Thursday, August 23, 2007

Whut's New

Well, not much really.

The family went to the Inniswood Metro Garden park in Westerville the past weekend and saw the Big Bugs exhibit. That was pretty cool. I'd never been to the Inniswood before and I have to say they keep the grounds up very nicely. This probably has to do with it being a Metro Parks Garden rather than a Park. At first we didn't even think that you could picnic there, however, there is a small area on the other side of the parking lot where there are a couple of picnic tables. We had KFC. It was tasty. I should post some pics, but I don't have them at my disposal at the moment. So I guess you'll just have to go yourself.

I have J&D Basement Systems coming to my house tonight after work. That should be interesting. I'm sure they will tell me all sorts of crap that's wrong with my house, at which point I will curls up into the far corner of the crawl space and cry.

I'm looking at this can of 'Mug Root Beer' and notice a couple of things. Right below the BIG BOLD LETTERS of MUG ROOT BEER, in smaller white font is says 'soda'. I find that funny. As if anyone would actually think that it is beer. The second thing I notice is that at the bottom is says 'NOCAFFINE'. It pretty much looks like that is just one word. Nocaffeine. Maybe that's the sweet n' low version of caffeine or something? The thrid thing I notice is the spelling of caffeine. For a very very long time, i've left out that middle 'e' and wrote it as caffine. Seems logical to me. Oh wait, I'm using the English language which means that everything is as confusing as it possibly can be.

---- cranky old man rant below ----

On a food side note, all of the warnings on food is starting to get on my nerves. There have been allergies to all sorts of shit since the beginning of time. I'm sure in this high-tech 'make them brighter, bigger, grow faster, etc' era we live in it is more wide-spread. I, for instance, used to eat apples all the time. Then about 5 years ago, I ate an apple at work and my throat pretty much swelled shut. I haven't been able to eat raw apples since. Apples sauce is fine. Apple butter is fine. So it probably has everything to do with either what they spray the apples with now or the super shiny wax they put on them.

But that's not really what I wanted to talk about. I'm talking about the warnings. For example, on a can of Diet Pepsi (and just about every other diet soda) you see Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine. That one almost makes sense to have on their. Almost. If you are a person who suffers from phenylketonuria , then odds are you know that anything that contains aspartame contains that which you are allergic to. I know it's supposed to help these people not have to read all the ingredients to see what they are allergic to. I get that. But when I see a jar of peanut butter which has a warning on it that is "Contains: Peanuts", then I start getting a little bit irked. No f'ing shit Sherlock that peanut butter contains peanuts. If you have a peanut allergy and aren't smart enough to figure out that peanut butter contains peanuts, well then, sucks to be you. Same goes for milk. It should be no surprise that a bar of Hershey's Milk Chocolate contains milk. And it shouldn't be any real surprise that it's manufactured where peanuts are also handled.

Where am I going with this? Sometimes, I think warning are going too far. Yeah, I get it that some people can possibly die from eating peanuts. It sucks to be them cause, damn, p-nut butter and Reese Cups rule only slightly less than bacon. But milk? Give me a break. Most people aren't going to keel over because they have some milk. They might get an upset stomach sure. But hell, they've even proven that people can acclimate themselves to milk. On the other hand, my mother has ciliac. That basically means that she can't process gluten. That would be found in wheat and oats and barley and other woody grains, genius. But I don't think I've seen a loaf of bread with a warning on it claiming "Contains: Wheat" or "Glutenurics: Contains gluten". She can't process gluten, period. There is no ability to acclimate to it. Plus, it causes your body to not absorb much of the nutrients that you do need. She was sick for a very long time. But she doesn't need a freaking warning spelled out to her to tell her what and what not to eat. She reads the ingredients and if she sees 'wheat flour', she puts the shit back on the shelf.

There are people with allergies to just about anything. Some people break out into a rash if they waer clothes with fabric softener on them.

What I'm getting at, is that if list everything that someone might be allergic to, the odds are that we would end up listing the ingredients all over again. So what's the point. Know your illness and know what you can or can't eat.

In hind sight, I can see where maybe the 'is manufactured in the same plant as peanuts'. Maybe. That wouldn't be listed in the ingredients and so I can see how it would be useful to people with severe peanut allergies. I'm not that much of a sour-puss grumpy old man. But if the freakin' product has peanuts listed in the ingredients and you have an allergy to peanuts and you still choose to eat the darn thing, then that's your own fault.

BTW, I'm glad my wife doesn't have a peanut allergy cause then I would have to get a tattoo on my head that says "May contain peanuts". I loves my peanut butter.

This concludes my cranky old man rant for this week. Tune in next week when I complain about the use of the cloverleaf interchange as a means of making entering and exiting the highway 'safer'. :-)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My wife is great!!!

Lately work has been a bit hectic and I've been dazed and confused (for so long, you know it's true). But my wife has been very supportive especially when I've had to work a little later than usual and leaving way early and things just haven't been going right at work. This weekend was the worst. I had been spinning my wheels on a problem that had been plaguing me for all of Thursday and Friday which left me really really behind schedule. In short, something that had worked, stopped working. And to top it off, I still didn't have any solution to the problem. So I came into the weekend feeling like complete crap. But my Mrs tried her best to put me in a good mood.

This included going to the Weekend of Fire in Cincinnati. It was basically a hot sauce festival. We got there and paid our $5 each. And it turned out to be much smaller than I had hoped. Then one of the hot sauce makers I was hoping would be there wasn't. Then I spent way too much on stuff I'm not even sure I wanted. And didn't get a T-shirt that I at least kinda wanted. So now I'm behind schedule, $30 poorer and no t-shirt.

To make matter worse, I tried to go into work on Sunday and of course I couldn't get into the building. Grrrr. But my wife tried her best to cheer me up in any way she could. She's a trooper.

So Sunday night, I decided I would try to have something go right for me. I decided to finally reimage the machine downstairs. I was going to partition the small 20 GB drive so I could have multiple XP images that I could swap in and out using Drive Image (pretty much the precursor to Ghost). So, in order to do this I needed to find my copy of XP Home. Yes, a legitimate copy of XP Home with the holographic CD and little yellow sticker. Well, mostly legitimate copy. ;)

Anyhoo... I thought it was downstairs since I had moved much of my stuff down there. I looked downstairs where I put my plethora of system CDs, but didn't see it there. So I figured it must still be upstairs. I rummaged around and 'ahhhh delight', I found the nice glossy green envelope that said XP Home. I opened it up and... no CD. Now, I knew that they had been separated at some point, but kinda remembered what I did with it. I remembered putting it with a bunch of stuff that needed to go downstairs. So I went back downstairs and riffled around some more. No go. Stuff that I thought was with the XP CD was down there, but no XP CD. So I went to bed Sunday night disappointed.

At some point in the middle of the night, I had an epiphany. At work, I have an MSDN account. I could simply download the XP Home iso and use that. I have a legitimate key, so I just needed the disk.

Monday came along and I got up early and went to work at 7am. I worked with the Devs (which I should have done long ago). It at least pleased me somewhat that the Devs couldn't figure it out either. So they came up with a workaround for the moment. Which was good. However, by the time we figured all that out, the day was done and that put me now 3 days behind schedule.
But I had my ISO, so that was good.

My wonderful wife continued blowing sunshine up my arse trying to make me feel better as well as allowing me to continue my little project. Monday night I burnt the ISO and PRAYED that it would work. Luckily, it did and the rest of the evening I got the partitions set up and XP Home installed and patched. But I looked again and STILL could find that damned original XP disk. On top of that, I realized that another thing that was in that batch of CDs was the CD copy of Drive Image. I have floppies (it takes up two disks), so that part wasn't a big deal for now. But sooner or later those floppies are gonna croak and making the CD, from what I heard, was a big pain in the arse and since I hadn't done the original CD (I had tried and failed), I had no idea how to make another working CD copy. So on top of my original XP disk being missing, now my MULTIPLE copies of a working Disk Image CD were missing as well. *sigh*

So, I got up uber early again on Tuesday and got into work by 7am again. I made some progress so that was good. But the missing CDs were still bugging the crap out of me.

I came home and my wife had dinner ready. She even made me some fried zucchini which is one of my favorite fried things. Mmmm... Baking Miracle n Zucchini. Tasty! Maryann put Norah to bed and I was going to go back downstairs to continue the project, but I wanted to have one more go at finding those disks. I remembered I had taken a bag of music CDs downstairs and hadn't filed them yet. Maybe I had put the disks in there thinking that I would put them where they needed to be when I filed my music CDs. I check downstairs and there was the bag and the music CDs, but no XP or Drive Image disks. *censored* *censored*

I went back upstairs and rummaged around some more. I looked in drawers that hadn't been opened in months, I shuffled and organized all sorts of things on my desk. No disks. So I sat in my chair and harumphed.

My wife comes in and I explain that I just couldn't understand where the hell they went. I knew the disk was very important and that I wouldn't have thrown it out and I remembered seeing it and putting with some stuff to go downstairs but that SOB wasn't down there. She had heard the story at least 10 times over 3 days. But she said, 'Well, lemme help you look'. And I pointed to all the cleanliness and said 'I've checked everywhere in here'. So she poked around in a basket that I hadn't looked in (bad Darrin!) but it wasn't in there. I even double checked after she had checked... but it wasn't in there.

So I took at seat in my office chair. Defeated.

Then my wife hands me this old decrepid waste paper basket that I've had for eons and said 'Is it in here'. The minute I saw the computer cord poking out, I knew it was in there. And it was, as well as the Drive Image disk and several other computer related things.

I said, "Where in the hell was this???" and my wife pointed to the middle of the floor and said "Right here". Once again, my wife had saved me from my perfectionist, I-have-to-be-right-all-the-time, cause-I-can't-possibly-make-a-mistake self.

So I gave my wife a kiss and went back downstairs to finish my project, which I can say is complete. Well for the most part. I still have some stuff I'd like to do with different images, but the main goal was to reimage the box and set it up so I could swap in and out images. Done and done.

My wife as of late has really been very cool and supportive and helpful and has saved me from myself way too many times for me to admit. Well, that is until recent, where I now sing her praises for proving my arrogant arse wrong. :)

Oh... and my wife just called to inform me that I had forgotten my lunch. This was likely 'cause I got up at 6:00am to come into work. She's going to drop off my lunch. Like I said, my wife is great and I love her very very much.