Hell of a Guy
Chance favors the prepared mind - Louis Pasteur

Sunday, February 13, 2011

People Who Love People…

02/13/2011

The scene: Yesterday about 1pm; the venue, Brewers Alley, Frederick, Maryland, and the reason for our visit, lunch and a libation or two.  The bar area crowded with just a few seats at the three-sided bar where we always sit, but only two seats together side-by-side.  One tangent of the bar has space for five stools though one of them sets at a space in front of a pillar about two feet square, and offers no view and just about enough bar space to set a glass.  This seat was empty, and while it offered a space where the two of us could have seated ourselves, it would not have been very enjoyable or comforting.

There was a guy sitting at the very end of this section of the bar next to the wall (1), next to him was an empty space (2) and then another guy sat in the third space.  The fourth and fifth seats (the one behind the column) were empty.  The Nancy and I took the empty seats hoping the guy occupying space three would offer to slip over one to allow for our comfort and enjoyment.  It was more than obvious this guy had no intention of moving down as he sat there enjoying his beverage and lunch and never took so much as a cursory glance in our direction.  He was either inconsiderate of the needs of others, totally oblivious of what goes on around him, or just plain ignorant, or maybe just totally brain dead.  You get to pick one.  I have to wonder sometimes what the hell goes through peoples minds; how they can ignore the obvious, but then there are those who don’t give a shit.  We finally got two seats together when a couple opened up at the other end of the bar.   

A little later that afternoon I went into a grocery store while The Nancy had her nails done (with little hearts on them for Valentine’s Day – don’t tell her I told you?).  It is beyond me how inconsiderate some people are when it comes to others.  This may sound funny to those of you of a liberal bent coming from a republican – whether a moderate such as me or ultra conservative as some others tag themselves.  In any event, inconsiderate people rattle me to the core. 

Those who park in spaces reserved for the handicapped really tick me off when I see them get out of the vehicle with no obvious disability and saunter off to a store not caring whether or not the space might be needed by someone with a true disability.  They must figure because a handicapped tag hangs from the mirror in the car they are then eligible to park in those reserved spots.  By the way, I do not consider age a handicap, so the elderly do not get a pass from me on this.  If being elderly qualifies one for this privilege, in the future more than half the spaces on a parking lot will have a handicap symbol on them.

The other act a lot of people feel is okay at a grocery store is to leave their damn carts in the middle of an empty parking space or on the lines between spaces.  There are certain areas on the lots that are designated for empty carts called “Cart Drop Off.”  It bugs me when I see someone push a cart toward one or in one helter-skelter.  Good grief, how much difficulty would it be to push the damn cart in the area and also nest it with the one in front of it, so the poor guy who has to go out in the cold to schlep them back into the store doesn’t have to drag them out one at a time to nest them properly.  It’s just a common courtesy, for crying out loud, why do so many people overlook it?  Perhaps it a little Pollyannaish of me to think as I do, but would it be so hard for people to look around them to see what they might do to assist others, maybe make someone else’s life a little easier, their burden less? 

As an aside, don’t even get me going on the issues I have with people on airplanes.  It just ain’t pretty.

Not too terribly long ago there was movement to perform “Acts of Random Kindness.”  What ever happened to that?  Are we so self-centered and living in the world of “Me First” that we cannot see what is going on around us?  I am not condemning everyone, just some.  There are those in this world who step over people who have fallen helpless in the street.  People who will walk around a man who has been struck by a car and lay in the middle of the street as other cars drive around him, no one lending a helping hand.  People who hear another screaming for help, but offer no assistance, not even a phone call to the authorities.  I just don’t get it.

We are all so much a part of this universe we live in.  We are connected to one another in so many ways.  I am one who believes everything I see, touch and feel is inexorably part of the Universal Presence some of us refer to as God.  I cannot turn my back on you if I tried, we are all one.  As I often tell my wife, “I am here for you.”  And, I am here for you, as well.

And that is all I have to say about that…

 
Saturday, February 05, 2011

Laptop Woes!...

02/05/2011

The first computer anyone in my family ever owned was a Commodore 64.  We bought it mostly to play exciting games like “Pong” and there was another on it I cannot recall name but the object was shoot invading dots of something from the sky before they hit the ground – all of this in magnificent black and white.  After a while we moved into high tech and purchased a 486 model.  We moved up to Donky Kong and PacMan, and in color, no less.

My foray in the world of laptops came in 1999, I think.  A Toshiba graced my office and rarely ever left it, unless I was traveling.  We accessed the internet through Sprint dial-up, it was slower than the US Postal Service and connection was never guaranteed.  I had that one about two years and it was hopelessly outdated.  Since the Toshiba days I have had three or four upgrades, and new models with additional capabilities.  The one I use now is a Dell Latitude E6500, and my nimble fingers are artfully dancing across this keyboard codifying this masterpiece of nonsensical bull shit.

About a month ago I noticed I could not open the disc drive on this thing.  I had to remove the whole unit and open the drawer manually, and then replace the unit in the slot it came out of.  It was real pain in the posterior, if you get my drift, but then I rarely have to insert a disc for any reason.  While at my company’s plant in Arkansas last month I got the IT dudes to take a look at it.  They fixed the drive to operate as it should; however, shortly after getting back to my office the laptop began to do some weird things.  For one, an error message pops up every once in a while telling me a USB port with an attached device has failed.  Problem is there is nothing attached to any port, so I ignored the message.

Early last week while in my office the damn contraption (as I fondly refer to it) would not boot up.  I pressed the start button, a fan would begin to run as some lights on the keyboard would flicker, followed by an exasperated hiss and an immediate complete shutdown.  I quickly realized, being the computer giant that I have become, this was not a good thing.  Over the weekend it seemed to be okay and I passed it off as an anomaly.  Guess what?  Anomaly my ass, this damn thing is screwed up.

I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky on Monday.  The laptop performed as it should Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday it acted out and needed to be severely punished.  It took me well over an hour to get this to boot.  I so wanted to smash it to the floor and jump on it.  Another call to our IT people and then to Dell saved it.  I have a Dell technician coming to my house supposedly on Friday to replace the “processor” – whatever the hell that is. 

I lived the first fifty-five years of my life without a laptop and got along quite nicely without it.  Now, at the slightest faltering of this thing I panicked big time.  I just knew life as I now know it was about to be interrupted big time.  How in the hell did this happen?  Just to think, this damn thing and my iPhone are always very close by me these days.  I cannot watch TV at night without checking Facebook and email periodically.  My iPhone dings every time I get an email, and I instantly grab for it to see who needs me.  What is up with that?  We all have been duped, conditioned!  Pavlov would not have been surprised at how easily we have been conditioned. It’s nuts!

Retirement is just around the corner for this boy.  I have already told Nancy I need to buy a laptop for my use when I turn this one in to my company.  The iPhone is company property, as well.  I wish I could live without both, but I am nothing more than a Microsoft robot these days just as much as the rest of you.  God help us!

And that is all I have to say about that…