Monday, April 29, 2013

Windows XP Computer Dies. Motorhome Area Under Construction

Saturday as the rain fell from the skies, I sat in front of another Windows XP computer that was seeing it’s last few minutes in existence.

Wilma's Windows XP Dead PC

It started about a week ago, Wilma told me that the computer was running slower and slower every day. Going over to it I noticed right away something was bad wrong. The hard drive just kept reading the drive. At first I thought it might be some malware and it was a “host” to sending out spam. I unplugged the Ethernet cable, disconnecting it from the internet. That didn’t slow it down a bit. It took almost 10 minutes for it to just shut down.

On a re-boot I did the usual scans with Malwarebytes, CCleaner, AVG anti virus scan with nothing found. I thought I might just as well “restore” windows with the two Windows recovery discs that were made when we first received the computer.

Putting in disc 1, I was prompted to “Format C:” prior to the re-installation of Windows XP. The formatting went well, as did the first 15 minutes of installing the files of XP. Then the problems started. The CD drive was reading the files, but the hard drive stopped writing them. Then screen after screen of telling me to eject the CD, clean it off, and re-insert. Slowly it started to copy the files again, at least for about 10 minutes before the same thing happened. After fooling with it for more than 6 hours I through in the towel. An XP machine just wasn’t worth even half this much work! I pronounced it DEAD! It will be seeing the scrap yard for recycling in the near future.

Lucky for us, or maybe not, we had yet another XP computer sitting as a spare just waiting for a chance to come to life. After another 3 hours I had everything on it that Wilma needs to surf the net. All the Window XP updates, Microsoft Security Essentials for the anti virus, Chrome for surfing the web with all her bookmarks installed. She is now using yet another computer with a limited life expectancy. Fingers crossedAt least I salvaged 1 MB of ram out of the dead puter and installed it in her new puter. So now she has a booming 2 MB of ram. Eye rolling smile

On another subject….the area where the Motorhome used to be parked between the house and garage.

Where the Motorhome used to be parked

This whole area is in for some major changes! As we left our Motorhome in Florida, we are not ever expecting to drive it back home to Michigan again. So it’s time to get this area cleaned up!

We always wanted a “Rose Garden”. So an area 2 ft. X 20 ft. along the side of the garage was chosen to be the new rose garden. Before it could be used though, the slag and stone had to be removed. Digging down about 4 inches and sifting the gravel out of the soil resulted in the photo below.

The pile of stone removed from the rose bed

My best friend Gary is going to take the gravel back to his place to fill in some low spots in his county driveway. Thanks my bud for taking this off my hands!

Size of the gravel under the slag and dirt

The entire area between the Rose garden and the white fence needs to be removed to a depth of 4 inches and hauled away. Sounds like a job for a topsoil contractor who has a truck and a front end loader. I shudder what this will cost us, but grass just will not grow if planted above the slag and stone base. Calls will be placed to several local contractors for their bids and thoughts. An update will surely follow in future blog posts.

That’s about it for now…so be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What’s with those “Anonymous” comments?

I’ve been noticing lately, not just on my Blog, but on other blogs that I follow that there is an increase of Anonymous comments made that don’t have anything to do with the articles.

I realize it’s some kind of scamming ploy, or someone just trying to get one to click on their links, that are always supplied, to put a virus on your computer.

A good example of the latest comment is on Rick & Paulette's RV Travel blog today.

One of the bloggers that I follow, Retired Rod actually had to turn off his Anonymous comments.

I really don’t want to go to that measure with my Blog. There are a few people I know that do leave a comment once in a while Anonymously, and I don’t want to block them. The only cure I can see is a daily inspection of the “Comment” sections and to manually delete the Anonymous comments that have no meaning about the blog post.

A hassle indeed, but one I feel has to be done. For nothing else but to help protect those reading my blog from a possible virus attack.

For you bloggers, have you also noticed this lately? And what if anything do you suggest to do about this.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless

Thursday, April 18, 2013

E-Mailing Blog Notices

The past few months I have been sending out E-Mails to individuals who have requested to let them know when I update the Blog. This seemed to keep them updated just fine, but it also gave me yet another function to do when posting a blog.

Well, you may call me lazy if you wish, but I’m going to STOP sending out these notices. Eye rolling smile

For all those wishing to be notified of my postings, you can subscribe via email here on the blog.

Follow Blog

Just under our photo is a link to add your email address. Don’t forget to click on the “Submit” button. From there on you will be sent an email after every new post on the Blog.

I have noticed that this will not take you to the Blog itself. It just sends you an email of the latest post. Another thing I noticed is that if I include a “Slideshow” of photo’s, you won’t be able to see them.

So I might suggest that you copy the Blog site address and bookmark it, or save it on your computer. When you receive an email with the update you will be able then to go to the Blog site.

I hope this won’t inconvenience anyone, if so, send me a comment and I’ll be in touch with you. Smile

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dad gets a new TV

Dad has mentioned that he can’t read the scores on the FSND (Fox Sports Network Detroit) station when he watches the Tigers play. I mentioned to him that it was because he needed a new TV. His 15 year old Magnavox 27” TV had seen better days. It still received a fair picture, but since the new Digital systems started, the picture just wasn’t as sharp as before, even with using the WOW Cable systems converter box.

Dad's 15 Year old Magnavox 27"

As he had already seen my new 55” Samsung HD with DIRECTV, he really enjoyed the new sharp pictures. So yesterday he agreed to go with me to Costco to “just look” at the TV sets. Of course all the sets are hooked up to their HD Cable systems, and they all have great, sharp, clear pictures.

He ended up choosing a 32” Samsung HD. We brought it home and I started removing the old TV and installing the new.

I was NOT  very pleased with the reception we were getting on the new set, so a call was made to WOW, his cable provider. Talking to a lady there resulted in a very frustrating conversation to say the least. Nothing accomplished.

I continued to adjust the settings on the new TV. Still not pleased, another phone call was made to WOW. The young man I talked to seem to know a little more than the previous rep did, but he still was not giving me the correct instructions. I could tell he was just reading it all off a computer screen, and even at that, didn’t seem to “really understand” our problem with the HD reception.

After explaining the conditions of reception to him numerous times, he finally seemed to understand. That only took 30 minutes. Baring teeth smile Then I was informed that if we wanted HD it would be another $12.00 added to his bill, which was already flirting with $100 per month for just TV and Phone service. I was at a dead end with WOW, so I just said good by, thanks, and hung up.

A phone call was made to Margie, my sister-in-law. They also have WOW and have had a HD TV for some time now. Talking to her for less than 10 minutes answered all my questions. I was doing everything right, WOW just can’t send a TV picture in full screen unless you pay for the HD package it seems. (On most of the channels we were getting a horizontal black line above and below the picture) Those black sections were on the channels he mostly watched , including the Tiger baseball channel! Totally not acceptable!

Going into the TV setup menu again, I found where to adjust the picture to fill the screen. That did it! Dad was happy, even though I wasn’t happy with the Non-HD picture. But that doesn’t count, just as long as Dad is happy.

Dad's new 32" Samsung LED TV

Until next time be safe and God Bless.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New HDTV

After 3 months living in our Motorhome, watching our High Def. TV we came home to watch our 15 year old Sony 50” Rear Screen TV and it’s “oh so blurry” screen.  The photo of the Sony IS NOT our Sony. The photo was copied off the internet.
Sony
It didn’t take a week and I had enough! The old TV had to go. Also what had to go was the TV Cable service from WOW our cable provider. We just had too many TV outages last summer, and while we were away, the outages continued. Plus they raised their rates!
Costco was advertising a special deal for members if they signed up to Directv. Perfect timing so I signed up.
New Directv Dish installed
Now as I look out of the window in our second story bedroom, (our computer room), this is what I see. The new Directv Dish that was installed on the fireplace chimney.
I did my research on the web, feeling confortable with the Samsung brand. Looking at the Costco web site, I picked this Model.
Of course going to the store I found out that the web site was showing “last years model” and for a couple $$$$ more they had “this years model”. The Costco employee explained in detail the difference between the two. I chose the one in the store.
Showing Directv Menu
And you can’t get a modern High Def. TV without a new cabinet to put it on! Eye rolling smile So it was off to our local furniture store, Art Van.
We are both very happy with our selection and the quality of the picture on the new TV! Money well spent, especially if it lasts as long as our old Sony.
Heard a back-hoe working this morning in our neighborhood. Looks like our neighbor, who just purchased this home, has some main sewer problems. Very common in our neighborhood.
Neighbor Sewer Problems
Mine was replaced many many years ago. Thankfully.
Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Granddaughter Rebecca’s 13th. Birthday Party

We had the entire family over to celebrate Rebecca’s 13th. Birthday this afternoon.

A Locket from Mom

Happy 13th. Birthday Rebecca

It just doesn’t seem like it’s been 13 years ago today that I held her in my arms for the first time.

Third Grandchild

After the Birthday gifts were opened, it was time for an Easter Egg hunt. As we were in Florida for Easter, Nana just couldn’t let it happen that there would be no Egg Hunt!

Savannah finds an egg

After the Egg Hunt, it was time for dinner. Everyone, including the grandkids helped in taking the food from the kitchen to the basement. Then we all watched as the eldest Granddaughter Haley started at the head of the line.

DSC_6413

Rebecca even got to light the candles on the cake, and enjoyed everyone singing Happy Birthday to her.

Sister Savannah helps in lighting "all those" candles.

It was a very happy occasion with the entire family present. The first gathering since we have been home from our Winter Snowbird Trip to Florida. It was great seeing everyone having so much fun.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Made it home safe and sound

We arrived home on Thursday afternoon around 2:30 PM. Our home was a site for sore eyes. Wilma and I both were anxious to get out of the car and inside our home. After living in our 38 foot Motorhome, our home seems so huge inside!

Angel, our daughter had turned up the heat several hours before we arrived so the house would be warm for us when we arrived. She said her daughter Brooke said “Mom, it’s colder inside the house than it is outside!” I had the thermostat set at 50 F. while we were gone.

With no food in the house we headed for our favorite restaurant for dinner. The owner, DeeDee, was happy to see us again and commented several times on our tan.

Yesterday the day was filled with un-packing the car, putting all the items we bought back with us away. Then we headed for Costco and Meijer to do our grocery shopping.

Yesterday evening was spent updating our two desk computers. Wilma’s XP had 28 updates, my Windows 7 had 32 updates that needed to be downloaded and installed. Then the Documents from the laptop had to be copied over to my desk computer.

We were exhausted from the busy day by 10 PM and called it a day.

Our trip on I-75 was almost perfect. We saw 3 seperate 5th. wheel RV’s have tire problems. One of them directly in front of us had a blow out! Pieces of rubber and plastic from the 5th. wheel being flung over the highway. You just can’t help to feel bad for those people.

The Semi Truckers though are constantly loosing more and more of my respect. Back 2o some years ago, truckers were known to be the safest drivers on the road. Today, after watching several of them swerving from one side of their lane to the other, sometimes actually running off the road as if they were falling asleep, convinces me that they are becoming the “Road Hazards” we all dread. Of course not all truckers are un-safe, but for those that are, you know who you are and I pray you don’t end up getting killed or killing others out there on the highway.

Tomorrow we celebrate our Grand daughter’s 13th. birthday. My little Rebecca, a teenager now! Wow is time passing me by fast.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

La Quinta Inn vs. Best Western

This is our second night on the road to home from Florida. We picked La Quinta Inn in Lexington, KY. for our stay tonight. Pets are allowed here for no extra charge. Something we like in a chain hotel.

Last evening we stayed at a Best Western in GA. and was charged a $15.00 extra fee for our pet.

Best Western charged us a total of $74.00, La Quinta charged us $54.00 for the same size room with all the same features.

My choice and recommendation: La Quinta Inn will be our choice from now on when traveling.

In GA this morning when we got on the road, the temperature was 50 F. When we arrived here in KY. the temperature was still 50 F. We actually put on the jackets for the first time in over 3 months!

Tomorrow we should arrive back home. We are getting anxious to be back home and see the family and friends.

Oh yes…here is an update on our Garmin GPS. We decided that we would like a  steak dinner tonight. I put the address of Texas Roadhouse in the GPS. It was located just 4 miles away. Following Garmin’s every turn, I ended up 3 blocks away at the local Golden Corral! So I took my Droid Smartphone, went to Google Maps App and it directed me to the door of the Texas Roadhouse. Yet another reason I’m not happy with my Garmin!

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.