Archive for September, 2006

Working at the Tiger

As previously mentioned, I started working full-time at Services Inc. last week. Although I’ve only been employed there for just over a week, the job has proven to have quite a bit of variety. One of my biggest pet peeves is repetition, although I put up with it when I have to. The basic duties around the shop are sweeping, mopping, and cleaning. Aside from that, washing semi trucks and trailers is also a regular part of the job, and the part of the job that makes time fly by. The only real downside to washing the trucks is when the water or mud splashes back in my face as a result of the high pressure. They do supply a clear plastic face mask for this, but it’s not easy to see through all of the mud and water sometimes, therefore, it is often easier to get dirty and clean up afterwards.

Other then working in the shop, we have been clearing out a decent sized warehouse near the shop, as they are in the process of moving things up to some new buildings north of Edmonton in . For now, the materials are being stored wherever they can find space, which includes a place east of called , thus resulting in two road trips so far. We’ve been taking down scaffolding (steel beams) and plywood, and removing tires and boxes as well. I am told the warehouse work will be completed tomorrow.

I was originally hired on for a 4 days of 10 hour shifts rotation, which I am told will return next week. However, I have been asked to work 5 days this week to help with the workload being generated right now. So for this week, I’ll be putting in a total of 50 hours, including overtime of course.

Honestly, this job is hard on the body sometimes, especially the sweeping, and sometimes the washing, but I figure it’s a good thing, as it’s forcing me to get into shape and feel better about myself. That said, being stiff and sore is no fun, but I’m putting up with it. I’m making sure to take breaks when necessary and to not overexert myself.

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VGX.dll Windows Flaw Patch

UPDATE: Microsoft has released an official patch for this issue as of today (09/26/06). It can be downloaded here, or simply visit Windows Update.
 
A very critical Windows flaw has been revealed. The exploit applies when you view an infected .vml (vector markup language file) only in Internet Explorer. Steve Gibson (of GRC.com)has posted a simple fix for this on his site.
 
A reputable group known as "ZERT" — Zeroday Emergency Response Team — has produced a very nice GUI and Command Line patch utility which repairs the VML buffer overrun design flaw in Microsoft’s VGX.DLL file.
 
This file contains GUI and command-line versions of patch, a readme and source code. You only need to run one of these patches.
You need to close Internet Explorer, Outlook and other programs that may be using the DLL before you attempt to patch.
 
Test your system once you are patched! by using our test page:
After installing this patch you can test your IE browser by visiting a special page. A patched browser will not crash when it visits this page. http://www.isotf.org/zert/testvml.htm
 
Warning! If you visit the above test page with an unpatched version of Internet Explorer it will crash.

New Job

I quit my job at Withers Trucking yesterday, for a few different reasons. Suffice to say, I wasn’t satisfied with the working environment. I applied via fax that same day, and had an interview today at a company called Tiger Calcium, and was hired as a Shop Hand/Truck Washer. The shift runs 4 days a week, 10 hours a day, starting tomorrow. It pays pretty decently, too. This will hopefully be the job that lasts me until I start college in January, as I’m sick and tired of "job hopping", it’s not my style.

Windows Vista RC1

I just installed Windows Vista RC1 on my secondary computer, Uniacke.  The only issue I had with it was the driver for the network card I had in the computer originally was not installed by Vista, so I swapped it to one that was, simply to avoid frustration. Microsoft has definitely rebuilt Windows from the ground up with Vista. As for software compatibility, it seems Vista isn’t backwards compatible with some programs, such as Avast! Antivirus or Kerio Firewall, both of which I use. This is simply unacceptable, especially with well-known programs, and Microsoft should know better. I shall try AVG and another Firewall, or just use the one included with Vista. I’m just playing around with Vista, so if I have to blow it away, I don’t care.
 
Seriously, though, Microsoft, make the OS backwards compatible with the programs people are using with Windows XP, or Vista won’t stand a chance!
 
Issues with Windows Vista:
1. Will not work in a virtual machine (Virtual PC 2004)
2. Is not compatible with some well-known programs
3. Does not play nice with software KVM "Synergy"
4. Install process for operating system shows little detail as to what is being done when. Not very intuitive or interactive.
5. Data on CD takes up 2.5GB, and that’s not even uncompressed.

Frost Warning

  We are under a Frost Warning for the first time this fall. This pretty much guarantees Frost overnight. I was almost certain we had received Frost the night before last, but it was simply rain/mildew that had not yet frozen. It’s 6 degrees outside right now, and with how chilly it’s been outside, not to mention the 4 constant days of shitty weather, I suppose it only makes sense for Frost to come next, and Snow not long after. Cold and Winter weather is the one thing I hate about Canada, but oh well. Just gonna have to live with it once again. Damn. It’s supposed to be 14 degrees and sunny on Friday, so a slight glimmer of hope anyway.

Anniversary of 9/11

Five years after the September 11 attacks killed 2,973 people, the country’s mood is awash in emotions, balancing resolve with vulnerability, a need to remember with a desire to move on.
 
It’s been five years since the Sept. 11 terror strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, yet most Americans still believe more terror attacks on their country are imminent.
 
Experts say it’s the psychology of terrorism that causes it to command so much attention in the media and the national psyche — a fact that has been "milked relentlessly" by the administration of U.S. President George Bush.
 
It was a disaster. About that, there is no debate. The planes that crashed in New York and Pennsylvania and Washington five years ago tomorrow plunged the United States into crisis and a disbelieving sense of tragedy.
 
It would be comforting to leave the sentence like that, with its sad but reassuring past tense. This anniversary will be marked with formal solemnity and, for the victims’ families, sweet, sad recollections.
 
 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A few months ago, I began to develop symptoms to what is referred to as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. At the time, and up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t take it seriously. The pain came and went, and I know it’s associated to how much I use computers, specifically the repetitive actions of typing and using the mouse. When I first realized I may have CTS, I went to my doctor, Dr. Abel, a wonderful doctor. In fact, she’s the best I’ve seen in recent years. She’s down to earth, easy to talk to and relate to, and knows her stuff. She’s somewhat of a ‘looker’, too. Anyway, she told me at the time try some exercises and come back if the pain persisted. Truth be told, I’ve done some of the exercises when I’ve remembered to or when it occurs to me. However, with other issues taking place in recent months, I didn’t make it a priority to go see her. I’ve been able to type and use the computer just the same, but I’ve definitely felt the CTS, some days a lot more then others. It’s gotten to be quite bothersome, and I’ve finally decided to do something about it. I’ve been doing online research, learning more about CTS. On Tuesday, I’ll be going to see Dr. Abel about it.
 
I know, I’ve been ignorant and stupid when it comes to this. Ignorance is bliss, what else can I say? I, of course, have been wondering what may come of my computer career goals, since I have CTS, which doesn’t feel very good, and I have lost sleep over that. I just hope to be able to correct my CTS, as I do not want to give up my career goals. That being said, my health comes first.
 
Here are some links that I have found useful:

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