The Baron’s Auxiliary Brain

All is not well at Schloss Bodissey.

The Baron’s auxiliary brain – the computer on which he has stashed all his shortcuts, work-arounds, and neat gizmos – is not well. Even now a techie continues to work on it, not only fixing it but bringing it into the 21st century.

Until the surgeries are finished, things will be slow.

I am struggling over my own post, one about that co-pilot who, on leaving Barcelona, flew to eternity and took a lot of unwilling souls with him. Which is worse, being one of his victims or being one of the survivors? So very many people are left to mourn. Maybe I’ll finish it this week. Perhaps by Good Friday…

Meanwhile, to distract myself from the silence in the Baron’s office I’ve been setting up my straw bale garden. There was a shortage of straw bales due to an unusually high demand this season so they’ve only just arrived. The fellow at the hardware store thinks that others have decided to do the same thing, causing this temporary shortage.

This is close to what I’m going to do. Not entirely the same since my bales are new, but you’ll get the idea.

It takes about a month to properly season new bales so we should be ready to start planting in the first week of May. I have four bales, situated on the south side of the house, near enough to the flower bed there to make the deer cautious – or more cautious than they might be otherwise if the bales were situated further out in the grass. As all country people do, I will encourage our male guests to micturate near the bales. Makes the deer and rabbit a bit more leery. Not to mention bone meal, blood meal garlic, cayenne, and – as a last resort – pricey but effective Skydd. Originally developed in Sweden:

Plantskydd Deer Repellent – 1 lb.

I sure will be glad to hear that computer keyboard tapping away upstairs again. Perhaps tomorrow? Poor Baron. He can only read computer screens. His screen, not my laptop. He’s not fond of my Chrome pasted atop the horrid Internet Explorer, either.

18 thoughts on “The Baron’s Auxiliary Brain

    • I am amazed that I once carried the darn thing. No wonder I eventually had a shoulder socket out of joint. Gurlzz weren’t meant to lift that sucker with one hand.

      • A question of strange anatomy. For a woman to pee on a bale, she’d have climb up on the darn thing.

        Freud was right, despite those doughty Massachusetts women. I was one of ’em for 15 years or so. Sometimes, as in October, I miss it. Or June in Scituate, when the roses are in bloom.

        But the first five years I would wait each time for Spring. It was too subtle for my Southern blood to fully appreciate but it gave me some appreciation for the early settlers’ survival mastery – went way beyond “skills”…

  1. I enjoyed watching the vid of the straw bale garden. I hope the Baron’s computer can be rescusitated (sp?) but as a retired computer professional, I would advise him to upgrade and do it soon! The pain lasts only so long and then you are oh so much better!

    Trust me.

  2. I use HavaHart’s Deer Off once per season on my daylilies (deer love the tender shoots) and on my vegetables when I plant them. I highly recommend it. The combination of the putrescent egg, capsaicin, and garlic will keep away deer, rabbit, and squirrel even through rain.

    • It’s the monitor Ned needs. And all the programs he’s written in visual basic to handle day-to-day events, e.g., the Newsfeed.

      I love the Chromebook 2. Was planning to get one but real life interfered: The “new” plumbing under our house all deteriorated at once. If anyone had Quest pipe installed, look for a lake very soon.

      The plumbers have cut off the offending pipe and are coming to install the right kind soon plus do other plumbing repairs. I hear there’s a class action suit against the company but I don’t think they deliberately built defective materials. Stuff happens. So we won’t join a class action lawsuit for our small amount…you get back 10% – could be a big loss for builders, though.

      Anyway, bye bye Chromebook for this year. And the Baron can’t replace that monitor except with another one of those bulky things, which are the only ones his eyes can use for any length of time. I got one on Ebay, probably should have gotten two and left one in the box…

  3. Thank you for posting the photo of the Osborne “computer in a suitcase.” Ah yes, I remember it well. Circa 1982, I was working for a cash-starved non-profit organization in Boston. My job involved handling piles and piles of application forms for a weatherization program. Every so often, we would be asked questions requiring a laborious hand-counting (e.g., “How many people are signed up from East Boston?” or “I need a list of everyone who lives in an apartment building?”). One day, out of sheer frustration, I walked over to a small computer store and rented an Osborne computer. I then set about learned dBASE and entering the data from the stacks of paper. (If I have a glass of cognac and close my eyes, I can still remember some of the “dot commands” that told dBASE what to do.

    The productivity gains were such that I was reimbursed and the organization took over the monthly payments. A year later, the non-profit went belly-up, but by then the IBM PC had arrived and there was lots of work to be had for a geeky thirty-year old with no formal training in computer science. I then embarked on a 10 year adventure in the world of tech, mostly as a trainer and writer. At one point, I acquired a suitcase computer of my own: the KAYPRO. Oh, what a lovely little device it was! CP/M, two floppy disk drives, and a little cathode ray tube that posted little green letters on a black background. Those were the daze …

    • I can’t remember what early one the B had but he used it with a game about exploring the world and bringing back booty to the home country. How many times those guys would be gathered around the computer, trying to figure out if they should let the natives live and I’d call “time for supper”. I would get a chorus of “just wait till we get back to Spain”…it is still a code response meaning, “wait a minute”…

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