Monthly Archives: December 2010

Runaway Stage Coach

I gotta stop letting life jerk me around. Take control of the reins, and pull up this runaway team. That’s what it feels like some days when I look around me, jangled and jarred by the verisimilitudes making ends meet like boulders and rocks on my roadway, and see that great chasm opening up wide before me ready to swallow me into obscurity. Will I find myself, soon, clinging to the edge of that cliff, or maybe a couple feet down on some gnarled root where my friends can’t see me, and believe me finally gone?

I exaggerate. Wildly. For Effect.

It’s a nice image, drawn from countless westerns, the stagecoach out of control. It reminds me why the western is so appealing as a genre—where people were their own law, and lived by their own wits. Grab me a gun, a horse, and a saddle, and I could find my own way in the world, seek my fortune. It was wide open.

Modern life just ain’t like that. Each and everyone of us, less the Bill Gates of the world, are being pushed and pulled by external forces we have little to no control over. We’re living in a subprime world where our overlords, the world financial system and the greedy corporations, have so crassly fucked up both our economy and our environment that it feels like we’re all passengers on that stagecoach, and the chasm is only a few feet head of us.

My only consolation is that the stagecoach driver and the guy riding shotgun, in this metaphor, they’re going with us because there sure as shit ain’t no way out for any of us if they don’t pull up those reins quick, and turn those ponies around.

And that, in one metaphor standing in for my life as a passenger in the stagecoach of the 21st century, is the reason for my retooling of my blog. It’s time to skin that smoke wagon, and get to fighting. I’m fighting for my life.

Are you fighting for yours?

Advertisements

Pan Historia Technical Update

Here is the latest news as best I know it: Pan is protected by a uninterrupted power supply (UPS) that can keep Pan’s server running even when the power goes down because it has a battery backup. It is programmed to shut Pan down automatically when battery power goes low. It seems that this battery is getting old and needs replacing, or we need a new UPS, whichever comes first, and it is shutting Pan down even though there are no power outages.

Unfortunately the man, Pandaman, with the technical expertise to determine exactly what is needed and how to program a UPS, is currently on a much needed vacation in the wilds of New Zealand with no internet access, so it’s just me doing the best that I can. Until the problem is resolved there will be frequent interruptions of service as I shut down Pan to try and work on a solution. Right now I’m running around looking for a new powerful UPS so we can get Pan back online. I was able to confirm that Pan’s status is good. There are no problems with the server itself and the backup server looks healthy too.

Please be patient and understand that any interruptions of service are far better than Pan crashing. Automatic or manual shutdown is good, crashing is BAD.

Please subscribe to our Yahoo Group in order to be kept informed about Pan’s status updates:

Subscribe to panpiper


Christmas Present, Christmas Past, Christmas Virtual

Do I scream or do I cry? It’s that time of year again. I love the holidays and I hate the holidays. Remember being a child? It was all so uncomplicated then. Santa came in the middle of the night, ate up all the cookies you left him and sucked down on the cream sherry (yes, we were that kind of household), and then left a humungous plethora of joy wrapped in silver, red, and gold paper.

Year after year it grew more complicated. The first Christmas away from home, spent in another family’s home as an outside was like a dash of cold water that sent my youthful emotions spinning into darkness. Later on changing family dynamics changed the holidays from my uncomplicated joy to harrowing nightmares that might involve drunken binges (not mine). Expanding connections and networks produced an overload of spending, responsibility, anxiety, and stress as big business pushed ever harder for us all to succumb to an orgy of consumerism at the holidays. As a single parent there were those mornings when I knew I had failed my offspring because I couldn’t afford those excessive gifts that were commonplace, it appeared, in every household but my own on Christmas morning.

Now I have a family that demands to be together, and yet collectively sighs and moans at the difficulties inherent at fulfilling the expectations of the season. I’ll be doing a little of the same, but in the middle of all the chaos and tears, there will also be hugs, and moments of genuine gladness in each other.

Now if only the holidays could be like they are at Pan Historia: full of fun and games, where gift giving may be real or virtual, but it hardly counts which because everyone is just happy to be involved. No one worries about the stresses of real life too much because it is where they come to escape such concerns. The tree is big and gaudy with plenty of love decorating it, but no needles to sweep up at the end. The food is fun, but will not make you fat or give you indigestion. And it really doesn’t matter what the holidays mean to you. We have something for everyone.

Oh, and I love our red cardinal and snow theme this year, simple and elegant.