The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Today was not a good day

I walked into the Computer Room at Chez Boca to a pair of unpowered computers and a UPS that was turned off. Okay, perhaps a brownout of something and the squeal got to Bunny so she did as I instructed and just turned off the UPS. I went to turn it back on and … nothing. It did not turn on.

That was not good.

But even though the UPS might not turn on, the “surge protection” side might still work until I get a replacement. The Apple Mac I have turned on, no issues. The Linux box, my main development system, did not.

That was even less good.

Okay, perhaps it's too much draw for a nearly dead UPS. Next step, a replacement UPS from Best Buy.

“Yes, can I help you?”

“Yes, where are the UPSes?”

“The back wall over there to the left, with the car stuff.”

Odd, but … “Okay, thanks.”

Nope, just car stuff over by the back left wall. I corner a clerk and ask again.

“Where are the UPSes?”

“The what?”

“A UPS.”

“A …?”

UPS. You plug the computer into it, then plug that into the wall.”

“Oh! A battery backup!”

“Oh, is that what you young hipters are calling UPSes these days?”

Pricy, but I have a new UPS.

The illustrations didn't indicate that you had to connect the black wire to the battery before the red wire to the battery, but perhaps I should have known that prior to learning the hard way with a large pop. Fortunately, no magic smoke was released, and when I plugged the UPS into the wall outlet, it seemed to be fine.

I plugged in the Linux box and … it still didn't come on.


I wasn't terribly upset—I do have backups and even if the computer died, the harddrive could still work on a new machine. It was just the severe inconvenience of it all.

I then recalled a weird premonition I had last night. The weather forcast for today was thunderstorms, and I had a notion to shut the computer down “just in case.” But I thought better of that—after all, the UPS should be good, right?

Ha ha.

It was then I received the news about Uncle Dale.

Uncle Dale

I found out today that my Uncle Dale died.

Much like with Undle Ed, it's mixed news—sad that he is no longer here, but relieved since he too, was suffering from a neurological disease for years (but a different one from Uncle Ed).

Dale married my Dad's sister Kay, and they lived about two miles from my grandparents house, so I spent a lot of time there as well. And what really stood out about their house was not the garage, but this giant black walnut tree in the backyard that made running around in your barefeet a rather dangerous endevour (the walnuts would fall and slowly decompose into the ground, making for a very bumpy backyard). This was a thing because of the pool they had in the backyard, a rare thing indeed in Michigan.

But what really stood out to me about Dale, aside from Dale himself (being I think 6′2″ or 6′4″) was his love of family and sailing. Every year he and the rest of his family would drive up to Higgins Lake with catamaran in tow. I do recall riding it once, only because I wasn't into the whole “family camping thang” he and his family did every year (roughing it for me is the lack of A/C in the hotel room).

He also taught me how to ride a bike. I was probably seven or eight at the time and Dale took it upon himself to teach me how to ride in the most effective way he knew how—by placing me on a bike on the sidewalk in from of the house (which ran parallel to a 4-lane road) and shoving hard. All I had to do was keep upright and avoid falling into traffic, the large blue mailbox or the utility poles. I learned how to ride a bike in three days.

Effective … yes. Safe? Probably not.

But I did learn quickly.

So here's to Uncle Dale. And much love to Aunt Kay, and my cousins Joshua, Aaron, Jordan, Caitlin and Ethan.

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[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

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