A Cautionary Tale

If I had known how desirable my Apple ID email address is, I would have put it up for sale.

After talking to Apple Support it appears somebody tried to have my Apple ID reset earlier today. Luckily, I set up two-factor authentication and set up an alternate email address for any notifications about altering my account.

Same As It Ever Was

Windows_8.1_-_Parallels_Desktop
I upgraded to Parallels 9.0 yesterday when it was announced and have been starting up each of my virtual machines to allow the newest version of Parallels Tools to install in them. Windows 7 and XP both upgraded fine, as did my CentOS linux VM… unfortunately my Windows 8.1 image wouldn’t start with the error above: “PAGE FAULT IN NONPAGED AREA”. Okay — I guess I will search the internet for a clue about exactly what that means.

Yes, Microsoft’s famous “blue screen of death” is no longer a darker blue, it’s now sky blue with the classy (and very business-like) emoticon for a frown. Reminds me of the “Sad Mac” icon from a couple of decades ago:

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My little shithead

Lucy loves to roll in poop at the park when I turn my back.

While I was walking the dogs this morning Lucy decided she was too clean. As I was watching Fabi attack a tree Lucy took that five seconds to wallow in some fresh scat. She doesn’t normally choose dog poop to roll in but I suppose anything that smells sufficiently bad (good?) will do.

It’s off to the doggie wash at lunch time!

After the bath they were much cleaner… I still was not able to determine what kind of poop she had found. It could have been hobo poop but there was not any corn in it.

Post-scat bath

Busted

Broken side mirror on my truck.
It’s that time of year again. My truck alarm went off last night but instead of the traditional 2 AM it was 10 PM. I heard the alarm sounding and noticed out the window that it was my truck. Neat. This time it appears I was side-swiped by somebody driving too close and too fast down Lincoln Street. Luckily I have “break-aeay” side mirrors that have a hinge so while the mirror is broken, the housing did not come off of the door. Hopefully I can get the mirror housing replaced this week.

Kudos to AT&T

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Since I’ve lived in this house I’ve had cell reception issues. The house isn’t made out of lead or dense concrete blocks or anything like that, AT&T’s signal strength in this location is sub-optimal — they call it “moderate.” In the afternoons I can sit on my couch and watch the bars rise and drop as the traffic on US 85 moves through a signal-controlled intersection.

At first I didn’t notice it too much. I had missed calls and the voicemail indicator would not come on for a bit. Later, the delay in getting the voicemail indicator would increase to several minutes and eventually over an hour. No ringing on the phone at all. I called AT&T several times to bring this up and I used their Mark The Spot app to indicate when I had little or no data/voice coverage, but it never seemed to improve. And before you ask, I’ve had every model of iPhone released since I have lived here so I suspected it was not a defect with a single phone.

About two years ago my next-door neighbors received a letter from AT&T stating that due to the poor coverage in our area they qualified for a free MicroCell device. They asked me about it and I told them if it was free they should get it even if they had not noticed any poor reception themselves. I anxiously awaited my letter… which never arrived. My neighbors were a bit disappointed since the MicroCell cannot be used on high-latency internet connections as they wanted to install it in their mountain home where they only have satellite internet. They boxed it up and forgot about it until recently when they were cleaning and asked me if I wanted to try to get it working. I did, but it never completely connected. The activation web page never showed it completing the activation steps. I boxed it up and put it away.

Fast-forward several months and I noticed one Saturday that I had not received any text messages from work. While this is not normally a bad thing it made me suspicious. Suddenly at 10:21 AM I received several in a row. I knew they had been delayed since our system embeds a time stamp in the message. A few days later I received an email from a friend asking me if I wanted to grab lunch that day. He emailed because he said he had called but it went straight to voice mail. I called AT&T at that point.

Surprisingly, the rep was very helpful and had me check a few things specific to the iPhone. She even warned me that once I performed one of the steps I would be disconnected and would have to dial a phone number before I would be re-connected to the cellular network. After a relatively short troubleshooting session she said that it appeared my phone was not registering on the network for voice or data, and that the only solution to this issue (short of building a new tower in my neighborhood) was to send me a MicroCell. I told her I had attempted to use my neighbors’ MicroCell previously but could never get it activated. I plugged it back in anyway and waited.

About three hours later she called me back and said she had not yet seen the Microcell activated on their system. I confirmed that and said that I had never actually seen this particular MicroCell operating since my neighbors never used it. The AT&T technical support rep told me she would have a new once shipped to me. What surprised me was that a few hours later I received an email indicating the MicroCell had shipped via overnight FedEx. It arrived the next day and once I connected it it activated immediately and my phone connected to it! Yay for actual technical support that resolved an issue!

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What a mess!

Utility crews tear the street a new butthole
The utility company is installing a new gas line in the street and is taking this occasion to move all residents’ meters from inside their homes to the outside (per a federal regulation). I’m the lucky victim today.

Crap

I had been planning to attend (as in, already purchased airfare) a rugby tournament in Argentina in October. I was getting a little concerned that the event was about two months out and the tickets were not yet on sale. Today I discovered why:
Argentina Sevens World Series round postponed

Sadly, in this case by “postponed” they mean cancelled for this year. Since I’ve already purchased my airfare to Argentina and been granted the time off of work, I suppose I will still go and explore Argentina and have a vacation and stuff. I can’t say that I am happy about this, though.