Tag Archives: computer woe

Bee Firmly Fixed in Bonnet

It started out OK, this day, but the list of things — stupid things — that were irritating me just collected and collected like a layer of dust until it was impossible to see the road ahead of me, so dusty was my windshield.

How Dusty My Windshield: Collected Stories.

A list, in no particular order, of the stupid things that somehow were impossibly irritating today:

— The smell of flatulence in a certain area of the office and before you suggest it was me, it wasn’t. I even, at one point, considered that I MIGHT be farting, that maybe my sphincter is LOOSE and farts are escaping my person without me noticing? And then I thought no, that is ridiculous, you would also then be pooping in your own shoes, surely, it is merely that someone in this office, or possibly everyone, needs to eat less junk food and get outside for a walk.

— This dude on the skytrain this morning had a baseball cap that said something stupid. I know. I don’t even remember what it was but it pissed me off.

— Whenever I take an escalator I think about a tweet I saw once; this person said “one thing that really bugs me is when people stand rather than walk on an escalator.” Now I do not give a shit what you do on the escalator as long as you keep right if you’re standing and walk left if you’re walking. But what the hell is wrong with standing on an escalator? It’s a MOVING STAIRCASE. If you want to WALK, take the STAIRS. I think about this tweet almost every time I take an escalator. I imagine that people who walk on the escalator are judging me, and then I get mad about them judging me.

Guess what, they are not judging me. Also can we take a real minute to appreciate my hypocricy, in taking someone’s stupid annoyed statement and making my own annoyed statement about how annoying it is.


— Also transit related: when people line up for the bus and then slowly shift forward in the line, even though the bus has not yet arrived. Holy shit. I am about to start swinging a baseball bat at the bus stop, people. If the bus is not at the stop, you don’t need to keep moving. Just stay put. Why are you moving? Do you think moving will make the bus come sooner? It will not come sooner. It’s the same as people in cars who are at stop lights and they can SEE that the cross-light is nowhere near ready to change but they still inch up, up, up, until their dumb car noses are in the intersection and for what? Two seconds of lead time? You don’t even GET that lead time in the bus line up because you get on right after the person in front of you and right before the person behind you. So I stand still. The person in front of me can inch, I will not inch. Today the person behind me was nearly licking my earlobes, so close to me was she, because when the person in front of me moved up an inch, the person behind me did too. I WILL NOT MOVE.

— The lady in front of me in the bus line up was wearing tights of the panty-hose variety, not the footless tights that are like exercise pants variety, and I could see the dimples in her butt cheeks and I did not want to see that.

— There was this kid on the bus who wanted to hold a bouquet of dandelions and his mom said no, your hands are too dirty and he was whining like whoa about this so I had to put on my headphones. YOUR HANDS ARE TOO DIRTY TO HOLD DANDELIONS THE MOST PRISTINE FLOWER IN ALL THE LAND AND ALSO RARE, WHAT? Sorry little dude, I feel you, but your voice is like a knife on a wine glass.

— This stupid computer program at work that makes me do extra clicking and is full of bugs and no one cares. It’s like an addled co-worker that you have to check up on all the time, to make sure it’s not breaking or losing things. Which is pretty much the OPPOSITE of a good computer program, can I just say.

— My music player was on shuffle and it kept playing PJ Harvey and the Pixies, as though it knew I needed to be pushed into a dark, cranky space and then forced to explode my way out. So I turned it off.

I left the headphones on, though, because of the dandelion kid & etc.

Yeah I think that about covers it.

If you have any irrational irritations feel free to share. No irritation too small, that’s my motto. Even the tiniest chafe can make a blister. Etc.

3 — Internet Cleanse 2013

A few weeks ago we tried to switch internet service providers. The reasons are not important. It was meant to be a routine prisoner transfer and we ended up without an internet connection for almost two weeks. Ten years ago, that would have been ‘enh,’ kind of like if now you had no home phone service or no chequebook for two weeks — most people know how to find you without using the phone or writing a cheque.

Well I have carefully crafted a life where people other than family should *not* phone me or ask me for cheques because I won’t answer/write one. They are trained to e-mail. I love e-mail. Except when I don’t have access to mine.

Without an internet connection, our house has no e-mail, no world wide web, no tv (we are Netflix only) and no music other than the dusty CDs we dig out of the milk crate and play through the DVD player and TV because there’s no such thing as a CD player any more. We listen to internet radio, or we listen to our own music, copies of those CDs ripped and streamed over our server. None of which works without the Internet.

(This is my panic face.)

For the first day without internet access I was OK. Well, first I sulked a lot, and then I was OK. I have books, after all, and amusing children! and a radio. And a car. I took the car to the library and took out five more books and the maximum amount of DVDs, which is ten (10).

The next day I realized I was reading four books at the same time, trying to replicate the internet experience of multi-tasking, like when I go to Twitter and five people have posted interesting links so I open all the links in new tabs and then read the first three sentences of each tab and move on — oh, but don’t close the tab, don’t be silly, I’ll probably go back and read the rest SOMEDAY.

I was doing that with books. Two fiction and two non fiction. Just like the Internet!

I also took my laptop to the library and to Starbucks because there is wi-fi there, so I could log in, collect my e-mail and open up a bunch of tabs with articles to read later when I absolutely needed something to look at while I ate my lunch or after breakfast.

Why is reading a book so much harder? I love books. But sometimes (more often in the past few years) I want something quick. I don’t want to get all involved in some IDEA. I just want a hit, man.

It’s kind of sad and scary, actually. I have methodically destroyed my attention span over the years. I used to have a very good attention span.

But it is possible to recover. It is possible to wean yourself from the constant news / not-news / opinions / etc. cycle and then, when you go back to the playground that is the Internet, just limit yourself to climbing a structure OR sliding down a slide OR doing some monkey bars; not all of them halfway, over and over, like some demented five year old who spent the whole day inside.

While I was internet free, I missed: the BC election, various natural disasters, political scandals breaking, and countless instances of hilarity and poignancy. And, of course, all the bullshit that accompanies politics, natural disasters, political scandals, etc. namely: everyone in the world’s ability to instantly pronounce opinions on same.

But I didn’t really miss it. At first I felt like I was missing something; possibly everything. A limb! Then I realized I was carrying on with my life just fine, that the radio is very informative, that everything else is just noise and without noise, I don’t have to try so hard to filter out the important bits. Result: I was more relaxed. I only had to focus on real noise: the kids, the leaf blower, the telephone, my own inner voice. Other peoples’ issues were no longer relevant or pressing.

Which is how it should be, most of the time.

(And which doesn’t mean I wasn’t glad to see the connection come back.)
(This is my gorging-on-netflix face)

I Promised Patio Lanterns

Can you see them, all stretched across the front of this page? Blue, orange, purple, red, blowing slightly in the OH GOD IT’S NOVEMBER WHO HAS PATIO LANTERNS OUT ON THEIR BLOG IN NOVEMBER.

Patio Lanterns. Kim Mitchell Styleee.


Last week I was sitting around thinking about myself, as I do, and I thought, “It might be fun to blog again for November. November is traditional pulling-out-all-the-stops-and-hair month as concerns blogging and writing and I could do it. Just one month.”

The next day, totally unpredictably, my laptop computer died. Of course I took this as a sign that I should definitely blog every day in November, despite not having blogged since February, and I would just write up the blog posts in my (handy dandy) notebook with my pen and then type them up into Saint Aardvark’s computer, which I was borrowing, later in the evening and walla! Blogging! Again!

After day two of using SA’s computer, which is like an old VW Bug being held together — barely — with tape and spit and good wishes, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not be typing anything on that machine at the end of the day because a) the trackpad is slow and wonky b) the lid just kind of..lies down periodically (backwards) and c) come on. Really? I have enough time to draft a post BY HAND in the morning and then rewrite it in the evening? Have I met me?

Have I met me? Wow. Good question.

Not only all of that, above, there, but SA’s computer is located in the living room portion of our open plan living room dining room kitchen area, and the living room is traditionally the Zone of the Children, so when I sat down in their Zone to do some important Tweeting, it was kind of like walking into a monkey cage at the zoo and bringing your statistics homework for something to read.

“Whatcha doing?” asked Fresco, now 4.5 years old, perched on my shoulder, I am not even kidding, “Can I see? Can I type? Can I play SuperTux?” (that’s Open Source version of Supermario and it’s pretty cool but NO you can’t play it all the time whenever this computer is awake.)

The next day or something, we decided to buy a new laptop so we went to Future Shop because they had the best prices and selection, and picked this one out. It’s pretty nice.  If we stay on the car spectrum, it’s a hatchback Kia. But it has working wipers and stereo and it’s clean and doesn’t need much gas.

With a pine-scented air freshener dangling from the rear-view mirror.

I am going to try out blogging again for a month and see what happens. As it turns out, it’s hard to choose a new name and title for a blog when you’re at the end of the blogging timeline … all the clever stuff has been done and the stuff you think is clever is not, on reflection, and you just want to get something up dammit because it’s November 1st, so I guess what I’m saying is: forgive the title, it might change, or it might not, all is fluid, kind of like the cold November Rain.