Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Heat is the enemy.

That sounds kind of ominous I suppose.   I’m only referring to a bit of a computer scare we had a few days ago.

The computer I’m using at the present time is the first ever laptop that I’ve ever owned.  When we first came to Europe back in 08,  I had this thought drop into my head that maybe a laptop might be just the ticket,  and it’s been a good choice.  Really.   It’s kinda difficult to lug your PC, monitor, mouse and keyboard to one of the Wi-Fi hotspots around town.  I’m trying to conjure up that mental image.  Ya,  I don’t think so.

I did have a slight battery issue back in 09,  and had to get a new one.  Stupid thing just wouldn’t hold a charge.  Not sure if it was something I did wrong,  but I’ve treated the new one just the same (poorly) and it’s fine.  The only criteria that I set out for myself when I was looking for a machine was that any laptop that I bought was NOT going to be running Windoz Vista.  Boy, was that ever a piece of crap.  Windoz XP seems to be working just fine presently.  Thank-you.  

I’ve never felt the need to drink the Apple cool-aid,  and if you have,  well I’m happy for you.  I’m sure they’re wonderful,  but I’ve priced those suckers and they’re outside of my comfort zone,  price wise.   We’ve gone so far as to have a couple IPods lying around,  but that’s the extent of it.

So this machine is coming up on four years old,  and seems to be operating just fine.  Just the same,  according to my nephew,  who happens to be a whiz bang computer type guy,  it’s not a matter of “if” your machine will crash,  but more like “when”.   Words to live by.  I do my back-ups.

The thing about a laptop is,  you probably shouldn’t actually put it on your lap.   You may have noticed,  if you have done this,  that these suckers get hot. 


So…one of my Christmas presents back in 08 (possibly.  maybe.  I think it was that first year, it had to have been.)  was a little device that sits under the machine and helps keep it cool.


Hey,  it’s not easy getting sh*t for the Dad.  I usually just ask for socks and underwear.  I get blank stares instead.



See,  there are a couple little fans,  and it plugs into a USB port. 

Well,  now I have two of these things,  since the first one had an issue with one of the fans (which I later fixed after buying the second one,  of course)  which is OK,  since we discovered the other day just how freakin’ important this little guy is.

Since it runs all the time,  eventually the little fans start to slop about or something,  and once in a while sound like someone is starting up a Model T.   That’s as near as I can describe it. 

In our infinite wisdom,  as the Model T was being fired up,  we thought we’d just simply do without the little gismo for a while until I could determine what was up.   Well,  the computer simply quit.    I pushed the “start” button again,  it fired up,  and then it shut off again! 

I think I pooped a little.

When I picked it up I said,  “Holy cr*p this thing is hot!”.   And then the penny dropped,  and we realised just how much the little fan gizmo was doing for us.  And yes,   it was on somebody’s lap at the time,  and there might have been a fuzzy housecoat involved.  Not naming any names.

So now as long as those two little fans are turning,  even though it might make some complaining noises once in a while,  it’s staying put under the computer.  Plus I always have the spare,  although it sort of sounds like a Detroit Diesel.   Kind of makes the Model T sound like a purring little kitten.  

We’ll just have to learn to live with these little annoyances I suppose.  I mean, life is rough.  *snort*





I noticed as I was hoofing it back home this morning that the “Euro Store”  on the corner of Neubaugaße and Mariahilferstraße had the same sandals that I bought on Saturday.   Oh and look!  The bastards are charging €5,00.   Ha!   I only paid three.  Nyuk Nyuk.



Let’s see,  if I invest that extra two Euros that I saved?  Should I go long?  A bond maybe?  Don’t know.  Hard to know,  really.   (um,  that would be the “tongue in cheek”  font)

OK, what I do know is,  it’s annoying if you see something the next day or so that’s MORE than what you paid,  and I think I would have been a little bummed out if it had been the other way around,  even though it’s only a couple Euros.   I guess it’s “whatever the market will bear”?  Kind of like asking twenty bucks for a pair with a “swoosh”  on the side.   I still get slightly indignant when I think of that. 

Reminds me of the time I lost a lens cap on the Bruce Trail many, many years ago,  and when I went to replace it,  the camera guy that I went to said,  “Well,  you can have the spiffy one that has Nikon on it and pay $20,  or there’s this one that does the same job,  fits OVER the end of the lens,  and costs um …95 cents.”   Guess what I bought?   Besides,  this was 1979.  Twenty dollars?   May as was well have be a hundred.





I don’t usually comment on stuff I see in the “news”,  but I can’t help myself with this one. 


Apparently,  one of Air Canada’s finest woke up from a slumber,  thought they were going to hit another aircraft and decided to do an evasive manoeuvre.   And you know, sh*t happens,  he was looking out for everyone,  but probably over reacted.  Do ya think?

I’ll put a link to the article,  but sometimes these articles go by the wayside,  so I’ll put in a snippet as well,  just to be safe and well,  for levity.


Oh,  and note how they use the word “drama”.  *rolling my eyes here*


The drama began when the co-pilot of the Air Canada flight from Toronto to Zurich woke up and wrongly believed the plane was on a collision course.

He mistook the planet Venus for another plane. (heehee, c’mon, really??) 

Well,  I was already kind of chuckling at this point (was that wrong?)   but it was the next part that really caught my attention.   And had me pointing my finger of righteous indignation.

 Passengers without their seat belts on were thrown from their seats.  Canada's Transportation Safety Board also found that none of those injured during the 46-second drama were wearing seat belts, even though the seat-belt sign was on.


Oh!  Wait,  you mean the “seat belt sign was on”?   What,  did you think it was some fancy reading lamp?   What’s wrong here people?

Unless I get up to visit the can,  I keep my seatbelt on ALL THE TIME.   Here’s the thing,  you’re hurtling through the atmosphere in a metal tube at what?   Five/six hundred miles an hour?  

What makes you think you’re going to stay put,  if that metal tube takes a little detour?     It doesn’t need to be singing tight to keep you from popping up and bouncing off the ceiling,  but at the first indication that that might happen,  that’s when I cinch that sucker up!   Gah!  What’s so hard about that?

I see it way too often.   People unbuckling those seatbelts when they shouldn’t.  It’s not a complicated device either.  It’s designed for simple minded people.  Oh wait, that’s the bigger problem.  They’re simple minded.


I’ve been in a small aircraft and done a few spins,  stalls and what have you,  and it’s reassuring to have one’s hips firmly glued to the seat under you.   Having a couple items floating about in the cabin is bad enough,  you don’t want to be part of that flotsam.


Even when you’re on the ground,  you’re still moving along at a pretty good clip.  I wouldn’t unfasten my seatbelt in the car at that speed,  and it has airbags. 

For anyone who is remotely familiar with the workings of an airport,  you already know that there are places for the land based vehicles,  that are separated from those for the aircraft.   They all have their own little lanes, and they’re supposed to stick to them.

Well,  once upon a time when we were coming into San Juan, Puerto Rico  (one of many,  many occasions,  trust me)  and were tootling along on the taxi way,  within sight of the terminal, apparently one of the ground vehicles got a little mixed up and used one of the wrong lanes.  

So you have to think about this now,  and realise that the braking force that would be required to stop a passenger aircraft right after touch down would be well,  substantial?   It then follows that if you’re barely crawling along a taxi way at say,  50 miles an hour and the pilot needs to snap on the “binders” because some ground vehicle made a wrong turn,  you can well imagine that the plane is going to stop.   And I don’t mean maybe.

The fun part was seeing how all the folks who had undone their seatbelts were now firmly wedged down in between their seat cushion and the seatback in front of them!   Those funny passengers!  Always entertaining!  Not one of the airline personnel came to anyone’s aid either.  Hey,  they were buckled in,  as were we.  What,  you think I’m going to get up and help you,  you moron?   And hurt myself?  Lordy.


I just smile.  Smile and wave.  Smile and wave.


Oops.  I see I’m getting long winded again.  Sorry.  I’m outta here!


Thanks for lookin’.





  1. I use that same fan apparatus for my laptop... and if I don't have it with me, I prop the back edge of my laptop on a book to allow air to circulate underneath. I use Windows 7, but Bill gave up on that a year or so ago and uses Linux.... he's happier with that. But... I still seem to buy a lemon no matter what. My current Dell is only 2 years old and has crashed seriously twice. We've probably tried them all... Dell, Compaq, Toshiba, HP, and ones I can't even remember. I liked your post... good advice... but think I'm just the bad-luck person who has bad computer karma.

  2. we have two of those noisy 'model T's'..never use the laptops without them!...great invention!

  3. I have never used those laptop cooling fans....and we've not had any issues with our two laptops. When used on our laps, we use a book for stability....and it keeps the heat away from the legs.

    Interesting read!

  4. Well, Kevin is one up on you. His computer (our first)is from Aug. 2007 and it is still running and it has Vista. Never had an issue with Vista, I guess it is just a learning curve, mine has XP so it took me a little longer to work out the picture stuff on it. I look after making sure our photos are labelled and categorized. We always make sure they get good airflow but have never used one of those fan things (they look pretty neat).

    As for seatbelts in an airplane, like you we always have ours on!

    Kevin and Ruth


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.