Surfing for the first time

This weekend I decided I should try surfing (since I am in SoCal).

Results after 2.5 hours (including lesson and freeplay)
-jammed big toe (left foot)
-gigantic deep blister (right big toe)
-knuckle on right middle finger swollen by about 30% and too stiff to move for a day
-bruise on right leg
-deep deep muscle pains, particularly in legs
-sand and salt, lots of it, embedded almost everywhere
-about 3 seconds of time almost standing (just long enough to yell "Whoo-[splash!][gurgle][sputter])
-the distinct memory of being under the surfboard and getting pushed under the water by the wave
-real annoyance at a bunch of young punks doing sick tricks on shorty boards
-the determination to try this again (if I heal enough before I leave town)

To quote one Sergeant Roger Murtaugh of the LAPD, I am too old for this shit.

If you are trying to figure out just how funny this must have looked from the outside, just think back to my famous wipeouts from the early years of snowskiing (if you ever saw one).


Life in laptop hell....

Wondering why I haven't sent you an email lately?

Did you check this blog and find me strangely silent?

Okay, so I don't post updates that often, but I have another good excuse this time. My laptop went up in smoke. Large bolts of lightning shot out of every port. An eery green backlight glowed under the keys (note-I don't have a backlight). A strange little girls voice said "They're heeeerreee....."

So none of that exciting stuff really happened. In reality, my powerbook would not boot up. I thought at first the screen had died (since I did here a start up chime at least once, but nothing appeared on the screen and the backlight (normal white not eery ectoplasmic green) did not light up. I took it in to the Apple store, hooked it up to an external monitor, and found that it no longer booted at all. The "Genius" bar was obviously channeling the early Einstein (when he flunked out of high school and before he wrote about relativity). They seemed incapable of any serious troubleshooting. Since I was traveling, I did not have any technical references with me. Then one of the geniuses slid me a business card of a local independent mac repair guy.

I met with the guy, he tried some various start up options and finally, just for laughs, pulled out one of my ram upgrades. The stupid laptop then proceeded to boot off of his test cd. Grrrr...failure after only 6 months of operation. So one of my ram modules failed, but wait it gets worse (doesn't it always get worse with my stories). The hard drive had also failed (the computer is four years old, is on a lot, and has been moved through quit a few airports, xray machines, and car rides, so I guess I can't complain too much).

Bottom line: I have a new hard drive (80gb vs the original 60gb), but only 512mb of ram (down one ram chip). I have also lost most of the data on the drive. Only about a gb of data was salvageable before the old drive ceased communicating.

Fortunately, the biggest portion of the lost data was music (backed up on my iPod) and pictures (most are backed up on wife's computer). I only lost a few business files and pictures (although I might have some on an external drive at home or on some old cds). The rest of the data was applications, and I have most of the cdroms at home, so I should be good there.

Downside, I will have to limp along with a partially configured computer until I return home and then will have to spend a fair amount of time reinstalling and updating applications.

The fun never ends around here.

If you have a computer, buy a cheap external hard drive and copy everything to it. Update the backup as regularly as you can and you will not face the disaster I have been through this week.


A late Memorial day post

I have decided to start a tradition for this blog. I will post a poem or something each Memorial day for my fallen brothers and sisters. This year's poem is easy. You all know it. Whisper the words along with me if you will. And remember to say you are sorry to your mother for causing her so much worry and grief...

Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
—By John McCrae

Happy Memorial Day 2007.