Ping Pong

A post where you follow the rapidly bouncing little bright ball of my ADHD intellect, from subject to subject, to subject, sometimes alighting, sometimes flitting away like a butterfly.

I sent Madame Weebles a one-dollar, and a two-dollar Canadian coin, Loonie and Twoonie.  While she has other foreign coins, she had not obtained these.  She told me that she had a British Two-Pound coin.  It is bi-metal, similar to our Twoonie, only gold-colored on the outer ring, and a silver inner disc.  It’s a thick, heavy coin.  Instead of the edge being milled (grooved), it’s engraved with the Isaac Newton quotation, “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants.”

I whined that I didn’t have one and protested how difficult it could be; yet admitting that one might be as close as a phone call to a local coin dealer.  We took the dog to PetSmart for a wash and trim, while we waited, I took the wife to the WalMart in the plaza down the street.  Since it was the day before my birthday, the wife offered to buy me lunch.  We used the multi-choice food court right beside WalMart.

We had been unable to obtain some coconut-oil pills for her at our nearby health food store.  As we sat eating, I spotted a National Nutrition store, just down the mall.  After I shoved in my last bite, I walked over and found that they had the pills for an even better price.

On my way back, I noticed a Currency Exchange outlet, so I ambled over and asked the clerk if they had any foreign coinage.  “Oh no!  No coins!”  That’s too bad; I wanted an English Two-Pound coin.  “Pounds??  We’ve got Pounds!” I walked back with a smile and my coin.  Thanx Weebs, for using the cattle prod to get me moving.

I posted earlier, that the son’s employer makes parts for a company which also is making parts for an up-coming moon-buggy.  Product items can be boring or interesting.  Aside from a new customer’s commercial egg-washing trays, he now also makes small quantities of strait-jacket keys.  These are ring-shaped, powerful, rare-earth magnets, molded into a plastic fob.  With no external hole, the locks are unpickable.  I’ve kept a key, just in case.

Something else he just made 450 of, was mouthpieces for bagpipes.  Since pipers need both hands to operate the pipes, the mouthpiece is clamped between the teeth, and wears and needs replacement regularly.  We don’t know how many sets of pipes there are in Canada, or how far afield these go, but that’s a year’s production.

As a non-religious person, I have no problem with the Quebec government’s attempts to remove religious symbols from display on persons employed by the government, particularly those whose duties include interaction with citizens.  This is not an attack on freedom!  While people have freedom of religion, others also have freedom from religion, when dealing with the government.  No religion requires someone to work in government, but most of us must deal with it regularly.  Why must I accept the presence of religious symbols, while accessing services from my secular government?

To suggest that government should only attempt to deal with one segment of religious symbolism, Muslim modesty garments, and not others, would mean a government would be prejudicial in its treatment of its employees, based on their religion.  That would be an attack on religious freedom.

Not that I’m saying that WordPress would lie to me….but, early the other day I, accessed my stats page.  WordPress claimed that I had had 4 visitors, for 19 views – 12 from South Africa, 2 from United States, 1 from United Kingdom, 1 from Namibia, 1 from Viet Nam, 1 from Thailand and 1 from the Netherlands.  7 different countries produced only 4 visitors??!  And, strangely, they were all for the same post, the comedy, Instant Philosophy Degree.

A couple of years ago, the wife caught a killer nasal virus infection.  When it finally abated, weeks later, she discovered that she, the great chef, had almost no smell or taste ability left.  I got a brevet promotion from busboy, to official taster.  “Does it taste rich?  Does it need more salt?”

After about a year, she got a referral to an Ear/Nose/Throat doctor.  By then, she had regained some, but he told her that any further improvement was unlikely.  She has sleep apnea.  Like many others, including BrainRants, she uses a CPAP machine at night.  Having some problems and concerns, she requested another referral to the same ENT.

He noted that she has a deviated septum, not badly, but added to other factors, it was causing problems.  He has booked her into surgery on September 30 for repair.  Instantly, the bureaucracy kicked in.  She has had to go to the hospital for a pre-surgery information session.  She had to take with her, all the medication she takes, including vitamins and “herbals,” in their original containers.  She has been told that she has to stop taking several of the herbals, and her heavy-duty pain pills, for a week before her surgery.

No “thought” is given to the directions.  She must drink four cups of cranberry juice the morning of surgery, before she arrives at the hospital, but she is not allowed to take her concentrated cranberry pills.  She must bring her CPAP machine with her but, because her face will be swollen, she will not be able to use it.

She must, again, bring all her pills in original containers but, those medications the hospital deigns to dispense, will be from their stock of generic, NovoPharm products that she is often allergic to, because they use milk sugar as a filler.  I have told her to bring her own stock of the allowable meds, take them, and throw theirs away, but she is a compulsive rule-follower.

A comedian told of having his ear wax flushed out.  On the way home he thought someone was following him, because he could hear his own footsteps.  A man I spoke to at the Free Thinkers had a bad nose fixed.  They packed it after surgery with gauze.  Two days later, when he went in to have it removed, he said it was like the magic trick with the handkerchiefs.  They pulled gauze out, and pulled gauze out – and pulled gauze out.

He said that, like the ear guy, for about an hour, the nose worked so well, he could smell what time it was.  Maybe the wife will get a bit more of what she lost, back.  We assume/hope that all will go well.  It’s a simple, routine procedure.  There’s no reason it shouldn’t.  I’ll keep you informed.

Advertisements

I’ve Been Thinking – Again

If this keeps up, it may become a habit.  The first day of September was a Sunday, which made the 15th a very early “third Sunday”, which is the day for the monthly meeting of the Free Thinkers.  The first time we attended a meeting, our sister city was holding an Open Street fair, and the handicapped daughter and I had to hobble two blocks, to get in.

On this 15th, Open Street was on again, but opening was delayed till noon.  The daughter’s BarterWorks group had reserved some space.  She wanted to attend the Free Thinkers, and then have me deliver her down the street to set up.

As sometimes happens, the son’s weekend sleep schedule was destroyed.  So happy and wound-up that the work-week was over, he couldn’t go to sleep Saturday morning, and was still babbling till 3:00 PM.  We woke him again at eight, so that we could all eat supper between 9 and 10, but he was asleep again shortly after midnight.

Before he crashed, I offered him a chance to attend.  Sure enough, when I rose Sunday morning, he dressed, and came along with the daughter and her friend.  He and I sat on opposite sides of a long table.  He talked to the people to my right, and I talked to people to his right.

He might not have the highest IQ, or be the smartest person where he works, but he damns himself with faint praise by claiming he’s the best spoken.  That doesn’t take much.  He expounds clearly, concisely and knowledgably, on a variety of subjects, both trivial and serious – and gets nothing back.  He was thrilled to spend time in a roomful of people who, not only kept up, but caused him to stretch himself.  He wants to ride the ride again.

On our way to the downtown hotel, we came out of a side street behind a plaza, and turned down a four-lane, one-way street toward the main drag.  Three wide, we and two other cars, went up a rise and around a bend – to suddenly confront a car coming directly at us, going the wrong way.  He quickly pulled to the curb so I could go past.  I watched in my mirror.  As soon as the rest of traffic cleared, he pulled a U-turn.  Only 25 days till Oktoberfest, I think he was from out of town.

While many free thinkers tend to be individualists, there is still an urge for like to join with like.  We accepted a business card from a lady representing www.sacredsecularsanctuary.com which offers support and guidance to those leaving their religious safety nets.

The group president was on a business trip to Switzerland, so neither he nor the ex-Mennonite lady was there.  The oldest member, while in apparent good health, had suddenly died.  We offered no prayers.

Since the set-up for the street fair was to begin at noon, we left early – about 12:10, and not a moment too soon.  They had blocked off the street, and were just about to block off the hotel’s driveway when I backed onto the street.  I didn’t get downtown for this summer’s Cruise Night, but got to look at 50/60 examples of beautiful classic cars as I slowly threaded down to where the daughter needed to set up.

While the food is good, the prices reasonable, and the service crisp, efficient and friendly, the old hotel where they hold these luncheons is an old hotel.  The room we use is a half flight down from the already basement restaurant.  It was a malting room for the brewery, with the tanks removed.  The inscription on the doorway lintel stone reads 1856.

With no elevators, and lots of steps, it makes it difficult for folks like the daughter to reach.  We would normally skip next month, but they’re trying a newer hotel in downtown Kitchener.  It has elevators, lots of free parking, and is much closer to the daughter’s house.  We’ve decided to attend, try it out, and cast a vote.

While not a rousing commercial success, the daughter’s afternoon with BarterWorks was fun, and a chance for further social interaction, something that’s limited for the mobility-impaired.  She ran into an old friend she hadn’t seen in years, and gabbed and gushed and got caught up.

She took along the newest one (to her) of her spinning wheels, for demonstration, and entranced gobs of lookers.  It’s 40/50 years old, and worth about $500 new.  Somebody must have turned grandma’s stuff in to the Thrift Shoppe, where she found it, and picked it up for $25.  I came back to pick her and the wheel up just before it rained.

Native Canadian Indians have a strong presence at each of the universities up in Waterloo.  At U of W, the larger, each fall they hold a Pow-Wow, much like a smaller version of the Multi-Cultural Festival held in Kitchener’s Victoria Park.  It will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28.  This would be the normal day for the daughter’s BarterWorks display, but she applied early enough, and was granted space at the Pow-Wow.

A table at the University will give her much more exposure than at the little BarterWorks get-together, probably with more cash sales.  Also, it will be a 9 to 5 session, instead of only 11 till 3.  I will be up early to haul all of her stuff, including a wheel and the nylon gazebo for weather protection, along with her, her friend, and the grandson for support.

No drugs, no booze, no dancing, no all-night raves, no random, anonymous sex, (well, none I’m admitting to), doing things the old-fashioned way, this is the exciting way we spend a day or weekend.  Like Hercule Poirot, we stimulate “the little grey cells” to have fun.  I’ll report back, and tell you all about it.  You’ve been warned.

Benny

Once upon a time, long ago, in a faraway land, there lived a poor beggar named Abu Ben Sharif.  He was known to all who met him as Benny the Beggar.  One day, a fantastically fortunate thing happened to Benny.  As he was trudging his dusty way down a long, hot road, he met a fancy coach coming the other way.  As the coach thundered past him in a cloud of dust, Benny noticed something fall from the coach, and bounce into a roadside ditch.

Curious to see what it was, he went over to pick it up and look at it.  It was a shiny brass lamp.  Now, of course, Benny had heard the story of Aladdin’s magical lamp, but he didn’t believe in things like that.  Still, if all the dust were brushed off it, it would look a lot better, and probably bring a higher price, if he decided to sell it.  Besides, it wouldn’t hurt to shine it up a little, just in case.

Of course, we all know what happened!!  As soon as Benny rubbed the lamp, a giant genie appeared and called him “Master”, and promised him anything he wanted, any time he wanted, for as long as he had the lamp….But….with one small condition.  He was never to cut his hair or shave his beard, for as long as he kept the lamp.  If he did, a terrible thing would happen to him, although the genie would not say what that was.

All went well for almost three long years.  Benny lived in the lap of luxury, eating and drinking the best, and wearing the finest clothes, surrounded by beautiful willing girls.  There was one small point of discontent, though.  He looked and felt scruffy.  All that hair got in his way, so he got to thinking, “Why shouldn’t I take all this hair off?  Why would a genie expect me to keep it??  This is silly!!  He probably wouldn’t care if I got a shave and haircut!”  So he did….and nothing happened.

“Ah!” thought Benny, “It was all just a bluff; just a big joke.” And he went on his merry way looking and feeling much better.  The next day though, the promised catastrophe occurred.  He picked up the lamp and rubbed it to summon the genie, so that he could ask for more gold.

As soon as the genie appeared, he looked at Benny and shouted, “You have broken your agreement!!  Now you will suffer the consequences!!!”  And, in a flash of light, and a cloud of smoke, faster than the eye could follow, Benny was transformed into a large, ugly-looking clay pot, full of dust and ashes.

“That’ll teach him.” said the genie, “A Benny shaved, is a Benny urned!!”

 

LOST DOG

Somebody put up a notice on the lamp-post in front of my house, about a missing dog.  He has three legs.  He’s blind in the right eye, missing the left ear.  His tail is broken.  He was recently castrated….and answers to the name LUCKY!

 

If I could live my life over again, I’d make the SAME MISTAKES, I’d just start SOONER!

 

Back when I worked in an office, a friend handed me, what I thought was a business card.  “Keep it handy.” he said.  When I had a chance to read it, it said,

“Your story has touched my heart.  Never before have I met anyone with more or deeper troubles than you.  Please accept this expression of my sincere sympathy.  NOW FUCK OFF and quit bothering me!”

Someone else slipped me a note which read:

 

Be Careful

Scientists have succeeded in

Producing an Atomic-Powered

Electronically-controlled,

Self-actuating, Totally automatic,

Mobile, Fuck-up Machine.

Now, you too can be replaced.

 

The New Priest

A new priest, at his first mass, was so scared he couldn’t speak.  He asked the Monsignor how he had done.  The Monsignor said, “Fine, but next week, it might help if you put a little Vodka or Gin in your water, to help relax you.

The next week, the priest spiked his water with lots of Vodka, and really kicked up a storm with his sermon.  After mass, again, he asked the Monsignor how he had done.  “Well, fine enough, but there are a few things you should get straight!”

1         There are 10 Commandments, not 12.

2         There are 12 disciples, not 10.

3         David slew Goliath; he didn’t kick the shit out of him.

4         We do not refer to Jesus Christ, as “The Late J.C.”

5         Next Sunday, there is a taffy-pulling party at St. Peter’s, not a peter-pulling party at St. Taffy’s.

6         The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost are not referred to as Big Daddy, Junior and The Spook.

Have a laugh, have a laugh, have a laugh on me!  Next post….who knows??!

Confusion, Profusion, Collusion

The old man stared bemusedly out his windows, at the expanse of his lawns and gardens, vainly trying to remember just what all happened.  It looked like a massacre out there, the aftermath of The Battle of Agincourt.  Bodies and clothing were strewn everywhere.  There were food platters, and drink containers.  (sniff)  And was there still a whiff of that delightful herbal muscle relaxant in the air?

He vaguely recalled singing and dancing.  Well, he hadn’t sung and danced, he was far too regal and restrained to do that, but his guests had.  The revellers had revelled, and the troubadours had troubed, making sweet music.  Was that a lute on his lawn?  And over there, proud in its Stewart tartan, but looking bedraggled as only an unused one can, was a deflated set of bagpipes, the skirl of which still rang in his ears and in his soul.  It was lying beside a guy in a plaid skirt, with skinny white legs and knobby knees.  Had they let Erickson across the border?

He had sat on a raised dais, beatifically nodding his head and doing that foppish hand-wave thing that Queen Lizzy the Twoth had taught him.  Presents were presented to him.  Epic poems of his purity and honor were declaimed.  High praises of him were sung out far and wide, and a good time was had by all!  He had certainly had a good time, and he hoped – thought all his honored guests had too.

Some careless partiers had kicked away a few of the supports of his grumpy old curmudgeon facade, but he could quickly fix that, by putting up a couple of ranty posts.  All in all, his many talented friends had combined to give him a most pleasant and enjoyable day. Hell, if he thought he could swing another party like that next year, he might even agree to turn 70.

*

*

*

A heartfelt thank you to one and all, for making yesterday a wonderful and memorable celebration.   😀

A Very Merry Un-Birthday

That’s what I wish I was having.  I wish that I would have no more real birthdays.  It’s a good thing that I have never mentioned in my blog, the fact that I’m old, and that I’ve never posted “Remember When” stories, never commented on the slow, gradual reduction in abilities, never admitted that I’ve got Alzheimer’s, because I forgot that I’ve done all of the above.

Today I turned 69.  What an ugly number!  If only I could re-enact the Benny Hill skit where he floats through the pub, crooning 21 today, 21 today.  It was the number of beers he had scammed people out of.  I don’t think I ever drank 21 beers in one day, but I’d like to be young enough again, to try.

Ven ve get older, ve get schmarter.  Vell, zome of us does.  If I was all that smart, I wouldn’t have got this old.  Where in Hell did the time go?  I’ve got memories for all the intervening years, but it seems like only yesterday I was 21.

I knew that I had officially passed into old fartitude back in February, when I found that I couldn’t sleep without my socks on.  Even in June, when we threw the blanket off the bed, I still needed my socks.  My normally low blood pressure and slow heartbeat just doesn’t pump enough blood to the extremities any more.  How embarrassing.  What’s next?  Will I have to have BrainRants make up another woobie, for me?

I’m actually happy to have a day that’s all about me; I just don’t need a birthday cake with so many candles, that it can be seen from orbit!  At least I live in green, moist Southern Ontario.  If I lived where Rants is from, they’d be blaming me for the wildfires.

I’ve collected things during my life, car medallions, airplane medallions, book series, coins.  I’ve always been thrilled to get a complete set, but I’m not thrilled to have collected a set of reminders of how long ago some of those things occurred.

As usual, I’ve started this draft long enough ahead of the actual day to give me plenty of time to really work up a good case of “Sorry For Me.”  I’m sure the family will fête me into happiness.  I’ll get to choose a treasured meal menu, and even if the inevitable presents are inexpensive, as I insist, I will have the family fawning over me.

Back in the spring, H. E. Ellis obtained some sensitive, biographical data about me by using the devious ploy of asking nicely.  Like the typical gullible, egotistic male, I gave it to the first pretty female who asked, hoping for a little attention.  She threatened to use it to expose me to the world on this day, unless I sent her a fifty-gallon drum of Canadian Maple Syrup.  Since I’m so poor I can’t even afford to pay attention, that didn’t happen.

She did mention me a while ago, when she told about me adopting Eddy the dog.  Since then, she’s been so busy and important, that she hasn’t even had enough time to push her mother in front of an oncoming bus on the information blog-highway.  I’ll have to check early.  If she’s actually thrown me a birthday party, I need to bring along the big bowl of homemade cinnamon applesauce we just completed, Yum, Yum!!

White Lady In The Hood is another lovely lady who has promised to massage my birthday ego, showing off her literary prowess by composing a satirical poem about my aged-ness and antique-itude.  My poetic ability stops right after, “The Moon is Lune.  I’ll see you soon.”  We should all go over there to see what she’s created.  I’ll bring along the applesauce.  Of all the things that have been done to me over the years, some of them legal, I’ve been satyrised, but never satirized.  I hope it feels good.  Do I need to bring along the K-Y too?

I’d be proud to occupy the position of Senior Statesman or Wise, Intelligent Elder Advisor, but I just checked my résumé, and don’t seem to find those abilities listed.  To identify my age with the Arabic numerals 69 is bad enough.  At least I don’t have to use the Roman-numeral letters.  I’m sure that combination spells out some horrible word.

People tell me, “You’re not getting older.  You’re getting better.”  I believe I reached the acme of my abilities some time back.  Now, all I’m getting better at, is getting older.  If you see a big cloud of blue funk hovering around, don’t worry, it’s just me.  It’ll dissipate in a couple of days, and I’ll be back, posting some juvenile collection of humor which proves my real mental age.

The sun officially went over my personal yardarm at about 2:00 AM this morning.  Lying in bed, crying about the inevitable, only gets tears in my ears.  Thanks for coming to my pity party, but it’s time to end all this morbid, morose moping.  Let’s get a Birthday Par-Tay underway.  Envelopes with worshipful cash, gratefully accepted.  Vive L’old grump!

At least next year’s 70 seems like a neater, rounder number.  Bah!  I’m still not looking forward to it.

Community Writing

I may have invented another new English term.  As opposed to “Committee Writing”, where two or more authors collaborate on a book, or books, Community Writing is when a group of authors each produce a book or books in a large series, by themselves.

About 1974, I read a science-fiction book titled The Guns of Terra 10, by an author named Don Pendleton.  Heavy on both sidearm and particle-beam weapons, and light on character development, it wasn’t the worst book I’d ever read, but, having been spoiled by the likes of Asimov and Heinlein, it was well down the list.

Several years later, I was attending a Christmas get-together at my sister’s.  The gals were cooking, setting tables and general women stuff.  The guys were downstairs in the rec-room, watching an exciting (Yawn!) hockey game.  I stayed in the living-room, hoping to score a snack before the real eating began.

I spotted a book that one of my nephews was reading and tried a couple of chapters.  It was by Don Pendleton and was number 15 in a series about an ex-army Special Forces who was waging war against the Mafia, who had destroyed his family.

Liberally stocked with things that go boom, but with much better character portrayal, it wasn’t long before I was haunting second-hand book stores to acquire the series from the beginning.  It took a while for word of mouth to let the series take off.  Pendleton wrote about 56 of these books before he, or his publisher, decided to farm them out.  They were being released on a monthly basis to keep up to the now-popular demand.

A group of 8 or 9 production writers was engaged to write individual books.  All Pendleton had to do was create story arc, co-ordinate timing and establish limits.  At about book number 85, some genius saw the limitations of a protracted fight against the Mafia, and “killed” the hero off, to have him reborn as Colonel John Phoenix, scourge of terrorists everywhere.

As well as the 250/300 page, numbered books, there were dozens of 450/500 page Superbooks.  I quit buying after number 216, and 30 or 40 of the Superbooks.  Finally dying off, the numbers approach 400.  To support the hero, Pendleton invented a three-man domestic team, and a five-man foreign-soil team, headed by a fox-faced Canadian, eh.

They were so popular that two other authors were handed the task of writing a series about each.  One guy got to 36 books, and the other to 52, before interest or writing ability died.

Besides ennui, one of the reasons I gave up that series was the discovery of another.  Jack Adrian dreamed up a series about a four-man, two woman, survival group in post-apocalypse America.  He wrote the first couple and then let his hired guns write about these hired guns.  The author name used is James Axler, but none of the 8/9 pet writers is named that.

The writing in the Pendleton series is so smooth and even, that all the books might have been written by the same person.  Not so with the Axler series!  It’s hit and miss.  Some are great.  The Mars Arena contained every literary reference imaginable.  Both Tom Sawyer and Mark Twain showed up, smooooth!  Hell Road Warriors, on the other hand, contained historical and geographical errors, as well as questionable technology.  Also, every chapter, sometimes almost every page, contained English usage errors.

This series is essentially about the man on the outside.  Adrian then dreamed up another series, set another hundred years in the future, basically about the man on the inside, who wants to get out.  Another group of 8/9 writers was hired to pump these babies out each month.  There is a bit of cross-pollination.  Occasionally one of the A-series writers produces a B-series book, and vice-versa.  At last count, there were 112 of series A published, and exactly half of that, 56, of series B.

Having followed the older series for ten years, and the newer one for five, through a total of almost 160 books, I’ve finally decided to stop buying them.  They’ve both become soap-opera-ish, especially the newer series; multi-dimensional sauroid space aliens called Annunaki, from Earth’s unseen twin planet Nibiru, controlling Man’s development for the past 30,000 years with the help of an evil dwarf named Sindri.  Every old superstitious story is woven in to sell more books.  Fun’s fun, but I’ve had enough.

I’m eight books behind and no chance of catching up.  I have 10 Clive Cussler books, and about twenty others to read, including the two “Locator” novels, and Pouringmyartout’s e-book, Saloon at the Edge of Everywhere stranded on Kobo.  My son has introduced me to some nice new books, including the 1632 series(?).

This started as a stand-alone book, positing a small Virginia town, suddenly stranded in 1632 Germany.  Having established the parameters, the author, Eric Flint, has invited other writers like David Weber, Virginia DeMarce (the irony), and Marilyn Kosmatka to take a bite out of his little universe and write connected stories from their literary viewpoint.  The print copies since 2000 number 26.

There is a strong online presence to these books, with a website and very active discussion page where fan-boys, and –girls, submit detailed short stories about mentioned characters and occurrences, to flesh out the narrative.  Flint reads them all, chooses the best, edits and accumulates them, and publishes them in print as The Grantville Gazette, I thru XII.

This is a different type of Community Writing from the above, and the wealth of detail makes the stories, and the people in them, as real as your neighbors, and a treasure trove of historical social study, from war, politics and religion, to love and marriage.

Out Of Touch

The good little New York, Jewish son called his momma every day while she wintered in Florida.  One day, in the middle of a conversation, he realised he couldn’t hear her.  He began clicking the hang-up button, and shouting, “Momma!  Momma, are you there?  Can you hear me?”  A technician, obviously aware of a problem on the lines, cut in and said to him, “I’m sorry sir.  You’ve been cut off.”  He replied, “I know, but should that affect my hearing?”

I don’t know how you “connected” people do it.  We were cut off from reality for a couple of days, (no smartass comments, please) and I was amazed at what I’ve grown used to, and reliant on.  The third novel of the Jack Reacher series arrived as an e-book, from the library.  The wife downloaded it to her laptop, and proceeded to put it on the son’s old Kobo, so that I could read it at my convenience.

The Kobo accepted the download, and she directed it to present it for reading.  “Restarting,” and then, nothing!   She plugged it back into the computer, but the computer wouldn’t even recognize it.  Took the little pin out, and poked it in the Reset hole in the back, poked it in the hole twice, three times, pushed it in and held it for ten seconds.  Did I mention, Nothing??!

Took it over to the electronics store.  The “Expert,” who was only a fetus last week, did exactly what we had done and then shook his head.  Apparently, the Kobo site mentions, “bricking,” where all the programs, and downloads, and commands, somehow run together, and jam the unit.  Even leaving it for six months for the battery to run down for a cold reboot, might not unjam it.  We decided to buy another one.  We thought of trading up, but decided to take a brand-new copy of the five-year-old tantrum-thrower.

We took it home.  The wife downloaded the Kobo library program to it.  It said, “Restarting,” and froze!  Damn, damn, damn!!!  The wife went to lift her laptop, and couldn’t hear the fan running in the cooling pad.  (See damn, damn, damn, above!)  Back to the electronics store the next day, for a no-charge replacement, and a $25 cooling pad.  Third time’s the charm, and I’m finally reading Reacher.

I took the wife to a Podiatric appointment Monday.  When we got home, she tried to phone the daughter.  No dial tone!  That meant that somebody, whose name is ME, had to ensure that every phone in the house is firmly on the hook.  Sometimes, the cats order pizza, while we’re out.  All phones a-okay, must mean it’s a Bell problem outside, so the wife punched in 611 on her cell phone, to reach Bell.

The home phone is Bell, but her mobile plan is with Telus, so she got the Telus office.  We’ve had problems with Bell services before, so we know the drill.  Again, ME, went around the house and unplugged all the phones except the last one used, (we know that one works!) including the DSL computer modem.  She dialled 310-BELL, and prepared to play the game.  Unplug all phones, including computer feed.  Done!  Plug back in a phone you’re sure works.  Done!   No dial tone.  The problem’s probably outside, but Bell has no other complaint, or work being done in our area.

The computer feed was working, but the phones weren’t.  How, and why unplug it?  Imagine two pipes, coming to a tee, and feeding the same tap.  Okay, then why unplug the computer?  That line may be affecting the phone line.  We need you to be home.  When would it be convenient to send out a tech?

We have appointments Tuesday and Thursday.  Could you come on Wednesday?  Sure, no problem.  The son works midnights, and hopes to sleep all day.   And if the problem’s  outside, why do we need to be home?  Bell might have to enter the house.  Okay, we hope to not see you on Wednesday.

We went to a chiropractor Tuesday morning and Costco in the afternoon.  When the son got up Tuesday evening, he told us that Bell had fixed the problem externally, and then rang the doorbell about 2:00 PM, which set the dog off, which partly woke him up, to hear the one phone ringing.  He trudged down the hall to the computer room, and heard the dog barking on the phone.  The repair tech was still outside.

We asked for a specific day and time, for a specific reason.  It was nice to get our phones and computer back a day early, but, while it was super-efficient, it was bureaucratically unreliable.  Just as we were preparing dinner, the phone rang.  It was Habibi – sorry, “Kevin” – wanting to clean my ducts.  Oh joy!  It’s a good thing we’re on that Do Not Call List.

We don’t Facebook.  We don’t Twitter, and we can live without telemarketers.  I was only without my blog, and the internet, for a little over one day.  No reading others’ posts, no comments, no likes, no online crossword, no definitions, no translation, no MapQuest, no researching arcane trivia.  I was going mad, I tell you, MAD!  For a disconnected old curmudgeon, apparently I need a lot of connecting – but I’m not getting a Bluetooth.  Even Putin thinks they’re gay.

Now that I’m back online, anybody got a comment?  Wanna click my Like button?  Anybody??  I’m feeling very lonely, and unloved, and disconnected over here.