Cleaning up a slow computer

People are always asking me to help fix a slow or virused-up computer for them, and I really do want to help, but it’s an enormously time consuming experience.  In an effort to help people fix their own issues, I thought I would compile a list of what I do when I need to fix a slow machine.

Download and install all of the following software:

Ad-Aware free version
Microsoft Security Essentials

Then, put your patience pants on, because you’re going to be running software, and restarting your PC for the next 2 to 8 hours, depending on your machines speed, your hard drive size,  and how messed up your machine is.

First, if your computer is running any McAfee or Norton virus protection, uninstall it.  Completely.  Until no mention of it comes up in your program list.  We will replace it with something better later.

Second, run Malwarebytes.  It’s pretty straightforward, just follow directions.

Then, restart.  Run Spybot.  Again, just follow directions.  This one takes a LONG, LONG time.

Restart again.  Run Ad-aware. Again, follow directions.  This one is also time-consuming, but less so.’

Restart again.  Run CCleaner.  Run the cleaner, then run the registry tool.  Let CCleaner clean all that stuff out.  Then click on Tools>Startup.  You will see a whole list of programs that are running when you start your machine.  Most of these do not need to be run at startup.  Delete those that are extraneous.  DO NOT DELETE anything that you do not recognize, but feel free to stop running things like Dropbox, Yahoo, Evernote, Utorrent, Spotify, or any other 3rd party programs.  Those programs will start just fine when you need them, and do not need to be enabled at startup.

Restart again.  Run Soluto.  Soluto is cool, but requires several restarts to learn your system.  Just do it.  And then Soluto will make recommendations for you about what to do to speed up your boot time.  Follow the suggestions.

Now install Microsoft Security Essentials.  It is a far better anti-virus tool than McAffee or Norton, which are both crappy as hell.

There’s  hundreds of other ways to help your system out, too, but this is a good enough start for most people.  Have patience, good luck, and now maybe you’ll understand why I really don’t want to do this for you.  🙂


Back on WordPress once again.

There was no real reason to write this, and no great insight will be found by reading it. But there are a small handful of people who were confused, and hopefully this will clear the fog.

I have had a blog at since 1996, which has been about as long as there’s been a publicly popular internet. It went through LOTS of changes over the years, finally culminating in a blog that I had hosted at After discovering Facebook, my blog posts basically stopped happening, because Facebook is actually a better tool for communication than a blog for most people (in my opinion). Since I wasn’t writing blog posts anymore, and the website served very little purpose, I got pretty lazy about its existence. And paying the bills.

Now, for the first time in a decade, I no longer own, because I put off paying the domain name bill, and someone snapped it up. Damn me and my lazy ways! So I bought (Go Chet GO!), and decided to use some free hosting at that I used to use several years ago, and that would be easier and cheaper, especially for a website that serves very little purpose. It does contain a copy of my Bio, though, which I really like, and it kind of neat to have occasionally.

So anyway, this post is to introduce you to my new/old blog that I may or may not start posting onto again.  I’m being very slow and lazy about updating it (so don’t be surprised if you find outdated information on it.  A since we’re here, I also just now decided to use this post to introduce you to the new Manitou Station website that I built using Wix (which is an awesome tool!). Check it out and tell me if you hate it. (And yes, I’m well aware that the calendar has no information on it yet. Check again next week.) 🙂

Some holiday thoughts that just surfaced while drinking wine.


[UPDATE: Everything below here is at least 3 years old!]


To all a Merry Christmas…


As we inch closer and closer to the most stressful and wonderful holiday season of the year, I’m sure that I’m not the only one that’s feeling the pinch. Money is tight, and while I see lots of multi-million dollar homes being built, I don’t actually know anybody that’s living in one. My type of family and friends have never been the caviar type.

That’s why I think it’s so important to keep things in perspective right now. We all get depressed around the holidays, I think. At least, I know that I do. And it’s all too easy to focus on all the wrong things. Like, for instance, how many people are spending money at the mall, or how everyone else seems to be buying wonderful gifts, or how it just doesn’t feel like we’re measuring up to those around us somehow…

But really. Let’s look at the reality of the world. The mere fact that you are living in America (and I know that you are, because only about 20 people read my blog, and I have the stats to prove it) means that you’ve already won the “Oh My God I’m Spectacularly Blessed” lottery. And if you’re earning more than $30,000 a year, you earn more than 98% of the world’s inhabitants. Really. 98% of the people on this planet live on less than $30,000 a year. And most live on much, much, MUCH less.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas today, and I get down sometimes about not being able to afford all the crap that the TV tells me to buy, but when you really sit down and look at it… We’ve already gotten the best present that could ever be given. We live somewhere safe. We’re warm at night. No one in our circle of friends is hungry. Poverty and strife are distant things that are only on the news. We are so lucky to be here, and to be us, that we cannot even imagine.

So fuck all the commercialism, I think. And Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. And don’t let the bastards (whoever they might be) get you down. Give mightily to those less fortunate than you, and give small things to those that you love. Because they don’t need anymore crap on their shelves. None of us do. But it’s the thought that counts, and it always has been, no matter how much some greedy folks with an advertising budget would have believe differently.

And even though I was so crass and bold to put an Amazon Wish List on my website, I’ll tell you what I really want from each and everyone of you.

I’d like a cocktail at my favorite bar, to be served by my favorite bartenders, and about an hour of your company. Merry Christmas. 🙂

The penalties of sucking at Yahtzee

When you play Yahtzee on a snowy night with Chet and Becka, you should be prepared to do snow angels when you lose.

I don’t think either Sarah (top) or Sheri (both on bottom) were quite prepared for the consequences. Luckily, they ransacked the house and got all bundled up before they had to go out and make nice snow angels in our yard for us. This, of course, happened very late at night after many, many beers, and I’m sure the neighbors were duly impressed.

I just thought I’d share. 🙂


I joined Facebook today.

I would tell you how to look for me on Facebook, but I don’t know.

I also don’t know what I’m supposed to gain by being on Facebook now.  I’m not sure that I understand what the point of Facebook is.  The only reason I joined is because every other article that I read about the internet lately mentions how popular Facebook is, and how social networking is the future of the internet, and how young people don’t even use email anymore because they’re just using social networking to communicate…

And so far, I just dont’ get it.  Maybe this will change later.  Right now it appears that I’ve just given the people at Facebook far too much personal information about myself, and what I got in return is the ability to log on to Facebook, and notice that I have an account there.

I’m still a little lost as to what the advantage of this is supposed to be.  I already have a website, you see.  And you know this, because you’re reading it.  I already know who my friends are, because Facebook searched my email contacts to find out who they were, which means I already knew how to get a hold of them.  I think that I can post pictures onto Facebook, but again, I could already do that onto my website, so that’s not really an advantage either.

I’m really, really trying to figure out what the heck makes Facebook so popular, and what advantage I’m supposed to get by being a member, but so far I seem to be missing the point.  Of course, I felt (and still feel) the same way about MySpace and all other social networking sites.

There’s got to be something that I’m missing here.  If anyone knows what it is, please let me know…

Surfs up?


Ah yes…

A fresh day.  Everything seems better on a fresh day, doesn’t it?  You know…  When you’ve had a good nights sleep.  When you got up and went to the gym (instead of skipping it, as you do all too often).  When you’re having a decent day at work.

It makes me want to learn to surf. 

I’ve been checking out several surf camps and locations on the old Internets lately, because I decided a few months ago that I really need to learn how to surf.  This is something that I really should have done in my 20’s, but with all the drinking, partying, hitchhiking, and adventuring, I just never managed to fit it into my schedule.

My complaint in my last post was that I’m getting older, and I’m sorry to have bothered you with it.  Sometimes the inexorable march towards ‘not so young’ brings a soul down, as does the realization that you don’t always get the life that you ordered.  But it’s also attuned me to the prospect of doing the weird and/or unexpected.  Like learning to surf.  Or commandeering a freighter.  Or starting a cult (at which, I would excel mightily, I believe).

I will start by learning to surf.  So, if you know of anyone that has done such a thing, by all means let me know.  I need a new personal challenge, I think.  I believe that achieving a goal is the correct step when you’re being bitch-slapped by the hand of time.  Just sitting around and being pissed off certainly isn’t doing any good, anyway, so this is, at the very least, something different.

I will let you know if I ever commandeer a freighter or start a cult.