More notes from a commuter

11/18 1:21 am

— The old LIRR trains with the blue and red seats were just not made for typing on a portable computer. They have outlets, but there is no way to get comfortable while typing.

— Today at {computer company that shall not be named} there was a graduate student who was working on her end of semester paper when her computer crashed and wouldn’t come back on. When she tried, a very specific indicator that her hard drive was ruined would appear on her screen. She came in, hoping against all that was reasonable, that somehow we could help retreive her school work. There was nothing I could do, and she was in tears, having potentially lost a semester of work. It was the most heartbreaking moment I’ve had at work. I’m so empathetic, though, that she apologized for getting me upset. I assured her that I was fine, and I offered information about some data recovery companies.

My point though is to keep a backup of your data. Seriously people. You’re going to kill me if you don’t. On that subject, my iMac’s hard drive is clicking and occassionally will not mount. I will have to bring it in for service, and the hard drive will have to be replaced. I will lose what ever is on that hard drive. Am I concerned? No, my friends, for I have seen the light and am true to the way. I have a backup of my data. All hail the external hard drive!

Photos! Email! School work! Music! LOL Cats! Whatever it is on your computer, why would you risk losing it all to a micrometer sized bit of ferro-aluminum oxide flipping from north to south? Back up your data!

— I tend to rant a bit at night.

11/21 11:07 pm

— Okay. There was a hockey game again tonight, and the hoochie ladies were out in full force again. There was a group of them with totally inappropriate footware getting pictures taken with NYPD officers. At one point they shouted “Islanders suck!” which promted mixed reactions from the sea of Islander-jersey wearing male fans who were gawking at them anyway.

— I don’t know when the eighties fashions came back, but I want to hurt the designers and shops that are pushing them. Those women by the cops were straight out of a Whitesnake video, with only slightly smaller, slightly less teased, hairdos.

— John Hodgman didn’t say hi to the Genius Bar when he made a speaking appearance tonight at {computer company that shall not be named}. I’m a bit disappointed. I was probably one of the few who knew him from the “Ask a former literary agent” days, and not just as the PC guy. The folks I was helping at the store asked if “the Mac guy” was there too. To which I should have replied, “We’re all the Mac guys here,” but didn’t. I’m a bit disappointed in that too.

— It’s good to have a steady gig in this economy. I’m suspicious of my current good fortune.

Thanksgiving Update — computer is back from repair with new hard drive. My system is restored from my backup. No muss, no fuss.

Notes from a commuter

11/15 11:16 pm

— I don’t know what was going on tonight. There were some people wearing Ranger’s jerseys, so I’m assuming there was a hockey game tonight, but there were also these women who were dressed like they were going to ladies’ night at some singles’ club–lots of sequins and cleavage. I don’t think that was for a hockey game.

— I missed the 10:16. I almost always miss the train I want to take home. Instead, I’m on the 11:16 and it’s packed. At least the front couple of cars are. I normally like to hit the cars in the back, but I saw a seat with a plug by it, and I took the opportunity to grab some juice. I probably could have found something closer to the rear, though.

There was a pretty good busker in Penn Station tonight. He was covering Bob Marley songs on a guitar. He played them kind of jazzy. I was considering spending $5 to buy his CD, but I didn’t. Maybe if I see him again.

— Two people asked me for change. One was a tiny, old Asian woman. She had a handful of quarters and asked me for a quarter. I said, “You look like you have a lot of quarters already!” and proceeded to fish in my pocket for a quarter to give her. The other one was this guy who I see constantly in Penn Station. He asks for change all the time. I’ve seen him when he’s not begging–he’s usually harassing women and listening to music through very expensive headphones. He’s got stylish jeans, and, like I said, I see him there all the time. I consider him a professional beggar, and since I don’t like his service, I don’t give him money. If I ever get up the nerve, I’ll tell him to grab an instrument and pretend to offer something like all the other professional beggars out there. I give the buskers money all the time. I give homeless people money or a meal more than I’d care to admit. But that dude? C’mon, man, do something to earn it. Tap dance or mumble or offer to read palms. Do something.

I’ve gotten a couple of people asking me about my necklace at work. It’s a silver sun with a round amber stone in the middle. My wife gave it to me for our anniversary. The last guy to ask about it was a customer at the Apple store, and he wanted to know if the symbol had some sort of meaning. I thought to myself that usually suns mean something about the sun, but I explained that my wife is the sun, bright, blonde and cheery, as opposed to me, cold, dark, and brooding–the moon. I don’t think the answer satisfied him, but I’m not sure what he wanted the sun to actually represent. Maybe next time, I’ll talk about the cult that I belong to.

— My new MacBook is great, but the sharp aluminum palm rest digs into my wrists when I type. Playing a game is fine, but typing this hurts.

11/16 8:40 am

— So far, Optimum WiFi service sucks. The system delivers data fine to my iPhone, but the iPhone is much smaller than the one on my MacBook, so I only get the WiFi signal on the iPhone when I’ve stopped in a station. The MacBook antenna gets the signal for a few seconds outside of the train stations, but gets a fraction of the data that my iPhone does. And then, the service logs me out almost immediately, so I have to go to a website to log in again. I have an automatic login app (DeviceScape) that will bypass most website login screens, but it doesn’t work with Optimum. Then, too, if I’ve logged in with either the iPhone or the MacBook, I can’t log in with the other, even after the service has logged me out of the first device. I get what I pay for with this, I guess.