Thursday, November 26, 2009

Randolph County, you've disappointed me once again

As I've mentioned numerous times before, I spent a good portion of this year having to use an old PC running Windows 98. Actually, I have more than one of these dinosaurs.

I got them in trade about two years ago from B.J. Boomhauer. He'd bought an entire lot of them at some auction. I took them all home and - one by one - hooked 'em up, plugged 'em in, turned 'em on and separated the wheat from the chaff. In return for my time and effort, I got to keep a few for myself. I knew that someday my laptop would fail me and I'd be stuck between a rock and a hard place without a paddle. At least these out-of-date machines would give me something to fall back on.

I'd previously glanced at some of the documents left behind by previous users. It was obvious the computers came from the Randolph County school system. None of the stuff looked interesting so I focused my attention on more important things like Facebook status updates and other time-killing sites.

Now that I have my groovy PowerBook G4 (thanks Dean & Ana!), I wanted to get these old computers out of the way. But, before I did that, I wanted to check for any documents I may have saved to them.

While munching away on Thanksgiving leftovers, I set up the first computer and started poking around. While looking at a folder full of text documents, I opened a few from the previous user. This time, I was very interested in what I saw.

This particular computer was used by the school nurse for Randolph County schools. A lot of the documents were form letters to be printed out as needed. But there were plenty of documents that had students' names and their various medical conditions. Who got sent home with ringworm or pink-eye. Which kids had head lice. Who had what kind of medication in the nurse's office. It covers elementary, middle school and high school kids. Some of the documents were dated 2004 so many of these kids are still in the school system.

This computer has all kinds of info that I'm sure both kids and parents alike don't want to share with random people. I wish the school system felt as strongly about keeping students' medical information confidential.

So far, I've only spent about 20 minutes looking at these documents. Who knows what else I might find on this - or the other five - computers?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yeah, yeah...I'm still here

I've been slackin' again. Sorry 'bout that. That's just my nature.

So, like some sort of cosmic joke or hackneyed O'Henr
y story, my digital camera died shortly after my new-to-me laptop arrived. At least I had the good sense to transfer the hundreds of photos that had accumulated on the camera's memory card during the time I was without a computer manufactured in this century.

A while back, I promised you that the new-to-me laptop meant more photos on the blog. Since, I don't want to be a
big fat liar, I will post some of those photos taken over the last six months. It surely is no surprise that a number of these are of chickens.

Watermelon Party!

Ah...the halycon days of summer when watermelons were plentiful and the roosters were peacefully coexisting. Standing tall and proud in the back is Sanchez, the alpha male of Frankencoop. In front of him is Pasha, the young rooster who decided to move in under my porch when he discovered there were hens living there without the benefit of male company. The black and white rooster in front of him is Tweak - he has since gone off to that big chicken coop in the sky.

Tweak was the first chicken I ever killed in fron
t of another person. David & Priscilla came for a weekend visit earlier this month and wanted to see the complete transformation from fluffy bird running around in the yard to plate of sweet-n-sour on the table.

On the right is Buddie, a hen who used to think s
he was a rooster (complete with crowing) but now she thinks she's a hen again. The black bird with her ass to the camera is Betty. Her and Buddie, along with Biddie and Cheepacabra, are the only remaining birds from the eggs I hatched in the kitchen almost three years ago. These four original chickens comprise the core of the alpha male's harem, regardless of which cock is filling that role. They comfortably sit at the top of Frankencoop's pecking order.

The number two rooster, currently being played by Babyman (left), has a bevy of factory farm refugee beauties to keep him company. But that doesn't stop Babyman from occasionally jumping out of the bushes to ravish Sanchez's women.

The Watermelon Party is over

On another note: Does anyone know what kind of bug this is? It's the only one of its kind that I've seen. My Google-fu has failed me. Click the photos to enlarge (unless, of course, you think bugs are icky).

*UPDATE: I should've had more faith in my Google-fu. The above bug is an anisomorpha buprestoide a.k.a. a two-striped walking stick. And it's a girl. It certainly doesn't look like the walking sticks I'm used to seeing around here but it must be true because the internets don't lie.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guess who's from Randolph County, Alabama?

Today, during an internet search for something completely different, I learned that Lewis Thornton Powell (1844-1865) is from Randolph County, Alabama. His family moved to Georgia when he was three but that doesn't change the fact that he's originally from my little particular corner of nowhere.

I can already hear a collective
"Who?" coming from the readers of this blog.

Lewis Thornton Powell was the man who unsuccessfully tried to assassinate William Seward.

Again, I can hear a number of you sayin
g "Who?" I'm pretty sure though the Alaskans in the audience have some idea who Seward was.

Seward was Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State. At the same time John Wilkes Booth was gunning Lincoln down in the theater, Powell was r
epeatedly stabbing Seward, injuring a number of others in the fracas, including two of Seward's children. Powell was one of the four conspirators hanged for the Lincoln assassination.

Powell is second from the left.

Considering how many locals here still haven't stopped fighting the Civil War, I'm surprised this has never come up in conversation before.

Even more surprising is the fact that Powell was kinda cute.