THUMP BANG bark rustle rustle

Dog running on the edge of the lawn, chasing something. I'm thinking how easy he has it. Me, I'm dealing with data distribution. Matters of serious concern that rise above whatever grips a dog's heart.

At the time I was inside about to give up with bloody NAS drives and the stupid bloody backup procedures and worrying about data and files and the rest I GIVE UP. It just hams my eggs, it does. It crisps my biscuits. It crusts my ketchup neck. It's the runny juice from an upended mustard bottle; it's an old-maid kernel in a popcorn bag; it's a burr the size of a basketball under the saddle, and I'm the horse. I installed two new drives and neither is booting up. Oh, I think I know why, but that's another hour of futzing and putzing, and a trip to the Nerd Hardware store to buy some screws and stand in line 20 deep with other middle-aged men whose lives had come to the point where they went to MicroCenter on a Fall afternoon, but you know they kinda liked it. 'Cause they had was the good stuff there. Ribbon cords and hardcore parts.

To be honest, when I'm there I should feel like a guy at an auto parts store who changed his own light bulb, once, but I feel a bit more . . . empowered. Maybe because I've been using computers since 1983. I am not unfamiliar with their witchy ways. Never wrote code to make some IBM Iron handle payroll, but I did load text adventures onto a TI/99 using cassette tape, so. In a way I'm irritated that I'm still using hard drives of any sort, but to throw all my stuff up to any sort of cloud would take 47 years, given the upload speed I have. So it's time to winnow and confine myself to 4 TB storage, max, for everything. That's it. If the second NAS unit is Fubar, then FUBAR IT IS and on we move. What was my goal at the start of the year? Winnow, name, organize, simplify? That's exactly what I've done, but then the backup for the most non-critical, useless, never-to-be-accessed data failed, and it was crown-over-teakettle to get all the stupid data reassembled and duplicated.

Alexa, play Faure's Pavanne.


Here's the thing: the failure rate for drives is 100%. Think about that. You have 7 TB of data you want to keep. Reasonably priced drives are 4 TB. You have a slew of drives, from 2 TB to 1TB to 500 GB to 200 GB. Distribute the data with the necessity of redundancy and the expectation of 100% failure.

THUMP BANG bark rustle rustle BARK BARK and okay, okay, I get the flashlight and see what he's up to. He's dancing around something on the lawn.

It's a chipmunk. He caught it. It's wounded.

It's breathing, but it can't move - no, it can, which is worse. Wife is alongside, and properly mortified - not because the dog acted like dogs do, but because, well, poor thing. I put Scout inside, which he doesn't like; he'd really like to revisit the scene and pounce and bat and play, because this is the good stuff, the real thing. I go upstairs to get a box, because Wife wants to put the poor thing in a box. When I come down she's at her iPad, googling what to do with a wounded chipmunk. The internet's consensus, more or less: really? It's sad, but, really? And they're full of disease and not exactly endangered.

I think: I should drop a brick on it. This is the humane thing to do. But maybe it got its second wind. Maybe it shook it off and scampered away - you know, as creatures are wont to do after being mauled by an gargantuan wolf.

Mother-in-law calls in the middle of all this to ask about Christmas plans, and I can tell Wife is describing the situation. As she put it after she hung up: "She said she gets hummingbirds stuck in her flystrips now and then, and has to hit them with a hammer."

Mother-in-law grew up on a hardscrabble farm in the 40s.

Wife puts the chipmunk in the box. There is an old washcloth underneath, for bedding, and another as a blanket. The box goes in the shed. Perhaps chipmunk doctors or chipmunk paramedics will be by later.

Back upstairs to work on the NAS problem. It's unlikely both drives were DOA; what are the odds? But one spooled up and the other didn't. Maybe one's DOA. Check Amazon to see what the return policy is; of course, they want the box.

Which is now sitting in the shed with a crippled chipmunk in it.

I wonder whether 4TB is the data in a chipmunk's head, or whether they get by on 256 KB. Whether they have memories at all.

Well. The bricks are stacked behind the shed. The dog watches me go to the end of the yard, and doesn't stir. It's been a long day. He's bushed. He doesn't remember what's in the shed, or care. The brick is heavy, but you always remember it weighs exactly what you expect a brick will weigh.

I pull back the cloth. No chipmunk. I shine the light around the shed: no chipmunk. The box is empty.

No data.


But of course.

What began as a simple confection has now become a vehicle for seasonal sugar-delivery sustems.





There are times when the Google Street View camera makes art by accident.


History, in the form of the windows, is big and silent and blinded, and seems to loom larger than the people who walk in its shadows.

There! See? Sounds like art, right?

In the Nearer My God to Mies school of church architecture:

Without the cross you would have thought it was a school, right? Well, it is a school.

Buying a new door from Home Depot doesn't have the spiffing-up effect you might expect.

It helps, but it's not enough.

Moberly, in case you're wondering, is a place of 14,000 souls, and was named after Colonel Bill Moberly, president of some railroads. I've no idea if he ever visited, but it seems like the sort of thing a man ought to do if they name a town after you. If nothing else you'd eat for free all day.

Built in 1910, obviously. I suspect it was a bank, but they're usually on the corner. Still, what else could it be?


Shingleriffic awning there, chaps. If Hee Haw ever starts shooting again, you're in the running.

As I keep pointing out, shingled awnings were a bad idea then, and they never got any better. No one could have expected they would.


Wikipedia: "Like other towns in the Little Dixie region of Missouri in which it is located, Moberly has a history of harsh race relations. On February 18, 1893, John Hughes, an African American, was lynched by whites because he was deemed to have insulted a white person."

Also: "Moberly is served by a daily newspaper, the Moberly Monitor-Index. The Kwix Kres Kirk radio station operates from downtown."

Apparently relations are better if no one gets exercized by Kwix Kres Kirk.

The ancient rites of Egypt, nameless and dreadful, were performed behind these walls by men in mason's aprons:

Probably not. But wouldn't you love to extract someone from ancient Egypt and plop him down by the front door, just to see his reaction? So - so we conquered the world, then! Well, sorry, no. But can you read that? We're stumped.

It's meaningless. It says sun dog king beetle.


On 4th street you'll find the evocatively named Fourth Street Theater:

From their history page:

The first program on opening day, February 8, 1914, was the vaudeville show, "The Three Elliotts", a high class musical act of famous harpists and soloists, followed by the first picture being shown, a three-reel photo play entitled "An Hour Before Dawn", starring Laura Sawyer. The seating capacity was 1000 but the newspaper reported that over 2000 passed through the doors to see the beautiful heavy mahogony swinging doors, wainscoting of white marble, ornate terra cotta trimmings in beautiful color schemes of greens and old ivory.

It was redesigned in 1924, ran as a movie theater for decades, closed, and appears to be open again after extensive renovation.

The decorations weren't unusual for the era, but hardly mainstream.

Creepy heads for capitals. They look like big-town critics forced to watch a small town show.

Finally: another Carnegie Temple.

If that's what it is, but what else could be? Why would you expect it to be anything else?


And that's all. Tomorrow - cemetery-o-rama, and so much more. See you around. Motels may start where last week left off, but just keep clicking. It's the last batch for a while, so shed a tear and wave farewell.


blog comments powered by Disqus