It’s not the grey(ing) hair & the wrinkles that make me feel old. There’s an easy workaround to that: don’t look in the mirror. & as long as I continue to keep up, more or less, with my over-rocketlauncher-powered & overpowering dog* I figure I’m still functional.** Physically anyway. Mentally . . .
It’s technology. It’s technology that makes me feel a good deal older than any hill you care to specify. I acknowledge that the general purpose of this blog is to give me a forum to rant about this or that, a this or that which is most often possessed by demons, but I’m getting a little tired of ranting, in an almost unbroken shriek of invective, about technology.
& the Disappearing Document thing with the new Microevilratbag is frelling ruining my frelling life. Is it really too late to change careers & become a . . . . . . a . . .
But I like being a writer.*** But any story I’m writing is gonzo whacked out bughouse enough, that’s part of the Creative Process, I want a nice, plain, straightforward, stolid, RELIABLE recording medium. Bring back the IBM Selectric.†
& so today our regularly schedule programme has in fact not been interrupted to bring you . . . ARRRRRRRRGH.
Somebody tell me why my footnote symbols, carefully collated & assigned, de-assign themselves? Some of them. Not all of them. After having worked just fine for however long it’s been since I started this blog scam again.††
The dagger shortcut key scarpered, taking that day’s limited ration of sanity with it†††, & presented me instead with some yelping menu offering me electrowhizzy entrees I’ve never heard of & don’t want to hear of & which furthermore wanted to override & unseat the relatively harmless, relatively familiar toolbar dangling at the top of the screen . . . but because that’s not nearly amusing enough to whomever is doing this to me‡ the double dagger shortcut key still worked. So did the squiggle.‡‡ Further interesting innovations include that both the infinity sign & the sun insisted that their shortcut key is the same thing. In a spirit of rational discovery‡‡‡ I returned to this document & pressed said shortcut key . . . & got a bunch of numbers. What’s even more interesting§ is that when I pressed the shortcut key again THE NUMBERS DISAPPEARED. At this point, fearing that Genghis & I had slid into an alternate universe§§ I tried shortcut-keying the double dagger & the (reinstated) single dagger . . . & when I shortcut-keyed them again, I merely got two of them. Which should have been reassuring. It wasn’t. In a world where close personal engagement with Microevilratbag is inexorable fate§§§ I have exchanged my faculty for being reassured with paranoid cynicism, a much more survival-oriented option.
Oh yes & a few days later the double dagger shed its shortcut key & bolted.
The latest fatality is the yen sign.☼ Which I had adopted as another of my Footnote Tree symbols since unfortunately I doubt I will need it as a yen sign any time soon. Instead of a yen sign I get another berserk menu of stuff I don’t want & have never heard of☼☼ & which, furthermore, again eliminates the ever-more-stupidly-overcomplicated tool bar I’m used to & can somewhat use. For things like bold& italic.
FURTHERMORE IF I GO TO THE SYMBOLS PAGE, THE YEN SIGN STILL DISPLAYS THE SHORTCUT KEY THAT I INSTATED, EVEN THOUGH WHEN I USE IT IN A DOCUMENT IT DOESN’T WORK.
I HAAAAAAAAAAAAATE MICRODINGADOODAHLING. Um. Squelch.
* * *
* I think he is the irresistible force and the immovable object all rolled up in one single terrifying hitherto-unknown-to-science organism. The way he eats, he is definitely an organism, not a mere cosmic entity.
** What’s the occasional crashing to the pavement ow ow ow among friends?^
^ I wish I could teach him to mend blue jeans. Where are opposable thumbs when you need them?
*** Sometimes. Not so much when I HAVE NO FRELLING IDEA WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO BE WRITING . . . or when somebody wants to know what I do for a living. Okay, here’s a good thing about getting old & wrinkly: people ask you that less than they used to because, obviously, you’ve retired. They can still ask you what you used to do for a living however. Lab rat cage cleaner. Uncorker of Ocean Bottles.^ Plougher & gritter of roads around a small town in NE Scotland. Lot of free time with that one. Does anyone else remember reading the story somewhere that WH Auden had, I think, ‘accountant’ on his passport so people wouldn’t talk to him? I hope it’s true.
+ with thanks to Orli, my over-achieving librarian friend. Chances are you will hear about her again on these virtual pages.
† Is there an echo in here?
†† Maybe there’s some fine print in the contract that says, This selection will only work for two/three/four weeks, because we don’t like your face & we think this is a silly shortcut to assign to this symbol but we like jerking you around. Who knew there was fine print?
††† See: gonzo whacked out bughouse. I love the idea of a creative process.
‡ I think I must be the particular assignment of some young aspiring Borg. A sort of modern techno Screwtape situation.
‡‡ This: §. Its official name is apparently ‘section sign’ which is boring & insufficiently descriptive.
‡‡‡ Not that I would know the concept of rational discovery if it bit me. Hey! Stop biting me, you—thing!
§ & not, I would say, particularly rational but that’s just me
§§ Since he’s sharing our bungie-corded pair of chairs with me, which is to say he’s wedged himself down at MY end—there’s most of an empty chair NEXT to me—& I am barely managing to keep my bony butt on the inch or two spare unpadded frame he’s left me—I am ASSUMING that if any sliding is happening it’s happening to him too.
§§§ Don’t even think about hymning Apple at me. I have an iPhone & an iPad & they are merely possessed by different demons. If Microdumdum is run by the Borg, who is behind Apple? The Dominion possibly? Ricardo Montalban would be a contender—all the glorious scenery eating, go Ricci, but that man-boob-revealing waistcoat is a way big yuck—but ‘Khan Noonien Singh’ is not a name I want to flail around a lot in current reality, &, speaking of names, I certainly don’t want to encourage something called Skynet.
☼ Why don’t they ever offer you something you want, like a fresh hot cup of tea on demand? Settings would include that you heat the cup first & that you only use loose leaves. But the Borg would be totally capable of remote finicky tea making. & while I’m woolgathering in my standard clueless way, I want a small precise hoist that will bring me my cup of tea just long enough to drink some of it & then winch it carefully back to the Aga to keep warm. I loved my tiny CRAMMED cottage back in Hampshire, but for most things this house is the clear hands-down winner. However at the cottage I was sitting arm’s-length from the Aga. Here I actually have to GET UP OUT OF MY CHAIR & TAKE THREE STEPS for another hit of tea. Feh.
Never mind all the shattering collisions of fact-dependent reality in the following: I sat on a stool by the Aga back in Hampshire because there wasn’t room for one chair let alone two bungie-corded together so your German Wire Haired Pointer can join you. The hellhounds had to wait for me to go sit on a sofa, but they had each other. When the hellterror became an only dog we moved to Scotland & she . . . started sharing my chair. Which made much better sense with something her size. But this is probably where I developed the habit of dog as hot-water bottle.
☼☼ If the sharp-eyed among you wondered why there was a four-squiggle footnote at the end of the last blog post when I try to stop at three per symbol^ that’s why. It was late, I was tired, I was NOT in the mood to go squirrelling around in sinister subterranean techno interstices. & if anyone did notice, you should be applying that heroic & supernatural focus & discernment to something useful like solving global warming or reducing the energy level of German Wire Haired Pointers.
^ this was a suggestion from several readers on the old blog who struggled with the Footnote Tree