Monday, March 28, 2016

A to Z Challenge, Unicorn Bell, Backing up Data...

...Updates, Conspiracies,, and the descent into Madness.

A to Z Challenge blogfest is huge, a monster. I participated in 2011 and a two more years after that. Don’t think the word challenge is there for looks because it is most definitely hard. Not only posting every day except Sundays, but commenting on other posts every day as well. But when it’s done, you’ve made new friends and experienced new outlooks on life. Plus instilled a discipline in your writing. Good stuff all around.

Over at Unicorn Bell—our writer’s blog—we are participating in this year’s Challenge. The eight moderators are taking turns posting each day, commenting on blogs, and bringing new perspectives to the game. Check in and see how we do.

Backing up info. My OCD comes out when backing up my documents, files, financial records, photos, and emails. I am
nothing if not redundant. Since I have Amazon Prime, I let it back up photos and docs. Google catches docs also. Norton makes my system image and backs up all of the above as well.

I have a Seagate 2 terabyte external drive for most stuff and use Google Cloud, Amazon Cloud drive, ICloud as backups for the backups of the backups.

Can’t be too safe with your important records.

HealthcareDotGov. The cost of our individual health insurance became unsustainable when it went from $500 a month to $1200 in four years, forcing us into the Obamacare marketplace.

If you’ve heard about the horrors of working through the bureaucratic morass of signing up, believe me it’s all true. I’m still fighting the paperwork.

Win 10. I became a conspiracy theorist—looking over my shoulder—right after I upgraded to Windows 10 and the
subsequent battle to clean it out again.

Rather than allow automatic updates to my computer, I check once a week for anything labeled “Security”. An Important or Optional update always rates another look and research.

One of the updates, KB3035583 is labeled important. Lookee here what it actually is, a way for Microsoft to worm its way back into my ‘puter.

Since I cleaned out the folder containing the mutant Win 10, I discovered it is still knocking on the door wanting in.

Are you an A to Z Challenge Crazy Person? Overindulge in backing up? Have skyrocketing insurance costs? Wonder who is peeking in your computer?Descending into Madness like me? 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Win 10. Do you really want it?

I’m a geek freak. I love new programs and technologies. So I was interested when Microsoft offered the Windows 10 upgrade. Since my computer was six months old with Win 7 OS I was sure it would work.

I hesitated for a while since reports of the horrors of Win 8 are legion. But there was the “free” button, upgrade now and if you don’t like it, well boy howdy, you can go back.

I listened. I upgraded and all was good...for a while. Then stuff began happening. See my progress, from Hey this is cool to What did I do and Baseball Bat 

I said no thanks and went back to good old Win 7. ‘Cuz that’s what they say you can do, right? If you don’t want it, just go back to your old OS. Easy as pie.

Not so fast. The registry of some programs didn’t go back to the restore point. Win 10 stuff stayed. The automatic backup went looney tunes requiring a fix to clean it up.

And there's that darned Window thingy insisting I needed to upgrade to 10, over and over and over again.

It seems Microsoft has tentacles that reach down the throat
of your computer like the thing in Alien and lays its eggs in the body of your ‘puter without you knowing.

Do you see the little box that keeps popping up saying your upgrade is waiting on you? Uh oh, someone’s watching you. Check the updates. If the optional update has a checked box by the Windows 10 upgrade, be careful. You might accidentally download the horror again.

And there is an interesting folder on your computer: $Windows.~BT with a 5 gb stored there. That is your alien growing in your chest. It is waiting for a signal.

“Oh no, not again." - Spaceballs

If you don’t want Microsoft and its minions to be a backseat driver, here are a few sites for more information.

Information on Win 10
How to clean it up

Check out both of these sites before attempting to sort stuff out or delete. I took their advice and turned off the Automatic Updates. If I need to download a security patch, I will do it myself. But no more optional downloads if I don't see the need. 

And ask yourself how much you want that spiny alien watching over your shoulder.

Win 10: Good or bad. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How to Intrigue a Reader

Authors and Writers, Take note. This is the ultimate journey into the mind of a fantastic marketer. Introducing Roland Yeomans to followers of SpiritCalled.


Roland Yeomans, here on my way about the internet not doing a book blog tour. J

In past posts, I have talked of sex (my novel is of a honeymoon cruise you know). Not about me, of course, even though I do write science fiction!

I have talked of romance, and in the words of Ernest Hemingway: “When two love deeply, it never ends well.”

Of course when two do not love deeply, it hardly ends up a bed of roses either!

But I have not talked of alternate history – which is what Steampunk truly is – you seize history and give it a good twist. But real history is twisted enough.

If you walk the ruined corridors of history, you will see that those living in any age had no clue what was truly going on … who the real villains actually were … how many children died needlessly.

But let’s not brood on politics gone astray. Instead let’s focus on why Steampunk is so popular:

On the most basic, most appealing social level, steampunk is a way to masculinize romance. That is to say: Steampunk takes something stereotypically feminine that most boys hate — Victorian lace and frills and tea and crumpets — and says, “Hey, how about some vampires and airships with world that?”

Steampunk basically lets us go back, at least in our imagination, and try again — lets us tap into that sense of wonder at the unfolding universe

that our grandparents might have felt when modern science was just beginning to open up all its incredible new pictures of what the world could be.

Love –
Do we know what is entailed when we marry someone? Do we truly love that person?  Or do we merely love how that person makes us feel?
Is there a love for which we will sail through Hell to save or is that the kind of love that will save us in the end?

(In my best Rod Sterling voice)

Imagine if you would an Earth where unseen factions ruled the world and warred among themselves to gain advantage over the other …
A world where a People from another Dimension walked among humans …
A world where one decent man with the blood of death in his veins tries to keep innocents from dying needlessly as his whole family had … in front of him.

Vampires, Vengeful Spirits of the Earth, Aliens Among Us, and a Man with the Blood of Death in his Veins trying to keep it from being spilled before his honeymoon is over. 

Come join the maiden voyage of the first Air/Steamship, the Xanadu, where murder, intrigue, and betrayal reign supreme ... and that is just in the newlywed's bedroom.

Joining the newlyweds are Mark Twain, 11 year old Nikola Tesla, his faithful black cat, Macak, Horace Greely, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ada Byron, daughter of Lord Byron, and the mysterious Greek physician, Lucanus.

Lurking in the shadows, hoping to kill them is the insane Abraham Lincoln, the crippled General Sherman, the vampires, Abigail Adams and Benjamin Franklin, Empress Theodora, ruler of the Unholy Roman Empire, and the vengeful Captain Nemo, following in his Nautilus.

Steampunk intrigue and adventure was never so much fun.

Find it at Amazon

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG – Politics and Social Issues...

...or how to alienate half your followers

These are the continuing voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 
To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.
Coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. 

Issues divide the country like a pizza. Some like thick crust, others like crispy. Everyone has an opinion. But when vicious name-calling starts and vitriol splashes the headlines, take note and tread lightly. Those people are nuts.

The Democrats are getting Hillary whether they want her or not. Bernie is a likable guy but I don’t see his racecar getting the checkered flag.

Republicans have their own problems. Nuff said.

So who do you like? And what do you think about SCOTUS, abortion, immigration, BLM...


Don’t...for Pete’s Sake, answer those questions!!

Because I can guarantee, you will P. O. a fan or reader.

Have an opinion. Do the research. Be firm in your convictions. Don't cuss contrary views; Discuss. Who knows? Maybe we can exchange ideas and the world will be a better place.

Note to all raccoons that read blogs:   
If you stay out in the wild, the Very Large Dog can’t catch you and probably won’t even try. However, if you come onto my patio to hassle the cats and eat their food, you will die.

With the help of The Lady Who Feeds Him, Ruffian will send you on a one-way trip to the Great Beyond. Even dressed in an L.L Bean, long-flannel nightgown, and flip-flops, The Lady is county and knows what to do and how to do it.

What do you think about the varmints taking advantage of your good nature? 

And what about those raccoons also?

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