Archive for the ‘x-box’ Tag

05-30-2015 Journal – Computer Nightmare!   Leave a comment


Gardening and other outdoor pursuits have taken a spot much lower on my priorities list today. Yesterday we had a very short thunderstorm (badly needed) but with it came many problems.  Some sort of power surge crashed my home network and fried my router. I spent most of yesterday attempting to repair and correct the problems.  What a pain in the butt.

My home network is quite comprehensive (when working) and an absolute nightmare when it isn’t.  Losing the router shut down our alarm system, the telephone system, the Xbox, the DVD player, the MyCloud, the Internet, and all printing capabilities.  It’s times like these that force me to realize just how much our household relies on this damn technology.


After doing a lot of testing I determined the router had truly been destroyed.  Since it was rather old replacing it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Unfortunately that old router had been attached to the Time Warner modem on the Internet feed which was also badly damaged. It was off to my home-away-from-home, Best Buy, to begin the rebuilding process.  I upgraded to a newer model of  router and also purchased a network battery backup system. Then I stopped off at Time Warner on the way home and traded in the old modem for a new data modem.

I returned home and installed the new equipment which turned out to be much easier than I anticipated.  Good news, right?  No effing way.  As I began the process of making sure all of our devices were reprogrammed to the new system I found a new problem caused by the upgrade.  My “Old Faithful” of a desktop computer refused to connect to the new and improved network.  Unfortunately this desktop is four years old and is my main storage device  for over five thousand music files and an additional twenty-five thousand photographs. Please, just shoot me now.


The desktop also has my only working copy of Windows Live Writer which is one of the best programs ever created for posting blogs. Microsoft in it’s infinite wisdom has discontinued the product and that puts me in a serious bind.  If I can’t resolve the network issues with this computer I’ll be totally and truly screwed.  The repair work will continue today and this posting will probably be handled through the WordPress system.

I love computers but OMFG can they be frustrating.  Between virus protection, firewalls, hackers, and network requirements, it can make a person crazy.  Hopefully I’ll figure things out quickly but as always with computers I expect the worst. I’ll keep you posted ( no pun intended).

03-23-2015 Journal – Nerdy Woes!   Leave a comment


I spent a good part of my day yesterday trying to get a fourteen year old computer to once again work properly.  I’ve been a computer gamer for a very long time and started when the games were just text-only.  I finally settled in permanently with the X-Box because of my life long loyalty to Microsoft.  Don’t sit there and shake your head, all those years were a great deal of fun and taught me a great deal about computers and software.

As the games became more sophisticated the older games fell by the wayside.  Having spent my hard earned money for these games I refused to just discard them.  I saved the floppy disk games, games on CD’s, console games, and any other that I sincerely enjoyed playing.  All these years later most of them remain unplayable but alive and well in my files.  

I’ve became interested in reviving some of  these old games after receiving from my nephew an Atari 2400 Anniversary console  that contained dozens of the ordinal Atari games such as Pong, Asteroids, and Centipede. My nephew is a computer nerd like me and after a telephone discussion a year ago he shipped me one of his older computers dating from the late nineties.  It’s one of the few I’ve been able to find with a working floppy disk drive and I also wanted to use it to convert many of my older games on floppies  to CD’s. It would give me a much better chance at playing them once again.

I love computers but they are extremely frustrating to work with.  The computer companies in their attempts to protect their software have made them extremely difficult to copy and to reuse.  It seems to me that most of their technological advances with game consoles and computer games are purposely made incompatible with previous generations.  It forces consumers to constantly spend their hard earned money on upgrades of both software and hardware.  My best recent example for that was X-Box One which will not play any of the hundreds of X-Box games made for previous X-Box versions. That sucks and has only convinced me never to buy one.

Yesterday was like giving CPR to someone who is on his last leg. During shipment cables for that old computer were knocked loose and it took a while to get them all replugged into their proper places.  I finally was able to get it to reboot with Windows 2000 but that’s when the real fun began.  Using parts from a number of my past computers I finally found a mouse that would work with the unit.  The monitor worked fine and I thought I was home free.  I still had no sound and no working keyboard and I don’t know why.  The keyboard I have was from a newer model and there was no way it would ever work with this old machine.

One of my chores for this summer will now be to visit as many yard sales as possible to find a keyboard and mouse from that same era.  It should be an easy find since almost every yard sale has computers and parts for sale. With any luck at all I should have this machine working this summer and I can pull out my old Doom and Quake games and relive those earlier days that I enjoyed so much.

I find myself extremely frustrated but having many years of computer experience it wasn’t unexpected.  I’ll just walk away for a while, turn on my X-Box 360, and return to the world of Halo to kill a few thousand aliens.  It always makes me fell better.

Nerds rule !

01-22-2015 Journal–Moody January Blues!   4 comments


It appears I may have contracted one of a number of viruses, cold, or a flu of some sort.  Winter is tough enough when your confined to your home but being ill at the same time is murder.  My energy level is such that I’m postponing all of my current projects for a while.

The bathroom remodel is on hold after making a surprisingly good start.  All of the supplies have been delivered from Lowe’s and are piling up in my man-cave.  That’ll start driving me crazy in short order.  I’ve resigned myself to more sedentary tasks such as writing and sketching and a hour or so everyday of Halo where I can kill a few aliens without tiring myself out. There’s nothing so satisfying as ridding a planet of bad guys without getting out of your favorite chair.

I just finished having my breakfast which was an experiment in eating.  One of our Christmas gifts this year was a NutriBullet used to make any number of smoothies to help us drink our way to good health. I always thought that was what bourbon was for but things change I guess. I eat more than my share of veggies and herbs and I really prefer eating them on a plate and not in a smoothie.  For me smoothies sole purpose is to give me a proper substitute for creamy, sweet, and satisfying milkshakes.  With that thought in mind I decided to try something different.

Normally I’m fairly regimented in my eating habits. I love cereal and try to have it three times a week.  My other option is bacon and eggs and I’ve tried to cut back on that in recent years to just once every two weeks.  This morning I filled the NutriBullet with two cups of almond milk (which I’ve come to love), a cup and a half of cereal containing freeze dried strawberries, oat chunks, and bran.  I dropped in a half cup of blueberries and gave it two minutes in the NutriBullet. I was as shocked as anyone when I tasted it. It was fantastic and I’ll be having it again real soon.  It may not be the oft praised health food that the fanatics require but it works for me.

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The cat and I are spending some quality time together this morning after a couple of weeks of disputes.  He’s been banned from our bedroom at night because of his insistence on waking us up at odd hours for no apparent reason.  I locked him out of the bedroom a week ago and he been more than a little pissy ever since.  He doesn’t like change in his life anymore than the rest of us but he has no choice but to adjust.

I plan on taking it easy for a few more days until after the Super Bowl and then try and get back to work.  I’ve just downloaded four more novels for my Kindle and that should keep me occupied until then. 

Life goes on whether we like it or not.

12-25-2014 Journal – Have a Meaningful Christmas   Leave a comment


It’s Christmas Eve and our visitors have come and gone.  It was a an afternoon and evening of relaxing, catching up, and snacking ourselves into submission.  We’ll be having a huge dinner of turkey and all the trimmings tomorrow so it was decided tonight to just snack.

A large plate of cheeses (habanero is my favorite, of course) crackers, a few pounds of shrimp, cookies, veggies, and drinks all around.  We all participated in an excellent X-Box bowling tournament and a few games of darts.  Then we settled in for the movie of the night, Guardians of the Galaxy, and it was a fun and entertaining movie. The grandson was mingling with everyone and watching Mickey Mouse on his mother’s cell phone.  It really is nice being around a true Santa believer for a change.


It’s later now and they’ve all just left for home. Getting the little guy to sleep will be the real Christmas miracle tonight.  We all need to get some rest because tomorrow will be another very long day.  It’s my turn to prepare the bird and my better-half is supplying her favorite family stuffing recipe for her kids.  I should be one helluva meal. 

We’ll be exchanging gifts around midday with the dinner to follow. So I’m off to bed to read a few chapters of one of my favorite detective novel. I have a collection of those novels on my e-reader and they help me get to sleep almost every night.


For those of you who celebrate your holiday on Christmas Eve, have a Merry Christmas.  I’ll have a few additional pictures to post of our Christmas on Saturday and then it will be on to New Years.


12-25-2013. Journal Entry – Christmas Day   Leave a comment

Well, another Christmas has come and gone.  It’s late and the last of the family and friends have headed home.  The day started early with my better-hale preparing some of her family traditions for Christmas morning.  She makes a batch of cinnamon buns covered with lots of sugary icing.  That and a large cup of hot coffee will definitely get your heart started.  The grandson and his mom and dad arrived in late morning requiring the platter of shrimp to be unveiled and devoured.  We all gathered in the living room around the tree for a time  chit-chatting about this and that.  It was obvious to me that everyone was just going through the motions until they could dig into the pile and open their gifts.


“The Aftermath”

As you can see an hour later and the room looked like Santa had shown up and then exploded.  It took almost as long to clean up the debris as it did shopping to buy the stuff in the first place.  The cat and grandson had a great time rummaging through the piles of wrapping paper and boxes seemingly more interested in that stuff than the gifts themselves.  Kids!!!!  Cats!!!!

Another hour has passed and everyone appears thrilled with their gifts so we snack a little more waiting for the next group to arrive.  Our two visitors from northern Maine have finally arrived with tales of the previous day’s ice storm and the fact that most people up north are without electricity.  It’s one of the hazards of living in Maine and those storms can be brutal.  The last time we had one here we were without power for almost a week and a half.  It’s difficult to sleep in a cold bed wearing a parka, gloves, and a tassel hat. It’s hard but we did it.  The pictures taken during that storm are locked away where no one can seem them.  We looked god awful.

After our new visitors had a beer and a few snacks the bowling tournament on the X-box began.  I was able to avoid all of that because of my leg injury so I was the official photographer.  Everyone had a ball with my better-half taking home the winners trophy.

Then it was my turn to cook and to fed the hoard with a decent meal.  A honey-baked ham, rice, Brussels sprouts, and corn took care of everyone’s hunger pangs.  It was followed later by delicious apple and pumpkin pies.  Then after digesting for a while it was back to the X-box for a few rounds of darts which I also avoided by using “cleaning up the kitchen” as my excuse.

After loading up the cars they were off for the night leaving us at least two days of clean up.  All in all a successful holiday gathering with a fun group of people.  The better-half is scheduled for work at 5:00am and her son is flying out at 9:00am.  Unfortunately none of us will be getting enough sleep tonight and we should be zombies all day tomorrow.

I hope your day was as enjoyable as ours.  Merry Christmas!

11-06-2013 Journal Entry   Leave a comment

Today is my ninth day living in this one-legged hell my life has become. I’ve learned a few valuable things in these nine days and I thought I’d share them with you.

  • First, don’t break your damn leg. I know it’s a bit simplistic but sometimes you just need to be told the obvious.
  • Second, hope and pray your relationship is solid because it will be tested. I’ve become somewhat irritable and difficult or at least that’s what my better-half has been screaming at me.
  • Third, prepare yourself for the realization that all it takes is a small bone in your leg to break to turn you into a giant dependent ball of human flesh.

I was raised to be as independent as possible and have spent my entire life just that way.  I hate relying on anyone for anything.  I’ve had a few times in my life where I was laid up for a day or two but nothing like this. Six to eight weeks of sitting on my ass and stumbling around the house being unable to do a damn thing. It’s incredibly frustrating to say the least. My better-half remains supportive but realizes I’m quickly going out of my mind with cabin fever. 

I’ve improved my walking abilities with these crutches but it’ll never be enough to make this situation bearable. Since I’m unable to carry coffee and walk on crutches at the same time it took a day or two for me to solve that problem.  A sealable carry-mug that fits nicely into my pocket was the solution. I can now walk/hop/drag a leg to the kitchen, retrieve some coffee, and return to my chair.  It sounds stupid I know but it’s a major accomplishment for me.

Thank God for my X-Box and IPad.  Those two devices are the only things keeping me from going bat-shit crazy.  I’ve always spent a lot of time on the X-Box but now it’s totally out of control.  I’m afraid I may be developing a serious case of X-Box thumbs. The IPad has allowed me to connect with hundreds of other addicted Scrabble fanatics to play Word HD with Friends.  A great little App that allows me to continuously play multiple games with people from around the country.  The time really flies by very quickly when I’m focused in those games.

I received some good news on my follow-up visit to the orthopedist today. The leg is healing properly and no surgery will be required.  I’m to spend the next two weeks doing things much the same as I’ve been doing. That news raised my morale a bit and hopefully in two more weeks I’ll be permitted to put some weight on the leg which will really jump start this recovery.

One other quick note.  My better-half suggested a trip to Walmart today to pickup a few items and somehow strong-armed me into riding on one of their infamous electric carts.  I put up a good fight but there was no talking to her.  For years I’ve bitched and complained about certain people on those carts blocking aisles and being a general nuisance to other shoppers.  Well, today I joined the elite ranks of the Walmart Disabled Shoppers Group.  I was hoping for a Walmart hat or T-shirt but sadly I was out of luck.  They wanted to give me a pair of pink sweat pants that had “JUICY” on the ass but I declined.  Pink just isn’t my color.  It clashes way too much with my purple sweatshirt and my orange Budweiser baseball cap.  That’s my official Walmart shopping outfit.

We’re headed back home now where I’ll enjoy another afternoon of Scrabble, Tiger Woods 2011, and really bad TV.  I must have done something really terrible in a past life to deserve this karmic ass-kicking.

01-25-2013   Leave a comment

We’re still in the freezer here in Maine like a lot of other places around the country.  It’s another stay in, stay warm, and stay at home nite for sure.  I have a few things I need to get done today including a general cleanup of the house since we’re having guests for dinner tonight.

Shish-kabobs are on the menu so a little marinating is required for the meat and blah . .  blah . .  blah.  That sounds almost as boring to me as it must to you.  I spent a few morning hours on the computer answering emails and visiting some of my favorite blogs.  It’s amazing the amount of diversity that can be found on WordPress.  If I’m not disciplined I can spend hours just roaming around randomly reading everything in sight.

I also need to log a little X-box time today to calm my nerves and relax a bit.  Our guests this evening are serious gamers who take no prisoners in any activity they participate in and I assume the X-box will be involved.

My better-half arrived from work in mid-afternoon and began a flurry of activity before the guests arrived. As always I did my part by cracking open a bottle of Chardonnay to assist me in my supervisory capacity.  It’s a tough job but someone has to do it and I’m always first in line.

The guests arrived right on time and before I realized it we were on the X-box for a raucous darts tournament.  I did my best to win but it just wasn’t meant to be. I was beaten like the proverbial rented mule and in damn short order by my better-half.  Don’t you just hate people who spend all of their time telling you how bad they are at something and then proceed to kick your ass? It’s like rubbing salt into the wounds as far as I’m concerned. It was a disappointing way to start the evenings activities but I’m not demoralized just yet.

The dinner was excellent but for me it was just an minor annoyance before the Hearts games began.  Playing Hearts with these guests can be a little like armed combat.  We take no prisoners and offer no mercy whatsoever.  We’ve played Hearts with them for years and the competition is as fierce now as it was the first nite we played.  For a change I managed to prevail with a decisive win and was exceptionally kind in my victory offering no smartass wise cracks or fake sympathy to the losers.  It’s always great to win and a big hooray for me.

More snacks and drinks then it’s back to the freaking X-box for a round of fun yet vicious bowling.  I should have stopped while I was ahead because I was crushed without mercy.  Well, at least I won something tonight.

These game nights are a great deal of fun and it’s something we’ve always enjoyed.  They’re especially nice during cold snaps like this where going out is problematic.  Staying in and sharing a few relaxing hours with friends is as good as it gets. It wasn’t a late night which then gave us some quiet time to relax a little before heading to bed.  I think the kitchen cleanup will have to wait until tomorrow because I’m suffering from a real lack of interest.

Check the doors and locks, turn on the electric blanket, and snuggle in for a few chapters of my new book.  Tomorrow is another day.

Posted January 26, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying

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