Windows 8

I had read a bunch of bad things about Windows 8, so I thought I'd use my Technet subscription to install it and see for myself. When it first starts, it does truly suck. I don't know what that first window that comes up is, but it looks ridiculous on a laptop. However, my clicking on my account name, I got to the familiar desktop. I'll have to see if there's a way to just make that be the default. The next weird thing was the lack of a start button. This meant that I couldn't figure out how to get to the Control Panel. So I ended up installing a free program called Classic Shell. This gave me the start button and let me get to the Control Panel, which looks remarkably like Windows 7. That's good. Anyway, I created a link on my desktop to Control Panel. I tried duplicating this link to see if I could have created it without installing Classic Shell, but that didn't work.

I now deleted Classic Shell and found out the correct way to get to the Control Panel. Click on the File Explorer in the bottom toolbar, then click on "Computer" in the right-side panel. Now the top menu changes and there's a "Computer" choice. If you select that, "Open Control Panel" appears on the ribbon.

My very, very, very early impressions are that they just put this weird cover (I guess that's what they mean by the Metro UI) on top of Windows 7. I'm thinking that once I get out of it, things will work a lot like Windows 7. But I could be wrong. I've only been using it for about 20 minutes.

Ah, ok. I think I get how this works. The stupid metro thing is loaded up with a ton of crap that you don't want. So, you have to right click on just about all of them and say unpin from start. Then, any icons that you put on your desktop will automatically show here. So I have a Mozilla Firefox icon in my metro ui.

Another interesting thing I found is to switch between the desktop and the Metro UI (when installed with vmware fusion on a mac) is to press command - F4.

When in the Metro UI, to see all the possible programs that you could put on the Start Menu (which is the default window that opens), you right-click and on the bar that pops up on the bottom, select 'All apps'. Then, you can right-click on, say Control Panel, and say stick to Start Menu and it will always be on the start menu. It's kind of goofy, but doesn't suck as badly as I thought it would.

I guess the bad part is that you can't add any programs you have on your computer to the Metro UI. I'd guess the only way to get stuff there is through the Microsoft App Store. Or, you need to install it and put a link on your Desktop. Then, it will show on the Start Page. At least, I'm assuming that's why I have a Firefox icon on the Start Page.

Right now, the weirdest thing about this is how wide it makes the screen. Instead of scrolling down to see more stuff, I have to scroll to the right. So the wheel on my mouse is useless. I have to actually go to the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen to move to the right. That I do find quite annoying.

The big question is, is there a way to turn off the Metro UI? If there is, Windows 8 won't be such a big deal. If there's not, people here will complain about it.


I just put on Cloudflare. It sounds like something that would be really helpful and I figured I'd give the free version a try before I move another domain to the paid version. It was incredibly easy to set up, which was great. Took basically a single click in my Badger account to enable Cloudflare and then put in the new dns values. I'll admit that I don't exactly know how it all works, but so far it seems pretty cool. I did see that there's a wordpress plugin for Cloudflare and I'll probably install that next.


The floor is basically done. I just put some brown paper on it for protection as I washed all the walls and repainted in a few areas. I also put up blinds! They look great and work wonderfully as well. To help me with the blinds, I brought down my table and put that in the dining room so I could work easily.

After this picture was taken, I also brought down my recliner and set up the tv in the living room. I watched a little football last weekend and it was awesome!

Days Off

I took the rest of this week off. Today, I decided to drive to Glacial Park Nature Preserve in Ringwood IL, which took me about two hours to get to. I read they had a nice hiking trail and while I hadn't ever hiked before, I thought it was something that I might enjoy. My goal on the hike was to take one picture that I could print out and hang on the wall of my newly finished house. All of my pictures are here. Most aren't very good, but there are two that I think I'd be happy with on my wall. So, when I move back home, one of the first things I'm going to do is have a print made of one or two of them.

The weather was a bit rainy, as you can tell from the photos. I had intended to hike about four miles, but as I thought it was going to start raining harder, I ended up on a smaller loop that was just over two miles. I was fine, though I think in the future I'd prefer to hike with other people. I had tried to get someone to come with me on this one, but I had no takers that could make it.


It's been a while since I've posted work done at the house, but work has progressed quite a bit.

Here's a shot of the start of installing the tile.

Here is how it looked after all the tile was installed. I was very, very happy with the results.

And here's how it looks after grout...completely finished.

The tile turned out great. Have I mentioned that I love laying tile? It was a bit like doing a big puzzle, turned out to be enjoyable. Now, however, I have moved on to the wood floor. Let me state upfront, I much prefer working with tile than working with wood. With wood, you can always sand more. It just never feels like it's done. Anyway, having said that, here's a shot of the last bit of sanding I did before applying the finish.

And here's how it looked after the first coat of finish. Not nearly as nice as the tile, but remember, most of that wood is also 124 years old. Just thinking how I'm going to look at 124, makes me realize that it's really not that bad.

Yesterday, I used 220 grit sandpaper and my little sander over the entire floor to smooth the finish. This left a powdery substance over most of the floor that needed to be cleaned up. I tried wiping with a damp cloth which didn't work so well. Today, I bought some tack cloths and tried wiping it up with that. This worked a little better, but I'm still not sure it's going to pick it all up. I'll probably have to go over it with a shop vac as well before I put on the second coat. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the sanded floor. I can do that when I go back to work on it tomorrow.