March 31, 2012

Los Angeles, Western States Road Trip–Part 2

Another day on the road heading south to LA. Note that we did this trip in mid to late March, and I'm posting photos now starting a couple of weeks later.

One place we greatly enjoyed along the way despite the poor weather was MacKerricher State Park in Northern California. We spent several hours walking the boardwalks, watching birds and seals, and even passed through the mouth of a whale!

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Posted by Paul at 08:40 PM

March 30, 2012

Los Angeles, Western States Road Trip–Part 1

Over ten years had passed since our last road trip to LA where my sister lives with her husband and kids. It was well past time to visit them, so we cobbled together a little over a week for my wife, and two weeks for me. The plan was to drive down the coast, taking five days to get there, including a couple of days in San Francisco, then Yumi would fly home after a couple of days in LA. I'd spend a few more days with my sis, and then drive back.

Unfortunately, we hit one of those wet patches that now and then covers the entire west coast. We had rain, snow, and wind all the way down, but still enjoyed being on the road.

We left one evening after work, and made it as far as Olympia, WA, the first night. The next day was the first of a couple on the coast. Unfortunately is was rainy, foggy, and cold, and let me tell you, though I generally love driving, it was a bit nerve-wracking on some parts of the narrow, twisty coast road, particularly in fog.

But here are a few shots of some fun along the way. The Avenue of the Giants.

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Posted by Paul at 08:25 PM

March 29, 2012

Blog Absence Due to LA, Western States Road Trip

I was off for two weeks on a road trip to Los Angeles to visit my sister and family, and though I was taking lots of photos, I decided not to blog en route. That explains the absence of material here, but I aim to start posting again soon.

Posted by Paul at 08:41 PM

March 11, 2012

I No Longer Trust Acronis True Image

I hate to diss a product, especially one that I used for years, but it seems Acronis True Image done gone bad.

I've known folks who've successfully used Acronis True Image for imaging and backup for years. I did so for several years, too. Then when I got Windows 7 a few years back, I found the built-in imaging function fast and easy, so stopped using and upgrading my Acronis software. Then a few months ago, Acronis sucked me in with a great upgrade offer, so I downloaded it and installed it.

First thing I noticed was that it wiped out links to Windows Backup in the Control Panel. Hm. That is certainly not friendly behavior, and I don't recall the installation routine asking me if that's what I wanted. Oh well, Acronis True Image Home 2012 was supposed to be so much better.

First time I tried  a full image with Acronis 2012, it ran, and ran, and ran. . . I finally cancelled backup after some 24 hours had passed. I did successfully image my HD once with Acronis 2012, but it took most of a weekend. I tried it again last night, and 20 hours later, the image was yet to be completed. Worse, the "estimated time remaining" kept going up, not down.

So how to get Windows Backup back? I noticed that there was a link in the Acronis-hijacked Control Panel to turn it on, which led to some Acronis dialogue boxes, and a request to restart Control Panel. I repeated the process three or four times with no success. Acronis had sunk its hooks deep into the system.

I went to the Acronis website, which suggested running the software, and unchecking the "integration with Windows 7" boxes in its settings. I tried that several times, again with no success.

Finally I downloaded a file from Acronis that was supposed to fix the Windows 7 Registry. I wasn't too happy with Acronis messing with my Registry, but duh, I realized that Acronis messing with my Registry was what had started the mess, so I figured I had nothing to lose.

Success! I now have Windows Backup back.

And a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to Acronis. . .

Oh, yeah, and something else that comes to mind is Microsoft. How could you allow third-party software to modify access to a basic Windows utility?

Posted by Paul at 08:01 PM

March 05, 2012

Choco the Cat Enjoys Dori the Turtle’s Sun Lamp

Well, who should I find sneaking a few rays under the reptile lamp? Not a reptile, that's for sure!

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Ah, nothing like some warmth and brightness!

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Yeah, yeah, I know about tanning beds! Just a few more minutes. . .

Posted by Paul at 02:55 PM