Category Archives: hybrid elephant

help for those addicted to microsoft

i have decided that i’m going to become a community distributor for OpenOffice.org, as a way of making it easier for the computer illiterate to get things accomplished without having to resort to using microsoft products. OpenOffice is definitely preferable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that most computer virii in existence these days are made to take advantage of “features” in microsoft office that leave the affected computer open to all sorts of nasties. others are, of course, that it is cross-platform compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux/UNIX, it is 100% compatible with microsoft office, and that it is completely free of cost. to that end, i have added a page to the Hybrid Elephant web site containing FREE downloading information, and i am downloading ISOs of the three disks required, so that i can start out by giving copies of them to my (computer illiterate) clients.

bizarre

so i’ve apparently got a customer, or something… his name is lamar, and he has been trying to get me to sign up for a number (i think it’s 4 now) of “social networking” sites, the most recent being wayn dot com (WhereAreYouNow), but looking at their terms and conditions, i wouldn’t go anywhere near them if i had to (which i don’t). in the past he’s added me to a “friends network” at facebook, friendster, and myspace. i have no idea who he really is, although some time back i interacted with a guy named “lamdon” who was a representative for nado poizokhang, one of my incense suppliers, and “lamar” might be the same guy… or he might be a guy that bought incense from me a couple of times last year. i really have no clear idea of who he might be, other than, perhaps, a persistent spammer. at the same time, if he’s a customer, i don’t want to alienate him, at least not without figuring out who he is first…

busy

i’ve got to mail a package, and then take some extra computer parts to re-pc, and then get to issaquah by 1:00 to pick up business cards for NBAC, and then go to north bend to deliver the business cards to NBAC, and then potentially, go to the bank and deposit the check from NBAC for the business cards. then i haven’t yet decided whether or not i’m going to go home, because there’s a Puss In Boots rehearsal at hale’s tonight at 7:00, and i think it would be more efficient to go directly there rather than going home first, even though the rehearsal is at 7:00. but if i go directly to hale’s from there, then i have to have my tuba and related goo-bah, which i have to think about now… and if i do end up deciding to go home, then my tuba will already be in the car.

but i’ve got an appointment with ned at 3:00, which i didn’t realise until just a moment ago, which throws a wrench in the whole scheme of things… 8P

i’ve got something going on every day this week: i’ve got a trolloween rehearsal with the fremont phil on tuesday, then trolloween on wednesday, then a day of the dead gig with banda gozona on thursday, and another day of the dead gig on friday, then i think there is a gig at meany hall with banda gozona on saturday, but i’m not sure (relevant messages came through in email during the time when my email/schedule was malfunctioning). then, next tuesday is john phillip sousa’s birthday with the BSSB (tickets to the sousa bash are sold out, but if you want to go, i can probably get you in, standing room only), and next friday is my high school 30th reunion planning (i’m OLD!), which i’m not sure i’m going to go to, because i didn’t get along very well with those people when i was in high school, and i can’t think of any reason, other than time, that i would get along with them any better now. then next saturday is a performance of the fremont phil for the opening of a new park in fremont. next sunday is WORLD ART CAR DAY, and it is also the veterans’ day performance of the BSSB at the north shore senior center, and then, theoretically, there is a recording session for the BSSB on a week from next tuesday.

more blah

i have a Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band performance at the oyster festival in shelton tomorrow, for which i have to leave at 11:00 tomorrow morning. i’ll probably be getting back around 5:00. liz is going to pay us for gas.

they finally decided on a design for the business cards, but they’re only going to get 500 of them to start because there’s something going on with their addresses that’s going to change before they would be able to run through any more. they asked for light green paper with some flecking or texture, so i decided for them that they want sage green classic crest cover, and if they don’t we can change it next time. by this time next week i will probably be $70 richer than i am now… at least. whee.

depression is coming back again. i bit the bullet and sacrificed my last bong hit. i actually split it in half and put it in my vapouriser, which will make it last longer, but this is the longest i have gone without cannabis since my injury – at which time i didn’t really notice it anyway. i’ve basically had two bong hits that i’ve been vapourising slowly for a month now. i hope i make enough money to buy more at some point. it’s pretty miserable and depressing without cannabis.

blurdge

photo by starrchilde, who was driving with her kids outside of loisville, kentucky. if you look carefully you can even see the sign.

by the way, DON’T SEND HTML IN EMAIL!! it’s rude and it uses up a lot more computer resources than plain text. web browsers and email clients are two entirely different programs with entirely different functions. if you want to communicate something on the web, i expect to see HTML code, but when i get two pages of HTML code in email, especially when it’s to convey a FOUR WORD message, i’m going to get pissed. make email messages PLAIN TEXT by default! if you can’t learn how to control your email client, or you use a web-based email service that doesn’t give you the option, then you need to learn, you need to get a different service (i know yahoo, gmail hotmail, and even AOL have a plain-text-only option), then you DON’T deserve to send your HTML crap to me. next time, i’ll block your IP address at the server level, so any further email to me, from you, will bounce. i’m not kidding.

Frownland – Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica

the depression is slowly lifting, and the table is still clean enough that my keyboard has not been covered up yet. i still haven’t been inspired enough to do anything with it yet, but i’m leaving the option open.

they agreed that what they wanted couldn’t be done on the artwork for the business card, but they changed the font to one of those “fonts in word” which may or may not be a “real” font. fortunately, it’s a font for which i have a “real” analogue (Americana), and i changed it for ’em. haven’t heard back yet, but as this is the third go-round with artwork, i’m hoping that they’re gonna be happy with it pretty soon. i still have to talk with them about paper (shudder) which is a whole different miasma to which i’m not looking forward.

i updated the schedule for agilityfun, and posted the updated schedule at noon on monday. i then wrote an email to diana at 2:00 that said i had updated the schedule. at 4:00, diana wrote me and said that doug had sent an updated schedule on the 26th, it wasn’t showing up, and they need me to update it right away. O_o i wrote back today and said that they need to flush their cache, which moe said was “pretty confrontational”. i think it’s “pretty confrontational” that diana assumes that i’m not gonna update the schedule unless she reminds me, but i guess part of being a person that “removes your obstacles” is being able to respond to confrontation with another level of happy, which i’m not sure if i posess any longer.

meanwhile, my Os9 mac is dying slowly, and i’m seriously considering breaking down and putting OsX on it. i somehow, magically, came into possession of an actual DVD of tiger, and even though the only software i currently keep the mac around for is Os9 stuff (quark and photoshop), i’ve run both of them on moe’s OsX laptop, so i know they work. the only problem is that the processor is a 900mhz G3 with a “Sonnet” G4 upgrade, and i don’t know the first thing about whether or not OsX will actually run on it… and if it doesn’t, i’m not sure whether or not i’ll even be able to “downgrade” back to Os9.

i’ve gotten started putting my gallery on flickr, but i abruptly discovered that they want me to pay if i want to have more than three “sets”. i’ve currently got about 25 “sets”, including the stuff that i took on our recent vacation, but i don’t know if i’ve actually got enough money to pay for a “professional” flickr account (one of the reasons why this blog is on hybridelephant is because i don’t have enough money to pay for a livejournal account any longer). also, if you’re not logged in (as me, i don’t know whether or not it works if you’re logged in as anyone else), you can only see two of my three “sets”, although when i’m logged in, i can see all three of them. here is the set that it leaves out. i just uploaded the sets today, so i’m going to wait until tomorrow before i start raising a stink about it.

The Battle of The Computer is over, and, once again, I have won!

i’ve resurrected my computer: i got the operating system installed: i’m now running a shiny new version of Feisty Fawn, despite what walt mossberg says, kubuntu linux is vastly preferable to anything micro$not ever produced, if for no other reason than it is free, but there are many other compelling reasons it is preferable as well, such as it installs more quickly, and is easier to configure than any version of windows that i have ever worked with. not only that, but apparently SCO has filed for bankruptcy, which means, at least for the moment, that we can continue to use free, open source software with impunity, while having a hearty laugh at the expense of those who would have made it otherwise. after i got feisty installed, i searched around and discovered that sigrot isn’t a part of debian any longer (for what reason i know not), but signify is, however signify isn’t as easy to configure, so i found an archive that had sigrot on it, installed it, and now i have my email signature, complete with rotating, random quotes again. i even got xscreensaver working better than it was before.

meanwhile, SixApart has seen fit to let barak berkowitz go and get themselves a new CEO, which makes me even more glad that i bailed from livejournal when i did.

i didn’t make that much money at the punk rock flea market, despite the fact that i was there for almost 12 hours, but i did manage to make $30 without realising it (it was 6:30 in the morning when i arrived, and there’s a good chance that i was, for all intents and purposes, asleep when i did it), which makes me wonder if i could do any better in tacoma. if nothing else, it would mean not having to get up at a ridiculously early hour and drive fourty-fiive minutes before getting there. my boxes of stuff are still in the car, but moe’s car is blocking the driveway, so i’ll have to get them out tomorrow.

i’ve also got some “i am a terrorist” articles to post as well, but they’re going to have to wait until tomorrow as well.

1058

okay, here’s one of the reasons why i have been grumpy and out of sorts for the past 3 days, since i got back from OCF.

i applied for a paypal account for my business back in, oh, i don’t know exactly, somewhere in 2004 or 2005. i applied for their “expanded use program” and they said that they had sent me an expanded use enrollment number on my bank statement in february of 2005, but i never received it. ever since then, about once a month, i have called paypal and tried to work it out to the limit of my frustration, and then given up until next month, having failed to complete my expanded use enrollment. at this point, i don’t even recall why the expanded use enrollment was so important to me, but it probably has to do with money i could be making if i completed it, or something like that.

since then, i have lost count of the number of paypal “associates” i have talked to, but at least ⅔ of them have had extremely heavy indian accents and have spoken quickly enough that i found it very difficult to understand them. not only that, but around ½ of them have given me a completely different story than the other ½, something about how i have a visa card, and there is a policy where they don’t allow more than one expanded use number to be sent for a visa card – which doesn’t really make any difference, because they never sent it me the first time.

finally, two days ago (the day after i got back from OCF), i talked to yet another associate who told me (once again) to look at my february 2005 bank statement (who would have guessed that it would be necessary to save a document for that long) and read off the charges to her. when i read off the charges and they didn’t include a charge from paypal, she wanted me to fax the statements from february and march (just to make sure). i don’t have a fax machine any longer, and they don’t accept email attachments (probably a good thing, considering their general incompetence), so i had moe fax them from her place of employment the next day (yesterday). today i called them…

AND THEY HAVEN’T RECIEVED THE DOCUMENTS YET!

they said that it takes 24 to 48 hours for them to receive faxes, which doesn’t make any sense to me. according to how i understand fax is supposed to work, fax is supposed to be a way to transmit printed documents on an almost instantaneous basis… but they said that it takes 24 to 48 hours. and then, on top of that, they wouldn’t confirm their fax number for me. i don’t know who has my bank statements but i’m thinking more and more that i may have directed moe to fax my bank statements to an unknown and potentially harmful recipient.

not only that, but the first associate i talked to said that she was putting me on hold while she went and checked whether the documents had been received or not, and then hung up on me. the second associate i talked to was very apologetic about the first associate hanging up on me, but she wouldn’t even go check on the documents because it hasn’t been 48 hours yet.

i used to be very nice to telephone drones when i had occasion to call them, but that was a very long time ago. since then i have actually been a technical support engineer (telephone drone) for microsoft, and heard all the phone calls from the other side, and now i have absolutely no patience with idiots, pointless policies, people who assume that they’re never going to talk to me again, so why bother being nice, and outsourced people from another country who don’t know what they’re taking about and can’t speak the language anyway.

if it weren’t for the fact that i actually use my paypal account on a regular basis, i would close my account and go somewhere else in an instant.

and to make matters worse, i have no cannabis and no way to obtain more… and the country is going to hell in a handbasket and there’s nothing i can do about it.

>BP

1021

today i went to the burien strawberry and arts festival with my art car and a small pile of incense. i made $69.

i’m really surprised at how many people looked very closely at various aspects of my car, but didn’t ask me about it at all, because i’m fairly sure that, for the most part, the people in burien have absolutely no clue what it means. there was also a “christian” booth on the other side of the festival site, and people with shirts that said “Jesus Loves You” were very carefully avoiding even looking at my car, as though just looking at it might mess up their “christianity” somehow. there were a few western folks – like, maybe five, total – who asked me what it said, and there were a few indian people who knew what it said without having to ask, including one guy from nepal who read off the names like he was reading the newspaper (which made me feel very happy and very sad at the same time), and said that since he came from nepal he hadn’t been chanting as much as he used to. it turned out that he was a vendor up the row from me, and his business is called “Ganesha Imports”, which struck me as particularly amusing.

then, the guy in the booth next to me got ripped off while i was watching. it was rather distressing, actually: there were a couple of kids – seriously, they couldn’t have been older than 14 or so – hanging around my car, and when the guy’s back was turned, one of them swooped in, grabbed all his money, and was gone before he (or i) could do anything. the guy said he lost around $450 (he was selling gold and silver jewelry), plus his ID and wallet. fortunately he didn’t keep his car keys in the bag as well, but i’m gonna keep my eyes open tomorrow and report that kid if i see him again, which wouldn’t be too great a stretch… especially since the guy he ripped off is not going to be there tomorrow…

moe is in portland. apparently her mother had a mild stroke or something, because she was in the hospital a couple of days ago. moe hasn’t said anything specific about what happened, other than to assure me that her mother is okay, but she’s planning on coming home tomorrow, so i should know more then.

1017

i got a business card order from NBAC today. i looked on my computer in the place where such things are kept, and discovered that i had backed up their folder, so i dug around to see if i could find the backup. i found a backup that has a NBAC folder, but it says it’s from last year, and the NBAC folder is empty (which irritates the hell outta me, but i did it, so i irritate the hell outta myself… 8/ ). the really irritating part is that i remember making a fairly recent backup, because i have a receipt from NBAC that’s dated february of this year. and i even recall debating where to store it (for some unknown reason, all of my backup disks are spread out through two rooms of the house, and most of them are in the PILE OF BOXES somewhere), and putting it on the shelf, surprisingly close to the backup disk that i found from last year… except that a more recent backup is nowhere to be found. it’s possible that the card from february was a reprint – in fact it’s likely – but i think i provided artwork for it anyway, because i believe that’s when i gave my red flash drive to troy.

and the thing that makes it really irritating is that i have had almost exactly the same problem with NBAC files at least twice in the past, and i remember specifically, getting really pissed off the last couple of times and vowing that it would never happen again… and “the next time” it didn’t happen and i figured that the problem was fixed – or, more likely, i didn’t pay any attention to it because it was working the way it was supposed to this time.