Brainless brainless brainless
. . . brainless*. Although this may have as much to do with my doomed attempt to begin clearing out my email inbox(es), which is a stunningly enervating activity, as it does with SHADOWS. Email tends to . . . creep up on me. In an avalanching sort of way. Okay anyone who hasn’t written to me since 1999 you’ve just been deleted. Maybe.
And what has brought on this clearly uncharacteristic seizure toward organisation and sensible limitation and manageability? Does anyone remember that something like two months ago I bought a new laptop because this one—yes, this one, the one I am still using—is stuffed to the walls, which are bulging in a virtual sort of way? I had the new one something like a fortnight while I complained savagely about being forced to upgrade both Windows and Office/Word** . . . and then I noticed that if I didn’t plug it back in overnight it discharged by about fifty percent, even if I never turned it on.*** Hmm, said the archangels, and took it away with them. Here Beginneth the Anti-Adventure. First they dorked around with it, and then they rang up the manufacturer, or rather the manufacturer’s customer service department in India, where the customer service representatives are not always as well-drilled in techie English as they might be, and then they had hot and cold running engineers coming to the archangels’ office to Perform Tests, and then even Raphael began losing his temper while I was saying ‘drop kick the sucker and tell them I want a new one or the CEO’s head on a platter.’
None of this produced the desired outcome. Eventually the wretched piece of twisted garbage was sent off to headquarters for pity’s sake—I’ve left out that they found about 1,000,000,000 other things wrong with it none of which I had encountered, which makes me wonder a little about the engineers—and they’ve swapped out almost everything, and they’ve now . . . sent it back. Point one: it would have been simpler, cheaper and much better customer relations if they’d just given me a new one SIX WEEKS AGO. Point two: I no longer want the ugly sod. It’s a frelling Friday afternoon machine and probably all the swapped-out parts are Friday afternoon replacement parts AND I DON’T WANT IT. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s anything I can do about this except write an extremely vitriolic letter to some CEO or other†—presumably google will provide a name—and if I get no response . . . hey, I can get a free blog post out of it. Raphael says that Gabriel has been keeping a beautifully detailed list of the pertinent mayhem which I will draw upon.
Meanwhile . . . I still urgently need a new laptop.†† Raphael is bringing the Mouldering Monster of Mordor back to me on Tuesday, with the free hazmat suit, and I’m trying to decide if it’s even worth it, at this point, to try to move SHADOWS onto the new, clearly unreliable and possessed by demons machine with the NEW OPERATING SYSTEM which I already know I frelling hate because it’s full of more idiotic little whizzy bits, or whether I should just hang [ha ha] with this one††† and keep the sticking plasters, the string, and the bottle of single-malt Scotch near to hand.
And while I’m trying to make up what there is of my mind to make up ‡ I thought I could at least hammer Outlook a little. Maybe it will relieve my feelings. And it will be less to move onto the Monster of Mordor.
* * *
* Since lovely darling adorable WordPress, revelling in its 1,000,000,000,000th special upgrade, still does not let you have italic or bold—or capital letters—in your title.
** I drive a seventeen-year-old car, why do I have to drive a frelling shiny new operating system with dependent gremlins? All I really need is the ability to create and edit text. Throw in a few minimal graphic capabilities and the power to move cautiously through the dead centre of what’s available on the internet and I’m fine. Windows 1887 would be plenty, and Word Venerable Bede.
*** Yes, I took it to bed with me too. The original plan had been to join something like Lovefilm^ and knit and fall asleep during some vague scrabblings at my intensive lack of knowledge of current screen-type pop culture.^^ One of the things I checked about the new laptop was that its battery could run an entire film away from the mains and survive until the next morning in case I didn’t feel like getting out of bed to plug it in to recharge.
^ Anyone have any customer experience of Lovefilm or Netflix? I think I told you Lovefilm keeps sending me come-ons because I cruise Amazon a lot. I did look at its opera catalogue and it has the ancient Beverly Sills LA TRAVIATA so I’m disposed in its favour, even though I would eventually need something else to watch too. I’ve been reading the comparative Lovefilm/Netflix reviews and . . . . unnh. I have this fantasy of streaming, and not just streaming but moving blithely from device to device which Netflix at least allows . . . but with my broadband that’s probably a really, really dumb idea+ NOT TO MENTION THE EXTREME UNLIKELIHOOD OF MY BEING ABLE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO THIS. I haven’t figured out how to shift from mere audio download book to book on Pooka: the few times I’ve tried something jams, decides it hadn’t downloaded in the first place (which it had), or loses my place, and trying to find my place. . . well, I probably needed to listen to that part again anyway, but as a long-term solution this is not satisfactory. In a perfect world I’d be moving fluidly from Japanese lessons to entanglement [sic] to Barbara Tuchman. Somehow I suspect that watching the first half of SWAMP THING VS. GODZILLA on the laptop and the second half on Astarte is . . . not on. Sigh. The Venerable Bede and I would have gotten along really well.
I’d better stay with DVDs by post. Lovefilm.
And while I’m on the subject of visual media, what are anybody’s favourite SF&F TV and/or films from the last, oh, ten years or so? Barring DOCTOR WHO. I know about the Doctor.
+ Raphael said, try it. You can always cancel. Ah, but Raphael doesn’t have head-exploding meltdowns when his tech misbehaves. At least not until after a month of talking to semi-English-speaking customer services in India.
^^ Plus ancient Beverly Sills operas.
† After I finish SHADOWS.
†† This one has developed the utterly terrifying habit of collapsing pages. Even someone who writes her drafts straight through does need to be able to move back and forth a bit, and this laptop is no longer willing to move back and forth and you suddenly discover that entire SWATHES of your manuscript have disappeared. AAAAAAUGH. Thus far they’ve always reappeared again but it’s not doing a lot for my peace of mind.^ And yes, I tried breaking up the ms into separate files, but since this collapsing thing may happen on any file more than about a dozen pages long, this is not too practical.
^ Now imagine how often I’m backing up. No, oftener than that.
††† Assuming that the Collapsing Thing does not get worse.
‡ Maybe I could just import a Tyrannosaurus Rex to eat all the bad guys? Then I don’t have to worry about the ending.
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