Saturday, June 30, 2007

P.S. Don't Mention Death

I'm only a PG rating (see bottom of postings) -- turns out because I have one post with one mention of "Death". Now there's a way to raise healthy children ... in denial before they even learn about it. NOT.

Off-Line, the Unexpected Option

Despite my Nerd rating - click on the logo to find yours -

I am nerdier than 75% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

I managed to find myself in a variety of unexpectedly off-line situations recently, thus the long silence ... caused by that off-lineness and a bit of other stuff in another post or two to come.

The most astonishing, perhaps, was to find, deep in the Oregon woodlands, but not out of civilization entirely, I could connect, but only by dial-up, with the astonishing rate of 12 mbps, which is, in computer terms, not dial-up at all (usually around 26 mbps), but kind of like blood pressure in the human too low to actually make urine.

So this nerd was without nerdy toys for quite a while.

Oh, and did I mention that my laptop, in perfectly good condition otherwise, has sprung a loose connection in its totally inaccessible hard-drive (Even though I had my trusty mini-Phillips screwdriver with me) Dell hard-drives are abnormal, buried, and made totally useless for adding to an exterior shell etc. if problems occur, be warned.

Just to connect was a matter of shaking the b#$%^rd, flipping the switch, and getting the dreaded "No bootable disc" message for, oh, 45 minutes to an hour or so. Each time thinking, ah, that's the direction of the shake, only for next time that direction to be c#$p, and some other pressure, or shake, or tap, or squeeze to be the one. Since it's also a heavy b#$%^rd, at least I was getting an upper-body workout!

Home now, to great new, also Dell to be fair, computer -- see you again soon!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Brain Knows Where The Bees Have Gone!

Oh, some things have been written about the problem of the bees disappearing, I know. Still, most of the human race hardly seems to be aware of the enormous significance and threat to human life of this disappearance. No bees. No pollination. No food. That's basically the chain of events. And as far as I've read, there is yet no scientific agreement as to why (virus? magnetic confusion? bacteria? genetic collapse?) bees are simply disappearing.

I say all this to show I know the seriousness of this threat. But my brain doesn't always respond appropriately.

And so it came to pass that my brain had a little moment recently. Sitting, unusually for me these days, in the midst of a very very big city ... sitting in the midst of a very small, quiet tree shaded glade (for delivery vehicles) in the center of a pretty new collection of office buildings, posh condos, and small elegant shops, my brain figured it all out.

The buzz of people moving about surrounded me. Seeing all the no haste, no crowdedness, just this one and that heading in and out of Starbucks, taking leisurely lopeing along coffee breaks, going back into their offices to serve the KingBee in the big penthouse office; the delivery bees running in and out with pollen, whoops, supplies, my brain said to me...

"No wonder the bees are disappearing. They saw all these bigger bees and their fancy schmanzy hives and said, we're not needed any longer, and faded away. How were they to know we aren't so hot at pollinating!"

That kind of junk, well that's my brain for ya'.

Monday, June 11, 2007

House-hunting or Love-Hunting -- Hot Property!

Turns out the same rules apply, whether you're house-hunting or love-hunting! At least, according to Shane Watson of the London Sunday Times. She points out that in both cases, though we should be paying attention to pragmatic considerations, we tend to make our minds up early in the negotiations, well before we've had a chance to check for damp/drink problems or neighbors/in-laws from hell. She claims "if you apply the principles of good house-hunting to finding a mate, all will be well". Her tips include:

"Are the foundations solid? This one is non-negotiable. Serious, deep-rooted problems will surface, however, hard you try to paper over the cracks. Do not ignore the signs."

"Does it face north? A sunny aspect is really quite important if you are talking about a long-term investment. Dark is not actually interesting if you have to live with it, whereas light is always life-enhancing."

"Are you being distracted by the furniture and fittings? It's hard, but you really do have to look beyond the tongue and groove. Once you're in, this superficial stuff will seem insignificant."

and my favorite

"Are you panic buying? Well, don't. Remember, you are better off renting than making a mistake you will regret forever.

Isn't life simple?

Online Dating

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