Home Ownership – Day 5

Sunday Morning, before I  managed to secure a truck to move some furniture from old house to new house, I decided to do some final yard work at the Brookline house.  Mowing the back yard, I notice a bunch of insects flying around one area. I stop and take a long look to assess the situation.  It appeared to be yellow jackets swarming around an area that I just mowed, and one flew in my face to confirm my original assessment.   after swatting the annoyance from my personal space to the ground, I looked down in order to crush the fucker with my foot.  This is when I got a little startled.  Both pant legs of my jeans were covered in yellow jackets, which all appeared to be gnawing and digging into the denim.

I quickly thought “ok, just take the damn pants off!” but then decided  that was a bad idea.  I didn’t want to get in some sort of trouble for running around naked in broad daylight, or jeopardize the safety of Lil Dustin.  I managed to pretty much keep my cool, and walked around to the front of the house, swatting and crushing the little fuckers off my pants.  Counted a total of somewhere around 20 dead ones in my driveway and sidewalk alone.

Several hours later, I return to the back yard, armed with a can of wasp/hornet spray.  In an attempt to stay protected, I dressed in a black hoodie with motorcycle glasses, baseball hat, black bandana covering my forehead and ears, and a pink camo bandana covering my face… So I had to look pretty damn gangsta.  For added backup, I had Fat Skinny behind me armed with another can of wasp spray and a broom, just in case.   We unloaded and unleashed hell on the nest and all attacking yellow jackets.

After we unloaded, we ran into the basement.  Fat skinny, being extra cautious, slammed the door shut, then locked the deadbolt, and let out a sigh of relief.   I guess he thought the yellow jackets can open doors.

the aftermath: not a single yellow jacket bite/sting/whatever. And a whole lot of dead yellow jackets.  success!

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Home Ownership – Day 1

I spent the evening painting the storage room underneath the front porch with dry-lock, as it showed a little water staining.  I must say, I am not a fan of using dry lock, as it seems to spread as easy as cold butter on a waffle. 

I left the house to go to bed with misty in brookline at exactly 1:11am. I know this time to be exact, because I went to grab an energy drink on the way out the door, and noted the time on the stove as all the same numbers on the clock is “wish time”. I cannot tell you what I wished for Winking smile… So I turned off all the lights, including the front porch, and proceed towards the jeep.  This makes the front yard, walkway, and driveway very dark, as the nearest street lights are about something around 50 to 100 yards away.   I was walking down the steps, and a small white animal was approaching me and I was walking towards it.   I thought “oh wonderful, the neighbors have a cat.” and start to bend down to pet it.  It didn’t want to be pet, and it turned to run to the back of the house.  This is when I noticed this was not a cat. It was a large fat opossum.  I didn’t get his picture, but I named him as Scootch.

Now I recall back in my earlier days, opossums were little things that hung out of trees by their tails, like:

But that is not what I seen.  this possum was something like this:

only about the size of a large adult cat.

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Home Ownership – Day 0

Today marks a very important date for Misty and I.  We closed on a house!

I am particularly surprised we got it, mostly because of my past credit discrepancies, which I dragged my credit score down to something below 450. However, since Misty came into my life, I got everything situated financially, and my financial mistakes that I made out of college are finally becoming a thing of the past.

It’s a 3 Bedroom, 1.5 bath house, down the street from where my brother and I used to live.  Has a nice kitchen which opens up to the dining room, a decent sized living room (which I think is requiring a new TV).  The master bedroom has a sliding glass door which leads deck that overlooks the rear yard.

It needs a little TLC and some things to make it our own like repaint some things and get rid of some wall paper.  Overall, we are very happy with it.

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refinishing alloy rim on the cheap

note: edit this later with more details…

I am exhausted. I spent hours in direct sun doing this, but misty and I decided we were going to try to pretty up her car, and refinish her wheels. well 7 hours later, here is the result:



yep, today was a reminder why I hate sanding.

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Mathews LX vs Martin Cheetah–Noise level

I’ve been having a problem trying to decide which of the two bows I own which I am willing to part with, either the used Mathews LX I bought from a coworker, or the Martin Cheetah that I found with an unbeatable price tag that I could not pass up.

After tuning the Cheetah to get rid of the idler lean and tightening of the cam module which I found loose along with the loose Sims S-Coil, the sound difference was about night and day.  I got the idea of comparing the sound loudness compared to my Mathews LX.  So I made a quick box target stuffed with a comforter my wife hates, and started recording shots taken from each one.

Here are the results:

mathews vs martin

As you can see, they are very close.  The Mathews was shot first, and Martin second.

Pretty close… so here is Martin Cheetah in pink, overlaying over Mathews LX sound recordings:

mathews vs martin - overlay

It may be worth noting, that I stood in the exact same place shooting the exact same arrow for each recording.

I find this relatively interesting considering the price differences between the two bows, and they have close to the same specs.

if you care to here the difference, click here for an mp3 of the two samples above.

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Batch file to automatically reconnect RDP session

{the long part of the story}

I have been experimenting with VDI type stuff at work, and recently, I turned my work PC into a XenServer, using version 6.  It’s mostly just a test, but it was kind of necessary because the PCs I ordered which utilize the image I’ve put on my FOG Server are backordered, and I needed a PC A.S.A.P (according to the people nagging me about it). Additionally, my servers are getting MAXXED on resources.  So due to my limited resources here at the office, I decided to repurpose one of the old Dell Optiplex 170L’s that only have 512MB of ram, and use it as a thin client.

After getting a Windows 7 guest running and configured to accept RDP connections, I found I was in need of a way to automatically reconnect a Remote Desktop Connection if either a user logs off, or lost connection, etc..  Because I didn’t want the user to have to enter credentials twice, I configured the system to login automatically locally, and changed the shell from explorer.exe to a batch file:

  • Step 1 – Create an RDP file (not going into details)
    • load mstsc.exe, configure it as required (I entered hostname, disabled the connection bar, full screen) , and save it somewhere.
  • Step 2 – Configure automatic logins
    • in registry, HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
      • Make sure the following String Values are set:
        • DefaultUserName = [local-username]
        • DefaultPassword = [local-password]
        • DefaultDomain = [local-computername]
        • AutoAdminLogon = 1
  • Step 3 – Create the batch file below (see below)
  • Step 4 – Set shell to the batch file:
    • in registry, HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
      • set shell string value to: c:\your-bat-file.bat


{the batch file}

the batch file, which I saved to c:\connect.bat simply consists of:

echo off
start /wait c:\windows\system32\mstsc.exe c:\connect.rdp
goto start

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Samsung dart screenshot how to.


I couldnt figure out how this was happening, until today. In order to get a screen capture, hold the back arrow for a second, then hit the home key at same time.

Attached is an example.

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Fraudulent ebay sellers infuriate me.

I have used ebay for over a decade, and not once have been scammed. well, come to think of it, maybe once, over a $10 order from a body jewelry shop back in the 90s.  Recently however, I have gotten burned for a decent amount of money, over the purchase of an off-contract Verizon Droid X with accessories, being sold by 2055bisquit.  I am quite irritated, because I always check for feedback, and if I see negative feedback, I will not EVER buy.

The description of the item seemed rather relevant, as if the seller was in fact half retarded, as seen below:

this phone is 20 days old comes with car and home charger car mount desk stand and a fitted hard rubber case i paid 400 dollars for the phone and accessaries i got the new sony playstation phone this phone is in like new condition and works perfect   NO RESERVE

I thought to myself “man, that’s a deal!” and used buy it now, and instantly paid for it through PayPal. I was a little leery of the fact that it was “USPS Parcel Post”, but more because of the delay in shipping times, and not because it was not a traceable shipment.  I figured it was coming from Cloverdale Ohio, and I am in SW PA, so it couldn’t take that long, as the site said “Estimated delivery: August 25 – September 1”  This was August 17th.

Today, is September 1st, and every day between August 25th and September 1st, I drove home for lunch, hoping to get this package.  It didn’t show up with the mail today, so I decided I was going to “Contact Seller” through eBay to verify shipment was actually made on the 17th, as 2055bisquit clicked through eBay, which automatically emails me.  I sent my message, and for some reason, I decided to check feedback on the user again. This time, I noted a negative entry from 4 days ago, as stated:

Hm… this guy had two droid x’s for sale?  The description for the one I bought made it seem like he only had one, so I clicked “View item” for that unfortunate buyer:

WTF?!?  that’s the exact one I bought. so I go and check my item, and found this, right on top:

then I click on the relisted item:

This dude is scamming the fuck out of people.  So I went and filed a dispute with PayPal, and instantly escalated it into a claim, telling them they need to check into this immediately.

So according to PayPal, this is who I am looking for.

  • carl kehres
  • girard @ bright . net
  • cloverdale, OH

hm…  using these details… what can be found here. 

I really want to go stomp on this dude’s nuts, well, maybe blast them off with my 12G… since you know… I just found out this douchebag owns a gun shop.  who knows, maybe someone stole dudes identity. maybe I should do the same right back. I work in IT… I know how to cover my ass.

Anyways… at this point, I’m hoping PayPal pulls through with this claim… But it is incredibly annoying that I wasted my time waiting for something that’s never going to come.  I’ll probably not use ebay again anytime soon either… even if I do get my $140 back, because this frustration isnt worth it.

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Weather change causes stupidity?

This morning it was a whopping 55°F outside, and I decided to take the motorcycle to work. On my way in, there is a street that is generally about 5°F cooler than the rest of the trip.  It was kind of chilly, but I managed my way in without gloves, hat, or even a zipped jacket.  I will ride the motorcycle to work, year-round as long as it is dry, and I guess my brain does get cold in December through March being that I don’t wear a hat or full face helmet.  Little did I think about how this can actually affect the human brain. 

Quickly after my arrival to the office I fired up Outlook to check my email. I noticed I got an email from “Me”.  Normally, if I don’t see a name, I just delete it, but the subject line started off with something else that grasped my attention.  Actually, I’ll just post the screenshot, and the proceeding instant messages:


There are 4 things here that when combined simply infuriated me.

  1. When sending email, you should really put your name in there instead of a pronoun.  Even just first name, or better, firstname and last initial, or even better… [gasp] your whole name.  Otherwise, people are likely to delete it without reading, if it makes it through a spam filter.
  2. A subject line is intended for a subject only, not the whole message.
  3. The message body is for details of your message.  In the event of an IT issue, this would be where to put error messages, and detailing when the errors occur.
  4. Wow! Thank you very much for the pertinent response!  

An example of how this email could have been composed better:

From: Dustin [email protected]
To: [email protected]
Subject: Remote Access Problem
Message: Good Morning Dustin, I am having some difficulty with remote access to my PC.  The VPN client remains connected, however I am getting the following error when attempting to connect to [computername] with Remote Desktop Connection: “This computer can’t connect to the remote computer”

Those three sentences would pinpoint me exactly where I need to go to resolve the issue, in this event, the remote computer in standby/hibernation. But instead, people neglect to include the actual details of the problem, thus causing themselves and me more frustration because… well I do not know why. Maybe Laziness? Stupidity? or Both?

I guess expecting details for problems is just too much to ask.

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Cell Phone nonsense.

Yesterday I decided to head to a store to replace Misty’s cell phone which died an ugly death after hearing her complain about her LG Neon GT365 for the last year.  Being she is on AT&T, I opted to just grab a “Go Phone”, a pre-paid pantech p7040p, which was $59+ tax from radio shack.  I then put her SIM & memory card in it.  This worked wonders, well excluding her lost contacts, as her previous phone was not saving contacts to the SIM. Her new phone now unlocks properly, instead of a unlock loop thing she had going on (took 1-3 minutes to unlock it), is light as hell, battery life seems good, phone is nice and responsive.

then two things hit me:

1) looking at the box of this prepaid phone… $50/mo unlimited.  Why is prepaid service cheaper than contract customers? ie: Misty is paying $75 for like 450 min+ unlimited text.

2) AT&T is looking like it might be my next carrier. based of three things. 

  • SIM card awesomeness. no need to go online/call customer service to change devices.  Just pop your ol’ SIM card in and your ready to go.
  • CDMA is limited to data/voice one at a time. GSM isn’t.  but then again, LTE *should* do both at same time.
  • Similar to above, CDMA doesnt work many places outside US, but LTE is being implemented in a lot of countries.

I dunno… maybe I am just going crazy with my Motorola Droid simply not working in my house. 

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