I was going to write about writing and I will. Today however turned into the computer version of Murphy’s Law. Instead of slitting my wrists, I thought I’d share it with you, which would calm me down and keep the keyboard from getting all sticky.
It is important to me to publish on Sundays because I told you I would. I rarely leave the writing to Sunday because if I don’t leave enough time for several independent proof-readings, I make mistakes. When I make mistakes my friend Danny, proof reader par excellence, sends me a text and I have to go back into the blog and correct it, hopefully before anyone has read the first version. This week, for numerous reasons, I left it ’til today. Pressure.
This afternoon I finally had my act together and sat down to write. Unfortunately the computer didn’t have it’s act together. When I hit a key to type, nothing happened. Anything else within reason I wanted it to do, it did. However, I needed it to type. This has happened before. Like for several silly things computers do to irritate their users, the remedy is to turn it off and then let it re-boot. Feeling lazy I hit “restart,” so I wouldn’t have to lean over and push the button on the brain, a full arm’s length away. “Oh no,” my computer said, “you can’t fool me that easily!” So I hit the button, turned the computer back on while giving it a piece of my mind (“There, I pushed the button. ‘you happy now?), and waited for it to start up. It wasn’t happy. It had one more trick up its sleeve. It said, “Hey! You! I don’t know you from Adam so–password please!”
I don’t do well with password retention, so I try to use variations of a long one that in spite of length is usually easy for me to remember. If I can’t remember it, I can usually potchky around until I get it right. Now you would correctly think, “Well, why doesn’t he write them down?” The answer is, “I don’t know. I just don’t. And for no good reason.” I can hear my mother saying, “So you get what you deserve.” I should wear earplugs.
Actually the other day I started a list. But it was only half a list because while I wrote the passwords down, I didn’t write down what they went to! Today I finally turned over a new key, so to speak, and started a two column list. I also will look into something I was told about, a phone app called, “Vault.” It stores passwords. My fear is as soon as I work that out, I’ll lose my phone…
Anyway no matter how I jiggled around the pieces of my password, I didn’t get it right. Just to torture me, on one variation my nemesis gave me the coveted “Welcome” sign and a nano-second later it snatched it away and replaced it with a longer version of, “Wrong-go, dum-dum.” So of course I tried it again. I’m almost certain I heard the computer giggle as it did the very same thing. The third time it kept it’s mouth shut because it must have intuited my building rage and what I might do to it under the influence of that rage. Had it wrists, I would have sliced them along with mine. And to add insult to impending injury, it kept telling me that to reset the password, which it kept goading me to do, I needed a USB flash drive for the reset.
So in the midst of a good old fashioned Florida thunder and lightening storm, I went to Best Buy and told my sad tale to a blue-shirted 20 year old Geek guy who knows every possible thing about a computer there is to know. I ended by saying, “So I need a flash drive for re-setting my password. And he said, “Gee, I’ve never heard of that.” “Why don’t you buy a two gig one and try it. So I did. He also said, “If it doesn’t work, go to Microsoft.com, put in your password…… I just looked at him. So my 2 gig flash drive and I left and of course, it was a wasted trip as the computer, now pitch-forked with a flash drive, wagged a key at me and said, “This flash drive isn’t formatted for resetting passwords. So there. That’s what you get for stabbing me with that thing.”
With $7.00 down the drain, and fortunate that I hadn’t been struck by lightening, I decided to go for the $35 an hour fix and contact my computer guy. It took me ten minutes to carefully craft an email on my phone that got it all down right and easy to understand. I told him to pick his own passwords and let me know what they were and I hit send. No sooner than I hit send… I remembered the password. I typed it in, getting this time a lasting “Welcome” and all is well with the world. I wrote my first draft of this. It was only twenty til eight and I was starving but a promise is a promise.
Now I will put this aside, which is a phrase that is long out of date replaced with “save this,” so I can proof it later and hopefully hit “publish” before the mouse runs up the clock and strikes twelve. Meanwhile I’m going to go do something I know how to do and restore my self-confidence. I’m going to turn on the TV.
PS: I made it. I hit “Publish” at 10:44 pm. Of course, I’m so wired I’ll never get to sleep. I guess the computer won after all.
Bill Gralnick, sometimes goofy, sometimes thought-provoking, writes his blog “Atleastfrommyperspectiveblog.wordpress.com (almost) every Sunday.
If you’d like to read more of his lunacy or thought-provocation try his books, each $2.99.
Mirth,Wind, and Ire http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/692523 and
More Mirth, Wind, and Ire http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/758411.
Both books can be found through Amazon’s Kindle and on Barnes and Noble’s Nook, as well as on most electronic book selling outlets.