Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Windows 10 2004 Booting Slow From Hibernate

Recently my computer updated Windows 10 to version 2004. The computer was running fine before the update, but after the new version was installed, I noticed it would take a very long time to boot up from Hibernate. Before, it would boot up in about 10 seconds but in version 2004 it takes over a minute. Also programs seem to respond slowly after booting up.

I made sure everything was up to date and did the usual restarts, but it still remained slow. I restored it back to version 1909 and that fixed it. I would have been fine staying with version 1909 but of course Windows keeps trying to get you to do the update. It puts the update icon in the task bar and in the Power menu.

I looked into ways to disable the updates but it seems there is no easy way to do this. They let you delay the update for about a month but then they want you to do the update.

I find it to be pretty annoying that an update like this breaks a simple function such as Hibernate. If they are going to force people to do an update, the update should make the computer better not worse. I'm tired of software companies doing updates to programs and apps that work fine only to end up making them worse. This happens all the time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

So as of right now I pretty much can't use Hibernate anymore. The Sleep option is working fine and booting up from Shut Down seems to be about the same as before so I guess I will be sticking to these options until the next Windows update.

Has anyone else noticed this issue with Windows 10 version 2004?

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Zep Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner Review

I am pretty good about cleaning my toilet once a week, but over time it had started to build up a coating of some kind at the bottom and around the underside of the rim. It seemed no amount of cleaning was helping. I even tried scraping it off but it was really stuck on there good.

I also had noticed the toilet began getting clogged very easily. I had a feeling the deposits building up around the bottom were starting to narrow the pathway and were causing the clogs to happen more frequently.

After doing some research I decided to try out Zep Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner. I picked it up at a hardware store for about $5.

Upon trying it out, it is pretty easy to use. You squeeze and twist the cap which opens it and then you just squirt it around the toilet. I expected the smell to be strong but it was actually not bad at all and has a clean fresh scent. I let it sit and swished it around with the toilet brush. They say you only have to leave it for 5 minutes but I let it sit for longer hoping it would work better.

Before: 



After flushing it, I did not see much difference. I tried a few more times, again letting it sit longer for several hours and it slowly started to break down the deposits and clean the residue that was stuck around the rim.

It seemed to work best if I pushed most of water out and then put in the cleaner so it was more concentrated. Using the brush to swish it around and help scrape around the sides also seemed to work pretty well.

After doing several treatments over a few weeks and using about 2/3rds of the bottle, I would say that the results are not perfect but much better than before. It was able to clean around the sides and under the rim pretty good with a little residue still there. The bottom which was the most stubborn is also much better with the only deposits left are way back where the brush cannot reach. 

 After: 

 

 

Also I have not had any more issues with it getting clogged since using this product so it must have cleaned it well enough to break down whatever was preventing it from flushing properly.

Overall I would say the product worked pretty good and was worth the money. I will include the before and after pictures here to show the results. If you have been having issues like this with your toilet, I would recommend trying out the Zep cleaner.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Light Bulb Warranties and Other Warranties that are Useless

A few years ago, I bought a pack of LED light bulbs. On the front of the package it says they last for 13 years*. On the back it says they have a 5 year warranty (based on 3 hours of use per day). That right there is already a big discrepancy, but that's not even the issue I have with it.

I figured the bulbs should last at least 5 years and if they didn't then I would be able to get a replacement. So I kept the receipt just in case. Sure enough, 3 years in and one of the bulbs is not working. I pull out the box that I had been saving and review the warranty information.

It says if the bulb does not last 5 years you can get a replacement bulb by sending them the proof of purchase and shipping them the light bulb. Here is the problem, the bulb itself is only worth about $1 and shipping a light bulb across the country is going to cost more than $1 so if you wanted to claim the warranty, you would actually end up losing money.

Because of this, the warranty is essentially meaningless. They say they will replace the bulb but if it is going to cost the consumer more money in the process than the bulb is actually worth, no one will actually claim the warranty. I think this is poor practice on the part of the company. If they are going to offer a warranty like this, it should not cost the consumer money to claim it.

I had a new box of LED light bulbs from another brand and they have the same kind of warranty where you have to ship them the bulb in order to get a replacement. This returning defective items by mail may work on high value items, but for low value items like light bulbs, it simply does not work.

I would not be surprised if there are other warranties out there like this where the cost to process them is more than the item is worth. Have you found any other items with warranties like this? 

Update 11-17-20:

I ended up contacting the manufacturer by email and was able to submit a claim without sending in the bulb. About a week later I got a letter back that included a coupon for a replacement! I am pleased they were able to honor the warranty without having to mail the bulb back.

 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Why when bad things happen it can actually be a good thing

Usually when something bad happens to us, depending on what it it, our first reaction is to be upset, angry, annoyed, or sad. No one likes when bad things happen to them but inevitably they are a part of life. One might think, wouldn't it be nice if life was perfect and no bad things ever happened? That sounds great at first, but actually it might not be a good as it sounds.

When it comes to good and bad, they both exist in relation to the other. We know when things are good because we have the knowledge of when things have not been so good. Same goes for bad, we understand when things are bad because we know how they are when they are good. This is an important concept to keep in mind when something in life is bothering us.

Take the first example and imagine a life where everything is perfect and no bad things happen. It seems like it would be great, but in actuality, if everything was good at all times, then it wouldn't be good, it would be average. Because people would be used to everything being good, it would become normal and they would take it for granted, so to them life would just seem regular and not necessarily good.

To expand on this example, consider the weather. If it was a calm 72 degrees and sunny every day, that sounds pretty good to us because we have the understanding that the weather is not always like that. Some days it is cold, cloudy, raining, and windy. So when the weather gets better and it is comfortable and sunny, we appreciate it. If the weather was like that every day, we wouldn't appreciate it because we would get used to it and end up taking it for granted.

In another example, say there is a person who lives in a very beautiful part of the world. They have lived there all their life so they are used to it and it is just what they experience every day. Because of this, they may not consider it to be anything special. Then someone comes to visit from a far away country where the environment is not nearly as beautiful. When they get to the destination they are amazed at how wonderful it looks and they express this feeling to the person who lives there. The local resident is confused why this person seems to think it is so amazing, because to them, this is what they see every day. The perspective makes all the difference.

Another common story to illustrate this concept is when someone experiences a near death situation like a car accident. Before the incident happened, they may have been in a rut, maybe not very motivated, maybe not that happy with their life, just kind of living the same routine every day. Then an accident happens where they almost lose their life, but luckily they survive. After recovery, they have a renewed perspective on life. They realize tomorrow is not guaranteed so you have to make the most of each day. They become more motivated and and excited to live life to the fullest. Sure an accident is terrible and no one wants to experience something like that, but when it does happen, it puts things into perspective and can actually have a positive effect in the long run.

When something bad happens, instead of just feeling down about it, use it as a learning experience. Think about what happened and what you have now learned from it so that you can prevent something like that from happening again. Realize that these things serve as a reset on our perspective so that we can fully appreciate when things are going good.

It can be hard to keep this perspective in mind especially in the moment, but if you can remember this concept, it can really help you deal with life when things are not going your way. Instead of feeling annoyed, angry, or upset, when something happens, use the opportunity to remember that this is a part of life and without bad, there is no good.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

People That Hit Their Car Doors into Other People's Cars

Today drove to a restaurant to pick up an order of food and since I arrived a little early I decided to wait in my car before going in. I parked far enough away so there was an open parking spot on each side. As I was sitting there some guy pulls in next to me. He then proceeds to open his door and hit my car with his door.

Now I am not a confrontational person and it didn't seem like the hit was too bad so I basically ignored it even though I was annoyed by it. The guy goes into the store and comes back 5 minutes later while I am still there. I'm thinking he better be extra careful this time right? He then proceeds to open his door and hits my car door again!

I really should have said something at that point but in the moment, I did not want to start a confrontation. He leaves and I go out and check the car door. I didn't noticed any significant damage which was a relief. I have an older car and while I keep it in good condition, the paint does have a fair amount of minor nicks here and there so even if it got one more, it would not be a big deal, but still it does not excuse this guys actions.

You might think someone with a junky car who doesn't care about anyone else might be the kind of person to do something like this, but he had a nice car! Were talking a new Lexus SUV that was in good condition, and he is just hitting his car door into other people's cars like that!

I'm not sure what to make of it. Maybe the guy didn't care, maybe he is just inconsiderate. The thing is, if something like this happens once, it it an accident. I get it, accidents happen. But twice in a row? That is unacceptable.

If I accidentally opened my car door into someone else's car while they were sitting in it, I would be so embarrassed. And you know if I had to go back 5 minutes later and get back into my car I would be super careful not to do it again. But this guy did it again which boggles my mind.

I always look for a lesson to be learned when things like this happen. In this case I think the lesson is that you really can't park near other people because there is a chance they might be like this guy and open their door into your car. I even parked with open spaces on each side and it still happened so I think I may have to start parking even further away to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

I do wonder what would have happened if I confronted him. I think I could have gone up to him and said, “Hey you just hit my car twice. Please be more careful when you open your door.” I wonder what his reaction would have been. I would guess he would probably say sorry, but you never know how people are going to react and sometimes it is best not to take the chance of getting yourself into a bad situation.

I know part of owning a car and having to park it in a parking lot is the fact that it might get dinged up by other cars. I accept that so I'm not too bothered by it, but the fact that this guy hit my car twice, while I was sitting in it, is just unbelievable. After it happened and I was milling it over in my mind, I told myself if anything I'm going to get a blog post out of this!

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B Story

Back when I was in grade school we had music class and one of the things we did as a class was practice singing a song that would eventually be performed at the school concert. One year I remember the song we were assigned was The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B. It's an oldies song that I barely remember but I do remember something that happened that year in music class.

As we were practicing our song in class one day, the teacher mentioned that we would need someone to play the part of the Bugle Boy at the concert. The person playing the part would have a bugle and would basically walk around and dance to the music and pretty much be the star of the song.

The teacher asked if anyone wanted to be the Bugle Boy, but no one volunteered. I guess we were at that age where no one really wanted that extra attention for fear of standing out or being judged. I know I didn't want to do it. I figured the part would probably go to one of the cool or popular boys in the class.

Then something interesting happened. One of the boys who I would consider kind of an average kid, not one of the cool or popular kids, spoke up and volunteered to be the Bugle Boy. Everyone was a little surprised as it was kind of unexpected. I remember at the time thinking that for some reason he was not right for the part, but you know what, he was the only one brave enough to volunteer so he got the part!

So when the concert day arrived, our class sang our song for the audience while this kid walked around and danced with the bugle at center stage. He did a great job and I'm sure it was a great boost of confidence for him. It's funny how little situations like this that happened many years ago can stick in your memory.

Looking back it's one of those motivational or teachable moments. When there is a situation or a goal that you think might be out of your reach, sometimes it just takes a little bravery to go for it and you never know, you just might get it!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Why are so many green utility boxes broken or not have the cover on properly?

Have you ever seen those light green metal boxes seemly placed in random spots around neighborhoods and communities? You probably have seen them but might not have given them much thought. Recently I have been noticing that so many of these boxes do not have the covers on properly or they are just in bad condition overall.

These boxes contain wires inside. I'm not exactly sure what they are for other than they are for utilities like phone lines and such. It could be different depending on the box. Some of these boxes are small, some are larger, some are round, some are rectangular. In the case with these boxes, either they are not designed well enough to put the covers on easily or the people working on them just don't bother to put the covers back on the right way when they are done working on them.

I have started fixing these covers when I see them like this. Usually the cover is either just leaning against the box or it is on the ground next to it. They usually have little notches that hook onto a piece on the main box. Sometimes they twist on if they are the round kind. I have found they are pretty easy to put the cover back on if you give it a chance. Sometimes though the cover is hard to get on either because the wires are in the way or because it is just in bad condition.

A lot of times these boxes are at a diagonal like they have been knocked over. My guess is that this happens from lawnmowers that go by and knock into them sending them out of alignment.

If you start looking for these green utility boxes, you will notice how so many of them do not have the covers on properly or are knocked over. I find this strange considering there are probably important wires inside that should be protected from the elements.

The wires inside must be pretty durable considering how so many of these boxes are in bad shape and apparently they are still working because no one seems to bother to fix them or put the covers on the right way.

I think they need to come up with a better design for these utility boxes to make the covers easier to put on. They also should try to make them stronger so they do not get knocked over so easily.

Has anyone else noticed these utility boxes like this? If anyone out there works with these boxes or has any insight on them, please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.