Posts Tagged ‘tragedy


New Computer, at My Own Risk

I wasn’t sure I’d stick my nose in here yet with the new baby, my new computer.  The last one is in sad shape, and I miss it dearly.  This new one is up to the date in the latest heap of technical glitches, as is tradition.  And, it has come at possibly the worst time in my emotional life.  My old PC, despite critics opinions, was pretty rock solid and became a good friend, even if I did very little with it.  I didn’t use all the bells and whistles, and it’s a shame, because it had a few good ones.  I could have been making many movies.

When I first started my previous computer, it came in a nice box with labels and a manual I could hold in my hand.  I could read all day about troubleshooting and all kinds of program features, provided I add an antenna or some kind of card.  All my trial app worries were settled with “optimization.”  I could label DVDs and easily restore the system myself if it had trouble…or so I thought.  As much as I was convinced it wasn’t the best computer at the time, it grew on me.  It became a friend.

I didn’t call tech support once.  I had someone help me through a few steps, and the rest kinda worked itself out.  I did not have any problems until I needed to register it online.  Updating was a problem, for sure.  [I was aiming to keep it offline as a personal word processor of sorts…til my “online computer” was no longer being accepted online by the changing software tides and my old, reliable internet service cheated me out of $300 or so.  [Call the company, and you get the outsourced squad from India trying to con you into alternative accounts and paid features.  There were no alternative services to upgrade to with the company.  It was a dinosaur teasing me into thinking it was still functional.]  I found alternate means to get online and was soon back in the swing of typing and, well, still struggling to connect with good people.

There was an incident or two near the end when text strangely looked fuzzy and squashed…and when I ultimately did something to the hard drive.  But, overall, over the past 8 plus years, it was working just fine.

The new computer has a long road to walk.

  1. It did not come in a nice box.  It was shipped to me in a slim box tossed into an oversized box with no labels and little to no bubble packing.  It was bouncing around the poorly taped carton.  I nearly threw a fit the day I found it on the porch.
  2. The battery wiggles in its socket.  Is that a concern?  You tell me.
  3. The manual can be found through a maze of start-up menu AND online.  Great.  So, when I have a system failure, I can hopefully find someone with a computer phone or computer to borrow and look online for the manual.  That’s user-friendly conservation of paper.  NOT.
  4. I have already spent over 20 hrs. trying to get through to tech support services.  [Don’t ever bother using a phone.  Online services only.]  I lost a whole day just solving one problem.  Let’s hope the others don’t return.  But…
  5. Research shows many apps have a problem with the latest OS.  And, many if not most apps have had conversions to accommodate the new OS.  All hail the latest flash-in-the-pan labyrinth software and tough luck to all who had the previous versions.  So, before you leap for that new movie maker or drawing software, be sure it’s fit for your OS, especially if it’s the latest edition.  Back when I was using Win 98, people harassed me and boasted XP…when they were not complaining about glitches and crashes.  This whole OS business is like a car market.  And, just when you pick a new car–or if you’re the slow-to-change type who sticks by your old car–someone comes along to make you feel inadequate in their different new car.
  6. Either you automate everything and run the risk of personal info going everywhere or you try to set settings to “recommended protection levels” and find nothing working, like the new Edge browser that blocks every website I type in, opening another MSN home page.  That is, except for this site which apparently is okay on Edge but not the latest IE?  Again, confusing and frustrating, and I feel like I am standing outside in my underwear, waiting for some violating hand to appear.
  7. As it is, things open and activate themselves, merely presenting notices that I may or may not get to before they disappear.  Little icons appear on the task bar and then disappear when I go to look at them.  It’s kind of like a horror movie when the lil creatures are scurrying around to the sound of keystrokes.  Apps want to invite themselves over to my place; they’re supposedly “suggestions.”  But, some seem to worm their way into a parking place.  You kick one guy out, and another eventually appears at the door.
  8. It comes with voices.  I have a hard enough time coping with the voices in my head.  No, not split personality disorder.  Just voices.  And, this thing has the dry male voice that sounds like Stephen Hawkings on dope and a female assistant with a weird name who thinks she’s slick like Shania Twain or Taylor Swift but sounding more like Scarlett Johansson in She.  I’m not Lars, and she isn’t a real girl.  Let’s not turn this into a tragic ending.

[On that note, I plan on writing an irregular series, potentially titled “A Date with Cortana Corona,” in which I tell a mildly amusing story about a day or night with the vocal PC assistant.  Stay tuned.]

Now, I can’t make any movies, the art programs are reduced in ability, though they advertise stellar new features.  Some require subscriptions and better editions at cost.  So, it seems everything has gone Office 365 or Photoshop.  What ever happened to the days you could buy a piece of boxed software, install it and run it to your heart’s content?  Why are so many fun things turned into APPs that tug strings away from you to lure you into some personal info trap?  What sense is there in deflecting junk mail and malware/spyware when everything wants to run automatically and update almost daily to the point it slows everything down or removes a previously functional function?

When the best thing you can do on a (new) computer is play solitaire, you just want to put your head down and cry.  I could delete all the trial apps and free up some sort of speed space people keep talking about.  And, my computer would look like a naked electrical socket (with the wires and screws showing).  This new computer feels a tad cold and alien, like my left arm and that spot in my eye.

I don’t want my outlet, my workspace to be one more annoyance.  [Then again, maybe this is just the routine with breaking in a new “friend.”  Maybe every horse cannot be a quick learner.]  Or, maybe, like Thelma and Louise, I just take this thing by it’s virtual hand and drive off a cliff.

Maybe it’s not that serious.  Maybe this is just a heads-up sort of sign, telling me to spend less time with a computer and more time with people (as some family members like to preach, though they get paid for doing their jobs on computers).  [But, I know someone is going to demand I use one for something, for job searches, work applications or education.  For shopping because stores are being closed out by a certain online convenience store that aims to colonize Mars and replace most of the workforce with robots.]

People philosophize about taking risks and change being the only constant (the new version of “death and taxes”); maybe this is just how it goes; it’s the Hunger Games, people.  Let’s hope I don’t die of bee stings, rabid dogs or food poisoning.  I’d give a finger salute, but you wouldn’t see it, anyway.  And, I don’t have a photo ready to upload.



In the End…of Linkin Park?


I had just come home from my day job when I heard on the news about Linkin Park’s lead singer killing himself, a father of six, supposedly married (which I didn’t even know)…but happily married?  There’s a question.  I also did not know he had addiction troubles.  But, looking at the majority of song titles the band has released, I can see a pattern.

Crawling (in my skin…these wounds; they will not heal.  Fear is how I fall, confusing what is real.)  –Possible itching from a drug fix/addiction; check.

Breaking the Habit  –A cry for help, a desire to quit; check.

(I’ve become so) Numb.  (‘Tired of being what you want me to be.)  –A pain in the back pushing him toward his “medicine;” check.

In the End (it doesn’t even matter).  –I’d say that was the start of the road map to feeling worthless, right off album one.  Other depressing and bleak songs followed.

Nothing really about relationship troubles…

Unless there’s more to “Lying Away From You” than meets the ear.  I most often thought any mention of relationship conflicts in the music was related to teenagers and their parents.  I figured the music was geared towards rebellious teens.  But, perhaps, I was looking the wrong way.

I first heard Linkin Park around 2003 while walking home (wearing a headset).  I thought I wouldn’t like their preach-y hip-hop style, at first.  But, the longer I listened, the more of the lyrics I understood; and the more I grew to like their albums.  I almost have every one they made.

There were a few songs, released not too long ago, that sounded like overkill of despair and anger.  So, I kinda turned a blind eye to what may have been the most recent album of “pop” songs?  I haven’t heard any of those, as far as I can recall.  I wonder if the band didn’t have the same sort of mid-career crisis it seems Katy Perry may be having (among other talents).

For some reason, these talents beat one form of music til they wear out and then get the fear in their heads that they need to change directions.  And, in my personal opinion, I’m okay with it.  Diversity isn’t always bad.

Taylor Swift went from country to pop-ish music, and that suited me just fine.  [Maybe she averted “bad blood” or emotional breakdown by taking a concert tour break.]

Katy Perry started with gospel (when I knew nothing of her, before I knew she was a blonde named Kate Hudson).  But, going raven-haired and switching to scandalous rock got my attention.  And, now?  I’m not sure where head is going.

Back to Linkin Park and the lead singer fiasco.

So, it seems Chester B. was close pals with Chris Cornell who also took his own life earlier this year.  Chester played at a memorial event.  Who will play at Chester’s memorial?  And, will they be next…to, you know?  I sure hope this isn’t some scary, accursed chain of events.

I would create some kind of memorial for the guy(s), but I don’t know how to feel about a father of six taking his own life.  It makes me shudder.  [I don’t mind making memorials for those who die at the hand of fate/God.  I’ve made memorials for countless pets to ease owners’ hearts.]

Life for me hasn’t exactly been wine and roses, but I’ve been surviving the best I can…or as well as I feel able under the conditions I face.  I have come close to “the end” and don’t ever want to go back there.  So, I do what I can to avoid the edge.  Still, no matter what I do, life has a “funny” way of throwing crap at you, whether it’s to teach you a lesson or punish you for something done…perhaps in a past life?  I may not have a drug addiction, but I know how addictive certain activities and foods can be.  I must be mindful of the “golden rule” of moderation and of what I indulge.

I’ll still listen to just about anything Linkin Park has made thus far.  If this is “the end” of the band’s career, I’ll live and take what I can from the past albums.  [I had aspirations of working with Linkin Park on future movie projects.  I even had storyboards with lyrics under certain pictures.]  I’ll have to look into this “pop” music they tried making.

But, where do they go from here?  Replacing a lead singer doesn’t seem to go well for anyone.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the band and/or this recent tragedy.


At the Relationship Crossroads

I’ve come to the realization, more than once, that when I hesitate to move forward with a woman that sparks my interest, someone is lurking in my blind spot just waiting to beat me to the punch, spoil all my effort and claim the most costly of prizes (or cheapest, depending upon your perspective) as if it was always within reach. The long drive may be the promise of the sweetest things, but that doesn’t stop the fast and furious. And, at the same time, haste makes waste. Too many race to get the cup without checking under the hood and pacing themselves. This often results in devastating crashes and other crimes of the heart.

You may have seen it in a movie or one of the lewd cartoons polluting the airwaves these days. The “good” guy goes through the trouble of getting to know the woman, picking out just the right flowers and gift for a special day. Then, along comes Captain Jack Killjoy with one slick line and that irrestistable musk that drops Beauty faster than a Bela Legosi can raise an eyebrow, even though she tells you she’s not the type to fall for that crap. The “good” guy gets wind of what just happened, watches his flowers wilt and walks away with nothing (maybe a lesson learned if you’re that glass-half-full type). Some may crack their routine and join the rat race. The rest patch their tires and hit the same, old road one more time, looking for Lovers’ Lane, the best bed and breakfast in a serene neighborhood.

If you ever find yourself in a position where the one you want to spend your life with is heading far away for some time, don’t make any promises. It may be an epic romantic fantasy to receive love letters and reunite years later, but you could just as likely be the focus of a ghost story, waiting on some cliff for your love to return until you die of misery.

Maybe some day, I’ll be remembered as the genuine “road warrior.” Like the movies, that may be all that is remembered about me. All the sweat and tears I went through, avoiding car-wrecks and striving to stay in the right lane, may just be dust in the wind, along with all the rules and road signs the system tries to stick in our faces.

In the end, you go with your gut when you reach that same intersection that stopped me in my tracks. So, let me ask you. If you’re pursuing or riding with a love interest, are you coasting along Learnmore Road or racing down Efher Avenue?


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