With the amount of work that I’ve got going on right now, it looks like it might be a while before I resurrect my PC. I did download some hard drive diagnostic tools from the manufacturer today at work. While you’re waiting for me to regain access to our photo library and the pictures from Memorial Day weekend at my parents, here are some photos of Lily and the rest of Baby Chaos from yesterday. Oh yeah, my condolences to the Mavericks. It was a hard fought game. I blame old man, Steve Kerr, and his 4-4 from the three point line. I’m wearing my Mavericks Western Conference Finals t-shirt today in solidarity.
I finally got to try out the new cable modem around 9:00 last night after getting the kids to bed. I hooked it up and tried Mary’s email first. Everything worked fine and she didn’t lose any of her mail, so apparently the Time Warner rep screwup was minor. I might also add that they called me this morning to make sure that everything was ok. Nice service.
I assume everything is fine with my email accounts as well, but I’ve been unable to check. I rebooted my machine and started up Outlook. I had to go into one of the email accounts and change the password since it changed when they re-created the main account. As I tried to apply the password change, Outlook went to check the email for that account. It locked up. It’s not unusual for Outlook to lock up on me while retrieving mail, so I simply reset the computer. Lily started crying. I went to deal with her, expecting to come back to a Windows XP login prompt. I came back to “No active partition. Operating system not found.” Uh oh. After running Norton Emergency disk and some of the Windows XP Recovery stuff from the CD, it seems clear that my computer no longer recognizes my boot hard drive. I’ve got two hard drives, the original that came with the machine and one that I added a couple of years ago for extra storage. The original contains the OS and most my programs while the added drive contains most of the important stuff. If the original is in fact hosed, it means that I lose email and not much else. I’m hoping I can resurrect it. Between the modem and this, I must have some sort of increased static charge or magnetic field or something.
The bright spots are that it appears that MCHost finally credited me back the extra money that they charged me and the Mavericks managed to prolong the agony one more game for the Spurs. We’ll see how they do tomorrow night.
In addition to the crap that RoadRunner is putting me through today, I’ve been battling my hosting provider, MCHost for the past couple of weeks over billing issues. They’ve double-charged me for hosting for January-April. They don’t post a phone number, so I have to go through their web-based support tickets. I must say that their turnaround time and response quality are horrible. Between the service when something goes wrong and the fact that my server was up and down a lot in March, I’m seriously condsidering moving hosting providers back to Avid. They cost more, but it appears that you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to support.
While I’m bitching, I might as well also complain about UnitedHealthcare’s dental insurance. There was a mix up with our enrollment where they originally thought something wasn’t covered, but it was and we had to file the claim ourselves as Mary’s dentist doesn’t file claims (gee, I wonder why?). We’ve gone back and forth with them about 5 times now about what is required for the claim ($1600, I might add). We had the dentist send x-rays. UH claims not to have them in their system even though they “have a record of receiving something”. Getting an insurance company to pay for a legitimate charge in a reasonable amount of time is a nightmare.
I’m really getting fed up with all of this crap. It’s not like I don’t have enough to deal with at work and home without having all this other shit go wrong. Mmmmm…venting.
We were in Dallas for Memorial Day weekend. We returned to find out cable modem out. Tech support decided it was either my modem or the line. The modem is the original one from at least 4 years ago and apparently no longer supported. I brought that one in and traded it for a new one this morning. I’m hoping that fixes the problem. I tried emailing my home account from work when I got here and it bounced telling me that the user account doesn’t exist. I’m on hold now trying to find out what the hell is going on.
Other than the Internet access problems, it was a good weekend. I got to go to the Mavericks-Spurs game on Friday night with my dad. We saw Identity on Saturday night. I give it a B+. We also got some great pictures of the kids in my parents’ pool. I’ll post them as soon as Time Warner decides to fix my access problems.
Two links from BoingBoing:
Anthony Swofford is going to be at BookPeople tomorrow. While his book (in the Legere block to the right over there), is interesting, I don’t think it’s interesting enough to motivate me to go see him. On the other hand, Eric Schlosser is going to be there next week promoting his new book,
Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap… . I’m still kicking myself in the head for missing Tony Bourdain’s appearance last year.
This falls into the don’t-believe-everything-you-read-on-the-Internet category. If this chart is true, then I want to know how I got gypped out of my John Holmes-like endowment. My size 15 shoes aren’t even on the chart.
Texas House Democrats have decided to fight back against the Tom DeLay backed proposal to redistrict Austin and screw us out of a united voice in the US House. For once, the Statesman is providing adequate coverage. I’d like to commend my own rep, Eddie Rodriguez, and the other Austin reps for taking a stand in my name. I’ve sent an email to his office thanking him. Check the list of those who walked and do the same if you’re so inclined. They were pushed into taking rather drastic action and probably would like to hear support from their constituency.
Happy anniversary to The Wife and I and a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there. My mother was in town for the weekend. We went to Hoover’s for Mother’s Day brunch yesterday afternoon. The Wife and I both had the smoked pork tenderloin with raspberry chipotle sauce. We all shared a slice of banana pudding cheesecake and a slice of sweet potato praline cheesecake. I think I was partial to the latter of the two. I think we got some pretty good photos of the kids. I’ll try and post them tonight.
In addition to the Hoover’s trip, The Wife and I managed to sneak out on Saturday night for an early anniversary celebration. We started out at the scene of the crime two years ago, the San Jose, for a drink. We moved on to the Stephen F. Austin bar where we watched the Mavericks beat the Kings in double-overtime and then one last quick one at Casino. We watched Le Pacte des Loups last night. It was mediocre. I give it a B-.
I’ve dumped my links page in favor of the phpNuke links module. I’m in the process of vaildating and moving them over now. Since everything is being added at once, it’s all being marked as “New”. I’ll probably go in and tweak that once I’ve got them all moved over. I probably won’t finish until tomorrow. I don’t expect that I’ll inconvenience very many people. I like some of the extra features that phpNuke adds, but I’m not too keen on their formatting. I’ll be tweaking it later this week as well.
On the home front, we had to get the A/C repaired yesterday and it sounds like the dental insurance company is trying to stick us with a massive bill from some work that The Wife had done last month. I’m still trying to sort out if it’s their fault or my company’s fault. Joy.
I’ve written in the past about the Parking Walrus. I hadn’t seen him in a while and thought that perhaps the daycare director had struck some kind of deal where he gets all of the smelt that he wants and we get to use his beloved parking spaces for 5 minutes while we drop off our kids.
This morning, the daycare lot was full and I parked in one of the Walrus’s spaces. I noticed him on the other side of the lot , checking the self-serve pay box. Thinking nothing of it, I took Henry into daycare. We said our goodbyes and I headed back out to the parking lot.
Much to my delight, the Walrus was standing in front of my car, writing me one of his Walrus Tickets. As I walked up to the car, he gave me the evil eye. I said that I thought everything had been worked out and that it was ok to park there briefly. He asked where I got that idea and informed me that it was not ok. He then told me that it would be ok to sit and wait for a space to open in the daycare lot (pointing to another parent next to me who was doing just that), but as soon as I physically left my car in his lot, he said, “It’s mine.” I pointed out that I probably would be spending more time in his lot waiting for a space to open than if I simply parked and ran my kid in. He dismissed this bit of logic and proceeded to tell me that the parking lot was a business and that they were in business to make money. He then went into a rant about how there were empty metered spaces on the street that were available and that I should use those. I once again pointed out that there were plenty of empty spaces and that I wasn’t preventing him from making money. He then tried to compare his lot to a movie theater. If I was the only one in the theater, I’d still have to pay to see the movie. If anyone out there can show me how that comparison makes any sense, be sure to email me and explain it. I told him his analogy made no sense and that I had to get to work. I got in the car and once again left him with a half-written Walrus Ticket. Poor impotent Parking Walrus. He tries to defend his territory with all of the the bluster he can muster, but there’s just nothing to back it up. I’m in and out of there so fast, that there’s no way in hell that he could ever hope to get a tow truck there before I return to the car. There’s really nothing he can do to deter me. I almost feel sorry for him…almost.
I emailed Lloyd Doggett’s office to see if they had any more information on the redistricting. This is the response I got (note that there’s another meeting tomorrow morning for those who may not have work).
Thank you for your recent message regarding redistricting. As you may be aware, under the latest Republican redistricting plan, made public only this morning, the county is quartered: one part of Austin would be in a district stretching all the way to the Rio Grande, another in a district extending to the Gulf of Mexico. This plan all but ensures that no Austinite will represent our united community in Congress for years to come. You asked what you can do. Keep reading.
Tomorrow, May 6 at 9am, the Texas House Redistricting
Committee will be holding a hearing on this new plan. The hearing is scheduled in Austin in the Texas Capitol Extension, room E2.036. The exact starting time of the hearing is still unclear because of the legislative schedule, but you can call the clerk for the Redistricting Committee, Jay Yates at (512) 463-9948 to find out more about the time of the committee meeting. It is open to the public, and citizens are encouraged to attend.
In addition to attending tomorrow's hearing, if you are represented in our state legislature by Senator Jeff Wentworth or Representatives Terry Keel, Jack Stick, or Todd Baxter, you can urge them to oppose this latest plan and maintain the current map. Their phone, fax and email addresses are available at: http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/citizenResources/ContactLeg.html.
If you have friends who live outside Travis County who share our concerns, they can call their representatives with the same message. In order to determine your representative, you can visit the website: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/fyi/fyi.htm.
Also, once the bill hits the floor of the Texas Legislature, you should come and make your voice heard.
Please feel free to contact my district office at (512) 916-5921 with any questions. I welcome your continued counsel on this important matter.
201 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-4865, (512) 916-5921