Post Computer Shock Syndrome

A photo from last spring, taken along the road on a trip to the little house in the city, taken from the moving car.
Old barn

It is all done, almost dusted. All files are now moved to the computers on which they need to reside. All computer hard drives are backed up. The old G4 tower is ready to head down to the little house in the city, where it will serve as a sound system, a youtube movie system, a cookbook, and a reference library of collected domestic tomes and manuals. It might even be connected to the high speed internet connection using an RJ45 cable. I had been hoping the Airport Extreme wireless card from the iBook would be compatible with the older computer, but alas, it is not. The iBook is whole in its box, ready for recycling or whatever fate awaits it, and some of its parts are sitting on my desk to be sold.

It has taken a few weeks to get to this point with the computers. It occupied my time and my mind. No more! I feel somewhat at a loss as to what to do with my time, a sort of temporary post computer shock syndrome. It will not last long, reality awaits.

At the little house in the city the seating has been whatever we could find. My seat in the living room is a wooden rocking chair, that I sat on, and slept on, with newborn Terra always in my arms, when I brought her home from the hospital. At that time her arrival was such a miracle that I refused to put her down, and held her close for the first few months of her life. She and I spent a lot of hours sitting in that chair. Now that I am older the chair is no longer comfortable for me, and so it will go to Terra as soon as a replacement has been installed. To that end I have dismantled an aging Ikea chair that we have been using at the country house, to use at the little house in the city. My old bones find the Ikea chair much more comfortable.

In the shower this morning, a random though popped into my head. It concerns yesterday’s quote:

“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”
George Orwell (1903 – 1950)

As the water poured over my face, I thought, “There is another element of time to this statement. Each generation, when they are young, imagines themselves to be more intelligent than those who came before them. But when they have matured, mostly with time, age, and experience, they feel wiser than the generation that comes after them, because they now understand that they were not actually more intelligent than the generation that came before them.”

Life is cyclical.

Thoughts can be very amusing at times.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

1°C
Date: 11:04 AM EST Saturday 9 November 2013
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 1.2°C
Dewpoint: 0.5°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: SE 17 km/h

Quote

“I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.”
Harry S Truman (1884 – 1972)

[Does not always work out well with minors! It is the only sane approach with adult children.]

First Snow 2013

Timers are my best friends. They are accommodating, understanding, uncritical, and essential. I have a manual timer for the kitchen, at timer on the range, and a timer on the computer. Today they were all three put to good use.

Geeky Computer Details

After seven hours of downloading and updating, Mavericks for Mac is installed on the MacBook Air. This task requires intense focus for short periods of time. Simultaneously, the iBook was wiped clean and then fresh operating system was installed. Simultaneously the iMac software updates were installed. Simultaneously the old G4 was dragged out of the dark regions of the closet, the monitor for it carefully balanced as it was brought down from the top shelves of the closet, and the whole works hooked up and started up.

And I was responsible for getting dinner into the cast iron dutch oven, in a timely manner.

The real challenge was dinner. The timer told me when to get up and turn the searing meat, when to add the onions, when to add the potatoes, and finally when to add the carrots. Without the timer the meat might have burned, a vegetable might have been forgotten, or the stove might not have been set at the correct temperature for the afternoon.

The outcome with the computers is mixed.

The iBook is toast. I could not mount it in target mode on the G4, as I had hoped. It did start up on its own, and worked long enough for me to erase the drive and reinstall the original operating system, which started up and worked like a charm. Then it froze. Then it would not startup again. There is some sort of issue, perhaps overheating, who really knows. But, since it is a 2004 model, and will not run up to date software, it is not worth spending any more time trying to rescue. Rest in peace, faithful iBook.

The old G4, ca 1999, works like a charm. The monitor is an old one, but will not work with the new computers and that is a shame, because it is the best monitor I have every owned. The G4 has a nice pair of speakers, that again will not work with the new computers. So I am considering setting up the old G4 as a stereo system, CD player. The other reason I would like to hang on to the G4 is that it has some great software on it, like Photoshop and Mac OS9.

The iMac updates completed without any issues.

The Mavericks update on the MacBook Air was seamless. There were a few surprises though.
1. Mail behaved very strangely at startup and had thrown some of my important messages in the trash. They were retrieved successfully.
2. The old version of Little Snitch had to be uninstalled and the new version installed. It is security software, and so it was the first priority.
3. Another was trying to find the settings to allow TypeIt4Me to run correctly. I did eventually stumble upon them, via the software itself.
4. Another issue is that Netflix won’t run. Apparently a newer version of Silverlight was required, which had to be located and downloaded. Silverlight too had to be uninstalled, and then reinstalled. Also the browser needed to be shutdown and restarted after the install, in order for the plug-in to work properly, which it now does.

I suppose a few more glitches will be discovered as time goes on.

After working on all four computers simultaneously throughout the day, two of them could be shut down. The G4 to be relegated back to the closet. The iBook readied for recycling.

Yesterday I almost missed my 14 year anniversary in online journaling. So much has changed since I began, with the technology, and even in my own life. When I began to write this journal, Terra was still a teenager living at home, and Luna had recently moved to Calgary, Alberta. Now Terra has a husband and home of her own. Luna has a husband and three children, and will be moving to England after Christmas. Attila and I started out together in our first city house, moved to the country house, and now own another city house, in a different city, where we would like to retire.

I seldom read what I have written in the past. However, when trying to remember the details of some life event, I do a search on my blog to jog the memory. It works a treat.

Just as Attila and I emerged from the back door for our evening walk, a heavy wet snow began to fall. As we walked it weakened, and by the time we had travelled a quarter of a mile it had stopped snowing altogether. It melted as soon as it came into contact with the earth. Tonight 2 cm of snow will accumulate, according to the weather mavens.

It seems we have charged the masonry heater just in time!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0°C
Date:10:15 PM EDT Wednesday 23 October 2013
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Visibility: 2 km
Temperature: 0.1°C
Dewpoint: 0.1°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: calm

Quote

“A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.”
Dutch Proverb

Approaches

Terra and Lares have taken possession of their old “new” house and are entering into the adventure with great spirit. They arrived to find the oil tank leaking, fixed that, then found that the furnace was not working, fixed that… and so it went. They are able to laugh and enjoy themselves as they take control of their new home.

I have had FaceTime on my computer for a long, long time. However, it is a Mac to Mac thing, so I’ve really had no opportunity to use it to talk to my loved ones, who have all been windows people. Terra got a new iPhone, and within minutes we had FaceTime up and running. Love it. She was able to give me a little tour of the apartment they are moving out of; boxes!

I have been working on my genealogy research diligently, there is a lot of work to be done referencing all the material I am entering into the database. Slow going, but mostly enjoyable and worthwhile.

I am taping these single thickness bubble envelopes to the single pane glass to see if we can save a bit of energy during the winter!

Waste not, want not; I’ve always heard this proverb and believe it to be true, for the most part. Attila and I are proceeding with our “spend no money” renovation plans. Of course, it is only a goal, to spend no money; a goal we do not reach because we always end up spending some money. Be that as it may, I am always on the lookout to repurpose objects. An experiment I am currently undertaking at the little house is to add insulation to the old windows. I have saved a few bubble wrap envelopes, and as you can see I have taped them to the single pane glass of a window at the little house in the city. We cannot afford new windows, and the old ones are hardly energy efficient. It is worth a try, we shall see if it makes any noticeable difference in the amount of heating fuel we use over the winter.

The nice thing about this bubble envelope window treatment is that the light comes through. The white envelope lets more light into the room from outside, and the manilla envelope filters the light into a glowing golden colour. Both are quite nice, particularly when this window treatment is hidden behind a curtain that hides the details and lets the light through.

I mentioned this to a woman where I worked last week and she thought it was weird and made sure I knew it. She has lots of money, so thinking inside the box is a very comfortable place for her; so I left her there.

Attila is going to use this computer for surfing the Internet and communicating by email.

This morning the iBook G4 got a good maintenance and configuration session; it was set up for Attila’s exclusive use. I have configured the internet, the browser and bookmarks, and the email client so that he can login at startup and begin surfing or communicating by email. It took a while to choose the software, because it is a 2004 model, the operating system is old and a lot of the current software will not work with it. I found optimal programs to allow almost all functions on the internet to work properly, it took some time, but it was worth it.

At last I am baking bread again! Bread baking took a real dive when I worked full time. For more than a year I got up six days a week, put one foot in front of the other and dragged myself through each day, collapsing in exhaustion when the necessary domestic chores were done after work. My bread baking skills slipped significantly as a result of that long break. I’ve produced six loaves of edible but not great bread. They keep getting better, so maybe sometime before Christmas the bread will be as mouth watering as it was before I started working all hours. Attila has his fingers crossed, because he is the one who eats most of the bread.

Winter is approaching. During the first few months of winter weather, through November and December, I fare well. The snow and cold weather are a beautiful novelty, contact with people who know my name is frequent enough to maintain equilibrium and there are a lot of projects on the go as we adjust to below freezing temperatures, snow and ice.

Then January arrives, cold and relatively featureless physically and psychologically. Social contact begins to suffer from the weather and the flat white landscape stretches as far as the eye can see and soul can reach. Winter seeps slowly into my bones. By February I am struggling with cabin fever. By March I am considering running away from home, flying to Australia, hitchhiking to Mexico, taking a train to Florida. Of course I do none of those things, throwing caution to the wind is not my modus operandi, but in March they seem like a good idea. March is a difficult month in this little corner of rural Ontario.

Of course, then April arrives and the colour of spring chases away the dark and lonely days. The challenge is over until the following January.

Last February Attila and I were both working and so could afford to take a few days off work without wages. It was a one-off, as we can ill afford to lose wages on one income. I wrote the following during that blessed break from the bleak:

Attila and I have had a few days off work, an unpaid
mini-holiday. Much needed and we feel well deserved. The interlude is
well worth the tightened belts.

Change has always been a pivotal component in the way I live, think,
feel, breath. The constant drone of working full-time and part-time
numbs the life right out of life. The natural flow of change becomes
blocked and clogged like arteries victimized by too much butter and red
meat. The pressure of change builds in my life, when I’ve no time to
live.

That is why these last few days have afforded me a rainbow of
epiphanies. My internal skies are full of tears and bright sunlight.

I have come to know a few things more intimately.

My beliefs have foundations. The foundations are living entities that
evolve over time, and to add interest, will vary according to
perspective at any given time. My beliefs are the garden from which I
gather sustenance.

One epiphany related to an old knowledge, is that my personal happiness
is a gift to those who love me, and it honours those who have loved me
and have passed on to the next level of existence. Their happiness
is/was a gift received. Letting happiness pervade my life is desirable
in the greater scheme of things. I am allowed to experience personal
happiness even when many other’s are in no position to enjoy such
feelings. If an imbalance exists, it does not need to be restored by
removing my personal happiness for the sake of others. The path to
healthy restoration of balance in this world we live in is to increase
the personal happiness of others. To think local is to act global.

Nothing new here, just the same old wonderfulness of being alive.

Endlessly fascinating.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 103.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -0.1°C
Dewpoint: -4.5°C
Humidity: 72 %
Wind: ESE 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -3

Quote

“Shut out all of your past except that which will help you weather your tomorrows.”
Sir William Osler
1849 – 1919

“Sir William Osler, 1st Baronet (July 12, 1849 – December 29, 1919) was a Canadian physician. He was one of the “Big Four” founding professors at Johns Hopkins Hospital as the first Professor of Medicine and founder of the Medical Service there. (The “Big Four” were William Osler, Professor of Medicine; William Stewart Halsted, Professor of Surgery; Howard A. Kelly, Professor of Gynecology; and William H. Welch, Professor of Pathology.) Osler created the first residency program for specialty training of physicians, and he was the first to bring medical students out of the lecture hall for bedside clinical training.

He has been called the “Father of modern medicine.” Osler was a multifaceted physician and individual, functioning as a pathologist, internist, educator, bibliophile, historian, author, and renowned practical joker…

An inveterate prankster, he wrote several humorous pieces under the pseudonym “Egerton Yorrick Davis”, even fooling the editors of the Philadelphia Medical News into publishing a report on the imaginary phenomenon of penis captivus, on December 13, 1884. The letter (still cited in all seriousness in a number of textbooks) was apparently a response to a report on the phenomenon of vaginismus reported three weeks previously in the Philadelphia Medical News by Osler’s colleague Theophilus Parvin.

Davis, a prolific writer of letters to medical societies, purported to be a retired US Army surgeon living in Caughnawaga, Quebec (now called Kahnawake), author of a controversial paper on the obstetrical habits of Native American tribes which was suppressed and unpublished. Osler would enhance Davis’ myth by signing Davis’ name to hotel registers and medical conference attendance lists; Davis was eventually reported drowned in the Lachine Rapids in 1884.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Osler