Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Your bottom cover may fall off at any moment", and other interesting odds and ends

  • Thank you to all of you who popped in with suggestions and sympathy on my recent tech crisis. Through the fortunate fact that I had the content (if not the system) backed up on a flash drive, I have suffered no data loss, and the efforts of my college's tech person preserved the framework as well. My computer appears to be resurrected from the dead, but in a way that provokes questions about the nature of existence. First, he replaced the OS. Then, a week later, he gave me a new hard drive. Then, when that didn't work, he took out the new hard drive (with the old data and the new OS) and installed it in a computer body (same model as my old one) that had been returned by a departing faculty member. So I've got the same memories, implanted into a transplanted brain, which was then transplanted into a new body. The philosophical implications of this are interesting: if your brain and body are different, but you remember the same things, are you the same entity? I think I saw this movie.
  • Also: somewhere between brain transplant and body transplant, I got an e-mail from tech guy, ominously titled "extra parts." I quote it here, for your amusement: "I just realized that I left out REALLY important pieces from your laptop before you left. Your bottom cover may fall off at any moment because in the rush I forgot to put the screws back on. Please come to my office as soon as possible." It is a comment on my mental state that I found this hilarious.
  • Three of my four February weekends have been claimed by conference/seminar/workshop thingies. Apparently this is going on all over the place lately. I think that all conference organizers suddenly thought, "We should plan things early in the semester, because late semester is always a really crowded time for academics." Which would be well and good if they hadn't all thought this simultaneously. Or even if fools like me hadn't thought, of each one individually, "Hey, I could go to this. After all, it's February, and that's a slow month." And now all the slow months are gone.
  • What else have I been up to? Oh, teaching the usual three classes, trying to keep up with reading for two students prepping for M.A. exams, applying for a Amazing Seminar Thingie (hat-tip to Dr. Crazy for the terminology), trying to prep another for a prospectus defense, writing lectures, doing readings, and devising writing assignments for a new course that is only Medieval-Adjacent, trying to continue with a good meditation and yoga schedule, attempting not to descend into a life of household squalor in which I crouch among the dustbunnies, hair unwashed, wearing dirty clothes, and subsisting on mustard packets found in a corner of an empty fridge...
  • Here's an awesome thing: my financial life appears to be in order, for the first time in ages. More details in a real post. But even though it doesn't involve any sort of fabulous inheritance or anything, I promise you that you will be in awe when I tell you about it.
  • What I haven't been doing: working on my kalamazoo paper. At all.

But... I want to leave you with a little piece of awesomeness to brighten your day. This morning, while walking home from a breakfast I treated myself to, I saw this on a telephone pole near where I live:

Go ahead. Take one.


Curt Emanuel said...

I've never met him but I like your tech guy. Back in the day I thought myself mechanically competent and would do my own work on my cars whenever the lifting wasn't really heavy. The rule of thumb used to be that you were pretty much OK if you didn't have any leftover parts.

I always had leftover parts. Conclusion: Cars are built with many extra parts.

Comrade Physioprof said...


Dr. Koshary said...

The free positive thoughts are great, although they leave me wondering: what kind of a hippy-dippy town do you live in, that you can encounter such things? :)

And yes, the bottom cover falling off really is funny. I laughed too.

Susan said...

I think the answer to the philosophical question is "I don't care as long as I have my data!"
Sorry, you can tell why I'm not teaching philosophy,

Janice said...

Hooray for the zombie revenant laptop! When my last hard drive died, I opted for a brand new netbook and just dropped in data and programs from my back-up. It convinced me that I no longer have personal attachment to individual machines but only to my data.

Dr. S said...

Also, you are 100% right that I am in total awe at the big news.

Melete said...

LOL! The positive thoughts on the telephone pole must have generated enough raw karma to revive your computer.

Relieved to hear of the rescue. Congratulations on that narrow escape.