Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

November 13th is World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day encourages us to be kind to others, helping to create a nicer, better world. It is a day that encourages individuals to overlook boundaries, race and religion.

 Visit the Random Acts Of Kindness website.

Continue your kindness throughout the year.


Thursday, August 04, 2016

Happy August 4th

Today is National Coast Guard Day...

The Coast Guard celebrates its 226th birthday in August this year. The Coast Guard is one of America's five armed forces and traces its founding to Aug. 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue. Responsibilities added over the years included humanitarian duties such as aiding mariners in distress.

The service received its present name in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to form a single maritime service dedicated to the safety of life at sea and enforcing the nation's maritime laws.
- from

and, it is also National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!
17 National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day Deals and Freebies


If you truly enjoy dessert, this is a good time for you to indulge. From free chocolate chip cookies to discounts on cakes and candy, use these Cookie Day deals to eat your way through this delicious holiday without paying full price.
  • 1800Baskets: Use code SNACKS20 to save 20 percent on snack gift baskets until Sept. 30.
  • Bake Me a Wish: Take 15 percent off birthday cake delivery with code HB15 until Sept. 7.
  • Baskin Robbins: Take $3 off any $15 or more ice cream cake with this printable coupon until Aug. 14.
  • BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Use this coupon to get a free Pizookie with any $9.95 food purchase until Aug. 31.
  • Cheryl’s: Take 15 percent off any purchase with code TAKE15 until Oct. 31.
  • Cookies by Design: Enter code ACCUSA16 at checkout to take 15 percent off orders greater than $40 until Dec. 31.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton: Walk into any DoubleTree hotel — with or without a reservation — and at the train stations in NYC and Chicago on Aug. 4 to receive a free chocolate chip cookie as part of their “Nice Travels” movement.
  • Eleni’s New York: Enjoy free shipping on orders more than $50 with code SHIPFREE until Dec. 2050.
  • Great American Cookies: Buy one regular cookie, get the second free when you register to receive email updates.
  • Max & Erma’s: Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day one day early by heading to Max & Erma’s on Wednesday for Free Cookie Day. Get two free freshly baked cookies with any menu purchase every Wednesday — no coupon required.
  • Mazzio’s: Get a small chocolate chip dessert pizza for $3 with this printable coupon until Dec. 31.
  • Mrs. Fields: Use code MW15 to save 15 percent off your order until Dec. 31.
  • My M&M’s: Save 10 percent on orders greater than $50 with code MYSAVINGS10 until Dec. 31 .
  • Steak ‘n Shake: Present this coupon to save $1 off a regular-sized classic milkshake until Sept. 18.
  • Tate’s Bake Shop: Enter code TATESTREATS at checkout to take 20 percent off any order until Jan. 2017.
  • Tortuga Rum Cakes: Get a free 4-ounce golden rum cake with purchase of a 32-ounce golden rum cake with code GOFORGOLD until Aug. 21.
  • Village Inn: Present this coupon to receive 20 percent off your check until Aug. 5.

So, if the you cross paths with the USCG today give them a cookie.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy Birthday, Paul

We would like to wish Sir Paul McCartney a very happy birthday.

74 years old today...

I remember listening to "When I'm Sixty Four" back in June 1967 when Sgt Pepper's came out. Paul was only 25 (going on 26) at the time and I couldn't imagine any of The Beatles ever being that old... that would be like Dean Martin! Ooh, yuk! Dino was only 50 then but to a pre-teen he seemed ancient.

So Happy Birthday to you and many happy returns!

Friday, June 17, 2016

[SOLVED] Problem with new laptop battery

UPDATED July 17, 2016: SEE BELOW

Last week one of our laptops (Toshiba Satellite C75D-A7370, Windows 8.1) started shutting down unexpectedly. A couple of days later we noticed that the battery was not lasting very long. Hmmmm, time to go shopping.

We found a place on eBay that had our battery for a good price, free shipping, and they would send to us via US Mail (USPS).

We installed the battery per instructions. The instructions were poorly translated but basically boiled down to: insert battery, let it run down to 8%, then fully charge to 100%. Of course there was the usual warnings about not carrying this out in the bathtub, etc.

All was going well except that after 30 minutes the battery icon was still displaying 100% even though the time left was ticking down normally.  Houston, we have a problem.

Time to search the internet for a solution which I found here...

  • Shut down the notebook
  • Unplug the AC Adapter
  • Remove the battery
  • Then hold down the Power button for 30 seconds
Device Manager - Batteries
  • Plug in the AC adapter without the battery inserted
  • Start the notebook
  • Open Device Manager
  • Expand the entry for Batteries
  • Right click Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery
  • Select Uninstall - do not uninstall anything else here.

  • When the uninstall is complete, shut down the notebook
  • Unplug the AC Adapter
  • Re-insert the battery
  • Start the notebook on just the battery.

Windows will automatically reinstall the driver - leave Windows running for a few minutes and see if the charge level decreases as it should.

Problem solved. The battery power percentage is displaying properly and the new battery is lasting much longer... sort of like when the computer was new :)

Well, we are happy with this and we are buying another battery for our other computer as it is only a matter of time before that one will fritz out.

UPDATED July 17, 2016:  A couple of days ago we swapped out the battery for our other Toshiba Satellite laptop.  No problem. Showed 100% to start and then counted down to 8% whereupon we plugged the charger in.

Hope this helps if you are having problems with a new battery displaying correctly.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Apologies for lack of blogging...

Sorry for my lack of blogging but I've had issues with my eyesight for several months. I could not work for much more than an hour on the computer and even with that short timespan I experienced eye soreness, general fatigue, double vision, etc.

But, now that seems to be all sorted out and I'm a much happier camper... Yippee!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Daylight Saving Time 2016

I didn't realize today was the beginning of Daylight Saving Time until Bob told me... Thanks!

2:00am is now 3:00am

DST begins on the second Sunday of March for the USA and Canada. This is when you must set your clocks forward... Spring Ahead.

Most countries in the Caribbean do NOT change. We stay the same all year round. A few US states and some areas of Canada also ignore DST. What a mess that must cause.

Mexico changes their clocks on April 3, 2016 except for some areas that border the USA which follows USA time.

The UK and France (along with other European countries) change time on the last Sunday of March.

Of course, in the autumn, the dates to return to standard time also varies from place to place but we won't worry our pretty little heads about that just now :)

(By the way, it is "Saving" and not "Savings")

Monday, February 29, 2016

Leaping lizards... It's February 29th

Today is February 29th which is Leap Day. 

What to do? Hear are some leapy things...
  • Leap at the chance to do something
  • Leap for joy
  • Take a leap of faith
  • Look before you leap
  • Leap on the bandwagon
  • Leap in the dark
 I like "leap for joy".

This is an interesting website with many "leap" quotes: 

Happy leaping!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

New restaurant in Christiansted, St Croix - Sai Gon Deli

We had planned to have lunch at Sharkey's Bait Shack last Thursday as it was $7.50 burger+side day. which is one of our favorite shoreside lunches. We were looking forward to our burgers until we opened their door and was hit by a cacophony of noise. The place was full of school children for some reason.

We quickly turned around and did a bit of shopping in Seaside Market next door with thoughts of getting a sandwich. This didn't happen because there was no place to sit at their outside tables. In fact, three of the tables had one employee per table just hanging out on their break.

Our next option was to try out the new Vietnamese place (Sai Gon Deli) just down the street by the laundry. We usually do our laundry on Sundays and they were closed each time we went, plus they didn't have a menu up so we had no idea on dishes and prices.

Glad we stopped by. Turns out they've been in business about 2 months and they are closed on Sundays & Mondays. I took a picture of the menu on the wall... sorry that I cut off the right side of the menu.

They are located at the little strip mall across from the Canegata Ball Park between the laundromat and the Mt Welcome Pharmacy. This is an easy walk from Christiansted Harbour and Gallows Bay.

We will be back soon for another lunch...

Sai Gon Deli, Christiansted, St Croix, USVI
Click image to enlarge


Monday, February 01, 2016

Computer problem - Wifi, Limited Access [FIXED]

Late yesterday afternoon I was working online and when I went and pressed a submit button I noticed that I was no longer connected. My wifi icon down in the taskbar (Windows 8.1) had a yellow triangle with an exclamation point proclaiming that I was connected but had limited access. Darn!

Bob has this problem quite often (too often) but right clicking on the icon and clicking on "Troubleshoot problems" generally fixes it. If not, we then shut down the computer and restart, and the other thing we can do is to reboot our ISPs modem.

I tried these things (troubleshooting told me it couldn't find a problem) and Bob's computer was still happily surfing the net.

Using my tablet, I queried Google for something like "wifi limited access" and looked at several results. I tried one thing (netsh int ip reset) but it didn't solve my problem. It was time for our sundowner and quality time on the foredeck.

After dinner, Buffy took my spot at the table so I took my computer and tablet into the forepeak and started looking for YouTube solutions as my eyes were too tired for reading.

After watching a couple dozen videos of various quality and intelligence, there appeared to be about 4 or 5 things to try. I decided to try one option that seemed quite likely to work. Basically, it was to disable the wifi network connection and then enable it.  IT WORKED!

How to: Reset The Network Adapter

  • Right click on wifi icon in taskbar
  • Click on "Open Network and Sharing Center"
  • In the left column click on "Change Adapter Settings" (see below)
Click image to enlarge
  • You then get the following screen
Click image to enlarge
  • Right click on "Wi-Fi" and it will give you a list of options. Choose "Disable". Give it a few seconds and then right click on it again and this time choose "Enable".

The icon in my taskbar was still showing the yellow triangle.

I restarted my computer. On the pre-signin screen it was still showing the wifi limited access icon. I then signed in and had the black screen for a brief period of time (probably updating stuff) and when it displayed the deskstop I had the normal wifi icon. I have internet access.  Peachy Keen!

Here are some other possible solutions you might find useful. Plus I found this link this morning: CLICK HERE...
  • Reinstall your driver (some videos say to go online to do this... Duh!)
  • Modify power management settings so computer doesn't shut down wifi connection to conserve power.

  • Using command prompt with administrator privilege:
ipconfig /flushdns 
(only noticed this once in my search, then...)
ipconfig /release
(you will receive some error messages)
ipconfig /renew
(Windows reissues new ip for computer & there are more messages about media disconnected, etc)
(look at wifi icon and it should now show connected. If not, restart computer)

  • Using command prompt with administrator privilege:
ipconfig /all
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

  • Using command prompt with administrator privilege:
netsh int ip reset
(or I sometimes saw with a filename, below)
 netsh int ip reset C:\resetlog.txt
(restart computer)

  • Using command prompt with administrator privilege:
 netsh ip tcp set heuristics disabled
 netsh ip tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
 netsh ip tcp set global rss=enabled
 netsh ip tcp show global

Hope this helps someone.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

February 2016

Well, it's February tomorrow so I need to put up a new post... Hope your new year is off to a good start. Our's is. We've finished our new salon cushions. How firm and comfy... Hurray! We will be getting our new mattress in a couple of days which is great; a good nights' sleep is very important. This week we will be modifying our salon dinette. Looking forward to it.

As you know, our next big holiday is February 2nd, Groundhog Day...

Let's see what Punxsutawney Phil will have to say :)

UPDATE: Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil Did Not See His Shadow

Other days of interest in February 2016:
  • 1-29 February : Black History Month
  • 2 Feb - Groundhog Day
  • 7 Feb - Superbowl Sunday
  • 9 Feb - Mardi Gras
  • 14 Feb - Valentine's Day 
  • 15 Feb - President's Day
  • 15 Feb - Grammy Awards
  • 17 Feb - Random Acts of Kindness Day
  • 22 Feb - National Margarita Day
  • 28 Feb - Academy Awards (Oscars)
  • 29 Feb - Leap Day
  • 29 Feb - Sadie Hawkins Day 
So it goes... time to get crackin!

Friday, January 01, 2016

Best wishes for 2016

All the best wishes for the good things in life.

  • Good fortune
  • Good health
  • Good times
  • Good eats
  • Good friends
  • Good neighbors
  • Good weather
  • Good sailing
  • Good fun

You catch my drift :)

So it goes!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The days are getting longer... Yippee!

Yesterday, December 22, was the winter solstice and the days are getting longer.

According to WeatherUndergrounds almanac for the Virgin Islands:
  • Length of Day    
    11h 04m
    Tomorrow will be 0m4s longer.

So it goes...

Monday, November 30, 2015

Come Monday it will be the last day of H-season

Monday, November 30, 2015, is the last day of official hurricane season. Hurray!

While this Jimmy Buffett video isn't about hurricanes, it's the first time I've seen it and I wanted to share.  I wonder when it was made? In the seventies? Anyway, it has a nice introduction...


Come Monday - Jimmy Buffett

Tomorrow we do the happy dance!

So it goes...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Looking forward to Thursday

It's T-Day this week.

I don't think the turkey stands a chance :)

So it goes...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Best of luck!

Don't even think about leaving port this Friday

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Remember, Remember The 5th Of November

It's November 5th. I remember my mother reciting this when I was little...

    Remember, remember!
    The fifth of November,
    The Gunpowder treason and plot;
    I know of no reason
    Why the Gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot!
    Guy Fawkes and his companions
    Did the scheme contrive,
    To blow the King and Parliament
    All up alive.
    Threescore barrels, laid below,
    To prove old England's overthrow.
    But, by God's providence, him they catch,
    With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
    A stick and a stake
    For King James's sake!
    If you won't give me one,
    I'll take two,
    The better for me,
    And the worse for you.
    A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
    A penn'orth of cheese to choke him,
    A pint of beer to wash it down,
    And a jolly good fire to burn him.
    Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
    Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
    Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

Here's a bit of history for you...

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night and Fireworks Night, is an annual commemoration observed on November 5th primarily in Great Britain.

It celebrate the events of November 5, 1605 concerning the foiling of (Catholic) Guy Fawkes's attempt to blow up (Protestant controlled) England's House of Parliament. He was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. The bonfire is to burn the effiigy of Guy Fawkes but in some time periods it also included the Pope.

So it goes...

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Today is National Cat Day...

What ?

 Yes, today, October 29th, is National Cat Day.

Didn't we just have that?

No, that was World Cat Day on August 8th.

Can't get too much of a good thing :)

Here's an interesting page I found on the internet today: 
5 ways to celebrate National Cat Day on CNN Scroll through their slideshow for an interesting group of photos

I think we'll have tuna sandwiches for lunch.

So it goes...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rainy Days

Typical... You are doing real well on a project and something messes it up, trying to interfere with your momentum.  It has been rainy here for about a week. Our painting plans have brought much needed rain to the island.

This weather has given us a bit of time to get our new computer up and running. That project has also had delays... lost in the mail for 5 weeks followed by two months of crappy, practically non-existent internet service. So over the past couple of days we have: cloned the hard drive to a Samsung SSD; removed the original HDD and replaced it with the SSD (Hurray, it works!); downloaded some necessary software; removed the CD/DVD drive and replaced with a 7200rpm hybrid drive in a CD drive adaptor (Hurray, it works, too!).

Today it is very gray and overcast. No rain so far but I did hear thunder at 7am. If we can't work outside on the boat I plan to work on my installation of Foobar2000 and create a skin for it that will be useful and attractive. Then do one for Bob's computer, too.

Also, I might splice up a new painter for our dinghy.

So it goes...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

How did this slip by?

I know October 9th was a busy, hectic day but how did I miss this event?

John Lennon was born 75 years ago on October 9th 1940.

December 8th will be the 35th anniversary of his assassination. Wow, I remember the shock of that!

The excellent website Coverville, The Cover Music Radio Show has a 90-minute show of John Lennon covers. Click HERE to check it out. I just downloaded it and look forward to listening.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Into The Past With Back To The Future...

As you probably know already, today, October 21, 2015, is "Back to the Future Day."

Thirty-ish years ago Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) time-traveled to this very day... Where are the hover boards?  Still no jet packs, either.

Do you remember where you were when you saw this film in the cinema?

Amazon has a good deal today for the trilogy. Only $22.98 for the collection.

So it goes...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Today Is National Coffee Day

Our 3rd cup of coffee for the morning is almost ready and my better half just read that today is National Coffee Day.


I'll drink to that :)

So It Goes...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last Day of Summer

Today is the last day of summer.

The Autumnal Equinox will occur at 08:20 UTC (GMT), September 23, 2015.


Monday, September 14, 2015

The Royal Terns Are Back... WELCOME

Last week we saw the return of Royal Terns. This is cool because to us it means the end of those summer storms.

Great to see you guys. Hope you had a nice vacation.

This is the next system out in the Atlantic...

Invest 93L - Hurricane Model Sept 14 2015 - Wunderground

which doesn't appear to be coming our way :)

Tomorrow is Hurricane Marilyn's 20th anniversary in the USVI. Glad we missed that one!

So it is going...

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Maybe we should leave our storm anchors down

UPDATED after 11:00am forecast... 

What's up with this?

Computer models from
September 5, 2015 Invest 91L

WELL, it is now this...

5-Day Forecast Cone - NOAA/NHC
September 5, 2015 - Tropical Depression Seven

Might become Tropical Storm Grace tomorrow...  Wonderful :(

Yes, I think we'll be leaving the storm anchors down for a few more days (after checking them out, of course)

[Back to the earlier post...]

It's still early days though.  Lots of time for it to fizzle or head more to the north. Hopefully it will not even get a name.

Remember Hurricane Marilyn? It has been 20 years... She hit St Thomas on September 15-16, 1995.

Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

T.S Erika Breezes By St Croix

Erika passed below St Croix Thursday evening. We had winds up to 60 MPH and not much rain.

We fared well. The cats pretty much took it in stride; probably because there wasn't any thunder or lightning.

The next morning, we noticed a boat that arrived the day before the storm (and was a nice distance downwind from us) was not anchored in the same place as when we closed up our boat in the evening.  Looks like they might have dragged a bit.

When we went to bail out the dinghy après l'orage, we were surprised that there wasn't much water in it. Crucians didn't want strong winds but they definitely could have used the water.

The StCroixSource has a photo of a 41-foot Morgan on the beach from Christiansted Harbor. See here. We hope they are OK and can recover their boat.

So it went...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tomorrow is Erika

It appears that we will be visited by Erika tomorrow. That's two in a row!  Hope that will be the last for this season.

The story so far...

So it goes...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Today is D-Day.... Danny

Well, it is finally here. D-Day. The good news is that the once Hurricane Category 3 Danny will probably be Tropical Depression Danny OR just a remnant by the time he gets to our area.

Also, the storm's path has changed. It has moved south. The "cone of death" no longer touches us... HURRAY!

Tropical Depression Danny
NOAA August 24, 2015 - 05:00am

BUT there is another storm lurking behind Danny that should be here in about 3 days...

Invest 98L
WeatherUnderground August 24, 2015 08:00am (AST) Models

So it goes...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Shucky Darn... TD4

Hoping Danny doesn't come for a visit.

Click graphic to enlarge.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015. 11am EDT. Advisory #1

It was a beautiful day today. Very blue sky that I haven't seen in a while. The clear skies are preferable but the Sarahan dust is much better for us summer storm-wise.

It is still quite far away and we'll be keeping an eye on it. I hope our internet service improves as it has been completely unusable every evening and quite often during the day. (Speaking of being disconnected, we just had our connection drop. Double shucky darn).

We were out shopping today and some people seem to want a storm to bring some much needed rain, etc..

So it goes...

Saturday, August 08, 2015

August 8th is World Cat Day!

August 8th is World Cat Day. Let's celebrate! We'll begin with tuna sandwiches for lunch.

 Celebrate, Celebrate, Dance with the Music

I wonder about the inhabitants of Tashirojima, otherwise known as Cat Island. Will they get special treats today?

So it goes...

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Happy Birthday, Ringo!

Happy 75th birthday, Ringo. We love you !

This video is from Ringo Starr's Birthday Bash 2010 (for his 70th) at Radio City Music Hall, July 7th 2010.

Thanks for all the happiness and entertainment you have given us throughout the years.

Ringo will celebrate his 75th birthday with a little help from his friends outside Capitol Records in Hollywood. For more info: Article from LA Times


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fête de la Musique

Get the tunes going... Today is the first day of summer which means today is the 21st of June which means today is Fête de la Musique day! HURRAY!!!

This is one of our favorite French events of the year. I usually don't like crowds but this is great. Everyone is walking about in a good mood, enjoying snacks from street vendors, and loving the music.

There are musicians everywhere. They are by themselves or in small (or large) groups on the streets, or performing on a stage at a more organized event set up by the various arrondissements. There are usually some big names too, at venues such as Place de la Concorde.

Launched in France in 1982, the Fête de la Musique is now celebrated throughout Europe and worldwide, with events in 700 towns and more than 120 countries on five continents.

Here is a website that has been automatically translated into English. If you touch your cursor to a paragraph you can see the original French. There is also the language option at the top right corner of the page for French, English, Spanish, and Italian.

Oh, to be in Paris right now...

So, as KC & the Sunshine Band says, get up and "Shake your booty!"

So it goes...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Happy Birthday to Paul McCartney

Sending out birthday greetings to Sir Paul...

Video from concert at Red Square, Moscow, 24 May 2003

Birthdate: June 18, 1942 (73-years old today)

Maybe next year he can revamp the song "When I'm 64".

All the best!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UPDATE: Group Policy Client Services Error Windows 8.1 [FIXED]

UPDATED: July 9, 2015
I had this error again. I did the "netsh" procedure as described below and then shutdown and powered on computer. Very slow loading Windows Desktop then received the Group Policy Client error message again.  Darn... Did a restart and all is well. Sometimes you just have to restart more than once to fix things.

-- Original post of June 17, 2015 --

Back in April this year, I experienced a recurring problem with my computer and it is still fixed (unless this sentence has just jinxed me). This has to do with the "Failed to connect to a Windows service. Windows couldn't connect to the Group Policy Client service" error.

Well, last Monday afternoon Bob's computer (same make and model as mine, both running Windows 8.1) had this error pop up.

I went and followed the procedure which fixed my problem (see here Video #1) but it did not fix his computer. All of his registry parameters were perfect. I tried restarting his computer several times but still no change.

The next morning, I decided to use the Video #2 option as mentioned in the previous post which is to run netsh.
VIDEO #2) This video by Straker 32 might have a slightly different problem. I was going to try it if the above solution did not solve my problem. Titled: "How to Fix "Failed To Connect To A Windows Service" Windows 8". Warning, it sounds like it was made by a 12-year old but it is short. CLICK HERE
It worked and so easy!

Go to your Windows Start screen (not Desktop) and click the down arrow at the lower left corner to get to your list of Apps. Then scroll to all the way to the right and under the heading Windows System you will see COMMAND PROMPT. Right click on this app and left click on "Run as Administrator". You will then have a window where you can run DOS commands (remember when it was always that way, back in the day?).

You will have the C prompt:
(and press your Enter/Return key)
The C prompt will look like:
Then type:
winsock reset
(and press your Enter/Return key)
(note the space between winsock and reset)
After it runs successfully, it will tell you to restart your computer...
Restart you computer.

This worked. No error message on the desktop... HURRAY! Almost all of the comments on this YouTube video were to say that it fixed their problem. The one that didn't probably did not specify to "run as administrator".

Still doing the happy dance! If this error pops up again on either of our computers, I will try the netsh winsock reset solution first.

Many thanks to "Straker 32" for posting his short & informative fix on YouTube.

I hope this blog post will be helpful to someone else who is in despair.

So it goes...

Monday, June 08, 2015

Greater Good Website

Provide Life-Changing Help to the Animals of Puerto Rico!

"Despite being a US territory, animal adoption programs in Puerto Rico are decades behind their counterpart in America. Less than 45% percent of dogs and 30% of cats that make it to shelters are ever adopted, and there are hundreds of thousands of street dogs and stray cats in this small island chain that will never get a chance at adoption in the first place. You can help. Your click will fund the One Picture Saves a Life workshop in San Juan and the renovation of the Las Marias PAWS satellite shelter in rural West-Central Puerto Rico. Together we can make a significant impact on the welfare of animals in Puerto Rico."  Read more and click the button to help. It's FREE and for a good cause.

The campaign changes every few days so do it now. If you are too late to help with this campaign then click on the current one.

Also, click on the other tabs (Hunger, Breast Cancer, Animals, Veterans, Autism, Alzheimers, Diabetes, Literacy, Rain Forest) and then click on their buttons to give help.

I do this every morning after turning on my computer. Make it your habit, too.

So it goes...

Thursday, June 04, 2015

June 4th - Hug Your Cat Day

Today is national Hug Your Cat day...

These guys gets lots of cuddles every day.

Great excuse to take the day off as a holiday!

So it goes...

Monday, June 01, 2015

Sgt Peppers - June 1, 1967

Sixty-eight years ago today, Sgt Pepper taught the band to play...

Wow, the Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles was released 48 years ago today on June 1st 1967.  Where were you on that day?

On Sunday, I listened to Little Steven's Underground Garage which had a fantastic radio program featuring this momentous album. My guess is that it will be Show #686 which is not up on Little Steven's web site yet (

This album has many "firsts", including first rock LP that included lyrics to all the songs and first rock LP that won the Grammy Award for "Album of the Year".

Speaking of "firsts".... Today is June 1st which is the first day of what I like to call "summer season" as I try not to use the "H" word and hopefully that word will not pop up this summer :)

So it goes...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21st

Today is "Talk Like Yoda Day", but inspired not am I...

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Toshiba Satellite and BSOD error: System Thread Exception Not Handled (atikmdag.sys)

I've been using a Toshiba Satellite C75D-A laptop that we bought a year +1 day ago from Office Max. I have occasionally had problems over the past year while watching videos (especially Vimeo) with the computer locking up and receiving this error message.

Blue Screen Of Death or affectionately referred to as BSOD

Well, a few days ago it happened again and again and again and again and again... At least FIVE times.  Once in the morning with a Vimeo and four times in the evening with two different embedded YouTube videos on two different websites (my Firefox browser is up to date). This was too much and made me do a bit of investigating.

I did a search on the error message System Thread Exception Not Handled (atikmdag.sys) and received lots of suggestions. Fortunately one of the first few that I looked at was this thread on a Toshiba Forum from people with similar Toshiba laptops and using Firefox.

Here's the link: CLICK HERE
TOSHIBA FORUMS | Troubleshooting | Win 8 & 8.1 | System Thread Exception Not Handled (atikmdag.sys)

There were several suggestions as to updating your drivers, and doing stuff using the command line interface which I didn't want to do so I kept reading...

On page 2 of this forum thread, Jerry_Lippey suggested:
  • For Firefox: Turn off hardware acceleration
  • For Internet Explorer: Disable software rendering in Internet Explorer 
So, that sounded easy and definitely worth a try.  I went up to my menu bar at the top of Firefox and clicked on TOOLS, then OPTIONS. Got the popup box for Options and at the top right clicked on ADVANCED. Under the GENERAL tab in the lower BROWSING section I unchecked the box for USE HARDWARE ACCELERATION WHEN AVAILABLE. Clicked OK and that was it. Easy!

I retested the two sites and watched the videos that made my computer crash just an hour before. They played perfectly as did the Vimeo.

This was always a random problem and usually it would occur weeks apart but I now (knock on wood and cross fingers) feel like this is an issue of the past.

Just wanted to pass this along in case you are having similar happenings.

So it goes...

Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Month of May

One of my favorite months when working in France is May.

There are four holidays of note and, if the 1st and 8th happen to fall on a Tuesday or Thursday, one gets to "faire le pont" or make the bridge between the weekend and the holiday thus getting a 4-day weekend... Youpi

  • May 1st : Labour Day
  • May 8th : Victory in Europe Day
  • May 14 : Ascension
  • May 25 : Whit Monday

So it goes...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Group Policy Client Services Error Windows 8.1 [FIXED]

Monday night when I turned on my computer I had this error message on my Desktop
Failed to connect to a Windows service
Windows couldn't connect to the Group Policy Client service. This problem prevents standard users from signing in...

I use a Toshiba Satellite laptop running Windows 8.1 that I purchased in May last year. I am up to date with Window's updates. I've had this issue four times before and I don't know what triggers it and I really don't know what fixed it previously. I had watched Eugene's video (see below) and followed all of his steps. I even deleted parameters/variables and re-entered them but the process still didn't appear to be running but it would after a time.

I did a search on the internet to try to find new mentions and solutions to this error. Not much out there for Windows 8.1 but I thought I'd write about it to point you towards Eugene's video and let you know that you are not alone :) There are differences for this issue between Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. After reading lots of forum entries, it seems like lots of people had this problem after upgrading from 7 to 8. My computer has always been Win 8.1.

I ignored this error message and found that my email (Thunderbird) worked just fine. I could not watch anything on NetFlix, Vimeo, etc. When I looked at File Explorer I could not right click on any file. The images in the preview pane did not change (well they might have but it took several minutes). File Explorer would lock up and then I had issues of some applications not opening so I would shut down and start again.

I found 3 possible solutions to look at on YouTube video
  1. fix the registry - easy step by step instructions.
  2. run netsh
  3. turn bluetooth on (HP laptop no right click)

VIDEO #1. Here is an excellent video on from Eugene Robertus titled "Windows could not connect to Group Policy Client services fix for Windows 8.1". (It says "Part 2" but you are not missing anything as Part One pertained to Windows 7) CLICK HERE to watch.

Eugene speaks clearly, calmly, and precisely. He shows screen shots of every step. The video is in focus and has no music... Hurray!

I had this video running on my tablet while working on my laptop.

Everything Eugene says to check for was correctly set up on my computer except that the Group Policy Client Service was not running for some reason.

After watching the video a few times and following his trip through the registry with my computer, I did something different. When in the svchost folder (video time=7:13) and checking the contents of the netsvcs variable (he's checking to see that gpsvc is included in this list, mine was OK).

Then he shows that if you enter a blank line you will get a warning message to tell you that you cannot have a blank line but that the program removed the blank line and saved the file for you. I went to the bottom of the list and noticed the cursor was on a new line after the last entry. I backspaced so my cursor was now after the last character of the last entry.

I got the "blank line" warning. It "fixed" it and saved. After I went through all of the other steps again, all appeared OK so I restarted my computer. No error message, the process was running, email was still fine, File Explorer was working normally. Knock on wood... Everything was working at the first startup (and still is!)

Many people in his comments had all of the correct parameters, too. After they rebooted a couple of times the error message was gone. This also happened to me other times I had this problem. Maybe it takes a few times to correctly get the correct parameters/variables loaded and get the process running again??? Who knows (I'd love to!) but the most important thing is that it worked.

VIDEO #2) This video by Straker 32 might have a slightly different problem. I was going to try it if the above solution did not solve my problem. Titled: "How to Fix "Failed To Connect To A Windows Service" Windows 8". Warning, it sounds like it was made by a 12-year old but it is short. CLICK HERE

VIDEO #3) This person, Pratap Tirua, has the problem of his right click being too slow. I was having right click issues so I watched it. He has an HP laptop and it seems like it helped other users with similar HP laptops by turning on Bluetooth. Weird, but not my problem. Just wanted to mention it.

Hope this blog post will be helpful to someone else who is in despair. Don't Panic!

So it goes...