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The Week in a Review
Mar 8th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">The Week in a Review</div>

A few things I forgot to mention in earlier posts:

Web Bank locked me out of my account. I understand the need to play 20 questions when I’ve removed all identifying information from my computer, but really, if I answer the questions correctly do not slap me with an error message essentially telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about. It took me three days to get access to my account restored. Partially because Web Bank customer support is only available during regular banking hours (yes, I’m still trying to see the logic in that), partly because when CS was available Glenn (who is the primary account holder and has to give permission to reset unlock the account) was not. Note to self: Tell them I’m Glenn from now on.

No sooner did I regain access to my Web Bank account when I discovered my debit card had been frozen. Mine was one of many that been compromised during the hacking of Mastercard a few weeks back. While I’m glad they disabled the card, it would’ve been nice if they had sent me a replacement, first. So I had to call the bank and have them cancel the replacement that I had not received and issue another card — for which I have to wait up to 10 business days for. Despite the inconvenince it’s a good thing the second card never arrived. According to my friend at the bank a good percentage of the replacement cards had also been compromised. I don’t know if it’s due to Mastercard issuing already compromised numbers, or if they got hacked a second time. Either way, if you happen to have been a victim keep close tabs on your statements, even if you received a new card.

Some updates:

Drs. Foster and Smith are sending me a postage-paid label to return the tank light. This saves me $25+. Supposedly they have also already sent out a replacement light. Heck, as long as I eventually get it, and it’s in one peice, I’ll be happy.

Glenn’s truck made the news. Fox 25 must’ve had a slow news day. He has changed his story about the truck’s theft. He now longer tells everyone he left the keys in the ignition (and yes, he is boasting about this to anyone who will listen) but instead left them on the floor on the truck. Personally, I would’ve stuck with the original version, unless the DPW does know you don’t need to have the keys in the ignition to run the CB radio. Oh, and the truck still has yet to be found. Given how hard it is to miss a bright fricken yellow truck I’m thinking the Town isn’t really looking for the piece of crap and is, instead, holding out for the insurance money to buy a brand spanking new truck.

In the new news department I went to a friend’s wedding yesterday. Since my presence is currently in demand I’ll have to post more about it later.

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*pouts*
Mar 3rd, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">*pouts*</div>

My aquarium light arrived today. It seems the folks at FedEx cannot read because despite “Fragile” stickers plastered all over it, the carton arrived with one end caved in, and the light is cracked (twice) on that end. I just shot off an email to Drs. Foster and Smith regarding the problem since it’s not really something that can be returned via US Mail. Probably why they didn’t include the usual return label.

So, the plants, the fishies, and the living room are going to have to wait at least another week before being brightly illuminated.

On a positive note: I discovered something about my site’s new pluigin, Post Avatar. I’m not limited to 100 x 100px images. Bwahahahahaha! *gives LJ and IJ the bird*  Granted, I don’t plan on using anything larger than 200px but it’s good to know. Not only can I create a virtually unlimited stash of icons, but I can make the ones with text a bit easier to read. Woot!

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Happy!Babs is Fucking Elated!
Feb 25th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Happy!Babs is Fucking Elated!</div>

Okay.

I promised the preteen that I would replace my piece of crap rebounder this year. Since the Urban Rebounder got good reviews from Consumer Reports and it’s the only decent rebounder that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and is available in the States I figured I’d order one ffrom Amazon.

Monday I was at Kohls, searching for a pair of shoes for a wedding, when I found the Urban Rebounder for $8 more than Amazon. However it came with a DVD with 6 workouts, instead of the 3 that came with the one on Amazon. So, after spending the night contemplating I decided to go back, yesterday, to snag one. The price is now the same as Amazon’s. Woot!

I can’t say how durable it is but it looks to be at least as good a quality as the rebounder it’s replacing. If the preteen and I can get at least a year’s use out of it I will be happy. And the bounce is so much gentler! My knees love it!

Fast forward to today. Iwent online to order my new aquarium light. When I had checked last week the price was $269. Which isn’t bad, for what it is. But then I remembered that I need to get the mounting brackets and new glass tops to replace the current hood set up. Combined with the S&H, I was figuring over $300.

Anyway. I went to place my order and discovered that the lights are on sale. 40% off!. Double woot! So, for less than the price of just the tank light I got the light, the mounting brackets, the glass tops, a 12 pack of filter cartridges, a quart of bio-filter balls, 3 jars of fish food (and a partridge in a pear tree!) and covered the S&H.

Now all I need is for the mechanic to tell me that the Taurus’ transmission only needs some minor (read: cheap) adjustments and my happiness will be off the charts.

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Good News. Bad News. Whatever.
Feb 18th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Good News. Bad News. Whatever.</div>

I’ve come to the conclusion that ADD and old age do not mix. It’s bad enough being a scatterbrain but the addition of senior moments results in very little getting accomplished — or, at the very least, the wrong things getting accomplished. :P

For example: I was supposed to get the color scheme to the Lavender Room laid out as well as install, activate, and configure a bunch of widgets/plugins before uploading some actual content. Instead I spent the day playing around Max’s site, after learning that an older theme I used here had been updated. I did get the scheme work done, but that’s about all. I was also supposed to exercise. Somehow I got distracted by a shiny heart rate meter I saw online.

The State portion of our tax refund arrived today. So after dragging the preteen to his doctor’s appointment, I went to Target and picked up a new phone. Living with one phone (even a cordless one) is a pain in the ass. Unfortunately they didn’t have the cheaper model recommended by Consumer Reports but $40 isn’t too bad. Once the Federal shows up we’ll get the struts replaced on the Taurus and, if there’s enough left over, get the transmission worked on. I’ve also been promised a new light for my aquarium, so that I may finally grow some decent plants to provide oxygen for the fish. 260 watts is a whole lot brighter than 48. If I time the lighting correctly we’ll have a fairly well lit livingroom at night, too boot.

Been browsing through Minuteman’s online course listing. They’ve finally got some courses on PHP and MySQL. They deal with the web site design end of things and while I love working on web sites, there’s not that much money in designing them these days. It should get my feet wet as far as the code goes, though. The course on starting an online crafting business looks interesting, too. *laughs* It’s a shame I can’t seem to make any real money doing the stuff I love.

One more thing. I was cleaning out some of my old computer files and found this:

The Gang

That should embarass the hell out of a couple of people on my f-list. Bwahahahaha!

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Aug 23rd, 2008 by Babs

I’m beginning the first stage of transforming my goldfish tank to one for tropical fish (and no, I’m not getting GloFish!). Who would’ve thought it’d be so expensive?

I knew I wanted to replace the two Tetra Whisper Power filters as they were starting to get noisy, not to mention I was getting tired of fishing the impellers out of the bases every time they slipped out of their holders and froze the filters. I ordered an Emperor Bio Wheel 400 last week. It arrived yesterday, but the boneheads at Marineland (the manufacturer) didn’t pack it correctly. They placed the intake tubing on top of the bio wheels, then put the filter lid on top. It should’ve been the other way around, to protect the bio wheels. One of which was damaged due to the improper packaging. Thankfully Drs. Foster and Smith are very nice. Instead of making me pack the whole shebang back up and shipping it to them for a replacement, they shipped me a replacement bio-wheel. I should receive it this week.

While waiting, I was looking into substrates. I already have 3 inches of black gravel in the tank, but for some reason my plants never seem to grow. I read about this stuff called laterlite which is supposed to be really good for plant growth. I can just mix it in with my current gravel. Alas, no one carries it locally, and it’s not really worth the $9.99 shipping cost for a small box of the stuff. I picked up some Flourish Tabs, instead. We’ll see if there’s an improvment. I also got two good-sized pieces of Mopani Drift Wood. They are currently soaking in one of a wash buckets. I might order another piece when I order this. I still have to decide whether I want to get the one with the light, or without. If I get it with the light it will most definitely be blue, as all the tank lights I’ve seen that have “lunar lighting” have blue LEDs.

After I get the air pump, it’s a heater, rocks, and plants. I’ll let the setup run for about a week before adding fish to see if the nitrate levels drop with the addition of the plants. If not, one of the wonderful things about the Emperor filter is that it comes with baskets to put additional media in. They now have tons of media to reduce nitrate levels. Formerly all you could find was stuff to remove ammonia and nitrite. I guess it’s because they are now starting to realize high levels of nitrate can be just as harmful as any amount of the other two.

Anyway. That’s where I am with the tank. I really should take pictures of the whole process.

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