server hardware upgrade – SSD

It seems my server is getting old.  It typically runs Windows 7 64-bit with a non-raid cloned (redundant) OS disc, 1.5TB storage disc (pics, videos, teaching material, etc.), and 3TB redundant backup of everything.  Just tonight I switched over to a Solid State Drive (SSD) for the OS.  Can you notice any speed difference?  Hope so.  Been eating up HDDs the past year – 3 in total.  So hopefully this will help.

broke my G-string

Just to be clear, I’m talking about the G-string, string number 3, on my guitar.  I was tuning it and adding a bit of lubricant to the nut of the guitar when so it didn’t make a popping sound and glided smoothly, when


the string broke.  Oh, so sad.  I rummaged around in my “household” box of stuff to find a replacement string.  No such luck.  I had several other strings but not the one that was needed.  Luckily there was a music shop downtown.  Unluckily, it was in Park Place Mall, and it was Boxing Day.  Ughhh – crowds.  I park at the far end of the parking lot and hiked in with my guitar.  $15 later, I had a new package of strings.

But … I discovered that any similar string will do.  I used a spare B-string (#2 string), and it works fine!  In fact, it tunes better now than it ever has.

In the process, I learned (apparently I have learned to read within the past 7 years) that I have a George Washburn.  Good name, I think.  Except that this was a $150 Costco guitar.  Just the same, it’s a whole lot better than my previous W30,000 (about $30) guitar bought overseas.

Anybody want an unopened package of guitar strings?

Surface Pro 4 replacement parts

I had to replace the pen on my Surface Pro 4.  I lost it.  Don’t ask me where.  Somewhere between here and the college, I suspect.  I’m a boo-foo.  $120 for a pen.  Wow.

Then came the power supply.  It packed it in somewhere in Manitoba.  The only way to charge it was with the car charger.  Luckily, the machine works on 12VDC, not some weird number like 18 volts or 21 like one of my old laptops.  Why not make 12 volts a standards?  Oh, wait, it already is.  Then why not use that standard?  I tried ordering a new one from a computer shop.  No go.  Online only – that is, if I didn’t want to pay double.  Finally, long after returning from Manitoba, it came.

Then … the machine quit.  Well, it didn’t really quit.  The keyboard (Type Cover, they call it) stopped working.  Several hours over several days chatting and talking with Microsoft later (once actually being transferred between and chatting with seven different people), they found out several things were physically damaged on it, making the type cover and USB useless.

So, the long and the short of it is, everything but the keyboard is actually replaced.  <sigh>  What a world we live in.

To combat the idea of disposable electronics and dwindling world resources, I made a cover out of jeans.  I can see that I am winning the war against waste.  Yay.  …  Yes, that was tongue-in-cheek. 

goodbye Firefox, or on Edge

I’ve given up on something I’ve used for … a long time.


I have my replacement Surface Pro 4 tablet and am setting it up the way I want it.  I installed Firefox ver. 64.x.  It stole half an hour yesterday and 45 minutes of this morning’s time out of my life to figure out why CtrlTab and CtrlShiftTab was not working.  I went through the web trying things like nVidia / GForce, antivirus, and other software that this tablet does not have.  I finally found a blog somewhere that said I needed to go back to an older version of Firefox to get this feature back.

Well why the hell did they change it in the first place?

Good bye, Firefox.  Last straw.  I’m on Edge now.

NGM Bible hunters

I got an email today from National Geographic.  They have a series called Bible Hunters.  Some investigative journalism on the history of the Bible, I guess, which is all well and good.  It’s a pretty well-known set of texts (if not accurately known).

But I was also watching a YouTube video produced by National Geographic called The Bible’s Buried Secrets National Geographic Documentary HD.  I very rarely see such bias ‘journalism’ from reputable names like yours.  My comments:

This video begins interesting but not too much later gives a poor impression. At 12:00, the video loses ground (no pun intended). Genesis chapter 8 states the rains lasted 40 days & nights. It says the water subsided, not the rains, after 150 days. These are two different concepts. One sentence states it rain, and one states the waters started receding. As well, it clearly states that first a raven was sent out and then, later, a dove. Why is this contradictory? It seems to me that it isn’t. I thought this documentary would rely on ‘documents’ (“documentary”?), but so far it doesn’t hold water (again, no pun intended). It’s like someone saying, “I ate eggs for breakfast and pasta for lunch,” and someone else saying, “Well which is it – which did you eat – eggs or pasta?”

So forgive me, NGM; although I have thoroughly enjoyed your magazines, have a collection of them in paper and electronic form, and have a library of your videos, your journalism shows your true colours.

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ISC drafting

Wow.  Long time since I’ve updated anything here.

I’ve been at ISP as a drafter for a few weeks now.  The first week I was there, there were no new orders.  Well, maybe a couple.  But not enough to get my feet wet with my trainer, PP was quitting at the end of the week; drafting was not for him.  But, with no new orders coming in to cut my teeth on, I didn’t get a lot of practise in.  I did calculations, practise drafting of previously done orders, and getting used to AutoCAD again.

The following week was, as Glenn would say, “not too pretty good”.  It was a tough week.  They brought in the previous person, B, to help me out for a day.  B was quite helpful in getting me more up-to-speed.  But I still made mistakes.

It’s funny – when you know something because of education, on-the-job training, and experience, you may look back at who you were and what you didn’t know in a kind of negative way.  That is, I find it temping to do that.  I look back at all the mistakes I made and wonder how I could have made them all.  I feel a whole lot better about my ability (qualifications? experience? knowledge?) now than I did a couple of weeks ago.

But I know I’ve cost the company money.  Yes, yes, I know – they took someone without experience, and so they must have known beforehand that it would, at first, cost them money.  But … here’s the unfortunate part.  The mistakes in drafting I made – some of them were actual mistakes (calculations, for example); and some were PTSD rearing its ugly fat head back in my direction, causing the deer-in-the-headlights brain-freeze that was pretty common years ago; but a lot of it was the repetition of mistakes.

You see, the engineer that was there previously, J, left and went to what could be called a sister company from way back (not really affiliated with ISP anymore), leaving ISP with no engineer.  I would submit a drafting drawing to the receptionist, she would send it to J, and he would check it and send it and the bill back to ISP for revisions.  Yes, the bill.  Each revision costs the company.  Yes, this seems reasonable until…

The time lag factor.  I, a total greenhorn, would submit a drawing with the typical newbie mistakes.  Ten more jobs would come in within the next day or so, and I would draft them.  They each had the same mistakes!  There were not corrected yet since the revisions were not done and sent back to me until somewhere between a few days and a week.  So a week’s worth of repeated mistakes would happen, costing the company greatly.

Now comes the self-conscious part of me feeling bad about it.  But management would assure me that this will pass as I gain skill.  I offered to redo the ones that J had not touched yet so as to catch as many mistakes that the steep learning curve has taught me to find.  I was told I worry too much and that, as they say, this too shall pass.

So now comes a slow period.  I did four drawings for company that ISC does regular business with.  Each one was faster and easier and, I hope, with fewer errors.  What took me two hours to do when I first started now takes about 10 minutes.  I created new AutoCAD templates based on old ones without the same mistakes repeated in them.  I created spreadsheets to automate the calculation process, eliminate dumb math mistakes, and create nice, pleasant looking (i.e. readable) calculation proofs to send to J.  I organized the computer files to make them faster to access.  I created different file names (that still conform to company policy, though I forgot to rename one file and got shit for it) so as to find them faster.

Can it be done?  Can this method of drafting at ISP and sending it all to an engineer work?  H, a boss I work with, seems to think so.  He ought to know – he’s a bit older than me and has no doubt been in the business a long time.  But the owner is no doubt sad about losing money.  Do they hire an engineer?  If so, will they need a drafter like me?  There was an ad in the employment webs for an engineer.  Am I being replaced?

I’ve been there four weeks now.  I think I’ve learned a lot and improved a lot.  But, still, the feeling of feeling bad still makes me feel bad.  It’s not caused by the people there.  They’re all great people – everyone, I’m pretty sure.

Or … is it … just me?  I’ll take H‘s advice – don’t worry about it – just do my job.