Friday, November 07, 2008

Oh Happy Day

For reasons unknown, some kind of virus popped up on my work computer this morning. It keeps opening up webpages that I don't want to visit, and seems to be activated every time I intentionally open up a different site. Our ITC department tells me I have to take the computer to them for a mind wipe, which frightens me nearly as much as the virus. I'm going to back up everything first. I like my work computer and I'm wondering if it will ever be the same again. It's like Electroshock therapy for a PC.

In the meantime, I may not be posting a lot or viiting blogs as often for the next few days anyway. I have a bunch of tests to grade, some writing tasks that I'm behind on, and some things I need to help Lana with. In addition, there are a couple of football games I'd like to catch this weekend and it's not looking good for that.

I'm reading a fun book, though, The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs. It's a nonfiction work about the author's attempt to live for a year following--literally--the rules of the Bible. Jacobs says that he was born Jewish but was never really raised religiously. But he wanted to find out how difficult it would be to follow the Bible. He wants to try and understand the mindset of those who do this, or mostly do this, and since I'm interested in that topic too I felt it was worth a read. There's a lot of humor in the book, but it also makes some very good points about religion and secularism in our country.

51 comments:

Lisa said...

A "Mind Wipe"!!! That sounds absolutely Orwellian!

Interesting that you're reading that book. I'd heard of it and I can only imagine that there has to be quite a bit of humor injected. I think it would be impossible to get all Old Testament these days (at least not without going to jail!). Beware disobedient children!

I just finished Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and right now I'm reading "Crazy for God". Both are excellent.

CrazyCath said...

Hope it goes ok with the mind wipe! *gulp*

That book looks interesting. Right up my street. I'll be interested to read what you think. I take it he is trying to live as they did in the pre Christian days. That would be a challenge.

I try to live by Bible standards but not all the old testament rituals - I try to stick to the Christian principles. Sometimes succeed, often don't. Only human. ;0)

David Cranmer said...

That sounds like a great book. Living by the letter of the law would be difficult for sure. Now living like a Roman for a year would be a little more to my liking.

Miladysa said...

I hope your computer survives and you manage to get everything done that you need to. Oh... and find some time to just chill :D

The book sounds really interesting, please do tell us more when you have read it.

I once read the Old Testament -- all the way through without skipping. It was prompted by a book by Erich von Daniken and a desire to find what exactly was in there for myself. I was really surprised with what I discovered.

Shauna Roberts said...

Good luck getting your computer back in good shape.

I too will be interested in hearing what you think of the book. I had seen it advertised and thought it sounded interesting, but didn't get it.

BernardL said...

Try SpyNoMore, Charles. It worked for me in one load up.

Rachel said...

I know it can be a big ol' pain to have to do without some computer stuff and the internet for a while, but it's nice to get more into RL sometimes.

Greg Schwartz said...

sucks about the virus, but hopefully those IT guys can get you back up and running. that book sounds neat... religion has become so hypocritical lately. i'm adding it to my to-read list.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lisa, it really does have some good humor. He also makes it clear the struggles he has in trying to be a literalist. I think Lana has The God Delusion but I haven't read it yet.

Crazycath, So far in the book he's focused on Old Testement, but he will also be doing New Testement rules and guides as well. I find his struggles with literalism versus interpretation interesting.

David Cranmer, He went through the Bible initially and found over 600 rules that are indicated. Definitely a heavy duty job.

Miladysa, the Bible is pretty interesting reading its ownself. I have read it all, in both Catholic and King James versions.

Shauna, thanks. So far I'm finding it enjoyable. I hate to put it down.

Bernardl, thanks for the tip.

Rachel, as long as it's not RL work!

Greg, I'm fascinated by why people believe what they believe, and this is really giving me some insight, I think.

virtual voyage said...

lol - I'll recommend it to spouse. Now on fifth church....

Scott said...

Charles,

That book sounds interesting. Pretty much the only part of the Bible I've ever read was Revelations, since it has all the end of the world stuff and lots of monsters and whatnot.

Good luck with your computer issues, and with your writing stuff, as well.

Cloudia said...

Aloha Charles:
DO take some time to replenish yourself. Happy weekend!

Virginia Lady said...

I do hope your computer problems are solved quickly and with as little pain as possible. Good luck.

The book sounds fascinating. I can't imagine the challenges one would face to live it literally in our modern world. It would take some thought to put into practice to be sure.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hopefully your tech people are better than ours. I gave up on my work computer and tossed it in a storage area. The one I'm using is what is commonly referred to as "unsanctioned." Good-luck.

Leigh Russell said...

A mind wipe! That sounds terrifying! Explains a lot though... I always knew my computer had a mind of its own, despite what we're told to the contrary.

I hope your computer survives the operation.

Look forward to seeing you back on the blog soon. Don't desert us for too long.

Travis said...

Mind wipe? Yikes!

That makes me shudder.

writtenwyrdd said...

lovely, getting a virus like that. HOpe it doesn't damage the computer. Do scan your backups before opening any of them. (I'm sure you know this, so why I'm mentioning it I do not know.)

Hope you ahve a good weekend and get caught up.

Charles Gramlich said...

Virtual Voyage, it's a fun book.

Scott, The Bible actually has quite a few interesting stories througout, although I did particularly enjoy revelations. There's a pretty fair amount of sex and violence in the Bible, particularly the Old Testement.

Cloudia, grading tests this morning but I'll try for a nap later today.

Virginia Lady, he is definitely struggling with it.

JR, I'm hoping against hope, if you know what I mean.

Leigh, probably will just miss most of this weekend.

Travis, me too.

Writtenwyrd, I scanned ever stick that had touched my work computer last night when I got home. All clear.

Jo said...

That book sounds fabulous! I have often wondered about people who live their lives with that mindset as well. Uusally they are rigid and dogmatic (hidebound reactionaries as my father used to call them).

"Mind Wipe" Heh. It reminds me of HAL.

"HAL: I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for yooooo...."

Middle Ditch said...

My greatest fear. A virus. But the word mind swipe gives me some crazy images.

lol

Sarah Hina said...

I remember reading a magazine article about that book, and being amazed at his dedication.

So sorry about the computer crisis! I hope it's up and running like normal again soon. Scary stuff.

Sidney said...

A few years ago, it seemed everytime I got everything like I wanted it on my work computer, it would crash and have be wiped.

Ah, modern life.

Donnetta Lee said...

Hmm. Clever idea this guy has. I wonder where his journey will take him. These religious journeys can result in interesting life changes. Some believers become nonbelievers. Some nonbelievers become believers. Rarely is the traveler left just as is. Course, I guess that's why he takes the trip to begin with. Maybe the psyche is ready to morph. D

laughingwolf said...

rats! hope your pc pulls thru :(

the book sounds fun... will look it up when i find a minute....

Rick said...

Just don't back up the viruses! And do you know which files are safe? Ouch. Good luck.

FANCY said...

virus that is something that ordinary antibiotics cant cure...Hope it went well for you!?

Cheri said...

The books sounds good. I just picked up "The Falls" by Joyce Carol Oates.


Good luck with the computer, mine had to go through a similar lobotomy!

Charles Gramlich said...

Jo, I really enjoyed the Hal parts of that movie. Good stuff.

Middle ditch, they told me it was a minor virus that wouldn't damage the system but would just be inconvenient so I'm hoping they are right.

Sarah Hina, indeed. And I can see how it did place a strain on his marriage. A year is a long time.

Sidney, this is actually the first one I've had that I couldn't remove myself. I guess I'm pretty lucky.

Donnetta Lee, I'm always intrigued with that process, how some folks can become consummed by faith and others lose theirs. It's a fascinating phenomena.

Laughingwolf, I'm hoping it'll be all clean on Monday.

Rick, my home computer has a powerful antivirus on it so I'm pretty trusting of it and I'm scanning all my files before importing them.

Fancy, I really hate people who create viruses.

Cheri, I haven't read that book. Let me know how it is.

ANNA-LYS said...

If You save Your files, don't You save that Trojan Horse, also then? It sounds like a nightmare ... maybe You should use Linux in the future.

You asked about the meaning, and I am not sure if You meant the constellation together (video + art + lyrics + poem + tune) or what?

Lana Gramlich said...

Ah, "progress." *sympie hugs* The book's been enjoyable (sorry to start reading it while you're reading it, too,) although halfway in I started really disliking the author, who seems more & more like a whiny-bitch panty-waste. Still, the book is entertaining.

Lori said...

That sounds like an interesting read. I admire anyone in this day and age who can adhere to any belief for an hour let alone a year.

Stewart Sternberg said...

I had a mind wipe. Don't sweat it. It might improve your writing, and even your love life. It's like living that first time over and over again. Wipe away, I say.

ChrisEldin said...

Hopefully you'll have your computer back in no time--I think we do get attached to our keyboards, don't we!!!

Erik Donald France said...

Oh man, good luck!

I carry a laptop around, so if it gets infected anywhere, it's everywhere. But I do have backups and anti-virus, which helps most of the time . . .

I heard about that book. Sounds really interesting.

Erik Donald France said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Miller said...

That does sound like an interesting read. I may check that out.

Good luck with the computer.

Charles Gramlich said...

Anna-lys, that depends on the virus. DIfferent ones work differently. It was just the poem I wasn't sure of the meaning.

Lana, I don't feel quite as strongly about the author as you do but he is, admittedly, a bit of a whiner here and there.

Lori, thanks for visiting. Yes, one's beliefs are constantly assaulted today.

Stewart Sterberg, yes, you'd like that wouldn't you. I might forget your diabolical plan to take over the universe.

Chriseldin, fortunately only my work computer. I'm supposed to get it back today.

Erik, I'm getting quite a bit of information from the book that is helping me with a project I'm working on.

Susan Miller, thanks. Yes, the book is pretty good.

Heff said...

Good luck with the virus. Sometimes your computer can come out of it unscathed. Other times....

laughingwolf said...

good pc news, charles?

Billy said...

Charles, for what it's worth, my PC went haywire about six months ago and I had to get an IT friend of mine to come take a look. After looking at my directory and other arcane parts of my PC's guts, he found that many blogs I had surfed through over the months had deposited some very bad crappola on my machine (not that any blogger consciously did this). But there are so many links that can be corrupted by the guys wearing the dark hats. He said it's even worse for MySpace and Facebook, where at least one fourth of all pages have some infection. (MySpace had to shut down three times last year to scrub its server.) People can convert any link on MySpace, however innocent, into a phishing link and a lot of other garbage. Most anti-viral programs are not catching this stuff. malicious code is everywhere. Sobering.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the tip.

Charles Gramlich said...

Heff, I got my computer back and it runs. I figure that puts me ahead of the game.

Laughingwolf, see my comment to Heff.

Billy, that's terrifying. I've been staying off of myspace and am glad of it.

Paul, I'm still enjoying it.

FANCY said...

Have you tried some whisky ;)

ivan said...

I haven't read Mr. Jacobs, but good luck to him. I read the Bible, both Testaments at fourteen and nearly went mad..."Upbraid a fool/Do not upbraid a fool."...It's pretty well like that.Every answered question raises a contradiction, only assuaged by that line in Proverbs that says if you had natural subltety you wouldn't need to read this.

Yet the Talmud seems the basis of most of our laws...After Hammurabi, I guess.
As for Christianity, I don't think anybody every really tried it. It might work.

ivan said...

Lana,

Panty-waste? Lol.

Does he tell his wife?

the walking man said...

Damn all them to a permanent power outage who write the code for hijacker viruses.

Vesper said...

"mind wipe" - your ITC department surely loves science fiction... :-)

Good luck with the computer!

The Old Testament is very interesting and very scary... Quite a violent God in there...

Charles Gramlich said...

Fancy, the whiskey helped me but didn't do much for the computer.

Ivan, yeah, it would be nice to see folks try some Christianity. Maybe I'll look into the "red letter Christians"

Mark, absolutely agreed.

Vesper, well in their defense, they said "re-imaging." which I translated as MInd wipe.

Lana Gramlich said...

Ivan; I figure his wife must enjoy wearing the pants in the family...

jason evans said...

Whoa. I've seen a couple uber nasty viruses. So frigging damaging.

A pox on viruses!!

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, you sweet.

Jason, I agree. What a waste of time and energy they create.