This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 12, 2008 4:47 PM. The previous post in this blog was They ain't talkin' yogurt. The next post in this blog is The golden spike. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Come on up for the rising

Setting up a new computer has taken a huge chunk out of my life the last week or so. But some of the hardest (and most expensive) parts of the process have been helped immeasurably by another tech-savvy reader of this blog. Just as Jake at orty.com bailed me out a while back when several web hosts failed me, so too has Joey at Skyline Technology Solutions come to the rescue when the old computer up and died.

It will still take a while to recover from the disruption of the changeover -- the blessings of being computer-dependent can quickly turn into curses. But without the help of a guy whom I met through this blog, the agony would have been much worse. Many thanks to him.

Comments (4)

Thanks again for your business, Jack. I think you're really going to enjoy that new system now that it's equipped with 4GB of RAM ;)

Things are moving just a wee bit quicker.


You think you got computer bugs ... ha!

Ants swarm over Houston area, fouling electronics, By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 14, 2008, 3:19 p.m. ET

DALLAS (AP) -- In what sounds like a really low-budget horror film, voracious swarming ants that apparently arrived in Texas aboard a cargo ship are invading homes and yards across the Houston area, shorting out electrical boxes and messing up computers.

The hairy, reddish-brown creatures are known as ''crazy rasberry ants'' -- crazy, because they wander erratically instead of marching in regimented lines, and ''rasberry'' after Tom Rasberry, an exterminator who did battle against them early on.

''They're itty-bitty things about the size of fleas, and they're just running everywhere,'' said Patsy Morphew of Pearland, who is constantly sweeping them off her patio and scooping them out of her pool by the cupful. ''There's just thousands and thousands of them. If you've seen a car racing, that's how they are. They're going fast, fast, fast. They're crazy.''

The ants -- formally known as ''paratrenicha species near pubens'' -- have spread to five Houston-area counties since they were first spotted in Texas in 2002.

The newly recognized species is believed to have arrived in a cargo shipment through the port of Houston. Scientists are not sure exactly where the ants came from, but their cousins, commonly called crazy ants, are found in the Southeast and the Caribbean.

''At this point, it would be nearly impossible to eradicate the ant because it is so widely dispersed,'' said Roger Gold, a Texas A&M University entomologist.

The good news? They eat fire ants, the stinging red terrors of Texas summers.

But the ants also like to suck the sweet juices from plants, feed on such beneficial insects as ladybugs, and eat the hatchlings of a small, endangered type of grouse known as the Attwater prairie chicken.

They also bite humans, though not with a stinger like fire ants.

Worse, they, like some other species of ants, are attracted to electrical equipment, for reasons that are not well understood by scientists.

They have ruined pumps at sewage pumping stations, fouled computers and at least one homeowner's gas meter, and caused fire alarms to malfunction. ...

It just goes to show: "If it ain't one thing, it's another.
Nobody ever promised mankind an easy ride.

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