Saturday, April 21, 2007

Okay, faithful readers, let's start off this post in a rhythm-and-blues vein...

For years I had a desktop that was bulky and weighed tons...
But now I've got a laptop, and it's also a lot of fun...
Except I keep hitting the wrong keys; I'm really paying my dues
And now I've got the finger-cramping, mistake-prone...

TOO-SMALL COMPUTER-KEYBOARD BLUES!

I never, ever, thought I'd one day possess a laptop computer. I'd see other people using them in coffee shops or on park benches or wherever, and I'd curiously look at their computer screens, trying hard to be unobtrusive so as not to interrupt whatever it was that the computer user was doing. Kinda makes me think of that old 60's song by a one-hit wonder group, The Nightcrawlers, which went, in part, "I won't let them stretch their necks...to see my Little Black Egg with the Little White Specks".

But, being dragged kicking and screaming all the way into the technical age of the "00's", I broke down and bought a laptop. Never mind that I was broke for about a month, eating lots of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches for dinner (hey, a computer user suffers for his art). I got a laptop. It's got a fair amount of Megs and Ram and Gigs and Bells and Whistles and all the other stuff computers come with these days. But wouldn't you know it...the place where I bought this computer, the very next day, received a shipment of laptops that had More Megs and Ram and Gigs and Bytes and Bits and Nibbles, for about the same price. That's right, I'd only had my laptop for ONE DAY, and already it was on the road to obsolescence.

And I must admit, although I am not predisposed to actually take my computer somewhere else other than my residence, that I can use this addicting little machine in any room of the house. I can go out into my bright sunny kitchen and (attempt to) blog and listen to my parakeets, who are always having lovers' quarrels one minute and then the next minute they're cuddling and cleaning each others' feathers. A co-dependent relationship if I ever saw one. If you've got a bad back, and are bone-on-bone in the knees like I am, it's still pretty easy to tote around a little laptop. Right now I'm sitting in the La-Z-Boy with my feet propped up, laptop on lap, the Headline News channel on 'mute', and Bob Seger on the CD player in the background. (Sometimes life is good, ain't it?)

And that's what's happening, folks, everything is getting smaller. I mean, just go ahead and try to sit in your La-Z-Boy chair with a desktop computer in your lap. It just can't be done. The little teeny-tiny laptop computer. With a flat keyboard THAT I'M STILL NOT USED TO! I keep hitting wrong keys that take me to other screens, or turn my type into italics (that time, it was deliberate), or I get all kinds of mini-browsers popping up into my screen because I've hit a wrong key. I think its safe to say that flat laptop keyboards are not very ergonomic; to have at least a chance of not making more than 30 mistakes per every 100 characters you type, you've basically gotta hold your forearms over the computer, not resting your hand on anything, letting your hands and fingers dangle down, hopefully hitting the right keys every once in a while.

I've lost entire e-mails because I hit a combination of wrong keys that the computer interpreted as a set of commands to do something else. I must admit that this isn't quite as drastic as hitting the nuclear warhead button when you meant instead to hit the 'intercom' button, but it ranks right up there as a royal pain in the derriere. (ha ha, ever politically correct am I...yeah, rright) You have to remember that I learned how to type in 1970, in my sophomore year in high school on an old cast-iron Royal (TM) 440 typewriter. You had to have bionic fingers to punch the key, sending the little iron character-striker upward to meet the ribbon, and then you had to heave the carriage return with brute force to start the next line...and then the next year, they put us on ELECTRIC typewriters, where if you hold down the key for one second too long, you get something like "RRRRRRRKKKKKKKOOOOOOOOQQQQQQQQ" or whatever letter that you happened to accidentally hold down. At least this laptop doesn't do THAT...although if I hold down the 'shift' key for too long, 'Hot Keys' (whatever they are) will activate themselves.

Another thing I have to watch out for: When I get outta the La-Z-Boy to do something else, I've gotten into a (bad) habit of placing my laptop computer on the floor. While I have threatened in the past, repeatedly, that I'd like to "drop-kick my computer" (normal computer aggression), I don't wanna accidentally STEP on my computer! (You can't do THAT with a desktop, either.) Right now, the sound of a "computer crunch" under my big feet wouldn't exactly be music to my ears. Oh, by the way, here's a little joke: "What do desktop and laptop users snack on?" "Barbecued Computer Chips", ha ha ha...
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Some other observations I've come away with lately, just lately...

The Media appears to be milking the Virginia Tech Shootings for all they're worth. In addition to reporting the event, they're reporting how other media are reporting the event, they're reporting how foreign countries are reporting on the event, they're reporting on what kind of equipment is being utilized to report the situation, they're interviewing kids on campus, they're waiting to report something with baited breath while they cover the memorial ceremony, they're going to the hometowns of the shooter as well as kids who survived and other kids who didn't make it. Grief abounding everywhere. The media trying to find someone or something to blame for letting the shooter continue his rampage after the a two-hour break; bringing in psychologists to analyze what was going thru the shooter's mind, airing the videotape of the assassin himself, and then today I heard a radio talk-show host saying how much NBC, who received the tape, failed us by broadcasting that tape. So it's now come full-circle. The media are pointing fingers at themselves. There's a fine line between reporting the news and making news of your own. Well, it's a 24-7 newsmarket these days. Gotta keep churnin' out them stories, after all.
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An unmitigated tragedy, such as described in the paragraph above, has taken the focus off Don Imus (remember him?), and his unceremonious firing last week after he said a "racial no-no", in reference to some female basketball players. Well, the news has just come down the wire, that Imus' Producer, Bernard McGuirk, got fired Friday. Bernie was actually the first to say the word "Ho", after which Mr. Imus then picked up on that term and amplified it with a 'certain hairstyle descriptive term'...I still can't get over how those three little words (nap-word, head-word, ho-word) got him dumped with blazing speed, ending a life-spanning career, just like that. Although Imus was wrong, my own feeling on this is that there were a heck of a lot of people who wanted to 'Get' Imus, the way they seized upon his mistake like rabid piranhas on a cow in a jungle river. A feeding frenzy. Until the next feeding frenzy comes around. Like Virginia Tech.
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I think it's time for me to take out a fork and eat some of the words I've printed on this blog. I am referring to a post I wrote a while back, which advised that, when you buy gas, don't look around for the best deal, because you'll spend more cash trying to find a good gas deal than if you just pull into the nearest pump. And I really did feel that way, too. Until I pulled into a gas station, where the price for regular unleaded is $3.15 per gallon!!! I live in a small town on the Oregon Coast. Gas prices are always higher here, right? I commented about this to a gas attendant, and he said, "hey, there's a lower price just down the street", and I ALMOST took his advice. Why I didn't, I'll never know. Must have had something to do with laziness and inconvenience. And going to the doctor's office and getting my blood drawn that day. Yeah, I just wanted to go home, so I could watch my co-dependent parakeets fight. Yeah, that had to be it. But I was tempted to go and look for cheaper gas! I suppose I could drive for about 80 or 100 miles until I get to the nearest interstate highway, hoping that gas is cheaper on a major thoroughfare. But I'd have to fill up again when I got back here. Sometimes ya just can't win.
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Okay, now I'll write about something I know nothing about...Alberto Gonzales, one of Prezzident George Dubya Bushed's henchmen, was testifying before some committee or other about why a bunch of judges around the country got fired...we've all heard the line that "they all serve at the Prezzident's leisure", which means, that if Bush don't like ya, yer outta here! (I think Don Imus knows how that feels). Anyway, Gonzales was being asked a bunch of probing, but still rather mundane questions about his role in the firings, why the firings were happened, what justification was used in the firings, yadda, yadda yadda, and the big development was that he actually made the Guinness Book of World Records for "the most frequent usage of the phrase, 'I DON'T KNOW' in a single day, under oath". Here's an excerpt from Friday's proceedings:

SENATOR: "Can you please state your name?"
GONZALES: "I don't know".
SENATOR: "Well, you are Alberto Gonzales, right?"
GONZALES: "I don't know. I'll have to get back to you on that."

...and it was all downhill from there.
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Meantime, I'll just cross my arthritic laptop computer fingers and hope that I've typed enough postings to survive the latest round of fierce blogger cuts at www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo, a sort of "omnibus blog site" that lists people who are crazy enough to blog as much as I do. That's the Huckleberries Online blog site; that's where all 3 of my faithful readers learned about this here blog!

3 Comments:

Blogger Silver Valley Girl said...

Yes, I too can relate to the small keyboard doing whacky things dilemma. I have learned to use Control Z to retrieve deleted information many times. I do enjoy your blog. Also enjoyed your list of CDA things on HBO last week. I didn't think I went to CDA much growing up, but I sure remembered a lot of things once they were put on a list.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

As for Oregan gas prices - how much does not being allowed to pump your own gas have to do with it!!!!

As for arthritic fingers - wit til you go the cataract route and they fix up your distance vision just fine but absolutely destroy your close up. I'm still trying to find a range for my computer screen that's compatible with my arm length!

There. I can rant too. And on someone elses blog! Sorry.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous lil' ol' me, yer friendly blog host... said...

Hey, there, Silvergirl...wow, I'd better remember that "control-z" thing in case I inadvertently hit the wrong key combinations on this laptop! I actually lived in the Silver Valley for a few years, and escaped to CDA when I could. I grew up in CDA and then my folks moved to the Valley. My sister lives in Pinehurst.

Hey, Mari the dogwalker...yes, my child, you, too, may rant on my blog. I might inadvertently "rant back", so if I do, please don't hold it against me. I'm bipolar, after all, so "ranting" is just a natural part of my makeup. And I don't have cataracts, but I have these annoying little "floater spots" in my eyes; especially grating when I'm looking at bright blue skies over the ocean.

4:25 AM  

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