Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ticks suck, then you die…

Was out walking Maggie (by the way who says owners look like their dogs?) last week on the one lovely day of spring between winter carnival and the New England humidity festival. We upset a nesting mother hawk who thought we got too close to her territory. She dive bombed us - all six foot screaming wingspan of her - and ran us off the trail into the deeper woods. We eventually made our way home circling back the long way and staying far away from mom and her kiddies.

I woke up the next day to find three deer ticks having breakfast on various parts of my anatomy. Unfortunately, I was by then 1000 miles from home – having traveled overnight to St. Louis.

Now, deer ticks transmit Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) which is a nasty bacterial infection with a spirochete from the species complex Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (don’t love wiki?). So, in addition to being fingernails-on-a-chalkboard squidgy gross, they are actually pretty dangerous.

As many of you know, I usually absolutely hate computers. I hate lugging them, fixing them, fighting with them. I hate losing hours worth of work when I forget to save the read-only email attachment I have been modifying. I hate that I have made that same stupid mistake a dozen times. I hate Microsoft for letting me do it. I hate that hard drive that crashed erasing all those Napster downloads (from when it was legal) of Boston punk bands from the 70’s (where am I going to get another copy of The Fools doing “Life Sucks, then You Die” live at the Compass Lounge?). I hate the fact that I make my living helping people protect their data, and I never backed up my own. I just generally hate computers - its an old, geezer thing I guess.

But last week, let me tell you, I loved computers, networks, databases, and files. One call to my doctor at MGH in Boston, and three mouse clicks later I had a prescription in my hands, with proper insurance payment already made, in St Louis and all those little Borrelia burgdorferi sensu latos were off to an early grave – and eventually I’m sure I will get over the finger-nails-on-a-chalkboard squidgies of finding three ticks on me…

You have to ask yourself, in the grand scheme of things, what the heck was the point in creating ticks? What possible use do ticks have in nature? They’re apparently devoid of intelligence and any but the most basic form of life itself. They exist only to hide under leaves and lie await in the grass, ready to pounce on unsuspecting warm blooded intelligent creatures, suck their blood, make them sick, and use the blood to reproduce thousands more useless blood-sucking ticks.

Come to think of it, that description reminds me of more than a few Storaborgites. I may be missing the point, but I don’t see the value add.

- Geezer


Anonymous said...

Kirby, You can thank EMC's Chuck Hollis for helping me find your blog. Sorry to hear about the Lyme Disease. I had the blood-sucking ticks, too. I took six weeks of antibiotics and slept most of last summer, but appear to be cured. And the nesting eagles I saw on the campout were amazing.

Like you I hate computers, which is why, as I mentioned in my 3rd blog posting, when I launched Walden Technology Partners, I turned to Google and a really excellent web-hosting service. The jobs of communicating, collaborating, documenting stuff, remembering stuff, and finding stuff ultimately need to be delivered as part of outsourced services.

AceSage said...

Hey John,

Welcome to Storage Sanity.

You might remember back in 2001 at your storage forum in San Fransisco, I spoke about the value of outsourced storage services...

BTW - who is Chuck Hollis?


Anonymous said...


Chuck Hollis is VP of Technology Alliances at EMC and here's his blog.

Regarding your comments back in 2001 at IDC's StorageVision conference, I do remember. I also remember telling Peter Bell of Storage Networks fame that "data tone" was not the same as "dial tone." You can change telephone carriers with one phonecall, but if you change storage service providers, how do you get your data back? With storage as a service, it is a life-of-corporation decision, which is why Iron Mountain is one of the few who is getting real traction on being a repository for outsourced data protection. The other time it makes sense to me is when the storage outsourcing is part of outsourcing the entire application, as IBM has done with the Application Outsourcing Division.

Keep up the good work.


AceSage said...

Good buddy and apparent closet aging punk rocker - Chris M points us to

as a potential source for lost Boston Punk Band recordings.


AceSage said...

A supposedly fool-proof method for removing ticks - offered here as a public service.

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the>>soap-soaked cotton ball and let it stay on the repulsive insect for 15-20 seconds, after which the tick will come out on it's own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away

Supposedly works every time.

Unknown said...

Hi Kirby and John,

In the mid 90s I attended a Price Waterhouse CIO roundtable with Warren McFarlan from HBS as the honored guest. The term "sub-contracting" had just been changed to "outsourcing" and that was the hot topic. CIOs popped off as you would expect.

When it was Warren's turn to summarize, he said "Outsourcing is like a marriage - it either ends in death or divorce." That was all he said.

Kind regards,