Disaster struck on the computer front. For the past couple of weeks I had noticed that occasionally the machine froze and at other times it was incredibly slow. This was offline and had nothing to do with my internet connection. It felt suspiciously like a degrading disk drive or a spreading corruption so I ran a built in disk utility. After a few minutes it starting listing problems – in red so you know they are serious. At that point I decided to check in with the IT dept and get an appointment to visit the Genius bar at the closest Apple store. The one lucky thing was that when I first experienced a freeze I made mental note that I was very close to the one year warranty point and tried to sign up for a 2 year Apple Care agreement. The agreement didn’t arrive before we left for NY so I wasn’t sure I would be able to register the agreement or not. It did take a couple of phone calls but they registered the service agreement on Friday, just before my Saturday appointment with Apple.
The Genius ran a few tests and agreed with our diagnosis that the hard drive was cratering. In the 30 years I’ve been screwing around with computers, nothing strikes terror in my heart like having a disk drive crash. It seems like I can never get back to where I was when the crash occurred and I inevitably lose data, no matter how religiously I back up. In this case, I was relying on a backup program built into the Mac OS called Time Machine and an external disk drive. In my heart of hearts I knew that the claims of some simple it would be to restore were bogus. The Genius told me all I had to do was connect the external drive and follow the prompts that popped up on the screen, one of which was to transfer data from a Time Machine backup. It went off flawlessly with only a couple of decision points and hitches and a last minute call to Apple but, as if by magic, I am back 100% with even the same disorganizations on the screen that I seem to always have. Thanks Time Machine, I owe you. I’m so happy I’m going to buy one of those new Apple Touch pads to replace my mouse. Since I thought the repair was going to end up costing money, I can rationalize the touch pad as a free gift from Apple. I won’t try to explain the logic to my bride.
The late summer garden is nominally planted out now. I check daily and still have an occasional casualty. In most cases I have a backup growing in a container on the porch but at this point I’m about done with the backups. It’s reasonable to expect about 25% of the new plants will attract some sort of predator who bores a tiny hole in the stem or just starts chewing from the top down. I spray, dust, and pick them off by hand but still, they take their toll and I just have to plan on some fallout. In the end I still suspect we’ll have more than we can eat so…………………
So we’re approaching the peak of hurricane season. It used to be that hurricanes had female names but I guess somewhere along the way the politically correct crowd decided that there was maybe a negative connotation to that and they changed the rules so that half the names are male. I really don’t care but it would seem that if you double the pool of names, you wouldn’t have to create names out of thin air. Hermine? What kind of name is that? Has anybody or anybody you know ever heard of a human being named Hermine? How about a dog or cat named Hermine? Is it possibly a misspelling of Hermione? or Herman? Is it male or female? And isn’t the National Weather Service, an American Institution? Gaston? If the French were popping some money into the pool, ok with Gaston but again, has anybody ever known of a person named Gaston outside of a character in Beauty and the Beast? Maybe Hermine is a French name. Who knows but it sure isn’t a plain old, go to hell American name, that’s for sure. What a great place for a budget cut. Don’t you just know there are several meetings and loads of memo’s floating around each season coming up with the list of names. That’s probably what they do between hurricane seasons.