“This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.” 1 Cor. 7:29, 30 & 31
Yesterday sure was a long ole Hump Day! No, mom is still doing ok. Our visit, as I mentioned yesterday, was good. BUT, later that day, about 2:30-3pm, when everyone was starting to get back to work after a little celebration a wonderful company put on to celebrate our little non-profit’s tremendous achievements, things began to change. Background needed here…I am, among roles, IT Director. I oversee 200+ users’ systems, a server rack, and a bunch of software. I am blessed deeply by having 2 remarkable team members for whom I am not worthy to carry their mouse pad. We do some really cool things in our little department and I am super proud of it. However, yesterday…well…”Momma said there’d be days like this”…
At the before-mentioned time, a few people called and/or emailed and said they were having odd problems with files or the copier or the like… They seemed unrelated until we dug deeper. The tipping point was when my CHRO called and coundn’t get to important files and the typically effective troubleshooting failed. We looked deeper and had our managed services provider (re: kind of like computer mercenaries) remote in and look. It appeared that we had 2 of our 7 hard drives offline. They showed as “foreign” which means, as I explained in our employee portal, “.. they were either going bad or the software/hardware teacher directing these little student hard drives in the playground at recess were off shooting TikTok videos, playing Angry Birds, or, perhaps, sleeping in the break room.”
Just a bit of explanation needed for the non-geeks among of, of which there are many/most. A server is typically configured such that hard drives work together (called RAID) in one of several different ways to provide redundancy so that if one hard drive breaks…or becomes foreign to the others in our case…the others still have your files in some way or another. It really is fascinating and was created by folks waaaaaaaaaay smaterererer than your little cornbreaded writer. Some versions of RAID will divvy up data and share with each other. Others will duplicate all. There are just a whole bevy of nifty ways these drives can use to guarantee that if one or two hard drives break, the rest can keep the plates spinning long enough that the panicked IT professional can breath in a paper bag for 30 minutes, then insert a new hard drive to replace the bad ones, or at least “rebuild” them so that the data is put back on. (Note: this is a savagely oversimplified explanation that will probably cause tech folks to spit-take, but the premise is accurate enough that a broad audience can get it…so go back to playing with your Linux box and stop picking on me!)
Conclusion and learning points (as I posted on our portal as well):
- It is important…very important…to back up stuff that you would be sad if it suddenly disappeared. If you would like help in this area, (my PT staff member) is here Tue-Thur, and (the FT members) are here pretty much every day.
- Cloud things (Cloud Drive) and web-programs (our web programs listed) are as safe as they can be. Things on your desktop are not…and should be backed up.
- We are replacing the server this weekend with a new one and are re-looking at the backup options we have.
- When the server has issues, (one program) may be down for some periods of time. We are working on getting (one of our in-house programs) out on the cloud or a server farm to eliminate this and will have that resolved soon.
- Few things are as sweet as a Braum’s Grilled Chicken sandwich at the end of a long day of hair-pulling-out computer work.
- Last, and very importantly, until the server finished, it may be a little slow at (home office of SeniorAge). The Internet may be slower (therefore a program may be slower) and files on the server may be slower getting in and out of and getting to save. All will be fine soon…and will be great when the new server is completely deployed.
Welcome to dementia. The brain is a far more amazing server, if you will. We cannot even scratch the surface of understanding as to how advanced memory storage is or how it even works. Our brain has every kind of RAID available in spades plus fries, a drink and a hot apple pie . However, as we age, its hardware does begin to struggle. In a healthy brain, these many redundancies kick in and, while recalling such and such memory may not be as fast as it was when the hardware was new, it is still plenty fast, thank you very much. However, in dementia, you have hard drives going “foreign” on you. The data held there isn’t accessible. The rest of the hard drives compensate, but depending on what is broken (which hard drives are down), there becomes fewer and fewer ways to access data and, unfortunately in this case, the drives cannot rebuild… at all.
Every thing we know is intertwined with the rest of the things we know in a unique way. Everything uses everything else as a reference point, if you will. We tie/string memories and things we have learned, better than any computer, into a mashup of interconnected and often interdependent “things” to build our intellect, our memories, our experiences, our personality…in short, these things make us us. When things break, everything loses a pathway…a shortcut…a reference point…and the brain has to try harder to operate. Gradually, in dementia, so many of these redundancies are broken and so many pathways clogged and disconnected that even daily living gets harder and harder. Programs that we used to do easily (cooking, driving…speaking) become hard. Subprograms that we probably don’t even realize are there and completely take for granted because they used to be so automatic (our ability to talk, swallow, fight infection, etc…) are taken away….and we die. Currently 100% of folks with dementia…millions and millions of them…die of it (unless something else beats dementia to it). No possible rebuilds. No hot swapping out the hard drives. No backup to draw from. Gone. Worse than a BSOD…dead. 🙁 This is why dementia stinks.
We are back up and running and, obviously rethinking our backup scheme to be sure if this happens again, even to the new server, that we have a good, accessible backup available. Stressful evening, yesterday…but it is over for now. 🙂 I wish I could say the same for those with dementia. We have to fix this broken thing…and soon. 🙁
Update: Nothing new. I am working on getting mom’s nursing home some information about this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. I just rolled out my 2020 team and, this year, anyone can easily join my team and walk “with” me in September by clicking the link above. 🙂 You can also donate, but you don’t have to. We will virtually walk in mid-September and will watch the ceremony online together. Hopefully next year we will all physically walk together again in person, but this years’ virtual event has the potential; to be AMAZING! Please join my team. 🙂
Dad Jokes of the Day:
I have a horse named Mayo…and sometimes Mayo neighs.
The Vikings had an initiative tradition where a child had to participate in a raid to become a full man
… as they say, it takes a pillage to raise a child.
Final note: I cling to the last little side note I had in the bullet points. Did you see it? It said “All will be fine soon…and will be great when the new server is completely deployed.”. That “new server”, to me, is the promise of heaven with glorified bodies that dementia is powerless to attack and where we will rejoice forever at what God has done for us through His Son. What a day THAT will be…