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Thread: Trivial (or not so trivial) stuff that makes you happy.

  1. #4621
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    It's been so long now that I only have a vague recollection of MS' offer of the free upgrade to Win 10. At the time I was using Win 7. I recall MS initially said the offer would be good for a year, and it was possible to commit to the upgrade but not install it immediately. So I waited almost a year, thinking that by then the worst of the bugs would have been cleaned up. It worked out well for me.
    I spent a year or so resisting Microsoft's increasingly crazed efforts to trick me into upgrading my desktop PC. Towards the end, I was braced for a personal call from a weeping Microsoft executive, because they were getting so hysterical in their desire to have me beta-test their new operating system. So it was something of a relief when 29 July 2016 had passed, and they stopped pestering me.
    Anyway, nearly two-and-a-half years after that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity expired, it turns out you can still upgrade for free, if you have the product code for your Windows 7/8 installation.

    Grant Hutchison

  2. #4622
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    "Hi Grant, this is Bill.... Bill Gates. How you doing? Look, was it something I said or did.... we really need you to upgrade to Windows 10... could you do that for us? Come on, for old times sake..."

    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  3. #4623
    A friend of mine is back form his home on the west coast doing his talks about safe driving to high school students. We never seem to get together when he is around.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
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  4. #4624
    One niece is off to her first university open house at alma mater of David Levy, and the other is playing for hockey games over the next couple of days.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  5. #4625
    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    One niece is off to her first university open house at alma mater of David Levy, and the other is playing for hockey games over the next couple of days.
    The oldest nice got accepted there, she applied while down there on the trip.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  6. #4626
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    Back in 1969, knowing my interest in science, my mother bought me a subscription to a wonderful magazine called Science News. I've maintained a subscription ever since. Today, exactly fifty years after the cover date of the first issue I received, I stopped by their offices and was greeted with great enthusiasm by the entire staff (at least all of those at the office on a Friday morning).

    (In the photo, I'm holding my issue from 1969. The seniormost editor Janet Raloff is holding the latest issue, with the editor-in-chief Nancy Shute on the other side of her from me.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #4627
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    That's awesome ToSeek. I'm a huge fan of Science News. My current subscription probably goes back 10 or 15 years but I've read it on an off for probably close to as long as you have (I know I read it in grad school in the early 80s).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  8. #4628
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    What Swift said. I'm amazed by that long subscription.

    Oddly coincidentally, this morning I was contemplating cancelling the auto-renew on my ~20 year AAAS membership, as I'm finding it harder to keep up with the weekly issues of Science. But I drop each copy off at the local library when I'm finished with it, and I know someone is reading them, so I want to keep doing that.

  9. #4629
    And my other nieces hockey team just won 2 back to back shutouts.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  10. #4630
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    I donated blood today. Last time they told me I'd be up to six gallons or some such, but I forgot to ask. I think the first time I donated I was in college, more than 50 years ago. I haven't done it routinely since then, but at least occasionally. Now I'm scheduling in advance, every eight weeks.
    My late mother was kept alive by transfusions, two units every two weeks, for two and a half years. I'm working on giving that back.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #4631
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    For the ďannoy meĒ thread: I havenít been able to donate blood for many years. My meds put me on the no-stick list.
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  12. #4632
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    For the “annoy me” thread: I haven’t been able to donate blood for many years. My meds put me on the no-stick list.
    Same here. Haven't been able to donate blood since 2004 due to blood clotting issues and the medication I take to deal with them.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  13. #4633
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    Same here. Haven't been able to donate blood since 2004 due to blood clotting issues and the medication I take to deal with them.
    And I flunk out because of time lived in England and fear of mad cow disease transmission (sorry, this is definitely not in the "makes me happy" category). I lived in the UK for a number of months (perhaps five or six) although spread over a couple of decades.

    From the US Red Cross:
    In some parts of the world, cattle can get an infectious, fatal brain disease called Mad Cow Disease. In these same locations, humans have started to get a new disease called variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (vCJD) which is also a fatal brain disease. Scientists believe that vCJD is Mad Cow Disease that has somehow transferred to humans, possibly through the food chain.

    There is now evidence from a small number of case reports involving patients and laboratory animal studies that vCJD can be transmitted through transfusion. There is no test for vCJD in humans that could be used to screen blood donors and to protect the blood supply. This means that blood programs must take special precautions to keep vCJD out of the blood supply by avoiding collections from those who have been where this disease is found.

    At this time, the American Red Cross donor eligibility rules related to vCJD are as follows:

    You are not eligible to donate if:

    From January 1, 1980, through December 31, 1996, you spent (visited or lived) a cumulative time of 3 months or more, in the United Kingdom (UK), or
    From January 1, 1980, to present, you had a blood transfusion in any country(ies) in the (UK) or France. The UK includes any of the countries listed below.

  14. #4634
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    I always count myself lucky not to have those problems when I read the material before donating.
    Yesterday they used my right arm instead of the usual left because I had a little bruise from a blood draw for labs. They had more difficulty with it. At least when I had the finger poke to check for anemia the tech did it around the side and it hurt much less than the usual in the pad of the finger. That finger poke is the worst part of the whole process.

    They have volunteers doing the juice-and-cookies table. One of them is a gentleman who wears his Pearl Harbor Survivor hat. He was on USS Tennessee.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  15. #4635
    Well the nieces team didn't get two more shutouts they let one goal during a game but they dud win all four. also ran into a great uncle at the game and a friend, and when I got home there were still coals in fire.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  16. #4636
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    Same here. Haven't been able to donate blood since 2004 due to blood clotting issues and the medication I take to deal with them.
    Me three.
    I gave regularly, at least four times a year, from about the mid-80s till about 10 years ago. But the Red Cross just kept making it harder and harder. The biggest problem was that every time I went there would be a different concern. One time it was because I was on blood pressure medicine. Another time it was because of some place I had traveled to. Sometimes they would take my blood, after a lot of discussion and fussing, sometimes they wouldn't. It seemed like whatever nurse happened to be running that drive was making arbitrary decisions. I finally decided I'm not going to take time out from my day just see if they would decide to take my blood or not.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  17. #4637
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    While I'm embarrassed to admit that the problem with my car the other day was that I simply ran out of gas, it does still mean something was wrong with my car--but it's that my gas gauge wasn't working. Possibly the arm for the float inside the tank was stuck?
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  18. #4638
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    I once had a car with a broken gas gauge. The indicator needle would go down low, then jump back up for a stretch before moving back down. The guys at the service station told me that it would cost about a million dollars to fix, and that I should just keep track, mentally, of how much gas I had. That really gave me a headache, so I would gas up at every opportunity.

  19. #4639
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    I had a gas gauge give out once. Too much to fix, so I paid attention to the miles driven and filled up accordingly. (You need to know your tank capacity and average mpg to get miles per tank.)
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
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  20. #4640
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    I was caught out driving my mother-in-law's car after had been repaired following a rear-end accident. When we drove it the fuel gauge was reading about 1/4 full when we ran out of petrol. We called out the auto club and it turned out that there was still a big dent in the fuel tank so the gauge reading was way out. We took it back to the repair shop and presssurising the tank got most of the dent out.

  21. #4641
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    When we had our house built, we had a propane-powered generator installed. The prime contractor mucked things up a bit and didn't get the automatic transfer switch installed until late in the process, and with only a couple of circuits powered. Among those not powered was the little panel where the cable comes in, including a powered signal booster. Thus, when power went out, we had no TV or internet.
    With winter coming, I decided I should have the generator serviced; then went on and asked the same contractor about adding more circuits. No problem, we have lots of capacity. The electrician came out yesterday and added a couple of circuits, both the pantry, where the signal booster is, and the office, where the modem/router is.
    Our power is currently out. My wife is watching TV and I'm using the internet! Victory!!

    Note to self: Call the propane company and get the tank topped up!

    ETA: And the espresso machine is in the pantry, so my wife got to have her latte!
    Last edited by Trebuchet; 2019-Nov-19 at 04:51 PM.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  22. #4642
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    Ain't it great? We went with a whole-house generator after a 2Ĺ-day, mid-winter outage a few years ago. I'd mentioned the idea to my wife a few times before that but she never really gave it serious consideration due to the expense. She took it seriously after that outage. Very seriously...and enthusiastically. When we lose power now, I half expect her to climb up on the roof and give a rendition of Lieutenant Dan: "Is that all you've got? You'll never get me!" She's even let neighbors know they can come hang with us if they don't want to sit in the dark.
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  23. #4643
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    Unfortunately, we lack the capacity to run the heating. As far as I know, at least. My wife put on her electric blanket.
    A few minutes ago I walked up the road to where they were working and asked what happened. Guy said they had a line go down, but it wouldn't be much longer. By the time I got back it was on.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #4644
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    That reminds me, I am happy I have power from SMUD and not PG&E, and my area is probably one of the lower risk areas for fires.

    I sometimes get power outages at home, but it is rarely longer than an hour or two. For those unfamiliar, here in California, there were bad fires last year and it was determined that PG&E equipment was involved. They had to declare bankruptcy and have been shutting power off for extended periods for many customers. It is happening again now. We have had little rain since early spring, and fires can start easily in some areas when wind picks up.

    Anyway, apparently whole house generator companies have little presence in California because we typically donít have the storms to cause big outages, but suddenly there is now demand and it looks like this issue will last for years (there is work on upgrading power distribution, but it will be slow). And solar with battery backup is becoming much more popular too (most people havenít opted for batteries due to expense, but thatís changing).

    The expectation is that a lot of homes will be adding generators in the next year or two

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  25. #4645
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    Speaking of power outages …

    I work "remotely." That is, not at my company's offices but at the offices of the engineering contractor on our project. Last Tuesday I got to work and went to get a cup of coffee from our kitchen area. The lights went out. We have had blips before so I waited for them to come back on. Instead security made a PA announcement that building management was ordering an evacuation. So I joined others as we walked down five flights of stairs and gathered in the lobby.

    Yes, the building has a backup generator. Which had been running since the previous Friday when there was a fault in the main power line feeding the building. The generator did its job, until someone forgot to check the oil level and it shut down. They filled the oil reservoir, checked out the generator, got the fire department to rescue the folks trapped in the elevators, and got backup power restored in about 2-1/2 hours. (Sequence may be off.)

    The next morning when I got to work the building was dark. The loss of oil had done more damage than first thought. It took them until after noon Thursday to set up and synchronize three smaller generators to restore power.

    And that's what we're using today. No word on when they expect to correct the fault that started all this.
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  26. #4646
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    For those unfamiliar, here in California, there were bad fires last year and it was determined that PG&E equipment was involved. They had to declare bankruptcy and have been shutting power off for extended periods for many customers.
    Well, "had to" inasmuch as their negligence in the name of profit was found to be at fault, and they went bankrupt to avoid paying the wrongful death lawsuits from the families of people killed in those fires.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  27. #4647
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Speaking of power outages …
    The place I used to work (we grew calcium fluoride crystals for optical applications) had a backup diesel generator for our crystal growth furnaces, as growing crystals are extremely sensitive to any fluctuations in temperature and other conditions.

    And then the great 2003 Blackout hit the Northeast US and Midwest. Luckily, our backup generator came on exactly as planned. Unfortunately, as the outage dragged on for hours, we realized that we would soon run out of diesel fuel. The plan had assumed that any outage would only last for a couple of hours. We also had no emergency contract for fuel delivery, and in the middle of this outage, there was no way someone was going to get a quicky emergency delivery. So we all sat around watching the last of the fuel get used up, and the emergency power going off, and multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars of crystals turn to scrap.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  28. #4648
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    Back to some happy work news...

    I have over 20 publications, but I've never had a patent published. I've had several that were working their way through various parts of the patent system, but either were rejected and/or got abandoned by the company (a couple because that part of the business went out of business). Well, I'm finally getting a patent, it has been granted by the European Patent Office and should be officially issued middle of next year (the whole process took about 4 years). And though I am one of several authors, I personally wrote large chunks of this one myself.

    It ultimately isn't a big deal, but it has been a personal sore point for me for a long time that I didn't have one.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  29. #4649
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Back to some happy work news...

    I have over 20 publications, but I've never had a patent published. I've had several that were working their way through various parts of the patent system, but either were rejected and/or got abandoned by the company (a couple because that part of the business went out of business). Well, I'm finally getting a patent, it has been granted by the European Patent Office and should be officially issued middle of next year (the whole process took about 4 years). And though I am one of several authors, I personally wrote large chunks of this one myself.

    It ultimately isn't a big deal, but it has been a personal sore point for me for a long time that I didn't have one.
    Congratulations! But...with several authors you can get complex logistics in my experience, when ever challenged. On the mirror of your post I have my first ever academic paper in final draft, and looking forward to it.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  30. #4650
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    No, that's delightful! Achieving a personal goal is always cool, no matter how big a deal it is or isn't.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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