That was a spectacular weekend for every possible reason. Friday was perfect, right down to the amount of chunks in the weekend ration of ice cream. Saturday was hot and sunny, and I went to the ComicCon convention and saw Brent Spiner from a distance - but that’s for tomorrow. Finished the final edit on half the next novel. Watched a fine movie - the one set in space, that’s blue. Oh you’ve seen it too? Awesome. Destroyed something that needed destruction, and performed a Lazarus act on my offspring’s fiction.

Oh. About that.

Me to daughter, weekly: back up your stuff.

Daughter: I will I will

Me to daughter weeks later: back up your stuff.

Daughter: I will it’s late I want to go to bed

Me to daughter weeks later: what, you can’t save? Let me see . . . hmm. You have no free disk space. Did you back up so you could remove some stuff?

We all know where this is going, right?

The computer threw a sprocket and didn’t want to do anything, and when I restarted, Colonel Panic in the Library with the lead pipe. Don’t worry, you didn’t lose your novel, because you backed it up, right?


Don’t worry, I’ll try turning it off and on again . . . and kernel panic. Well, let’s try various Modes for restarting, these being fancier methods of turning it of and on; nope. Okay, let’s reinstall the OS from the recovery partition . . . except you have no available space to do so. Your disk has about 3 kb free.

Well, then. Well. So Dad, being Me, being tech support for the household, wearing a sweatshirt that says “do I look like tech support?”, installs an installer on a flash drive, and begins the interminable and tortured process of trying to install the OS on the thumb to run the computer from there. (After I’ve checked the drive and found it flaw-free, BTW; the data’s there, just can’t get to desktop.) I swear I babysat that damned laptop for six hours, and failed. Steeled daughter for the worst-case scenario: I will erase the drive, but resurrect the file with data recovery software, which to her is like jumping off a bridge with the assurance we will tie the bungie cord to her leg halfway down.

I set it aside for the night and watched “Interstellar,” all nineteen hours, enjoying the way it ceased to be the one thing it set out to be and became something else until at the end you were thinking, well, I guess I just have to believe this and accept that. But it’s smart and sober and has no pew-pew laser moments. I liked it, but it was 3 AM when I was done. Bed.

Woke in the middle of the night knowing how to resurrect the drive.

Really. Made breakfast, then got to work. There was an old hard drive in an old computer that was bootable; remove it, put it in a sled, attach it to the laptop, and boot from the hard drive. Imagine a brain removed from a body and used to operate another brain while sitting in a glass dish, if you will. Brilliant! And I didn’t think of this before because . . . I don’t know. But it worked. I got all the files off and saved her novel.

Then it was time to demolish a remnant of childhood.

The treehouse.

It’s one of those Rainbow sets. Heavy timbers, bolted together. Two levels, with a little table and seats below, a ladder going up to the second floor, with a slide. It never got a lot of use; the slide was old hat after a few years, and the thing always seemed to be coated with fine dirt upstairs and down. At the Fourth when friends and their kids came over, all the younguns were up in second level watching the fun, and up until a few weeks ago Daughter continued to use the swings. But it creaked and leaned, and since it’s not exactly sitting on a concrete slab I thought it was a matter of time before it fell over, hard. So I got out the ratchet set and begin to take it apart.

Almost beamed myself with, well, a beam. Realized soon that it had to be dismantled strategically, so it didn’t collapse or drop a hundred pounds of wood on my hand. Eventually I realized there was one way to keep it from falling over on me: beat it to the punch.

Thirty-eight action-packed slo-mo seconds of the playhouse's downfall:

It didn’t go easy after this. Some bolts and screws simply could not be removed or loosened, due to RBGs, or Rote Bedeviling Gremlins. I ended up beating it to death, more or less. After all the crossbeams had been removed and it was as shaky as an elderly inebriant, I shoved hard and broke it, then ripped it apart and broke it again. The presence of many rotten boards reinforced the wisdom of taking it down.

Daughter was not unhappy. On the contrary. The backyard has more view now - but the vantage point from up there is lost and gone. Yes, I took pictures from the second story, that’s all they are. If I wanted to get that view again I’d have to travel back in time.

Or get a ladder. Probably just use a ladder.

Or thank the stars I have it all in bits . . . backed up and then some. Because:


Ah well.

And on we go to a new spring.




Not a review, but a look at all the things that aren't related to the plot. DEtails and secrets and unexpected discoveries.

Basic quick chase-noir with the most generic noir title ever:

But it’s not really a noir. I won’t give you a blow-by-blow, because that’s not what this site is about. There’s something interesting about this one from another stand-point, and it’ll provide you with some interesting diversion if you wish. But let’s get the basics out of the way: this guy - William Bendix, always good for wide-eyed dead-grin snarling - just got his clock cleaned in a stateroom fight on a ship.

And here’s the joe what cleaned it:

Yes, ol’ Sleepy himself. An army payroll has been stolen; three guys and one dame of uncertain loyalties are running across Mexico trying to avoid each other. It’s a good movie - economical and anti-picturesque, inasmuch the images of rural Mexico in 1949 are rather grim. Why, it’s Main Street:

The sun-blasted church, immense, surrounded by nothing:

Here’s the fun, and the reason I feature it here today.. This bus says VERACRUZ. I know because I paused and peered. Have you ever looked at Veracruz on Google Street View? Ay Caramba.

Here’s the hotel:

You think: surely the Google, she will come up with something for Mexico Hotel in Veracruz, no? Well, it does, but it’s a miserable collection of dingy hostels, and nothing under that name. But it’s carved right there! Surely they didn’t change the name.

At one point I realized I will never find it just by clicking around, and went googling to see if anyone else had found it. Stumbled upon a comment that said, more or less, “even though the bus says Veracruz it’s really Tehuacán. Ah hah. Ah hah And so:

Let’s take a look at that bus again.

Pan to the right. I did this one before Google Streetview ruined everything, so the picture above may not be exact.

Oh, does Mitchum get the girl?

What do you think?

That's it for today! See you tomorrow.



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