Wednesday, September 28, 2016


We lost Toby last Tuesday.  This post is a week late because I found it difficult to decide what to say or what pictures to include.  He was about 14 years old.  We got him through the Portland Humane Society when he was about three and have had eleven good years with him.  Last year about this time he began losing coordination in his hind quarters.  It's been very slowly getting worse for a full year.  Towards the end he was pretty much dragging the back legs.  At last it became debilitating and causing him problems and both mental and physical pain.  While Beth was doing Cycle Oregon, I stayed home to do a house project and watched him carefully for a whole week and decided it was time.  When Beth came back, she agreed.  We were going to do it the next Saturday, but as if to aide in our decision he developed an infected tooth on Sunday.  It was a small bump on Monday, but Tuesday morning his entire side of his muzzle was swollen.  I stayed home from work and Beth and I helped him on his way that afternoon.  There's a business in Portland which schedules a group of vets providing in-home service.  With his mobility and vet anxiety it was very comforting to have it done at home.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


A quiet Sunday at home.

I don't know how old Toby is.  His shelter adoption papers simply said 'approx 3 years old'.  That's when we brought him into our lives.  That makes about 14 this year.  It's been over two years since his operation which removed his spleen.  At that point I thought another year would make the procedure worth it.  It's been two and a half.  The strength and coordination of his back legs gets slowly worse every day.  A few weeks ago I put carpeting down the kitchen to back porch stairs.  He mostly slips and slides and falls down on the hardwoods.  He still climbs the stairs up to the bedrooms, at least a few times a day, though a couple of nights I've carried him.  If things progress as they are then we'll probably lose him this year.  I'll never forget finding him in the Humane Society shelter.  He was quiet, but he came over to the bars, sat down, and then leaned against them and clearly said he just wanted someone to snuggle with.

Emma is the sweetest dog ever.  She's the most mild mannered, congenial, friendly dog there ever was.  She absolutely charges at other dogs, but only to say "Hi, I'd like to meet you. Would you like to run and play?"  She tore her knee up last year, a torn ACL.  Since then she's slowed down a bit and well... she now looks a little like a line-backer.  She's now on a bit of a diet, and bounces excitedly in anticipation of each meal.  She's had a few previous owners, and I assume her earliest used an anti-bark collar, because she doesn't bark at all.  In two years I think I've heard her bark twice.  She does talk, but it's a gurgle on inhalation only.  She'll happily tell you about her day and how happy she is to see you if you listen close enough.  She loves to play and when worked up she'll kangaroo box Toby with her front paws (claws) to rouse him to a playful fight, just like a little sister will punch an older brother on the arm.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Windows NSA

I've avoided upgrading windohs.  Generally, because I'm happier with what I know and don't want to learn another system, once again (big sigh).  Just to note; I have a bachelors in electronics and do technical support for a living.

The other morning I'm in my home office sipping my first cup of coffee, when the wife walks in from her office/sewing room and announces that her computer has automatically updated to windohs 10, seemingly without her doing anything.  I know she must have clicked something, but when Bill's cronies don't include any sort of 'no thank you, stop bothering me' button, it's hard to blame her.

I immediately exploded (for me that's appears as a mild reaction since I'm extremely easy going).  I immediately google and find how to UNDO it.  Turns out undoing it is rather simple.  At least at this point, and if you catch it before 30 days.

I do tech support for a living and the last thing I want to do is do tech support at home, especially for the computer illiterate wife.  But I went in anyway, and restored her computer back to win-7.  I then turned off windows updates and downloaded a copy of GWX control panel and removed all windows NSA crapola.

I did the same for my computer, then I went to work and did the same for my office PC and all the computers in my support lab.  I turned off all windows updates, and used GWX control panel to remove all the annoying windows 10 prompts and files.

Now I know what you'll say "by turning off windows updates I leave myself vulnerable to hackers!".  Well here's my argument: Microsoft spent ten years doing security patches on Windows XP... and they then said you had to upgrade to win-7 because XP was still vulnerable.  In other words, no matter what you do your computer is vulnerable.

I turned off all Microsoft updates for one simple reason... I no longer trust them.

Microsoft is pushing the windohs-x upgrade.  Hard!  They're pushing and ramming and cramming it down people's throats completely against people's wishes, and they're doing it... for free.  No matter how I look at this, no matter from what angle or excuse, this goes against any common-sense business logic.  Something stinks.  Something very clearly and very pungently stinks.

I'm not overly prone to conspiracy theories, but there is something very wrong and very dark about all this.

Friday, March 4, 2016

For Sale: 1996 Honda Passport


1996 Honda Passport LX.  Gray with light gray interior.  3.2 liter V-6.  Automatic.  4 Wheel Drive.