We took Kim to the airport yesterday morning for her flight to Chicago. I dropped her and Becky at the terminal and parked the car. Changed my mind about the spot I picked and when I started the car to move to another spot it hesitated slightly. My first thought (expert auto diagnostician that I am) was that the battery might be totally dead when we came back, and that we were lucky it at least got us to the airport. Well, it started fine so I thought it must’ve been the heat or just a random hiccup. This morning, however, it was not quite totally dead but lacked the juice to start the car. Becky drove the van to work. Changing a car battery ain’t like the good old days, by which I mean about 30 years ago when things under the hood were (1) identifiable, (2) accessible and (3) logical in regard to removal and replacement. So I started the day by spending a couple of hours just removing the friggin’ battery. Picked up a new one, and a replacement terminal bolt, on the way to the office. Will start the day tomorrow putting in the new battery. So it turned out we were lucky to get Kim to the airport on time, after all. Becky, by the way, wasn’t too thrilled about driving the van. The front tires are almost bald, and we had rain this morning. Not a good combination when you’re stopped on an uphill incline with front wheel drive. And I haven’t got around to gluing the rear view mirror back to the windshield. I kind of like not having it, since I can’t see the tailgaters, which helps my temperament. But it bugs Becky.
We succeeded in having stupid hot for Kathie and Stephen, and got it back for Kim but, as I mentioned, it was raining this morning and I don’t think ever got much over 70 degrees all day. Expecting a high of 68 tomorrow, 75 Sunday, 79 Monday. What can I say? ‘Course, we still got enough humidity if you spread your arms out and lie back you can float about three feet off the ground.
What else? Oh: Oxymorons.info.
I happened across a couple of freeware programs recently: KeyNote and Oubliette, both available at Tranglos Software. KeyNote is for taking notes but has a myriad of features for organizing them in outlines or trees (like a directory structure on your computer). And the file can be encrypted, requiring a password to open. I was attracted to it partly because I have a text file that contains all my login information and passwords for all the websites I visit that require a login with password, like web hosts, banks, credit cards; as well as certain news sites, forums, etc. It was getting a bit unwieldy. KeyNote is ideal for this. It might also replace the ATnotes “sticky note” program that I’ve been using for several years. Not sure about that yet. When I downloaded KeyNote, I noticed Oubliette, which is strictly a password manager. It stores everything in an encrypted file, of course, which requires a password to open, and it appears to be well organized. Both of these are only available for Windows 98 through XP. Also available at the same site is KookieJar, which generates random signatures for your email. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds fun.
I recently installed SpyBot and BHODemon. SpyBot searches for spyware, Demon searches for sneaky “browser helper” programs that unscrupulous websites and certain kinds of freeware programs (especially P2P) surreptitiously install on your computer. So far, though, they haven’t flagged anything bad on my computers except a few advertising related cookies. I’ve also been using Ad-Aware for a quite a while.
MailWasher was a good anti-spam program but I think they’ve strayed a bit from the freeware concept. I’m still using an earlier version, though, which continues to work well although it’s less necessary as email programs themselves keep improving their anti-spam measures. My filtering rules in both Pegasus and Eudora are catching over 90%, I’d say.
So, those are my thoughts for the day about PC stuff. Was originally just going to endorse KeyNote, but one thing sort of led to another.
All good Chappells are already be familiar with it, but everyone else should be sure to check out the 2004 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Results.
And this little flash animation is topical in light of an earlier article wherein I sought relevancy by means of discourse on current events and life in the USA. Most of the other animations there are amusing, as well. This seems to be a collection of animated editorial cartoons. There’s something you can’t get in your local newspaper!
And, finally, in keeping with the foregoing, take a look at this preview of what’s coming (also requires Flash player).