Mixed Bag

Lost Dutchman DaysMixed Bag of Updates
I suppose some updates are past due. It has actually been a very busy week, if not very productive.

I have been busy with website updates for several of my clients.  the nice thing about working nights is that I have afternoons to sit on the patio and work on these projects.

I already hate Windows 8.1
I got sick and tired of the Windows nag messages to update from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. I figured that any small upgrade could not be that bad, and finally fell into Microsloth‘s trap!

Liz and me at Captain'sUsually a .1 upgrade is a positive thing, working out bugs and kinks that were missed in the general release. I mean, what could go wrong?

Well, beside the fact that I was forced into SkyDrive, a cloud storage that is oh so much more – and I do not mean that in a good way.  I already use Dropbox for file storage for critical documents and such, simply because I have lost too many documents in the past with computer crashes. So having another cloud account can’t be a bad thing, can it?  Redundant backup and more free storage – what could possibly go wrong?

The first thing I noticed was that Microsoft forced me back to a previous password to log-in to my laptop – I changed the p/w int he first place to have a more secure one. Rather than allow me to have a p/w for my laptop that is different than the one I use for the XboLost Dutchman on a unicycle?x account, it assimilated both accounts – and apparently to log-in to the laptop I have to be online. Logging on now takes four times as long, and it fails pretty much every other time, forcing me to try and try again.  I am sorry, but this is not an advantage no matter how the asshole geeks at Microsoft try to sell it. I am fairly certain this means that if my internet is down at home I will be unable to use my laptop. And with CenturyLink as my internet provider, there is a good chance they will be down – judging by past experience.

Microsoft also changed preferences for many small niggling things, such as the way that my digital camera uploads new images – I had it set the way I liked it, and I no longer have that option. I mean, Bill Gates could not even upgrade his own computer to Windows 8.1 and he still feels that he has the right to dictate the way I use mine?

But enough of that nonsense…

Lost Dutchman Days
The Lost DutchmanThis past Saturday we made a day of a local event. The day kicked off with a parade. Our Apache Junction High School marching band is excellent – so I thumb my nose to all the AJ haters! We arrived early at our usual spot, parking in the lot near Captain’s. I never realized how big the Shriners are out here until we watched 15-minutes of fez’s and little cars.

After the parade we stopped into Captain’s, our current favorite little dive bar, and had a couple of pitchers waiting for the rodeo to open.  The rodeo grounds is situated at the foot of the Superstition Mountains, a beautiful backdrop. In fact, from the bleachers you are easily entranced by the panoramic view of mountains circling the valley.

The fee to the event center is mere $2, the money going to charitable organizations. There was a deluge of music at various stages, and standard outdoor fair events such as rides and cow-milking and other family-friendly events. And there were several beer vendors!

The rodeo is GCPRA sanctioned this year.  The entry fee was a reasonable $12, $8 for kids. There was one tense moment when one of the bronco riders was hurt seriously enough to warrant his being flown out on a helicopter. But these boys know the risks, and this is an event that when the animals win, they can win big time. All in all, it was an inexpensive day out.

Yard Work
herb gardenSunday was a day of recuperation. Well sort of.  Liz and I made a trip to Home Depot and bought stuff for the yard.

We bought potting soil, stones, and herbs and plants.  Liz planted an herb garden next to our back door. Cilantro, mint (for Juleps and Mohitos), rosemary, dill and parsley.

She also bought two rose bushes – roses do very well in Arizona, they apparently love the heat. And we bought a tomato plant.

We bought a pre-fab compost bin.  I built one out of concrete blocks last year, but it proved too small.  The bin has access hatches at the bottom to get the good soil out. Eventually our raised garden bed will gain another tier of railroad ties, and then hopefully we will have better luck with the garden. Until then, everything is in containers.

I guess that is all the news that is new. Next weekend will be low-keyed. We are getting the last season of Game of Thrones on DVD and are making a day out of it. This week is the final round of projects at work, one final cleaning aisle reset, one final storage totes reset, and one final round of the other 50 projects before we begin the cycle again, making our rounds to the five stores.  I am enjoying this job, because even though it is a night gig (9pm til 6am) the shift flies because we are always busy. Last night I did the pedestal sink display and bays. There is a lot of lifting and hard labor, but the end result is a merchandised display. You work hard but have a result that lasts until the customers come and destroy the hard work…LOL.

I work with a great crew, and my boss is awesome – he loves what he does. The crew I work with like the job too, and that makes a huge impact on the entire work experience.  If you don’t enjoy your co-workers or the job, then working can be a miserable experience.  I am being licensed on several pieces of equipment – I did several hours of classroom training, and now am waiting for the one-on-one training on the various lifts. Everyone on our crew is full-time, and we have a great working rapport. My body is finally getting in synch with the hours. And it feels good to be working for forty hours a week once again.

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