program from version). It still has over five hours to go. It's a 699 MB download and we only have "up to" 1.5 MBPS DSL. There's another site to download another Linux version called Fedora, but it's like a 3.3 GB download. Still thinking about when to download that one, but that's such a huge file. The way it was explained to me is that you download it, install it on a partition, then when you start the computer you get the option of starting up in 'Linux' or 'Windows'. And yes, I'm told you are told how to go the partition thing.
The earlier, after noon part of my day was spent out back where there are BUNCHES of Oak branches that've fallen off the trees. Dragged a couple of big branches up to the wood shed so that I can turn them into logs that'll need to be split. Plus while I was out looking for other branches I saw that there was a huge branch or half a tree that I could chainsaw into logs, which I did. Then I came in, rested, and took my daughter back out with me to help load a wagon with those logs and then she helped secure the load (made sure it didn't tip over) while I pulled it with the riding mower. That wagon load now sits in the wood shed waiting to be split - still in the wagon. I'm thinking that we won't *need* to buy wood for a while, after seeing how freakin' many branches and trees need to be cut-up today. That's a great thing. Our 'usual' wood guy is selling already split and cured wood for $50 per half cord, so not buying that will definitely help feed the kids. *smile*
Yesterday I re-found a tube of tar-caulking in the shed. I was thinking it was caulk like, not tar. But after I went over the previous bathroom window caulking with the tar-in-a-tube, I realized what a stupid thing that was to do. It stank-up the bathroom really bad when I turned the heater on in there to help cure it before nightfall. I'm not sure what to do. Will the smell eventually diminish after a while? Should I somehow remove the "outside only" caulking I used IN the bathroom? If so, how? And not, I didn't see the inside only part before I started putting it on the window.
Now I'm just writing and waiting for supper and then for "Survivor" to come on in about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, October 29

Adware and Winterizing


I have not been feeling safe since we got that last attack of ad/spy ware on the computer. Seems like it really threw me for a loop of paranoia. I've been trying to make absolutely sure that the computer is clean for a couple of days now, mostly because of the Microsoft Security Center. I'm thinking my "problem" with it may not be a problem after all. It's not like we had a virus, it was adware and was cleaned using Spybot and the AVG anti-virus programs. That being said, I still wasn't satisfied so started a Windows OneCare scan, twice, and both times I accidentally closed the scanning when it said there were two Adware infections. After I spent a couple hours messing with that, I just went ahead and did a SpyBot scan, which found yet another Adware program called "SmitFraud.C." Here's the lowdown written by SpyBot:

Product: Smitfraud-C.:

This program installs itself through the internet and creates new desktop wallpaper. This wallpaper looks like a Windows 98 blue screen and contains a warning that the computer is infected with viruses, that one should download run a virus scanner and that the computer wouldn't work in normal mode. In addition to this one gets a desktop icon leading to a pretended anti virus application named PSGuard. Scanning the computer with this software will return a virus found (that was installed by this software itself). In order to remove this virus one has to download the full version for about 20 EUR.

Another unpleasant effect of Smitfraud-C. is that some configuration options in the Control Panel will no longer be available. This way it stops the user from changing the wallpaper and forces him to keep the blue screen. Overall Smitfraud-C is a very sneaky software trying to sell PSGuard by frightening less experienced users.

That being said, I'm feeling like because the sun is shining and it's pretty warm that I should be outside doing some winter preparedness, IE bring more downed branches up the the wood shed from out back so that I can cut them up for the teens to split and stack. Mostly though I feel like I've been unnecessarily attached to this machine. Bye for now.

Sunday, October 26

2 days of busy

Haven't really read much email, blogged, or even been on-line for much the last couple of days. The reason is because I have decided that things that need/should be done here, be it for getting ready for winter, doing chores, or just running errands are more important than email or the Internet.

Unfortunately for 'the book', I have not spent much time editing it for a few days because of everything we've been busy with.


Spent all day yesterday fixing whatever I could find not working correctly after this computer got infected with a Trojan that was probably picked up from a site the girl was at. It was\is called "delself.bat (Trojan.FakeAlert.H)". The way I was alerted about it was by my wife waking me up saying that something happened to the computer because all the icons next to the clock have red X's on them. Needless to say, that's generally not how I like to start my day. Probably wouldn't have taken all day if I had more experience in fixing things like that, but luckily we haven't had to deal with any serious "infection" in several years. It shut down the Windows 'Security Center' (Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing), also messed with Zone Alarm, AVG Antivirus, Spybot, and other stuff I can't remember or haven't found yet. The one thing that baffled me the longest was not being able to change from the 'basic' theme to the 'XP theme' because it turned off that and other 'system services'. The message that I first saw on the toolbar was that we were 'infected with a Trojan', so the first thing I tried was running a SpyBot scan but the program wouldn't start. I was able to get on-line to look for a download of Ad-Aware when I realized I already had the exe file to install it although I had uninstalled it a while back. Ran that in 'Smart Scan', which found like 7 infections, removed them, and then I was able to get Spybot to scan and it found the FakeAlert.H Trojan and also told me that the Security Center had been turned off. Also, because the computer seemed to be running slower than usual after all that work I did, I ended up doing a 'Repair Installation' of XP from the CD-ROM system disc. So, for now we seem to be back up and running unless something else goes buggy. For now... it's all good!

Today we got both of the window air conditioners taken out and stored until Spring or Summer, whichever it's needed more during (probably summer). Rain and the daughter have gotten a few loads of laundry done because it's suppose to get cold this week and we weren't sure if we'd have any trouble drying them on the line, so Rain figured it best to do while it was warmer and sunny before the serious cold spell hits. Which reminds me, need to put a clothes line on the porch.

Other than that, been playing pool, watching TV, loading and unloading the dishwasher, showering, bathing, eating, etc. This is the first time I've done anything for just me in 2 days except scan the email subject lines before doing other stuff, like cutting up branches that'd fallen off of trees, and splitting wood. One good thing that's happened recently is that The Male Teen has proven he's capable and willing to split the logs too, which really helps a lot because I often got a little irritated that Rain and I were the only ones doing it. Now that The Male Teen can and does, winter should be a lot less difficult on the family as a whole.

Friday, October 24

On the roof, in the attic, plant room and gym

Click for 640X480 size to see foam on the roof.

Click for 640X480 size

Click for 640X480 sizing

#1 is of our roof. You have to enlarge it to see the foam filling I put under a small section of the 'cap' that's directly over the upstairs bedroom. It was my first time using the stuff, so it probably wouldn't hurt to get another can and fill any gaps around the current foam. But for now it should keep most of the wind-blown rain out.

is of the new plant room. Most of those were outside and brought in this afternoon by The Plant Lady I like to refer to as The Best Half of our relationship.

is of the exercise machine and padding I found in the attic. I think it's carpet padding, but since it's obviously not under a carpet I figured it could be used as sit-up and push-up padding during a workout. Sorry but I didn't feel like spending anymore than the 20 minutes I did unsuccessfully to adjust the color. As you know, our camera doesn't have a flash.

ent most of the afternoon in the attic tacking some insulation strips that had fell down. Yesterday I was also up there but I used duct tape and a staple gun, which was a pain in the ass. Today I decided it would be easier to use string and staple each end of that after I criss-crossed the insulation that needed held up again.

Wednesday, October 22

What and Where to write

Trying to figure out what the hell I want to do, I decided to at least start with writing in my journal. If, and only if I decide it's worthy of other people's eyes will I post it. If I do, it'll most likely be on my Blogspot & MySpace blogs, and on my Gather page. I wish there was a way to send it from my off-line program directly to Gather just like I do to Blogger, then I would save time so I didn't have to log in to post to that G spot (snicker). Anyway, yesterday I wrote about a video I made while mowing around the house, today I've uploaded that video and am now waiting for it to go live/finish processing so I can "swap" the non-existent audio with one in YouTube's memory banks so that the video isn't quite so boring. I think it's totally true that music adds a LOT to ANY video. I'm sure other people agree.

So I've been contemplating lots of things about this writing time, and decided (just now actually) that I really don't have any deep "issues" right now keeping this private, other than using quotes too often. That being said, I've only been asked why I use them so much by one person the whole time I've been putting my verbose on the Internet (10 years). You wouldn't think that I would let ONE opinion affect how I do it, but I do. Probably because the person that asked the question and then made a comment that I shouldn't use them so much is my older sister. Perhaps because she is the ONLY blood family that's shown even a tiny amount of interest in the life I'm living, and even that isn't very freakin' much. I know I've whined about that in the past, but honestly it's NOT an issue - I've, as they say, moved on and no longer dwell on who pays attention or amount of attention I get on or off-line. Bottom line: Nobody likes a whiner, they just tolerate them! Nuff said.

Perhaps you're wondering about that book I said I was writing. Well, I still am, but it takes time because contrary to what I assume people assume about my life... I do have other things to do besides be on the computer. It is being worked on though. The last page to be edited was #26 of approximately 52 pages.

Anyway, speaking of things I need/should to do. One is the replacement of the screen with a glass window for the front screen door. The other is going into the attic and checking to see if I need to do any more weather stripping using duct tape at the very top (inside) of the roof (above the rafters) to keep any rain from coming in. What else is needed is that we get some spray foam/gap filler applied ON the roof under that metal cap at the point. When it is raining AND windy, sometimes water gets blown under that cap that runs the entire length of the roof, in spots that I can't get to from inside the attic to seal. The upstairs bedroom where the moisture shows that, was here before we were. I was on the roof the other day thinking of using duct tape on top of the roof, but I didn't feel like wiping the roof off so that the tape would stick better. Besides, although no one could've seen my handy (not) work, it just felt cheesy to me. That's when I came back in and suggested that we get some foam filling stuff the next time we have a little extra money. I was agreed with, but said money hasn't shown itself yet.

It appears that I'm once again at the end of my journal page, now I need to cut & paste this into my blog-writing software (Zoundry Raven) and add links for on-line use.

Tuesday, October 21

Busy day, but


Feel like I've been busy all day, but don't feel accomplished at this time. Got two of the 3 prescriptions I called in picked up. Would've gotten all three, but one needed the doctor to answer the call-back from the pharmacy who needed her to renew the 'scription that ran out so that they could start filling it anew. She hadn't called the pharmacy back when we were there to pick them all up, so we just got the two and will go back later this week to get it. That will probably be after Wednesday if we need to get new lottery tickets, unless we win Wednesday night's drawing.

Anyway, while we were out we stopped and got new lottery tickets, some M&Ms, small bag of dog food, big bag of cat food, and a business name registration application from a bank. That'll be sent in within the next day or two with $7. Once we get that back we'll find out about how to do the business tax forms. After that, or during the process, we'll eventually go back to the Family Services Office and re-apply for food stamps because we'll be able to show that Rain is working at a business... OURS. They won't be able to claim she's not trying to have an income; nor will they be justified in censuring her because she isn't employed. So, not only will we be able to spend less of our money on groceries, we very well could have money coming in from selling things ourselves. Rain is going to make shirts and other clothes to sell on-line (Ebay, etc.).

While in town we stopped and got 5 gallons of gas. Later I mowed the front and back yards as quickly as I could (because I thought it was going to rain). I even made a short video, but it only shows what's in front of the mower for less than a minute. Not the most exciting video I've ever seen, but then my videos haven't been so far, and I've made quite a few.

Other than mowing, I also washed a load of and hung clothes on the line, which was brought in by Rain when she thought it was about to rain, but it didn't. The clothes were/are still a little damp, but not bad - they're hung-up and put away. Oh yeah, I also got some trash burned, although we didn't need-need to, but because the forecast for tomorrow and beyond is rain, we figured we should burn what we could today.

Ever since the weather started changing, meaning that a storm began blowing in and it become very, very overcast, we've been having really slow DSL speed on both computers. Hopefully it'll be back up to speed tomorrow, but I'll believe that when I see it. Generally this slow speed and flaky connection issues happen whenever there's high humidity. I suppose we really should just expect that and not get so annoyed, but we really would like perfection 100% of the time. Is that too much to ask?!

On the emotional side, for the last week or so I've been doing a lot of soul searching. Trying to figure-out what I am all about and what I can expect from myself in the not-to-distant future. What I've decided is that I'm the stereotypical hippie who sucks at capitalism and doesn't have the knowledge, fortitude or passion to make a lot of money for myself. So unless I'm extremely lucky, like my book selling or winning the lottery that is generally considered a waste of time, I'm pretty much as "well off" as I'll ever be. And THAT is what I'm accepting.

Monday, October 20

Pictures... NOT!

Two days ago, yesterday, and today I took several pictures with our $20 camera. Unfortunately they were all unfocused and for the life of me I could not tweak any of them enough using Paint Shop Pro 7. So, I wanted to have some pictures for you, but I am sorry.

Other than that, I took a couple of video two days ago, and they're more focused, just not all that exciting and or interesting from my point of view. The first one is a little over a minute of watching trash burn in the burn barrel. The 2nd is mostly of the ground on the way from the big pond to the street in front of the property, with a shot of the Peonies and the Apple tree. Neither of which are all that pretty right now. I'll upload them to my YouTube page in a little bit. Do a search for or go to FringefolkFarm to see them. It takes up to 30 minutes or so before they go "public". Prolly name one " A walk " and the other " Trash burning " or something.

That's all I've got. Sorry.

Friday, October 17

Wood splitting and metal recycling

This is before I started today This is AFTER I finished today
(click on either picture for full-size)

Just came in a little while ago after splitting some wood. Only worked out there for a little over an hour (not constant movement, just so ya know) and I'm freaking exhausted. I'm not really all that tired, it's just that my thumb joints hurt from using the log splitter we have. I can't remember what the hell it's 'name' is, but I think it's Swedish or French. I tried to find out on the Internet what the one we have is called, but I could not find it. It is a pipe with a sharp wedge-like splitter on the end with a tube over it that you raise up and either drop until the back/welded/solid end meets the back of the under-tube thus driving the wedge into the log and splitting it, or slamming down. For the life of me I couldn't even find a picture of one. It's very similar to the Swedish "Smart" splitter, but not exact. Oh well. We bought it several years ago, and maybe they don't make them anymore. Who knows?
We took all the tin and aluminum cans we had into the metal collector in Windyville, MO this afternoon. We had 59 pounds of tin cans that got us 59 cents. Plus we had 7 pounds of aluminum that got us paid 3 dollars and some odd cents. The next time we take metal in, it will include an old water heater and two old air conditioners. Those are considered and paid for as tin, which is only 1 cent per pound, but at least someone can use/re-use them for something and they won't be in the back of our shed taking up room for other junk we could store in there.

Tuesday, October 14

Book. Organizing. Giving. Software. Grass Hopper.

Book: I am currently putting together about 50 pages of my journal/blogs (mostly journal) to create a book. It'll be self-published since we can't afford to hire a publisher. Currently it's in the editing stage as a 'first copy'. Don't know how many times it takes to make it perfect, so wish me luck. I am doing it because my wife thinks that people like to read about somebody else's life, especially if it isn't the normal type, say, like homesteading, weird pagans. *smile*

oaktable.jpgOrganizing: We decided that this place needs to have some life re-infused into it. So we've been cleaning and reorganizing. Sanded the feeding table (above) that used to be where the cats dined, and moved it into our bedroom for use as a cutting table for my wife's sewing. The room the cat's table was in is now where the stand-up freezer is along with shelves that will be holding the currently outdoor plants over the winter. Most of those are tropical, therefore heavy, so hopefully the cats won't bother them too much. Now we need to relocate the dead dryer and use that space to store the portable dishwasher, thus creating more open space in the kitchen.

twnbed.jpgGiving: Decided to put the exercise machine that was in our bedroom, upstairs, now that the twin bed that wasn't being utilized is gone to a happy freecycler. Yes, I am planning to start an exercise routine, which makes sense as the equipment we got years ago should be used more.

Software: Was looking at an old CD with old journal files on them that were put on the disc when I used OpenOffice program YEARS ago. Well, I decided the easiest way to view them would be to download and reinstall the OpenOffice.Org software. Now when I write my private journal I use it again, but this time I'm saving my writing using .rft extension since that OpenOffice isn't the only software I use to read writing pages.

Although you can't really tell by this picture, that grasshopper was HUGE!

Wednesday, October 8

Service Engine Light, Oct 7 Presidential Debate

I'm thinking it's NOT the cruise-control system somehow causing the "service engine soon" light to come on, at least for now. The mechanic checked it an got a #32 error. We drove into town today and did not use the cruise-control at all. Thought that could very well be why the light hadn't came on, but then it did when we were about 7 miles from home on the way back. I guess it still could be the cause, but I doubt it. It *might* also be that we need to change the air-filter cuz we haven't done that ourselves since we bought the van 3 years ago. And the reason is because it is just a big, ol' pain in the butt to do it...I think. I think you have to take the console out inside the van to get to the air filter. Again, not difficult, but it will require re-attatching the carpeting on said console again. *sigh*
Other than that, doing pretty well. Watched the presidential candidate debate last night, and I think that Obama did better.

Tuesday, October 7

My Barack Obama test answers

You DISAGREED with the Barack Obama position on 32 of the 48 test questions ( This means you disagree with the Obama position 67% of the time.
To see where you agreed or disagreed with Barack Obama on each question and also where the rest of America stands on each question below.
Your answers and the Obama position:
1. Presently 80% of American energy comes from fossil fuels while 7% comes from alternative energy sources. Do you support or oppose increasing taxes on fossil fuels in an effort to force our nation to increase its reliance on alternative or renewable energy sources and reducing environmental pollution- even if doing so would mean the taxes are eventually passed on to the consumer?
You selected:
Oppose tax increase on fossil fuels
2. Proponents of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska point out that drilling could cover an area that covers 2000 of the total 19 million acres that make up ANWR. Should the U.S. Begin drilling in ANWR even if we won't realize the potential benefit for several more years?
You selected:
Yes *Because it's a tiny area that they want to drill, and they're already drilling on the North slope really close. Although if we just cut back on the EXPORTS (1.8 mil. Barrels/day) we could support ourselves now. IMO
3. "How do you feel about increased drilling for oil and natural gas offshore in U.S. Waters? Do you strongly favor, mildly favor, mildly oppose or strongly oppose increased offshore drilling?"
You selected:
Yes * Favored. Don't know why it said "Yes". Hmm...
4. Some say Barack Obama's plans to implement sweeping environmental regulations will raise the cost of gas, groceries, heating and air conditioning. Do you favor or oppose Obama's environmental plans?
You selected:
Oppose * Obviously if it's going to raise prices that wouldn't be good. I think the 'plan' isn't quite that simple according to BO though.
5. The US currently adds a tariff of 54 cents on each gallon of imported ethanol from countries like Brazil in an effort to protect American companies producing ethanol from corn. The tariff is passed on to the consumer in the form of higher fuel prices. Should this tariff on imported ethanol...
You selected:
Be eliminated
6. There are 104 nuclear reactors in the US today that produce 20% of America's energy needs and no accident has occurred at these reactors in 30 years. Other nations such as France are far more reliant on nuclear power as 77% of that nation's electricity comes from nuclear sources. How much of America's energy needs would you like to see nuclear reactors meet?
You selected:
Generate as much energy as possible from nuclear power
1. Do you favor or oppose an increase in the tax that stock holders pay on returns from 15% to nearly 40%?
You selected:
2. Do you favor or oppose increasing the death tax rate to 55% for any income past the first $1 million.
You selected:
Oppose * I guess that wouldn't be fair. Although I FEEL that they could probably afford it, but then again taxes have already been paid, so...
3. Do you favor or oppose raising the top tax rate on the self-employed from 37.9% to 54.9%?
You selected:
Oppose *Self-employed need fewer taxes as an incentive to try to create their own businesses.
4. America's 3.7 million Sub Chapter S corporations which are small companies with less than 75 stock holders are currently taxed at a rate of 35%. Do you favor or oppose increasing the tax rate on these businesses to 50.3%?
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5. How much should Americans who earn $1 million per year pay in federal income taxes?
You selected:
35% or less
6. How much should someone who wins $1 million dollars in the lottery pay in federal income?
You selected:
35% or less
7. Tell me which of the following top individual tax rates which combine income and social security do you think is most fair?
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28% under President Reagan
8. According to the Tax Policy center Barack Obama's tax plans would cost the U.S federal government nearly $900 billion in his first term and increase the national debt by $3.3 trillion over ten years. Do you believe the analysis that Obama's plans will be too costly for the U.S.or do you think the changes are needed?
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Obama's plans are needed * This is totally a loaded question. I mean, if we can afford 10 BILLION A DAY/MONTH in Iraq, we should also be able to afford to help the American people. So I think we need help, but I don't think we can afford it AND 'the war'. *sigh*
9. Some say Obama's proposed increase in deductions for taxpayers would increase the number of those who don't pay taxes closer to 40%. Do you agree or disagree with Obama's proposed increase in deductions?
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Agree *So hopefully the rich would pick up the slack.
10. If Barack Obama is elected president and follows through on his plan to raise taxes on businesses and the wealthy what do you think businesses will most likely do?
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Increase prices of goods *They're not going to get any less greedy :-(
11. Do you think that Barack Obama's plan to increase taxes on businesses and the wealthy will make you better off or worse off?
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Worse off *I think increase on the wealthy, but not the *small* businesses, but I really don't know, I'm assuming what the result would be.
Felon Voting
1. Do you agree or disagree that laws prohibiting convicted felons and non-US citizens from voting should be more vigorously enforced?
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*If they've served their time, they should be allowed to vote after their release!
Second Amendment
1. Do you agree or disagree that American firearm manufacturers who sell a legal product that is not defective should be sued if a criminal uses their products in a crime?
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2. Currently 36 states have laws that allow residents to qualify for a permit to carry a firearm if they pass a background check if they take a firearms safety-training course and if they pay a fee to cover administrative costs. Do you support or oppose such laws?
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3. Please consider the two statements below and choose which one agree with:
A. There needs to be new and tougher gun control laws to help in the fight against gun crime.
B. There are enough laws on the books what is needed is better enforcement of current gun control laws.
You selected:
Statement B
4. Would you favor or oppose a law that banned the sale of handguns?
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5. Do you support or oppose legislation to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting?
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6. Do you agree or disagree that you have the right to use deadly force as a means of self-defense in your home without having to retreat?
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7. While in the Illinois State Senate Barack Obama supported increasing taxes on firearms and ammunition by 500 percent. Do you agree or disagree with such a tax increase?
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1. Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country's problems. Which comes closer to your own view?
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Government should do more.
* I just don't have a problem with some people getting the help they need.
1. Should someone who is not a U.S. citizen being held under suspicion of terrorism be afforded Constitutional rights?
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* They are STILL human and therefore still should have rights. Lots of innocent people are accused in the U.S., something like 54% I think.
2. Should the U.S. negotiate with Iran without preconditions?
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* I see NOTHING wrong with diplomacy, but I also think they have just as much of a right to nuclear energy as we do.
3. If American deaths in Iraq are greatly reduced and stability has returned to the Iraqi government should American troops withdraw in 18 months or should they withdraw gradually over a longer timeframe?
You selected:
Withdraw in 18 months. And that is ASSUMING violence is way down and the gov is stabilized. Like Obama says, it would be a RESPONSIBLE withdrawal, not a cut and run.
1. Some say Barack Obama's plan to raise taxes and increase trade barriers are similar to those created by President Herbert Hoover in the 1930s which contributed to worsening America's economy. Do you think Obama's plans will worsen the economy as well or do you think they will help the economy?
You selected:
Worsen the economy
* But I *seriously* doubt the "plans" are really as bad as this question implies.
Health Care
1. Do you agree or disagree with Barack Obama's $65 billion plan to institute taxpayer-funded universal health coverage which would provide health insurance for those currently uninsured including illegal immigrants.
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* EVERYONE should be able to get care if they're human!
Social Values
1. Should a doctor give medical care to a fetus that survives an abortion or should medical care not be given?
You selected:
Doctor should give medical care
* But... Only if there's a HUGE chance at survival without long term care.
2. Do you favor or oppose a woman's right to an abortion based on the sex of the fetus?
You selected:
Oppose * The ONLY reason I chose oppose is because if the sex is the only reason, that would be stupid, but I SERIOUSLY doubt that happens very much, if at all.
3. Do you agree or disagree that a physician should be legally required to notify the parents of an underage girl who requests an abortion?
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4. Do you agree or disagree that abortion destroys a human life and is manslaughter?
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Disagree * Manslaughter?! No way!
5. Do you believe that human life begins at conception, when the baby may be able to survive outside the mother's womb with medical assistance, or when the baby is actually born?
You selected:
Baby survive * Actually it should be able to survive with minimal assistance.
6. In general what should be more important to Americans in their daily life: Moral values or material concerns?
You selected:
Moral values
* Not everything should be about money, although it pretty much is.
7. Should America's laws be written following Judeo-Christian values or should America be an entirely secular society devoid of any decisions based upon Judeo-Christian moral values?
You selected:
Secular Society * Because not everyone is Christian!
8. "Which comes closest to your view on abortion: abortion should always be legal, or should be legal most of the time or should be made illegal except in cases of rape incest and to save the mother's life or abortion should be made illegal without any exceptions?"
You selected:
Always be legal * It's just the mother's choice, and only her choice, but she should get counseling first.
9. "Now I would like to ask your opinion about a specific abortion procedure known as a 'late-term' abortion or 'partial-birth' abortion which is sometimes performed on women during the last few months of pregnancy. Do you think that the government should make this procedure illegal or do you think that the procedure should be legal?"
You selected:
Legal * Because I'll bet the times it HAS been done, it wasn't because she decided at 8 months she no longer wanted it, it was because the baby got stuck on the way out and it was a matter of which one to save.
10. Would you support or oppose a ballot measure in your state that stipulates only marriage between a man and a woman will be legally recognized?
You selected:
Oppose * Love is love, doesn't matter what they're sex is.
11. Recently Barack Obama was asked when he thought life begins in reference to the issue of abortion. Obama responded by saying that decision was above his pay-grade. Knowing that the next president may be able to appoint two or three U.S. Supreme Court Justices who may be called to make rulings on the issue of Abortion do you support or oppose a president who does not know when life begins?
You selected:
Support * Because at least he's not assuming he knows. And he isn't a judge that would decide anyway.
12. Would you support or oppose a ballot measure in your state that prohibits preferential treatment for any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in public employment, public education or public contracting?
You selected:
Oppose (I misread the question, so it should actually be "agree")
13. If you knew you had a step brother who was living in a slum and barely surviving on $300 a year would you help them financially?
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14. Barack Obama recently said 'The first thing I'd do as president would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act' This legislation would wipe out all state and federal abortion restrictions including the partial-birth abortion ban. Do you agree or disagree with Barack Obama's statement?
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1. In general do you think the current Supreme Court is too liberal too conservative or just about right?
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Too Conservative *Although it could be just right. I don't really know.
1. Do you agree or disagree that it should it be illegal for convicts on probation or on bail to have contact with a street gang?
You selected:
Agree * It's already illegal!
1. Some organized labor groups want to eliminate a workers' right to cast a secret ballot in elections in which workers decide whether or not to organize as a union. Do you support or oppose the workers' right to a secret ballot when deciding on unionizing
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