Power and Program Problems

Kage Baker hated being cut off from the Internet.

Not due to a fondness for social media – she loathed it, actually, aside from dictating snide remarks to me when I was on Facebook. No, she just got frantic when she couldn’t do research at her own whim, or explore strange chains of websites. She might not actually be doing any of that; she might, in fact, be supposed to be writing. But the knowledge that she couldn’t stop and peruse the the history of silk stockings or left-handed spanners or exotic marine diseases of the spleen if she suddenly wanted to, drove Kage to distraction.

When we moved into the depths of Northern California – and even more so, to the tiny beach town of Pismo Beach, where the entire utility system was both jury-rigged and 75 years old – she was frequently confined by the failure of the electricity and/or our router. Consequently, she insisted we subscribe to 2 separate IPS companies – one in her name, one in mine. Some of the time, this saved her; I could just switch her over to the backup system, and she was once again free of the interwebs.

But when the power failed (and in Pismo, a heavy dew or a inexperienced pelican could take the entire city down), Kage was out of luck. Her Buke would only run on batteries for a couple of hours. Consequently, at the end of her life, she was scheming on how to install a gas generator in our second-story apartment, as backup for power failures. We never had the money at a time when we had room; nor was I convinced that a running generator on our balcony would be permitted by our landlord. I was aiming at solar panels, but they had declined to come down to a reasonable price before we had to spend all our savings on trying to keep Kage alive.

Now that I live in Los Angeles again, in the tiny neighborhood of Atwater Village, I am still contemplated generators or solar panels. However, though Kimberly et famille are willing to try, money has not so far coincided with time. I still keep a second provider to hand, but we’re still on the grid. And tonight, the router is being cranky and eccentric. My computer slows, stutters, stops, and then re-animates with half my work gone into the ether. I think part of my new commitment to writing is going to have to be finally acquiring a second power source.

In the meantime, I’ve had to hammer this blog out in tiny, frustrating increments. It’s like chiselling the entire Mabinogion on a blue stone menhir with a nail file and a meat tenderizer. Any errors you find in this tonight, Dear Readers, may be attributed to the necessity of rebuilding this blog half a dozen times while I’ve been writing it.

That’s why all you are getting is a series of anecdotes and bitching. It’s easier to hang on to the gist of this when there is no plot … just desperately trying to maintain my hold on the aether long enough to shout I’m still here!

Which I am. Now I’m gonna  put this computer through every diagnostic I can – for as long as it’ll stay up and running, anyway.

Happy October!


About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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1 Response to Power and Program Problems

  1. Luisa Puig says:

    Oh my Goddess, Kathleen, how I have *missed* your writings up to now.

    “It’s like chiselling the entire Mabinogion on a blue stone menhir with a nail file and a meat tenderizer.”

    Brilliant! And even better, like so many of your pithy phrases, it sets my mind a quivering and off I go to ‘wiki-wander’ through your allusions, and find the gems of long-ago forgotten (and now rediscovered!) wit, wisdom, and just good old fashioned Entertainment.

    Even better, not only does this sentence draw one back to the earlier writers of British antiquity, it also illustrates the damned complexities of the 21st Century:

    “Welcome to Progress!”
    “Opps … it’s gone … for a while, anyway.”
    “Stay tuned while we fill your anxieties with static and frustration.”

    Goddamn what I wouldn’t give for a good old chisel and file! At least one could be building, if not a full thought out story, at least a tantalizing mystery for future minds to amuse themselves upon!

    I hope your foilbles with the lamer pieces of this century (or at least its so far miserable beginning) come to a more sustainable solution (the sooner, the better!).

    Best wishes on finding the Holy Grail of reliable (and affordable) electrical sources.

    And *Thank You,* thank you, THANK YOU, for coming back to BlogLand.

    Your return actually brings me hope. Oh, and Entertainment, too. >>> ahhhh! <<<


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