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About MickinMD

  • Birthday 10/01/1950

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
  • Interests
    chess, cycling, science, politics, history

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  • Bike(s)
    cheap mountain bike

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  1. From now on, if I'm having a software/hardware problem with my Windows 10 laptop, I'm going to simply reboot first rather than accept the "troubleshooting" offer from the Windows popup. Thursday, I used an HDMI cable to stream NFL Thursday Night Football from my laptop to my TV, where the computer's sound goes through the TV. Afterward, when I unplugged the HDMI cable, the sound did not come back to my laptop. It tried a couple things and suddenly a Windows 10 popup appeared, recommending troubleshooting. I clicked ok and the next thing I knew, Windows 10 no longer recognized that I had a speaker system in the laptop and my headphone jack no longer worked. I rebooted, held F12 on booting to check all the BIOS, etc, settings, had the computer look for drive and software problems, updated some drivers, etc. and still no sound unless I used the HDMI cable. The HDMI cable is a little on the old side and I had to wiggle it in the socket to make it work and I wondered if I had also wiggled the port and broken some connector, etc. I ordered a replacement for the cable but wondered if it was too late! Finally, Friday evening I remembered that Windows has an app somewhere that searches for new devices and wondered if it would find my speakers. When I finally found the app's window, there was a list of device operations that had recently been made, and I saw an alpha-numeric, meaningless-to-me, named device but it drew my attention. Next to it was the word "disconnected" next to the date and approx. time my laptop sound stopped working. I clicked on everything related to the "disconnected" notice until a window finally popped up that included an "update driver" button and then a choice of letting Windows automatically find the driver. I did so and the next thing I new, it said "driver installed" and my speakers and headphones were back in business and the Sound/Playback window showed as default: "Realtek High-Definition Audio" which I now remember was what was there originally (the other driver is "not plugged in" because the HDMI to is not connected my TV): After clicking on the "DTS Studio Sound" app that came with the laptop from the Start menu, it became incorporated as it was before, giving me graphic-equalizer control over all sounds - great for YouTube music, etc. (again, "not connected" just means the HDMI to is not connected my TV). Regaining the laptop's sound and controls was a combination of a little knowledge and a little luck. Next time, I'll remember the automatic fixes on computers can get into things I'm not familiar with and not to tell Windows to fix something that a simple reboot may show isn't broken.
  2. "How about 11:15 am on October 1st?" she asked. That was the beginning of it. The next October 1st is my 69th birthday. Yesterday, my doctor's office called me to reschedule next week's diabetes blood test followup appointment - the Doc will be at a "conference." "Anything 11 am or later works best for me," I said. "How about 11:15 am on October 1st?" she asked, "That's fine," I replied, "I guess no one's throwing a birthday party for me that early in the day." Just now, I've got "The Lonesome Reunion" a 1958 episode of "Maverick," on the TV while I've been going over my budget. Bret (James Garner) is trying to find out what an ex-con has to do with $120,000 and asks a Denver newspaper publisher if "$120,000" means anything to him in terms of robberies. The publisher answers, "Yeah. The Land and Stage Company Robbery. $120,000. Last October, uh [I knew what was coming!], the 1st." So, in the best spirit of "A Beautiful Mind," where the main, slightly-insane character keeps seeing conspiracies in the way words are arranged in newspaper articles, it appears that something unusual is going to happen on my birthday where the numbers 11, 15, and 12 or 11:15 and 120,000 are involved. I googled them and came up with little of interest except: There are all kinds of Biblical quotes with the numbers 11, 15, 12, but that's too convenient even though I like how 2 Corinthians 11: 12-15, begins: "And I will keep on doing what I am doing..." In 1862, from Dec. 11 to 15, Burnside's 120,000 man union army attacked Fredericksburg, VA. But, as a student of the Civil War who has visited the Fredericksburg Battlefield, I know when one union soldier said to another, "I can't believe Lee is letting us get into Fredericksburg so easy," the other replied prophetically, "I bet it won't be so easy gettin' back out." So I don't think I want my birthday to end like Fredericksburg did for the Union Army. Besides I don't have long sideburns - which are named after Burnside. Three of us in the family, my brother, his wife, and me have birthdays close together on Sept. 19 & 26 and Oct. 1 and have reached the point where birthday parties, presents, etc. are unnecessary - we party enough otherwise, so we arrange a nice dinner each year at a nice restaurant for a dozen or so of us to jointly celebrate our birthdays. Two of those who would be celebrating with us are currently suffering from kidney stones, so that eliminates meat-centric places like Fogo de Chão, the great Brazilian steakhouse in Baltimore where you gorge yourself on all the steak, chicken, pork prepared in so many delicious ways plus excellent sides and drinks. So what about crab cakes? On a "kidney friendly eating" page on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/pkdfoundation/kidney-friendly-eating/) are 18 food items, including: Yeah, I know there's a difference between Kidney-friendly and Kidney stone-friendly, but being good for the former should mean it's not bad for the latter, so I'll take what I can get! When I Google "crab cakes" nothing except recipes comes up at the top, but when I Google "crab cakes 11 12 15", the FIRST Google entry is: G & M, in my opinion and that of a plurality of local media awards, serves the best crab cakes in Maryland (and therefore the world). Prices are reasonable: $24 for a single (almost softball-size) crab cake platter (2 sides). If you order the double-crab cake platter for $35 if's because you want to take one home in a doggy bag. G&M used to NOT take reservations, but does now. My 1st choice of sides, french fries, are not good for kidney stones but my 2nd choice, cole slaw is good and there are other friendly choices. So that's it. The numbers say G&M. I'll have to get everyone else to agree to G&M, but it won't be a hard sell.
  3. It's so great to have someone in the family great at vacation planning. My sister-in-law and her sister-in-law make plans for big, extended family vacations every couple of years, dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's before the rest of us have to do anything.
  4. I hope this helps me keep on my diet. It's a disgrace we're so overweight as a nation. I remember in 1998 when I visited France and the obesity rate there was 3%. I had always been told that women naturally lost their girlish figures in their 30's but, in France, there were times I'd observe a 20 year-old woman walking with her same-sexy-shape 40 year-old mother. Now France has a lot of fast-food places, the Internet in most homes, etc. and their obesity rate is rising fast.
  5. I guess walking up and down hills all the time helps burn those calories!
  6. When I was in a fraternity at the U. of Toronto there was one brother who was high far more often than the rest of us. He had a fixation on California and would often stagger around and say, "Hey, Yank! How about if we trade you Canada for California?"
  7. Kentucky and Maryland, the two slave states that did not secede from the Union, have in common the fact that there are "Kentucky Regiments" and "Maryland Regiments" in both the Blue and Gray Armies! At Antietam, there are markers for a Maryland Artillery Regiment that did great service for the South. At Gettysburg, it was a Maryland Brigade fighting for the North on Culp's Hill that did virtually the same thing on the North end of the line that Colonel Chamberlain and the 20th Maine more famously did defending Little Round Top on the South end. Pictures from both sites during a 2010 visit with my nephew Ryan, whose father is from Maine: .
  8. Mostly not ads, notifications - and they're not from this site. I bitched the other day about popup notifications and thought it was from Windows 10 because I finally found out the settings location to stop some of them. But then I kept getting them and realized it was my browser, Firefox, that let them through. I like Firefox because arranging my rss news feeds, fantasy football sites, chess sites, etc. is easier there. I also use Chrome sometimes. Anyway, here's where you can disable or limit those popups on Firefox: choose "Tools" in the top menu bar, then "Options," "Privacy and Security, "Permissions," and finally "Notifications."
  9. As the lead gifted/talented chemistry and physics teacher at my state's largest high school, I was very overqualified in terms of knowledge and ability in those sciences, but I was average in terms of teaching skills. Fortunately, most of my classes had gifted and highly-able students who could stay attentive through long, boring lectures and were usually genuinely interested in the lecture topics, but sometimes I struggled when I volunteered to take some of the lower-level classes. My appreciation for the teaching talents of my colleagues and attempts to emulate them kept me from going on an ego trip about my education and background as an industrial chief research chemist.
  10. I don't think I have any - my brother and I made our sister the repository of old family photos and I'm supposed to scan them into computer files some day, but that will be at some point in the future as she's had a kidney stones attack and spent last night until today in the hospital.
  11. Personally, when I'm serving any kind of pasta to a dozen family members and friends, I'll have a dry red wine, a sweeter white wine, and beer and soft drinks available since they are mostly not wine drinkers. For a meat & cheese & marinara sauce traditional lasagna, red wines or dry white wines are often recommended. I just did a quick google and one site says, " Because tart and savory Sangiovese [an Italian dry red wine] drinks well with the intensity of lasagna. This is because the high acid and rustic flavor profile cuts through creamy fat and tarantellos with tomato at the same time. Heck, if you want to go the non-traditional route (Tex-Mex Lasagna anyone?), Sangio is up for the challenge. (https://winefolly.com/tutorial/what-kind-of-wine-goes-with-lasagna/) I like the fairly dry red wines: Beaujolais is cheap, fruity, and goes well for me with any kind of pasta. Cabernet Sauvignon works as well. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are dry white wines that tend to be less-dry than most reds and, if you like them a little sweeter, a pink Zinfandel that's not too sweet should be ok.
  12. A month ago, my brother's sister-in-law, part of our close extended-family-group who often eat together and have very similar diets, suffered pain from what turned out to be kidney stones in BOTH kidneys and is in the middle of procedures to break them up or, more likely, to have two separate operations since the stones are proving hard to break. My sister just phoned me and said she was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital last night (she's a senior cancer research nurse there): she's got kidney stones! She woke her husband up in the middle of last night, said she had the worst pain of her life, and needed to go to the emergency room. It's in one kidney and she's been told there's a 50:50 chance she'll pass it with the help of some meds. They're holding her until this afternoon to make sure the pain meds are agreeable with her system. I guess I'm going to have to start looking at non-kidney-stone diets!
  13. I've got mostly Graham-Buffett-type Value & Dividend stocks with P/E's about 20% lower than the S&P 500 avg. that crash when there's a crash but bounce back faster than usual afterward and most haven't lowered their dividend in decades - General Mills hasn't lowered it since the 1800's. I'll probably let them ride for the next decade: I usually replace 1-2 of 12 diverse stocks each year due to fundamentals changing. I don't buy more because I wouldn't have time to keep proper track of them. This year I got out of Wells Fargo because of continuing scandals and put the money in J.P. Morgan Chase stock. The other 11 are either doing fine or considered undervalued.
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