F 1 D 0 -- 02 01 21 at 10 50

Sunday at Guru's place.

I spent a lot of time on transit yesterday.
It would have been a good day to bring my
bicycle, I think, in retrospect.

Today there is lots of snow.

You see, this morning I've woke to see a
few inches of snow. Pretty white fluffy
snow. Now in a day or so, it will become
Toronto Snow. Grey, salty and hidden ice
within. For now though, I can appreciate
its quiet loveliness.

Yesterday was such a busy day!

I woke to a phone call from Shelley. I didn't
answer, as the first waking phone call has
this deep voice, and a sense of mind disconnected.
It causes people to ask, just after they say
Hello, "did I wake you?"  Now if you should answer
no, then they continue to think about how dumb
you sound. And if you should answer yes, then
they may not actually get to telling you the
purpose of their call, deciding instead to
apologise for half an hour.  So I just let the
phone go to voice mail, but wake up, and use
the bathroom.

I call her right back. She wants to know
what version of Operating System she has.
"Windows 95?" I ask her right back. "Ok,
do I have the disks for that?" I'm not sure,
now. I think she may, but I'm not positive.

"Ok, Thanks!", says she. Her sister wants to
borrow her materials. Since she cannot find
them, she doesn't have to worry any more.

Before I can start the kettle, Guru calls. 

"My printer is having a fit," she jokes. She
likes to give her equipment human properties.

When we were in the car later, Wizi, her husband,
talked about the printer being "A bitch".  "No,
it is just a Union Printer. It is only being paid
to do 10 pages a day, and if you ask it to do over
time too often, it calls the shop steward, and 
shuts down your entire operation. It is in the 

"What contract?! We didn't sign no contract!"

We joke this way for a long time.

I'm shuffling time, so bear with me. 

I spoke with Guru on the phone, and made
plans for a Monday visit. 

But perhaps a couple of minutes later,
who should phone but my father. Dad is
outside the door. He's just dropping off
some mouse bait.  Cool!  He wants to know
if I'm awake. Yes!  Ok, come to the front
door. And there he was.

Without wasting any more time, I turned
off the stove, and asked him if he'd take
me to Guru's place. Sure.  I called Guru
back and asked if she wanted me sooner 
rather than later. Sure.

Ok, this was a done deal.

We stop at Starbucks along the way, at
Eglinton near Bathurst.  It is a funny
narrow cafe, but it is fine.  I was surprised
to see that they no longer use the colourful
red cups they introduced in December, and are
back to the white ones with the green logo.

So I get dropped off. 

I'm carrying a lot, as usual. A fiddle, for
band practice later. A bag with winter things.
This managed to miss out on hat-mitts-scarf for
some reason. But included a black fleece. Back
back laden with pennywhistle recorder and gym

Hey, dad got himself a new car, for him: an
eighteen year old Mercedes. So now Ari has
a new one, and Dad has an old one.

Mercedes feel so spacious inside. They don't
seem elegant, as they're advertised. They
seem to make sense though.  When I'm inside
them, I feel like there is plenty of room for
me. Also the controls for adjusting the seat
make sense to me. On the door is something that
looks like a seat. It is two plastic controls
like a seatback and a seatcushion. They lift,
they depress, and they twist.

Dad says, "Don't touch it!  It is broken, and 
the whole thing will just fall backwards, and
I'll have to connect it again."

So much for seat controls.

By the time I get to Guru's it is already
time to fix lunch, and I'm invited.

I go to look at the printer. It is a Lexmark Z52.

I cannot advise you to go get one. But perhaps
Guru can. She paid very little for it, and it
made 50 pages or so a day.  When it worked.
If you do get one, keep my phone number, as it
provided a lot of consulting work for me.

The software is my first complaint with it. Not
only does is arbitrarily commit illegal operations
and go beyond its memory.  It has a program which
talks on the internet. Lexpps? I'm not sure what
it is saying to who, but if you failed to give
this program a connection, it would wait until
it got through.  I called technical support, and
they said to just delete it, and it would be fine.
When I did that, the printer would no longer share
over the local network. I called back, and they
said I'd have to choose: local printer with local
access, or shared network printer which asks for
the internet a lot.  We chose local.

When I fixed it, it was always an easy repair. I'd
unplug it from all sources of power. I'd count to
ten. I'd plug it in. This is one of those smart 
printers.  It has a power switch. When the software
is working correctly, it tells the computer that it
is to power off, when it has a chance, please. But
such a function isn't genuine. It tells it to also
watch the buttons, so that when you press power once
again, it should "power on". As you see, the printer
is always on.

When I saw this printer previously, it worked, but
kept making a noise in the ink basket (or whatever
you want to call the carriers of the rectangular
ink cartridges). It would make a ripping or wretching
sound, whether idle or working. 

I gave it the complete reset, and it worked!

Now it was truly acting up. I could get it
to print, but at about 10% into the job, it
would freeze. It took about ten resets for
me to read that there was a status message
about the ink basket. "Damaged Ink Basket,
fatal error." But that would be shown for
perhaps 250 milliseconds, and it would return
to "Black ink low," and "Color ink low."

I opened the door to the cartridges to have
a little look. !! WHAM !! WHAM !! WHAM !!

It seems to have developed some strength.
It throws its carriage so very very hard,
I found it shocking. I reset hard, and now
that is all it wants to do, is bang its
heads against the wall.

I give the printer last rites, and tell
Guru and Wizi it is time for a new printer.

So I move on to getting a Fujifilm Finepix
6900 camera going. Sigh. The drivers for 
this camera are NOT on the enclosed CD rom.
They're also not on the web site. Not in
UK, US, or JP. I spent a lot of time trying
to make this happy and healthy. 

On a hunch, I started using GOOGLE. I began
by searching for 6900, but just kept getting
review articles.  When I started searching for
the files I *did* have (I was missing a couple
for the USB drivers, USBSTOR.DLL) I found an
education site with drivers for the Fujifilm
1300. The names were the same, and the files
were the same ones talked about on the UK site.

The UK site for this camera is VERY GOOD. They
address, right on the top right of the screen,
"Having Trouble Connecting your FinePix Camera?
Click Here Now!"  Everyone else has to browse
through their make and model on this site.

Once there, I see lots of screen shots. They
are instructing the user to remove any prior
USB Mass Storage drivers, and telling them how.
That's Not Easy!  They do it anyway. They make
it easy by telling them to run something like
UNIN_123.exe -- but I didn't have that file.
Grand.  It was web searching for (the above) that
helped me find what I needed.

Once it is all installed, the camera acts like
a removeable hard drive, when plugged into the 
USB port and turned on. Turn it off, and it
vanishes without a complaint. Cool!

Guru says she's going to the Business Depot
and wants to know if I want anything. I had
just gotten the camera connected, and wanted
to go for the ride. 

Wizi decides that he doesn't have to come. Just
the two of us (Guru and I) should do the trick.

He pulls me aside, and makes sure I understand
something. "Don't go buying the cheapest printer
which will do the job!  I know you Virgos. Always
trying to save a dollar. Well DON'T.  Get something
good so we don't have to be calling you all of the

I wrote to the TORTECH email list just before we
went out the door, but not soon enough to get a
reply to it.  

Inside the Business Depot it was Very Busy. You'd
think it was a big sale, but I'm thinking that
Sunday Shopping makes sense.  Cashiers were all
very busy. The boys on the floor were all there
too. I was expecting helpers who didn't know 
a thing, but was surprised. Our two helpers
were Christian and Shakher. 

For a whole minute, we considered high end
ink jet printers.  But the problem remains
the cost per page is about a dollar in ink.

Christian says we should consider a color
laser.  Wizi says, "They're too much money!"

I make with my hands, and say, "Just tell me
how much it is." He interrupts "I said they're
too much money!" And I make a shhh sound and
tell the kid, "Just. Tell. Me. How. Much. It.

"We've just reduced them from 2000 to 1545. 
It is great. We've been making pictures on
it, and it's a lot of fun."

We were now nose to nose with a QMS Minolta
2200 ColorDesk.  It is a big thing.  Ok, smaller
than a dishwasher, but bigger than Large Laser
HP Printer.  I was surprised.

Shakher shows that it is connected, but we
are wondering why we cannot print. Inspection
shows that both the parallel cable and the blue
CAT-5 network cable going from the printer to
a network printer router thing. So no computer
is actually connected.  After much fussing, and
telephone permission, he finds a laptop and sets
it up with the printer drivers.

We printed a few pages, and it does the
laser printer thing.  Smooth colour output.
Inside it has four toner sections on a wheel.
Looking inside reminded me of looking into
a jammed copier. It wasn't a copier, and it
wasn't jammed. Just as well. I wouldn't want
to have to pick out pieces of things from it.

It took the two Depot boys to get it into
its box. The lines at the cash were long.
But by the time Guru was there, the box
was full of printer. 

A shame, really. We couldn't get the box
into the car, no matter what.  So Shakher
and I unpacked the printer, and it rode 
on the front seat.

I hurt myself a little and needed rests to
move this thing. Eventually we got it set
up in the basement, and I was ready to go
on to band practice.

I called Kevin, and they'd started early.
Many of the group were sick, so they met
at 3pm instead of 6pm.  I was calling just
as they were thinking of winding down.

So I missed the chance to play the violin
I was carrying with me. Sigh.

So I returned to doing something useful.
I needed to figure out how to use the
finepix camera to take reliable pictures
of faces, eyes in particular. It has auto
settings, and lots of manual settings. 

I wanted to use the manual ones!  You see,
flash makes it weird. I want the eyes. Guru
does Iridology, and she needs a good picture
to work with.  If it flashes, it makes a bad
eye picture. If you don't use flash, it has
trouble with the autofocus. And manual focus
is hard when you cannot see clearly enough
to get it sharp.  I wasn't able to get to the
bottom of that problem.

We did chinese food at Guru's and then I needed
to head to someone else.

Ferdid calls me when she has computer trouble, 
but not right away. She has to reach a maximum
level of discomfort. She'd been without sound
for a long time, maybe 3 months. 

Lots of things wrong here, but all curable.
The master was entirely muted. So I removed
the [x]. In the mixer, I found the wave files
all muted, so I fixed that. Still no sound.

Could it be mechanical? I checked the speakers
and they were on. But behind the computer, the
plug was on the table, outside the socket.

"Hello Gabbs. Nice to see you again."

Those words were spoken by Bonzi Buddy. I'm thinking
he is evil. I've read that this application watches
what you do, and tries to determine which ads are the
very best for you on that basis. Oh, yes, it has a
cutsie blue gorilla who keeps asking you to play
with him. He sings, he tells jokes, he sighs. He
really does precious little, unless you upgrade him
to Bonzi Gold. Bonzi free has one song, a few jokes, 
and mostly does sales work for himself. "You know,
Gabbs, I would like to be upgraded!  This won't
take too long. Can I upgrade now Gabbs?"

We kept Bonzi around just long enough to set
volume levels, and now he's been Add-Removed
from the computer.

I took my time going home, and phoned Cindy.
She had a bunch of guests recently and so
they rented a game cube and some games. 

I won't do those games. Just what I need.
A new addiction.

I've recently re-discovered SAME.EXE a solitaire
kind of thing. Maybe I'll post it so you can
waste time with it as well. All in all, I don't
want anything which does a great job of keeping
me from doing things. 3D graphics and sounds
will keep me entertained for years. I know it.

I managed catching the 110am Victoria Park bus.

In the bus bay is someone I've seen over and over,
and so I'll call him Frank, as I can't remember
his name. He comes home from work late at night,
and we see each other on the last regular Vic Park
bus often.  

Tonight he was making a Toronto Sun newspaper into
basketballs, and trying, over and over, to get them
to go into the garbage can.  Nope. This was entertaining,
in a special way.  He'd try and try, but all he needed
were the two crumpled sheets. They didn't want to go
into the garbage can. I suppose they knew what kind
of garbage was in there.

He was telling me that he intends to get a new
job in February, where he will work from 5am to
8pm for five days a week. "Long Days!" I tell him.
"I'm saving to go to University in Windsor. I want
to take Mechanical Engineering."

That sounded so good. We talked about it for a while.
He's good at math, and has been coaching others in
between work.

I finally got home at 145am or so.  I was hungry for
meat, and prepared some chicken noodle soup (from a
yellow envelope) and sliced some frozen steak into
it. I like how that comes out, believe it or not.
I just let it poach in the soup until lightly done.
It isn't fried tasting, so I don't feel guilty over
that. And it is rare. The hot soup cooks too fast
for it to come out blue.  I tossed it with some Maggi
seasoning sauce.  It is like Soy Sauce.  

The bad room mates took all of the Soy Sauce I had. I
try to keep a few bottles around, as I like how
it makes meat. I won't bother buying more, but will
concentrate on using the many foodstuffs I have here.

I've been over an hour typing this.

I should see what food I can take outside to the
rabbits. The snow has probably hidden the other

That's all I know.