Monthly Archives: October 2001

Whoa, Nelly!


Well. Holy Mother of Whoops in the world of my computer. Here’s the story: I was getting a bus error, sporatically, on start up. So we thought, hey, maybe it’s time for a partition. And a revised OS.

I dropped off my computer baby at Jason’s and went to work. He installed OSX. That’s cool. So I went to get it, and went home…and OSX didn’t seem to include OS 9.2, which meant….I couldn’t open a damn file, or get online. (Weep weep weep!) Now, you have to understand, my computer is an extension of my brain, and I keep all phone numbers on it. Which of course is DUMBER than DUMB. So now I have no connection, and no phone numbers to get help. I felt like I had been left on a deserted island. Then I found a message from emma on my machine, so I could retrieve at least her phone number…and then she gave me Jason’s number…

Weep weep. I called him, we made plans…and I went to work getting ready for my 9am meeting.

And THEN…there I was, on the phone with emma, and my power cord started sparking. Blue sparks. Unbelieveable. I was so shocked I just laughed, I didn’t even unplug it first. I’ve had this happen before, but not this part of the cord…an ibook has two parts to it’s power cord (don’t most lap tops?): one part is an AC adapter, which looks like this:

And then there’s a second part, just a regular cord, that plugs into the wall. My AC adapter (aka the puck, the yo yo) has exploded twice…there’s a defect in the cord, apparently…it turns green inside and then BANG, it goes.

But that’s not what happened this time. This time it was the other cord, the normal cord. The outer casing the cord bubbled even.

So the next day, now we’re at yesterday: I went in at 9am and had a meeting with one of my advisers, which was extremely fun. We talked about Latin America, and I had a really great time. I hope I covered all the important bits…I got to talk about all kinds of interesting stuff. More about that later. After the meeting I nipped over to the computer store with my pathetic bubbling power cord. I saw the same tech guy…the one I terrified when the leaf off my apple popped off. He didn’t need any prelimiaries. I guess I’ve got a reputation…he just gave me a new cord.

And after that I started on the LONG day of trying to fix my computer. We pulled off OSX, and then tried to copy a version of OS 9.2 off Jason’s computer and onto mine. That seemed to work well. So off I went home, exhausted, it took us…sheesh, we worked on it all day. And I kept working on it all evening, while I was still working on my next meeting. Now, at home….

I can’t open Eudora. I can open a browser, but…it’s as if the whole internet is written in wingdings. Gobbledeegook. Jason sounded scared, something is terribly wrong. My control strip is gone. I didn’t even try to print anything at that point…I knew I was lucky enough to have a telnet app open. And I can’t find my system disk. Jason sounds like he’s on the edge. I tried to reinstall 9.2, but got a error message about ‘big morsels’. (I had no idea my computer had morsels.) So basically I have an OS hanging on by its fingernails, and it doesn’t like to be trifled with. Meanwhile, Jason finds a proper system disk, tests, and burns me a copy.

Today: reading my heart out in preparation for a 9am meeting tomorrow, and hoping against hope that that disk will fix my problems. I picked it up at 4pm, hit a couple of libraries, and meandered back home again. I did a clean install of 9.1, with great success, and then upgraded to 9.2. I reinstalled the Sympatico access manager, the software that interacts with my dsl modem, restarted and….got a bus error. Yes, I think after all that I can say that the bus error seems to be the result of….the access manager. Oh yes. The fact that I need (yes, need) to be online may well be the cause of my grief…(sympatico, sympatico, why do you hurt me so?)

So Now I’m back. I’m running IE 5 again, I’m running eudora again (minus the 15 zillion email messages I had saved in there, which is probably a blessing), and I didn’t lose and serious data. WOOOOOO!

I did miss a panel of papers I had been completely looking forward to…just because I couldn’t get my email for two days and I forgot it was yesterday. (Weep weep.) Oh, I can’t tell you how sad I am about that, but at that time I was reading and wrestling with software, so I didn’t actually have the time to spare. Still.

That’s my update. What a week.



The Emperor ordered that a group of children be collected, and instructed the foster mothers and the wetnurses who reared them to nurse them, bathe them, and treate them well, but not to talk to them or make the sounds which it was customary to make to infants. He was curious to know in what language these children would begin to speak: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic, or possibly the language of their natural parents. The experiment failed, and the children not only failed to speak but died. They could not live without handclapping, friendly and joyful facial expressions, praise, and lullabies.
–Shulamith Shahar, Childhood in the Middle Ages

Beautiful Words


I am no different from anyone else who writes: idiosyncratic voice does not come easily. One must contend with academese, for instance, its kafkaesque apparatus of critical theory. But when I become frustrated with my grammar, with my obligation to jargon, with the anxiety of influence, I hand myself a chocolate and a reminder: It could be worse. I could be writing this in Polish, in Poland. I could be having to entrust my whimsy to a language that clatters like a knight burdened by yet another crusade. Instead, I can turn to my computer screen to face the cursor cueing words in a language I play most and lie less in and I think,

I don’t ever want to go back.

Harry Potter Movie


Well, the Harry Potter movie is fast approaching…I must admit that I’m addicted. I picked up the first one as a lark, since Emma and I were drinking expensive coffee and hanging around at Starbucks on the comfy couches, and I forgot to bring my Lord of the Rings with me. It was cute. I enjoyed it. When I finished I knew I would get the second, and after the second I had to jump into the third. And after that I knew I would die if I didn’t get the fourth one within a couple of hours. So now I’m about a third of the way through that one.

I woke up at an ungodly hour, 5am, completely fretting about nothing at all. I was so restless I had to get up. I didn’t know what to do…so, of course, I started coding. I translated the bot into french (since I’ve already translated it into german), and then arranged some various small logistical matters, and then Jason came to get me to take me to Ikea. Ah, the bliss that is Ikea…we went to the new one in Etobicoke. I got a floor lamp, a shoe rack, a kettle, a fry pan, and some little magnets. That’s all I needed, really. Needless to say I was very very tired when I got home. I napped and woke up just as tired.

And can you believe this, I lost my spinach. I have some, I opened it, I used some of it, and now I can’t find it. How odd is that.

Man, I’m tired. More Harry Potter before bed.

It is not the way to go


a few words from John Pilger
Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez lost their son Greg in the World Trade Centre. They said this: “We read enough of the news to sense that our government is heading in the direction of violent revenge, with the prospect of sons, daughters, parents, friends in distant lands dying, suffering, and nursing further grievances against us. It is not the way to go… not in our son’s name.”

The Algebra of Infinite Justice


The algebra of infinite justice
America is at war against people it doesn’t know, because they don’t appear much on TV. Before it has properly identified or even begun to comprehend the nature of its enemy, the US government has, in a rush of publicity and embarrassing rhetoric, cobbled together an “international coalition against terror”, mobilised its army, its air force, its navy and its media, and committed them to battle.

The trouble is that once America goes off to war, it can’t very well return without having fought one. If it doesn’t find its enemy, for the sake of the enraged folks back home, it will have to manufacture one. Once war begins, it will develop a momentum, a logic and a justification of its own, and we’ll lose sight of why it’s being fought in the first place.



If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realise that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves it’s own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign…to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.
–From Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone