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Old 02-18-2018, 11:49 AM   #16
issybird
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About a month ago, though, after it snowed over a foot during the course of a day, my heart quailed when I got up the next morning to see the stinking winter wonderland outside. I was thinking it would be days before I was mobile again. And then my heart rejoiced; a benevolent plow angel had dug out the top of the driveway where the town plows had worked their evil and taken a swipe along its whole length, so all I had to do was some general tidying.
Redux.

I was taking my second stab at the 8" of heavy wet snow that fell last night, semi-tempted to let it melt in a few days (as with others, I'm getting over the flu and I'm not up to par), when a passing plow took pity on me and swiped down the driveway and dug out the bay in front of my car. Profuse thanks, kind gentleman.

The world is again my oyster. Or at least my salad greens and other staples.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:20 PM   #17
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This thread is such a gift.
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Old 02-19-2018, 10:23 AM   #18
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It happened on a Saturday. A few years ago I left my purse with over 300 Irish punts on the back seat of the bus while returning from town. I had only stepped off the bus when I realized what happened and panic stations set in. I knew the bus terminus was only 2 miles away and happened to be on the grounds where I worked. I hailed a taxi and explained what happened. The taxi driver drove me to the terminus, but unfortunately no purse had been handed in. I was very kindly driven home and the driver would not let my neighbor pay him. I however insisted he give me his contact details. I was only home a short while when I opened the door to a work colleague, whom I knew by sight only and to say the usual “hello” to. We had passed each other when I was leaving the bus and she was entering the bus. We had exchanged a brief “hello”. Fortunately for me, she ended up sitting in the same seat as I and found my purse. She flatly refused any reward. I sent gift card to my lovely taxi driver.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:43 PM   #19
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Well, I don't know if it should go in here or not, but still.

I've mentioned a few times that I've been playing my entire stack of games one more time before I (try to) let go of them forever.

While I'd love to finish stuff like Neverwinter Nights (2002, never did the expansions), Neverwinter Nights 2 (2006, never started it despite having it since release date... full time work interfered), there are four games I *really* want to finish one more time.

Baldur's Gate (1998, finished twice)
Baldur's Gate II (2000, finished twice, but not the expansion)
Icewind Dale (2000, finished once, but not the latest expansion)
Icewind Dale II (2002, never finished)
Planescape: Torment (1999, finished twice)

They are (slowly) becoming *VERY* hard to keep running on newer computers. It could be done up to and including Windows Vista. On Windows 7, the first four required some tweaks using the MS Application Compatibility Kit. Planescape Torment required like 10 tweaks. On Windows 10 RTM everything fell apart; the tweaks didn't work anymore because MS scrapped some compatibility features from DirectX. A directX wrapper, originally written for a different game, re-instated the Infinity Engine games on Windows 10 RTM, and it still works today.

To make sure I can still finish these games, I've been looking into virutalizing them, but no VM solution supports stretching the 640x480 screen to full screen with keeping aspect ratio. But... I found a utility ("Display Changer, by 12noon) that can switch the HOST OS (in this case, Windows 10) to 640x480, and start Windows XP within VirtualBox from the commandline. Windows XP will come up in 640x480, full screen, with the correct aspect ratio, and then I can start Baldur's Gate in there. After I power down the virtual machine, everything switches back to normal.

It runs without any patches or fixes, and without any problems as far as I've seen, in the prologue. Graphics are fine. I'll have to take a look at Planescape: Torment, which is a *serious* $#%%^%^&*#$! to get running on anything over XP. I expect it to run perfectly in the VM.

So as long as the host OS supports a resolution of 640x480 and there's a way to virtualize XP, I can take even more time finishing these old games.

Even more amazing is that Baldur's Gate, which is fixed to 640x480, is stretched to fit into 1920x1080 (with black bars to the left and right to keep the correct aspect ratio) appears to be completely sharp, at least on the 15 inch laptop screen. The graphics drivers seem to do a wonderful job interpolating this old stuff... so don't even have to use things such as the 'widescreen mod.'

Thanks to the Spellhold, Gibberlings3 and PocketPlane group for modding those games for 20 years, and thanks to the writers of patches/wrappers and screen resolution switchers to keep everything running on newer computers. In combination with this virtualization solution, I can give those old classics one more run.

I wonder if they can still be run in 2028, somehow...

Last edited by Katsunami; 02-19-2018 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 02-19-2018, 09:28 PM   #20
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:34 AM   #21
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I'm very thankful we finally do not owe any back taxes. A scammer charge off a erroneous debt in our name in 2014. We tried to fight it but lost. We were paying the IRS $15 a month but our refund for last year covered the rest due.

And I'm very grateful that a relative stepped in a week ago when the state of North Carolina sent us an intent of seizure of property letter out of the blue. Unlike the IRS they weren't willing to work with us. They didn't care it was a scam. They wanted money. The relative paid them in full.

I don't know if they could have really done anything being we are in Missouri but it's wonderful not to have to worry about this anymore. It's a chapter closed and I'm very thankful for that. Less stress is wonderful.

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Old 02-20-2018, 12:48 PM   #22
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:41 AM   #23
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I'm thankful that Wed. Feb 21st (this year) ended on a far better note than it began. I went to bed late (tuesday night/wednesday morning) due to blood sugar concerns and about an hr later was wakened by something. Not sure if it was a neighbor banging on my door or more direct help from a far more spiritual realm, but I opened my apt. door to find the hallway full of smoke. Somehow the neighbor in apt. # 7 set their apt. on fire. The fire dept. was able to get it put out with fire damage to only apt. #7 (I live in apt. # 4) and water damage to apt # 3 (which is under apt. # 7) my next door neighbor. If the fire had reached the attic space up above all 8 apts. in my building and the building next door (they share a wall) would have gone. I'm even more thankful that mom was already at the Manor before it happened. Getting her dressed and out of the apt. would have been a lot more difficult and she had an oxygen concentrator in the apt. (now with her at the Manor) too. So a dangerous situation could potentially have been an even more dangerous situation than it was.

(2) (3)
(1) (4) *
Ground floor


(6) (7)
(5) (8)
2nd floor
* = My apartment

Last edited by crich70; 02-28-2018 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:20 PM   #24
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I'm thankful that rent and electric is paid for March. It takes a huge amount of stress away.

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Old 02-28-2018, 06:21 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I'm thankful that Wed. Feb 21st (this year) ended on a far better note than it began. I went to bed late (tuesday night/wednesday morning) due to blood sugar concerns and about an hr later was wakened by something. Not sure if it was a neighbor banging on my door or more direct help from a far more spiritual realm, but I opened my apt. door to find the hallway full of smoke. Somehow the neighbor in apt. # 7 set their apt. on fire. The fire dept. was able to get it put out with fire damage to only apt. #7 (I live in apt. # 4) and water damage to apt # 3 (which is under apt. # 7) my next door neighbor. If the fire had reached the attic space up above all 8 apts. in my building and the building next door (they share a wall) would have gone. I'm even more thankful that mom was already at the Manor before it happened. Getting her dressed and out of the apt. would have been a lot more difficult and she had an oxygen concentrator in the apt. (now with her at the Manor) too. So a dangerous situation could potentially have been an even more dangerous situation than it was.

(2) (3)
(1) (4) *
Ground floor


(6) (7)
(5) (8)
2nd floor
* = My apartment
So relieved to hear you are okay!

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Old 03-01-2018, 01:40 PM   #26
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I'm thankful that rent and electric is paid for March. It takes a huge amount of stress away.

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I hear ya Blossom. I'm on heat assistance myself and one less bill is always a blessing.
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Old 03-01-2018, 01:41 PM   #27
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So relieved to hear you are okay!

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Thank you Blossom.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:47 PM   #28
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Hello everyone,
I lurk here a lot more than I post, but this thread has motivated me to share my own little good Samaritan story.

This probably happened around 15+ years ago, when our daughter was a toddler. We made a lot of home videos on an 8mm camcorder back then (I think this was when digital camcorders were high tech and expensive). One day, we wanted to use it and the camcorder was nowhere to be found. We looked everywhere, but just couldn't find it, and finally gave up. The last I could remember using it was taping our daughter playing with friends or something in the front yard, but after that it just disappeared.

A month or so later ... my wife answered a call one morning and the man on the other end says it is our lucky day. She thought he was a telemarketer and was about to hang up on him when he asked if we lost a camcorder. She told him, yes, we lost our camcorder. He had found a battered camcorder on the shoulder of the I-20 entrance ramp down the road from our house. It still worked and he was able to play back enough of the tape in it to find a frame where my car's license plate was visible. With the help of a friend in the police dept, he traced it back to us. A few days later, he returned our camcorder to us. IIRC, we made him accept $20 or something for all his trouble and we later mailed him a thank-you card with a restaurant gift certificate.

Looking back, I must have put that camcorder on my car's trunk after using it outside, forgot about it, and the next day drove off with it still sitting there. It made it out of the neighborhood and to the freeway entrace ramp before it rolled off the car. If I could find a battery for it, that beat up camcorder would probably still work. A few years after this, I was still able to use that camcorder to play back all of those 8mm tapes we recorded and capture them to a huge, boring library of mpeg's which are sitting on my hard drive to this day.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:04 PM   #29
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Hello everyone,
I lurk here a lot more than I post, but this thread has motivated me to share my own little good Samaritan story.

This probably happened around 15+ years ago, when our daughter was a toddler. We made a lot of home videos on an 8mm camcorder back then (I think this was when digital camcorders were high tech and expensive). One day, we wanted to use it and the camcorder was nowhere to be found. We looked everywhere, but just couldn't find it, and finally gave up. The last I could remember using it was taping our daughter playing with friends or something in the front yard, but after that it just disappeared.

A month or so later ... my wife answered a call one morning and the man on the other end says it is our lucky day. She thought he was a telemarketer and was about to hang up on him when he asked if we lost a camcorder. She told him, yes, we lost our camcorder. He had found a battered camcorder on the shoulder of the I-20 entrance ramp down the road from our house. It still worked and he was able to play back enough of the tape in it to find a frame where my car's license plate was visible. With the help of a friend in the police dept, he traced it back to us. A few days later, he returned our camcorder to us. IIRC, we made him accept $20 or something for all his trouble and we later mailed him a thank-you card with a restaurant gift certificate.

Looking back, I must have put that camcorder on my car's trunk after using it outside, forgot about it, and the next day drove off with it still sitting there. It made it out of the neighborhood and to the freeway entrace ramp before it rolled off the car. If I could find a battery for it, that beat up camcorder would probably still work. A few years after this, I was still able to use that camcorder to play back all of those 8mm tapes we recorded and capture them to a huge, boring library of mpeg's which are sitting on my hard drive to this day.
Reminds me of two occasions when I got to be the good Samaritan. One time I was walking up to a local restaurant when I noticed a purse lying on the ground. Someone had put their purse down to get into their car and then forgot to pick it up before taking off. I turned it in with the restaurant owner who I know well. Not long ago I was with my fiancee at the Dr. office (she had an appt.) Well lying on the seat of one of the waiting room chairs was a bank card. Apparently it slipped out of the owner's pocket. I turned it in at the receptionists and a few minutes later here comes a lady looking for her bank card. She was very happy to get it back, and it made me feel good to be able to help her get it back.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:36 PM   #30
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Few years back I was returning from a long road trip with my wife. We waited for our dinner quite long. The waiter on our table was not a prompt one and rather rude in nature I felt. As we were bit dissatisfied with the service, I didn't pay any tip to him.

Driving another 20 kms, I asked my wife to give a call to our kids and tell them our tentative arrival schedule. She started fiddling her purse but could not find her Samsung Galaxy Tab. She knew now that her phone is left at the highway restaurant where we went for the first time, We tried few calls from my number, but all vain. Now there was no other option but to go back there and take a last chance. We returned, worried off course, it was a busy time, lots of customers, rude waiter, lag of 40 minutes - all points negative. Damn sure hopeless case!

In the restaurant lobby we met it's Manager who was a cheerful girl. "Welcome sir, I hope you have come to search your lost phone!" "indeed" I said, "I had given few rings on the phone?" She politely said "We never disturb your privacy!" She lifted two phones from the drawer and said "Now you give a call.."

As expected, my face was clearly seen on the darn phone. Fully satisfied this time, she handed the phone to my wife.

Since all was well now, I asked her a question " And how did you get this phone, some customer?"

"No..No.. that was given to me by your table waiter.."

My wife intervened "That thin guy with big mustaches and rude behavior?"

Manager chuckled, "Apart from his face, he is a very polite and helpful guy. It was a bad day for him, his wife slipped from steps and cracked an ankle. Besides, we were running short of staff under overload of customers. He reluctantly agreed for 2 hours overtime, and you were the last customers for him. He was little upset today, absent minded, and lost quite a few tips today."

Now it was our time to feel guilty. My wife insisted the Manager to pass on this little reward of 50 bucks to him. We also took his name and restaurant's address so we could send a 'Thank You' card to him.

Last edited by drjd; 03-02-2018 at 11:49 PM. Reason: Scotch and Mouse :). Re-edit : spellings
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