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Is Mercury in Retrograde Again?

Tomorrow I'm scheduled to leave the ETC at 6 am to drive Albert to the airport. Wednesday is the day I normally create the new C-Realm Podcast, so today I completed episode 10 of the ETC Voices Podcast and episode 213 of the C-Realm Podcast. I had intended to upload them from the McDonalds in Lawrenceburg. I would be heading down towards Lawrenceburg there to pick up the ETC's weekly bushel of CSA farm produce from Mt. Lebanon Farm. I also needed to stop at Wal*mart for Japanese beetle traps, run by the bank to make a deposit for Albert, and go to the post office. On my way out of town, I stopped at a car wash to vacuum the floor of my truck. There seems to be an endless supply of hay seed under the passenger's seat that spills out onto the floor when I hit the breaks. I've been trying to vacuum that seed out of there for 7 years now, but no biggie.

When I started my truck at the car wash, it started up, but it seemed hesitant and weak. I stopped at the post office next, and when I came out, my truck would not start. I called Cliff, the director of cultivated ecosystems here at the ETC, and he came over to have a look. It also just so happened that JB, the guy who runs the business that used to be the motor pool here on the Farm was parked right next to me at the Post Office. He and Cliff poked and prodded and pounded on the starter to no avail. They gave me a push and we effected a rolling start, and I drove to the nearby mechanic (of whom the Farm folks speak highly). Turns out I need a new starter, and they can't get to it until tomorrow at the earliest.

Here's where it gets really good: Cliff drove me back to the ETC from the mechanic's garage, and I set up my laptop computer. I had taken it with me so that I could upload the two just-completed podcasts using the wifi at McDonalds. When I started it up it went to DOS and started going through some checklist which it repeats ad infinitum. I tried restarting it several times with the same results.

So my truck and my computer broke on the same day (possibly in the same instant); the day before I was to drive cross country. The two podcast episodes I created this morning exist nowhere else besides the hard drive of my malfunctioning laptop.

What a day.

I had planned to interview Dmitry Orlov from the air conditioned comfort of the home of the friend with whom I was to be staying in Greensboro, NC, on Thursday. The provisional title of the interview was to be "Technogenic Catastrophe." Now everything is up in the air. You could say that it was all up in the air even before things started going visibly south and that now I simply understand that my plans were always contingent on smooth sailing and fortune's favor.

In any event, I'm glad the truck broke down today rather than tomorrow somewhere far from the Farm, or even worse, in the area of the DC beltway on Friday. At least today I was within a stone's throw of a trusted mechanic and had a ride home and a roof over my head.

One just has to laugh.

As for the computer situation, both shows are on hiatus until I can get my computer fixed or somehow get the files for the two completed shows off the hard drive on my malfunctioning laptop.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2010 06:56 am (UTC)
The physical world...
...never rests. Sorry about your breakdowns. Cars seem to have a supernatural ability to pick the most inopportune times to put their feet down and stop, computers are even worse.

No advice on the truck; sounds like that's already in hand. If the laptop's finished, tell your community: there's a lot of equipment sitting around that's barely in use and can be easily repurposed if that's what it takes to get the C-Realm back on the air.
Jul. 8th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
Re: The physical world...
Well, the truck has a new starter, and I'm writing this from the home of a C-Realm listener turned friend who lives in Greensboro. I arrived at about 1 am.

The computer is still in it's zombified state. Not completely inert, but in no danger of being mistaken for a working machine.
Jul. 9th, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)
Re: The physical world...
Depending on when you come back thru the area or how long you have, I could try to extract the data from your drive.

There are also a rather absurd number of decent computers available in this area for very little money. Let me know if you want assistance in locating one :-). What are the stats on that dead laptop? (CPU, RAM, disk?)
Jul. 9th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
Re: The physical world...
I think I'll be coming back through a week from today. Marty (the person I'm staying with here in Greensboro) and I plan to go see Predators when I come back through. Care to join us? Where do you live, again?

My laptop actually started working again, which is how I was able to post this week's podcasts. I'm not counting on it to keep working once I leave this air-conditioned oasis, so if there are cheap laptops to be had, I'm interested.

Mine is a Toshiba Satellite from 2005. I can't tell you all the details from memory, but I know that it had a 40 GB harddrive and that that was not nearly enough for my needs.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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