Archive for the ‘computers’ Category

Looking for something?

October 12th, 2015 Comments off

Try !!!!!!!!

Categories: computers, Prose Tags:

It will be Sept

August 28th, 2015 Comments off

Did I mention that George and I are looking to relocate sometime in the not so distant future (next year? Year after?)? I realized as part of the move a requirement to shift from my German web host which I have been using since 2006/7. Using the same system and software for that entire length of time; including Smart-FTP which works so well that I have forgotten how to set it up.

Seriously. My FTP software is running on an old netbook. Old enough that it runs Win98. No hassles, no problems, not supported for a long time. I had a major brain cramp in getting it all organized in the first place. Ran over my limits a couple of times and had to regroup. The help guys are great – or at least they were at last pass in 2007. Under the adage of “if it ain’t broke – don’t screw with it” I have left the system alone.

Webpages are easy. I can cut, paste and reload pix without a problem. But eight years of blog posts just aren’t going to happen without some help. Then I had the brilliant idea of using a WordPress plug in to automate the process. OK – that part sort of seemed to work – except that you first scan and build the backup. My sites + build is higher than my allowable server space.

It is 1900 in the evening. I am packed. And tired. And leaving early tomorrow for the train station. I’ll be home for a couple of days end of Sept. I will deal with it then.


20 Books to Rohrbach this morning and 121 to the Heidelberg Altstadt Shelf.
Basic numbers here 1261 + 123 yesterday = 1384 + 20 + 121 = 1525. I have 40 more children’s books to be dropped tomorrow at the USO.

Categories: Books & Tapes, computers Tags:

insanity or what?

August 26th, 2015 Comments off

It isn’t that there aren’t other things to do…. laundry (four loads), cleaning and that every so fun and necessary scrubbing out of the fridge. But I decided to go ahead and start setting up my blog et all on a US based server.


Not. I started out with menus which have since disappeared. This is, I think, going to be more than balanced by the fact that I don’t have to maintain WordPress myself. And at less money per month than I am know paying.  Oh. Did I mention about 10x the amount of storage as well??

we shall see – that is when I am back from dealing with yet another load of laundry.

Categories: computers, home Tags:


August 5th, 2015 2 comments

It is a new day and my sense of humor is somewhat restored. Made better by my husband getting back safely from Switzerland last night and taking me out for dinner on the way home.

I was getting pretty sick of nutella and string cheese (don’t ask).

For the last several days there has been a chorus of “oh poor me” signing a song in my head; distracting me with high levels of whine, self pity and other assorted irritants which has made me a not very popular person in this household.

Please consider that I am currently in Heidelberg and George, as mentioned above, spent the last two days in Switzerland. Leaves us all with the understanding that I haven’t been particularly fun to be around. Not for anyone else and certainly not for myself.

I have been attempting to sort out my multiple backup drives, consolidating important things like photos, edit a couple of articles, audiobooks and just generally be a bit more organized than I have in the past.

Never mind (grin). I will be fine. And here till the 16th of Aug.

Categories: Books & Tapes, computers, Photos Tags:

Backup try two

August 4th, 2015 Comments off

Sure enough, the nightmare which woke me was true. My lack of patience with iPhoto resulted in the program attempting to back up everything twice. And execute both at the same time.

The end result wasn’t pretty. For one thing – I ran out of memory due to other programs being open which seemed to have slowed things down to a crawl. Secondly, instead of executing the backup in a simple, orderly and chronological manner, the idiot program seemed to be almost random in the order in which both photos and events were backed up. Somethings were backed up twice, some not at all. Some dates completely and some missing key events.

Summary? I need to do it again only keeping my impatience under control.


By (what is it now? 2220?) I have come to the end of the backup with an error message listing only 8 photos it was unable to export (not 6xxx). The whole flipping day. Dealing with the computer and the one program. Unable to do anything else so as to avoid slow downs.

Listen to me whine… wah, wah. Unable to spend money on Amazon e-Books. Unable to download from Audible, or Tantor or BigFish Games. Unable to Skype, FaceTime or otherwise drive others insane.  And it rained today which was my excuse for not accomplishing any more on the laundry front.

My sense of humor restored, I am going to finish listening to one of the free short stories by Jodi Taylor out of the St Mary’s series that was free on Audible followed by Lilith Saintcrow’s Trailer Park Fae, which, when you think about it, is such a wonderful contrast as to be almost obscene.


Categories: computers, Photos Tags:

Backing Up

August 3rd, 2015 Comments off

which, to no surprise is involving a lot of forward motion as well. I had planned on backing up photos and sorting as I went while in Tanzania. Didn’t happen as there was this small issue. Forgotten/misplaced external hard drive. It’s not that I don’t have a few of them. Counting nine right now sitting on my dining room table. But it was that the one I thought I had packed was no where to be seen.

So either I lost it, forgot it or misplaced it. In any case, it wasn’t with me which left me in Africa without the ability to back up my photos or permanently empty out my memory cards. When I stop and think about it, that particular backup drive is probably hiding out along with several other items (mostly underwear = smalls) that seem to have decreased in number as I went along.

Returning to the back-up. I first had to find the hard drives which only took a couple of minutes. Then there was the small matter of finding enough space on any of them for the thousands of pictures which seem to be inhabiting the largest portion of my MacBook. It would be nice to free up some space. Only going to happen after a back up. After all, one never knows when one of those totally lousy, out of focus photos might just be the key to ….

Perhaps I have been reading too many cozy mysteries?

In any case, my basic tendency is to delete after backing up rather than before.   Starting the program, I thought I had it figured out. Ten minutes later, I checked and a big nothing was happening so I tried the keyboard controls again. Another ten minutes and a box popped up so I could choose where to plonk those thousands of photos.

So far, so good? With me? Right. So was the computer.  It looked like hours so I went to bed, waking to realize that I was backing everything up.



Categories: computers, Photos Tags:

Taking a break

August 2nd, 2014 2 comments

Well, sort of. Maybe. Mostly managing three websites, sorting email, downloading files and spending the late afternoon at red*.  There were 8 of us, mostly regulars with a brand new person added. It was the usual conversation: Wollmiese vs Madelyn Tosh and what do you do with 60 kg of sugar.

No, I am not kidding about the sugar. One of our members words at Sudzucker. Apparently there is “distribute free sugar & recipes to employees” on a regular basis and she brought a few kilos to share with the rest of us. A couple members of the group are in the middle of putting up preserves and were more than happy to take bags and boxes of sugar. Me? I just like to add it to my coffee and would rather have brown crystals than white regular sugar.
So mostly I started on a new project and just listened to the conversations.
five fiddly points around the center point

five fiddly points around the center point


the yarn is crazy zauberball and the dps are 2.25

Categories: computers, Friends, Knitting Tags:

Madeira and email changes

May 2nd, 2013 Comments off

Landed in Madeira today after seven days crossing the Atlantic. The seas were not high, but there were still at least the usual complaints – mostly from the people who put on their patches prior to boarding the ship in Galveston. It certainly was not the level of fun that Chere and I had last spring riding the rollercoaster of the bow – so I guess I am missing the issue.

I know that some people get ill (I have a daughter who does, but she is great about it and certainly doesn’t feel obligated to inform everyone on the ship in an extremely loud voice.)

But I have no idea what is going on with the old email, yahoo seems to believe that I am totally and completely not me. As a result, I will be retiring the old UK email address. It actually makes sense considering I set that one up in Jan 2008 while I was living in the UK at that particular address. I could have changed to our address in Heidelberg, but none of us believe that I am actually there all that much – so what would be the point?

(If I was there, I would actually have to get back to sorting out this attic full of stuff, three storage rooms full of stuff, shelves full of books and containers of craft supplies……)

The weather is holding for the moment, but I do expect rain later today.

At sea again tomorrow – Gibraltar the day after where my Pounds Sterling may actually be of some use followed by Alicante then a flight home on Monday from Barcelona….

Categories: computers, Travel Tags:

Not having fun here

February 11th, 2013 Comments off

Oh no, not all all. You see, WordPress has been nagging me for a while to update to the latest version. Since doing that involves FTPing a bunch of files (my other choice would be to reinstall and use subversions from here on out – not an option because I would have to call the nice people in Hamburg, get passwords reset and otherwise try to figure out exactly what I did on account set up almost six years ago)…

Where was I? Oh yes, losing my mind in electronic technicalities. I dearly love my MacBook Air, but I have yet to find a decent FTP program for the Mac that offers the range of capabilites in SmartFTP. Also, there is that issue of log-in passwords and the like. All of this comes down to needing to be at home with access to an old small Acer netbook purchased back in about when I went to the UK. I know this because I remember having it in the UK plus it has an older version of windoze that works reasonably well (and still has an easy to find Command line interface).

So there I am, dragging and dropping sets of files into FTP on this tiny and hard on my eyes screen. When I finally finish I head back to my blog. It opens. I don’t like the new admin interface but that is easily fixable.

What I really don’t like is that a couple of the edit buttons don’t work. I use the “edit date/time” function to place posts ahead for the first day of a cruise. I also use it occasionally when uploading back posts for reasons of clarity. Then I find the public/private post toggle isn’t working either. Then the media uploader refuses to function.

It is time to go back to my knitting!

Categories: computers Tags:

Audience of One

January 27th, 2012 Comments off

After emptying the SPAM folder once again, I have decided that the purpose of SPAM is not to provide comments on a website/blog for all to see.

Rather, it is a plot to drive the owner of said site insane, or at least to make them slow down when they see the same stupid message over and over and over, tempting the fool into clicking on a link. Now, I have not done that but I can see how it might happen providing another malicious way to trash a computer.

Of course, using a MAC makes me a little less vulnerable but still. I have decided that the world is not their target, it is me. Personally, me whose attention this spambot wants. Having figured out that much, I can wield my deleting abilities with impunity completely sure that I will never delete anything worth saving.

After all, it has been close to four years and 27,507 bits of spam. In all that time, I think I have rescued two comments. Skimming the spam doesn’t seem like a particularly good use of time given those odds. I might have been educated on the fact that certain words seem to trigger Russian and other former eastern block spam while others invite comments from the far east. Most of it seems to be good ‘ol USA entrepreneurship targeted at me.

It must be the attempted English language in the blog because I am hosted in Germany. Go figure.

Categories: computers Tags:

Fancy Phones

July 13th, 2011 9 comments

As a child, we had a phone whose last four digits were 1101. Not a good thing as it was close in numbers to a couple of business resulting in more than one late night drunk getting us instead of his intended target. That was my introduction to wrong numbers as well as rotary phones.

Remember the Princess Line phone? Or the first phones that were not nailed to the kitchen wall?

What a concept – a house with more than one phone increasing a person’s privacy so that the kitchen did not have to be cleared every time the phone rang while creating the side effect of “hang up the phone” yells from one end of the house to the other. And slim phones; and in color! Wow! A serious interior design effect after years of black, black and more utilitarian black phones.

The only thing more important was the shift from Party line (with everyone listening in) to private phone lines.

There progress sat for years. You can Google if you want – but most of the articles about Telephones and History devote themselves to the early development of the actual first instrument. Wikipedia does address briefly some of the improvements in the 20th Century. The most fun site is here – on antique phones, collections and current collectors.

The next major step was the change to push buttons – more choices in phone designs and less painful fingers. My Eldest may have seen rotary phones (we certainly still had them on the all military bases in the early 90s) but I don’t think my younger three have any familiarity with the actual practice of dialing a phone numbers. Never the less – dialing up someone, or dialing a number is still in common usage only more recently superseded by “phoning.”

Remember the development of private phone lines where you could actually talk to someone without all of your neighbors and family listening in? Well, here we are in 2011 – everyone has a cell phone with their words being broadcast and bounced through relay towers providing a great chance for eavesdropping. It isn’t necessary though – all you have to do is sit anywhere in public and all those around you will happily let you in on the most intimate details of their lives as they sit and chat within a pretend bubble of privacy.

I am on this rant again because, after a wasted a couple of hours (by one technologically quite competent individual and his father) we have discovered why our expensive, fancy phones (bells, whistles, answering capability, programable rings, a call log and a contact register.) don’t work.

There is a problem with the line. Not the whole line – Telekom informs us – just the voice portion.

So here I sit on my computer, able to email to the world, post to this blog, and dial internationally on the VoIP phone but can’t make a local call or a Germany call on the regular phone. The reset that was tried also wipes the phone memory which means my alternative of calling people on my handi is limited since I don’t have any numbers…….

Categories: computers Tags:

How many pages

April 6th, 2011 8 comments

does it take to duplicate a medical record?

Well, it is a lot. At least when accounting for 30 years in “one practice.” Since the military uses a consolidated, cumulative record that “goes where ever you go” (provided that the information from the pre-electronic medical record actually ever made it back into permanent records).

Even if one rarely got seen – there are records checks which are recorded, routine physicals, mandatory blood work. Now, with the new electronic record there is little to no reason to conserve space. Forms don’t take up electrons. Blank space doesn’t take up much room. But when you got to print out an electronic visit – what used to be one of three visits on one side of a double used page now takes up three pages all by itself (that is right – where up to six used to be on one sheet -> probably 18 pages).

Even having gotten LRMC medical records room to print out a lot for me – it was still pages and pages and pages of print.

There is a logical reason to be doing this – the VA wants as complete a copy of your medical record as you can provide. They don’t accept electronic copies – it has to be hard copy paper. If I am going through the effort of doing this, unfortunately it means that conserving trees doesn’t factor into the equation. Instead, I have to make it as clear as I can for the person who is going to have to wade through the mess. That means skipping the double sided printing.

Much of it is a copy of a copy since my originals took a walk a number of years ago (2005?) and have not turned up since. The few originals I had actually slowed things down – 30 year old flimsy paper doesn’t do well through a sheet feeder.

More than 1/2 a ream of paper (with all the AHLTA notes printed double sided anyway). Thinking, while I feeding through paper and organising the output, of jobs Carmen and I working at the University of MN library while undergrads – running a xerox machine……and thinking that I have come full circle after 40 years.

Categories: computers, military Tags:


March 29th, 2011 4 comments
This is a collection of this, that, and the other for updates.
Offspring –

Maus is doing well and a happy dance. So far she heard from two of the four schools on her “I am really interested” list. Both have accepted her. One, unsolicited also is offering her a significant Merit Scholarship. RISD and Parsons have yet to let her know. The other two schools (which she applied to because her parents asked her to) have sent her polite “no thank you” notes. Didn’t phase her a bit.
Military related –

1) got the survivor’s benefit briefing. No question – if you have a spouse who is significantly younger than you especially with small children – Survivor Benefit Program is the way to go. Think of an annuity that is calculated based on your retirement age and your years of service (which means that it is a retirement salary replacement for your pension for your spouse in case of your death). Now, if you are older, your spouse makes a good living with a retirement plan of your own and – most importantly – they are an older male – statistically you are going to out live them. This is not whole life. If they die first the only benefit you get is not having to make the monthly payment. There is a “child only” option which essentially provides for family members under 21 or till 23rd birthday if still in school. That one makes some sense, since it cuts off at the point where the youngest is no longer eligible to collect benefits.
2) no progress on getting the whole “retirement mess” straightened out. Talked to the ERMC IG this afternoon. I need to put this whole mess in writing and she will see what she can do.
3) picked up the last of the boxes I shipped and the Tuff Box. I think I have all but two items I have to turn in to CIF… now if I can manage to not lose them in the next month. Fact is, I think I am going to take them in next week just to be safe. Dropped of chocolate chip cookies to my favourite mailroom guy as a thanks.
4) Exercise is going decently – back again tomorrow morning. Yes – as several of you have asked – guilt and work ethic are alive and well
Mailing list –

Before I forget – if you want me to take you off the distribution – please let me know. Since starting the email distro in 1998 with my Balkan’s deployment this list has waxed and waned.  Dropping and adding people is not a problem, neither is use of the <delete>.
Starting March 2007, I added the “blog” part to the websites that I had put up the previous year. That means that I have been at it more than 4 years, around the 13th or so of this month. The first couple of years the anniversary was a big deal. Now I don’t even think about it. Humm – doesn’t that feel like birthdays and anniversaries in adulthood?
Off to write the epic of trying to retire from the army.
Categories: computers, family, military Tags:

Cables and Cords

March 23rd, 2011 9 comments

Even though retirement paperwork is on my mind, I am not going to talk about it. I want to stay sane and it is enough to start me screaming. I have my new passport. Perhaps I should claim that as victory and move on?

Otherwise I will need to be frustrated – I can’t do a “European out” because, on paper, I am assigned to the US. Never mind I haven’t been officially working in the US since summer of 1993 – that is what the paper says. So I need the paper changed, but no one seems to be empowered to make that happen.

Argh! less than 40 days, but who is counting?

So that takes me back to cables. And cords, can’t forget the cords. To get you oriented, please remember that I have been living in Europe for a while – that is two round prongs and 240V. Except for when I was living in the UK which is three flat prongs, but still 240v (or is it 220? never mind). Unfortunately, the various back up drives I have purchased over the years seem to have come with 110 plugs (those two skinny parallel flat prongs?) which means I need to find adapters.

Or a different cord. None of which seem to be marked with amps so I know what can be substituted. This might seem like a small thing, but I have bags and backpacks of cords and cables. Everything seems to come with a cable; each unique. iPods are not the same as Zunes or Sansas or Zens let alone let us talk about all the different connectors for cell phones and PDAs which seem to have been mixed in over the years.

All of which leaves me to the two small, WD external hard drives sitting there glaring balefully at me. They, instead of a normal USB to 5 pin (hidden) mini plug just happen to have a “micro” plug on one end. So far I have been through three bags, two back packs and a fistful of strays that came back from downrange with me.

Now, since I have the two nasty little black beasties – I know that I had the appropriate cables at some point. I haven’t given up yet – no, not me. You see – you can’t buy this kind of cable in isolation. For 19.95 I can buy a USB kit that will let me make such a cord, but not just the single cord. For that – I am 1/2 way to the cost of another little hard drive that also will scuttle its cord, just to make my life cheerful.

For the knitters – this is like needing a 3.25mm needle. You have 3.0 and 3.5 but the flipping pattern just has to call for a US size in the middle.

So back into the fray – trying to consolidate audiobooks, eBooks and TV shows so that I might actually know what I have.

Failing that – I suppose I could just wrap the cords and cables around someone’s neck till they re-do my paperwork the way I want? Oh, that is right – I am in Germany and the fools are in the US….

Categories: computers, military Tags:

Downloading Disgust

January 7th, 2011 3 comments

More than once I have mentioned the fact that I am an audiobook junkie. Some audiobooks come out as Podcasts ( ) or iTunes are great ways to get those. Then there are downloads from various commercial enterprises which includes, again, iTunes but also Audible, Amazon, AudiobooksDL and a host of other sites.

What all of these sites require is either enough bandwidth allocation to download said file in something less than a lifetime and sometimes specialized software. The government does not allow us to download MP3 files on gov computers, so that particular option is a non-starter.

Even those people here paying the $100 a month for the high connect satellite feed say that moving large files often requires multiple restarts and a lot of frustration. Without it, the only other option is the WiFi at the USO. The connect speeds there are set so that no one gets a large share at the expense of others. The result is an average of 4 minutes per MEG downloaded. Obviously, they are successful in encouraging people to use the network for basic browsing and email while discouraging the rest of us from hanging out for hours in a vain attempt to get much desired book content.

I am fussing today more than others because one of my favorite Podiobook Authors – Nathan Lowell – has started the release of the last book in his Share series. It took more time than I want to admit over the last week, but I managed to secure Episodes 1-9. 10 will not download. Not from iTunes, and not from Podiobooks; keeps telling me that I don’t have permission. The same thing happens with Episode 12. I did grab Episode 11.

Listen to me whine. Sheesh, you would think that I don’t have enough books here. Of course, this is not including the fact that I can buy on Audible but not download at all (bandwidth at the USO and the software issue on gov computers).

I think tonight after services I am just going to curl up with a real book for a change! 

Categories: computers, deployment Tags:

No Chinese here …

December 25th, 2010 5 comments

Or Indian either for that matter.  

Instead, in the tradition of DFACs everywhere – the breakfast service was moved up by 30 to 60 minutes and stopped by 0730 in order to prepare for the main meal which is served at noon. Also, like many other facilities, the senior personnel – officers, first sergeants and command sergeant majors staff the serving line. The only significant variation that I saw is that all of us senior types were in ACUs rather than Dress Blues.  

At Aviation DFAC there are two lines – for this meal both the same. First station is roast carving, followed by choice (more than one ok) of turkey, prime rib, ham, pineapple chicken and corn on the cob. Following that was self serve for mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens and black eyed peas. There was a separate ham carving station along with a seafood area featuring cold crab legs and shrimp cocktails. In the next room were the salads, fruits and deserts.  

My line, of course, was the most efficient (grin). I spent a bit over an hour before my back said enough. I will attribute all of our ability to serve at double the speed of the other time to both the CSM asking everyone what they wanted and the SPC who was fast and efficient at the roast carving.  

 Seriously, the BDE Commander from 10th Mountain stopped by to say hello later and asked how we managed. His CSM and a good carver. In fact, the only thing that slowed us down at all were people self serving multiple side dishes. Oh, yes, Mac&Cheese, there was Mac & Cheese. I will need to ask Bonnie why, but it did give me something with protein besides ice cream.  

I am now back in the office with the following to finish before the end of the day

1) ABFM Part II Patient Simulation. Since this is open anything (as far as I can tell) I finally located a couple of great review articles to walk me through the two main diagnoses. With luck I will be done today – a bit in advance of 31 Dec….

2) two awards

3) review another award

4) Dari.  

My reward for getting through each section is to be able to stop and listen to an episode of Owner’s Share by Nathan Lowell. The first five episodes are up and I managed to download them last night and today at the USO. Remember those old 56k modems? With the limits on the USO system it takes about an hour to download 35 MEG. I also have the new Rawlins Cross album (Heart Head Hands) which came in the mail this week.

Categories: Books & Tapes, computers, deployment Tags:

what not to say

December 11th, 2010 2 comments

Just like there seem to be certain images that are SPAM magnets, apparently there are key phrases as well to be avoided.

Blithely I mentioned last night about some [not] bright person somewhere who wanted us all get through Dari Headstart before the end of the month. Didn’t think anything of it at all when I slapped the title on the blog post.

Well, color me stupid or astonished – whichever suits your sense of humor. Using the word “Dari” was honey to a whole new set of SPAM bots. Those bots all lead to sites that I can’t read. More importantly, they lead to web locations where I really don’t want to be on someone’s list.

Perfectly fine to have friends and family reading about my little corner of the world. Whole ‘nother idea to be linked or listed in wrap up webs. So far most are not appearing on my dashboard in-coming links which is reducing my anxiety level only somewhat.

Grumble, grumble…..

Categories: computers Tags:

Site Down

November 26th, 2010 5 comments

It is the day after Thanksgiving. Since it is Friday morning, it is quiet anyway. Dinner last night at the Korean Hospital was great. Much better than the noon time meal, truth be told.

It was late in the afternoon when I headed over to the blog intending to post the pictures.

The site was down. All three sites were down as a matter of fact. A bit of digging in a defunct email account turned up some warning notices. Now, since we haven’t changed banks or accounts in years and this bill is on direct pay I have no idea why they think it is not paid.

Everything is pretty well backed up, but still, this is a pain.

You are stuck with email till this is sorted out. Sorry about that.

Categories: computers, deployment Tags:

not allowed

November 12th, 2010 6 comments

No, I was not looking for thanks for me with what I wrote yesterday – I get lots of thanks both in person and warm emails. Rather, it was the idea of thinking of family history, of what those who went before us have done. While I really appreciate the notes and comments – it has left me more than a bit embarrased.

All of which leads me to the fun stuff that is not allowed……

Would you like –

free room in a glamours container palace? Or a cell in a flimsy plywood model? Board in your choice of one star DFACs complete with plastic silverware and trays made of recycled paper?? All of this is just waiting for you in on military bases everywhere in Afghanistan!

It did not surprise me to learn that there were various restrictions in theater when I arrived. Most of them make a lot of sense, especially when related to the use of the Internet. Obviously, gaming, porn, gambling and playing the stock market (or did I already say gambling?) are not things one should do on gov time, much less with government equipment.

Another limitation is realy starting to bother me – “personal use blogs” are not reachable. That means if I normally read your blog – and you are on Blogspot – I can’t get there from here. Nor can I get to, LiveJournal or Facebook (well, this one is not an issue – I don’t do Facebook). Feeds still come through on Google reader, but writing comments is not an option.

If you are self-hosted I probably should be able to get there from here – but heck –  the German and Australian IPs are giving the system an occasional burp.  And Twitter is obviously a road wayyy too far. If I want to indulge, it means a trip to the MWR and 30-90 minutes in line for a computer. I can get to Ravelry – go figure. It means that the computer people have not figured out that it is a social networking site.


Civilian clothes are not allowed for military. There is even clothing bag undergarments if you are cheap. Regular uniforms I have mentioned – PTs and ACUs (unless you have been issued the new fraqs – all the colours of baby excrements in one mottled package) being the only thing allowed. Hair down is not ok, iPods while exercising are not allowed unless in the gym. I could go on and on, but there is really no point. A sense of humor is mandatory – and so are gloves early in the morning.

Breakfast is allowed – and my favorite Aviation DFAC opens at 0630 ………

Categories: computers, deployment Tags:

Ah, computers

October 3rd, 2010 Comments off

I had a lovely, quiet day and thank you all for the birthday greetings. I enjoy getting to the office well before anyone else arrives. And if the attendence so far is any indication, I might well be the only one here today!


The “blog won’t let me leave comments” issue.  From what I can tell, there are two issues:

I am GMT:+4:30. A few reading this are GMT:+1 or GMT:0. The problem comes when you are GMT:-5-8 or so. WordPress does not allow comments to be posted at a date/time prior to when the post was written. Never mind that it is a technical issue of time zones and reality and has absolutely nothing to do what I would want.

The second issue is post naming. Apparently using a number to name the post is fine in the permalinks-but messes up the calls. I have changed the name on yesterday’s post and it is now possible to leave comments.

The archive function is also not functioning; getting to old posts is not an option without paging back. I ask your indulgence. Getting things fixed from here is going to be difficult a best. I am loathe to have any access to HOSTDE from here and risk hackers.


Current routine attendance at Friday night services here seems to be about a dozen, give or take. Civilains, Army and Air Force made up the crew this past Friday. There is a cupboard full of goodies, different shuls and synagogues have been more than generous with their care packages. If I need any munchies, I know where to go.

Categories: computers, Jewish Life, Uncategorized Tags:

why am I here?

September 16th, 2010 8 comments
trip mascot

Trip Mascot

My friend Diane in Germany asked an excellent question – what am I doing and why.

The “what” is relatively simple: sitting at a US Army post in Georgia and processing for deployment.

The “why” is straight forward, but not obvious to those who are not military related. The Army does it this way since they are supposed to insure that everyone has completed all the mandatory training on the list, has the proper uniforms, immunizations, and qualifications. They run a one week cycle. As it is set up, people dropping in at odd times just does not work. Units do their training at home and are certified there. Individuals are another matter. It is much more sensible and cost effective to handle all individual replacements in one location. All individual replacements below the rank of general officer come here: Department of the Army civilians, active duty, reserve, National Guard and contractors.

The cut-off for health care providers is 1200 on Monday. Because I was flying from Europe, obviously I did not arrive till well after that time; translates into too late to add to this cycle.


Yes, I have not forgotten how to knit even though it has been ages since I have posted anything even remotely related to handwork.

Current scarf in progress is “Dove” by Sharon Miller adapted for fingering weight yarn (Hunterwasser Opal). The pattern is mindlessly simple and comforting – a two row pattern that is repeated six times followed by stitches casted on each end which shift the pattern over by 9 stitches. And repeat.


100 gm scarf

Images and Spam

For some reason – one image that I added to a post back in early June is still accumulating dozens of spam per day. I have no clue as to why – it is a simple picture of white clapboard houses lining a street in Stavanger.

streets of white board houses

Can any of you see a reason why this picture is a magnet for a repetitive spam relating to health care issues and products? I certainly do not have a clue.

Categories: computers, Knitting, military Tags:

Want SPAM?

December 19th, 2009 3 comments

Feeling sad? Feeling lonely? Don’t get enough SPAM?

Well I have a solution, a secret, that I am wiling to share with you for free.

That is right, no money now and no money later. To get almost unlimited SPAM for your blog just follow my easy instructions.

Place the word “Russian” in the title of your post. Like magic, you will receive increased comments in your SPAM filter. Not just for a few days, mind you, but lasting for weeks. I am sure that the entertainment value would be even greater if I could actually read Russian. Perhaps it is better that I am spared some of the scurrilous comments. It is definitely a way of being assured that your blog is being picked up by some search engine or another.

You could experiment, go one better. Put the word “penis” in a blog title. The resulting viagra SPAM could send your count to a new high.

Now back to regular insanity and knitting.

Categories: computers Tags:

Found by the Russians

November 19th, 2009 4 comments

No clue as to what is going on, but for the last five days I have been inundated by SPAM from Russian IPs. Not just one or two replies caught in the filter, but 20-30 a day.

Heck, I normally do not see that many comments in a month. Of course, I have no clue as to why I would want to see 20-30 replies a day. At that rate, it is no longer personal, rather it is  comments for the sake of same.

To balance out the insanity, I got to spend the morning with the electrician. Good guy, he was tasked with the every five year electrical inspection. Translates to every socket (outlet for Americans), overhead light or government furnished appliance being tested.

Oh, yes, and the electrical connection to the smoke detectors. Never mind that they are tested out four times a year.

In a house the size of this one coupled with a multi-screen PDA program the process took over 4 hours. Meanwhile, I did some dishes, changed a light bulb or three, knit and talked audio books.

The afternoon run to Croughton was a waste. No decent library books and only my new glasses to justify the trip.

Categories: computers, home Tags:


July 28th, 2009 1 comment

As you can tell, or perhaps you can’t if you are using one of the readers, I have been vainly trying to stabilize the design of this blog since I switched off Mandigo.

I liked it, but it took forever to load. With every theme since then, I have had issues with either the design or the sidebar. Frustration is mounting. I am not really interested in designing something from scratch so it looks like I need to head back to the style.css and change things one at a time till I get what I want.

Clear and easy to read are important to me. proper borders that outline the pix are better than the current blue line. I might need to go to two sidebars to make the design look more balanced and I really like fluid themes more than fixed width.

Breadcrumbs, can’t forget the breadcrumbs for easy navigation.

All of these should be so simple. Why am I having such problems?

Categories: computers Tags:


July 26th, 2009 1 comment

There is a certain quiet of a house when the dog has gone. Toys sitting where they have been forgotten, dog bed empty and the food dish just waiting to be filled. There is dog hair on the carpet of several rooms waiting to be vacuumed. Completing all these tasks will make things a bit more final than I think my daughter is ready to have happen.

Friday night we had dinner in Guildford with a friend which eased things a bit and yesterday was a quiet day with Internet only an option at work. Today it was more of the same. BT down and me thinking about how I can force them to give me two days credit for service not delivered.

I am not talented in jewelry making. Ms Soprano messed around a bit and came up with both button cuff links and a good dozen lovely stitch markers for me.

stitch markers and cufflinks

stitch markers and cufflinks

The black wool that I received in the Ongoing Swap (Ravelry UK Spinnners) is now spun –



The Dreamsicle merino/silk is now plyed

two ply with remaining fiber

two ply with remaining fiber

I also finishing spinning and plying all of the grey shetland that I had coned. Not being smart enough to take a picture prior to dropping it in the sink, at least I managed to weigh it (445 gm) prior to the start of the soak.  There seemed to still be a bit too much lanolin left so I expect to lose as much as 50 gm in the washing.

Now, all I need is a set of wringers. You know, the kind of wringers that used to top every old fashion washing machine. If you crank yarn through them, you can powder remaining veg matter….

Categories: computers, fiber toys, home, Spinning Tags:


July 25th, 2009 Comments off

As of 0820 this morning, BT Broadband went toes up.

could it have been yesterday’s downpour with water flooding across the yard and lawn?

yesterday afternoon

yesterday afternoon

hardly able to see across the garden

hardly able to see across the garden

As if I didn’t have enough else going on in our lives. Esp to cut the daughter off from her Internet support community seemed especially cruel.

In any case, non of the usual attempts to reboot or reconfigure worked. Of course, I was directed to their internet page for the rest of the ideas.  Can you give me the logic? If I could get to the web, I wouldn’t need their help pages on the web. ARGH!!!!!


Needing cheering up and sanity, I started on a merino silk mix that Ms Soprano and I agreed looks like a Dreamsicle.

ball of roving

ball of roving

and spins up like this

fine singles

fine singles

with neither the orange or yellow appearing quite so garrish. I have two 100 gm balls and look to spin up the first tonight.

Other than that, it is audio books and figuring out what to have for supper.

Categories: computers Tags:

What is a Tweet?

July 18th, 2009 3 comments

I am old. Well, not really, but older than a lot of those at the surrounding tables at this conference.

there are a lot of people here, mostly developers and professionals, but with a good smattering of community and serious hobbyists.

WordCamp is about the use of WordPress: as a blogging platform, as a CMS, as the basis underlying e-Commerce. While one is at it, you could also layer on BuddyPress for social networking or bbPress for forums…. or ….

Anyway, none of that explains the love affairs with Twitter that seems to be taking over so many people.

Now, I date from USENET and FIDONET. I know and understand about random noise and chatter. I avoided IRC and all of its channels in favor of listserve and being able to look at things when I wanted, rather than on someone else’s schedule.

I don’t get Twitter. Primarily it seems to be 140 character comments on whatever # mark channel without any common sense or finger governers. It really is not anything different than a running instant messanger with more than one delivery route. I am not arrogant enough to believe that anyone really cares what I am doing at any particular time. If I need to contact my family, there is email and text messaging.

End Rant.


All of Print O’ the Wave



is completed out of two balls of Regia Cotton knit on 5.0 mm needles and badly needs blocking.
I started a second out of some Rowan Tapestry, only one repeat wide

After using up a previous ball of Rowan on an angle scarf




Video, Audio, other

iTunes US makes a certain amount of material available free every week. For the last several months, I have been collecting it up. Not wanting another late night at a pub with a long cold hike back I decided to reclaim some hard drive space by going through it.

No clue why any one would want to watch a reality TV show about a family with multiples. The fact that there is more than one out there is totally beyond me. Same goes for various fashion, fighting, school related, and vehicle demo productions. Ice Truckers? Really.

End result is that I have 15Gig more free on my laptop and found only one show that I might want to watch.

Categories: computers, Knitting Tags:

Trains and rain

July 17th, 2009 Comments off

It doesn’t take any more time to walk from my house to the Blackwater Station than it does to hike into Camberley. In fact it might just be a few minutes shorter. Allowing for plenty of time, I cut through the Meadows and arrived on the Platform 17 minutes later.

If I was smart, I would skip the time I spent at Reading. Something about trains being canceled, someone trying to take off with my suitcase (the clothes don’t matter, the laptop does) and me almost getting on a train without it. Or, maybe I just forgot where I was sitting?

In anycase, my luggage and I finally managed to get on the 1141 to Cardiff.

Did I mention it was raining? That it didn’t seem worth wandering around the city in such weather so I bopped through to Cardiff Bay and the Future Inn.

duh, conference

duh, conference room

with its conference facilities, excellent restaurant, and modern rooms. As a conference location, it might be off the end of the earth but it was more than price worthy and lovely.



Knitting Update

Managed to almost complete the current scarf on the needles (Eunny Jang’s Print O’ the Wave ) in Regia Sock Cotton.

detail of scarf

detail of scarf


Blackhills – Nora Roberts
Demons are Forever – Simon R Green

Both of which are long, long books.

Categories: Books & Tapes, computers, Travel Tags:

Spinning around

June 23rd, 2009 1 comment

As you can tell, I have been messing around with the blog appearance again. Never mind that the sidebars seem beyond repair in all themes or that this particular theme has no options whatsoever. (Meaning that I have to get creative and actually edit some php and css files myself. Not mentioning that the editor does not seem to be working nor remotely does anything resembling the archive function.

Ah well. Clean, simple. Lots of white and the Heidelberg pictures rather than my current garden. Please let me know in the comments what you think and what you find that is broken, I would really appreciate it.  For that matter, does anyone really check the blogs anymore as apposed to reading feeds?

In better use of my time, I hauled out the spinning wheel yesterday.

fine black singles

fine black singles

and tried spinning a bit of the black roving I received in the On-Going UK Swap.
Looked at some of the white shetland

unprepared locks

unprepared locks

and combed at bit, spun it into singles, then plyed.

two ply shetalnd

two ply shetalnd

it was happy to be fine

15 threads over a pound coin

15 threads over a pound coin

and it is now washed and hanging. That small amount turned into 30 meters of two ply.

not for dogs

not for dogs

meanwhile, the grey fleece I washed last night is mostly dry

grey shetland

grey shetland

My choice of listening today has been Zombie Chronicles by James Melzer which you can find on his website or Podiobooks and The Fledgling by Sharon Lee and Steven Miller. You can find it contained in the Saltation Podcast on Fireheart Foundry or available on iTunes. It will be out in hardcover from Baen this fall.

At almost 2200, it is dark enough that I need to bring in yarn and fleece.

Categories: Books & Tapes, computers, Spinning Tags:

Totally Scr*

April 5th, 2009 5 comments

Nothing to do with any knitting. I almost wish it had to do with knitting.

It was late last night; I should know better than to do anything when I am tired.  The update software family pack finally arrived in the mail on Friday from Ms Soprano.  The start of computer updates was not auspicious. Leopard did not want to install on The Moles computer. It installed on mine just fine. So did iWork which gives me programs. The issue came with iLife. It happily started, deleted the old programs, then informed me that there was no software on the DvD to install. This happened several tries. It was at this point that I realized what had happened. iPhoto was gone. totally and completely gone. The icon sits in the dock, but no software and no photos.

My panic subsided a bit when I noticed that the “library” was still there at a few gigs – I just don’t have any software with which to open it.

The Mole was home, we tried moving a copy of iPhoto from his computer to mine via the server. No dice. I now have the program, but it tells me that the library is “associated with a more recent software” and can’t be opened.

This may explain to you why there is only a whining post today and no pictures.

Categories: computers Tags:

Check that block

December 22nd, 2008 3 comments

According to the blurb – Part II of this module was only supposed to take 90 minutes. Right, and which genius figured that out? By 1600 I was seeing more grey hair every time I looked in the mirror and the whole project was going sideways. There are 6 (7?) hours time difference to Kansas City from Greenwich Mean time. My wailing note about needing a reset (read do-over because the computer on the fourth of many crashes had skipped past some things that I wanted to check) was sent at that absolute low point.

By the time I got a very nice reply, I was finally on a roll. The note included a cheat sheet. Seems like I am not the first person to be foiled by the programing. I took a few breaks – knitting is sanity,

a bit further

a bit further

laundry needed to be done

2nd of 4

2nd of 4

and I required the peace of candles to get through the rest of the evening.

Second Night

Second Night

Right after 2200, this nice email dropped in. Done. Finished. Checked that box. Next year – patient safety model and I am not waiting till the dead end of the year.

Now, all I have to do is clean, pack, drive to Croughton. Drop off the dog, submit a bunch of paperwork……

I need to knit some more…..