Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Mac is dead, long live my Mac

Four days ago my Mac keyboard failed. It was kind of nuts. I would hit a "d" and an "x" would display. Then it would not accept characters at all. The CPU was still working, when new email would come it would show the notifications on the top right.

We went to the Mac store in the Tacoma mall and they said it would be $1200 to repair so we decided to buy a new one. I had a Time machine backup that was only two days old, but decided to pay the $99 for them to transfer.

Mostly things seemed to transfer, Tor Browser did not and I think I have to re-purchase Little Snitch, but fairly painless so far. It will be an education. TrueCrypt was also destroyed and had to be re-installed, thank you Steve Gibson.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

18 days of housseguests, Shari's, a windows computer

Lovely people all, but 18 days of house guests was insane. However, we all survived it. The day the last group left my Mac keyboard totally failed. I needed something to read email etc until they can repair my Mac. We decided to go to Costco and get a Windows box. The screenshots in my course need updating and I had been planning on doing this for a while. I ended up with a Dell Inspiron 15 5000 series.

After three years on a Mac, the Windows operating system is a bit challenging, but I have Chrome, Firefox, Noscript and Ghostery installed. I am excited to play with the McAffe LiveSafe security suite. I am guessing it is a 30 day trial or some such. Have not loaded MS Office yet, but I will. The mail client is confusing sometimes, it seems to put both sent and received mail in the same inbox, but I will work with that or there is my friend Thunderbird. The Windows computer will not read my Mac timemachine backup and wants to reformat my iPod. I would have thought they were smarter than that, but I will get through it.

On the way to Costco, we decided to stop at Shari's, a restaurant chain, I had been curious about. I ordered the stuffed hashbrown platter with the 16 oz. T bone steak. Incredible presentation, great flavor and enough food for the next five days. Kathy and I took some of her leftovers after church and slow cooked the potatoes in a non stick pan till they were crispy, it was incredible.

/* Please forgive any spelling or grammar errors in this post, my new glasses should arrive in 10 days, though they will arrive in Seattle and we have airline tickets to Kauai after teaching in San Diego so that will be interesting at best. */

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Crystal Mountain, Seattle and the Date Rape Virus

We got sick at the VA Beach conference. 17 years as a performance artist through the grace of God, I did not miss a performance. Then we got the "Date Rape" virus.  It hit both of us, I was tagged the hardest. There were times when Kathy simply could not wake me up. I am pleased to report that she did not take the opportunity to have someone cover my body in Elmer Fudd cartoon tatoos.

This virus varies in intensity. We had a good day Saturday ago and went to Crystal Mountain. I had promised Kathy we could do this and it was one day before they closed until ski season. We ate at the restaurant at the top.  Gosh that is a money machine, they have a backlog so if you do not have an appointment, forget it. If you do, expect a 20 minute wait. We both had salads, and they were, well, salads.

Sunday after church we headed for SANS Seattle. Since we were still under the influence of the virus, we used our car service, Starline. Easy trip.

Monday was the most intense day of the infection.  I don't know if I should say this as a Christian, but as an academic, I must chronicle the events of the world and with RNA virus mutating rapidly, someone needs to leave a log. It was like LSD, or at least how it is depicted in the movies. There were images in my mind, full color, high definition and they were all semi naked girls. I know Paul said to take every thought captive, (2 Corinthians 10:5), but you try it when you are in an altered state of consciousness and the images are coming every two seconds. None of them were anything I recognized, they were being generated on the fly. The human brain continues to astound me.

I got better after Monday and there were no more pretty girls in panties. I was able to teach including my Thursday evening keynote standing up. I had a wheelchair in my room because that is how hard this thing hit. Tuesday after I taught for an hour or so, I could not figure out how to exit the classroom. Mark was kind enough to lend me an arm and when I got to the door Jason, (our amazing conference manager), was magically there to help me get to the elevator.

Friday was not a good day. I went down to the classroom and did some "color" stories to hopefully help Mark. If I did not help Mark, he was at least very kind and supportive. Mark was on it, he had the energy and clearly knew the materials.  I went back to the room and crashed, no more images of any kind; I am guessing this is the kind of sleep that animals have when they hibernate. I could not eat; there was a banana in the room, but it did not seem to be worth the effort to peel it.  I set a dozen alarms; Wiley Shanks, a graduate student was driving down to do one of his required presentations. He was prepared and focused and actually had an audience on day 5 of a small conference. I gave him some verbal feedback after everyone left. Wiley could be a SANS instructor.

Kathy arranged for Starline to pick us up. I do not remember anything about the drive. I have the deepest memory of opening the garage and falling into bed. Images came back but they were really strange. The hotel room and my home were merging. No crisis, I found the bathroom if the reader understands.

Today, Saturday, has been mostly a lost day. I have had a one inch piece of Kathy's gluten free pizza.

Tomorrow is an interesting day. Do I go to church?  I have passed 21 days since contracting the virus, but it is clearly still active. And we have missionaries coming in. One thing is totally certain. They must not touch us, they must not help with dishes after a meal, we will reduce into the downstairs bedroom and have tried to sanitize the upstairs; Kathy is in Nurse Nancy mode.

There is  a Bible story in Act 3, with a famous saying "Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Lord please do not judge me harshly, I do have silver and gold, but what I have, I do not wish to give our guests.

And that is the end of my story.