Archives for: March 2009

03/29/09

  08:58:02 pm, by The Dreamer   , 5 words  
Categories: DVDs / NetFlix

DVD: Hancock

  05:11:33 pm, by The Dreamer   , 406 words  
Categories: General, Furnishings

Using my American Express Reward Points

There's currently a promotion of 20% for using my American Express Reward Points at shopAMEX.

Now, I've been accumulating points since I've been a member of the reward program. I don't recall how long that has been, but it has been slow work to build up to where I'm at.

Now, there was some (bedroom) furniture items that I've been thinking of getting...and because of the current promotion, I found myself browsing for said items on shopAMEX.

And, found that I could get a two of those items using my points. And, the 20% probably the only reason I would consider using my points for purchasing something this way.

So, the items I ordered were a new dresser (my old one is falling in on itself) and a new headboard.

Shortly afterwards, I get an email saying that the order for the dresser (with Wal-Mart.com) was rejected. And, no immediate refund of my points. So, I couldn't go and order from somewhere else....at least not right away.

The later, I got an email from account security about a possible fraud charge from Wal-Mart.com for the dollar amount of the order that I was ordering with points.

I called and said that I didn't use my card at Wal-Mart.com, though it was flagged as suspicious because they tried to charge the same amount twice. Discussing this further, I was then put in contact with shopAMEX to try to resolve the mess that Wal-Mart had caused.

Apparently, the way things work, is the points are turned into cash and credited to my account. And, the reward vendor then charges their order against the card. I was told that since Wal-Mart had rejected my order, I could take the cash value of the reward and use it towards the purchase of the item somewhere else.

Not really feeling things, and the dresser piece was kind of an impulse of get it while I'm at it .... I opted to have my points refunded. I still have until April 10th to take advantage of the 20% deal, so I could try again later. Or I could go somewhere entirely different and get the dresser.

The one that I went with was based on points left over after the headboard...so if not tied to using my points, I might go with something different. In fact, I have been thinking of other changes to the bedroom....though some sort of dresser is still called for.

Hmmm.... :hmm:

03/27/09

  01:17:45 pm, by The Dreamer   , 329 words  
Categories: Software, Safety & Security

Norton Antivirus 2009 is gone

Even though I still had 299 days left to my current subscription, I decided to nuke Norton Antivirus 2009 from my computer. Disabling stuff on it just so that I can use my computer was getting annoying.

First I had disable so that I can run BOINC projects on my computer, this means there's that annoying red X on the tray icon.

Today, I couldn't check my email because the inbound email scanner was broken....another thing that needed to be disabled. And, there were other quirks that seemed related, but I wasn't sure.

Of course, I don't like being unprotected. So, my employer has a site license for AntiVirus software...all on site computers are required to run it, but additionally employees and students are allowed to run it on their own computers. Once upon a time, it was Norton Antivirus that the University provided. But, a couple years ago they switched to Trend Micro. I think they just renewed for another 3 years.

So, I have installed Trend Micro. It has the annoying habit of identifying stuff that I want to run as spyware or malware and not giving any choice but to remove it....and without asking me. I had identd running on my desktop, probably left over from when I used a Windows IRC client. I vaguely recall that there was some other reason I had it, it didn't do anything dangerous...it was configured just to make whatever service that wanted to find it happy. But, during the Trend Micro installation...it silently saw it and uninstalled it from my computer.

A few years ago, it was uninstalling a home watching webcam software. It had classified it as spyware and kept removing it. Ya...it is spyware, its so I can spy on my home when I'm not home and see if anything is happening. I don't use it anymore, though I keep thinking I need to have something back again. Though I'm looking for something that is not computer dependent....

Oh well....

  10:13:44 am, by The Dreamer   , 38 words  
Categories: Software

The Next Broken Thing in Norton Antivirus

Now I can't get any email. All the accounts I access using POP3 (110) are connection refused. But, it works from other computers....

Found out its Norton that is busted. Have to disable email scanning to get email now.

:##

03/26/09

  09:38:44 pm, by The Dreamer   , 464 words  
Categories: Amateur Radio

VX-7RB & MH-73A4B on order

I now have a VX-7RB and an MH-73A4B on order. This morning I decided to pull the trigger on getting that new handheld that I had been thinking of getting ever since I passed my Technician Exam and became licensed to operate in the US.

Except that I was being distracted by the VX-8R. And, even though it is now finally out and everything. I decided the main difference that it offers is APRS, and that I didn't really need it. Especially since there's a lot of extras that would need to go on top of it and it kind of takes away from why I wanted a new HT.

I had contemplating scaling back even further on models....debating whether I really needed all the bells and whistles of the VX-7R. But, eventually I settled that this was still the HT I wanted.

And, then when I found out what my state tax refund would be and then finally getting it (which turned out to be sooner than getting my federal). I knew that I was going to do it.

This morning was that time.

Pages: 1· 2

03/21/09

  12:44:14 pm, by The Dreamer   , 248 words  
Categories: Time Warner/Cox Cable, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite

Cox automated system is pretty slick....

Last night, in the #k-slug channel I heard that a movie was playing on AMC. So, I popped over to my TiVo HD to see if I could record it, but it had already started (and no other airings in the immediate future)...so I tried to watch it live instead (more or less).

AMC-HD is available on Cox, but I couldn't watch it....just a black screen. >:XX There was a recording in progress, but I checked to see what the other cablecard was doing...and it was getting the HD show. So, I had to settle for watching the moving on the analog AMC channel.

After the recording finished, I rebooted the TiVo HD...but that didn't cure the problem. Checking around it seems just basic HD channels were working the rest weren't. (Later noticed that it had failed a while back...but only missed one other show....the latest HD episode of South Park.)

So, it would probably require them to hit the cards with a reset...so I called Cox. Working through the automated system, I eventually reached technical support for cable tv....and it immediately offered the option to send a reset to my cable boxes.

I had the TiVo HD tuned to TNT-HD....and almost instantly...video appeared on my TV.

Didn't need to talk to a person &#59;D

Maybe I'll dread calling Cox less when this problem happens....though it does make me wonder why the option was immediately presented...is it the simple fix or is it a common problem...or both.... :hmm:

03/15/09

  01:43:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 107 words  
Categories: General, Storage, Quicken/TurboTax

Did my 2008 Taxes

Intended to just quickly enter the W2 and 1099 forms, to get a rough idea of how bad I'll owe this year.

But, preliminary findings is that I'll get a refund of $2288 from federal and $384 from state. This is largely due to the deductions of being a home owner....or perhaps entirely....

I'll go sleep on the this...and then review things in closer detail tomorrow and then see about e-filing.

Full story »

03/08/09

  05:10:13 pm, by The Dreamer   , 211 words  
Categories: Amateur Radio

I'm now an Extra

This was the first test session since I got my General. I'd had the study book for Extra since I got General, but only managed to skim about half the book...in 8 months. I figured I'd have time to dedicate to reading it before an actual test session. But, it has been a while since there was one.

But, things have been busy, so I haven't been able to sit down and just go through it all.

I took some practice exams from eham.net yesterday and today....but, kept missing by one or two questions. Only once did I pass, it was a just pass.

I even failed the practice exam moments before I left to go take the real exam. I was thinking that I wasn't going to even show up, so even though I failed that practice exam....I decided that I would go waste $15 and try anyways. Figured it would haunt me wondering if I wouldn't have passed it or not.

Plus when I was doing the practice exams I was going through it rather quickly, and figured if I take it slow and careful on the real exam...that I would maybe do better.

As it turned out....I did. I only got 6 questions wrong.

Now to go for the next test.....

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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