Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Don't Contaminate the Crash Site

Have you ever had a computer crash? Well, let me tell you, from my own experience it isn’t pretty. I must say though, I now know more about what not to do than what to do in a computer emergency. I know I won’t perform CPU on my CPU (central processing unit)… ever again. Yelling at a computer will give you a whole new category in feelings of powerlessness. Watching as data slips away can be a frightening encounter but hitting the keyboard will do nothing more than tip over your bowl of corn chowder. By the way, it is impossible to blow corn chowder out of a computer keyboard. It was at that exact moment that the tower began to grind and squeal. It must have been the sound of the head whatchamacallit ramming into the spinning platter that stores stuff. After my tenth attempt at rebooting, I must have caused more damage. At least, that is what Franklin, my computer doctor said. My visit went something like this:
Franklin: Can you describe what was happening when your computer broke down?
Me: I had just finished talking on the phone to my friend, Rita about her overactive bladder. She says her bladder muscles contract inappropriately if you can believe that. Her doctor wants to put her on an antidepressant to paralyze the muscles but the side effects are scary. Blurred vision, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, nausea, insomnia…I think I’d rather pee my pants.
Franklin: I mean, what was your computer doing when it stopped operating?
Me: Oh, well I went to look up the website for the bladder foundation. I remember reading that you could remedy an ailing bladder with pelvic floor exercises. I think she should also consider a holistic approach and start taking Butterbur supplements. I laughed.That reminds me of Barliman Butterbur, you know, the owner of Inn of the Prancing Pony in Lord of the Rings?
Franklin: Then what did you do?
Me: When?
Franklin: When you searched the website.
Me: Oh yeah. Everything froze…even my mouse.
Franklin: And then?
Me: After turning the damn thing off, I rattled off cuss words until I completely ran out. Finally, I said a prayer and then anointed it.
Franklin: With what?
Me: Well, I didn’t think oil would be good for it and I didn’t have any holy water so I spit on it.
Franklin: So, you committed violence against your computer. Me: Oh, for God’s sake. Are you going to turn me in? Can’t you help me find the little black box that explains why the crash happened?
Franklin: This isn’t a plane crash.
Me: Okay, what about checking with the Sacred Hall of Computer Records or a scanning device of some kind?
Franklin: There is no sacred hall, there are no special tricks to research what led up to the crash unless I can look at it, and the only records for your computer would be inside it.
Me: So, it’s like a really big brain with information stored in different areas?
Franklin: Baby Brain.
Me: Excuse me?
Franklin: I’m assuming you are using a desktop PC.
Me: Well, it’s sitting on my desk, yes.
Franklin: Baby Brain.
I felt my chest tighten and my lower lip began to quiver.
Me: I feel like I’m locked in a big dark box and the directions for getting out are written on the outside. What I need is for you to read them to me, loud and clear in language that a five-year-old child could understand.
Franklin: My five-year-old daughter would have diagnosed the problem and had the computer up and running by now.
It took me a few moments to compose myself.
Me: Alright, Franklin, I’m going to draw a chalk line around this disaster. You just get over here and charge me your $100 an hour. But you better install an airbag because I’m never going to go through another crash like this again.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Inertial Informercial

I have a terrible habit of falling asleep in front of my television, spooning the remote. I suppose there are worse habits, and I wish it stopped there, but it doesn't. I usually come-to, around 3 am, when the cable station is showing one of those paid informercials. That's where all the trouble begins. Well, actually it began about thirty years ago when I woke up to Joe Karbo talking about becoming a millionaire, The Lazy Man's Way. The idea stuck in my brain like a day-old Cheerio to a porcelain cereal bowl. Far from the tiresome advice of staying focused and hungry. It is so much more appetizing to be well-fed and lazy. Earn money while you sleep...lose weight while you sleep...subliminal tapes that teach you the secret of positive thinking that only a few know. I love it. Count me in!
Last night, I woke up to, Shapely Secrets. It's a seven-minute motionless exercise program. My eyes snapped open like they were spring-loaded. There were women of all shapes and sizes giving testimonials about how this program sculpts their bodies in only 7 minutes a day, in a perfectly motionless way. My mind screamed, I can do that! It's five times more effective than a 40 minute work-out. Yes! You lose fat, never muscle. Yes! Imagine being a whole size smaller in just fourteen days. Yes! You just stand still and don't move. Yes! Yes! Yes! I felt like Meg Ryan in, When Harry Met Sally.
Now, mind you, I have ordered exercise equipment, videos and dieting books, all promising the same results, and if I added them all up, I would estimate I have lost somewhere in the neighborhood of three-thousand dollars. Suddenly, the voice of reason, at least I think that's what it was because I'm not very familiar with that voice, told me not to go back into that neighborhood. Not without back-up. For once, I listened, and I resisted the urge to pick up the phone and order this time. I was so excited, I felt like finding a 12-step group to report my success. Do they even have IA? Informercials Anonymous?
Of course, my excitement was short-lived. I just signed up for a, Laughter Yoga class. It teaches you to destress your body by laughing, without truly laughing. Ha! You're actually able to produce that thin film of tears which are squeezed from the lachrymal sacs during the act of laughter...or getting your taxes prepared. No strain, no pain.
I guess I'm just hooked on finding the easier, softer ways.