Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Life (Page 1 of 138)

So long, Wonderduck

On March 8th, Eric T Carra lost his final battle against the ravages of ill health.

I found out about this over the weekend, when I decided to check his website in case there’d been any updates on his condition. (The news is in the comments thread of the final post.) If you read the slate of posts during the calendar year 2022, entered as he had the time, opportunity, and energy, you’ll see a litany of indignities (including COVID, but that was well after the initial problems had commenced). Through it all, when he could, he tried to inform and entertain in his clever, self-deprecating style.

It must’ve been hell. I can dimly imagine all the posts he didn’t complete, drafted then scrapped, about the ongoing interminable misery his life had apparently become.

To me, he’ll always be the one of the biggest fans of my silly webcomic project, Quacked Panes. Heck, early on I sent him the twin to my cast-iron duck, Rusty. I always looked forward to his reactions to my latest bad joke, and enjoyed following his interests on his blog (even if I’ll never understand the appeal of Formula 1). It’s no exaggeration to say that without Eric and a few other dedicated fans, I’d not have lasted four months at the webcomic project let alone four full years.

We shared similar-enough tastes in music, anime, and other odd bits of common culture to sustain a kind of distant friendship. Never close pals, but always cordial and supportive. Now I wish I’d been a better friend overall. Regrets, eh?

A font of knowledge and humor has left this world, and I’ll miss him always.

“Next episode: More zombies?”

An hour of jet-lag twice per year

Seriously, can we just stop doing DST changes? Nobody actually wants this, right?

I know it’s only an hour, but throwing off my sleep schedule absolutely wrecks me for the four or so days afterward. Today, for instance, I’m struggling to type these words despite “only” losing an hour of sleep. And yes, I went to bed on time last night and (more or less) slept well, inasmuch as I ever do.

It’s annoying, pointless, probably causes actual harm (it’s a good thing I don’t drive, I’d almost certainly crash into something or someone today), and should just get done away with.

So say we all. Probably.


Right smack dab in the middle of the week, here we are at another birthday. It’s not a round-number birthday, I’m not doing anything special to celebrate (beyond taking the week off from work), and there’s definitely no party planned.

The weather decided to give me a present this morning anyway:

There shouldn’t be any sound, I was doing my best to remain silent and fortunately nobody was revving their car’s engine or walking any barking dogs at the time.

It didn’t last or stick, but seeing snowfall while sipping cocoa on the couch certainly cheered me up.

Oh, and Vyx got me a little something:

That’s Edelgard von Hresvelg from the Fire Emblem: Three Houses (and Three Hopes) game(s). Behind her is the From The Earth To The Moon DVD boxed set, alongside is a little bit of Fullmetal Alchemist merch in the form of a tiny mug, and all around are CDs, Blu-Rays, and manga.

Her Imperial Majesty fits neatly on a DVD shelf, which she’ll continue to do until I need that shelf space again some day. (Speaking of media, I also received a Blu-Ray of Princess Mononoke. Excellent!)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I shall return to my vacation plans… mainly goofing off. See you next time around, I hope.

Backups & Archives

It’s 7pm on a Monday night. Do you know where your data is?

OK, good. Where else is it? Which is to say, if “where your data is right now” goes kaput for some reason, is your data somewhere else as well?

Are you sure about that?

I spent the afternoon of the first “real” day (not a weekend day, which I’d normally be “off” for anyway) of my vacation making sure my backups are pointed at the right folders and are working, complete with testing file restoration.

(Rule One of Backups: Assume that if you haven’t tested them lately, they’re broken somehow.)

Then I updated my archive drives.

My what, you ask?

I have a pair of high-capacity solid-state external drives that I use for media files archiving. Two of them, so in case one goes kaput for some reason I still have another to copy from. These don’t get used regularly for enjoying media (I have other devices for that), they’re just archives to backup (& potentially restore) music and videos. While the process of keeping them updated is a bit cumbersome, it beats paying for the kind of online backup storage I’d need to keep all those gigabytes of shows and songs “professionally” safe.

My music library also gets a couple other copies made, including an upload to a virtual private server I control, because it’s kind of important to me. Okay, a lot of important.

Anyway… backups are good. If nothing else, a tiny bit of peace of mind can’t hurt in these chaotic times, now can they?

Last Gasp of Winter

Sure, we had those days of bitter (and bone-dry) cold and wind, and I think we had a brief icy-rain storm at some point, but proper piled-up snowfall? In Winter of 2022/2023? That’s a thing of the past, at least in westside Portland Oregon metro.

Except, no, apparently not entirely, not yet.

Last Thursday we got snow. Serious amounts of snow.

Picture taken shortly before 5 o’clock in the morning, prompted by some jerk’s car alarm going off for 90 solid minutes. At least I got this pretty winter wonderland snapshot out of it.

Of course, it didn’t really last long. By midday Saturday the roads were mostly clear, and here on Monday afternoon there’s barely anything left hidden in various nooks & crannies.

But, hey, for a couple of days it actually looked like winter around here. Inconvenient as heck, sure, but some part of me loved to see it nonetheless.

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