So Photobucket is Cancer Now. Great.

I uploaded almost all the pictures for this blog to Photobucket.  Aaaaand they decided to break hotlinks on all not-Photobucket websites, so all the images here now show up as broken.

Do you want to drive me off your website entirely? Because this is how you drive me off your website entirely.  FML now I gotta go change a zillion links.  Hopefully someone knows how to convert it all with a quick button-press in a program.

Thanks for nothing Photobucket, you suck now.

edit to add: I am now trying to download my album of images, and it appears to be a broken process.  Trying to make it go more smoothly I enable java scripts . . . [deleted] that website is terrible with ads enabled.  No wonder they have resorted to forcing people to pay up or go elsewhere.  Here’s one more going elsewhere.


(SOLVED) Spark Instant Messenger Main Program Window Disappears Offscreen

My company uses Spark for intra-office instant messenging for most communications.  I added another monitor to my workstation and the contact list (a.k.a. the Main Window) was invisible.  This happened with Pidgin too sometimes* but the fix was different.  This is *the* way to get your Spark window to show back up again.

In the System Tray area, right click the Spark icon and select Hide to see if it pops up.  If it doesn’t, select Hide again to un-hide it.  Still missing? Log out of Spark. Close the Spark program altogether.  The next steps may need help from an authorized systems administrator if your permissions are set for highest security.  Note that this is for Windows 7, and the exact steps will vary on different operating systems.

  • Press the Start button.
  • In the search field, type %appdata% and hit the Enter key.  This will bring up a Windows Explorer window with your user profiles AppData folder.  N.B.: you can seriously mess up your computer in possibly un-fixable ways by dickering around in AppData so be careful!
  • If that doesn’t work, you *may* be out of luck because AppData is a special, hidden folder.  If you don’t know how to get there otherwise please do yourself a favor and contact someone who does!
  • Navigate to \Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Spark
  • Open layout.settings in Notepad
  • look at the mainWindowY and mainWindowX values and adjust them if they are out of bounds.
  • Setting both values to 0 will reset the position to a position that’s hopefully somewhere onscreen.
  • Reset and log in to Spark
  • IF this worked, you can see the Main Window again.

Good luck!  I had to search for what seemed to me an unreasonable amount of time before I found this piece of advice here: so I decided to post it somewhere else in hopes you might find it a little easier.


*Pidgin was the program we used to use, and which I liked better because you can send inline images with Pidgin but not Spark 😡 but they changed it so oh well

Dear Jerk,

If you are going to have a loudass barking dog, could you do me a favor and not cage it right next to the fence on our side, so its barking doesn’t stand in lieu of an alarm clock? Thanks.
-apparently the only people who give a F about our neighbors not being kept awake

I’m not sure which is worse:
*the beagle that booooooowoooooowooooo’d constantly
*the pit bulls that kept breaking through the fence to come visit
*this thing with a piercing bark that waits juuuuust long enough to nod off, between starting up again while the master is on the other side of the house watching the foosball.

First world problems.

Car Jokes

The devil drives . . . a minivan?

This one has a bonus joke for those who are in the printing industry: The plate and colors match perfectly!DSC_6417
hint for the uninitiated: (Cyan in the roundel, Magenta in the lights (okay but…) and blacK everywhere else.  No Yellow.

Still Alive!

Navelgazing post follows:

Holy cow what a few weeks this has been.  I know I haven’t been blogging once or more a day for a long time now, but this place has been a ghost town recently for good reason.

DW felt bad and tired for a couple of weeks, which meant tag-teaming me when I got home and disappearing to her bed for the rest of the day.  Then she spent nearly a week in hospital, recovered, and is back to at least 85% of normal, having mostly kicked her infected guts in the guts and got over it.

Then #3 came out of his room as normal one morning doing a very strange peepee dance, went into the head and vomited.  Four days later he was back in school.  Now he’s his regular self again like nothing happened.

All this time I’ve been either tending to the children or trying to get some work done on the side. And when I’ve been at work I’ve been telling the guys there how to solve all the world’s problems so I don’t have to tell you, here.

Kids People Say The Darnedest Things!

#4 is now 2 years old. Tonight he came into the kitchen as I was awesomeing around the house and said . . .

#4: My necklace!
VFD: (turns around, sees #4 with canteen hanging around his neck)
VFD: That’s a pretty big necklace
#4: Yah!
VFD: It’s like you’ve got a midget hanging from your necklace
#4: (goes and plays somewhere else, oblivious to adult humor)

For those who are too young to catch it, too non-afro-murikin, or both: you didnt’ miss much, really.

Buck The System

Flex your rights.

When a clerk says “Can I have your ZIP code?” say “No.”

When a check box is automatically selected, deselect it.

When the Man says “Can I search your ____?” say “No.”

Open the shrink wrap before reading the warning.

Read your mortgage.

Hang up the phone without explaining why.

Laugh when something is funny. Even in church. At a funeral.

When somebody pisses you off, or is acting dumb, tell them.

Make a racist joke if you don’t mean it.

Go in the Exit and out the Entrance.

Leave your engine running at the fueling station. And talk on the phone.

If the dress makes her look fat, say so.

Carry a knife right past the “no weapons” sign (but not past the metal detector!)

When you are about to get into a fight for any of the above, smile at the other guy.

Jensen KDC9520 AM/FM/CD/Cassette 1-1/2 DIN Car Stereo Head Unit


This is a Jensen KDC9520 Stereo CD Receiver with an audio cassette player built in. It is 1-1/2 DIN which is great if you need it, and doesn’t look like laser rocketships. It works great. There are a few very minor cosmetic blemishes you have to be looking close to find.

Please click on any picture to see it 4x higher resolution

Buy this radio!

IF you just want the face plate, I will knock ten bucks off the price and recycle the head unit for you.

Buy this radio!

This was purchased new, by me, and used only in a non-smoking (my) automobile. I pulled this radio from my Dodge when I sold it but my new car took a different size head unit. This has been sitting on a shelf in my shop. I tested it to make sure it’s still working before I took the photos for this sale.

I like a radio that doesn’t scream “I’m expensive and fancy, steal me!” if you want leave the face attached when you park the car. This one fills that bill, and in the dark it could pass for a normal came-with-the-car radio. It has a nice green backlight that is easy to see when you’re driving without being too bright. Note the lights to show you where to insert your CD or Tape.

Buy this radio!

With the face detached:

Buy this radio!

One VERY nice feature of the wiring is that all the wires are clearly labeled and dramatically different colors. I never used the Remote turn-on or RCA outputs, but they’re there if you have an external amp you want to use. The black box is a power filter. The wiring harness is removable.

Buy this radio!

The backsides look almost as clean as the front:

Buy this radio!

Buy this radio!

There are a few minor cosmetic blemishes but I was looking hard in bright light to find them so I could show you:

A couple on the body, mostly on the bottom front lip

Buy this radio!

And a few on the faceplate. There are some shallow scratches on the display, and a few scuffs elsewhere. I don’t know what’s up with the texture on the font of the up/down/left/right control, but I did notice it helps work the knob with just a fingertip.

Buy this radio!

The data plate/wiring legend:

Buy this radio!

When you first start the car, the volume setting is displayed both with a number and on the graph on the right side. This prevented me blasting myself out many, many many times because you can turn it down while the radio is waking up. It beeps when you push a button. I mostly tuned this out except when I was operating the radio while looking at the road, in which case it is a nice feature.

The manual for this head unit is available free, from (click here for .pdf file)

What’s included in this sale:

  • Jensen KDC9520 head unit
  • Wiring harness (shown)
  • Detachable face plate for KDC9520
  • Soft carry/storage pouchfor the face