Well, that settles that!

Posted on December 15, 2007
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            My son in law was talking to an acquaintance about the cold weather we’ve been having.

            “Haven’t seen a mosquito all day!” he said.

            “Neither have I!” said his friend, “And I’m from upriver!”

            That pretty well settles that, then, doesn’t it?

And that settles that

          “Immigrants don’t like Port City, report says” was a headline in the Wednesday, December 12, “Telegraph Journal.”

            I wonder if the headline writer was snickering to himself as he keyed that in. Surely he must have known that, all over the province, people would be reacting, “So? Who does?” or “Well, that settles that, then, doesn’t it?”

Slow learner

          I’m not only the spawn of packrats, I’m a slow learner. For the past couple of years, I’ve been asking around as to where I might get my handsaws sharpened. I’m not enough of a carpenter to bother with a power saw for most of my projects.

            Probably my most common job is sawing a few inches off the bottom of a Christmas tree. Let’s see, how often would I do that per year? Uh, yeah, pretty much once tops.

            When it takes five minutes, and a nutrition break, to complete a Christmas tree butt reduction, one begins to suspect the saw needs sharpening. Yeah, yeah, and I need more exercise.

            So, I’ve been asking around the past few months as to where I might go for such service.

            Finally, a sales clerk at a local store looked at me, from his innocent young face, and said “Gee, sir, I think people pretty much just buy a new one.”

            A guy once said to me he was so old he remembered when the air was clean and sex was dirty.

            I guess I can now tell people I remember when your saw lasted a lifetime and you threw away razor blades.

Highly intelligent idiots

          It is astonishing how many peripherals are attached to home computers these days.

            External hard drives, external lcd monitors, surround sound speaker, cameras, personal digital assistants, iPods, chill mats and card readers are in front of me as I write. Most of them need a cord to interface with the computer and, or, another to supply power.

            My wife finds the term “wireless world” hysterically funny. Can’t blame her. My desk top looks like mating season on the spaghetti ranch.

            There is one thing they all seem to have in common. They will not tell you, even under bright lights and sleep deprivation which gizmo they belong to.

            Computer techs, of course, know them by name, nickname, and league stats. The people who design the things know their names and what they do, at least theoretically.

            These seem to be exceptionally intelligent people. At least we think they are intelligent. They say things like “Slot ‘DIMM 1’ has 1024 MB” and “SDA Standard Compliant SD Host Controller.”

            Mind you they cannot tell you, in any of the romance languages, what any of these things do or how to get them out of the box but they do know lots of jargon.

            What is really frustrating is they cannot, do not, will not, put tags or labels on cords saying “This thing connects your Acme Model Supersexy LSD, digital camera, to your computer. Tab A goes anywhere in the camera it will fit. Tab B goes anywhere in the computer it will fit.”

            Sometimes it can’t be that simple. Peripherals can be fussy about which input, aka port, they are connected to. You will often find a message on your screen saying that the printer connects to USB 003.

            Have you ever seen a USB port with its number marked on it? Have you ever seen a USB port with even USB port marked on it? Of course not. You are supposed to remember that from the instructions or refer to the instructions. Do you know where the instructions are? Can you read them?

            Are the highly intelligent people who create these things really highly intelligent or incredibly incapable of communication?

            Perhaps they are part of a conspiracy to:

1)         Keep us from knowing how our equipment communicates so we need professional help on a regular basis or,

2)         Make us give up and buy all new equipment on a regular basis.

            Putting adhesive labels on all my cords helps but can be frustrating too. Trying to read and understand the cryptic notes I write on little labels reminds me that I am more part of the problem than part of the solution.

            Mark Twain was correct when he said, “The most common misconception about communication is that it has actually occurred.”

            That was about100 years ago. We have, in my lifetime, rapidly progressed, with the aid of computers, fiber optic and satellite communication to the stage where we know communication has not, does not, will not occur.

            There is an old poem, attributed by some to George Herbert that goes:


For Want of A Nail

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost:

For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;

For want of the horse, the rider was lost;

For want of the rider, the battle was lost;

For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost,

And all for the want of a nail.

          Could it be that the next kingdom that falls will be for want of a name on a computer cord?



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