Upgrading the Money Software

bucks.pngWe generally stick to the old adage of If It ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It when it comes to all things software. Consequently, I have had a functioning copy of Quicken Deluxe 2002 installed on the laptop and predecessor computers since 2002. For the past couple of weeks, the old program has acted flaky in some areas, like one of the software modules got corrupted; it still had most of its main functions and was usable, but some of the convenient features and shortcuts were non-existent.

We decided to go with the latest Intuit Windows package to upgrade the software, Quicken Deluxe 2015. I ordered it from an Amazon Marketplace associate for 25% off the list price.

I was a little concerned about upgrading and having the ability to import my current data files. Prior to ordering the software, I researched what it would take to convert from Q2002 to Q2015. The data from the old software, it turns out, can not be directly imported into the new; an intermediate step is required since the method of data storage had changed a couple of versions after my 2002 package.

I had the new software last week, but I wanted to wait until the end of the month so I could reconcile the accounts and back them up just in case. I did that this morning and proceeded with the procedure, which was, 1) Upgrade to Quicken 2004 (free download from Intuit) and 2) import the intermediate data into the new Q2015 package.

After the upgrade, I was pleasantly surprised to see that everything (as far as I can tell) had imported correctly. I started getting used to the new user interface and was able to start customizing the presentation of data.

There was one glitch upon installation of Q2015; the installer wizard reported that it could not upgrade the installed software to Release 8, the latest version. I went online and found that Quicken made some “patches” available for the upgrade, so I downloaded the Release 8 patch and attempted to install it. The installer wizard, again, informed me that the upgrade was unsuccessful.

I went back on-line and found that there was a “MONDO” patch available which would reinstall everything plus the Release 8 upgrade. I downloaded it, launched the installer which took quite a long time (>10 minutes), but ultimately reported the successful upgrade.

The new package has a lot of features that I prefer not to use: cloud storage, synchronizing with my banks directly and subscriptions of various investment strategies and utilities. I am satisfied by manually updating my accounts in Quicken the way I have been doing it for years and connecting to the banks and investment accounts to maintain those as required.

El Camino Muscle

El Camino Muscle

On the way back into town today, we passed this extremely clean 1970-something Chevrolet El Camino. This one, a nice shiny blue color, had a chrome hood for a blower (supercharger for aircraft types) on the hood and a nice tonneau cover over the bed.

The Better Half snapped this photo of the car as it passed us on Wickenburg Way going in the opposite direction. I would like to get some other photos of this car sometime, if it shows up in the October, December or February car shows. Maybe even if it shows up at our local 1950’s era Screamer’s Drive In on Cruise Fridays. Those cruise nights are cool.

Cold Weather vs. Murder Rate

I found this interesting comparison chart of Chicago and Houston on FecesBook®:

cold-weather.jpg

I thought I would share it here. The bottom line made me laugh out loud.

Stuck Truck

Stuck Truck

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

I guess that the (unofficial) Postal Service Creed did not include sand for good reason, since our postal carrier, Nadine, got her little delivery rig stuck in the sand about 200 feet down the road from us today. She has somehow managed to get through since the big monsoon storm washed the road out on July 18th, but today she got bogged down. The story has a happy ending because a big tow rig came out and sprung her loose.

I mentioned in a comment that the road was in pretty bad shape; the four wheel drive on the truck had no problem with the sand and the garbage and water delivery trucks seem to be OK with it. It will take a while before the traffic packs the sand down like it was before the flash flood.

I do have another problem with access, however. The nice new RV driveway on the west end of the property is situated about eight to ten inches above the road where the flood runoff washed away the sand during the runoff. The plan is to get a skip loader in here to fill the gap in with some of the dirt we took out when building the walls and driveway. That is only temporary, however, while we figure out a more permanent solution.

Getting the RV drive accessible is critical since we’re planning a couple of travel trailer getaways over the next couple of months; we need to get the trailer up here to flush and fill the tanks and do other prep since we haven’t used the trailer in a while. I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to get it done.

Planning for the Great Solar Eclipse of 2017

Eclipse Map

The August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse is still a little over two years in the future, but we made our reservations for an RV park near the centerline of the path of totality today. Some of the RV parks in the area we chose to view the event were not taking reservations for that far in the future, but I persisted and found one that did.

Making advance reservations for the annular solar eclipse of May 2012 proved to be an absolute necessity; when we arrived at the campground in Page, AZ, they were completely sold out. We made those reservations six months ahead of time and the associate with whom we spoke told us that we were getting one of the last few spots available even that far in advance.

We used a well-known on-line map site to do the route and accommodations planning. We picked easy-to-navigate scenic highways, median to high rated RV parks while confining our route to travel through those states that honor our right-to-carry firearms. We have permits for Arizona (resident) and Utah but will also be in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming, all of which allow us to carry.

What’s for Dinner?

Cajun Boiled Dinner

On a notion, The Better Half found a recipe for a boiled Cajun seafood and sausage dinner. This is the first time in recent history that we have tried anything like this and it turned out wonderful, plus or minus some lessons learned.

First, we found out after the fact, that the lobster tails would not curl up if a skewer were to have been inserted lengthwise prior to putting in the boiler. Second, the original recipe did not include any green vegetable, which TBH remedied with broccoli crowns in the mix.

Ultimately, however, this delicious dinner was one of the best new things added to the list of favorite treats in the TBH cooking repertoire. I’m sure that this will reappear on the dining room table in the not too distant future. Clickable image.

A Dam Good Job

The day after we had that intense monsoon rainfall, The Better Half and I drove over to a vantage point overlooking the Casandro Dam and catch basin. There was still water in the basin but it was being pumped out to the lower Casandro wash. In the (clickable) panoramic image below, the water level is down, but during the storm, the water made it all the way up to the spillway level. There is a close up image of the spillway at this link.

Casandro Dam Basin

I posted an aerial photo diagramming the dam and lower wash quite a while ago, so I updated it with a larger, annotated version (clickable image) in which you can see the basin at the left, the dam, the spillway and the line traces the approximate route of the lower wash to the point where the water dumps in a storm drain and thence down to the Hassayampa River. The breaks in the line are where the two roads cross over concrete reinforced sections with culverts below.

Casandro Wash

Casandro is the largest of a few small flood control dams in town, all of which were at or near full capacity during the storm. Casandro and the other dams did their jobs and were in no danger of rupturing or washing out.

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