30.september.2007 » My rock-climbing buddy, Tom, called yesterday afternoon. "I'm coming over to pick you up," he said. "I'm taking you shopping for a new mountain bike."
"I can't afford a new mountain bike right now," I said.
"I know," he replied. "Don't worry. My treat." I thought we were gonna look at some used (cheap) bikes. Not so. He took me to a store.
Tom is not rich. On the way over, he told me a story, how many years ago, while in his early 20's, his landlord informed him waterbeds were not allowed, and that he'd have to get rid of his waterbed.
One of Tom's neighbors overheard the conversation. The next day Tom found $350 cash in his mailbox. (Back when $350 was a lot of money.) Tom confronted the man (a Muslim, working 3 jobs) and asked if he were responsible. "It's from whoever you *want* it to be from," the man replied.
24.september.2007 » Back in February, Google released a report titled » Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population (13-page PDF, 242-KB), which detailed their findings regarding the failure rates of hard disk drives they own.
Since Google uses so many hard drives (over 100,000 were used in this study), their findings were of great interest to those of us who've had trouble locating reliable data on the topic.
Moreover, their report was of special significance because it contradicted many commonly held beliefs, such as:
Personally, I think drive failure has a lot to do with how the drive was handled en route (by the shipper) » from the manufacturer to the reseller, and » from the reseller to the end user (you & me).
So how do you protect yourself against the devastating effects of hard drive failure? There are various ways, with each method offering a degree of protection. But the *best* way to protect your data and your operating system is with an imaging/cloning program .. such as Norton Ghost (distributed by Symantec).
23.september.2007 » Today is the first day of autumn (or spring, for those of you living south of the equator) .. otherwise known as the equinox, a latin-term meaning "equal night," when hours of daylight equal those of night.
At exactly 2:51 AM (for those of us living here on the left coast), the sun crossed the equator, entering the southern hemisphere, where it will remain for the next six months. ("Adios, amigo. Say hi to our friends down under.")
Today also marks the end of summer. Our days will continue to shorten .. until the arrival of the winter solstice (around Christmas) .. as we continue our trip around the sun.
20.september.2007 » Quick update to let everybody know that .. regarding the previous entry (and this one) » I'm doing everything I possibly can .. to remain in the Bug's life.
When you can't afford an attorney, there are only so many levers you can pull, and buttons you can push. But I'm pushing & pulling the best I can. (Couldn't live with myself if I didn't at least try.)
15.september.2007 » My mom died more than 20 years ago. Cancer. It was over within a matter of months. ("Mercifully," some say.) Yet still too horrible to contemplate.
I was living in Pennsylvania at the time. Mom lived up in Connecticut (4 hours away).
It went fast, but we had the best time. (Ever!) Downright magical. [Again, this was just a week before we learned the news. I can still remember the phone call...
Call it what you want » "God," "the Universe," "Destiny" .. whatever terminology you're comfortable with .. but that weekend felt like (and *still* feels like) a special gift .. one which I can always return to (in my mind) .. whenever I miss her.
12.september.2007 » During my college days, I happened to take (by pure chance) both Sociology and Economics (Macro) in the same semester (while working full-time).
What I learned during that semester (tho neither professor came right out and said so) is that the socio-political system (of a nation) is defined by its economic system (and vice versa).
Communism is both a socio-political and an economic system (which precludes private ownership). The same goes for Capitalism (which is founded upon private ownership as one of its central tenets).
It's worth mentioning (as a side note) that professors in both classes were quick to point out that the version of "communism" practiced by countries such China and the old Soviet Union bears little resemblance to the socio-economic (political) system espoused by Marx & Engels. (I got an A in both classes, which was all that mattered to me.)
Here in the States, where the notion of capitalism is so ingrained that it has become part of who we are, we walk around largely unaware that other systems exist. We know only that Communism is bad. But in reality, no system of government is perfect. All have flaws. (Cuz they're all run by flawed, imperfect people.)
Regulars may recall how much I enjoyed reading the book » Into the Wild (by Jon Krakauer). Here's a snippet of what I wrote back in October (on the 5th) 2005.
Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » What Drove McCandless "Into the Wild"? » A Film by Sean Penn, based on the book by Jon Krakauer
08.september.2007 » Last week I mentioned how the Bug cried when I brought him back to his mom .. and how that threw me for a loop, seeing it was a new development.
This week wasn't such a shock, tho yesterday, again, brought more goodbye tears. (The Bug rarely cries. Tears are rarer still.) Yet surprisingly, I'm still struggling to get a handle on this new twist.
"I'd like to tell you it'll get better," Tom said, "but it's likely to get worse, first."
Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » More Goodbye Tears + "Dada's poops are stinked up!"
03.september.2007 » At the coffee shop yesterday, I let my rock-climbing buddy (Tom) talk me into a mountain bike ride (my first ever). Unfortunately, yesterday brought a record-breaking heat wave.
It was sooo freakin' hot. Tom estimated 105 degrees on the trails where no breeze blew. We didn't get started until after noon, finishing 3 hours later » smack dab in the heat of the day. (We stopped twice » once to fix his broken chain, and again later to repair my flat tire.)
Wasn't until I pulled out his water bottle from the holder that I realized I had the wrong bike. (Our bikes look nothing alike.) I mean, this was obvious .. to anybody with an IQ above 60.
The *hills* are what killed me. Seemed like they'd never end. We climbed one after another. Relentless. Punishing. Brutal.
01.september.2007 » Received a certified letter from the bug's mom, saying she is moving to Michigan. (A few thousand miles away.) Such threats are nothing new, but this is the first time I received an official notice (as required by law).
Ironically, I have a sense of peace about it. Perhaps it's just a defense mechanism kicking in. (I don't understand it, myself.)
Of course, I've had feelings before I couldn't understand, so this is nothing new. Still, it surprises me, cuz I thought I'd feel devastated.
Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog .. see here » Hasta la Vista, Baby
Next Month => [News for October, 2007]