Saturday, January 26, 2008

I always knew I was unique

Evidently I just didn't know how unique I was. Like in the land of accounting software unique.

As a CPA, I have to buy accounting software that's a step above your garden variety Quickbooks or Peachtree. This is to put out professional looking reporting to convince people who are giving fairly sizeable amounts of money to me that I know what I'm doing. After all, you don't want to see the guy fixing your car driving around in an old beat-up bomb, do you? Same principle -- you have to provide professional looking reports for your clients.

The package I use is one of the leaders in the industry. And it ain't cheap either.

So imagine my distress this year when I downloaded the update to the software to be able to print W2s and 1099s and discovered that the sucker wouldn't run on my computer. Runs fine on everybody else's. And they had no clue why. Exhausted all the possibilities they had. Furthermore, **Richard**, Alpha Geek of all Geeks, also couldn't find out why.

At this point, there was only one solution: buy a new computer.

Now, mind you, I had pulled out an ancient XP machine to limp along on until I could get the new machine. Software downloaded and updated just fine on there. But it was sslloooowwwww..... and I just didn't think I could handle it. So off to Office Depot I went, where I procured a shiny new Gateway, 3GB of RAM, dual core Intel processor, 250 GB hard drive. That baby should scream! Yeah, it has Vista on it... but all my vendors now say they can handle Vista, right??

Yeah... well...

Downloaded the software last night. Now, you can download the program off the internet, but any licensing or updating has to be done through a special "connect" function that is internal to the program. So you can't just go fetch a file off the internet and update (which I find completely ludicrous, but I also find the fact that they want you to have a wired network connection to talk to them ludicrous as well -- and notice in all of this that I'm carefully not revealing the name of the guilty party either).


And evidently I'm the first person to find this out.

Oh, Joy. Oh, Rapture. Oh serious one way flow of conversation through the phone to the rep on the other end.

At first they tried to blame it on my DSL connection. I informed them that didn't fly since it worked just fine on the aforementioned sssllllooooowwww XP machine. "Hmmmph" was the reply I got. I also told them I found it curious that **everything else** worked on the internet except for stuff internal to *Their* program, so it seemed pretty obvious to me where the problem was.

After about two hours of conferring with their techno geeks, they decide that I should snarf some files off the ssslllloooowwww XP machine and restore them to the shiny new Vista machine to get me going for now. It still doesn't fix the problem, but at least I can function. They say they want to re-visit it after tax season. I say we're going to re-visit it in March when my renewal comes up and they want $$$.

Am I the only person who thinks it's unreasonable to expect that this stuff get, say, *tested* if you're gonna claim your stuff works with the operating system???

And for you FSU fans, the new machine is "Garnet Red". Says so on the box. It was the only color they had. I'm sticking with the FSU take on it to avoid any Bulldog associations.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Yep, It's a Snowstorm

The view from my front door:
The view from my back door:
The snow is still coming down, too. We'll end up with an inch or two before it's over, which is a very big deal down here.

Not much on the streets right now, but they're wet, and considering the temps are supposed to drop into the teens tonight, they'll make a fine skating rink in the morning. I called our choir director and suggested he get our minister to go ahead and cancel services in the morning and call one of the local news stations to scroll the closing across the bottom of the screen as many other churches have been doing. Seemed like free publicity to me. So far he hasn't bitten. Most great ideas really aren't appreciated. :)

As for us and our snow day, Oscar is napping, Richard is assembling some Ikea furniture we procured last weekend, and I'm working on some cross stitch ornaments for this year's ornament exchange. Oh, and laundry. I'm loving my new Ikea laundry cart that I got. I think it's my new best friend. :)

By the way, when you say your prayers tonight, I'd appreciate it if you could include one for my friend Sandra, who is caring for her mother Frances. Frances is almost 90 and is ill, and things aren't looking good right now. They could both use a little extra support, and I'd appreciate it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow Watch '08

We're on an official Snow Watch here around the ATL. For those of you in the northern climate, for whom snow is a regular occurrance, I'm sure this is quite odd. But for those of us born and raised in the south, snow is a Big Thing. We just completely lose our minds over it, because we so rarely see it. Grown people get positively giddy at the thought of a couple of inches of snowfall.

For those of you who don't know, we've got a few rules here for handling potential snowstorms. (Let me define a southern snowstorm for you: it snows a couple of inches -- 4 if it's a blizzard -- and it's generally gone by the next day). First, you have to make a run to your nearest grocery store and buy enough milk and bread to do for at least a couple of weeks. I don't know why you have to stock up that much, but you just do.

Because here in the south, we generally stay home for the day it snows. And lest you Northerners (note my extreme restraint in not using the term "Yankee" -- I'm married to a Yankee, by the way) snerk at our reasoning for staying home, I'll list the next few rules of southern snowstorms:

a. There's always a layer of ice under the snow.
b. You can't drive on ice.
c. See a and b once again if you don't believe me
d. The entire state of Georgia probably has one snowplow and it's in "the mountains"
e. Go back to a and b.

So, we all stay home, watch the anchors on tv become completely ridiculous with the snow coverage ("We'll go to Jim up in Gwinnett County who says there's at least two flakes up there now!"), and we watch all the transplanted northerners who haven't learned these rules and think we're just scared of a little snow get out and try to drive in it. By the way, my client who is an auto body shop just *loves* these people. Business is always up for him after a snowstorm.

I don't want to make light of everything -- there are some dangers inherent in this too. Our neighborhoods are covered with pine trees that just love to snap when they're covered with ice and snow (they sound just like shotguns when they do that), and quite often they take power lines with them, so you have to be sure to have plenty of battery operated lights available. And logs for the fireplace aren't a bad idea either. Plus, I sure wouldn't want to be one of the people like my friend Vicky, a nurse, who *has* to get to work through the ice and the crazies.

We had a little taste of snow yesterday -- covered the grass but didn't get on the roads. Tomorrow night it's supposed to come down again, so we'll see what happens. Forecasting a southern snowstorm is about as easy as predicting what a dachshund will decide to do when you call him. We all know that's a bit of an iffy proposition. :) But just to be on the safe side, we went to the store tonight and bought bread and milk.....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Never give out your address unless you know why

This is Bob:Bob is my business partner. We've known each other for about 10 years now. Actually, he's more like the big brother I never had. The most frequent phrase heard around the office is "Bite me". Bob's an ordained minister, which is good, because he prays for my soul constantly (and those of you who know me know I'm in desperate need of that).

So yesterday afternoon, Bob calls and asks for my address, which I found strange because I got a Christmas card from him this year. But he said he couldn't find it, so I gave it to him anyway.

I was home, talking to Richard, when I looked out the window. I said "there's something in the yard." This is what I found:My first thought: Bob.

It was a pretty dramatic statement, and actually, it was pretty darn funny. Haven't heard from my neighbors yet....
But isn't it cute when a skunk says you're beautiful???

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

'Nuff Said

loldogs, funny dog pictures, cute puppy pictures, elections, daschund
moar cute puppy pictures

Monday, January 7, 2008

It's been a good half century

I'll be 50 tomorrow. The big 5-0. Half a century old. Jeepers, did I just type that???

A lot of people go through a major freak-out or life crisis right about now. I just don't see the point. I'm surrounded by my hubby, the love of my life, who has been with me for over half of those 50 years, if you count the time we were friends, then dating and engaged and married. I've got the best group of friends anyone could ever ask for. My mom is still here with me. I have the world's best dog. I'm my own boss in a job I enjoy (most of the time).

I'm not saying there aren't some bumps along the way. Life wouldn't be life without 'em. It really sucked when my dad got the brain tumor. I think that's about the worst thing I've had happen to me so far. I still miss him so much every day it hurts. But that's the way things are supposed to go, right? Children are supposed to outlive their parents. This will be my 6th birthday without him here, not that I'm counting or anything.

But outside of that, things are pretty darn good. So tomorrow I'll celebrate making it this far, and I'll celebrate the years to come and hope that there are a lot of them in front of me. I'll be with hubby and friends, and later in the week I'll go see my mom.

So it's all good. Really.