Archive for the 'general' Category

Simple Mobile doesn’t want my business

I make jokes with my friends all the time about how businesses don’t want my money.  When I go into a store and they don’t have what I want, I say to my friend, “They obviously don’t want my money.”

And my friends nods and replies, “They clearly don’t want your money.”  This happens a lot.

With Simple Mobile, they clearly don’t want my money.  Why?  Because they turned off my cell service.

“No problem,” I say to myself, “I’ll just ‘re-up’.”  So I call their customer service line (the only number that works on my phone).  I get an automated system which asks for info that I don’t have, such as my “Simple Mobile PIN.”  I’ve never had one, nor set one.  So I hang up and try to get a human on the line, but that doesn’t work either.  It seems like they don’t want my money.

“No problem,” I again say to myself, “I’ll just ‘re-up’ online.”  So I go to the Simple Mobile website and try to log in.  “We don’t know you, man.” they reply.

“Say what?” I ask myself.  I try two different usernames, including my email address, but nothing doing.  So I say to myself, “Self, you’ll have to re-set your password.”  So I click the re-set password link and enter my email address.

“Sorry Hawk, we don’t know you, man.” the website replies.

“Say what now?” I ask myself.  My username doesn’t work, and my email address doesn’t work?  Then I see a link to use my phone number.  “Hey now, that should work!” I say to myself.

So I click the link, enter my phone number, and the website responds, “We don’t know you.  Man.”

To summarize:

  • My username doesn’t work on the Simple Mobile website.
  • My email address doesn’t work on the Simple Mobile website.
  • And my phone number doesn’t work on the Simple Mobile website!

I say to myself, “Self, it’s clear Simple Mobile doesn’t want your money.”  And I wholeheartedly agree.

Boost Mobile logoThe next day I walk down to my local phone guy.  This guy, David, has helped me out with DSL service at home, as well as cell service.  I explain how Simple Mobile doesn’t want my money and he sets me with up with a new service, new phone, and life is once again wonderful.  I got a Samsung Galaxy S III (which is a wonderful device) and a service with Boost Mobile with unlimited everything for $35 / month.  That’s a promotion price, but no contract (yay!).  After my experience with AT&T and their contracts, I’ll never go on another cell-service contract again.  After 6 months, it goes up to $50 / month.  For unlimited everything, including 4G LTE service, that’s still a good price.

So it seems Simple Mobile doesn’t want my money, and Boost Mobile does.  Boost Mobile wins and gets my money.

UPDATE: Simple Mobile still had my account in the auto-billing system because they auto-charged my card $41.68 yesterday.  Now I’ll have to call ‘em up and try to get a refund.  Such a hassle.

My new Samsung Galaxy S III with Boost Mobile

My new Samsung Galaxy S III with Boost Mobile

Gun Rights vs. Gun Control

gun rights vs. gun control

U.S. Bank doesn’t want my business

U.S. Bank does not want my business.

U.S. Bank does not want my business.

I recently got a letter from U.S. Bank saying they don’t want my business.  They did not specify a reason.  Click the image for a full-res readable version.

Obviously, I do not understand what’s going on here, but this is not the first time.  I tried to set up an account with NetBank some time ago and they returned my deposit almost instantly saying, “We don’t want your business.”  When I called up to ask why, they would not tell me.  I still don’t know why.


Last month, the manager of my local U.S. Bank branch called me up and grilled me for about a half hour on every aspect of my life.  She asked me questions like, “What are all these wire transfers about?”  “Where did they come from?”  “Why are you transferring money into four different savings accounts?”  “What are you spending your money on?”  “Do you have an account with any other banks?”  “I see you withdrew some cash here on this date, what did you use that for?” “I see you have labels on your savings accounts such as ‘car’, what do these labels mean?”

Has this happened to anyone else?

Video Game High School Season 3 (the FINAL SEASON!) (maybe)

I’m a backer, and have been ever since the first season.  Actually, I missed out on backing the first season, but I backed the second and, most recently, the third!  Check it out here:

Point thy browser to the above link and pledge.

So much fun!  Can’t waiittt!!!


Black YouTube

I got tired of squinting against the annoying glare of YouTube’s glaringly bright white background.  This is how it looks to me now:

Black YouTube

And here’s how the video-player page looks like:

Black Youtube video player page

Pure awesomeness!!!

How to make YouTube black:

1) Install a Firefox plugin called StylishWatch a video on how it works.  Be sure to click on the “Restart now” link/button in Firefox after it’s installed.

2) After Firefox has restarted, install Black Youtube by Panos on  You won’t need to restart Firefox after installing any styles.

3) Visit Youtube and bask in the black awesomeness!

4) OPTIONAL: Open up a new tab and go to:  Browse around.  They’ve got alternate styles for lots of sites.


Virtru.comI still remember the good ol’ days of trying to use GPG over email… trying to get my Dad to install a GPG plugin into Thunderbird… trying to get his own public/private key pair generated… trying to import my own public key into his keyring… trying to get a message encrypted and/or decrypted one way or the other… and in the end, it was just unworkable.

Now we’ve got Virtru!  It’s a browser plugin.  It encrypts/decrypts right in your browser and works with popular web-based email services such as Gmail.  I use it with gmail.  Once you install it, all ya gotta do is compose a new message and click the “Activate” button.  That’s it!  Try it:

Excellent Video on Gun Control

Check out this excellent video on gun control:

Found it here:

Obamacare: No, I will not comply

No Obamacare

No Obamacare

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at

Dear Government,

Dear Government,

Thank you for shutting down.  Now I won’t have to pay taxes.

CenturyLink DSL service


Centurylink DSL connection 50Mbps/20Mbps

I’ve got two new DSLs from CentryLink, and they ROCK!  Both of them are 40Mbps down / 20Mbps up (even though the modem reports 50Mbps down).

Our first DSL consisted of a wire poking through the hole in the wall, just like that black coax cable line in the picture.  BTW, I cancelled our CableOne internet line as it was not as fast as our new DSLs, plus CableOne doesn’t want our money (they wouldn’t allow more than one line per house).  I would think that a company would want my money, but CableOne doesn’t.  Plus, they advertise that their cable internet service is 10x faster than DSL when it’s actually slower.

For the 2nd DSL, the field technician installed that three-jack box in the picture, top-left.  Click the pic for a larger resolution.  The top jack was our original DSL line, running at around 40Mbps down / 5Mbps up.

For the 3rd DSL, the field technician just had to hook up the jack and we were in business.  After that, I cancelled the 1st DSL line, as it was the slowest.  But at one point, we had FOUR hi-speed internet lines coming into our house.  Now we just have the two DSL (green wires), one for me and one for my roomies.

The line is so fast that I can’t really max it out.  Every speedtest that I run doesn’t go near the line’s max.  Running two speedtests at the same time using different computers on the same line gets near the line’s max.  It’s so fast that I can upload to my hosted server faster than it can receive.  I love modern technology!

Centurylink speed test 40Mbps/20Mbps

Trip back to L.A.

Recently I took a trip back to L.A. for business.  Is it how I remember?  Yes.  Does it still suck?  Yes.


Why does it suck?  Where to begin…  The general hostility, the marijuana, the heat & humidity, the traffic…

… the people who want you to pay for everything they want…

My friend whipped up some population numbers for me.  Check it out:

In Metro L.A., which is L.A. County and Orange County, about 4,850 sq mi, 13 million people, or about 2,645 people / sq mi.

In Boise Metro, 11,388 sq mi, 600,000 people, or about 52 people / sq mi.

Oh yes, I’m so glad to be back home in Idaho.

Game Machine Back Online


Pictures don’t do it justice.

Great Edwards Theater Nearby

All state-of-the-art digital projectors, all comfy stadium seating… all good!

edwards_spectrum_14_1 edwards_spectrum_14_2 edwards_spectrum_14_3

Idaho Geek Cave Nearly Complete

My new Idaho Geek Cave is nearly complete!  Check it out:



All I need to do now is get my game machine running again.

Battery Backup

I’m using a TrippLite SmartPro NET 2200 connected to four large deep-cycle external 12V batteries wired up to be one big 24V battery:


There are two batteries in one shelving unit, and two in the other. Each 12V pair is wired in series to be 24V (because the TrippLite 2200 is a 24V system), and then both of those pairs are wired parellel to be one double-gigantic 24V battery. I drilled half-inch holes in the plastic side of the UPS unit (UPS = Uninterruptable Power Supply) and fed the cables to the internal connectors.

Obviously, the original batteries are not in there. I haven’t used the originals since they stopped taking a charge way back in… many years ago. This TrippLite UPS unit was designed to power a heavy load for a short time. But I’m using it to power a light load for a long time. I haven’t tested to see how long it will run my workstation, but I’m guessing many, many hours. Possibly days.

When I save up the money to replace the batteries, I’ll run a load test and time it to see how long it’ll go.


Sometimes we get ducks in the front yard.


Sometimes we get them in the back yard as well. These two are a couple, I always see them together.

Hawk’s New Pad in Idaho, #5

Finally got reasonably good high-speed internet via CableOne. It’s hooked up in the far corner. I assembled another shelving unit and put the equipment on top.



The speed is as advertised, at least 50Mbps down and 2Mbps up:

The only problem with CableOne is that they have a 100G / month bandwidth limit. I’m going to hit this limit in about a week. So it looks like CableOne will not be my bandwidth provider. Too bad, it seems to be a good stable service.

Hawk’s New Pad in Idaho, #4

The desk is almost done!


Still waiting on the cable guy to come out and hook us up. They make you wait a week even if they have an opening in their schedule before that (the bastards). I should have ordered it right after I arrived and before I moved in.

Hawk’s New Pad in Idaho, #3

More stuff completed, plus two shelving sets behind the desk.



These are the same shelving sets I had at the old place, but this time I have much more room behind the desk. I can actually walk behind it now to work on stuff!

Hawk’s New Pad in Idaho, #2

The desk is comming together.



It’s amazing how long it takes to assemble stuff… especially when you can’t find the screws and bolts and nuts ‘n stuff. Still unboxing and unpacking and organizing.

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