“When Iris Eyes are Smilin'”

Sorry about that – but it seemed so apt in this case.  My Iris’s are just about to pop open.

And, some more of the birds around me.  I finally got a fairly good picture of the big male woodpecker this time – as well as the male warbler.  Bright yellow he is.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

More yard dwellers

As promised, here are a few more shots – including one of the elusive male woodpecker (click on the picture to enlarge it):

The stuffed frog was given to me by my Granddaughter for Easter.  The jellybeans were great!

The bird in flight is an experiment in photo-enhancement using Ulead software.  Mystic, the black (and grey-haired) cat is the over-20 cat in our household.



Now there is only one

Poor Mystic.  He really misses Tobie.  Every day you can hear him yowing around the house looking for his buddy.  Mystic is my only remaining cat now.  He’s over 21 years old and is pretty deaf.  He uses a loud “Yow!” as a sort of echo-locator I think.  If it weren’t for the fact that this noise shoots right through my hearing aids and into my brain I could tolerate it. The only way to quiet him down is for us to pick him up and sit a while with him in our laps.  He’ll quiet down and go to sleep.

If you ignore him he’ll begin chanting his Yow every three or four seconds.  If you walk up to him from behind and touch his tail he’ll jump like a startled frog, whirl around, and glare at you for surprising him.  Even when I’m wearing my TV headphones I can hear him he’s that loud.

He’s not showing any signs of old age though.  Maybe a touch of arthritis, but only if you watch closely as he ambles across the floor.  Heck, I walk that way too and I only have two legs.

We’re going to have to put some small intermediate steps up to his favorite snoozing chair though as he can’t quite jump all the way up like he used to.  Now, it’s jump 1 and jump 2 to get up there; or, an assist from one of us.


Mystic, 2009

Another dead computer

It has to be some sort of networking conspiracy.  I have yet another computer just die on me.  We had a heavy thunderstorm heading our way, so I shut down my computers.  They all shut down normally.  I have a UPS, but it was connected last storm we had so my power supply in another computer got killed by a surge.  So, what the heck use is a UPS?  But I digress.

Today, when I started up one of them, it told me that ‘boot.ini’ was invalid and couldn’t load ‘hal.dll’ because it was corrupted.  Both of those are absolutely necessary for a proper boot.  I fiddled around for almost three hours trying everything I could think of to get the system running.  I ended up doing a “repair” install of XP.

This is really a misnomer – what you are doing is making a completely fresh install of the operating system.  I went from XP Pro SP3 back all the way to XP Pro SP-nothing.  I had to then hunt up a copy of SP1a, SP2, and SP3.  With each install, it took a reboot (actually several of them).  On the final reboot (after SP3) the damn thing told me – using a Blue Screen of Death – that I had an ERROR: 000000000000000000007E.

Now, this error is very insidious as it won’t actually TELL you anything that you don’t already know – you’re screwed.  I tried Safe Mode – it worked.  Nothing amiss in the device manager but I disabled practically everything anyway.  No good, same BSOD.

This computer is used, normally, as a printer server.  I have several printers and all are connected to this machine.  Now I had to shift all of them over to another machine so that remote computers could have access to the printers.  This also meant I had to go around and tell everyone that I had done this and for them to create another shared printer for their computers.  Pain in the behind, for sure.

I’m tempted to just start the stupid thing in safe mode with networking and use it that way.  But, there is a snag: USB devices aren’t loaded in safe mode – damn.

So now I have added this computer to the “wall of shame” in my garage which now holds seven computers in various states of operability.  You can’t get rid of them without “harming the environment”, but you can’t actually USE them either.

I swear that if I had some sort of cruicible, I’d dismantle every one of these machines and melt them down for their gold.  With my luck, it would probably turn out to be fools gold.