Good fortune

Phone with exclamation point
My main computer locked up while making a crash log last week. The blue screen error said “page fault in non-paged area.” When I tried to reboot it, it wouldn’t even POST. The disk would appear active for a second and then the computer would stop making any progress. The splash screen never came up.

I took it into a local computer shop so that they could fix it. Because of the holiday, they didn’t get to it promptly. While I was waiting through Christmas, I decided that if it was broken, it’s old enough that it wasn’t worth fixing.

I started looking for a replacement computer to buy. I had an selection of parts on Newegg and called the computer shop to pick up the old machine. Much to my surprise, when I got it home, it booted up fine.

I thought that that was quite fortuitous that it worked. I saved about $900 + lots of work in buying a new computer or $125+ if they repaired it.

It isn’t “fixed”, but I’m hopeful that it won’t crash that way again for a while. I need to use a memory testing tool since failing memory is a likely cause of the problem.

It is a massive tangle of cables in the back of the computer. I think I’m better at putting it together again if/when I need to open it up again.


A green thought bubble
A friend of mine accused me of being old school today.

Lately I’ve been sending friends U.S. Mail letters.

I think that getting a piece of paper in the mail is appreciated a little more than a missive in e-mail. It’s got some substance that you can decide to save in a scrap book when it comes from someone special. I treasure the letters I got from my grandmother.

When you read the letter, you’re seeing more than merely the traces of my fingers on a keyboard tidied up by a spell checker. You can see that there is a real human that you are communicating with.

What’s more romantic? Getting an email from your date thanking you for a nice evening or a physical card expressing gratitude in a flowing cursive script?

I’m not real enamored with “internet time.” The passage of time gives some perspective. I’m less likely to go on a circuitous rant about the current political dispute if I take 10 minutes writing in ink. I’m not going to hit “send” with some half-baked whining that I’ll regret 10 seconds later.

Time has great power. I don’t take enough of it. When I write a letter, you know that it’s something from the heart.

A Mouse in the Mountains

A long time ago there was a small mouse who was all alone in the mountains. He could never find enough food and was always hungry. He longed for his home on the plains where he grew up. Mouse

Each day the mouse would search for something to eat. He would go from shrub to shrub hoping to find something to eat. Sometimes he would find a pine cone while other days he might be lucky and find a walnut or acorn. Wherever he went, it was never enough.

He was getting desperate and lonely. A wise crow watched him struggle in the brush and wanted to help. He called “Mouse, what do you need?” His voice was lost in the wind. He flew down closer and asked again. This time the mouse heard the question.

He replied, “Wise crow, I am all alone in this giant forest. I never have enough to eat. Every day I feel lost and alone.

The crow asked, “Are you far from home?”

The moue replied, “Yes I am far away from the fields of my childhood. I wish I could go home.”

The crow thought carefully. He said, “I am too old to take you there myself, but I know a young eagle what would enjoy the expedition.”

“But wise crow, won’t he eagle eat me and not take me home?”

The crow said, “The eagle’s family owes me greatly. They are an honorable people. He will do this for me if I ask.”

The mouse thought about how hungry he was. He was not sure, but after a while, he said, “Ok, let’s go!”

The crow flew away and soon an eagle came.

The mouse said, “Powerful eagle, I am so small. I am afraid of your sharp talons and giant beak.”

The eagle said “Dear mouse, do not fear. I am doing a favor for wise crow. I will get you home safely.”

The mouse and eagle lifted off into the sky and flew toward the plains.

Many hours later, the travelers arrived at the plain. The eagle said “See small mouse, I have kept my word. Be kind to the people you meet and remember my gift.”

Little mouse said “Thank you kind eagle. I am forever grateful.”

After a few weeks, the mouse found enough food. He wasn’t hungry any more. He remembered the mountain and was glad that life was so much easier now.

Later, the mouse met a tiny cricket. They became friends and were always together. The cricket had his own story of being rescued. Not too long before he met the mouse, a cardinal attacked the cricket. A cat in the field saw the bird and chased it away before the bird was able to eat the cricket.

The mouse said, “I am so grateful for these strangers. The eagle and the cat. Without their help we would have never met.”

As their friendship grew, the always looked for opportunities to be a kind stranger to the others on the plain.

Life was not always easy for the mouse and cricket, but the chances they found to help others kept them busy.

In the end, they took their difficult times and used them to make the world better. They felt that if that did not give to others what was given to them, they would become hard and cold.

Now that they have lived many seasons, they see how much they had to offer. They became a warm source of light for their neighbors. All of this joy was the result of one wise crow offering to help a helpless creature in the mountains. Now they are also wise and give to everyone they meet.

Original image: Mouse. By Diggler Photography [Image license]

No accident here

I had a little extra excitement driving up from a doctor’s office yesterday. It was getting toward rush hour and the interstate was pretty busy.

There was a large group of cars merging on the next on ramp so I got out of their way by going to the middle of three lanes, thinking I’d be safe. However, another driver merging in apparently decided they weren’t going fast enough so he went to pull into the center lane too!

I don’t think he saw me (or even looked) because he didn’t back down from going into my lane. We were almost aligned so I’m grateful I saw him moving in.

I popped over to the third lane where the really good thing happened: there wasn’t anyone near me in that lane for me to cause my own accident.

I wanted to do some road rage and chase the person, but when the green car drove off speeding, I didn’t chase him and just noticed that he had a special license plate. I have had some bad experiences with people having that plate, so it is hard not to use it as a confirmation that they are all rotten drivers.

Thinking about the incident in bed, it was challenging to not obsess on what almost happened. A little prayer and noticing that there wasn’t any accident when it could have been a really bad multi-car pileup, I was able to let it go.

So, the score is zero accidents, one negligent driver and a grateful accident-free driver.