June 30, 2008

Well That Was A Wasted Weekend

I was NOT feeling well over the weekend.  Unfortunately I got way behind on everything because I had planned on getting stuff done - lots of stuff.  I got to only about 1/3 of what I wanted to do.  I'm pretty sure it was something I ate - I wish I knew what it was.

One thing I did have to do... go to the mall.  I hate going to the mall, but there were a few things I had to get and short of ordering them online and waiting a few days past the time I need them - I bit the bullet and went to get them.  Of course that entails quite a bit of walking which I don't mind normally - but it wasn't a good walking day... not when walking nearly has me doubled over. 

I'm going to stop here and just say - I loathe those stupid kiosks they have in the mall.  The ones where people try to stop you and make you buy their product.  In general I smile and say "no thank you" and keep walking.  Yesterday, they got a very curt "NO!" as they tried to tell me I needed their crap to care for my skin or sell me a phone. *sigh*

While I was out that way - I stopped at the Container Store (it's the only one around here and I don't get down there too often - so I wanted to make the trip count).  I felt so dreadful after my trek around the mall, I actually sat down and listened to a presentation they were giving on travel packing because... it was a chair. 

The presentation was pretty good. The ladies were nice.  I got my stuff and left.  But then crashed once I got home.  Now I'll be playing catch up for the rest of the week.  Oh joy. 

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 10:18 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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June 26, 2008

No Excuse

Okay, I just ran across a story about AVG that I find disturbing.

AVG puts out an anti-virus product that I have been using for quite a while and have recommended to a number of people. However, it has lately been getting out of hand and I think it has now jumped the shark.

The last time I updated, it installed (without asking me) some sort of browser checker which I promptly deleted.  The wankers!  However, it seemed to perk along happily even without the web spy on it, so I left it alone.

A few weeks ago, when the insistent message came telling me I MUST upgrade to the latest and greatest AVG 8.0... I could not find the free version and being fed up - I've simply closed it for now and will be taking it off my system.

In the entire time I've used it, I have only seen it catch 3 emails with "viruses" none of the emails were ones I might have opened - all would have gone into the spam folder and died an untimely death. Therefore, it has been literally doing nothing for me.

Today I saw this headline:

AVG disguises fake traffic as IE6

Exclusive AVG has rejiggered the fake traffic it's spewing across the internet, causing new headaches for the world's webmasters.

In late February, AVG paired its updated anti-virus engine with a real-time malware scanner that vets search engine results before you click on them. If you search Google, for instance, this LinkScanner automatically visits each address that turns up on Google's results page.


Oh for heaven sake!  As if people running web sites don't have enough to contend with, AVG has to go spewing tons of extra  idiot traffic into the mix.  Considering the fact they are completely screwing up every webmaster's ability to try and keep their own systems secure without having to pay out big bucks to do it, I think this is the height of arrogance for AVG.

I will be looking about for a new free anti virus to recommend to people who ask.  But for myself, I'm going to stick with Cloudmark the junk mail filter and let it grab the spammy stuff.  That seems to have kept my machine happy since I installed it.  Although I do have to pay for it. Up to now, it's been worth every penny and has worked beautifully.

For everyone else - I can no long recommend AVG.  Sorry about that. *sigh*

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 11:02 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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Just Because

Let's watch a little Top Gear...

The Toyota Prius vs the BMW M3



How about the Race Across London... in 3 parts... what's the fastest way?  Bike? Car? Public Transport?  Boat?  Who will win?

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


I was surprised and I laughed - of course.

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 09:38 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Travels With My Garmin

So, as I mentioned in the previous post, I bought myself a Garmin.  The roads up here in New England (few of which are actually marked) present a huge challenge to someone like me who has no sense of direction.  I understand a grid pattern (somewhat) but these roads just roam about willy-nilly.

Now, since I was going to make the trek to Chelsea, I wanted some electronic help, thus the Garmin.  I also bought this "bean bag" type thing for it to sit on the dash instead of using the window suction cup.  I hate having stuff on my windshield.

It's very easy to fire up and start using this thing nearly immediately.  It takes a few minutes for it to grab the satellite signal the first time.  But I was able to get my home address listed in "Home" without having problems.  Off to a good start I thought.

I've been to Chelsea before to see Sissy, so I had a vague recollection of the original route my husband and I took to get there. But, the gallery is not Sissy's house - so I figured this would be a good test.  Also, I found out it was street parking only!!! Yikes!  That might mean ending up several blocks away.  One never knows.

Before leaving, I checked out the route via Google maps.  I wrote down the salient points (along with the gallery phone number) in case I got lost. I have no faith in my ability to find things.  The route appeared to be the one we tried to follow once before, so I was happy and let it go at that... (yes, we'll revisit this later)

Getting to the general vicinity was fairly easy. I even found a parking spot right in front of me when the Garmin chick announced "destination on the right".  So I parked and got out with my Garmin in hand.  May I say - to anyone listening in the Boston area - CAN YOU PLEASE INVEST IN STREET SIGNS???? PLEASE???  I parked on a corner where there was an intersection plus one street. 

I had no idea which road I was on.  Directly across from me was a brick wall (the side of the building).  I took my Garmin for a little walk.  Unfortunately, once it gets close you're on your own.  It turned out the gallery was a bit farther down the road I was parked on.  I eventually saw it as I walked up and down the wrong streets - all the while the Garmin telling me I had arrived. *sigh*

After all the doings were over. I did use it to drive to Sissy's house which was only about a block away.  But it was the ride home that was the most... um... interesting.

Remember I said I google mapped my way there.  I never did a reverse direction.  This was where the fun came in.  The last time we were there, I know we went back the way we came.  I don't know if there's road work, or what, but now the reverse directions take a completely different route - when I google mapped it the next day google also had this route so things have changed!  Since I couldn't remember the original streets I took to get to the gallery - I had to rely on the Garmin.

In any case, the directions had me going down a road I hadn't been on before (panic time!).  I didn't know it at the time (since I have no sense of direction and never looked at my compass) but I was actually going East - which would have panicked me even more if I had known that.  West - I need to go West!

I came to an intersection that I would have labeled as "go straight".  Garmin said go right... so I did.  Unfortunately,this took me into an industrial area.  I knew that wasn't right so I turned around to go back the way I came.  Got back to the intersection and Garmin said "go left" taking me back the way I came. 

After a bit of circling I ended up back at that intersection and went straight through then the road goes to the right... where it hits... 1A... a major north south road that even I know.  Geeze - I realized I had gone east but still my direction sense was all backward.  I did turn right onto 1A to go south, as the Garmin chick told me, but if left to my own devices I would certainly have gone the other way and ended up in Maine before realizing my mistake.

Of course since it's night and it's summer... this means road work!!! There were a couple places on the Mass Pike that were down to one lane.  Thus slowing things down considerably.  Eventually I made it to the highway that heads out to my place, where I hit... more road work.

This is where things get really fun - and where I find out that the Garmin has this little quirk I knew nothing about.  Since I am familiar with this area, I got off the highway to take the side roads home.  I've been on these roads a couple times so while I'm not completely familiar - I have a more than vague idea where I am. 

Garmin (even though I wasn't following it) kept trying to turn me around and get me back on the highway.  It was very insistent.  Every time we came to a turn, it wanted to turn me around and go back. (for some reason I figured once I got onto a side road that would also take me to my house - the Garmin would recalculate without needing anything further from me - this is not the case... now I know)

Eventually it gave in and when I got to a certain point - it gave me the correct directions back home. 

It seems I missed the fact that when I got off the highway, I guess I should've hit "menu" and then "detour". I found this out the next morning when I turned the unit back on and the main screen was asking me if I wanted to detour... The map screen never showed this.  Thus I figure I have to go back to the main screen to tell it I don't want to be on the old route anymore.

Maybe that's in the directions somewhere - but I haven't looked yet.  I may take it out tomorrow and test it to see if I'm right.

I guess - I am lucky to have gotten home. The Garmin is a tricky devil.  It looks innocent enough - but watch out for those quirks - they'll get you every time.

I'm guessing I'll have even more fun and interesting posts like this - now that I can get lost electronically too!  Who knew!

Posted by: Teresa in Travel at 08:45 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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The Exhibition

Hmmm... I can not remember anything of what I wrote last night (how sad is that!) I know that wasn't the title, but at the moment, the only other title coming to mind would be "Look at the Pretty Pictures" and that REALLY sounds wrong.  Oh well.

Yesterday (well technically it was Tuesday, but since I haven't been to bed yet - it still seems like yesterday to me)  I headed out to Chelsea for Sissy's first photo exhibition.   I got myself a Garmin for the occasion.  That will get an entire post of its own.  (trust me - they may be easy to use... but there are still oddities that you don't find out about until you actually use it).

In any case, I arrived in due time at the studio and just before the deluge of rain swept in.  Thank heaven!  I didn't know it was going to rain and I didn't have an umbrella or a raincoat - I would've been stuck in my car for most of the show!

Nevertheless, I made it in.  It was wonderful to see Sissy and Tuck again. Jill managed to get there too, so it was almost a family reunion... blog family that is.  One of Sissy's neighbors was there, and even some of her family were able to make it! 

This was an exhibit showing the importance of the salt import business and that it does create "Beauty in Unexpected Places".

Sissy's pictures, all of which have been posted on her blog over the years, were enlarged and mounted double sided in the windows for everyone to see.  Unfortunately it's difficult to take a picture when a window is a backdrop.  Since it was dark - I was shooting on auto and using a flash - I couldn't quite manage to blur the background so I apologize for the "busy-ness" of the view. One day I'll figure out how to make a picture like that work...



There were photos from other professional photographers... a wall of smaller works:


 
Also some large poster sized work:



There were even paintings depicting the salt piles in all their glory:



Along with a sampling of different salts from around the world that are imported through Chelsea:



I do wish my own photographs could have captured some of the details better.  Salt seems to lend itself beautifully to black and white photos as well as color so it was a terrific display.

The gallery was full of people which was wonderful to see.  The gentleman who set up the show gave a small presentation talking about each of the exhibitors. Even the City Manager showed up.  There was wine and hors d'oeurves (with soft drinks for those not wanting adult beverages). 

Afterward, Sissy, Jill, and I wended our way to the Willis house where we had some lovely "Better Than Lasagna", petted the kitties, looked at Tuck's outstanding sailboat model, and Jill helped Sissy organize her computer.  (I'm guessing Sissy will never find any of her stuff again... am I right? )  Got to shout out a hello to Goomp over the phone.  We managed to close down his chat session on Sissy's computer without meaning to so I hope he's not too mad at us. (Yes Goomp we were playing with the computer - sorry about that!)

Eventually I made it home (a story in and of itself).  It was a terrific time.   I think I need to do this kind of thing more often.

UPDATE: Check out Sissy's post on the event!  I let her decide which pics she wanted to post... so it's completely different from mine.  And she looks wonderful in her new outfit - 40 pounds lighter! 

Posted by: Teresa in Photos at 12:06 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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June 25, 2008

Lookee

Pictures with captions... It will serve as a lame post for now.

Posted by: Teresa in Photos at 08:08 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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June 24, 2008

One of Those Nights

Earlier was fabulous. Went to Sissy's Photograph Exhibit opening.   More to follow tomorrow because...

I got home to no internet or television (checked tv after we found out internet was down - both were out - made me glad I didn't have cable phone service too!!!).  After calling Charter numerous times and getting busy signals, I finally got through and was told it was a general outage.  Got internet back at 11:45pm. 

Started a post about this evening's merriment only to have it completely disappear when I tried to remove a pic I had double posted.   I wanted to backspace and remove the picture... I hit backspace (NOT the back arrow) and my entire page jumped back... I lost everything I had typed.

*sigh*

I give up.  I'm not meant to do that post tonight.   But at least I have my internet back.  Thank heaven!

Posted by: Teresa in Ummmmm at 11:52 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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WTF???

Blogless friend Mirm sends me this story - telling tales on her own state...

State's sample license plate: What the...?

Last year, state officials notified nearly 10,000 holders of license plates with the letter combination "WTF" that they could get a replacement at no charge after officials learned that the combination is a common acronym in text messaging for a vulgar phrase, "What the ..."


I'm just guessing here, but it looks like they aren't a very tech-savvy crowd.  I especially like the length of time it will take to change the web site image...

But the absolute best bit

The DMV was alerted to the vulgar message last July when a 60-year-old technology teacher from Fayetteville complained about the plate. Her teenage grandchildren clued her in.


A technology teacher... without a clue... you have to wonder what her students are getting past her. Holy cow!

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 12:34 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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June 22, 2008

One of Life's Little Mysteries

On Sunday mornings I make my weekly foray to Whole Foods to stock up on meat for the week.  (I know this sounds odd I should be doing vegetarian if I'm going to bother with WF - however, they do have excellent chicken so I just buy all my meat and be done with it - I get my fish from a local fish market)

Every week I get there and park my little car (an Audi A4) far out in the parking lot with plenty space around it.  I don't mind hiking in to the store.

And every week when I come out of the store half an hour later (or less)... there is an SUV parked on each side of my car. 

Why?   This is the question I send out to the cosmos... yet I get no reply.

I may sit in my car one day and ask the SUV owners as they return to their vehicles. 

There is far more than enough room to park with spaces between us (they could even get closer to the store) but no, they park directly next to me.

This means, when I go to pull out of the spot - I must pull out blind and hope for the best.

I have nothing against SUV's but why do they have to park next to me?  Couldn't they find a nice Prius to park next to??? 

It's baffling.

Posted by: Teresa in Ummmmm at 11:49 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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The Yard

I need a better lens... I realized that yesterday.  The one I have is okay, but it's difficult to work with because it's a "slow lens".  In other words it almost requires direct sunlight or a tripod to get decent pictures.  Oh well. 

I wish I could find my "inner Dogette" and not be so obsessive... but there it is.

I did finally get some pictures yesterday that I thought were acceptable. So, for those interested there is more below the fold.

more...

Posted by: Teresa in Photos at 05:33 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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