October 11, 1996

Well, it’s that time of year again, and we all know what that means: wasps. It’s getting too cold for them outside, so they’re sneaking into our houses in search of a nice warm place to sleep. Now, I’m not allergic to wasps, but I’m deathly afraid of them, so I have a spray that kills them from about twenty feet away (still a little too close for comfort, but better than nothing). For some reason, though, wasps are really attracted to kitchens, and the warning label on the spray says, "Use only in well-ventilated area." If it were a well-ventilated area, there wouldn’t be a wasp trapped in there in the first place, but the other night when one showed up in my kitchen, I wasn’t in a state of mind to worry about such things. I was prepared to suffocate rather than be stung. Unfortunately the spray was in the basement–the other favorite room of wasps, and actually going and getting it would have required a leap of logic which I was incapable of making. Besides, that would have put a pretty quick end to the entertainment, wouldn’t it? That would be like the nice young couple on their honeymoon in Transylvania deciding that a hotel that uses human skulls for door handles might not be such a good place to spend the night after all, or like that wacky group of teenagers on a road trip to nowhere actually left the deserted camp when a machete-wielding maniac started picking them off one by one. It’s a logic you can’t explain–you have to be in one of those situations yourself to know why exactly you stay in a house where the walls drip blood or where there’s a wasp in the kitchen. Fortunately the evil beast, whatever form it’s in, always makes one fatal mistake. In the case of the wasp, it was coming into the kitchen. Wasps never realize that humans always keep deadly poisons right alongside food. I could almost hear the voice of the heroic scientist who saves the day: "There’s only one way to defeat this monster: hit it with enough Windex to clean the Sears Tower." Ah, there’s even a moral lesson here: Don’t knock housework–it could save your life. I emptied half a bottle on the beast and then crushed him. The insect’s reign of terror was at an end. Now the weather is turning cold enough to finish off all the others, so this is one horror flick that won’t have a sequel…or will it? Even as he spoke, a mad scientist was breeding a chemical resistant hornet…

Customers Do The Strangest Things
From ComputerWorld

Ontrack Data Recovery in Eden Prairie, Minn., specializes in recovering data from hard drives damaged by natural or man-made disasters. Here are a few true stories from Ontrack’s files:

– One customer guessed that maybe his hard drive didn’t work because it had been "sitting in a snowdrift by the barn for a while."

– Another customer, concerned that he would void the warranty if he disassembled the hard drive by removing the screws, used a hack saw instead.

– An Ontrack representative told a customer to pack his hard drive in peanuts for protection during shipping. The drive arrived the next day packed in salted peanuts – instead of foam peanuts.

– Another drive arrived smelling fresh & clean, wrapped in Bounce fabric softener sheets. The customer had been told to pack it with antistatic material before shipping.

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