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I am currently making just about the simplest supper there is, a recipe suggested to me by my dietician and the Diabetes Education Centre. This is it:

1) Steam up a whole bunch of brown rice in our rice cooker.
2) When the rice is almost done, in our electric frypan (which is quite deep), heat up two cans of kidney beans (drained), one large can of kernel corn (drained), and half of a large jar of salsa (with stewed tomatoes added if we're in the mood for them).
3) When the veggie mixture is bubbling, fold in the cooked rice.
4) Cover and let simmer until heated through.
5) Serve with meat patties and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

It's very good, and the kidney beans give me a healthy hit of good fibre.

Today I had lunch out with [ profile] bodi_kat and another friend, both of whom I recently reconnected with after many years of not seeing them at all. It was wonderful to sit and chat again as we used to do. :-) And I've been invited out to see the Dust Rhinos with them on August 24th, which will be perfect timing since that's the day I'll be finishing my latest MM assignment. I will certainly be ready to have a few drinks and dance to kickin' Celtic rythyms once that workload is off my shoulders.

But when I got home and went to go to work, disaster struck! The G4 started acting wonky again, crashing randomly, and we weren't able to get it stabilized. I have to get work done while George is on the iMac, so we hauled out the 8600/200 that had been sitting in a corner of the studio, fired it up, and lo and behold, it works like a charm (with the exception of a Wacom driver that we had to reinstall, but that took all of five minutes once we found the one we needed). That damned computer is as stable as a brick, and about as elegant, but what a workhorse it's turned out to be; we spent $2500 on it about twelve years ago, and while it's slow and pokey by today's standards, it has never, ever failed us.

So I'll be helping George out on his French graphic novel for the next few days before I have to go back to MM...

Oh, snap. I'll have to email my MM editor and ask him to snail-mail me a new FTP password, since we were doing all our uploading from the G4 and Transmit on that machine refuses to release its passwords to the iMac's version of Transmit. *insert random swear words here* There is such a thing as being TOO secure.
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Updated the Wacom tablet drivers and ran Disk Warrior on the hard drive, which seems to have locked the problem down. Curiouser and curiouser: before I did the repairs/updates, several Photoshop files came up "file damaged" with odd color bands in the art when I opened them. Cue much screaming from me, followed by closing of the files and repairing/updating. Lo and behold, when I reopened the files afterwards, they were PERFECTLY FINE. No "file damaged" warning, color bands gone.

Holy fuck. I hate it when computers go wiggy. I hate it even more when errors fix themselves for no discernable reason.
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The G4 has been good as gold all night, and I've been working it hard preparing files for FTP transfer and flatting/painting, and sometimes running three applications simultaneously. The fit of crashing/freezing/insanity appears to be past.

Evil, evil memory slot!

*hisses in its general direction*

Now all I have to do is find a way to make up for two lost days of productivity. Bugger.
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Well, the mystery of what's wrong with the G4 was solved by the MacHelper tech: a bad memory slot. Not stick. Slot. This means that the amount of RAM the computer can hold has suddenly been drastically reduced.

And it took him about 2 hours to get to that conclusion, because for the first hour or so the damned machine worked perfectly. I mean, we ran diagnostic programs, opened multiple applications, painted in Photoshop, connected it to the internet, and so on and so forth, and it ticked along like a trooper. When it finally did start to go horribly wrong, the scientific method of pulling out memory sticks until it started working properly, then switching memory sticks back and forth, did the trick.

The total bill, including 3 new DIMMs to beef up the 8600 (hey, the tech was already there, and the memory was surprisingly affordable), was $387.60, which isn't that bad when you consider that he checked out the G4 top to bottom, cleaned the fan, tested the battery charge, and so on. It's especially not bad when you consider that a bad logic board could have run us $900 and up, at which point we would have been looking at getting a G5 instead, with all the attendant hassle and the inconvenience of continuing to work on the 8600 -- which, souped up or not, is still a pokey little machine compared to the G4 processor, in addition to producing annoying SCSI errors from time to time.

*crosses fingers, and sets back to work on Hardy Boys pages*
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Could be something as simple as the battery. Could be something as serious as the logic board. Could be something as whimsical as the Wacom tablet. But our G4 is now having program-quits and full system crashes, on average, every ten minutes.

*lays head on desk and sobs quietly*

Time to call MacHelper and see if they can get a tech out here ASAP. We've already pulled and replaced the battery, which got the machine to start up again after it stopped running power to the keyboard and monitor, but it's a Band-Aid solution. In the meantime, I've switched all Hardy Boys files to the 8600/200 -- Gods bless that little workhorse! -- and will have to work from that, slower processor speed and all.
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To paraphrase a certain country music song, It ain't pretty -- it just looks that way!

Image hosted by

*buries head in hands*

Every so often, the G4 seems to have a fit and starts crashing Photoshop every 5 minutes. Is it the heat? Is it a corruption of Quicktime? Is it croggled preferences? Is it gremlins?

Who knows? Surely not I. It is frustrating in the extreme, and George is the only one who seems to have any luck fixing the problem. Yesterday, therefore, he took a couple of hours and did a reinstall of OS 9.1 and various applications, trying to lock things down.

The damned thing was working fine last night, then today it started pulling the crash-and-burn routine all over again. I suspect it might be a problem with Mozilla, so I've switched to Explorer for the time being.

*removes head from hands and beats it against the nearest wall*

And with just one more page of Girl Genius to finish...
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