Hunting Computers

Granted a very strange title for this blog post, but let me explain.

If you have been fortunate to have a piece of equipment work until it just gets too old for your use…probably mostly technology or energy draining appliances, you may discover it tries to survive.

My Head…My Arm….

If you don’t turn the computer off first you have to deal with the computer as it knows you are killing it.  Blinding the computer by turning off the monitor is bad enough, but when you disconnect cables, that is where the anger begins to build.  Think if the keyboard and mouse as the arms, monitor as the head, speakers as the mouth, and microphone as ears.  Disconnecting them causes the computer to go into a state of panic.  If you are using a PS2 Keyboard or Mouse, sometimes the panic is so great that the machine freezes and you have to pull the power cord to ease the pain and restore function.

“My Mind is Going…..I can Feel it”

Much like the HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” computers have feelings too. This is why when it was time at work to recycle 8 year old computers I got a few bumps and scrapes.

Think about it.  They have been working hard for such a long time.  They have been used, but not really taken care of.  Example: How many of you open up your computer to clean out the dust?


Desktops anyway seem very easy to get into.  While there is some dust inside, you don’t have to touch much to get the hard drive out.  Yank the power and SATA interface cable and quick release the drive and snap her closed.


Besides being obsoleted by Apple, these Power PC machines were solid.  Both in performance and weight thanks to the all in one design with a CRT!  In order to securely recycle these machines which are no longer supported with security updates, one needs to remove the hard disk drive.   Back then these were manufactured, 2004, the only access panel was on the bottom and it contained the CMOS battery and Memory slots.  This is probably fine for most users, but eventually you will need to replace the DVD drive or Hard Drive, but that apparently is not something a user is supposed to do.

Something is up….

To get access to the hard drive you need to remove 9 screws on the outer case, which is a allen key.  Probably was a deterrent at the time, but allen keys are very easy to acquire today.  Granted it took a while to find the right one, Metric vs US, the screws were on very tight and if you did not get them just right, stripped them and then you were SOL.  Well…almost.  The cover is plastic and some of the stuck screws, usually only one on a cover, a hammer and brute force usually is enough.  The plastic is amazingly tough considering how old they are.  Don’t we get brittle as we get older?  LOL.  By this point the computer has fought a bit, but the fight is not over.

Skin Drying Dust

Once you get inside, you see all the dust and that is where the fun begins.  This dust makes you wonder what we breath in every day of our lives!  Computers don’t normally smoke, so this is everyday air!  Maybe we should wear masks 🙂

Wading through the dust you need to remove close to 30 more screws and finally you can free the hard drive.  At this point the computer’s memory is gone, but you need to be careful as the sharp metal parts and dust are still there fighting.  Kind of like how our fingernails and hair continue to grow when we die…or so I have been told.   Toss the extra screws inside and secure a few on the outside and viola!

Does grass have feelings too?

Okay, so computers really aren’t alive at the moment.  They do get abused and used all their life only to have us toss them when they get of age.  They can seriously hurt you since they have sharp edges, especially when you are inside of a computer trying to locate the elusive hard drive.

But….plants are alive….makes you wonder.   😉

You Don’t Really Want a Hybrid!?

Honda of Tysons Corner

In an attempt to sell more gas powered cars when car companies are unable to keep up with demand for Hybrids even though they are being sold at a higher cost, Honda of Tysons Corner has produced a document given to those interested in their Civic Hybrid which basically says….”At the current price of gas, it will take 13 years based on some magical number of miles driven to make up ~$4000 price difference between gas only and hybrid.

WOW.   That is like saying, don’t recycle, just trash your glass bottle since you have to walk 4 feet to the recycle bin from the trash can that is in front of you!

Awaiting Response….

So I wrote to the Tyson’s Honda dealership and while I did not ask for an response, in fact did not want to hear the excuse, have not heard anything besides the automated “We got your email.”

Since I was not able to find an email for Honda USA customer service, I am going to write them a letter to see if I can find out if this is a corporate recommendation or a local dealership trying to sell more cars.

Hybrids are not new

I really do blame Honda for not meeting demands. It is not like they are brand new and everyone wants one.  They have been in production for quite some time and since they cost the consumer more, would think you would want to have more available.  Now I have heard that the actual cost to produce a Hybrid is much more than a standard combustion engine and maybe that is why production is slow since there would be a greater loss of revenue.

Recycled costs more

In any event, I will keep you updated.  In the mean time, don’t let anyone tell you it is bad to help the environment.  Sure it does for some unknown cost more money for the recycled products we buy such as paper, or the reduced container refills such as laundry detergent, but for the sake of future generations, please don’t give up over a little money.

Reasons to Live in Delaware

No Sales Tax!

After paying 10% tax on food in DC, it was so nice to not pay any sales tax at restaurants or retail stores. There is only property tax which seemed pretty cheap looking at the houses for sale and tax estimates.  One strange thing with the tax is that asphalt and concrete surfaces are considered “livable space” and are taxed.  This is why there were so many gravel driveways, or driveways that were partly paved and then gravel to the road.


One of my favorite spots for ice cream sundaes, I had not seen them outside of NY on the way down to DC and was so happy to see on in Rehoboth!  The first time I was there, I had a 5 scoop sundae with 2 scoops cookie dough, 2 cookies and cream, one mint chocolate chip with Reeces Pieces and extra peanut butter topping 🙂  Yum!

Outlet Malls..Even QVC?!

So I don’t go shopping for clothes much, but if I had a tax free outlet mall a few minutes away….I might not keep underwear for as many years 🙂  Just kidding, I order those online.  LOL  Granted I do have some restraint when shopping.  I typically shop the sales rack in the stores so not only do I get clothes that were popular a few years ago which are no longer making them unique, but I save around 75% that way.  For example I got a pair of Khaki’s which were a little tight, but for $2.98 from Banana Republic, what a deal!  Polo shirts… $9.99 the next trip.

QVC Outlet?  Yeah, there is one.  It seems to be returns / discontinued items only, but was cool going through the stuff.  Since I have never ordered from QVC, it was interesting seeing the quality or lack thereof of the products.  If it seems to be to good to be true….it is!

No Helmet Law for Mopeds?

Perhaps they were just kids not abiding by the law, but I saw many without any helmets on.  I have heard that many states don’t require helmets,  but you would think that since they move fast with traffic that you would want to wear one.

Bike Friendly

  • Shared turn / Bike Lanes on major routes
  • Signed no bikes or skateboards on sidewalks

Republican State

Based on the number of Anti-Obama shirts for sale, one can gather 🙂

2.5 Scenic Hours from DC

While I may never be able to own a house in Rehoboth Beach, it is only a few hours a way on mostly back roads / small highways which seemed to pass the time.

Recycling in Reboboth Beach

One bin recycling or trash can?

Granted I am a conspiracy theorist, but after recycling in separate bins growing up and seeing “recycling” trucks in DC look just like garbage trucks and seem to see trash bins and recycle bins being dumped into the same truck I am a bit suspicious when I see a trash dumpster labeled to accept paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass, and plastic.  Not only is the container the same one used for trash, but I think it would be hard to separate paper from containers when I believe they use hot water in the automated sorting process.  It would seem to be easier to keep paper and cardboard dry and separated.

DC also allows all in one bin

So I just checked the DC Department of Public Works and they say you can put the rinsed containers in the same bin as paper and cardboard as long as you are residential.  My building sent out a notice that you need to keep them separated.  Apparently the contracted service, required for commercial properties, has different rules.

Not for Commercial…

The next time I see the truck come to my building I will have to check out the company name and then try to find out where they take the recyclables to see why separation is necessary.  The management company claimed that if inspected the they are not separated correctly, the company would get fined and if known, would pass the fine on to the resident.