flummery: (sootball)
Today has been largely consumed with email problems. I would not have guessed simply transferring the email to the new computer and making sure everything was okay could take this long, but everytime I turn around, I find something new and dismaying.

Three Things You Should Never Do With Email ) And then I had to go take a nap.
flummery: (sootball)
"You said I wasn't going to have to meet any of your friends of go out and be social during this visit."
"I lied."
"Can I read?"
"Not during dinner, no."
"Then I'm not going."

As you can tell from the above, not a lot has changed about the conversations I have with my Mom from my teenage years.

This weekend seems doomed to be a return to those teenage years, full of bickering, arguments, and temper tantrums (not all of them mine). Many of the problems have been a result of how they've been functioning with their computer all along. They'll view their actions as perfectly reasonable and I will inform them that in fact, they are psychotic.

This started when Mom proudly took me in to see her computer setup.

"What the hell is THAT?" was approximately what I said, although, possibly with more curse words.

"That's how I keep the dust off the monitor," she replied.

I wept for a while, and then I snarled, and then we fought. I can't really describe what she'd done in a way that does it justice. She had basically built a hutch around the computer monitor, using cardboard, styrofoam padding, duct tape, and a towel and sheet on top. It was as though she'd built a small house around the monitor -- one that was physically attached to the monitor with a whole lotta tape. The yelling ended when I finally had her put her hand inside the whole contraption to feel just how HOT a firetrap she had built. So then we spent a while ripping cardboard and tape off the monitor.

Then there was a lot of shopping and arguing and being misled by salemen at CompUSA, and purchasing of a new monitor and router, and forgetting to buy a new keyboard, and more bickering, and then finally unpacking and plugging in and testing, and reading of manuals and calling of support lines and by 2 am, I'm actually sort of impressed to say, we had the new computer up and running, the router talking to the dsl, and my laptop talking to the wireless router. Then, I went to turn on the old computer, to see what could be done with it, and remembered what we had discovered earlier... that we were short one keyboard.

Mom and Dad woke me up at 8:45 to tell me they were going to go buy the new keyboard. I gargled something terrible at them for waking me up, and they left. At 10:00 Mom called and let the phone ring and ring and ring and RING until I picked it up, and then asked me what KIND of keyboard they were supposed to be buying. By noon they had not yet returned, and I wondered how a keyboard buying trip could possibly have gone so terribly wrong. Half an hour later, they came back, and gave me food, which I fell upon and devoured like a hyena, and about as neatly.

All happy from the first protein I'd had in 36 hours, I returned to work on the old computer. And discovered that I could not reach the keyboard without sitting on my feet, because Mom has been using a chair that is so old it sits only a foot of the ground, has broken springs, and sags in the middle. I tried to cope with this for a while, and then just lost it. We spent the afternoon at office supply stores, and finally returned with a new chair which still is sitting in it's box in the living room. I can't feel bad about this, because no human being should be sitting that low to the ground while using a computer.

So now we have a keyboard, a new chair that hopefully, we will put together tomorrow, and I got the backup drive unpacked and cajoled it into talking to her crappy dying computer, which really, it turns out, was in pretty sorry shape. It's backing up like crazy now, and will be for a while, since it's having to make do with a USB connection. After a lot of discussion, we're giving serious thought to just junking the old dying machine, and using the second monitor as a dual monitor system on the new one. The usefulness of the evening, however, was mostly wiped out by the aforementioned mandatory-attendance social event. Hopefully we'll get more done tomorrow.
flummery: (sootball)
For those of you who knew, or cared, or were waiting with bated breath to discover if I had successfully made it to Maryland -- I'm here! (shut up. I know in my heart there are legions of loyal followers who were concerned for my well-being).

For the record, the route I took was approximately 545 miles, and took me... just over 12 hours. Not so great. I blame Pensylvania. I was making great time until Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was one gigantic construction project. And trucks. The ratio of trucks to regular vehicles was around 6 to 1. And they all hated me, because I wasn't going fast enough for them. I don't care. I am not a great driver to begin with, I have issues with heights, which, it turns out, Pennsylvania is FULL OF, and I did not appreciate the truckers grumpily honking and passing when I would only go 65 mph in the slow lane, in areas marked 55 or double penalties, which were ALL UNDER CONSTRUCTION. One horrific patch had cement barriers on either side of one lane of traffic for eight straight miles. My brain couldn't cope and I whimpered and panicked for all eight, while everyone resentfully trundled down the mountain after me at something like 45mph. Awfulness. I need a better route home.

But, I made it, sometime around 6pm, 12 hours and 545 miles later, and for what, you ask? Well, 8 months ago now, my Mom's bitching about the sorry state of her computer led me to... build a new vidding computer for myself, actually, and send her my old one. Which, while old, was still a pretty damn good computer, since I'd been using it for vidding, and it had a speedy processor, and dual monitor video card, and tons and tons of harddrive space. So I thought "Ha! she'll have a bright new shiny computer, and the old crappy one, which surely isn't as bad as she claims, and she and Dad can stop fighting over computer time, and I'll even send her this lovely 120 gig Maxtor external drive for backups as a bonus gift!" It was the perfect plan.

Eight months later, eight months of questioning, and cajoling, and begging, and threatening, and hysterics and a whole lot of cursing,... the computer still sitting in the box I'd shipped it in, without every having been turned on, while my mom said things like "You don't understand how much we have to do," and "It's not as easy for us as it is for you to understand computers," and "you don't understand how much time I have to spend keeping the old one going. All our stuff in on it." Eight months, of me pointing out things like "I have this friend Margie who VIDS WITH ME and if you didn't want my old vidding computer, you know? I think she'd have found a nice home for it," and also "120 gig External drive and *I* could be making backups and it's still in it's BOX?!" and finally I just screamed and said "FINE! I'll come down and PLUG IT IN FOR YOU! I will even hit the ON BUTTON FOR YOU!" and here I am.

And I will undoubtedly be writing a whole lot more about this trip... soon.
flummery: (hat 2)
There is an episode of Star Trek, Next Gen, where an alien, driven insane with grief by the loss of his wife, destroys an attacking invasion force. His power is such that he doesn't stop there:

"You don't understand the scope of my crime. I didn't kill just one Husnok, or a hundred or a thousand. I killed them all. All Husnok... everywhere."

If I were to kill, say, all stupid customers, everywhere, would I feel such guilt and remorse? I do not think so. Oh, sure, maybe later, a couple thousand years or so in the future, as I was sitting around having a drink with friends, I might suddenly feel a pang. But really. Probably not.

Why Customers Should Not Be Allowed Too Much Power )
flummery: (hat 2)
Some days, I wonder. Self, I wonder, if you were to go head-to-head in a stupid user war with Katrimae, who would win? Many days, it's clearly Katrimae, whose library patrons should all be shipped off to their own, scary little country. Other days, it seems just as clear that if I had been keeping a log of this shit for the last few years, I could have written a book and I would be WEALTHY by now. WEALTHY, do you hear me?

This week, I feel the need to give out awards.

Award to the Customer Who is the Most Persistently Ignorant )

The Award to the Company Most determined to Stay in the 20th Century. Or Possibly, the 19th. )

Of course, the Absolute, All Time Winner, still goes to that guy who years ago, called up and shouted at us thusly: )

Wealthy. I'm telling you.

September 2015

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