My Mid-Life Crisis -- The Official Soundtrack

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Location: Brainerd, Minnesota, United States

I'm just an average guy who thinks he needs a voice on the Internet. All material on this particular blog is copyright © 2006 - 2011 by William J. Tomson unless otherwise noted, except for the reader comments which remain the intellectual property of their respective authors.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The new site

I've now moved my writing over to the new site at:

My Mid-Life Crisis -- The Official Soundtrack Volume II.

Thank you all for reading me here for the past 5 years.

Bill Tomson

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The time has come

I do believe it has, yes.

My Mid – Life Crisis—The Official Soundtrack has reached the end of its run here on Blogger.

From my point of view, it’s been a good run. However, I feel that it’s time for a change or two. First of all, there’s going to be a change in the blog hosting site. Next, there’s going to be a change in the look of the blog itself. Third, there may be (MAY be) a change in format and title to something different. Or not; I haven’t yet worked out all the details in my brain as of yet.

I’m still working on deciding the new site and design, so it may be a while. Once I have everything up and going, I’ll be notifying everybody via the email listings, and also through my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I want to thank everybody who has been reading me throughout the past six years. I know it hasn’t always been the most interesting page on the Internet, but I’ve had fun doing it, and now I’m looking forward to taking it to the next phase. I hope you’ll all join me there once it’s ready.

Here now ends my 422nd entry.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Contemplating a move, and other things

Blogger™, the host of My Mid-Life Crisis, seems to be having issues that nobody there seems to care about. Case in point: A friend of mine posted a comment on my last entry, and I have tried in vain several times to post a reply. The software is not allowing me to do so. I then started to research the problem, only to find it’s a sporadic glitch in Blogger™ itself that allows some people to post comments, and denies others the chance to do so. I also discovered that the problem is at least a month old, with Blogger’s only advice being: “please be patient.” Blogger™ has no real tech support to speak of; they are much like Apple™ and iTunes® (oops, I shouldn’t mention names) that way. The only way to get help on these issues is to post a message in a forum, and hope like heck that somebody who knows the solution cares enough to post a reply. So, I’m contemplating a move to another hosting company, hopefully a better one.

In other news, I just purchased a brand-spankin’ new computer on Friday. I can’t really afford it (I had to cash out two weeks of vacation for it) but the one I was using just couldn’t handle the loads I was placing on its shoulders. It was a good computer, but it was originally my Mom’s, and when she and I bought it, it was designed for her needs, not mine. I’m loving this new one though; it’s incredibly fast, and has tons of space on it for all my crap. I finally have a computer that’s powerful enough for all of the multitasking that I do when I’m on it. Here’s to a new and hopefully long-lasting relationship with it.

It’s taking some getting used to though. I’ve spent the past 6 years using Windows XP®, and now I’m on Windows 7®. That’s ok; it just takes some adjustment on my part. The only thing that’s really difficult to get used to is Microsoft Word 2010®. For years, I’ve been using a copy of Windows ‘97® on all my computers for all my writing needs. Word 2010® has a completely different look to it than what I’m used to, and all of the functions that I use are in different places, so it’s like I’m on a constant hunt for things that I used to do without thinking. I shall overcome, though.

The one thing I don’t like is how the new computer is treating my writing files from the old system. I have most, if not all of my writing stored on an external hard drive that I may have mentioned to you in other entries. All of that writing was done on the old Word® program that I mentioned above. The newer version still allows me to read them, but if I want to add to them or make any edits I have to re-save them in new files. That’s a lot of writing to have to go through, especially since I hope to soon get back to the fiction pieces I was working on a few months ago. Once again, I shall overcome.

That’s for now, folks. Have a good rest of the weekend. I’m going to post this, email the notices, and go to bed.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

I love the smell of tech support in the morning. Smells like. . . something that smells bad

Company names have been omitted.

Is there anything more wonderful than having to contact two different companies for technical support during the 0300 hour? It’s my second favorite thing of all time. Everything else in the world is tied for first.

The first call was to my Internet service provider. My service was slow and sporadic all day yesterday (Friday). I’d sit and wait several minutes for pages to load, or I’d begin a file download, only to have it get cancelled on me because halfway through, the signal decided to reset itself.

I don’t think I’ll be staying much longer with this provider. After an 11-minute wait to be connected to a technician, I was then run through a series of Internet speed tests, only to be told that I am “on the edge of my service area” and “with that, sometimes my speed will not be very fast, or it will disconnect.” I have to pay for service that I “might” be able to use if conditions are favorable? No. This isn’t acceptable.

My second tech support incident came with searching the website of my antivirus program company. I am considering buying a new computer very soon, and all I wanted to know was if I could transfer my current copy of the software from this computer to the new one, or would I have to buy a new copy altogether. I searched the site for their online support chat function. After installing their software four times, and providing my name three times, I was then able to participate in this conversation:

Please type your question here:

“I recently installed (company name) Antivirus on my computer. I am considering buying a new computer very soon. Am I allowed to uninstall the antivirus software from this computer and reinstall it on the new one, or am I required to buy a new copy?”

The chat window then opened with my question at the top of the page. The following is a transcript of the chat itself:

Bill Tomson has entered the chatroom.
An analyst will be with you shortly.
An email with a reconnect link has been sent to your inbox. In the event of a disconnect from the chat, please use this link to reconnect to the same chat.

Kamaraj has entered the chatroom.

Kamaraj: You are being redirected to Kamaraj.

Kamaraj: Welcome to (company name) Support. Can I please have a minute to go through the information you have provided?

Bill Tomson: Yes.

Kamaraj: Please let me know your Country & Phone number, so that I may call you back within 30 minutes if we are disconnected.

Bill Tomson: Good god. USA, XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Kamaraj: Thank you for providing the requested information.

Kamaraj: I will be creating a case for you using the email address you have provided today. In case you need to get back to us, please quote this email address.

Bill Tomson: It’s a yes-or-no question that you could have answered already, and we’d be finished. Must we go through all this rigamarole?

Kamaraj: I see that you want to know whether you are able to transfer your antivirus subscription from your old computer to a new computer. Have I understood this issue correctly?

Bill Tomson: That’s pretty much what I typed; yes.

Kamaraj: Yes you can transfer your subscription from your old computer to a new computer without buying a new product.

Bill Tomson: 14 minutes later, I have my answer. Thanks.

Kamaraj: You are most welcome, please get back to us with your product key, we will surely assist you to install the program on your new computer and uninstall it from your old computer.

Bill Tomson: Thanks.

Kamaraj: Please ignore the previous message. Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Bill Tomson: That’s it, thanks.

Kamaraj: Before we go can I check with you that the problem you contacted us about has been fixed and that it’s ok for me to close the case?

Bill Tomson: That’s it. Thanks.

Click to close the chat window.

Am I being unreasonable to think that all he had to do was tell me the answer as soon as he read my question, instead of going through all of that BS? It wouldn’t have taken half the time that it did. I typed the question clearly; all he had to do was ask if there was any part that he didn’t understand. I swear, we outsource all of these tech support jobs to other countries to save money; can’t we spend at least a little of the money saved on some basic “common-sense” training?

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Been a while

Bella is out sunbathing on the front steps at the moment, and I have some time to kill before getting ready for work, so I thought I’d try writing something to update this blog o’ mine for the first time in ages.

I haven’t had an Internet connection for several months, except through my cell, so posting entries here was an exceptionally challenging task. I managed a few, but the novelty soon wore off, so I stopped. Also, I didn’t really have anything to write about. I know, that’s never stopped me before, right?

I got a new Internet provider about a week and a half ago. It’s not the best service, but it suffices. I also got reintroduced to the world of television by getting a satellite dish strapped to the roof of Casa Bill. I do enjoy that immensely. I’m not going to name either the Internet or satellite companies because I pay them for their services, and they’re not paying me for any advertising.

After two years, I finally managed to get caught up on all of my overdue crap from when I was unemployed, back in 2009. I somehow was eligible for a huge tax refund this year, and that cleared up everything, and allowed me to hook up the services I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

A bit has been happening here and there in the past few months during my absence from these pages. As I mentioned in my last full entry, I was diagnosed with diabetes back in January. It’s really a mild case; it’s such a low blood sugar count that it’s really not affecting me at all, except I have to take a few pills for it. I do need to start an exercise program, because weight-loss would definitely be a step in the right direction, but all I’m really doing so far is walking Bella daily. It’s a start. To be honest, this is such a mild case that I don’t truly believe I have it. I’m living largely in denial about it right now.

I’ve also started bringing an end to my being a total recluse for the past several years. I actually go out once per week now. My friend Dave and I both discovered that we get off work at the same time on Tuesday nights, so we’ve started going to Poncho & Lefty’s after work on that night. It’s kinda like years ago when we used to go there a LOT. We’ve been trying to get others to join us, but so far, no luck.

I’m still working at the clinic. Over the past few months, since our organization was bought out/taken over by a medical corporation called Essentia Health, headquartered in Duluth. There was a six-week period during March and April when the company was preparing to convert to a new computer system, so they rented a local elementary school that has been closed for a while, and gave everybody classes on how to use the new system. My department didn’t get these classes, but I got some extra hours over those weeks by being the person selected to go to the school every day after classes, and clean the building. So, I was not only a clinic janitor, but also a school janitor. Excuse me, Environmental Services Aide and Custodial Arts Engineer. That’s all finished now, so I have to find extra hours by other means.

Well, that about wraps things up for now, at least for the explanation of why this blog has been silent all this time. I’m going to close it off, and get it posted. Have a great day, everybody.

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