2008-06-04

Rescue Dawn (2006) . . .

I don't think I have ever mentioned it before, but my Father-in-Law is astoundingly amazing. I'm not certain that there is a thing I could come up with that he is incapable of figuring out. He did graduate high school, but was disinterested in the affair. He worked for some number of years as a machinist at various chemical plants. He was always interested in computers and sort of dabbled with them off and on, teaching himself and then his daughters to write basic programs back when the first home computers were released. When his union was on a protracted strike, he self-taught himself how to repair computers. As his knowledge grew, he took on bigger and bigger projects for various entities (friends, family, church). He eventually ended up getting a job with the parish school board and is now a network administrator. This is a person who self-taught himself, without the benefit of having computers when he was in school and with no formal training prior to getting this job.

When Kristy mentioned my USB Drive incident, he told her to bring it to him. He disassembled the case, looked at the internal components for a few minutes from various angles. Then he said something to the effect of:
Okay, let's see. The device reads as present when plugged in but the drive is unavailable. So somewhere the connection is broken. It could be that this is burnt out and I could replace that. Oh, I see, this circuit is bent and it isn't connecting so there is no power flowing over it. I just have to solder it back down and it should be good to go.

A USB drive is about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long, 3/4 of an inch wide and a quarter of an inch thick. He pulled it apart and looked at very small chips and circuits and found the problem. He soldered it, plugged it in, and it worked just long enough for him to copy all of the information onto another drive before it finally died.

WTF? Who can do stuff like that? Without formal training? He is simply an incredible individual. And I'm once again indebted to him as no one else. I've been absolutely sick over losing all of that information for the past almost week now.

Of course, this past week has been particularly bad. I broke the USB drive on Thursday. When I got home that night I mowed the lawn. As I was removing the mower from our outside storage, I was backing it out between the two cars. I was carefully watching the wheels to make sure that I was dead center between the cars so that I didn't hit either one. When I was almost to the back I noticed that the pull chord juts out beyond the wheels on the right side and the metal bracket that holds the chord in place had dug a scratch halfway down the side of the new vehicle. Then as I was mowing some unseen insect stung me on the leg and I kind of lost feeling in it for a while. Then over the weekend Kristy asked me to go into the attic to get down newborn clothes and some maternity clothes that we had stored up there. While I was picking up some boxes, I sort of lost my balance and fell to one side. My foot fell between the rafters and down into the insulation. I wondered why I hadn't broken through the ceiling below but assumed there must be some reinforcement above the sheetrock. Last night Kristy noticed that there is a huge circle of cracks in Ander's ceiling. Lovely.

Remember Sammy Jankis!

3 comments:

Stac Cole said...

Your story reminds me of the time my dad fell through the game room ceiling at our house in Lutcher. Funny stuff. Oh, and of the time I was trying to sneak into the house through the attic staircase that starts in the garage and then winds over to the attic access door in my bedroom upstairs. It was a well laid plan until my foot slipped and I fell through the siding and knocked it all down over the breezeway. Oh, and the cops showing up because the silent alarm went off because they have a sensor in the attic door. They pull up in the driveway and my legs are dangling through the breezeway and I'm holding on to 2x4 for dear life. Now, THAT was fun stuff.

Sammy Jankis said...

Hmm, Stac, I heard you were bad as a child before but I had no idea. I think maybe we need to exchange stories sometime when we're hanging out.

Stac Cole said...

Absolutely. I have some good ones. Between me and Keith our kids have ZERO chance of pulling a fast one over on us. I'd be happy to educate y'all :)