Hard Water Stains

On my bran new Anderson windows… /cry!!!

I tried the simple vinegar solution, etc. No joy. A company called Anderson and said they could scrape them clean. I about freaked since that’s what everything says not to do. But I’d rather let a professional try then fool around and mess them up myself. At least they are insured and know what they are doing.

New Roof

New roof comes Wednesday! Yeay! Sometimes insurance works. Plus having good insurance helped. So far, I love Hochheim Prarie! So far. Although, hopefully people never have to USE their insurance per-say, but when it happens like this particular issue I had with the roof, that’s about the best ever insurance use you can have I think.

Blog Software Migration

I’m changing the blog software from Nucleus 3.65 to WordPress 4.3.1, including some migration to the new system which doesn’t exist. For those also wondering,


  • To begin, I did the most basic of WordPress 4.3.1 installs from scratch.
  • After that I did an export of theĀ  nucleus_item table from the nucleus database.
  • I imported that table into the wordpress database.
  • I then trashed and deleted the demo post and demo page so that there was nothing in the wp_posts table.
  • Then I ran this script:
INSERT INTO wp_posts
(ID, post_author, post_date, post_content, post_title, post_status)
SELECT `inumber`, 1, `itime`, concat(`ibody`, `imore`), `ititle`,
  CASE WHEN idraft = 1 THEN 'draft' ELSE 'publish' END
FROM nucleus_item
  • Then I added each category manually using the tool. I only had 3.
  • Then I ran this script:
INSERT INTO `wp_term_relationships` (`object_id`, `term_taxonomy_id`)
SELECT `inumber`,`icat`
FROM `nucleus_item`
  • But I wasn’t smart enough to make the same groups in the right order, and my uncategorized was id 3 and not 1 in the old system. Easy fix.
  • Figure out which number needs to be which ID in the actual table. It’s pretty simple to do. Since you have a competing value to start, one will have to turn to something unused first so this is what I did simply… Set 1’s to 5’s, then 3’s to 1’s and then 5’s to 3’s. Like so:
UPDATE `wp_term_relationships` SET `term_taxonomy_id`=5
WHERE `term_taxonomy_id`=1

UPDATE `wp_term_relationships` SET `term_taxonomy_id`=1
WHERE `term_taxonomy_id`=3

UPDATE `wp_term_relationships` SET `term_taxonomy_id`=3
WHERE `term_taxonomy_id`=5
  • And finish your settings
  • For this, I had to make permalinks the ‘default’ without going through and making other link information in the tables also. This is a simple enough solution

And it’s that simple. If I wanted comments, etc. it would be a few more steps but I think you know can get the idea. Overall, it took me about 10 minutes for the whole blog. Comments would have been another 20-30 if I wanted to also move accounts and such or just put them all in one ‘oldsystem’ account. Lots of options.

AND… If you screw it up, just start over. We never touched the original Nucleus database accept to export the table (or tables if doing more). Either way you’re off the orphaned software and onto something more widely supported (hopefully for good. Don’t want to do this again.)

SURGERY!!!

Finally, they are at least going to TRY to fix something…

So, to summarize, over the last year I’ve gone downhill like a locomotive off a cliff. Nearly vegetative. New MRIs show nothing with MS. But they do show more extreme pressures on the spine.Which leaves me with two options.

1) Spinal Fusion
I can do the traditional course of getting my spine fused together over 3 vertebra. This would be removing the two worst disks and fusing the spine together.
Upsides:

  • Faster recovery.
  • One night or even outpatient surgery.
  • Tiny hole in the front of the neck for the operation
Downsides:
  • This will encure problems in the long run of affecting the disks to either side of the fusion. 5-10 years down the road, more fusion.
  • At least for the initial, no movement change left or right, just up and down ~ 10% loss.

2) Laminectomy
This means exactly what it seems… Remove the Lamina. These are the bony protrusions on the back of the spinal chord. They protect the spine from the rear, etc.
Upsides:
  • There should be no ‘domino’ effect with the near vertebra.
  • Retain full motion of the neck
  • If it was out of pocket, this is a lot cheaper…
Downsides:
  • Much longer recovery. They have to cut through and move muscle to get to the spine and it takes a long time for that to repair/recover.
  • More pain due to the above
  • Much more obvious and larger scar on the back of the neck.
  • If there was pain at the joint (not so much for me) this wouldn’t fix it.
  • 3-5 days in the hospital plus 3-6 month recovery and physical therapy.



The hope is that I get this surgery, one or the other, and it releases pressure on my spine and I can move again, perhaps even walk. But we know it will have SOME effect.

I use a neck device that inflates to raise my head up. I sleep with it. Sometimes I wake up and I can feel my hands fine and move, etc. for a few minutes…

And both neurologists and neurosurgeons said that MS and compression on the spine severely magnify each other. So while the compression might not be extreme, nor the MS, one can make the other seem so.

The surgeon had my idea though, let’s just fix one thing and see where it goes. Worst case, I have pain from surgery and nothing is any better for it. Best case, I’m able to run and play again.

Which surgery do you think I’m in favor of in this case?

Why do I stay away from the big AAA game producers like EA?

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/212245-ea-executive-calls-on-disc-dlc-complaints-nonsense-but-the-truth-is-more-complex

Here is a prime example. I’m not feeding the $ grubbers anymore to play a game. Too many good independents and even a few AAAs left to give you good products completely at release and DLC is just that, more content, not finishing the content you needed.

Windows 10

I’ve played with it and so far have ZERO reasons to switch…

Real benchmark tests, not fluffed up frills:

http://www.techspot.com/review/1042-windows-10-vs-windows-8-vs-windows-7/

Plus the Cortana issue; she is a massive data collection system that so far we have not found a way to uninstall her. You can disable her front-end but collection still goes on. Hence the ‘free’ upgrade. Right now I stay with 7.

Getting worse…

My right hand has been steadily getting worse. I’ve started to dip into what is left over of my Oxycodone pills. I might have to start all of that up again. Going to be hard to do though when I can’t get out to the doctors.

Ampyra may or may not be helping. Last time I stopped it I couldn’t move at all. But being on it I can barely move at all. The fact that I sit all day doesn’t help I’m sure.

HULU Plus

I used it years ago but quit due to various reasons. I went back for a free week to see what was changed, if anything. Unfortunately it seems not much is the answer.

I tested this on the phone app, on Windows systems running Firefox and IE and on Linux (Ubuntu) systems running FireFox.It didn’t take long for the problems to start. So here we go.

Videos simply refuse to start

Yup, you go to play, it goes through the intro, through the first startup add for the item, then black screen. And sits there. A few times I let it run and some 10 minutes later it suddenly took off. But most of the time I could let it sit forever and it never fired. I let it run overnight that way once, woke up to the exact same blackness in the window. One of the reasons I left in 2013.

Press ESC to exit Fullscreen Mode

Seriously… This is also still here. It doesn’t go away. Reload the page and sometimes you get it to disapear. However accidentally click during an add and have it go away and return to fullscreen again, odds are this is stuck on your screen now.

Video Hangs

Occasionally, on both Windows and Linux, fully upgraded to all the latest flash players, etc. The video simply freezes. There are artifacts on the top ~ 1/5th of the screen and the rest locks. Audio keeps going. You have to reload the page to get it to continue updating video again. Another FLASH problem.

Studdering playback on AMD graphics

A FLASH issue again, however NOT an issue on other sites. To fix this, simply turn off ‘Enable Smooth Video Playback’ in the CCC. My Nvidia systems do not have this problem, nore do my Linux boxes. However the Linux boxes suffer from vSync issues and tearing.

Audio Stereo Only

Seriously?!? I asked them about this and their reply: “It is too difficult and complicated to do more then two channels of audio over the internet. At this time, there are both technical and contractual issues to consider before we can surround sound options.”. Sorry but BULL SHIT. All of the other services do this, with full security lockdown, without any issues what-so-ever. But right now everything you watch in Hulu is either Mono or Stereo audio and that’s the end of it. They have no desire and see a need to address this right now although they did say that they “understand the demand”. Does that make any sense to anyone?!? Nope…

Then we get to content issues

I love OLD shows, however, the old ones they do have they have a few select episodes, a few seasons, etc. Not everything from start to end. So it’s a bit disapointing still. Wanna watch Knight Rider? You can see Season 1 only. Major Dad, OK that’s all there but it’s also free on http://www.nbc.com/classic-tv/. Can watch all of the first season of Knight Rider there also for that matter. This issue is duplicated all over. You can watch more or as much on the various channels classic sites.

However! Things like CBS, Wanna watch MacGyver? Too bad. They list it but you have to also pay to get the CBS All Access. They show they have it but they don’t. It is linked to the outside site from their site.

So what am I paying for again? One advantage perhaps, watching a CURRENT (only) show’s CURRENT (only) season and you’re too far behind to catch up on their site (often limited to 5 at a time only). Ohh, and do so with Stereo only, no surround which can be quite an issue depending on the program. But then again, other shows like Arrow, you get only 5, no more. And you suffer with stereo audio. Go to CWTV.com and watch them better anyhow.

Long ago I saw a product with Hulu, right now I just don’t see it anymore. Movies perhaps, but same Stereo issue and for movies, no thanks. Netflix is fine for that and not limited to Stereo. Ohh, and they have the HTML5 player working with full security lockdown just fine. No longer using FLASH… So does Youtube… FYI…

End of SWTOR

I’ve done everything and tolerated everything up to this point through all the shit but this I think is the last straw.

Primary reason: Absolutely NO in-game customer service. Every other game I even had GMs on whisper/friend’s lists… They do not exist in SWTOR to any level. Nor does any resemblance of in-game customer support.

Problem 1) Customer Service…

Or lack there of entirely. A few hundred accounts were hacked right on Christmas. OK, for various reasons, crap happens. It should be a simple issue of ‘Yup it happened, we know how and we need to fix it…’ Especially when it was their fault as it was this time.

To fix it, simple, restore all characters/items to that point in time, stored on the server backup systems. Simple and easy.

The problem; THEY CAN’T DO IT!!! A friend with more then a dozen affected toons to this day is still being ignored… Tickets get closed with ‘Issue Resolved’ on it and his toons remain empty.

That is just NOT acceptable…

Problem 2) People.

I had a discussion with someone today that swore up and down it didn’t matter what the gear was (level) as long as you had X enchantments of this type, etc. It doesn’t matter if you have the best min/maxed piece in a slot, if it’s not (for sake of discussion) alacrity, then you’re doing it wrong, regardless of what other gear you might ‘have’.

I also have gone through each piece, CRIT, SURGE, ALACRITY, etc. I have the same or less then said user, as well as the same other important stats, but my numbers (alacrity %, crit multiplier, etc.) are all 1-2 points larger. But I’m doing it wrong… So… Same stats (bonus damage/healing/etc., better secondary stats (crit, surge, alacrity), but I have too much of this or that and not enough of this just because I don’t have 6 enhancements that say this and my augments are that… I should instead buy garbage enhancements and run mainstat augments JUST because some website says that’s what you should run. That is one reason I do NOT look at the shit websites and use them as gospel for building, all-too-often they are incorrect or inaccurate unless you have an endless supply of end-game gear (you don’t, even with an exploit). I spend hours on the dummy changing gear, re-doing rotations, etc. to get the best numbers I can produce. I don’t run any macros and I have four working fingers on my left hand and two on my right. I don’t get many hot-keys either. But I’m almost ALWAYS in the top two on the DPS charts… but that’s not good enough apparently…

Instead of the website saying to run ‘850’ alacrity, ‘500’ crit, etc. Then they argue I don’t know how to play the toon cause my ‘setup’ is all wrong. This is all I hear anymore. Not ‘use augments to fill in where your gear is lacking’ as they are supposed to be. Unless you have the best possible gear in every slot, using the augments to tweak out your crit/alacrity/surge/etc to get it where it should be is the only way to get your numbers up. You lose out ONLY on damage and healing bonus numbers which, without everything else topped out, wouldn’t matter anyhow.

It’s like a tank without as many hitpoints… So my Vanguard isn’t nearly in maxed gearset, but I make sure his resistances are 50, 20, 45, 43 or better (especially shield absorb) with augments. Hit points are 51k at level 3. But the ‘guides’ I’ve seen all say to run only shield augments. HOWEVER, I noticed with all shield augments that I was 50, 18, 47, 36… Swap out a few shield which that point drops barely any to severely boost TWO other stats cause they aren’t at any apparent cap? It is the better thing to do to balance out the mitigation. I shield hits 7% better now and only 2% less often for swapping out quite a few augments. Someone who doesn’t actually test the information they find wouldn’t notice that. OR, should I do as everyone screams that he doesn’t have the hit points and put in all Fortitude augments. Sure I can get another 7k HPs out of doing that and my shield, absorb and defense would all be ~ 50, 15, 30, 30… Considering even shielding attacks in the new content I’m getting hit for 12k… that doesn’t make ANY sense to me. But this is what was discussed last night on another toon and more then one person swore I was doing it wrong…

SO, I spent all the comms to do it their way… Well guess what. On THAT toon, bonus healing dropped almost 120 points, crit went DOWN another 1.6%, alacrity stayed almost the same (within a few tenths) as did surge… I had a TON more endurance (pointless)… Now if I had just one or two more pieces of gear the right way, that might all change! BUT WITH WHAT I HAD, USING THE REAL PIECES AND NOT GARBAGE PIECES TO GET THE MOST POINTS OUT OF EACH SLOT POSSIBLE…

So HOW was ‘your’ way better? Min/Maxed gear perhaps… But not with ‘getting up to that point’ gear… Not at ALL!!! I had the best 192 gear I could get. Not even the crappy comm 192 gear (of which we have no comms for anyhow). But they insisted I drop all of that to get even worse crappy 186 gear (the problem here is my gear was say 78 crit and 111 alacrity, dropping to the worse gear meant mre endurance (useless) and 43 crit and 102 alacrity (if I remember accurately, not logged in right now)) to setup as the websites described as that’s the ONLY way to do it… Well there ya go. I can’t prove it wrong any more then that… I shouldn’t have had to but I wanted to be sure I wasn’t going insane… X points of alacrity get you X percentage of boost. X points in crit (along with mainstat, etc.) get you X percentage in crit chance. X points in surge get you X percent crit multiplier. AND THAT’S IT! Mainstat/power add up to bonus damage and healing. Once you’re at end game that will come up a touch, but you want to keep everything else up there while you get there or you’re not as effective. How about someone without enough Accuracy enhancements, sitting at say 96% melee accuracy, trying to DPS… Put some augments in there to get to 99+… As you get better/more enhancements, you can change them for power/mainstat augments… But instead people want to argue that’s not what the website says… That’s all they kept saying… Over and over…

And as for mainstat or power augments, maxed out to the limit, either one and your DPS/HPS is going to be extremely close. The rest is all about getting your stat points to an expected level, NOT following some stupid website, and NONE of that has anything to do with how you play your toon, just setting it up. So even pulling that card out is both childish and stupid. They tried that one too. ‘You want to argue against a X player?’ We are NOT talking about playing, we’re talking about setup and how the game works with gear… Playing is a whole other topic…

Problem 3) ‘Upgrades’

To go even further, you can’t play what you like. Want to play a slinger, you have to play it this way or you fail, sage, same, etc. Want to heal, have to play this… Tank, well a little more room there but. Melee DPS is almost useless in the new content for extreme DPS so why bother? They can’t balance DPS between even two DPS specs on the same class, let alone different classes, good God that will NEVER happen.

But that’s it, I’m pretty much done with this game. I might log in again if they ever actually get Customer Service to do actual work… but I hold little to no hope for the game anymore. It’s dead.

In the end, it’s all problem #1 that is the last straw. I can work through and ignore the rest but since I was typing… I can not tolerate #1 at any level regardless of game/name/etc. And this, again, is all EA’s fault. One in my guild and I both knew people at Bioware. One of their locations (the one close to me) is all but void now of people thanks to the EA buyout. Hell I haven’t been there in so long, they might have closed the doors all together by now and moved it all to EA house… The few that are left are all on EA’s payroll. But yet they claim that it is still a Bioware company. Please, how do you figure that?!? They don’t even have enough people to handle emergency tickets. I hear they are still working on November/December tickets… WTF!?!

I stopped supporting EA a LONG time ago. Refuse to buy any EA game, and THIS is exactly why!!! I let this one slip and while I had fun for years, now I regret it as simply another EA @#$%up.