Caturday – You Call This Fall?!


Our October has been a righteous bitch and today exemplifies that notion. We’ve got high winds and cool temperatures so the wind chill is about fifteen above. In OCTOBER.

So we get the above photo. At this time of day, Joffrey is usually outside, engaging in blood sport. Not today. He went out and came right back in. The blanket he’s on now is wool and he picks up a little warmth from the sunlight. From here he can watch the birds and dream of warmer days.

He’ll get his wish by Tuesday or so but it will be a momentary reprieve. The long range forecast said we would get a milder winter but I have a feeling that is not going to happen. Our climate has changed and severity is the only constant. So we’ll keep the cats and dogs warm, batten every hatch, and ride it out.

If you thing I’m exaggerating about our unseasonable weather, here’s a photo Carjo took a few days ago of the backyard deck. This crap melted but it’s just Mother Nature reminding us that we’ve screwed up the climate and now we’ll pay. And pay and pay and pay…


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Soul of a New Machine


The new PC is in and up/running. It’s taking a bit of work to get it where I want it but I knew that would happen. Getting it to where I want it includes but is not limited to: getting rid of bloatware, adding my usual software, adding all my files, adding all my music and videos, etc. Fine-tuning the music is a time-consuming obsession and I have too much work to do to fuss much with it.

Work – yeah, I have a lot of market research to do. Too much in fact. In mid-October we get two days off for the annual teachers convention. Carjo and I are planning a run to the Twin Cities to see family and friends, eat at real restaurants, and a little stocking up on essentials. So I have to pound furiously on the keys and get these spreadsheets done by then.

Wait, you might ask, what is the fuss with music files? You just throw MP3s into the music and you’re good to roll. Oh sweet summer child, you have no idea. MP3 is a pretty good format for a smart phone, but it sucks sweat-embossed donkey balls in a decent audio setup. Nope, I go either WAV or FLAC whenever possible. Those files are big and take time to load/rip. Then I have to correct my media player on genre, release year, sometimes even the name of the artist, and yeah, it takes time. So I do it sparingly, in the background. And that doesn’t even take into account adding all the live shows which no media player recognizes which takes even more time. So all that is WAY on the back burner. I might get to it by Thanksgiving break.

Driving the school bus has been interesting. I have a new route and there are several problem children on it. A couple with real learning/behavior issues and a few from broken homes whose grasp of social niceties is fragile at best. One child in the former category is so disruptive we now have a faculty member ride in the afternoon to keep this unholy five-year-old from hurting herself or others. So I’m not loving the job this school year. These things are hard enough to drive without such distractions and I have a LOT of distractions.

Today we had wet snow pelting down and clinging to everything. Usually a change in the weather works up the little kids and I was dreading this. It’s bad enough bouncing down a rough road, dodging oil trucks, and looking for farmsteads in the darkness. But for some reason they were all quiet this morning. I am certain I will be repaid with utter chaos this afternoon but hey, the weekend starts right after that run. Which means BEER. I can get through this.

Have a great weekend. There may be pet pictures but I ain’t making promises. There’s a lot to get done here.

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Drive All Night: Further Tech Tales


RIP Dell Inspirion (December 2010 to September 2018)

My desktop PC died yesterday afternoon. I shall not mourn its passing.

This PC was always a bit noisy. When my wife used it she would whack on it to stop its internal whining, which actually seemed to help. A few weeks ago I noticed that it seemed to be even more cantankerous. Upon shutting down it would groan like an old man, which is never a good sign and multitasking would slow it to a ridiculous degree.

I am up to my neck with this long marketing project and can’t afford being out of the game for too long. So, through the company I am doing the research for, a new PC was ordered last week. It’s still just a Dell but the graphics, memory, processor, etc are practically gaming strength. There’s a 512 SSD and a 2tb hard drive, which is definitely an upgrade. The RAM is 16gb, which should handle any iterations of Windows 10 for the next four or five years. I’ll be fine.

Thursday night I got a Blue Screen of Death on the old PC. I managed to restart it and started transferring files to my laptop. On Friday it worked fine and I got a lot of work done on it. Oops. Friday night the Blue Screen of Death returned and it locked up good. I thought I copied the last spreadsheet I had worked on. Nope. Office decided that the Blue Screen of Death shutdown was so severe it shoved the last iteration of that spreadsheet into a recovery file. So the last copy I took of my work ignored everything I did for the last day and a half. That’s pretty tragic and I didn’t figure this out until I fired up the laptop Saturday afternoon.

I went into panic mode. I set up the old Dell downstairs, grabbed a thumb drive, and started it up. After a lot of grinding and whirring, Windows came up. I copied the last half dozen work files onto the thumb drive and just as the last file crossed the digital divide the screen went dark. We’re talking a matter of a split second. Damn, I dodged a bullet.

So now I sit on my laptop, awaiting the new machine. This laptop is six years old and has its own issues but it will survive until I can afford a new one. And it damn sure will survive until Wednesday when the new PC arrives and the Great Migration of Files begins. So my next post will likely be from the new machine. Whew!

Have a good weekend.

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Caturday – The Stark Family Motto


Photo one is of Sansa, the second is Arya. Fall is here and you don’t have to be a Game of Thrones fan to know what comes next. It was cold and wet on Thursday, somewhat nice yesterday and today. But now it is clouding over and the wind from the north brings a chill.

The namesakes of Ned Stark’s daughters have spent most of the day inside. They’re reaching middle age and would rather nap than spend a day in the wind chasing vermin. They’ll wander out this evening for a couple hours and then come in to eat, sleep, and dream of sunshine.

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McCartney Pens a Tune for Our Times

I didn’t know the old dog still had it in him but he’s proved me wrong with this one

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Sky of Blue, Sea of Green

When I was in grade school, the end of the school year was often marked by the grades 1-8 getting into school buses and driving to the nearest theater. In ’69, the powers that be decided that the kids might like that movie that the Beatles released the previous fall. It was animated and y’know, the kids like that long hair music. Also, I am sure it came cheap having been released almost half a year before. The powers that be hadn’t a clue what they were exposing us to.

The wonderful article below goes into not only the making of the film but the enormous influence its subversive animation had:

For me it was a paradigm shift. I was just getting out of the cartoon age but animation still had a strong pull. I loved the flat Hanna Barbera productions or the seminal Disney cartoons. But Yellow Submarine was different. The animation was both surreal and bizarre; at once fluid yet disjointed. I suspect it went over the heads of most of the kids in the theater that day. Hell, most were just trying to figure out the plot. For some reason it stayed with me even though I must confess I have never watched it in full since college. It opened…possibilities.

The one other thing that stuck with me was the bus ride back. Picture it. It’s late May and all these late baby boom kids are packed in buses. They’ve just been exposed to about an hour and a half of the catchiest music on the planet. And those poor bus drivers had to endure the twenty minute ride home with a full load of kids, Kids who only knew the chorus of Yellow Submarine but damn sure were going to repeat it at full volume the entire ride. I’m betting those drivers didn’t forget Yellow Submarine either.

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Everyday is Caturday


We have hit the cat days of summer. The cats spend a lot of time outside, only coming in when the afternoon sun gets too much. The front step is a popular spot for respite after hunting because it’s in the shade for most of the day. The concrete is quite cool, even on a ninety degree day.

Above are Luna Lovegood and Sansa. As you can see Sansa knows Luna can be a temperamental witch and Sansa is the type of cat that can and will push buttons. Which resulted in Sansa being the only cat on the cool concrete.


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