Wednesday, July 29, 2009


We spent a few Bermudays on the beach, in the sun, floating in the water, snorkeling, marvelling about how the weak economy doesn't seem to have reached that isle. Let me put it this way - where we stayed (Elbow Beach Resort,) the prices were HIGH.

But the weather was cooler than Austin's record breaking summer by about 20 degrees. It was much more humid, of course, as Austin is in mid-exceptional-drought while Bermuda sits on the Atlantic.

Some notes in no order:

--- Tourists from wherever still smoke more than we have seen/smelled in our lives for many many years.

--- Elbow Beach sand was wonderful. (I collect sand from beaches on which I've stood. I have about 70 samples.) I'd put this right into the top few!

--- The world population is headed to obesity, as measured by our snapshot on the beach and in airports.

--- Flying in coach still sucks. I cannot get comfortable.

--- Atlanta airport is HUGE and amazing and well run.

--- Bermuda's airport also beats all of the Caribbean ones we've seen in organization, cleanliness. Of course it isn't IN the Caribbean, either.

--- We saw very few seagulls. No dolphins. Lots of seaweed. LARGE parrot fish.

--- Despite a couple thousand college-era miles on my Vespa, I'd have died on a scooter in Bermuda as I would have immediately turned right into oncoming traffic. No question!

--- I saw several schools of very small jellyfish. I didn't know they could do that schooling thing. Each was maybe the size of a 50 cent piece.

--- Terri and I debated about a couple - he, what appeared to me to be a 60ish retired CEO; she, a thin 20ish long legged colt (high heels to the beach,) Me: model; Terri: white trash. We gave up on "niece" after watching him caress her thigh. She swam a great distance and I didn't think strippers did that. The debate was fun.

--- The people in the room next door to ours played the oddest music, sometimes accompanied by singing... as late as 2AM or beyond. We finally thought to complain to the front desk and that stopped the nighttime warble.

--- Bermuda is clean and beautiful. It is celebrating its 400th birthday next week.
Their last hurricane was in 2003. Water was 84 degrees. Daytime air was 87 degrees. We had fun.

--- I took several hundred pictures and will probably post some on my new site , which remains a work in progress.

Friday, July 17, 2009


The other night while taking the dog out for her before-bedtime necessaries, I spotted another armadillo browsing our shrubbery beds. I noted another large hole dug around our gas pipe feed, just like there was when the LAST armadillo was trapped. Though we had filled it in, these guys are super diggers, and the hole had reappeared.

I take Jessie out with a flashlight, always on the lookout for snakes, said to be especially restless during this heat. So I shine it around and that's when I saw the beast.

I set the trap and today Terri greeted me (she walks Jessie in the early morning) with a "You're going for a ride today!" We caught the bugger and I am charged with driving it away, hopefully far enough that it would not come back. (My limit is 10 miles.)

After the photo shoot, we headed to a side road off Rt 71 (busy highway) to just outside a new development deeper into the Hill Country called Bee Creek. I released on the rocky, undeveloped side of the road but the 'Dillo took off at a run across the road and into the lush greenery of the new tract. I thought I could see a smile.




Tuesday, July 14, 2009


The tech was here Friday. he sent me out for a new sound card which I bought Saturday. That's when I discovered the overnight backup of C drive didn't take place. I also found that the D rive wouldn't work at all. I put another in and IT wouldn't work either. The D drive is the CD player/burner.

I called and called through the weekend and yesterday. Today is Tuesday and curiously only after voicemailing a threat to dispute the Visa charge, did I get a return call.

Someone is supposed to be back today - but will have to charge me for the issue of the D drive. I have tried to load the driver to the D drive again but it fails.


I managed to fix my D drive. Don't ask what I did - it was try this try that until it worked. We are down to ONE issue - the backups... and the service call should be free. Says me.

I feel exhausted.


I never did get the tech out here, but did spend a while on the phone with his supervisor who got into my computer by remote control and declared that my backup F drive was faulty, though probably the drive itself was ok but the electronics in the box with it were suspect. At his direction I removed the drive from the box and it was pretty darn hot; worrying me - he thought I could install it into the computer itself and let it dangle. Or get another enclosure (with perhaps working circuitry). I opted for a new outboard hard drive, and will try the backup overnight. This should conclude quite a saga. If not, my teeth will be stumps.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I am sitting in the middle of a mess... discs, sound card, sound card software, scribbled notes, vacuum cleaner, my computer peripherals scattered about with thumb drives, instructions, and a computer that only partly works.

The issues began when the very confusing website template* I bought for a new website, (not up yet), suggested that I needed Netscape. I didn't want it, but dutifully downloaded it - along with all sorts of other junk I ALSO didn't want that apparently travels with it. I decided I didn't like or really need it, and deleted all those files using "remove files" and then searching for and deleting others with the same name. And then running registry mechanic. Lots of rebooting too, along the merry chase.

*their support people have been giving me some help, but also WRONG information, it turns out.

I also found my windows updater wanted to add some or change some files which I agreed to, those being security updates and - what the hell - IE8, supposed to be much better and safer than IE7. I quickly grew to hate IE8, and tried to load it from a thumbdrive the Best Buy GEEK SQUAD loaded for me with IE7, (that didn't work), then roll the computer back to a previous setpoint "when everything worked." It didn't. On any point I tried... 3 or 4 times.

I had lost all Internet browser ability.

I couldn't go online for help, I couldn't reload explorer. I was and am very frustrated, over my head!

I hired a company to send a tech. He was here Friday afternoon for two and a half hours, got me IE7 back - a huge victory - and also attended to removing some programs I could never completely remove. He installed an outboard drive I bought for my photos, and simplified the non-working backup scheme I had for my C drive. He reinstalled Skype and declared my sound card broken. I subsequently went out and bought a new simple card and put it into the computer. But when I went to load the drivers, found that somehow I had lost the D drive entirely.

I had a spare, installed IT but still, no D drive. Which means the sound card issue (and Skype) remain unresolved.

The C drive backup onto the F drive failed completely. Twice.

Backup of my 9000 photos onto my new E drive was incorrect and will have to be undone and redone.

Calls and emails to the tech service remain unanswered - I guess they don't work weekends. I expect a comp. return and more attention.

I've come to realize how very addicted I am to a fully functioning computer.

This story leaves out a lot of futzing - it all blurs now in or under a cloud of frustration. I thought I had gone the full route to getting all in order.

This story is for you, when you are also having the nightmare, so you know you are not alone.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Last night we were invited to a home with a really good view of the Lakeway fireworks. Lakeway is a suburb just up the road. Although we can see several to a dozen commercial displays from our home, none are really close. This was close.

The red white and blue lights we first saw were in my rear view mirror from the motorcycle police that pulled me over for making a wrong turn - I missed a road, and, since, nobody was on that road, went down the one-way (wrong-way split just until I could switch over to the correct side.)

The police were busy and polite and since I was the same, knew I was wrong, hadn't been drinking, wasn't argumentative, I was let off with a verbal warning. Nice.

The home had a deck from which I tried my first really serious fireworks photography. I used a 5 second shutter speed. The camera was on a tripod and I set all the settings to manual, then discovered a hidden control that won't allow a really bad picture. Since the lighting was zero to bright, it decided that when I pushed the release, it shouldn't accept my command.

I did find the DammmitDoWhatITellYou control and then it worked, Too bad more of life isn't that way.

It was a great show with many quality aerial bombs. Clearly the state of that art has moved forward since I was a kid.

Here are what I got... I am pleased with my efforts. Happy Belated Fourth of July!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


It seems Roadrunner is down again. Can't be sure. Nothing is coming up as I write this offline. I must be an addict. I get way too bothered by outages.

Today I was contacted by a guy who I've known forever who is writing a book about the Golden Age of Pittsburgh Radio - he asked if I had any pictures (I do.) This then triggered a batch of exchanges and memories. It was a special time in what was then, I believe, the tenth largest market in the USA - after only two years of seasoning I had cracked the big time (albeit overnights, but still...)

The station was owned by ABC Radio, when they had two of the largest Top 40 stations in the country (WABC, NYC; WLS, Chicago) and it wasn't uncommon for good old KQV to serve as a farm team.

I just missed working with Rush Limbaugh, then a disc jockey. Missed by a year or two. He came after I left for a wrong choice in Phoenix. Ah, hindsight.

KQV was larger than life. The HiJinx were all larger than life. The personalities full of personality.

I was offered a chance to be program director of their FM, which was just switching from an automated to live format - this was back when FM was just catching on (1972.) I refused. Three times. MY BIG MISTAKE. The station is still number 1 today (not that I would have known what to do.)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Yup - on my hard drive. Of course I can't throw any out. Actually, I am slowly working through them, tossing some duplicates, but this must be a packrat disorder.

The solution may be to get another outboard drive and move it all there... where it can be joined by many many more since memory is so cheap!

In the attic we have a LARGE box of picture prints (remember those?) which we never look at - and I have videos over 20 years old I have shot and never watched.

It must be something about wanting to preserve life's moments.