Moving Sucks

So yesterday (since I’m writing this just a little after midnight) was the first day of moving stuff into our new place but really this was the 4th day of moving stuff as I’ve been helping my friends Elaine and Roy to move into their new apartment over the last week.

Anyways I’ll start my tale of woe on Tuesday when my car decided that it doesn’t like me.  Tuesday evening I went out to go to the bank and then Home Depot to buy some moving boxes.  First I stopped at the bank to deposit some money that I had gotten from selling some of our stuff.  It’s so old and crappy how can you resist?)  When I get back in my car to leave the bank it won’t start.  Now it’s been doing this off and on for months. Basically what happens is when I turn the key I just hear one loud click then nothing, and usually if I keep trying it’ll start in may cases after only a few tries.  This time however I tried for maybe five minutes then gave up and walked over to the dollar store so the car and I can cool down.  I come back the keep trying for maybe another five or ten minutes and I finally got it to start, but there were maybe three or four times that the engine slowly turned over a few times then quit.  Then I went to Home Dept and wanting to avoid dealing with all that again I just let the car running when I went into the store.

I figured that since even when the car tried to start that It was having trouble that the battery was dieing so I put it on the charger over night.  After charging all night it still wasn’t starting, my dad asked me if I’ve checked if I needed to add water to the battery, which I answered no.  Now this is something I have heard of before but for whatever reason never thought to check.  So I did and it’s very low I filled it up tried charging it a little more and it still wouldn’t start.

Since we’re moving having my car working is rather helpful so my dad offered to buy me a new battery as long as I pay him back over the next couple of weeks when I get my next two unemployment checks.  So I take my old battery down to Kragen so they can test it.  The guy tells me that the battery is putting out over 14 volt which is way to high but only about 100 amps which is way too low and that I definitely needed a new battery.  The new battery cost $100, took it home installed it and guess what?  Yeah that’s right my car still isn’t starting.  Having done some more research online I’m thinking that it’s probably the starter solenoid (this seems to be a common problem with Toyota’s made around that time BTW I have a 1996 Toyota Corolla) my dad thinks it could be the starter relay, either way I’m looking at least another $100 to get my car fixed.  More on how much this sucks a little later.

Wednesday night our new landlord Ben came over to have us sign the rental agreement and to give us our keys.  The rental agreement was 4 pages long and like 8 or 7 point type so my dad couldn’t read it and Ben insisted on reading it to him because he’s kinda fussy about details and wanted to be absolutely sure we understood everything.  This took almost two hours in large part because he was filling bits of it in and making edits as he went and because him and my dad kept arguing over the fact that the rental agreement was saying that everything starts on the first of the month and it was now the fifth.

Our new place is fairly close to downtown San Jose in a house that is about 100 years old.  The house has been divided into two units, ours being a two bedroom unit.  It’s going to be my dad, my brother, and myself living there.  My dad is planing on sleeping on a fold out sofa bed that will be in the living room.  The room I’m going to be in is the same size as the room I’m in now, however due to where the closets are and a door to the bathroom is I can’t put everything in there the same way I have it now and I haven’t figured out where everything is going to go yet.  The room my brother is going to be in just got new drywall put up since one of the previous tenants apparently destroyed the walls, that just barely got finished the other day and Ben still needs to put up a door to that room.

Just about the time that Ben was getting finished reading us the rental agreement Elaine  got to my house to pick me up and take me to Fremont where her new apartment is.  Elaine and Roy had rented a U-Haul and since I could now start moving stuff into the new place they let me borrow it to use Thursday.  This is the first time I have ever driven anything bigger than a minivan so I was really nervous but it wasn’t all that bad driving it back from Fremont at night but still just a bit scary as I would sometime drift into the lane on my right because the truck is wider than I’m used to.  Got home around midnight, packed a bunch of my stuff also when though and threw out a lot of old crap that I’ve had for years like some model paint that was probably 20 years old.  I ended up going to bed a little after 2am.

Hardly slept all night since I have to many things on my mind.  Got up about 10am, started loading the truck around 11.  As I was loading the truck the mail came and I was kind of surprised it was so early as it usually comes around 2 or 3.  This should have been a good thing as I was expecting to get my unemployment check.  Since I needed to fix my car I was planing on cashing my check then trying to get my car started then taking it to my mechanic and hope that it doesn’t cost too much to get it fixed.  But alas no check, so I called the EDD information line which among other things lets you find out when the last check was issued to you and for how much.  After listening to a 3 minute message that I can’t skip telling me that Obama has signed another extension to unemployment benefits blah blah blah I find out that the last check issued was the one I got 2 weeks ago.  Having been on unemployment for some time now I know this likely means one of two things, either I filled out the form wrong and I’ll get a new one hopefully today that I have to fill out again for the last 2 weeks then wait another week till I get a check or this new Obama bonus that they were yammering on for several minutes is causing my benefits to be stopped then restarted again which could take as long as 3 weeks till I get a check.  So yeah now no money and no car, ain’t life grand?

Now back to the moving I loaded up the truck with mostly my stuff that I don’t need day to day and some kitchen stuff since those are the 2 rooms in the new place that are mostly clean of stuff.  Ben is still in the process of repairing and improving the new place and because he apparently doesn’t have anywhere else to store this stuff the living room has a bunch of drywall leaning against one wall and what looks to be the materials for Chris’s future door.  Chris’s room is almost completely full of various building materials and tools so for now we were planing on just moving stuff into my room and the kitchen.

Elaine wanted me to bring the truck back to her old apartment by around 2pm so they could get one more load of stuff over to their new place and return the truck by 4pm.  It didn’t look like I would be able to get everything unloaded by myself by then so I asked them to come to our new place to help me unload everything.  But before going to the new house I stopped at the goodwill collection trailer that’s just down the street from us so I could dump some of the crap that we had in our garage.  Problem is they apparently don’t take furniture at the collection trailer which kind of sucks since I had brought my old bed frame and dresser.  So boo I had to bring that crap with me to the new house since I didn’t have time to stop at a goodwill store and drop that stuff off lke the guy told me to.

I get to the house and there is no parking on the street anywhere near the house plus it’s garbage pickup day and there are like 4 or 5 garbage cans in front of every house including the new one and they are all blocking the driveway.  Lucky for me Elaine and Roy got there as I was circling the block for the third time looking for somewhere to park so I had Elaine move the garbage cans and open the gate to the drive way (which I already hate the very idea of, sure my car is slightly safer behind a gate but what a nuisance having to jump out of my car to open the damn thing) we didn’t move one of the garbage cans far enough and I ended up running it over a bit yay?

I get out go to unlock the door and guess what, one of the two keys needed to unlock the door doesn’t work.  So we all just start unloading stuff into the yard since my dad was supposed to be over there in a little bit and his keys just might work.  Fortunately his key for the deadbolt worked, but his other one for the other lock didn’t work.  So if we want to get into the house we both have to be there at the same time. lovely.

So we get into the house and it’s in the condition I described earlier although there’s these two big drawers (they look like the sort that you put under your bed) in the middle of my room but they are on their end and all the drawers are out stacked next to them that were there before when I went to look at the place a week or so before but I had assumed they would be gone by now.  So it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to move my bed or desk in there yet and with all the other crap in the living room and Chris’s future room I don’t see how we’re going to actually start living there within the next couple of days like we’re supposed to.

OK I’ve been typing for about 2 hours now and I’ve managed to write almost 2000 words I think I should stop now.  Please excuse any grammatical errors or weird missing or wrong words.  I don’t feel like proof reading right now and sometimes I don’t actually type all the words I think I did.

Status Update

So again I’m completely unemployed only now my unemployment checks have been reduced to a measly $67 a week which is a significant reduction from the $249 a week that I’ve been getting by on for the last 2 years.

To recap a bit for those that don’t know that $249 a week that I was getting was from when I worked at Google scanning books from Sept 2006 to Sept 2008. Also you can continue to collect unemployment when working (as I have been) if you’re only employed part time.

This $67 a week I’m getting now is based off of how much I made while working at Great America. The math is a bit complicated so I won’t try to explain exactly how it works but you basically get about half of your average paycheck from a particular quarter before taxes from unemployment.

I’m currently living with my dad (82), my younger sister (31), and my nephew/adopted brother (33) who’s the son of one of my half sisters and he also happens to be blind.

My dad has been renting this house for over 14 years. The rent is currently $1735 a month and even if we were too pool all of our incomes it would just barely cover the rent with nothing left over for other expenses like food, water, electricity, etc. My dad was only able to pay our landlord $1000 last month and we don’t have enough for this month let alone what we still owe from last month so our landlord is threatening to evict us and as I see things unless we find a pile of money somewhere I don’t know how we’re going to avoid getting evicted.

That’s as much as I feel like getting into all that right now.

Since I will most likely need to move in the next few months, if anyone happens to know of a cheap place I might be able to live (cheap apartment or someone that needs a roommate) in the bay area I’d really appreciate it.

Also do me a favor and click an Ad or two on my web site, although I don’t get much $ per click but if I get enough to earn me more than $100 I’ll actually get a check which would be nice (especially since I have yet to earn enough from the ads on my site to ever get a check).

Oh yeah and I’d like to apologize to any of my friends that I’ve been a bit distant to lately, I tend to be even more antisocial than normal when I’m depressed or stressed out. I’ve been fairly depressed since my mom passed away and me and my family worsening financial situation over the last year hasn’t help either, so again sorry.

Update to the update Nov 13 2010

My sister moved out this morning.  She’s apparently going to go live near Chicago.  She didn’t say why she’s going there or anything else really.   Granted I didn’t ask her about it either so I guess I can’t complain too much about not knowing anything.   She pretty much just took her clothes and her cat and said we could sell most of her stuff like her bed.

So now on top of trying to find a job and maybe somewhere to live on my own I have to worry about trying to sell a bunch of furniture and other crap we don’t need or wouldn’t have room for when we move.

New Photo’s

I managed to dislodge the dust inside my camera that was ruining my photos.

See my previous blog post Need a new camera to understand what I’m talking about.

I can see that there is still some dust in there but it doesn’t seem to be seriously affecting the photo’s that I take.

So last Saturday I went to Bootie with Elaine and took some pictures for the first time in about 4 months. Elaine also had me take some pictures of her and Sumomo (her dog) on her new trike after we got home from Bootie.

Here are the Photo’s I uploaded to Flickr

Elaine and her Trike

Bootie June 12th 2010

Goodbye Sweet Brown Nectar

Anyone that knows me fairly well knows that I love Coca-Cola and that I drink a lot of it. I have for many years averaged about a 2 litter bottle of Coke a day.

A 2 liter bottle of Coca-Cola Classic is about 800 Calories and has a little under 200mg of caffeine.

I’ve recently gotten up to about 185lbs which is the heaviest I’ve ever been and I’d really prefer to be around 150-160. I’ve also learned that caffeine is bad for my A.D.D. since it constricts blood vessels which reduces blood flow in the brain which just makes my A.D.D. even worse over time. This is kind of a problem since caffeine being a stimulant does somewhat help my A.D.D. in the short term but only for a hour or 2 after having some.

So in an attempt to both lose some weight and help my A.D.D. I’m trying to once again stop drinking Coke, or at very least severely limit how much i drink by not keeping any at home.

Since I’ve tried on several occasions before to stop drinking Coke we’ll see how long I’ll manage to last this time without it.

On a somewhat related note I’ve also decided just last week to stop drinking alcohol. I have never been any good at keeping myself from drinking to much when I drink socially and I tend to be rather obnoxious when I’m drunk. My drinking has been causing problems with several of my relationships over the years and just recently may have contributed to losing a friendship with someone that I really cared for.

So I’m going to have to learn to cope with my anxiety in social situations, because for me drinking is just a bad way to deal with that anxiety.

Need a new camera

I noticed some pictures that I had taken with my Canon PowerShot SD750 a couple of weeks ago had some dark spots on them like you would get if there was a hair or dust on the lens.  After cleaning the lens I realized that the hair or whatever was inside the lens or possibly on the sensor.  So there isn’t really anything I can do to fix this and as a result I probably won’t be taking many pictures till I can afford to get a new camera.

I took a picture of my wall zoomed in all the way since it’s more noticeable when zoomed in to show what I’m talking about.


Anyways if I could I would really like to get this camera

Canon PowerShot S95
10 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom
3.0-Inch inch LCD

It’s only a little bit bigger than my current camera so I would still be able to carry it around in the front pocket of my jeans. It also has better image quality and much better low light performance which considering most of the pictures I’ve taken over the years have been in dark clubs that’s big deal to me.

While out for a walk

This morning I went for a walk around this access road that runs around the foothills near my house.  I ended up wandering up a trail and found this strange thing

Here’s where this is at on google maps
Also the view was quite nice, to bad the camera on my phone kind of sucks.
The buildings in the distance are downtown San Jose.

The Silly Reasons I Don’t Use Firefox

One of the main reasons I don’t use Firefox and still use Internet Explorer has to do with how Firefox deals with drop down lists in web pages.  Drop down lists are often used on web forums to navigate to different sub forums.

Here you can see in Internet Explorer that items above and below the currently selected item are displayed meaning you’re less likely to have to  to scroll up and down if what you want is a few items down on the list.

In Firefox once you have moved to the middle of the list the currently selected item is at the bottom forcing you so scroll down to select lower items.

Since I spend a fair amount of my time on the Internet reading web forums and I use these drop down lists as my primary method of navigation though web forums this small difference really annoys me.

The other small thing I don’t like about Firefox is that the bookmark menu will close if I middle click to open the page in a new tab.  In Internet Explorer the menu stays open when middle clicking allowing me to open many pages quickly.  While I can do this in Firefox by opening the bookmarks side bar, I don’t like doing that as much since the side bar is a bit cluttered and I have to manually close it once I’m done opening pages.

So those are the admittedly silly reasons I still use IE, if it weren’t for those minor dislikes I would be using Firefox as it is an overall better browser.

Update July 1st, 2009

Firefox 3.5 was just released yesterday, and while it’s fairly awesome I’m still sticking with Internet Explorer for the reasons mentioned above.  Also as strange as it may sound to most, I actually (mostly) like the layout of the interface in Internet Explorer.

Update March 8th, 2010

I’m giving Google’s Chrome browser a try as my preferred secondary browser now that AdBlock is available for it.  Also I’m trying out LastPass as a replacement for Ai Roboform since it supports IE, Firefox, and Chrome since Roboform only supports IE and Firefox also because Roboform caused some minor graphical corruption in IE’s tab bar when it was setup to work properly with Firefox.

So far my only major complaint with LastPass is that it has crashed a few times in Chrome.

Unfortunately Chrome has the same favorites menu and drop down list behavior as Firefox that I mentioned which it preventing me from using it as my main browser.

New Web Host and Blog

I’ve moved my web site to a new web host. I had been using tripod for the last 4 years, and while they’ve served me well, I wanted more control over my site and I wanted to use WordPress to create a blog which I couldn’t do on tripod.

So now I’m using as my web host. Unfortunately I had some problems with transferring my domain name so my web site was down for about a week, but that is all sorted out now.

Since I’ve only just gotten WordPress installed and running on my site I haven’t gotten around to changing the template to match my site better or add navigation back to the rest of my site. So I’m going to have to learn a bit of PHP and how to work with WordPress before I can do that.

Once I get my blog set up the way I want it I plan to post a bit more often than I have been and maybe even start writing some mini product reviews and tech oriented opinion columns.