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A Free Soul - Adventures with WordPress - Part 2

Ceiling Fans – Removal and Installation

In the midst of all the drama around Dad’s Toshiba laptop and my Lexmark645 Printer  and the VISTA driver problem, Mom decides she it’s time to remove the ceiling fan in the kitchen and replace it with a new one.

The fan on the current one works when it chooses – and in my mother’s world, that’s a no-no!  So, in between dealing with the Lexmark and Toshiba folks, I’m helping Dad install the ceiling fan.  Not because it’s so hard of a job, because he’s 84 and his doctors have told him to stay off ladders and scaffolds because of his knees and back. However, his doctors don’t live with my mother.  She tells Dad what to do and he does –  it up to a point.  When his knees and back really start to bother him – he gets an attitude and starts cursing more and says he’s had enough for the day and isn’t doing any more.  He usually sticks to that.

Even though I don’t like working with electricity, I’ve put up several ceiling fans by myself and with girlfriends. I’m called downstairs to make heads and tails out of the wiring instructions.  There are four wires in the ceiling fan mount and 5 from the ceiling.  the diagram points to the black from the ceiling fan attaches to BOTH black wires from the ceiling, the blue goes to one white, the white goes from fan goes to one white in the ceiling and the green from the fan goes to the green (the ground) in the ceiling.  There’s a red one which attaches to nothing since we only have ONE wall switch.

Dad and I debate about WHICH one of the ceiling whites the blue fan wire goes to.  My suggestion is to put it to one and if that doesn’t work, switch them.  Of course the first method is incorrect.  The second time it works – perfectly.

Mom looks at the fan to be discarded and decided she’d like to have those blades on a fan in another room.  She will make a project out of ANYTHING!  Then she says she’d love to have the housing off the old fan on this new one we’ve just hung.  Me and my big mouth tell her she should be able to do that because in the old days, those parts didn’t come pre-assembled like this one and you should be able take it apart.  I proceeded to show her where the screws were to do that.  My father gave me the raised eye look and then shook his head and smiled.

Dad says he’s done for the day.  He knows I don’t like working with electricity so I’m done for the day too.  I’ll help him or he can help me, I WILL NOT work with electricity by myself.  And YES the electricity to the fan was turned OFF!

Adventures with LEXMARK & VISTA – Part Three

I wish I could say this is the FINAL installment of this series – however, it’s not.

I woke up this morning with Dad’s computer on my mind.  After we chit-chatted a bit I opened up the laptop and looked at the message, then wrote it down because I was going to Google it to find out what the remedies were.  Then I got indignant and decided it was Lexmark’s problem to resolve because one of their technicians caused it.  I called Lexmark.  Got Josh this time.  Gave the trouble report number.  He said Ram wasn’t there.  I said that was OK because I wanted to speak with a supervisor.  If you got me a supervisor ,he did.  Josh said the supervisor was BUSY and he would ask him to call me back.  If you called me, a Lexmark supervisor did.

I call Toshiba.  After making it through the automated menu, I’m on  hold.  My mind tells me to use the F8 key again and this time to really look at the options.  So I do.  Hey, there’s an option which says Restore to last good Boot config.  I say wonderful let me do that.  I do.  Back to the loop.  Makes sense.  It boots up.  It loads Windows.  But goes not further – somethings wrong with the client.

A Toshiba tech is now on the line.  I give him the trouble report number.  I tell him I’m on the  F8 screen.  He asks me what I’ve already tried.  I tell him.  I say I wonder what this Repair Computer button does.  I say it can’t hurt to try it at this point.   And lo’ and behold – it give me all of the various System RESTORE options. with one I understand. Restore Points! Hurray.

He and I have some discussion as to what today’s date is – It’s July 17th here 10 something AM.  Where he is it is still the 16th!!!  I say July 15th is the day.  He suggests a Restore Point prior.  I look at the options and choose the 15th around Noon since the problem didn’t occur until later that evening.  I press the button.  Toshiba Tech tells me it will take awhile so he’s going to go.  Do I need anything further.  NO?  Well, be sure to check out the online solutions at . . . I say, if I could get online we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  He laughs and we hang up.

A few minutes later, there’s a message box on the screen which says the Restore Points has worked successfully and Press OK to continue.  I press OK.  The system reboots.  A few minutes later there is the desktop.


Adventures with Lexmark & VISTA – Part Two

Did I mention I hate VISTA?

7:56pm My cellphone says, “Call from Mama and Daddy. Call from Mama and Daddy.” Even though it’s 4 minutes until my blogtalkradio Talkshow, No Out There, I pick up the phone. After all, it IS my parents. At ages 80 and 84, anything could be going on. I flip the phone open with one hand and it closes just as quickly terminating the call.

I vow to get back to it as soon as the show is over. I shouldn’t have answered anyway. It’s time for my show with Jorj Elprehzleinn talking about Life Transformation System Z (if you want to know more about this, visit www.no-out-there.com. I have fun on the show. Jorj is funny, enthusiastic and informative. The hour passes quickly.

9:05pm. I call Mom and Dad. Mom answers. She says, “Your father was having trouble with his computer.” “What?”, I ask incredulously. “He says he keeps getting some message and he can’t get in”, she replies. Dad gets on the phone.

“Nina, is your show over?”, asks Dad. Nina is my father’s nickname for me. He’s called me that since I was a child. “I can’t get into the computer. I keep getting this same ‘Access denied’ message.” “OK” I say and then ask, “Are you going to be awake for a while?”

9:11pm Dad: “What time is it?”

Me laughing: “I’m not going to tell you that. You may decide it’s past your bedtime.”

Daddy laughing, “No, I’ll be up for awhile. I took my nap today.”

Me: “Give me about 20 minutes. I’ll come down and see.” We live in a 2-flat apartment building. I live upstairs. When they come in the summer – they live downstairs. A WONDERFUL arrangement. We’re together, yet not together.

9:38pm I go downstairs. The computer is off. I press the Power button. The Windows Vista icon appears in the center of the screen. The Windows Vista chime sounds. Then there in the middle of the beautiful Seafoam Green screen the following message appears: The Group Policy Client service failed to logon. Access denied. Underneath the message is an OK button. I press it.

The screen disappeared and reappeared. VISTA is looping.

The Windows Vista icon appeared in the center of the screen. The Windows Vista chime sounded. Then there in the middle of the beautiful Seafoam Green screen the following message appeared: The Group Policy Client service failed to logon. Access denied. Underneath the message is an OK button. I pressed it.

I repeat this ritual 2-3 more times each time the same result.

I KNOW this has something to do with the Ram and Remote Assistance. I go over last night in my head. Didn’t we stay online after the last time he restarted? We printed that page and then logged out? I had to reset Dad’s homepage from Toshiba to Netzero so he could get his mail. Why was it at Toshiba’s home page anyway? I saw it twice when Ram was doing something – maybe it came up after he deleted one of those files. I wish I had read that page.

I call Lexmark. Get somebody named Ren. I thought he said Ram. He says Ram isn’t working today. I tell him what occurred. I give him the error message. He gives me the party line about this is a Microsoft problem. I say, “YOUR guy Ram caused this. He must’ve deleted a file that VISTA needed.” Ren asks me for the error message. i tell him. He says, “No problem. I will help you. If this does not fix the problem, then you have two options: contact either Microsoft or the manufacturer of the computer.” He then has me repeat the ritual from last night until HE understands it’s looping!!! He then says to completely shut down the computer, when immediately after I restart it – press F8 and keep pressing it.. I get a black screen with white characters with words I understand: SAFE MODE, SAFE MODE with Networking, SAFE MODE with Command Prompt. AH, now we’re cooking with gas. He says to choose Safe Mode. I do. The system restarts . Nothing different happens. Same error message. I do it again and this time select SAFE Mode with Command Prompt. Same thing. Then Ren says, “There is nothing more I can do. This not a Lexmark printer problem it is a VISTA software problem.” I take the number to Microsoft.

I call Microsoft and get Anne. I didn’t ask her how she spelled it. Her accent told me her name probably wasn’t Ann either. I left it alone. I tell Anne the error message and about the looping. She says, “No problem. I can help you.” She asks for the requisite information; name, Genuine Microsoft VISTA number. Dad, where’s the disk? What disk? Here are all the disks I brought with me. Mom looks through the stack. Hands it to me. No disk. I tell Dad he should have gotten a disk with all the preloaded software on there OR a separate disk for each individual software preloaded. He says he didn’t get that or it must be in Arizona. Anne who has heard all of this then says, well, you can request paid technical support $59.95 per incident or I can give you the number to Toshiba. Then she asks if I want the per incident technical support. I say no, because if they need that disk – the VISTA disk, we’re outta’ luck so what’s the point?

She asks if I want the number to Toshiba. I say yes. She gives it to me then says it’s probably a Toshiba problem anyway because even though VISTA is a Microsoft product companies purchase it and make changes to it so it can work on their laptops/computers. I understand. She says she thought I would.

Now I’m steaming. Been through this before with some other system. Each company passes the buck. Eventually the problem is remedied by ME or the computer owner shelling out hundreds of dollars. I’m committed that something different happen this time, however, it doesn’t look good at this point.

10:05pm I call back to Lexmark. I’ve decided to ask for a supervisor to REPORT this. They’re closed!!! I call Toshiba. He asks my name – doesn’t give his. I’m past the point of being friendly and polite and don’t ask for his. He requests the serial number off the BOTTOM of the laptop. I notice the Genuine Microsoft VISTA sticker there too!!! I tell Dad, if you have to talk with Microsoft. THIS and I point to the sticker is the information they want. He asks which set of numbers. I say, give them ALL. Let them figure it out!

After getting my Dad’s information AND they us the computer is under warranty until Feb someteen 2009. GREAT! I explain Lexmark and the error message. He looks it up and asks for the Restore Disk. I tell him we have no disk. Then he says the restore disk for this computer wasn’t released until June 30th 2008 and it cost $39.99. Do I want to order it? I say, “NO.” I want this computer fixed. He says, “No problem.” Whereupon he asks me to shut down reboot and press F8. He too suggests safe Mode. I tell him I did that already with the Lexmark folks. He asks what happened. I tell him. He asks me to do it anyway. Then he asks if there are any important files on this computer. I say probably not and check with Dad. He says he doesn’t think so. The Toshiba tech then says he recommends we restore back to the store defaults. I say without that disk we can do nothing. Again he asks if we want to purchase it. I look at Dad. He looks bewildered. I say we’ll sleep on it and call in the morning.

We call it a night and shut down the computer.


Adventures with LEXMARK & VISTA – Part One

I want to begin by saying I HATE Windows VISTA. I don’t hate much in this world. I do hate Vista.

Having said that . . . as you know if you’ve been to this website before, Mom and Dad are here in Chicago for the Summer – which for them this year is lasting until October!!! Dad is 84, Mom turns 81 November 11th – Veteran’s Day. She’s fond of saying she gives everyone in the the U.S. the day off for her birthday. She also says she’s ’10 days older than God’! When I was younger I used to believe her!!!

Anyway, Dad has a new Toshiba Laptop which he purchased in February at Mom’s insistence – it was on sale! They made this purchase AFTER I left their home (they live in Arizona) in January returning to Chicago from my Xmas vacation. Why they waited until AFTER I left is beyond me because there’s no way I can help Dad with it without difficulty – if he runs into trouble, which he usually does! Mom says he has the’ fickle finger’.

So while Dad has a nice new Lexmark 1300 series printer in Arizona, here I have a Lexmark 645 several years old and working very nicely with my IBM laptop, thank you very much. It also works well with my Compaq Presario which I RARELY turn on these days. And it works swimmingly with my brother’s Dell laptop. Bottom line: the 645 WORKS!

So the saga . . . well, after downloading the Lexmark 645 Driver for VISTA and unsuccessfully installing it – I call Lexmark. Of course ALL of that is AFTER I tried to load the 645 XP driver onto the VISTA system – I HAD to do that – didn’t I?

Didn’t have to wait too long for Support to get on the line – Okay so far. He says his name is, “Ram”. Because of his accent, I’m sure it’s not and I tell him that. We both laugh. After obtaining all my pertinent information: name, phone no., product serial number – he asks, “How can we help you?”

“I’ve had trouble installing the Lexmark 645 driver for the VISTA system. It goes so far and then stalls.”

He says, “No problem Llenar. We can help you with this.” Then he directs me to the Lexmark website. “For what?”, I ask. “That’s where I got this driver .”

Ram asks me the name of the file. I tell him. I say, “To humor you, I’m here at the website and about to download it’s asking me if I want to overwrite the file I loaded previously.”

He says, “OK. You don’t have to do that”. “Thanks”, I reply.

At this point, it gets kinda’ hairy. Following Ram’s instructions, I’ve got to go into the printers, drivers file, delete the contents of folder 3. 3 files refuse to be deleted. He says, “OK”. Shut down and restart.

System restarts. Ram directs me to, “Print anything”. I open NOTEPAD, type ‘THIS IS A TEST, press PRINT and – nothing. Ram says not to worry. He directs me go to START–>Programs and look for the Lexmark folder – it’s missing the Solutions Center. He asks me to do a couple of other things, deleting files, shutting down and restarting. Producing the same result – no printing.

He then requests to take over the system – do remote troubleshooting – I hesitate. I’ve not had good results from this in the past. I look at my Dad – he trusts my decision. “Go ahead” I say, rationalizing he needs to complete a course online, he is under time limit within which to complete the course and may need to print pages to study so WE NEED THIS PRINTER TO WORK- ASAP!

Well, Ram, did his magic. At one point he began moving swiftly. He deleted those files in folder 3 again. He downloaded some file and installed it. He did something and suddenly the desktop was a different color, the assistance mechanical voice started talking, the Toshiba webpage suddenly appeared. Ram kept right on working, shut down, restart. He did a few more things, i.e. went to add printer, established it as a local printer, added the Lexmark Solution Center,. This time he opens Notepad, types LEXMARK TEST PRINT and voila, I hear the mechanical man’s voice say, “Printing started”. And it had.

Ram next tells us that he’s going to return control back to us. We say thank you, give’s me the the trouble report number – just in case – and reminds me to check out Lexmark on the web for solutions.

Dad signs up for his course, we get an error message on the course print out page. I’m back on the phone again to Lexmark and just as Support comes on I realize maybe the error is the issue of the Arizona website and not the printer. I open up one of Dad’s e-mails and am able to print that. Lexmark support is happy everything is resolved.

Dad shuts down the computer for the night.

Friend Blaster Pro for MySpace

I HAVE used this product. It is relatively easy to use!!! IF I CAN DO IT . . . well you know the rest.

Don’t believe me? That’s OK. You can prove it to yourself.

Download the trial. Check it out!

On My Bookshelf – test of pre-posting

I posted this on most of my other blogs. I was answering a request from one of the members of one of the Social Networks I’m on. She said she wanted to learn more about metaphysics.

These are some of the titles on my bookshelf – and yes – I have real all of these.

Books by authors Catherine Ponder, Florence Scovell Shinn, Ervin Seale, DeVorss, and of course, anything by Carlos Castaneda!

You may already know about Ernest Holmes and the Science of Mind.

Seed Money in Action – Jon P. Speller

You – Francis Wilshire

The Secret of Perfect Living – James T. Mangan

The Message of a Master – John McDonald

The Way of the Wizard – Deepak Chopra

The Wisdom of the Self – Paul Ferrini

The Silence of the Heart – Paul Ferrini

Why is the Happening to Me . . . Again? – michael ryce http://www.whyagain.com

The Fourth Way – P.D. Ouspensky

The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution – P.D. Ouspensky

The Divine Milieu – Teilhard de Chardin

The Future of Man – Teilhard de Chardin

Early books by Wayne Dyer and Leo Buscaglia.

I forgot The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

books by Charles Fillmore founder of Unity

Lessons in Truth – H. Emilie Cady

I also highly recommend for women The Sorcerer’s Crossing – Taisha Abelar It is truly profound.

Leonard Orr – Breaking the Death Habit

Happiness is Free – Dwoskin Levenson

Pre-posting – how does that work again?

I swear, and yes at this point I do mean I SWEAR, I’ve created posts that were supposed to be sent out on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of July. ALL of them were still sitting here this morning. Is there something I’m not doing correctly?

I thought I was supposed to click EDIT right next to Publish immediately. Put in the future or PAST date I wish and then press Save. Is that the error? Should I press Publish instead. If memory serves me correctly, I thought I EDITed with a future date, pressed PUBLISH and it published at that moment.

Well, I’m going to experiment. I’m going to write a post for tomorrow and use the EDIT, future date, PUBLISH and we’ll all know.

If that doesn’t work, I’m going to search WordPress for some instructions – which I did in the past. However, at this moment, I don’t remember the answer.

Power to the People – Give the people what they want.

I had the privilege of listening to a webinar tonite and then later was in a conversation with my Internet marketing coach and friend Jonn. We happened to be joined by another friend Mary who began sharing her venture into selling on the Internet.

Well, having been coached by Jonn all these months and having just listened to the webinar as I listened to Mary tell me us she had her domain name already and was trying to decide what product she wanted to sell, trip vouchers or digital products (Internet marketing info CDs, DVDs, mp3 audios, etc.) I had to speak up.

“Mary,” I said, “I just got off a webinar and the guy said what I heard at a live seminar I attended, what Jonn has been telling me all this time and what Mr. Collins told me years ago – GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT.”

The webinar presenter said, ” Marketing comes FIRST. Find a market first, find out exactly what they ALREADY WANT, sell them EXACTLY WHAT THEY ALREADY WANT.”

At the seminar I attended last November, they said to “find out what words that market is using to searching for their products” then use those words in your DOMAIN name. Jonn added, “AND use those words in the first 200 CHARACTERS of your webpage”.

Lessons in saving.

My folks purchased a used refrigerator today. When they got it home, mom noticed it didn’t have one shelf, the vegetable bins aren’t the ones that go with it and some shelves are missing from the freezer – yet it does work! Oh yeah, and it’s Frostless – or whatever is the correct name when it doesn’t have to be defrosted.

I’m mentioning this because I became aware of some of my own habits around money.

They had seen a refrigerator at another location that cost $14 dollars more, which did have all it’s shelves. To save $14 dollars. Mom loves a bargain.

Yet, I look at that and see the cost of saving $14 dollars. Having to make do with a put together rack which is too short and no shelves in the freezer. Oh well.

Like they said, it’s only for the summer. They can go home to Arizona and their nice large refrigerator/freezer with ice maker.

Keyword saga

I noticed I have a keyword category. That brings back horrible memories of working with Wordtracker and the folks over at IEC. (I’m shaking my head.) Oh, that was stressful. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. Or so I thought.

And it’s not like they were doing anything wrong, nor was I. Maybe we just didn’t speak the same language.

I’ve been working with SeoTools, which I think is powered by Wordtracker. I’m getting the same data – just now I understand what I’m looking for – a combination of phrases which include my keyword and has an OVERALL daily average between 175-300.