Archive | October 2017

Hold The Phone!

Ignore my previous post. My banking issues have been resolved, I’ve paid my bill, and the domain is saved! That almost sounds like the plot for a fairy tale: the princess paid her taxes, thus saving her domain.

If I haven’t done so already, allow me to share Robyn’s First Rule of Computing with you:

BE PARANOID AND COMPULSIVE

I devised this rule back in the ‘70s, during the heyday of MS-DOS, as a reminder to always make several copies of your important data. The corollary to the First Rule is this:

IT ISN’T A MATTER OF IF YOU LOSE YOUR DATA; IT’S A MATTER OF WHEN.

At the time, I worked in a state government office where personal computers were just beginning to make an appearance. Since I was one of only two people in our entire division who knew anything about them, I was tasked (along with my regular duties) with the additional responsibility with making sure that everything functioned smoothly.

One of the first things I did as to enforce Robyn’s First Rule. I did this by location a free program to back up data. It worked like this:

  • On installation of the program, it added a line to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. That displayed a text message that said “You last backed up your data x days ago. Do you want to back up now?”
  • If you answered yes, the program then prompted you to insert the data diskette marked “Backup Diskette n,” where n was the current disk number. It then copied to that disk any files that had been modified since the last backup.
  • Once the diskette was full, the program prompted you to remove the diskette and replace it with a new, formatted diskette to be labeled “Backup Diskette n + 1” and continued until all the files had been backed up.
  • If, however, you answered no, the rest of the instructions in AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS were executed and the system continued to boot up.

I can’t tell you the number of times I got a panicked call from someone who had lost a file and needed help. Invariably, when I’d check the backup log, I discovered that their system hadn’t been back up for weeks—meaning there was no way of recovering the file, except at the byte level with a disk editor, a slow and complicated process that was rarely successful.

All of the above is by way of explaining why I am going to continue cross-posting to both this site and the new blog on WordPress.

I just wanted you to know that.


This Certainly Sucks…

I’m broke. Not emotionally or physically, but economically. I found an unauthorized transaction on my debit card and I am unable to pay the monthly fee for my domain. So I’ve transferred it back to WordPress. Maybe when the situation is resolved, I’ll be able to regain ownership of my own domain name.

Until then, I’ve moved all of my posts here.

I’m Still Processing Bad News

I got a phone call from my daughter in Seattle this morning. This never fails to cheer me up, but today was different. Her sister—my other daughter—is getting married in April…and I am specifically uninvited.

She and I have not had the best of relationships since her mother and I divorced when she was 16, and it was further complicated when I was outed as transgender. She has found religion, and both she and her fiancée are conservative evangelical Christians. I’m sure you know the kind: the ones who love everyone except those who don’t think exactly the way they do.

So yes, I’m hurt. But I realize it’s her choice, and as much as it pains me to do so, I will honor that choice.

And I realize that today, some 20-odd years later, it’s time to attempt a reconciliation, and that I have to be the one to take the first steps. I certainly don’t want to be in the position I was in with my father who, after almost 10 years of silence, reconciled with me—four days before his death.

Maybe I’m feeling Wordsworth’s Intimations of Immortality:

We will grieve not, rather find
           Strength in what remains behind;
           In the primal sympathy
           Which having been must ever be;
           In the soothing thoughts that spring
           Out of human suffering;
           In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

Or maybe I’m just feeling my age: I’m 67 years old, and I realize that it’s time to start thinking about end of life care, powers of attorney,

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea

As Ol’ Possum so eloquently put it.

Indeed, I’m composing this entry over a cup of Earl Grey tea.

Yes, it hurts. But it’s up to me to decide if it’s the pain of growth or the pain of an end.

I choose growth.

Why Do So Many Americans Hate Each Other?

That was the question on Facebook this morning. This was my answer.

It’s fear, most likely. People don’t understand what’s happening in our country today and so they cling desperately to the idea that nothings wrong. When someone tries to point out what’s essentially cognitive dissonance, they lash out in fear.

Our “modern” educational system, which places standardized testing above actual learning, has made it all but impossible to recognize that our nation’s run as an empire is over. We have an evil buffoon in the White House who is set on destroying the country from within. A man who has sworn to uphold the Constitution and defend it against all enemies, foreign or domestic, is himself the greatest domestic enemy.

Both he and his corporately-owned cronies in Congress will be remembered, if at all, as petty Neros who fiddled while Rome burned.

I recently read a prediction that Trump will be the last Republican president, that his party won’t survive his administration. I predict that he will be the last president period, regardless of political party.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.”