Log in

So what have I been up to?

Well, let's see.  Went to Comicpalooza, got to see Misty and Larry and spend a little time with them at their table.  Brought some NASA and Boeing space-related items for them to have, which I try to do on a yearly basis.  I've sent them pins, stickers, commerative medallions, even a bit of the liner from a Shuttle even.  I like doing that for them, they're such big space buffs.

Meanwhile, I've been getting rather heavy into trance music.  Which isn't really surprising, I was listening to electronic music since the 1970's.  And there's a clear evolutionary track from the original works of like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk to today's artists.  So it shoulnd't be so surprising that I'll listen to artists like Above and Beyond, or Mat Zo or Armin van Buuren just as I'd listen to Kitaro or Wendy Carlos.

Work's been work, keeping the folks happy while letting them do their job, keeping the ISS flying safely.  Whee!!

I know I shouldn't mention this...

... but I'll be attending my first convention in over 10 years over Memorial Day weekend.  The con is Comicpalooza, being held down here in Houston.  The only reason I'm going to be there is to see and spend time with Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, who are listed as Guests of Honor (along with George Takei and a few others).  Aki and I haven't seen Larry since about two years ago in Las Vegas (we were on vacation, he was there on family business) when we managed to hook up for wandering through the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, lunch and a session of ancient history in the fandom.  And I haven't seen Misty since ConFurence all those years ago (close to 20)...

The problem is that the fandom has changed over the years, and not necessarily in a way that I like.  The fur suit/cosplay aspects have gotten way out of hand in my mind... it was fine for the costume competition, but 24 hours a day through the entire con?  I don't think so, Tal don't play that game.  It would be fine if it was a crowd of normal-looking folks who just happen to share the same interests...

And I can't treat it as I can with the RenFaire/SCA folks, there's a definite difference in my perspectives there.  The same with dealing with Mardi Gras revelers, you know they're going to go back to looking normal once the party's over.  That might be part of the reason why I dropped out of fandom for the most part... I saw where it was going and it wasn't a path I wanted to take.

Focus, Greywolf, focus... 

All right, it's been a while.

Actually, it's been two years since I've even posted here.  For good reason, Not much has been happening at all, especially here.  And since most of the friends have vanished, or are more easily seen on various other places, there's not been a desire or need to post anything.

But you know me, I'll keep this place open for a little longer.

Ah, vacation time.

It never seems to last long, and ends far too quickly.

But it was a good time had by all, taking a week and spending my birthday in Las Vegas.  Lots of things happened there, good meals, taking in Cirque du Soliel's "Ka", visiting the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and getting some time with Larry (Dixon) who we hadn't seen in years.  Of all that happened there, the show and Larry tied for best happening.

With Miss America having moved back to Atlantic City, it means that visiting Las Vegas is going to be less often.  Unless it's a special occasion, I don't expect to go back for a little while.  Instead, we'll be aiming towards Europe, take Aki off to France and Germany for a week or two.  Now THAT would be a fun trip, with a wide range of places to go visit.

But work calls tomorrow, and I know I'll be inundated with things to do...

Welcome to Summer

Please leave your melted brains at the door.

Ah, summertime, that time of year when Mother Nature is doing her best to turn you into a puddle of goo from the heat and humidity.  Living along the Gulf Coast for as long as I have, it's a definite condition you either get used to or tolerate in misery.  In my case, it's the latter, all of my tolerance towards the heat having been removed over the years.  A few years living in arctic climates will probably do that to a person.

And of course, the other downside to summer... having to run the air conditioner.  And the electric bill.  *sigh*  Ah well...

It never felt this bad when growing up, you know?

Rain, rain, go away...

...but not until you've broken the drought here.

It's been raining most of the afternoon, but at 7pm the real storm arrived.  We're talking rain at the rate of 1" every 10 minutes, and pea to dime sized hail.  Whee!!  Love storms like that... as long as I'm inside safe and sound.

Still raining right now, and Mother Nature is putting on a nice light show.  Ah well...

Fun with Hardware

Well, I actually now have a notebook.  Not a netbook, I already had one of those for a couple of years now.  The Samsung N110 is still functioning well, it's just reaching a point where the demands of some software and web sites cause it to stumble.  It'll still be around, as I'll use it for around the house or taking to the laundry room to work on writing while waiting for the laundry to finish up.

But the new notebook is a different breed.  It's an Acer Aspire, model V3-571G-6407 that I bought straight from the Acer online store.  I had my eye on it at Newegg, but when I was just about to pull the trigger, Newegg claimed it was now discontinued.  *grumble*  Newegg's done that to me now twice.  But I found it over at the Acer Store, on special for $499 (plus tax, this being Texas.)

And it's a good notebook.  Let's see... the specs:  Intel i5-3210M processor, 15.6" widescreen, 500GB hard drive (replaced with a 240GB SSD), 4GB of memory (soon to be 8GB), Nvidia GT 630M chipset with 1GB of memory (no, I won't do the Intel graphics), DVD drive built in, USB 3.0, SD card slot, full sized keyboard and number pad.  Definitely worth the money, and I've already decorated it with a number of Shuttle patch stickers I've got.

I know, I really didn't need to buy a notebook.  But with trips coming up, I wanted something with some oomph! to it, and this fits the bill.

[I know, I haven't written anything here in a while.  Sue me.  *GRYN*]

More !Fun with Windows 8

I have found the absolute show-stopper as far as Windows 8 goes with me.  I've already talked about the previous problems I have with the OS, how it behaves and how god-awful that interface is with it.  But this is the absolute last straw in my mind...

Windows 8 is constantly doing updates with the "live" tiles.  And while you can limit the updates on a wireless connection, you cannot do the same on a wired connection.  So you get to watch Windows 8 eat up your bandwidth, and your usage caps like mad.  I discovered this by accident, checking my usage using UV Realtime, and seeing that the usage was through the ceiling.  All during the time I was running Windows 8.  The usage prior to Windows 8 was my usual levels... but while running Windows 8, the constant updating literally drove me crazy.

So Windows 8 is no more on my system.  Until Microsoft fixes this issue (which is in my mind a very critical issue) folks should stay on Windows 7.

Bleah!  Ptui.

The !Fun of Windows 8

Well, I went ahead and installed Windows 8 on my computer.  Which in and of itself is not so special, after all I have enough technical savvy to know NOT to install it over my existing Windows 7 installation.  So instead I had a spare 120GB solid state drive, and did a custom install.  Yes, I downloaded the Windows 8 Pro upgrade, but Microsoft secretly made it so that you can do a clean install with it for the most part.

As most everyone knows by now, Microsoft really screwed the pooch with Windows 8.  Trying to graft a tablet OS and a desktop OS into one, and then require the user to wok in the tablet UI to start was a bad, bad mistake.  From a usability scale of 1 to 10, the existing Windows 8 experience is a -4.  Far too inconsistent for most users who'll be baffled and confused at what they're supposed to do.  And don't even get me started about the tablet UI wanting a constant internet connection for all of that "live" content Microsoft seems to think people want.  This is about the most social media I tend to do, and that's just within bare minimums.

So I downloaded a ClassicShell package that gives the user a start button and a real menu once again (and keeps you within the desktop instead of having to switch back and forth like mad just to find an application).  I also disabled hibernation (it wanted to create a 20GB file... and on a 120GB drive, that's a level of insanity that I don't need).  There are good things about it, file functions are faster, network connectivity is a little more robust... but that interface.  Gods, it needs to be junked as the junk it is.

Ah well... more later.

March thoughts

Let's see, is it 'in like a lion, out like a lamb?'  Because here in Houston, it's the reverse so far... March arrived very quietly and boringly, but this weekend's been stormy as one could expect.  Thunder, lightning, rain, just what's needed to keep me inside here at Casa LocoLobo.  Ah well, it seems to match the previous week's insanity at work, lots of issues hitting all at once.  @Whee!

Not going to make any comments about politics, I do enough of that elsewhere.

Ah well, back to the grind.  Or something...