jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Random bits:

--Apropos of nothing, I just realized that when I post on LJ, I usually prefer to use the HTML screen instead of the Visual Editor screen; when I post at my WordPress blogs, it's usually the other way around.

--Updated my PC to Windows present it's doing all the background tweaks and updates and should be good to go within the next few minutes. Now that I've got A Division of Souls ready for release, I had time to take care of it. The only thing I really needed to make sure of is to save my IE Favorites (yes, I know, I know...) since they didn't get saved for the new browser. I instead saved the folder to my Dropbox so I can access it from pretty much everything I use to go online now. Everything seems to be good so far.

--Man, our front windows were dirty! I just finished giving them a good cleaning, and they look SO much better. These are the only windows that get this dirty, really...they face the street but are recessed a bit due to it being the fire escape, so they don't get hit by the rain or condensation like the kitchen windows do. Yeah, I know, boring info. Sorry about that.

--The Insane Final Edit of The Persistence of Memories continues apace. This is the book where I got consistent with the daily numbers, which on the one hand forced me to be economical with the action, but on the other hand made me a bit repetitive in my prose, so I think I may have a better time excising than I thought. Still, there's about 30k words more in this one than in ADoS, so it'll take time. I'd kind of expected this, actually, so I'm fine with TPoM not coming out until the end of the year at the earliest.

--Tomorrow's plan is to head over to the Mission for book and yarn shopping (and perhaps some BiRite ice cream). We don't head over to that part of town all that often, partly because it's way on the other side of town with no quick way to get there (and yes, our hipster tolerance is kind of slim), but it is fun to stop at some of the neat stores down there.

And of course most importantly, my first book drops in 5 days!! Woo!!! :D
jon_chaisson: (Arkham West)
Being without my main desktop PC is always a weird thing...I've had a desktop PC every day since 1996 and used it on an almost daily basis for my writing ever since then. [Contrary to how it sounds, my music collection wasn't a part of my PC setup until about 2001, when I started burning compilation cds. I listened to the physical cds for the most part and didn't start ripping them to a hard drive well until about 2004.] And currently, when I'm not on the PC, I'm using my laptop instead. So either way, you could say I'm online and/or working on something pretty much every single day.

That's not to say that I'm chained to the thing. When we're on vacation, I've been using my Nook or my phone to go online and catch up with things if I so choose. I get the occasional twitch that I wish I had my music with me, but it goes away pretty quickly. I can easily check my email and Twitter feed on my cell phone. I still try to work on the occasional thing longhand like my poetry, and plan on doing more of it once the Great Trilogy Revision calms down a bit. Still, it's nice to have the thing when it's needed.

So in light of yesterday's sad and pathetic death of Spare Oom PC [for the record, it turns on, it just doesn't want to run Windows anymore], it's made me think about my writing output. Since I work from home, I have to balance my work stuff and my writing stuff, and creating things like this blog post, which would probably take twenty minutes to type out on any other day actually takes a good couple of hours, hastily typed in the occasional free minutes between things. And the Blogging the Beatles posts usually worked on all Sunday afternoon and posted that evening--that's why one of my ideas was to try working on those over the course of a few days rather than an entire day.

I'm trying not to opine about how I time-managed my writing in the past this time...instead I'm trying to learn from how I did it then and implement some form of it in the present. A lot of it really does have to do with how much time I much as I try to convince myself I'm cutting down, I'm still driven to distraction by social media and my music collection. It's a work in progress, I suppose. I'm not going to go the "disconnect the internet for x hours" route, because I do end up using it a lot for quick reference when I actually am writing. And besides, my boredom level with the internet in general has dropped to the point where I'll goof off on Twitter or YouTube for a half hour simply for some mindless downtime after work. The music collection can be a black hole sometimes, though. Having the temptation to reorganize, retag, peruse it for hours on end for listening to things I haven't heard in a while, or what have you...but over the last few months I've actually been a LOT better with it than I have. I think a lot of it had to do with narrowing my focus on the task at hand: in this instance, the major revision of A Division of Souls. I gave myself ten minutes to decide on what I'd listen to during that writing session, and stuck to it while I focused solely on that revision, and I think it's working.

Either does feel kind of weird not to have it on, after all these years of constantly having it turned on for hours on end. I am doing a bit of comparison shopping in the mentioned yesterday, I'm kind of leaning towards another Gateway, since this one worked so well during the time I had was worth the price I paid for it. And while I'm not exactly devastated without a desktop PC--I'm adjusting just fine with my laptop, if working just a bit slower--it'll be nice to have a replacement as soon as possible.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
For about three weeks my Lenovo laptop has decided to stop working, after using it without any problem in October. Just turned it off one day before heading out, and it decided to never turn on again. It's just over a year old (we bought it in late mid-August of 2011), and though I've used it quite a bit, I've never had any previous problems. And as Murphy's Law of Warranties dictates, this mishap happened to take place a mere month or so after said warranty was up.

Regardless, I've been meaning to bring it in somewhere for the last few weeks, but due to one thing or another, I never got around to it until today. Headed over to OfficeMax on Arguello, and after a bit of fiddling, they're pretty sure it's to do with either the fuse where you plug in the power supply, or something else power-related. Unfortunately, they don't do internal tinkering (and they specifically suggested not to go to Geek Squad, as they'll "charge you up the ass"...heh!), so I figured the best thing for me to do is contact Lenovo myself. I spoke with a lovely CSR named Vicki who opened up a case for me.

So! I will have to do two things: 1) contact Lenovo again on Monday, specifically their Warranty team to have it reinstated and extended, and 2) give them the case number so we can figure out where to go from there. I'm totally okay with sending the laptop to them so they can do the fixing and whatnot.

In the meantime, that means I'm stuck in Spare Oom if I want to go online and/or do any writing. Once the laptop's fixed, I'll be able to hang with [ profile] emmalyon in the living room again! :p
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So today [ profile] emmalyon and I are heading down to East Palo Alto to the IKEA to pick up a new bookshelf. This one's going to replace one of the shorter two-shelf bookcases in Spare Oom, so we can finally give in and actually have more space for some of our books. [This would explain the subject line, if you know IKEA's odd Swedengish naming devices for their furniture. Why they call these bookcases "Billy" I have no idea.]

There's also the chance that I may pick up a new desk as well. My current one (also bought at IKEA, back in 2005 in New Jersey) is in decent shape, if a bit dinged here and there. Since I've been working at home, I've been thinking of getting one more like Emm's that has a few drawers up top but the underneath is totally open. The reason for this is to move my PC underneath there, so I can free up desk space--this is so my work-at-home stuff won't be crowded up and squished into a small area. I may have to buy one or two more storage boxes for the errant stuff I have in my drawers, but that shouldn't be a problem, they're pretty cheap there.

That said...this will ultimately mean that I need to get rid of the old desk, which I think I'm probably going to do on Craigslist. I'm totally fine with giving it away at this point, it's served me well. If no one wants it, I can definitely call our local Goodwill and see if they can pick it up.

Oh! And there's a Best Buy across the street from the we can go over there and see if they have one of these little jobbies. We have one already for Spare Oom, and I'm thinking of getting another for Spare Oom so I can use one for the home PC and the other for work, without having to switch back and forth. They work wonders, actually. :)

So yeah, that's our exciting Saturday. What's up with y'all?
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Okay! Forcing myself to be in a better mood now that I've narrowed down what the hell was originally wrong with my PC, I'm going to pretend that the last month's worth of PC frustration didn't happen. Out of sight, out of mind.

Onto interesting weekendy things:

--There's a guitar store up on Clement between 9th and 10th Avenues called Exploring Music that sells some really nice acoustic guitars, including an acoustic bass for about two-seventy-something that I'm eyeing. Not a bad price, considering all the other acoustics around it are more around the $400 range...and I think the brand is local, which is neat!

--Managed to catch up on sleep, so I'm quite happy about that. I was seriously dragging on Friday and was amazed that I'd made it through the day.

--[ profile] inochinoakari and [ profile] athalran are now married by this point, I believe! They were the reason for my lack of energy on Friday, as we picked them up from SFO for a quick stopover before they caught their connecting flight to Hawaii for the wedding. Well worth the lack of sleep, though...congrats, you two! :)

--Eating: Saturday we stopped at Hamburger Haven on Clement for brunch. The place is a total dive and looks like one of your old-timey mom and pop restaurants in a small town, but they make some damn fine breakfast. And today for lunch we went to Hard Knox Cafe up the street, where I had a Cajun Lucy (a version of the Jucy Lucy but with peppers and pepperjack cheese). I am quite full now. *URP*

--Our weekend walking was kind of shortened this time, partly due to it being quite cold and windy today. We were originally going to take the 38 up to the end and then walk back on the Land's End/Fort Miley paths, but it just seemed too cold. So we ended up walking up to I believe 37th Ave, cutting over and heading down Clement. Just a little over a mile this time, but considering we walked at least twice that yesterday going to the Library and back, I won't complain.

--Pictures: I just finished uploading all sorts of stuff, and am currently uploading the Grizzly Bear Smackdown to YouTube so I can post it, so once that's all set I'll post some long-awaited pix! Plus, I think I need to upload some newer LJ icons. I haven't updated them in quite some time and I think it needs a change.

--Writing: Okay, so I've been lazy the past few days, partly due to exhaustion, but I've been doing something every day, so it's not a total loss. Again, I do plan to continue most of my writing out in the living room and then updating it here in Spare Oom on the weekends. Getting some headway on Love Like Blood, but A Division of Souls definitely needs more work. Aside from that, I'm glad I'm getting it done! :)

Hope everyone else had a good weekend! :)
jon_chaisson: (Groucho Marx)
Right now I'm trying to do the simple thing of connecting one of my externals to the old PC--that is, unplugging it from the new one and plugging it into the old one, a direct connection rather than through a network--so I can copy the rest of the stuff that's in the My Documents folder on the old PC before I run some sort of Evil Self-Destruct Program on it before I donate it.

At this point I've tried four times to plug it in, and it's blinking at me, mouth agape, with a look of "eh...wuh?" And this is when I open the My Documents folder, kids. This thing is SLOW. I think I may have injured it over the years...

I'm not too worried, I'm sure I can get it working...just that it's being stupid right now. Good thing I bought this new one when I did...!

EDIT: Hell with it. I'm burning the stuff onto CD. I have a bunch of empty CDs I haven't used for a few years so I figure I may as well use them for this.
jon_chaisson: (Default)
I am now wireless and set up in Spare Oom. Now all I need to do is set up the printer and the externals and we're golden!


Jan. 3rd, 2010 11:46 am
jon_chaisson: (Default)
I can haz wireless internets on the new PC! :p

I sprang for the more expensive wireless adapter to give it that extra oomph. Now for the next test...trying it from the other room!
jon_chaisson: (Default)
I'm jockeying between 2 PCs at the moment to make sure I can download everything, and it's kind of freaking me out how fast this new one is. Then again, I've never had a PC that has 6 gigs of RAM before, so everything is kinda going VOOOM! on me, the hard drive is a terabyte big, and the monitor is all kinds of huge and I feel like I'm swimming in it. It's overwhelming, I tells ya.

Seriously...doing all sorts of downloading of stuff at the moment, just to make sure I have all the programs I need, especially the ones that need downloading, such as Media Monkey, iTunes, Google know, all the stuff that will keep me from actually getting anything done. ;)

Next post coming up soon, as I've been avoiding it--resolutions! :D
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So spending $25 at Best Buy for a Wireless Adapter instead of calling up the maintenance guy to set up a phone jack would actually make more sense.

Not that I want to spend even MORE money this weekend...! But dropping a twenty for something that will *hopefully* work rather than drilling a hole in a wall seems to be the lesser of two evils. ;)

Also: After Emm making fun of me for needing to expand my vocabulary and suggesting I get a word-a-day calendar, I actually found one for 30% off at Books Inc up the road. :p
jon_chaisson: (Default)
So my plan at the moment is that I may move Arkham West into Spare Oom later today (or tomorrow, depending on how much time I have) so we can set up Emm's new desk. The only downside to this is that I won't have internet access right away--I need to call our maintenance guy to see if he can wire up that back room (which, if I'm correct, would pretty much involve drilling a hole in the wall to the outside, a wire going up to the roof and connecting to the phone system up there...but I could be wrong). Any internet access will be achieved by commandeering Emm's old laptop for my own, as well as using that for writing as well. WAH days would still be achieved by way of plugging into the router, no change there.

Other than the connection issue, I still need to do some backing up of stuff on B3K here. I may need to hook up the new PC to the internet as well, just so I can download some of the programs I'd need or want to update before temporarily going offline. Mind you, I'm not wiping B3K's memory right away, so any info/programs/files can be moved over at any time. But I'd like to make sure MS Word is updated and I have my precious MediaMonkey mp3 player. :p

And on top of all of that, I still want to make sure I get some writing done. ;)

So yeah...if you don't hear from me right away, that's why.


Mar. 21st, 2009 05:41 pm
jon_chaisson: (Default)
ITEM: Our neighbor across the street needs to get a life. At all hours of the day, we see him standing at the window, staring out, and talking or playing with his phone (and hey, surprise, he's doing that right now!). One of these days I'm just going to stare at him until he gets the point and steps away from the window for once.

ITEM: Most errands done today! I dropped off packages while Emm went food shopping, laundry is done, and a list is being made for our trip down to Target tomorrow.

ITEM: Yay! The scaffolding outside our windows facing Bay Street are now gone! They took them down earlier yesterday while we were at work and moved them further down to the other end of our building. We can see again! And I have to add that I'm amused by the fact that the workers did a cursory wiping down of the windows before they tore down. :p

ITEM: Did some major computer cleaning using MalwareBytes Anti-Malware cleaner, which got some really good reviews on C|Net. It found a good amount of crap that CCleaner, McAfee, and everything else missed. Also updated IE to version 8, which seems to be working okay at the moment. I think I'll keep Firefox for now, just to have an extra browser if something craps out on me again.

ITEM: NINE OPERAS. Did I say NINE? Six of them on consecutive weekends? Yes. Yes, I did. Verdi's Il Trovatore, Puccini's Il Trittico, Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio, Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment, Strauss' Salome, Verdi's Otello, Gounod's Faust, Puccini's The Girl of the Golden West, and Wagner's Die Walkure. The entirety of the 2009-10 Opera season, and we just bought tickets for all of them in a package deal. Cuz we're cultured n' stuff. Just thought I'd bring up that fact, in case you see me whimpering in the corner somewhere at some point, twitching and humming some aria off-key. :p

ITEM: As usual, today's been one of those days when the weather is alternately warm, cold, rainy, cloudy, foggy, clear, sunny, and, for about five minutes, everything in between. Gotta love San Francisco springs!

More later...I go write now...

Two Things

Mar. 20th, 2009 06:02 pm
jon_chaisson: (Default)
1. In which we preplan our autumn Sundays

Okay, so we just dropped $360 for a subscription to the 2009-10 season of the San Francisco Opera. Six weekends in a row (and three weekends in June) we're going to see such things as Il Trovatore, Daughter of the Regiment (I'm REALLY looking forward to that one), Salome, and Die Walkure. Yes, I will be squirming in my seat for four hours as I try not to succumb to the temptation to sing "Kill the Wabbit". Partly an early birthday present for [ profile] emmalyon, partly to prove the disturbing fact that I actually enjoy operas. Go figure.

2. In which I start getting frustrated at the Internets

Does anyone else get a frustrating pop-up to the effect of "res://iframe.dll" or something when they go to or some other secure sites? Is there a way to get rid of the damn thing? I'm pretty certain it has to do with going to secure sites (the ones that start with https rather than http), and I haven't quite figured out how to turn the damn thing off, even when going to the Internet Options/Security/Sites menu.

Of course, my browser has been going all wiggy the last few weeks, and I'm almost convinced that Microsoft is doing it on purpose to get people to upgrade to IE8 (funny that it just got released yesterday...good timing, eh?). I'd switch to Firefox or Google Chrome, but I'm not exactly happy with the set up on those, especially Chrome. That, and I'm just wondering how safe they are with spyware and whatnot. Anyone have any suggestions/recommendations?
jon_chaisson: (Default)
Okay, I know I haven't downloaded any weird viruses, and none of my security programs are finding any viruses, malware, or whatnot.

However, over the last few weeks, my Internet Explorer has been acting weird. It seems that every now and again, especially when I'm going from one page to another (or when I first pop up at a page), the page will suddenly change to what looks like the My Computer folder and show as if it's scanning the folders and finding malware. I usually stop it immediately--which will either close the browser or want to continue scanning.

Now, to my knowledge, none of my security programs do that, and I know I haven't changed any of the settings to make it do that. I don't even know what might be doing it. And as said, McAfee, Ad-Aware, and all the other security programs aren't catching anything.

Another weird thing? Every now and again a second browser window will pop up that will supposedly bring me to the Yellow Pages site. No idea why that is happening, either.

(And yes, if you're wondering, I'm writing this on my work PC at the moment, which is not having this issue at all.)

Emm says it's happened to her a few times, and she's convinced it might be some of the ads on some of the pages. Both of our pop-up blockers have been working overtime the last few weeks, too.

Any ideas/suggestions/horror stories as to why this might be happening and what I might be able to do to stop it? I'm this close to reinstalling IE7 just to be on the safe side.

As an aside, this seems to have popped up when I downloaded Google Chrome when I updated Google Earth, so I'm wondering if a setting on that browser (which I never use and probably should get rid of) is causing this.

Help me, LJ, you're my only hope! (Well, there is C|Net too, but I couldn't pass up a bit of geeky silliness...)

Thanks ahead of time!
jon_chaisson: (Gendo from Evangelion)

So I did a bit of tweaking...downloaded the latest nVidia driver, which didn't do too much...until I tried the nVidia Control Panel (right-clicking on the desktop), did some more tweaking...

And I can SEE again! No washed-out shininess!!! :D

I might need to tweak it a bit more, as it's now a bit darker, but still....SUCCESS!! :D
jon_chaisson: (Marc Anthony confused)
My monitor seems to have gone all weird on me...everything is all washed out, and I can't seem to figure out how to change the brightness/contrast. Well, let me rephrase that: I do know how to change it (there are little buttons on the right side of it), and I've been futzing with it for the last twenty minutes, but nothing seems to help.

Will have to look into this, see what I can do to fix it. *grumble grumble*

Any suggestions?

EDIT: Well, looks like I may need a new monitor at some future point. I went through the whole troubleshooting bit as well as connecting with a person through Gateway Live Chat (who went through my system and did a check of some of the drivers), and found nothing wrong.

Put it this way--the monitor came free with the computer and I've been using it daily since spring of 2006, so of course it was going to wear out sooner or later. So I guess I'll have to start shopping for a new one at some point! :p


jon_chaisson: (Default)

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