Sunday, June 29, 2008

Droppin' Science

When the old computer imploded and I was able to salvage the old hard drive as an external drive, I made a promise to myself that I was going to back up all that old data.

The awesome thing about promises to yourself is that nobody hears you and it doesn't really matter if you keep them or not.

Then the external hard drive got dropped. Now, it's not important to play the blame game and determine who exactly dropped the drive and how it happened, what was important is that the external drive held a ton of downloaded music files, my wife's patterns and instructions and a bunch of my aborted or semi-finished writing projects that I had pretty much given up on ever seeing again.

After a couple weeks of wondering if I'd ever re-find that Barry White soundtrack album where he sang about taking down The Man or all the old hardcore 7"s I found off soulseek, I enacted a last-ditch effort. I froze the old hard drive.

According to the internet, freezing the drive will allow the metal to contract, giving you about 20 minutes before the metal warms and expands to transfer all your files. I didn't have anything to lose, and I figured they couldn't put it on the internet if it wasn't true, so I gave it a shot.

Nothing happened.

Then, using logic, I determined that if a hit had caused the problem, another hit of equal force should fix it. So I hit it with a screwdriver.

You know what? It works pretty OK now, although a couple files are acting funny. However, I was able to save all the word files and start making some awesome mix CDs from all the music I forgot I had - right now I'm making an awesome '80s dance mix - Cure 12"s, "You Dropped a Bomb on Me," "Egyptian Lover," "Timezone," "We are the Jonzun Crew," all the jams.

This all reinforces a basic principle of physics. If something mechanical doesn't work, just hit it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Don't Get Too Comfortable

With our new schedules, I work a 6 day week, then a 4 day week. Since this new schedule hit, I've noticed that I'm so used to being at work that I've started to treat it as a second home. I don't know how many times I've caught myself almost unzipping my fly on the way to the bathroom then realizing that, no, I am not at my house and I have to keep my pants on.

Now that I'm riding my bike and changing clothes twice a day (have I mentioned that I have no office?) this is only going to get worse. Come quitting time, I've had to stop myself from unbuttoning my dress shirt in my little cubicle.

So if you hear my name mentioned in any sexual harassment suits, everything was totally a big misunderstanding.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fashion Plate

Remember those high school teachers who would wear the same thing day after day? I had a history teacher who constantly wore a white short-sleeve dress shirt, black pants and what I think were Beatle boots. Did he have a closet full of identical outfits? Did he wear the same shirt every day? Did he go home and wash his short-sleeve shirt every afternoon while watching the news and grading quizzes?

Since we were high school students and he was a high school teacher, naturally the class thought this was about the lamest fashion choice ever. It was the '80s! Why didn't the old guy buy some new clothes? Didn't he know about the mall? Didn't he know about Chess King?

OK, truthfully few of us actually shopped at Chess King, I just put that reference in there so I could use that amazing ad. Man, look at that dude in his Chess King clothes and Walkman all ready to fight dragons in the future! And after that chick from the Bangles uses her knife on the future dragon, they're totally gonna do it!

Anyway, I was reflecting on this lame-o a couple weeks ago when I realized that he was sort of right, and not just because now I'm proabably only a couple years younger than that fossil was at the time.

Now I'm not advocating wearing the exact same thing every day, that's still sort of lame. Unless of course you have a job or heist where you get to wear one of those bad-ass Bottle Rocket/Devo jumpsuits every day.

But the more I reflected, the more I realized how hard it is to find a picture of me from my mid to late twenties where I'm not wearing black jeans, these awesome brown wingtips I bought for 3 bucks in Atlanta and a button down shirt in some shade of yellow, orange or green.

Actually, I tend to avoid cameras like Nosferatu avoids sunlight, so it's fairly hard to find photographs of me from that period anyway.

After that I went through my guyabera phase which was kickstarted when my mom unloaded all my dad's shirts on me without his knowledge. After retiring, Dad pretty much wears overalls 24/7 anyway, and I think my mom realized that my borderline OCD personality would cause me to gradually phase out the yellow shirts, which for some reason my family really hated.

Most of my guyaberas are missing buttons or stitching now, or have that weird grease/soot from the grill, so I've hesitantly been moving into striped polo shirts, but I'm not sure if this will be another 5 year fashion phase or just a quick spring/summer detour.

Although the more I look at that ad, the more I'm thinking of bringing back the Chess King look.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ben and Me

If you were to rate the founding fathers on a scale of awesomeness, any reasonable person would put Ben Franklin up there in the top three. Not only did he convince France to help us out in the Revolutionary War, he invented bifocals, the public library and the volunteer fire department in his spare time. Plus, he could summon the power of lightning to smite his foes.

Last week Ben came to our library for a program. Apparently this is the go-to Ben Franklin for the History and Discovery Channel. I got my picture taken with him, but haven't received it yet. This is a historical tragedy.

Anyway, a coworker (luckily, not in my department) asked if Ben was coming back. Then they asked, "So was that the real Ben Franklin or his son?"