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Lessons Learned

Regina's personal blog

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Finding Lots To Do...

After what seemed like a month of rain, the skies have cleared and it has been a bit cooler. I am keeping busy with a myriad of projects.

Recent projects...

Note the number of power adapters and cables in the illustration of my recent purchases. I have found that when I keep my mobile devices powered with an external power adapter, I extend the life of the battery of each device.

For example, I have had my Android since February 2015 and I am still able to get over 5 hours with the battery if I need to. When I use battery power, I also try to discharge the battery so that only one or two percent of the charge is remaining. Recharging from this depleted level, calibrates the battery which also helps to extend battery life.

The downside to the use of constant power adapters? I replace cables and adapters at least every other year [if not more], as indicated by the illustration of my recent purchases.


Monday, January 09, 2017

First Week in January [2017]

Sunday, January 1st, 2017 I cut the base of my left thumb pretty deep with a pairing knife trying to core a cabbage. Though I called 911, I opted out of going to the hospital. I am happy to report the thumb is on the mend--- think [1] because I applied a lot of pressure quickly and [2] my mother and sister came through with the right first aid supplies.

I am still cleaning the wound every 24 hours and applying new gauze bandages and tape-- but mainly to protect the wound from re-opening. It is a very loose dressing to insure the wound gets enough air.

That said, this week I did get some things done.

  • Tuesday, went by my business bank to transfer some funds from my personal account to the savings account.
  • Paid off my holiday bills.
  • Did most of the prep work to e-file my Federal and State returns. Still waiting on an EIN number so that the reason I did not actually file the Federal return. Marylanders cannot iFile [e-file] before the 23rd of January 2017 so the other reason I did not file that return.
  • Caught early Down Under pro tennis action. The Australian Open starts Monday, January 16, 2017 [that's Sunday night here].
  • Caught the latest episodes [air dates: 1st & 8th] of Showtime's series "The Affair".
  • Tweaked the HDTV antenna [holiday gift] for the television in the guest room.
  • Tried out the new grill [another holiday gift].
  • Updating the stores [see upper right sidebar]. Noticed some great sales, too...

Recent meals...

If you are wondering how those HDTV antennas work, I have a short demo of how to set it up. Also note the television resolution- I think it looks pretty good.

Photos of the setup...

Minor setback to the new year, insofar as the thumb, however I think it is going to be okay. This is a big load off my mind.


Sunday, June 05, 2016

Security Door Guard Installation...

For sometime, I have wanted to add more security to the front door. We had only a deadbolt and a regular door lock as installed by the builder when my parents purchased their new home in 1984.

Several years ago I stayed at a hotel which used Security Door Guards on the doors, so I decided this might be the right solution. Since my Mother was going to Lowes on Friday anyway, I asked her to pick one up- after first "sharing" the item via Amazon [had one in my cart, picture is worth a thousand words].

She returned with the brass version [for some reason I chose antique brass] shown in the final installation photos below. Cost about the same as that on Amazon.

It has been awhile since I have pulled out my drill and worked on projects around the house, however I did not think I would have any problems. Boy was I wrong.

I got out all of the tools I would need:

  • Marked all of the holes with a pencil-- 7 holes total.
  • Drill
  • Phillips Head Drill Bit
  • Level

After installing the left side of the guard without a hitch-- I was ready to start on the right. The first problem? I broke the screw shown on the right. How? The door is steel.

So I had to find drill bits that would allow me to make pilot holes. I thought we had some because my Father used to have a lot of things like that but I had no idea where. Right after my Father died, My Aunt Judy [Virginia Johnson] came to visit and she installed the peephole you see in the photo, of the door [above]. She used my Father's tools to do this.

I searched for awhile and finally find the two bits shown below. I searched on the internet for steel penetrating bits and found most were gold so I knew I was looking for gold bits.

The two sizes I found:

  • 1/8
  • 3/32

The lock guard package indicated I would need to drill 3/32 pilot holes so I thought I was good to go. Boy was I wrong.

Though I was able to drill a hole with the 3/32 drill bit-- the screws that came with the lock would only go in about 1/8 of the way. So then I thought I would try the larger bit [1/8]. Same problem. The screws that came with the lock would not screw in all the way.

Again Internet research saved the day.

I ended up using the larger bit and smaller brass screws we had around the house. [We keep lots of things like this]. I think the instructions are for wood doors and not steel doors, that said-- I did not need to drill pilot holes in the wood frame for the left side installation of the lock.

By the time I finished around 6:00 pm Friday evening, I was frazzled. I think I am just not used to doing things like this anymore. I used to hang curtains, art, cornice boards, etc., without the problems I had Friday-- but none of those earlier tasks involved a steel door.

FYI: I owned property in Bowie, MD and that is where I lived until February 1996. I moved to Hanover, MD at that time. In 1989 when my Father died, only my Mother and Sister lived at the home I now reside in. My sister moved- late 2005. Just my Mother and I now.


Thursday, June 02, 2016

Bank Money Transfers, I Learn Something New Everyday...

I bank with two separate large banks. At one bank, I have a business account with linked checking and savings accounts and a personal checking account at another bank.

I have not set up online transfer on any of the accounts. In my case, I have had odd things happen with my business checking account and I simply prefer not to set up the feature-- anywhere. Too many powerful people know who I am and my business checking account is linked to a lot of my affiliate activity. I opened the business checking account in November 2004 shortly after I registered my business [QiSoftware] with the State of Maryland.

This causes problems if I want to transfer funds from any of the accounts to an external bank account, i.e., I can easily transfer funds between my business checking account and business savings account, however I cannot transfer between the business accounts and the personal checking account at the other bank.

So today, I went out to learn just how hard this would be. I am not sure why I thought I could simply walk into the bank I wanted to withdraw from, and ask to transfer the funds to the other bank given I had the account and routing information. I thought it would be a swipe of the card. It was not. Instead, I withdrew the funds and then went to the other bank and deposited the funds saving at least $30.00 in wire transfer fees.

Since it was so easy to link [online] all of my accounts [even external bank accounts, credit cards, paypal, etc.] at the bank where I maintain my personal checking account, enabling online review of my "Net Worth" at any time-- I may have thought my financial data was more connected or linked than it really was.

In any case, today the tellers at both banks [I am lucky in that local branches for both my banks are within a quarter of a mile of each other] were very helpful in assisting with my transfer [and all of my questions] and it went well.

Here is what I had on today. Reminder, when I go out I like sharing photos of what I wore, to insure there are no mistaken identity issues.

When I returned I researched "How to transfer money between accounts at different banks" and found the following article. How to Transfer Money Between Accounts


Sunday, May 24, 2015

hair, tennis, productivity issues.

Last Friday, I used Garnier Olia Darkest Brown Hair dye to get rid of my gray.

I am naturally a mid-to dark brown, so I was very surprised to see how dark my hair turned out. I am trying to get used to it, however think changing my makeup to brown shadows, off black pencils and red lipsticks will make a difference.

That said, I am very impressed with how well this product covered my gray.

Other things I have been up to?

  • Tennis: French Open started today.
  • Movie: Mission Impossible III
  • Movie: The Ledge with Terrence Howard, Liv Tyler
  • Thinking about why my next tablet will have at least one USB port. Screen grabs from last post were emailed from my tablet. Because of ongoing legal issues, I do not use the Cloud.

The last bullet [above]: iPad and several others [i.e., Samsung], have built in USB ports. I use my tablet for everything, including watching online streaming programs [Verizon FiOS, WatchESPN, TennisEverywhere]. I also keep my tablet plugged in when I am at home, to save battery life. I need the separate USB port to print, port images and data to other devices while using the micro USB port for power. I use a Bluetooth keyboard with my tablet, however I never enabled Bluetooth on my Macbook-- because of security issues. [I keep a lot of QiSoftware proprietary data and code on my Macbook.] This makes it hard to port data. I do not keep company proprietary data on my netbook nor other systems, however none of the others have the Bluetooth option. A wireless printer would solve part of the problem-- however I cannot justify another printer at this time. What are you using?


Monday, March 16, 2015

So ready for Spring and Tennis...

Since last Wednesday, about the only things I have done:

Lunch today...

Before that [last Wednesday], I read almost every John Grisham book I could borrow and download to my tablet using the OverDrive App. Next week, I plan on watching the Miami Tennis Tournament-- so my reading is on hold for now.

I am so pleased with the solution for my hair. I cannot tell you how easy this makes my life. I spend about 20 minutes at night with the curling wand and 12 large pink sponge rollers-- and 5 minutes in the morning combing it out.

I wish I had known this was a solution before now. I used to keep a curling wand [butane] in my briefcase or at the office. That said, I did own sponge rollers when I was younger but thought they made my hair too curly. My hair is longer now and I roll with a curling wand rather than setting gel/solution--- and this makes all the difference. Lotta-Body, though sets my hair nicely [if not overly curly] was too harsh for me. This new solution is working....

Washington news.. looking in some detail, at my high school years. I think any questions have been ironed out.... Others issues still on the table...


Monday, September 22, 2014

History....

Lately, I have been watching the PBS seven part series on the Roosevelts: An Initmate History.

I have always found documentaries like this interesting and learned quite a bit from this series. For instance, the uncanny resemblance FDR has to Woodrow Wilson.

In the last 20 years, I have done a lot of research to help in my understanding of the complex world I found myself to be a part of in 1995-- when the world I knew, ceased to exist. That's not to say, that I had not watched documentaries before then-- I did, but more that the later research required that I read between the lines to understand who we really are.

FDR was an intellectual. In his day, Washington and the politicians were powerful. FDR reminds me of the German Aristocracy of the same time-- however he and Wilson disliked Germany.

I was a little amazed by the series, in that it provided how powerful Washington had been-- versus my understanding today, of New York and Wall Street.

I have learned more on the history of German Aristocracy and their intellectual prowess-- watching:

  • The Blue Max [Movie] -- Though this movie rather risqué for a 7 year old of the late 60's, my parents took me to see it on Upper Heyford, England around the time it first came out. I caught it again last week.
  • The Night of the Generals [Movie]
  • Documentaries on great composers of Germany and Austria
  • Mussolini in Color

There are of course other movies on Germany of FDRs time:

  • Flame & Citron [Danish Movie]
  • Valkyrie with Tom Cruise -- see "The Night of the Generals"
  • Head in the Clouds with Charlize Theron
  • Inglourious Basterds with Brad Pitt

however the movies listed above, tend to ignore important aspects of the German culture at that time.

I thought this series [ Roosevelts: An Initmate History] very interesting. I like intelligent thought and logic. I am not hearing a lot of that right now. I will continue to wait.

Washington has changed from FDR's time. Putting aside race issues of the time, I do not think I would be going through, what I am going through, if FDR were in power today. Who is in charge today? Those with ancestors of the Hasidic Jewish faith- who became lawyers, psychiatrists, and Wall Street brokers. Today, they have no money and have interfered with my affiliates request to help with my legal issues....

While watching the series, someone said they [The Germans] did not mind if the "crazy ones" came over. The others died. Washington, I need our laws and intelligent resolve. Not a Jewish agent that seems to think I owe him 10 percent. I refer you to the movie "Nuts" with Barbra Streisand. I said no.



Friday, May 16, 2014

Netbook White Screen Problems

Have you ever booted your Acer Netbook to a white screen? If this happens, plug in an external monitor [should be a standard 15 pin serial port on you device], ensure Windows has booted and use the following "hot keys" to toggle between the Netbook display and external monitor.


Keep in mind, attempting to use the hot key for an external monitor that is not connected will not work. I thought I could trick it and tried. Did not work. The monitor most be connected.

If you boot to a "white screen", you will not be able to see the options illustrated in the above image- however after correcting the problem-- simply click anywhere on your Windows Desktop with the right mouse button and select "Graphics Properties" from the popup menu.

I found, that when you toggle to the external monitor and then back to the Netbook-- the "white screen" error is corrected.

I have also noted ambient light problems associated with the built in video cameras on my mobile computers, so I think using an external USB video camera can extend the life of the display on your mobile computer [i.e., Netbook, MacBook].

I have provided buying options here-- for a Mac or Windows compatible video camera and an inexpensive external monitor.

News from Washington? Unsure what it means-- promises offered, promises broken-- trying to stay positive.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yesterday, had to be the hottest day yet..

Yesterday, around noon the air conditioner went on the fritz and it started getting very warm. Around 5:00 pm--- I went upstairs and took a shower. I never take showers in the middle of the day-- unless I have plans to go out.

After trying to coax the compressor fan to generate more cool air for most of the afternoon-- we finally turned the unit off around 8:00 pm last night.

I went upstairs to prepare for bed around 9:30 pm. The little fan shown in the photo on the left-- put out a decent amount of cool air-- until 2:30 am when I awoke with a throbbing headache.

I finally dozed off about 4:00 am and awoke around 8:00 am. Again awakening with a throbbing headache. The air conditioner repair guys were supposed to be here between 7:00 and 9:00 this morning, however pushed it back until 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Security issues dictate I do not provide more detail at this time.

Boy is it hot.

Other items... I read a lot of style bloggers. I used to link to them within blog posts. I get a lot of traffic. Some of these bloggers knew that. I knew that even before it was confirmed in Feb. 2012. How? I would get offers all the time from advertisers even though I had no revenue and some expected a link. I just knew. I would love too.. but there is a problem.

When I used to use BlogExplosion and other promotional tools daily for weeks on end, then stop for a day or two-- my Alexa numbers would get better then drop back-- more than where i started from. This is the reason I no longer link to blogs within blog posts. I need legal agreements for a blog roll. I [QiSoftware], cannot afford legal issues-- never could and certainly not now.

That said-- anything I do gets a lot of attention. So I like reminding bloggers I read- I read them.. Heather, Jenna, Lecia, Beth, Lindsey, Gabi, Rachel, Chiara, Andy, Erica, Nik, Monroe, Meg, Camille, Jen, Rebecca, Perpetually, Wendy, Budget, That's, Stripes, Penelope, Taza, Mac, Contessa, Phase, Nife etc..

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Friday, January 06, 2012

minor adjustments

I am pretty confident I have found the solution for my Macbook's black screen issues-- that this morning, I made the kitchen flat screen television the "kitchen flat screen television" again. Since mid-October I have been using it as my external monitor.

The other thing I did? Carefully took the white cover off the expanded rechargeable Macbook battery and super-glued the rubber pedestal and another small round piece to the bottom that was also directly glued to the battery.

Here is how the cover looks without the battery.

I took the battery out of my Macbook in October when I started having the display problems and covered the compartment with electrical tape to keep it clean and to prevent damage.

I rarely used the battery-- and it was still good-- however too large for the compartment. This month my Macbook turns 4 years old-- so it has held up pretty well, given I believe I have turned it on at least once-- every day I have had it.

I will be getting a new battery-- however will not install it for every day use, instead using the new cover I just made and electrical power. Of course the battery is what enabled the cover to lock to the bottom of the Macbook-- so I will have to improvise with tape.

So why get a new battery if I never used it? In case of an emergency. At $129.00, if the first lasted 4 years and for the most part- was installed in the Macbook, I should never have to get another one.

Also note the clip on light [shown in the top photo next to the Macbook display] I found in the basement-- to use when I tent my work area.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

more on my Macbook's black screen issues

Used my Macbook display for most of the day-- yesterday and again today [only 10:00 a.m. here now-- however I have been up since 5:00 a.m.].

Wanted to provide a little more information as related to this experience.

I tent my work area a lot-- especially when I am developing software. Back in October [2011] when I first started having problems with the display, I was working day and night in a tented environment. Meaning very little light other than the display itself. I was also using a newer release of Firefox which seemed to cause my system to run hot-- and lock up often. I often rebooted or the system crashed in this tented environment.

Another issue-- as reported in the post I did at the time [October 2011], my battery had expanded and was causing problems with the track pad. Battery compartment directly under the track pad on my model.

I believe the constant rebooting of the system in the tented [darkened] environment-- caused a re-calibration of the algorithm used to adjust the display brightness based on the Ambient Light Sensor. My Macbook is older and does not allow this sensor to be disabled in the System Preferences.. though I did research extensively a solution with a plist. I believe the plist associated with this problem is the com.apple.BezelSystems.plist.

I also believe my sensor is co-located with the speakers on the back of the base of the notebook.

Given all of this, last night in an effort to re-calibrate the sensor-- I turned on every light in the area- and rebooted the system several times.. [think more than 10..] changing the System Preferences brightness levels each time. I did not set it to maximum brightness. This seems to have done the trick.

So, how will I work in a tented area in the future? With a lamp in my tent..


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

you are not going to believe this...

In October 2011-- I started having problems with my Macbook display. While researching on the Internet, I found I was not alone.

I did find a fix-- which I posted about here. Involved a mini dvi and external monitor.

This worked great- however I missed not being able to use my breakfast tray desk and boot up my Macbook in bed.

This fix? Believe it or not-- going into the System Preferences under Displays and playing with the Brightness levels- fixed the problem.

Didn't I try this before? Honestly, I thought so. I might add however, initially when I first opened the dialog area for the Displays System Preferences, the Brightness level was already at "the brightest" possible setting. Dimming the level, is what fixed the problem.

Other things I also did?

  • Reset PRAM
  • Reset SMC Firmware
  • Reset pmset variables to the factory defaults

I am going to leave it to you-- to search on the keywords I have used above, in case you want to try those options. That said, what appears to be my fix-- may have been some combination of the things I tried.

I am going to hold off saying I have definitely fixed the problem. The display worked for about half an hour over the weekend-- before I found this fix. However the fact it worked over the weekend, is what caused me to do more research into the problem and when I found the article by another Macbook owner that caused me to re-investigate this option.

Also keep in mind-- I knew my backlight worked and in my case it seemed to be a software problem. Ambient Light Sensor is the problem. Auto adjusting and my system does not support "turn off" mode.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

janrain.com-- no thanks.

Under my Youtube.com-- account manage tab, I found someone had given access to my google account from the following site.

skirt-sign-on.rpxnow.com

The above domain points to the site-- janrain.com .. never heard of either site.

My Youtube account is relatively new. I only set it up in August of this year [2011], because I wanted to use the YouTube API.

FBI-- in the abstract world this looks like family abusing power. said no.

The reason I was looking at this? I wondered whether I received credit via my Google Adsense account for the ads that run on the videos requested by the YouTube Music Search Interface I developed.

Found out [according to this article] I had to allow third party access from my Google Adsense account under Account Settings. The setting under the Google Adsense account was disabled-- before I changed it today.

I am a member of skirt.com-- however I became a member over a year ago, [maybe two]. I would have had no reason to link my relatively new Youtube account to skirt.com. Also-- I do not use my skirt.com membership often.. this flags wrong from the word go.

In the legal world-- the following would not hold weight because it discusses a skirt.. this looks like clever lawyer work. Keep in mind-- I became well versed in Philadelphia Lawyers and their clever deeds when looking into the Rockwell EEOC issue.

Philadelphia Lawyer definition provided by Answers.com:

A shrewd attorney adept at the discovery and manipulation of legal technicalities.

Recently, I watched The Lincoln Lawyer with Matthew McConaughey. His shrewd moves in this movie-- another example.

I am having a nice Christmas. Nice gifts. Nice dinner. Quiet evening. Already, working on new projects. That's why I was researching this.. Spoiling Christmas? Why not wait until tomorrow? I lay out what may be legal issues-- when I find them. Too many clever tricks with my sites and hard work. Hope you are having a nice Christmas.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Busy Times

Lately, I have been so busy. Mostly, updating my sites and readying for the new year-- insofar as QiSoftware's online presence.

I did manage to do a little shopping Thursday, but I have more to do.

The Christmas tree and decorations went up about 2 weeks ago-- and although I am in a pretty good mood overall-- a snag with a qisoftware.com hosting bill has me a little distracted. Though not enough to hinder me from putting a huge dent into my "to do" list.

Photos of this year's Christmas decorations (Living Room, Main Entrance):

Photos of the Christmas decorations (Den):

A little less this year, in the way of decorations. If I had not had so much to do this year.. the billing snag could have been much more of a downer this holiday season than it was. What the billing snafu caused me to do, sooner rather than later? Set up this more secure blogging environment and to start moving away from Q's Wire and WordPress as my personal blogging platform.

Happy this chore is taken care of. No matter the fact, some time ago {about 3 years ago}-- I set up the Q's Wire wp_config.php file to prevent revisions from being inserted as separate records to the underlying database-- somehow the instruction was removed and revisions were being saved. This bothered me-- because it provides a means for someone to insert malicious posts into the database without my knowledge. That said, I keep a text file of all my posts and use those as the master copies.

The way the file {wp-config.php} was tampered with-- appears to suggest someone with little knowledge of what he/she was doing -- removed the instruction. Not only did he remove the "revisions" "false" instruction but also removed the closing ?> tag from the wp-config file.

If you want to learn more about what you need to do to prevent post revision records from being inserted into your WordPress blog's database-- see this post on the Hosting-Q blog.

This new Thingamablog Personal blog prevents this kind of tampering.

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