Posted by: Farren | 25/01/2013

On the fringe of of panic

Well I just had an awful scare. I got a minor virus at work while I had my external drive and a thumb drive plugged in. I’ve mentioned that everything came up clean after I deleted the infected files.

Well the other day I put a couple of episodes of Fringe on my external to bring home. When I went to get them on my XBMC comp, they weren’t there. Or so I thought. I checked my thumb drive, but didn’t see them there either. So I figured I just left them at work.

So to-day I remember that we needed to watch Fringe. I check the download folder on my work computer, but don’t see the videos. I plug in my hard drive and check the folder there. Well, the videos are there and have the correct extensions. I had some trouble during the fall with videos downloading without their extensions, so XBMC wouldn’t see them unless I was in the File Manager or in the main Ubuntu. I decided to download them again, just to make sure. After they were done, I moved them back onto the drive (overwriting the previous copies) and figured that was the end of it.

We came home and I plugged in the drive. A little while later when I got around to moving the files to the computer, I didn’t see anything. I checked another folder they might have been in (in case I put them in the wrong place), but didn’t see them anywhere. Just to make doubly sure, I plugged the drive into one of my Windows computers. There they were: the two files I’d been looking for. I figured that maybe XBMC was having trouble seeing them (even though Ubuntu should have been able to), so I made copies and changed the extensions from .mkv to .m4a. That didn’t fix anything.

So I tried the thumb drive. I copied the videos over to that and plugged it in. Nothing. No videos. Now I’m starting to panic. I’m starting to think my drives are still or again infected. We did have another incident at work of the same infection with another user, so maybe the virus is still with me. I copy a visor from the hard drive to the thumb in Ubuntu. I plug it back into Windows and see the new file. I go back to the other computer and its still not seeing Fringe.

So back to Windows I go. The new file is gone. Now I’m really starting to worry. But I also have my instincts telling me to reboot XBMC. I just don’t want to because it doesn’t always come up. And it it does, it doesn’t always initialize the audio. Something I need to work on. But I run a virus scan on the thumb and even boot into Safe Mode when the scan is clean. Heck, I even did a search for all .executive files on Windows. I gave up after area minutes of looking at the results.

Finally I give in and reboot XBMC. It comes up just fine, and even sees the four Fringe videos. I guess this means I really ought to find out what’s wrong and get it fixed. I’m just glad my drives are clean.

Listen to your instincts. They’ll save you time and worry.


Posted by: Farren | 30/06/2012

Will you walk into my parlour?

Wow. I feel privileged this evening. In all my years, I’ve never seen a spider build its web, or catch something and wrap it up, and eat it. Tonight, I got to see all three. :>}

We have a lot of spider webs on the handrails and balusters. About an hour ago,  I happened to step outside and saw all of the webs. I looked at one and saw a spider building it. I watched for a couple of minutes as it went around one way, then came back the opposite way. It was so cool.

Just a few minutes ago, I went out again to see if it had cooled off at all. I decided to check on the spider and saw that its web was finished. I told it how nice it looked, then it grabbed an insect that got trapped, and started wrapping it up. As I watched, it took its dinner up to the center and started eating. It was so cool.

Thank you little spider for letting me into your world for a few minutes. It’s something I’ve only ever seen on telly.

Oh, and they really do sit in the center of their webs and wait.

Posted by: Farren | 31/10/2011

Memory of a lost and forgotten youth

The laughter of trick-or-treaters on the evening breeze enters through the open door. I miss being a kid. I miss being young. I miss having friends. Youth is fleeting and wasted on the young. It’s only when we find ourselves older and more alone that we realise what we had. You really never know what you had until it’s gone.

Running up and down the streets with your friends; you’re all dressed in silly or spooky outfits. You’re waving your Glo-sticks and torches around. You’re screaming and laughing and only caring about being with your friends. How much fun you’re having. How much candy you’re getting. Which will be the next house you visit. Why that one house never gives anything out. Always eager to get to the one that gives the best.

These are the things I miss. It’s lonely getting old. One day you realise you can count your friends on one hand…if any. When you’re young, sometimes it has to be both hands…and sometimes a foot or two. I miss my youth. I didn’t have many friends, bit I certainly had more than I do now. But then even one is more than zero. I’ve never been to a Halloween party, and only a few times went trick-or-treating with friends. It was usually with my parents and sister, but it didn’t last long. We grew up. We got too old. We moved to a house on a main street.

I miss my youth. I miss my friends. I miss the fun.

Happy Halloween


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