Sunday, February 13, 2011

Never bet on the hardware.

One of the perks of being the Goddess of Random Equipment Malfunctions is that I occasionally get to vent My wrath on a piece of equipment.

This is an old hard drive after I got through with it. The objective: Open up the drive; make the data unreadable; rescue the cute little magnet within, and to Niflheim with the rest of the apparatus.

The hard drive had been assembled with small proprietary hex screws in a vain attempt to enforce the rule "No User Serviceable Parts Inside." Since I was more interested in destroying the drive than servicing it, this merely slowed Me down. After trying My jeweller's screwdrivers, a smallish Phillips screwdriver and the somewhat obscure #0 Robertson screwdriver, none of which quite fit, I headed to the basement of Astrejurhof.

Clamping the intractable drive in the bench vise, I hauled out a power drill and drilled out the heads of the razzafracking screws. Prying out the platter with the data on it, I clamped it in the vise and pummeled it with a 23-ounce framing hammer until it was bent at a rather interesting angle and the 1's and 0's had been duly rearranged. A bit more drilling detached the mechanism that held the magnet in place, and then everything else went into the trash.

(Springy G walks into kitchen and opens Her hand)

(Cute little magnet sticks itself to refrigerator door)

Done deal.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Springy G and the Enchanted Bobsled Run

(slings Her clarinet knapsack over the back of the chair and sits down) Hæ! I'm back from rehearsal. I joined a community band last week, so this was practice #2. My brain is full of new tunes, and My lower lip is ever so slightly numb.

The rehearsals are in North Kildonan, one of the more boreal areas of Winnipeg. To get there, I have to go "over the Disraeli" -- a short stretch of freeway followed by a longer series of bridge spans that go over the Red River and a lot of buildings.

When I come home after practice, it's later at night so the traffic has eased off, and the view from the bridge is quite spectacular. Tonight I had the Joe Jackson song "Steppin' Out" (one of My all-time favourite tunes) playing in My head as I came over the first rise and saw the city lights. It's a living postcard, Everycity, twinkling on the horizon like an Oz that had been desaturated in Photoshop.

Not that that's a bad thing, mind you: I think Winnipeg looks much better in late-evening greyscale than in emerald green. But I digress.

The fun comes at the downtown end of the bridge, where the Disraeli swoops down at an alarmingly steep angle and takes a 30° turn to the right. These two distortions of 3D space, compounded with residual ice from last week's snowstorm, put this little stretch of road in Xtreme Sports territory.

I don't think I'll be joining the Canadian bobsled team any time soon, though.

Or the Jamaican one, for that matter.