January 13th, 2007


The good and the bad

The good is that I sold my piano and my dishwasher. That's less to worry about when I move. The bad is that the loan that was approved for me was ripped out from under. The lender decided to make no more loans on mobile homes. Fortunately, the sales person hunted down another lender who thinks there will be no problem. I talked to the guy the other day and he did a preliminary approval. Now I just need to get the papers in the mail, fill them out, send them in. Should work.

The delays on the house just keep coming. One problem with this is that I have a tendency to do nothing else until an issue like this is resolved. Until I know the path (I don't know when I will have to be out of the house and away, for example), my mind is in flux and I don't like to take on other things in my life. "I'll wait until I'm in the new house," I tell myself. At this point, though, I think it would be well for me to tackle the other things.

The other bad. I dropped my external hard drive the other day. It went into impossible loud spin land. Destroyed. I offered it on freecycle and when I got a taker I asked him if he manages to recover the files would he make copies for me. It is full of photographs, nothing else, so there isn't any privacy issue. He said he'd be glad to do that if he succeeds in saving the drive. I know how very difficult it is to repair a hard drive, though. Of course if he does repair it, it's still his.

The other good. This slow move means that I am gradually sorting through things, getting rid of stuff, storing stuff, and contemplating how what's left will be arranged in my new house. I am rearranging what is left in my "office" area and trying it out. It's good for me to have this opportunity, this long-term "clean sweep".

Internet Explorer 7 possible issue

I have encountered an odd problem since I upgraded to Internet Explorer 7. Frequently, the first time I go to the web, I can't get to my home page. When I refresh, the page shows up. Similarly, often when I click on a link in an email, thereby opening IE, the page often is not found. Again, if I refresh, it works. It seems like the problem is related to opening IE.

I have just begun to explore the possible problem. I went to the Microsoft IE support page and read this question and answer:

Q. My favorite websites don't load correctly, or don't seem to work at all in Internet Explorer 7. What should I do?
A.If you encounter a site which does not recognize Internet Explorer 7, a new tool known as the User Agent String Utility has been created to help you work around the problem. The utility comes in the form of a small executable that opens an Internet Explorer 7 instance that emulates Internet Explorer 6 by sending the Internet Explorer 6 user agent string. It also provides a mechanism for you to report problem web sites to Microsoft so that we can follow up with the affected site owners. Download the tool here.

Of course this question does not define my particular problem. I quote the answer, nevertheless, because of the way it's written. An IT person would have no trouble with it and I can work it out, but most people would get thrown almost at the start.

"The utility..."

Stop right there. A LOT of people don't understand what "a utility" is.

"...comes in the form of a small executable.."

Holy s**t. A small "executable"? Criminy. Couldn't they have written "a small program", for example?

"...opens an Internet Explorer instance that emulates Internet Explorer 6..."

In other words, it makes IE7 act like IE6? Why not just say that?

"...sending the Internet Explorer 6 user agent string. .."

user agent string? Is a typical person going to get that??

It is because of answers like this that I find it frustrating to plow through help files. However, I will be investigating this issue and seeing if there is an answer - or if the problem is, instead, on my end.

Strange Piece of Paradise

I am careening to the end of a rather large paperback book: Strange Piece of Paradise, by Terri Jentz. It has gotten a lot of play in the last year. It's the personal story of a woman who was attacked while camping in Oregon by a man with an axe. After many years of quiet, Terri felt herself drawn to her history in an effort to understand what she had become, and this book is the result.

I both like it and dislike it. I've been writing a review of it, which I will finish when I turn the last page and will post here. I haven't yet decided whether I will release it in the wild, keep it, or give it to a specific person.