Thursday, October 12, 2006

Where Are They Now?: Catching up with yesterday's celebrities

Former music star Jon Plank was spotted wandering around shopping centers in urban Pennsylvania wild-eyed and muttering, "we could have been big...if only.." in Russian. He was also pushing around a Casio keyboard in a shopping cart (not pictured).

Samaritan Handyman

It's tough being the Good Samaritan, you know. Really, it is. Last week, I saw Royce laying in the ditch and attempted to come to the rescue. You see, Royce is a very talented man and his talent comes to light in many, many areas. There are many reasons why he is the leader of Liberty. One area that he hasn't quite mastered yet, is that of the technological realm. Now, I have fair-to-middling talents when it comes to technology. I'm no genius, that's for sure (stop laughing, guys) but I can usually figure out the typical problems that might stump the average Joe.

So, when Royce told me that he was having computer issues I told him that I would take a look. When I came over to look at his home PC, I knew immediately that we had issues. It was 6 or 7 years old and was still running a venerable edition of Windows 98. It's memory was overworked and it's storage was maxed. His printer was old, creaky, and unresponsive. So, I suggested that he start pricing new computers. To make a long story short, I met Royce at Best Buy and we found a great deal on a new computer and printer. I had a few errands to run, so I told Royce that I would meet him over at his house later in the evening. So, last Tuesday I got to the Mitchell mansion at about 8:00. I had told Lori that this shouldn't take very long. I expected to be home in a couple of hours. HA!

I set up the computer for Royce, connecting all of the various components. Royce has a wireless Linksys network for his home and since his desktop didn't have a wireless card we ran over to Target to purchase a wireless adaptor. Since his router was a Linksys, I went with a Linksys wireless adaptor. This is where everything went bad. It was now about 9:00 or so, and I still had quite a bit of software to install. But, before I could load much of the software I had to have an internet connection. So, I set up this new wireless adaptor. What I didn't know was the Linksys program that must be loaded for the adaptor to work has a bug that interferes with the Windows XP Welcome screen. It screws everything up. Now, I didn't know this at first, so I continued to load all the software. Anyone that has loaded Norton Anti-virus 2007 knows that it takes an hour just to load. So, finally, at about 10:30, I finished everything and restarted the computer. The weird image and log-in box that filled the screen told me that we had a problem. So, I got on Google and researched the issue. On a messageboard, several users who had experienced the same problem posted their solutions to the issue. I found out that there was 1 specific file that was causing all of the problems.

Now, when people ask for help when they're experiencing PC issues, I always advise them to refrain from just deleting files. There are specific steps that have to be completed in order to take care of the issue. Oh, that I would have listened to my own advice. I read that you could simply remove the file and it would fix the problem. Like an idiot, that's what I did. I restarted the computer, and a blue screen appeared, informing me that do to a missing file Windows couldn't load. Talk about instant diarrhea! Royce is looking over my shoulder the whole time, while I attempted to convey an attitude of "Yeah, I know what we need to do here". Finally, he figured out that I had screwed up. He was very, very nervous. He was sure that the computer was toast. I didn't tell him that I was thinking the same thing. Talk about feeling guilty. There was quite a bit of tension in the area.

Well, I had to start from scratch. I had to load everything again, including Windows XP, all of the software that had been pre-loaded. When I left at 1:00 AM, I still wasn't done. I ended up spending about 12 hours on everything. The thing that ticked me off was that it was all due to my rookie error. I HATE, absolutely HATE, being at fault.

I can say that everything is working great these days. In fact, it's as good as new. Also, Royce is now able to sleep.

I still get red-faced when I think of my errors, out loud saying a loud, Napoleanesque, IDIOT.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

News Release

(AP) Sources reveal that there is no known familial connection between John Daker and Keith Waggoner, contributor to the wildly popular blog "keithinside". The men's lack of hair as well as similar facial twitches have led many to speculate that there was more to the post than Waggoner let on. The sources go on to say that while the two have never met, there may be a connection between Daker's voice teacher and accompanist, Reva Cooper Insicker, and Philip Bishop, a former piano player for Assurance, a quartet from God's Bible School and College. Bishop and Waggoner traveled together for 3 years and sources say that Bishop's "Singing Paige's" style of accompanying was taken straight from Insicker's piano video series. Bishop declined a request to be interviewed for this article, but did offer to "Keep Smilin'".

Garen Wolf, Waggoner's vocal instructor for 3 years, stated that Daker's performance did remind him of a rendition of "Schubert's "Die Schöne Müllerin" performed by Keith at a junior recital in which "Waggoner attempted to make up German-sounding words to cover up the fact that he had forgotten the lyrics. It fooled no one, including the non-music majors who were there only to support their significant others. Sad, really."


Castleta-a-ales, Castleta-a-ales...(for those of you without young children, stolen from the Veggietales theme song)

I just discovered the blog of Troy and Martha Castle (thanks to her post!). As usual, I like to feature the blogs of my friends. Check out Tales from a Castle: Troy is starting work on his master's degree in music at Bob Jones University in SC. They're a great couple, with cute kids!


Brooke, a private detective verified your claim (see comment to 10.9 post "Just for the record...").

Also, please note the progress of my workout program. My biceps are really swelling up.

E.R., Season 3, episode 22

Well, this morning started as so many before with a trip to our local hospital. OK, it's only happened a handful of times, but the X-ray technicians now recognize me. Seriously. For those morbid readers with a macabre sense of humor (especially those wishing that I would experience more sprains, fractures, and other gruesome physical problems) I must disappoint you; this wasn't for me. No, this time it was Trey. Actually, Trey has been the most healthy of us all. This is only the second time he has been to the hospital since birth (the first being the time I accidentally pulled his arm out of joint; that was back in the Cincinnati days).

To get my children so hyper they can barely fall asleep, I have a nightly routine involving running pell-mell through the house to their bedrooms. The winner of the race must make it up on top of the bed before the other contestants. This is a very competitive time and so Trey and Kassady get pretty pumped up before we take off. I even announce the race, making up statistics and nicknames for each of us. I know, I don't get out much. Anyway, last night after brushing his teeth, Trey was running to the starting line, which is in the hall beside our bedroom. His feet slipped out from under him and while his momentum carried him forward, he crashed into the corner of the wall. He hit his back rather hard and crumpled in a heap, screaming. It left quite a welt on his lower back, but eventually he was up and ready to run. In fact, he won the race last night (mainly because he employed drafting, a NASCAR-like technique whereby he grabs the back of my pants and while slowing me down, rockets around me).

Well, he tried to get up this morning and couldn't. I heard him crying and ran into the room, where he was laying on his stomach holding the back of his head. He told me that he couldn't stand up or even sit up. He said when he tried the back of his head began hurting really bad. I tested him, by saying that he wasn't going to be able to go to school unless he was able to walk. That got him up, but he immediately screamed, clutched the back of his head, and fell down. I tried to help get him dressed, but he couldn't even sit up without his head hurting. To be honest with you, it scared me. Lori was working at the church so I had her come home so I could take Trey in to the emergency room. On the way over to the hospital, Trey asked if he was going to get a shot. He said, "That's my most not favorite part about going to the hospital". Fortunately, he didn't have to get a shot. They just took some X-rays, which thankfully turned out negative. The doctor's diagnosis is that he sprained his back and neck, which was causing him to spasm. He said Trey should be up and around in no time.

As of this posting, Trey is doing much better. He is pretty bummed out that he missed a day of school.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Saga of the Great Pumpkin

As you prepare for the busy Halloween season, try to get this scary image out of your head.
Thanks, Royce, for the excellent photography.

Just Being Candid

I have spent most of the day in Boise at Kiddie Kandids, a photography studio for children. Lori received a gift certificate to the mall and decided she wanted new pictures of Trey and Kassady. So, I found myself shouting out phrases intended to inspire an attitude of restraint in my children as they cavorted around the waiting area with the other rug rats:

"Don't touch that!"
"Kassady, don't hit that nice boy!"
"No! Get out from behind the counter!"
"Trey! Stop! You're going to hurt him!"
"Stop, man! I knew that was going to happen."
"Kassady! You're not supposed to climb up there."
"Kassady! I said don't hit that boy!"
"That's not made for eating...put it back on the floor."
"Awwww, Kass...what are you doing? What has got into you?"
"Stop hitting that boy!"
...and so forth.

I don't know what it is about waiting for pictures that brings out the worst in children. I like to believe that my kids are well-behaved. They're not angels, I admit, but they aren't raging maniacs; you know the kind of kids who scream, whine, and blatantly disobey. They are usually well-mannered and proper. But, for some reason, every time we enter a photography studio their energy level quadruples and they start climbing the walls. This is when I am so thrilled to be married to calm, cool, collected Lori. My blood pressure is rising, my temples throbbing, minutes away from a meltdown, when Lori gently reminds me that I shouldn't be so upset, since obviously the children have inherited their energetic (read: bad) traits from their Daddy. That really calms me down...yep, works everytime. Actually, Lori has a knack for defusing those tense situations and she put it to use. By the time we got back to the studio, the kids were ready to cheese and pose. As you can see, we ended up with some good shots:

My name is John Daker

For one of our final songs last night, Doran cued up our cover of the popular Mosie Lister song, "Still Feelin' Fine". There was only one problem: I don't know all the words. So, as a tribute to last evenings performance I present "My name is John Daker".
Just for the record, being home is an under-rated luxury.