May 18th, 2004

Critters

Wailing & Gnashing of Teeth - Day 3

Gir has been damaged.

A bit of background [TECH GEEKINESS ALERT- YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!]: I've ordered a larger/faster hard drive for him, as well as an external FireWire enclosure that I'll initially use to transfer his data before swapping the drives, then to hold the old drive for some portable extra storage.

The enclosure arrived earlier than expected (the place turned out to be in Clearwater). The one they shipped me actually isn't the one I ordered, but if everything works out I'll let it slide 'cause I ordered a FireWire enclosure and got a FireWire/USB 2.0 enclosure.

When plugging it into a regular (6-pin) FireWire port the port provides enough power to run the drive. When using USB you have to do some workarounds. Some enclosures will have an AC adapter, some have a second USB cable that plugs into the power connector on the enclosure, and some (cheesier) ones have a PS/2 keyboard passthrough connector (it draws power from the keyboard connector, but still allows the keyboard to function normally). I have an older enclosure (with a 30GB drive) that has a PS/2 connector (not much good on a Mac) that I've never been able to get working correctly.

Well, the new enclosure has both a USB-to-power cable and an AC adapter. The AC adapter appears to be compatible with the old enclosure, so while at Mike & Janet's on Saturday morning I tried it. This, it turns out, was a mistake.

I fired up the old enclosure/drive, and when I plugged it into Gir's USB port Gir immediately powered down. Not a good sign. I made a conscious effort (mostly successful) to not panic, unplugged the drive, and tried powering him back on.

*BONG!* Thankfully he booted fine, else I'd likely be Baker Acted right now. I was still worried about the USB ports, however, and with good reason. After some testing with various devices it was clear that the ports were toast. (The BlueTooth module, which is internal but connected to the USB bus, is working fine.)

Fortunately I'd run a full backup the night before, so Kim and I were able to move the more "sensitive" data to Kim's iPod and go straight from M&J's to the Apple Store.

OK, so overall a couple of blown ports isn't too bad, but that's like saying "well, the bullet only grazed your brain rather than going straight through the middle". Besides, I HATE turning Gir over to people I don't know and trust very very well! I hate being without him even more. This morning when I left the house I felt like something was missing. I attributed it to not having 20 lbs of laptop and gear over my shoulder. In reality I'd also forgotten my cell phone, pagers, and headset. WTF? Needless to say, I felt completely cut off from the world.

"I'm a very high tech boy."
-Johnny Mnemonic (William Gibson)
(The short story, not the movie!)
  • Current Music
    The Whir of the Machine
Critters

In other news...

OK, here are a bunch of things that've been happening. Since I haven't had time to post much lately, I'm just gonna dump it all together in vaguely chronological order.

+ Got my order of Jhonen Vasquez goodies from Amazon last Wednesday: "Invader Zim vol 1" (the commentaries kick SO much ass!), which I forced upon the game night crew, "SQUEE!'S Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors" (which reminds me of why I liked JtHM so much, and even has a few cameos of some minor Zim characters), and a delightful little treasure called "Everything Can Be BEATEN", which despite it's glorified pamphlet format makes the darkest recesses of my soul squeal with delight in a twist-your-entrails-into-balloon-animals sort of way. I really can't begin to explain it, but if you have an affection for dark humor (and don't mind gratuitous violence to cute little furry things) and catch me at game night let me know and I'll inflict it upon you.

+ Thanks to kellyannc, anklesnake, and tacit, my final Alcor paperwork is witnessed and notarized! Once the insurance goes through (any day now!) I'll be almost done! Then I can finally replace the black rubber bands I've been wearing on my right wrist as a reminder/symbol with something more Extropian. (Thank you SO much, guys!!!)

+ redheadlass came out to her aunt last week. Wow! I'm amazed and thrilled. Her aunt is über cool, which makes it that much better.

+ femetal and I spent another wonderful weekend with redheadlass and zensidhe. Between their various journal entries most of the weekend has been covered in detail, but to sum up we spent quality time together, had a couple of minor catastrophes, went to Quest, bought a defective vibrator, freaked out a Denny's, pushed some boundaries (successfully), got a little sleep, and had some really good sex.

- Gir's broken and away from home. 'nuff said. [sniff!]

+ My nephew Dylan was baptized on Sunday, and Kim and I are now officially godparents! I really like both of our nephews, and wish we could spend more time with them. My sister and brother in law are genuinely good people, and I don't think anyone could ask for better parents, but unless Kim and I intervene the lads will probably grow up to be very normal people. ;-)

- The baptism had been moved back a few hours, which almost completely wrecked our plans for Sunday night. We had tickets to see Evanescence, and were going to go with Mike & Janet, Ryan, and (it turned out) Chris, Nan, and Mel. I *really* wanted to see Evanescence (for several reasons), and as it turned out we only caught the last two songs. The baptism, etc. was worth it, of course, and I was really glad that we didn't completely miss the concert, but it still kinda blew chunks. Even if we had missed Evanescence entirely, Mel made the trip out there worthwhile. ;-) Also, it's been too long since I've seen Ryan drunk, as that's usually a fun thing. (Actually, it's been too long since I've seen Ryan period!)

+ My mom got engaged Saturday night! The biggest surprise for me was that it took so long. I think that this is a good thing.

+ Since last Christmas my dad has been growing a mustache and goatee, which looks great on him but makes me think of Star Trek. See, someone once told me that my dad looked a lot like Capt. Picard. At the time he sorta did. Now he looks like Mr. Spock from the Mirror, Mirror universe. I'm just glad he didn't have it when I was growing up or I would've been traumatized:

EVIL MIRROR MIRROR DAD: "Eric, you didn't mow the lawn like I asked you! Your agonizer, please!"
ME: "Su><0R!!!"

- Oh shit, did I just geek out there for a second?

+ Speaking of Christmas, my sister gave us the Christmas tree top that we had growing up. It's very distinctive and it's always held a lot of happy memories for me. I'm thrilled to be its caretaker now.

- Ryan 4.0 is still missing an axle, preventing him from becoming the Spinny Killing Machine of Doom that he is eventually destined to blossom into.

- I ended up leaving most of my personal electronics at home today, leaving me feeling naked, only in a bad way, which is a really bizarre concept to me.

+ Gir's new hard drive arrived today. 33% bigger and significantly faster! Now I just need to get him back from Apple and not totally destroy him trying to swap the drives!

- Despite my thinly-veiled threats, Franklin, Kelly, and Shelly are still planning to move to Boston. I can't argue with their reasons, but I reserve the right to selfishly want them to stay.

- Tomorrow my boss' boss will be "shadowing" me, which is corp-speak for "following you around for an hour and making you nervous while you try to do your job". I haven't been singled out- everyone is getting shadowed. It just bites.

OK, time for bed.
  • Current Music
    The comforting whir of The Machine