Posted Jan 30, 2013
Two weeks ago, I got fed up with the pitiful wireless connection I'm getting in my apartment. We upgraded from ADSL to a cable modem company last year. We saw some improvement overall, but broadband services in the US are pitifully slow and outrageously overpriced. But regardless of all that, our base d/l speeds increased by roughly 3 times, from <5 mbps to nearly 15 mbps. However, because teh eedjit our new internet provider sent out came while I was at work and Dad didn't really know what needed to be done, our modem and router are still poorly located. Between me and the router is a tin porch roof.
Weekend before last, I called a friend to come over and give me a hand setting up a second router as an access point. We're running an ASUS router directly to the cable modem but we still had our old ADSL modem/router from before sitting in the closet. My buddy spent many hours longer than we both expected before he felt it was done. Unfortunately, the next day when I actually ran network cable upstairs (we just benched tested the two routers downstairs) I found out that while I had a connection to the main router, I had no internet access through it.
Well, a couple of days later I decided that the Netgear ADSL modem/router was probably the problem as its configuration software was confusing and the modem part might be fighting me. So, I went and got another identical ASUS RT-N53 dual band router to replace it. Surely, using the same make and model router would make this simple, right?
It should be. I spent a week trying to follow three divergent sets of instructions I found online for setting up a second router as an Access Point (AP). I've reset these modems many, many times. I finally gave in, and sent an email to ASUS support. The reply I got back led to another set of instructions specific for a similar ASUS router. The instructions weren't written by a native English speaker, but I think I got the gist. After another half dozen or so attempts to set this up, I realized I needed to ignore the previous three sets of instructions because ASUS apparently has their system set up to automate most of this process and I was probably messing it up. So, I followed the setup wizard but it just gave me a broken English error message indicating to run some utility program but not how or where.
After giving it more thought and more reading today, I decided I might need a firmware update and that the utility it was asking for (device discovery) was on the CD I ignored.
Well, at least I updated the firmware on both modems.
I still don't have an internet connection to the AP though.
I bet I've spent at least 20 hours to get basically nowhere on this.
ASUS Support gave up after their first suggestion (from their decision tree, I'm sure) failed and just gave me a phone number to some local service center. I'd give up, but as I've typed this, I've watched my connection drop and slowly reconnect a dozen times.
This REALLY shouldn't be this difficult.
Latest reply: Jan 30, 2013
Posted Nov 10, 2012
Monday afternoon (4 days ago) I brought a shelter dog home. Once I saw her picture on the interwebs, there was 0% chance of me leaving her there. (I'm on a mobile device now and can't find an easy method of posting pictures of her, but once I do, I'll provide a link below.) She's a beautiful "Texas Heeler". That's a mix of Australian cattle dog, Australian shepherd and ???. If you're familiar with blue heelers, she's just like that but with floppy ears. She was originally adopted by a family with a young daughter when when she was just 4 months old. After just two weeks, the mother saw the daughter wasn't taking care of the dog she wanted so they brought her to the local shelter. 6 and a half months later I bring home an 11 month puppy. She's been in a kennel almost her whole life.
When I first met her, a week ago from Sunday, she was extremely shy. I visited her in the shelter several times the following week and she slowly started becoming friendlier with me, but never really getting comfortable. Since I share property with my parents, the shelter required a "meet and greet" with them and the dog before my adoption could be final. (I had already brought in my elderly dog and their fat chihuahua to meet her and they all got along swimmingly.) The meeting went well enough that I was allowed to take her home.
I took the whole week off to work with her, and I'm very glad I did. She wasn't house trained, but luckily on her first night in my home she peed on the floor and I quickly reacted to it, took her outside to finish, and she's had no serious accidents since. She is still a very shy and frightened dog when she meets new people or hears loud noises, but we'll work on that. So far, she's shown me no undesirable behaviours. The biggest issue we have to work on is that she's a bit agoraphobic. She just paces in circles and figure 8's when we put her outside. Considering that she's been in a kennel nearly her whole life, this isn't unexpected. I wish I could fix this as (so far) easily as I seem to have house trained her, but I know it's going to take some time to build her confidence. Loud noises are her biggest trigger and I started work on that by taking her to my friend's biker bar today for an hour or so. (This was in the afternoon when the biker bar was at its quietest.)
Once I get her fears addressed, I'm looking forward to training her in impressive feats of doggie talent. I'll start with a few frisbee tricks and other agility tasks, but I'm confident we'll find some tricks between the two of us that will be quite serendipitous and amazing.
Latest reply: Nov 10, 2012
Posted Sep 11, 2012
An actual headache. I've had it for 10 days now. Since having that tumor removed and zapped, I really haven't had any headaches that weren't self inflicted . Oddly, my headaches usually didn't arrive until a day or so after drinking. This one came on a bit early, but it felt the same; a sharp throbbing pain around the back of my eyes and the base of my skull, right around the old scar tissue. It's not constant, mostly it flairs up with exertion like standing quickly or climbing stairs. Pain relievers have so far proven ineffective against this. I'm trying a naproxyn sodium/ibuprofen + pseudophedrin combination this morning hoping it's sinus related, but I'm not very optimistic that it will do anything. There has only been one thing that has alleviated it and it does work well... more . After a night drinking, I'm headache free the next day. I do wonder if two beers a night will make it go away.
I'll be letting my brain care specialists know about this later today. I wasn't scheduled for another MRI/visit until 2014 damnit.
Latest reply: Sep 11, 2012
Posted Jul 27, 2012
I've been depressed often in my life, but I don't think I've ever been in as deep a hole as I am this week. For whatever reasons, seratonin levels or circumstance, I've been pretty low for most of this year. But this week has been like a pile driver to my heart. I had to have my best friend 'put down' Tuesday. Lobo had been suffering from a seemingly undiagnosable and possibly incurable skin disease. Just when I thought I'd determined it might be a food (corn) allergy and had him down to one last stubborn lesion. It rebounded and spread to his face. I decided to try giving him Benedryl in the hope that it might ease any allergic reactions, but I think it was too late. It quickly worsened from a few small spots, to an irritated mass that he couldn't help but scratch. Within a few days he got to the point where he was literally scratching his face apart. As soon as I could, I went to the pet supply store and got him a protective collar. I bought a new fancy and friendly inflatable collar first. On the way home I stopped at the vet to get antibiotics and steroids (prednisone). It was busy so I had to wait an hour and a half in the office while Lobo was at home further shredding his face. An hour after getting home I realized that this fancy, friendly collar may work well to keep a dog from chewing on himself, but it did no good at keeping him from scratching his face with a back paw. So, I rushed back to the pet supply store and got a proper Elizabethan collar.
That was Saturday. The E-collar worked as it should and prevented him from scratching his face further, but I could tell he was still quite distressed. The prednisone and Benedryl started kicking in a bit though and he would switch between two modes: laying down nearly asleep, or driven to mania by the need to scratch his intolerable pain and itching.
Skip forward to Monday morning and I discover that he's managed to find the tabs that fasten his E-collar and use those to reopen his wounds.
I had seen this moment coming for some time, but I really didn't want to face it. Some part of me hoped that my parents, at home with Lobo, would make the decision for me and take him to the vet while I was at work. But it was my decision to make. So, when I got home we quickly discussed it and I had my mother make the appointment for the morning. At this point, she volunteered to take him in for me. At the brink of a complete breakdown, I nodded my appreciation.
I skipped dinner, went upstairs to my apartment and bawled my eyes out.
I finally regained composure and brought both my dogs upstairs for the night.
It was a very tough night.
For months I'd been trying to prepare myself for this. I'd read a post on Reddit that impressed upon me that when it's time to have your pet euthanized, it's really best to be with your pet till they're gone.
That thought had haunted me from that point on. I knew it was the right thing to do, but every time I thought about it I would choke up and then chase the thought away, lest I break down crying in public about something that hadn't even happened yet. Could I do it? Could I sit with my best friend for the last moments of his life? I didn't know. I didn't want to know.
And up until about 4:30 on a sleepless Tuesday morning, I didn't think I could. I would have let my dear mother take my dog on that dreadful trip. Let her drop him off to the kindly care of my very compassionate, but unfamiliar veterinary staff. They would probably cage him for a bit until someone was ready to do "the procedure".
No, I had to be there. I had to take him for one last walk. I had give him one last "butt scritching". I had to make sure he wasn't alone and knew he was loved up until the end. And he looked back up into my eyes and showed me how much he loved me.
It was the right thing to do, but I haven't stopped crying since.
Latest reply: Jul 27, 2012
Posted May 6, 2012
I'm now, officially, an ordained minister.
As an atheist, this makes me grin. But of course, it was done for a (good) reason. In a few months I will preside over the marriage of some friends. (possibly twice, but only once officially). I will be presiding as a minister of the Church of the Subgenius, unofficially, but ordained by the Universal Life Church officially.
I really didn't think I'd ever find a church I approved of until I looked up the ULC.
"Do only that which is right."
Well, that's close enough to Wheaton's law.
"Don't be a dick."
Anyway, for a marriage, the only thing besides the signing, and registering of the papers that is required is the "statement of intent". In normal weddings this follows the form of "Do you solemnly take" blah blah blah...
I'll be following the form from the film *Joe vs. The Volcano*.
Tom Hanks' character has agreed to jump into the volcano. Meg Ryan's character asks him to marry her "for all of five minutes". Abe Vigoda, as the high priest of the island, marries them by saying this:
"Do you wanna marry him?"
"Do you wanna marry her?"
By law, that constitutes the "statement of intent". I see little reason to drag it on beyond that. Both these folks have been unsatisfactorily and temporarily married before, so this time they've thought about it a bit more seriously... (maybe).
Latest reply: May 6, 2012