Archive for April, 2009

Subtle but still strange

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

I know not everyone believes in the supernatural or ghosts or things of that nature.  I do.  I’ve grown up with it all my life in one way or another.  If you are a potential employer reading this it should have no bearing on me.  Believing that there are unexplainable forces in the world is no different than another person saying that they believe in Jesus or another saying that they believe in Darwin (just go with me here).

Obviously whatever is in this new house of ours is fascinated with electronics.  We’ve lost and had returned a flash drive, a portable USB backup drive and a Nikon flash.  Bit of a trend going on there.

So today either continues that trend or Kira is a flippin’ savant at less than six months of age.

I haven’t touched my computer since we got back from a wet session of garage sales in the rain.  The only one who has was Kira banging on my keyboard while I held her in my lap.  I just came back to my computer about an hour later and this is what I find on my screen:

communication from who?

At first I thought “Oh I know Calc was the active program while Kira was playing with the keyboard.  She must have hit a bunch of numbers.”  Then I started thinking, she can’t really reach the top of the keyboard to hit numbers.  Then I took a closer look and thought – “Is that what I think it is?”

Sure enough, I did a Google search and that my friends is the numerical value of Pi to what looks like 32 decimal places.  Uh… OK.  So of course I went to the other room and asked Muse if she’d been on my computer at all and of course the answer was ‘No’.

So I thought, well…  maybe somehow Kira just accidentally typed in a fraction that some how calculated to Pi.  It doesn’t seem like that is possible though.  According to that Wikipedia article, the trick with Pi is that it can’t be expressed as a fraction.  I didn’t know that.

So did Kira type it out?  No I don’t think so.  She was on my lap and couldn’t reach the number row.  Besides she was busy barfing on my mouse.  Did the cats tap dance it on the keyboard?  They’ve been given credit for some pretty unbelieveable computer feats, but no, I don’t think this is possible.

So if I didn’t do it and Muse didn’t do it… then who did?  And why Pi?  I guess because whoever or whatever did it knew I would figure it out.  I dunno.

Sure there will be people out there reading this who will just scoff and not believe a word of what I’ve typed and frankly I don’t blame them.  I’d find it pretty hard to believe if it hadn’t happened to me.  So take it for what you will.

Then just like that…

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Strange things happen.  My family has always been blessed/cursed with that sort of history.  I’ve lived with that all my life.  Today was just another one of those days.

Many people claim that writing is therapeutic and I am definitely one of those people.  I have a hard time expressing my thoughts and feelings on a regular basis but I can pour my heart out with writing.  However, I never thought that my writing about depression and the loss of my USB drive would have the effect that it did.

I was in a two hour meeting this morning where my boss and I were trying to figure out the extrordinarily poorly documented process of getting SSL setup with Windows 2008, IIS7 and Exchange 2007.  I did a lot of pacing and leaning on the desk as we worked through things as there isn’t room for two people to sit at his desk.  Inevitably at one point I started fidgeting and put my hand in my pants pocket and started fiddling with my key ring.  I do that sometimes.  Just a nervous habit I suppose.

It was then, while I was in mid-sentence, that I realize that I had something small and plastic in my hand and I was spinning it around on a pivot over and over.  Another nervous habit but one that was lost when my USB drive disappeared.  I kept turning it a few more times in my pocket while my brain started putting two and two together in a fairly efficient manner that was thoroughly clouded in a haze of WTF.

Then just like that I pulled my hand from my pocket and looked and sure enough – there was my little black and blue USB drive completely intact.  Of course my boss had turned to look at me since I had stopped talking mid-sentence and I had to explain.

Of course the funny thing is that there is no way that the drive should have been in my pants pocket.  It’s been over a month… maybe a month and a half since I actually lost the drive.  I’ve worn these pants since then and the pocket it was in is the right front that I use most often.  And these are not the pants that I wore the day I lost the drive or on the day before which was the last time I had used the drive.  I had searched both those pairs of pants.  And of course I had put my keys and pocketknife in that same pocket this morning like I do every morning and didn’t notice it then or even when I was putting the pants on.

But strange things happen.  We were also missing a portable hard drive that we had backed up data to for the trip from Hong Kong.  It showed up two days ago in a bag that we had both searched previously.  Muse had lost her Nikon flash for her camera after just having it in Chicago.  It showed up buried in a box of stuff in the office that had yet to be unpacked.  Yeah.  Strange things.  It’s what we live with every day.

Of course this USB drive doesn’t show up until I write about losing it.  It’s not until I tell the world that it went missing and how it made me felt and how its loss was a focus for so many things.  It wasn’t until I opened up after a long break that it came back in the most impossible of places.  So you see, writing is therapeutic for me.  Just maybe not in the way I would have expected this time.

USB Powered Depression

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

As I sit at my desk eating my chicken sammich (sammich = sandwich for those of you who don’t know me in person), I reflect on the fact that I should probably be doing something.  Like posting on my websites.  So here I am.  Typing.  Type… type.. type.

For those of you who noticed that there was an update over at A Little Scary (don’t get excited, it wasn’t a comic), you will already know why I’m all whiny and depressed.  I’ll give you the short version: I keep all my data on a USB drive and it decided to get lost a little over a month or so ago.  Yes I had backups but with everything going on in my life the backup schedule went forgotten.  So everything I made, wrote, created from Halloween to present day  is gone including stuff for ALS.

If anyone happened to find a small blue and black swivel case 4GB drive laying around, I would be very grateful if you let me know.  I don’t even need it back.  I would be happier just knowing that all the personal data and intellectual property on that little drive were destroyed at this point instead of in the hands of the evil and nefarious.  Not to say that if someone wanted to return the drive to me intact I wouldn’t bounce off the walls with joy, but that’s not too likely now is it?

So yeah, big deal right?  Just get the backup and start recreating and just move on.  Yeah.  I know.  I will.  But it just came at a really bad time and other things had gone missing as well and there were other difficulties in my life and I think I just focused it all onto the loss of that little chunk of plastic, silicone and metal.  That USB drive became the catalyst for everything else that was going on at the time.  So instead of just taking what I did have and moving forward, I retreated.  I stopped making comics, I stopped posting on my sites…  all very trivial in the grand scheme of things of course.  I see that. If it hadn’t been the drive then it probably would have been something else.

But I think I’m over it now.  The chicken sammich is gone and I’m chasing it down with some Berries ‘N Cream yogurt.  It’s not bad.

I guess my point is this: Everyone needs to break down every once in a while and evaluate what is really bothering them.  Especially people like who tend to internalize everything and bottle up their emotions and never let anyone see what’s actually going on.  After a while, I seem to keep myself from seeing what’s actually going on as well.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who does that.  But the key is that once you figure out what the problem is then you have to either fix it or accept it and move on or that shit will eat you from the inside out.  Seriously.  And you may not even realize that its happening.

I got some work to do.