I Need a Tow

I Need a Tow

This is a re-post from before I wiped out lumpyscorner.com and started over. It was originally published here 19 April, 2012.

Most who know me often say “you should write a book” or “the stuff that only happens to Lumpy”. While I am not one to disregard the suggestions of friends, the truth is that I would be a fool if I wrote because I was told to do so.  If one wishes to succeed at writing, one must have a desire to write, not an instruction.

Depending on my success at endeavors of the pen, it is either good fortune or poor fate for the reader that, not only do I keep a journal but that my life is rich with events destined to “only happen to me”.

Continue reading “I Need a Tow”

Genuine Value and Employment

Genuine Value – This That Really Make You Love Your Job

From his vantage point high above the earth in...
From his vantage point high above the earth in the International Space Station, Astronaut Ed Lu captured this broad view of Hurricane Isabel. The image, ISS007-E-14750, was taken with a 50 mm lens on a digital camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post needs a paragraph of background information.   I am a reservations clerk for Marriott.  This experience occurred when I was working 12-hour shifts to while dealing with an exceptional demand for reservations due to hurricane Matthew in 2016.

I received a call from a Marriott Silver Elite Member.  Silver Elites stay with Marriott often, they are a preferred guest and, rightfully so, also given special attention.  This guest resided in Canada and wished to check several existing reservations in the southern United States.  Specifically, he wanted to know if there were additional rooms available at the locations.  Due to the number of hotels forced to close  and the massive number of southern state residents fleeing for safety due to the storm, none had additional rooms.   When informed, he replied “cancel those reservations other people need those rooms more”.  I thanked him for his noble act, said goodbye and was ready to move on to the next call.  I heard the voice in my head saying “wait”.

Instead of moving on to the next call, I made myself unavailable and contacted a Marriott Rewards Associate.  I told her what occurred and asked if there was anything we could do to thank the man.  She informed me that she would credit additional reward points (which can be used for free night stays) to his account and contact him to let him know why.

Pay rate, working conditions, perks, and benefits are certainly worthy of consideration regarding one’s job.  However, less tangible experiences often add genuine value as well.  This experience is one such example.  Not only did my employer empower me to be able to interact in a positive manner, my supervisor said “sweet” and a co-worker with “awesome” when I described the experience.

Lumpy’s New Computer – Day One

Day One – Out of Order of Course

Now those of you who know me, know that I almost never buy new computers. I have a reputation for recycling older hardware. In fact, the last new computer I bought was a Commodore 64. However, with my newest machine dated 1999, I am long overdue for an upgrade. Thanks to nice expense accounting, my tax return afforded me a new beast. I am going to chronicle making the new machine submit to my will.

Not much to say about the first day of this adventure, the tower arrived. The ASUS M51BC-US016S Desktop alone, without any monitors it is still impressive featuring a 3.3 GHz AMD FX-8300 Processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 2TB HDD. However, it really needs the video card and the monitors I ordered to complete my new setup. It also shipped with something I have not played with much in the recent past, Windows 8.1. This should be fun.

While I am now paying long overdue penance to the techno gods, they still had to remind them of their disdain for my Luddite ability to exist on for so long… It arrived just in time for me to barely have time to open it before a long day of work, including some overtime I had signed up for. With haste, I set it up on the dining table. Hooked an old monitor to it, booted it, ah nah, I’ll skip the network set up.. okay, it booted it ain’t broke… off to work.

It is a really nice machine with lots of USB plugs and a 16 in one card reader. I am as excited as a kid on Christmas morning!  and the video card has not even arrived yet!

2016.04.26-lotsofplugs

Last thought before entering work mode was “what do I name this one”?

Oops Number One – Did you really need that network?

After I completed my shift and some overtime, I was anxious to play with my new toy. There was still much I could do even before the video card and monitors arrived. After all, I had several Linux distros to install and who needs a low-end gaming card and wide screen monitors for a text based install? I also have a lot of tweaks I want to do to Windows. The first thing I wanted to do was to let Windows update while I got dinner ready. Unfortunately, in my haste to just assure the machine booted, I unintentionally set the machine up to run with no networking.

Since I didn’t install or tweak anything, I rebooted and hit F9. This basically reset the machine to factory settings and, this re-boot, I made sure to connect to the network… Windows updates and dinner… very much like watching paint dry because one is anxious to rehang stuff on the walls.

While a big part of me really, really wants to get Linux installed, another part of me wanted to play with Windows. I opted to spend my first night installing all the stuff I wanted for Windows.

Okay so let us get started… oh wait… what is this? A pop-up asking me to upgrade to Windows 10? Mr. Gates, an OS that bangs my eyes like a porn site is unacceptable. I will update when and if I wish. You are not going to strong arm me into an update. I fixed this issue with Gwx Control Panel.

Okay, one annoyance down, onto my list:

  • Now I am going to be installing a lot of stuff. In Linux, I could simply import the package list and Linux would simply install anything still available on the list. Windows can’t do that… besides the newest Windows for I was XP. To install a bunch of stuff all at once I used Ninite. By checking the right boxes, I was able to, all in one shot, install the following:
    • Chrome
    • Opera
    • Firefox
    • TeamViewer 11
    • Revo
    • Skype
    • Pidgin
    • Thunderbird
    • Notepad++
    • Eclipse
    • VLC media player
    • Winamp
    • Java runtime
    • 7-zip
    • WinRAR
    • Paint
    • GIMP
    • LibreOffice
    • Malwarebytes
    • Evernote
    • Google Earth
    • Steam
    • KeePass 2
    • dropbox
    • Google Drive
    • Microsoft Image Resizer

As I am doing all of this, I am rapidly realizing that I don’t like the 8.1 interface. Actually, not only do I not like it but I really dislike all the tiles and such. Would be great for a Surface machine but has no purpose on a desktop. I will give it a few weeks and see if I get used to it but I am not so sure at this point. Trying to navigate and/or find anything is really cumbersome… annoying is a better word.  It is like MS is playing a cruel game of hide and seek with this new OS.  Not being able to find anything is NOT a new feature!

Back to installs.

  • Evolution email and organizer
  • Palm OS or my old Palm m500
  • Secunia PSI – a neat program that checks to see what programs need updates.
  • Microsoft SysInternals – a neat little collection of extras, including one I abuse, a workspace (or desktop if you call it that) switcher.
  • Audacity
  • Audacity Plugins
  • Handbrake
  • Hearthstone
  • Mp3tag
  • And, until I think of something else, I am done

Overall, my first impression of Windows 8.1 is that it is mostly sucky. The tile interfaces are ugly. Navigation to any type of setting and finding anything is, to say the least, cumbersome and annoying. Personally, I think it might be a good choice for a touchscreen device but not for a desktop. I want a taskbar and a menu. Finally, I am totally offended that I paid good money for a PC and OS to find it comes with freaking pop-ups? Seriously, Microsoft where did you learn marketing?

Oh yeah, I also decided on a name. Since this monster is going to replace all four machines at Cold Crank Studios, I am aptly calling it ColdCrank.  Stay tuned for details as more gear arrives.

Re-post – A Way with Words

What follows is a repost from this blog. Thanks to a lovely crash with MovableType, I ended up losing my entire site. While I could have recovered almost everything, most of the posts were far from “ever-green” and it seems more logical to do and occasional repost.

I have a freind who is making it his life’s work to translate and publish thousands of pages of ancient spriritual writings. He is doing so because the current translations make almost no sense and are a burden to read today. However, the messages in the work are deeply moving and deserve a translation forward. In many ways, “it is all in the translation”. Here is a post of translation failures.

A Way with Words

Originally published at Lummpy’s Cornere 2005.11.30

English: Icon for translation projects Françai...
English: Icon for translation projects Français : Icône pour les projets de traduction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not big on e-mail chain letters but I shall confess that there are a few people who send me classic ones. Marz is one such person.

I am also not too keen that I am uni-lingual. Most of my closer friends are, at least, bi-lingual and I feel that us Americans are a bit arrogant, we mandate that the whole world speaks our language.

Finally, It bothers me when I see that a local corner store announces its obtainment of a liquor license by putting up a sign that says “We sale beer now”. Nonetheless, there is some humor in everything.

Below is something from Marz. Dziękuję.

  1. In a Tokyo Hotel:
    Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such thing is please not to read notice.
  2. Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:
    – English well talking.
    – Here speeching American.
  3. In a Belgrade hotel elevator:
    To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.
  4. From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo:
    When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.
  5. In a hotel in Athens:
    Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. daily.
  6. In a Yugoslavian hotel:
    The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.
  7. In a Japanese hotel:
    You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.
  8. In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
    You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.
  9. In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers:
    Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.
  10. From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner:
    Coolers and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself.
  11. On the menu of a Polish hotel:
    Salad a firm’s own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose beef rashers beaten up in the country people’s fashion.
  12. In a Rhodes tailor shop:
    Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.
  13. A sign posted in Germany’s Black forest:
    It is strictly forbidden on our black forest camping site that people of different sex, for instance, men and women, live together in one tent unless they are married with each other for that purpose.
  14. In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency:
    Take one of our horse-driven city tours – we guarantee no miscarriages.
  15. Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand:
    Would you like to ride on your own ass?
  16. In a Bangkok temple:
    It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.
  17. In a Tokyo bar:
    Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.
  18. In a Copenhagen airline ticket office:
    We take your bags and send them in all directions.
  19. In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:
    Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.
  20. In a Budapest zoo:
    Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.
  21. In the office of a doctor in Rome:
    Specialist in women and other diseases.
  22. In an Acapulco hotel:
    The manager has personally passed all the water served here.

My Ongoing Techno-Curse

My Love-Hate Relationship with Technology

While many compliment me regarding my ability to resurrect ancient hardware by installing and using Linux, I often refer to myself as one who is technologically cursed and impaired. Yes, I do have a Mac G5 running Debian, an old P4 running Ubuntu, an E1000 running Crunchbang, and a dual booting crunchbang/Ubuntu Studio Core2 Duo. However, the only way to actually do anything is to run all of them by linking them through Synergy and using one each for only one or two functions. Most of the time, it actually works pretty well, all be it slowly. Continue reading “My Ongoing Techno-Curse”

One Heck of a Teacher and One Touching Story

I Almost Never Give a 12 Minute Video a Chance, I am Glad I Made an Exception for This One

I made an exception for this one.  I had far more kewl and awesome teachers than I deserved.  In hindsight, it is amazing the difference they can make in a student’s life.

Take a twelve minute break from your day and check this video out.   Do yourself a favor and don’t stop when you see him have cinder blocks smashed on his chest because that is before he gets to the real message.

Twenty-plus Hours of Darkness – The Midwestern Blackout

The Big Black

The 14th of August was going to become a day I will remember long and well. I was already busy enough but had to push myself to get some high priority stuff done. I had to prep for a meeting with my boss. We had to discuss the hiring of more safety escorts for the campus police department. Safety Escorts work for the police, they provide safety escorts, patrol the campus, staff sign in desks, help to lock and unlock the campus and are, basically, extra eyes and ears for the Police Department. Formally they are called Community Service Officers, we generally call ourselves CSOs. I am the student supervisor for the program. Fall semester would soon be upon us and we needed to rapidly fill our roster. Reviewing applications would be my life for the next few days or so I thought. Continue reading “Twenty-plus Hours of Darkness – The Midwestern Blackout”