Archive for Thursday, April 22, 2010

It’s been an adventuresome April

Around Town column

April 22, 2010

I’ve been having an adventuresome April. Some adventures have been good, while others have not.

The unpleasant adventure started April 2 when we had a storm-related power outage at work. After the 20 or so minutes in the dark, power returned. It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. I have a routine that follows, which consists mostly of bringing computers back to life.

I started with mine, of course, but it was acting funny. It would come up like it was supposed to, then die. So I tried others. The main server is on a back-up, so it was OK. The photo server came up just fine, as did the front-desk computer. Odd.

So I went back to mine. Same thing – almost up, then down. Well, over the years I’ve developed several tricks, thanks to calls to the IT help desk. I’m actually a self-proclaimed associate IT dude as a result of those many lessons.

When none of them worked, I called IT. After trying a few things, they decided to have me crack open the computer tower, remove the fan and other associated innards to get to the “mother board.” Gulp. Although I was familiar with the mother board, I’d never seen one. Alas, pushing the “restart” button on the mother board while making sure I was grounded, etc., didn’t work. Rats.

So, the tower was shipped off to Lawrence so the real doctors, errrr, IT dudes, could take a look. They called shortly before 5 p.m. to let me know the computer was fine, but they weren’t satisfied with it so it would stay in the hospital over the weekend.

I was relieved to know the patient would live and had already switched over to using my laptop, wireless card and Webmail to remain in touch with the world – and e-mail, especially e-mail. It is my lifeline.

When IT brought my computer back and rehooked it, up she came and I thought all was well. What I was most anxious to see was what I’d missed e-mail-wise between the time the computer crashed and I transferred to Webmail.

Oh, my God. There was nothing in my e-mail inbox, outbox or any other box, including my address book. Oh, my God. There I was, staring at 11 years of e-mail — and most importantly, e-mail addresses — gone. Gone forever. Sick feeling.

Although the addresses have filtered back in little by little naturally, there’s not a day goes by that there isn’t an address I need that I don’t have. So, if you haven’t heard from me lately or know that I need your address, please send it to me at jmyrick@baldwincity.com. Thank you.

The other adventure, a good one, was this weekend. My folks approached me more than a week ago with a “deal.” Dad had just bought an El Camino, my what a sweet ride it is, and wanted to sell me the truck. Cheap. One of those proverbial offers you can’t refuse.

The truck is a sweet ride itself. It’s a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado with 38,000 miles. No, that’s not a typo. He’s babied that truck and obviously hasn’t driven it too much.

So how could I say no? Problem was, the truck was in Liberal six hours away and he’d already switched the title to me and got a 30-day temporary tag. The clock was ticking.

The problem was getting down there to get the truck and back. My son Anthony works until 11 p.m. Friday through Monday, whereas my work schedule is during the week. So him going with me was out. I mentioned taking a bus to my mom and she got to checking and found Amtrak leaving Lawrence with a stop in Garden City, about an hour from Liberal. They’d meet me in Garden City with the truck and away I’d go.

I started my career in Garden City and that’s where my sons were born, so it would be a trip back in the past. Anth took me to Lawrence and I got on the train around midnight. A whole lot of clickety-clack, clickety-clack and I was in Garden City at 6:45 a.m. I had taken the train from Garden City to Kansas City back in 1986 or 1987 on my way to computer training in Boston, so I’d experienced it before. But that was some time ago.

It was quite a ride. We stopped in Topeka, just barely, and again in Newton. That’s where my seatmate got off, so I had the whole seat to myself. I was then able to lie down, sort of, and finally got to sleep. A little bit, anyway.

My parents and I toured around Garden City for old-time’s sake, had breakfast and toured a little more – including the famous zoo and swimming pool – and I headed back. I used to drive that stretch all the time until we moved here in 1988, so I knew it well. It’s a long, long way.

I made it back just fine and now have a new vehicle. It may come to town a lot, giving the Pony a rest, but after filling it up with gas Monday, I’m not sure. Ouch. And there were lots of sub-adventures on the way, such as seeing tons of pheasants. I love pheasants.

But I don’t have space for those adventures. If you want to hear them, e-mail me. Really.

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