Yahoo Autosync needs an update

Yahoo Autosync must be a low priority item for Yahoo. I am running Vista, and it isn’t usable. Looking at the help page for Autosync related to supported platforms, it is pretty obvious that it isn’t something Yahoo values (or they don’t update help very often):

What are the system requirements?
Currently, you need Windows 2000, Windows XP Pro, or Windows XP Home.

You also need at least a Pentium Processor, 128MB RAM, and 40MB disk space.

Note: Vista/Outlook 2007 are not currently supported. We hope to have this by the end of 2007.

Last time I looked 2007, and 2008 have come and gone.

I guess I shouldn’t complain. I didn’t pay for it. 🙂

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Slackers are people too

While reading the summary of Oregon’s benefits from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, I was amused to see that “slackers” are now a Targetted Group that can be used by a business as a tax credit:

“Under current law, businesses are allowed to claim a work opportunity tax credit equal to 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages paid to employees of one of nine targeted groups … The bill creates two new targeted groups of prospective employees: unemployed veterans and disconnected youth. … An individual qualifies as a disconnected youth if they are between the ages of 16 and 25 and have not been regularly employed or attended school in the past 6 months.”  

Does that mean that we will now see signs outside businesses that say “Slackers Wanted”? 🙂

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Gnomes, belts and eye-sores

As promised, here is a picture of the new Gnome that myseriously appeared in our yard.  I like his optimistic expression.
Minor Gnome 49'r
On a separate topic, the local the last time I had my oil changed, the Toyota dealer told me that I needed to replace the main drive belt in my ’03 Toyota Tundra.  It had just rolled 45K miles.  They wanted $122 to replace the belt.  I told them “no thanks”, thinking I could do the work myself.  Well, I did.  The replacement belt cost $32.99, and took me about an hour to install.  It was the sort of thing that required two pairs of hands, and I only had one.  The funny thing is that the old belt was just fine.  A few hairline cracks, but according to my repair manual isn’t anything to worry about.   I guess it just goes to show that the dealer isn’t motivated by what is really needed, but by some magic count of miles on the vehicle.  The “Gatorback” belt I bought is supposed to last longer than the OEM belt anyway, so I won’t need to replace it anytime soon. Old Drive belt
The construction at the end of our street seems to be nearing the end of the street blocking phase.  Thank goodness.  I had to drag the “Road Closed” sign from in front of our house back to the site yesterday, which I find irritating.  The guys that work on the site don’t seem to give a darn where the leave it when they aren’t using it.  I don’t particularly like staring at it out of my living room window, nor do I like it taking up a parking space in front of my house.  Sometimes they leave it in the street blocking the sidewalk.  Nice eh?  They took out a walnut tree that was planted in the right-of-way, I wonder what kind of trees they are going to plant?

Condo Construction

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State of the Whirled…

I haven’t been updating this much.  There are several reasons for that.  First and foremost, the stuff that is going on in my life revolves around my current employment.  That stuff is “confidential” and “sensitive”, which makes it difficult to talk about and remain employed. 

Baseball has been eating up a bunch of my time.  We have been going through registrations, try-outs, and late registrations for the last couple of months.  Being the “Information Officer/Secretary” takes up my spare time.

I’ve also been ill.  A multi-stage cold/flu thing has been making its way through our friends and family made its way to me as well.  That took me out for the better part of a week.

The h44 construction is ongoing and just plain obnoxious, which makes me grumpy.  The contractors park everywhere, the street is blocked most of the day, they use lots of noisy equipment, and the relatively unsecured port-a-potties attract a lot of weak bladdered individuals at all hours. 

On the interesting front, and to my wife’s dismay, someone added a new gnome to our yard.  I’m guessing it was a birthday present, and I have theories about where it came from.  When I can find one of our digital cameras, I’ll take a picture of it and post it.  Lisa isn’t terribly fond of yard art to begin with, and the notion that it is spontaneously appearing in our yard is less than appealing to her.  I find it funny.

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Ted says I have to post

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Gnome-nappers

Some of our convict gnomes disappeared from our yard in the last couple of days.  This means that someone had to go into the yard to get them.  They left two, the one holding the deer, and the guard.  Pretty darn irritating, if you ask me.   With all the other bad news we are getting inundated with on a daily basis, it is hard to keep a positive attitude.

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Customer Service Experience at Hawthorne Fred Meyer

My wife and I have been frequenting the Hawthorne Fred Meyer, even though it is in a state of great disarray.  They are doing a remodel of the entire facility, and it has been in various states of chaos for many months now.

One of the additions is a new deli.  We went there thinking we could order some sandwiches for dinner since we were running later than usual.  The person behind the counter suggested Lisa look at the paper menu that lets you order sandwiches.  We picked out what we want, which took a couple of minutes and she went back up to order.  She returned in short order with a look of disgust on her face.  “They close at 7:00 and stop making sandwiches at 6:50 because they can’t stay late.”  It was 6:51 on my watch.  With this kind of lack of appreciation for the customer, this latest expansion is not likely to be a success, in my opinion.

We had a cart load of groceries, so we went to check out.  Given the volume of groceries, and the line at the U-Scan, we opted for a line with a person.  We waited, as things seemed to be going slowly.  Three quarters of the way through groceries for the person at the front of the line, a manager stepped in and said to the checker that they had to switch her out because she was on overtime.  This was an unfortunate decision because it took a couple of minutes to make the transition.  No apology was given to the people waiting in line from the manager, nor any acknowledgement that we actually existed.  Normally,  I would have gone to a different line, but I had put about half of our stuff on the belt.  Lisa took the kids to the car, and I waited, and waited.

It look a  very long time, and I was pretty soured on the whole experience.  I think the Fred Meyer employees at Hawthorne could really use some customer service education.

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Obama pushes for stimulus legislation

Obama wrote this article in the Washington Post to make the case for his stimulus package.  I’ve been watching the Senate debate on C-SPANduring the day.  It is absolutely amazing to me how inefficient the Senate is.  Hours and hours of yammering, with no real “progress”.  Do the floor speeches really convince the Senators one way or another?  Watching the presentations, it is obvious that McCain wouldn’t have made a good President.  He can’t keep his facts straight, and seems to be intent on derailing the legislation.  I think Obama’s lead comments in his article need to be said a bit more loudly:

“By now, it’s clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs that Americans relied on just a year ago are gone; millions more of the nest eggs families worked so hard to build have vanished. People everywhere are worried about what tomorrow will bring.”

Knowing how the economy is impacting various members of my own family, something needs to happen now.  Senator DeMint’s proposal is just another reguritation of the same trickle down economic policies that won’t help.  This wrong headed thinking comes from the notion that the New Deal did not positively impact unemployment.  It is simply not true.

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A moment of mirth

Muppets and Kuberick, two great tastes that taste great together?

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LaCrosse 2316 annoying behavior

I’ve noticed that the anemometer on the Lacrosse 2316 weather station has issues with the cold weather.  The direction vein stopped moving as soon as it got below freezing.  It indicates that the wind direction is always East.  You can see how it corresponds to the temperature here. Around 7:00 am, the temperature drops to 32, and it stops moving. 

This storm is really quite impressive from a personal history standpoint.  I can’t remember having an entire week of sub 32 degree temperatures, but that is what the forecasts are saying.  Maybe we will end up with a white Christmas after all.

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