AMAZING

Last night, shortly before I wanted to go to bed, I decided to grab a few corn chips from a bag that I had opened earlier. It was supposed to be a tiny snack to keep me from feeling hungry as I tried to sleep. In a display of excellence, I managed to get exactly two chips in my mouth in just the right orientation and position so that when I bit down, the chips were able to pinch the inside of my cheek. I experienced a sharp lightning bolt of pain before feeling the chips finally break into pieces and release my cheek flesh. How the hell is anyone this clumsy?

Still smarting from the pain, I stopped eating and drank some water. I was finishing up watching a YouTube video and when it ended, I moved my tongue over the area that had been pinched. I didn’t feel too much discomfort but what I definitely did feel was a bump, a pretty large one. I got up and went into my bathroom to look at a mirror to figure out what was going on in my mouth. The corn chip pinch had caused a sizable blood blister to appear. At this point, I had to chuckle at my amazing ability to get injured in such a stupid fashion. Anyone can just bite their own tongue or the inside of their mouth with their teeth but no, I managed to injure myself using two corn chips as weapons.

I wanted to pop the blood blister immediately but I then vaguely recalled reading that wasn’t the recommended action. Using everyone’s favourite doctor, I consulted the Internet and the prevailing advice was to leave it. The blister wasn’t causing me any pain so I left it. I was able to brush my teeth without it interfering. I went to bed hoping it wouldn’t pop while I slept. When I woke up, I went to look at the blister in the mirror and it was still there, the same size as before.

Because it didn’t hurt or get in the way of eating, I basically went about my day normally. I even forgot about it at one point. Once in a while, I’d slide my tongue over it just to see if it was there. I came home from work, ate dinner, and had a normal evening. About an hour ago, I went to look at it in the mirror again. It was gone. If it popped, I didn’t taste or feel it. You’d think I’d have tasted it or noticed a ball of blood exploding into my mouth but I did not. Maybe it just healed during the day and it went away on its own without popping? I can’t be sure.

I’m a bit concerned it did pop and infection might be a possibility. I swapped it with rubbing alcohol and it didn’t really hurt at all, so I’m guessing there are no exposed nerves. I guess that’s a good sign?

Anyways, I’m super tired and I want to get some sleep. Don’t be a moron and eat corn chips improperly like I did.

SECURITY CONCERNS

About an hour ago I tried to log into my WordPress to write a post. I couldn’t event get the log-in screen to come up. There was an error message say something about the site administrators not allowing such an action. I’d never seen that before.

I went to my hosting company’s web site to get some support. They have live support 24/7 which is convenient. I started up a chat window and it took the support person about fifteen minutes to look into my specific site to see what the issue was. Apparently they had disabled the log-in for my WordPress installation because of security concerns. This of course alarmed me so I asked for more details. I was told that it was nothing to do with my site specifically but they had disabled many such sites on their shared hosting because of possible DDoS attacks. They re-enabled my site log-in, which is why you’re reading this now. Alright, well that was fun.

LOCAL RAMEN

There’s a retail space below my apartment that has sat empty for a few months now. It used to be a Filipino restaurant but it went out of business in less than four months of operation. I didn’t even get a chance to go inside before they packed up and left.

Early this week, some signs went in that space. A ramen restaurant is going to be there soon. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’ve had some interesting experiences with ramen the last few years. Will this new ramen place also make me poop right afterwards? Time will have to tell. I plan on trying this place as soon as it opens. The good news is that since I basically live a one minute walk from there, I can run home immediately after my meal and wait it out. This is going to be so fun!

PROBLEM SOLVED

I returned home this evening expecting that all my computer woes were behind me. I turned on the machine, only to see it fail to boot into Windows once again. Unbelievable. Before I let dismay completely wash over me, I somehow was able to produce a semi-logical thought in my brain. Software doesn’t just degrade over time. Windows was working last night, there should be no reason why it wouldn’t just because some time had passed. What if it wasn’t a software problem?

I then remembered that about six or seven years ago, my computer also failed to boot and it was because of my stupid Blu-ray drive. Back then, I theorized that my old power supply couldn’t supply enough power to my motherboard and the disc drive at the same and that somehow prevented Windows from starting. I had disconnected the drive and everything worked again. About three years ago, I upgraded my power supply to something a bit beefier and I plugged the drive back in. The problem went away.

I’m guessing this new motherboard draws more power than my old one so now I’m back to the same old problem. Anyways, with the disc drive disconnected once again, my system returned to normal operation. Not having an optical drive isn’t really a big deal I suppose as I did survive without one before. If need be, I can also buy a new one that surely uses less power than this one, which was one of the very early Blu-ray drives on the market for PCs.

Anyways, I’m sure there will be no more problems my computer going forward. Right?

THE SAGA CONTINUES

I arrived home this evening expecting to do a whole bunch of downloading and installing programs to get my computer right where it needed to be. Alas, it was not to be. I turned on my computer and Windows 10 would not boot. It just sat on a black screen with a swirly thing going round and round. I consulted the Internet and ran a few diagnostic programs. Some of them said nothing was wrong. A few of them said they knew something was wrong, didn’t know what specifically and couldn’t fix it. I was tired of futzing with it so I chose the option to reset the installation and re-install Windows 10 again. To Microsoft’s credit, it’s amazing that you can just completely re-install Windows from a diagnostic program without needing any install discs or files. It basically deleted the previous installation and then re-installed itself.

Of course this new turn of events put me back basically 24 hours in time. I had to redo all the crap I did last night. What a pain. Luckily, since it was the second time around, things went a bit faster and I avoided all the pitfalls the first time around. Everything seems ok now but who knows what tomorrow will bring. I should really just go back to the Commodore 64.

FINALLY

Wow, what an ordeal. Within minutes of publishing last night’s post I tried another method to get Windows 7 to install on my new machine. It worked to my surprise but by the time the installation finished, it was late so I had to stop there. I was pleased because I didn’t think it would require much more work to get things to a final and working state. Boy, I was wrong there.

After getting home from work this evening, I started the computer and then had to install some drivers so I could get Internet access through the new network card. Unfortunately, I chose an “express” install method that also installed a whole bunch of other drivers that made Windows 7 very unstable. It basically ruined the installation and Windows wouldn’t even boot up again. I had to re-install Windows 7 again, which was tedious and time-consuming. Once I got a fresh install, I made sure just to install the network driver and nothing else. At this point I was able to begin the downloading of Windows 10. The whole thing was pretty much on auto-pilot for this portion of the ordeal. Once Windows 10 was downloaded, it installed itself and I thought I was in the clear. I was wrong.

I noticed something was wrong when Windows 10 rebooted itself for the first time after it installed. It would freeze and become unresponsive for about 30 seconds and then I’d have about five seconds to do something (open a window, click on a link) before it’d freeze again. It was like using a computer in slow motion. I eventually got the task manager open and it showed me that my Windows drive was at 100% utilization nearly all the time. This was causing the system to freeze. I looked up the problem on my laptop and luckily I discovered the solution was to update another set of drivers. It took about ten minutes to open up file explorer and double-click the driver installation program but it worked.

I have a stable Windows 10 installation now and it only took a grand total of about five hours (one hour last night and four tonight). Now I get to install all the programs I had on my old computer. It’s getting late now so that will have to wait for tomorrow. I am, however, very thankful I was able to get to this point.

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS

This afternoon I installed all the new computer parts I ordered over the last few weeks. The new motherboard fit into the case with a bit more room than I had anticipated, which was a nice surprise. With everything in place, I plugged in the bare minimum of cables for the first power-on test, namely just the video card connection, a mouse, and a keyboard. When I hit the power switch, I waited a few seconds to hear one and only one beep, which signaled that the system detected no faults on initial boot up. In the BIOS screen I was also pleased to see the CPU temperature was quite reasonable and within the average that other people were reporting for the same CPU.

With the initial test passed, my next goal was to do a bare bones installation of Windows 7 and then immediately upgrade to Windows 10 via a legal and free but somewhat shady method. To begin, I grabbed my Windows 7 Pro disc, which I bought from Microsoft so many years ago. The Windows 7 installation pretty much ground to a halt almost immediately. I was trying to install Windows 7 to my SSD but back when Windows 7 was released, SSDs weren’t really a common thing. As such, the installation program doesn’t really know what to do with it and just basically refused to install.

I have a few options at this point. The first is to continue to look at ways to solve this problem. I’ve discovered one new option to try that I haven’t explored already. I could also try installing it to a regular, old mechanical hard drive but I’d then have to clone the installation back to my SSD before upgrading to Windows 10. I also don’t have an extra HDD lying around. The last option is just to bite the bullet and buy a copy of Windows 10. It will for sure know how to deal with SSDs and I won’t have to deal with any more frustrations. I know a few people who work at Microsoft who can get my a copy for cheap but I don’t see them very often. If I bought it at regular price, it’d set me back about $100.

Well, at least nothing has blown up so far.

WORK IN PROGRESS

I’m currently typing this from my old and under-powered laptop computer as my desktop is now partially disassembled. I took apart the case, removed the various cards off the motherboard, detached the CPU cooler from the CPU, and then removed the motherboard from the case itself. The case itself was full of dust so I had to thoroughly vacuum the inside. I didn’t even realize that I had a removable and washable air filter in the case. I removed it for the first time tonight and it had built up a solid wall of dust. Bleh.

Tomorrow I’m going to take my new motherboard and install the new CPU on it. They say that modern motherboards now make the CPU installation process idiot- and fool-proof but it still makes me nervous. If I get past that step, the next one will be to apply new thermal paste onto the CPU and attach the CPU cooler. After that, it should be time to put the motherboard into the case but I just realized tonight that the fit is going to be super tight. This is an ATX sized board and the one I had before was mini-ATX so there won’t be any room for wiggling. I’ll probably have to connect all the cords, dongles, connectors and stuff before placing the board into the case. There’s just not enough room for my hand to get into those spots to plug in everything. This will probably be a pain in the ass.

I’m hoping my new computer will be up and running by sometime on Tuesday evening.

SMOKY

The greater Vancouver area has been blanketed by heat and a layer of smoke for the last week or so. Usually the visibility on a hot summer day without clouds is in the vicinity of kilometers in every direction. I can normally see Mount Baker to the south and Mount Seymour to the north. This week the mountains have disappeared and a layer of smoke hangs in the air, all of this from the wildfires burning across this province.

The smoke has gotten so bad there is now an air quality warning that has been issued across British Columbia, including Vancouver. I’m not sure if it’s because I was recovering from a common cold last week, if it’s just the smoke, or a combination of both but I’ve been suffering with a mild cough for the last few days. It sorta feels like a cough you might get when you’re sick but it’s also somewhat different. I’m having a difficult time trying to explain it.

I don’t think I could live in a mega-city with constant smog problems, like Beijing. I also feel for the dinosaurs, they must have had it pretty rough when that asteroid hit. I wonder how dinosaurs coughed.

I was told the name of the movie would not appear on the hotel bill