I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE MICROSOFT.
So. Hello. Returning at last to what is supposed to be the new blog. Perhaps slightly depending on how many more things go wrong.
[QUITE A FEW ACTUALLY. THIS POST SHOULD HAVE GONE UP THURSDAY OR FRIDAY LAST WEEK. DEPENDING ON HOW BAD MY BLOOD-PRESSURE HEADACHE GETS I MAY TELL YOU ABOUT IT IN SUBSEQUENT BLOG(S) OR I MAY NOT.]
I’m sure there’s at least one post on the old blog that has exactly this same title*. Although the number of ‘A’s may vary. I would guess there are more this time. I am not mellowing in my old age. Especially under the kind of extreme provocation that life in the computer age produces.
. . . & at this point I fell down a deep, even for me, Wonderland type rabbit hole, of footnotes. Microsoft Also Eats Your Brain, although those of us with ME may be more susceptible.** But I don’t really want to engage with this loathsome planet-sized piece of mushy bloatware*** even to yell about it & footnotes are almost as good a distraction mechanism as Genghis is.
& furthermore . . . where to begin?
Well, here’s one place to begin. The Epic Bozos who fell off line as described in my last blog post . . . are still off air. They keep posting these ‘we are working hard to provide alternative email access to our customers while our investigation into WHAT THE SCREAMING DOODAH HAPPENED is ongoing. No, we have no idea. No, we have no idea. No, we have no idea.’ They have helpfully provided a list of most-asked customer questions which answers are all variations on a theme of Our Investigation Is Ongoing & No We Have No Idea About Anything.† Oh yes & there’s a video on how to move yourself to the shiny new platform they have provided while their Investigation Is Ongoing, which will work just fine, it being new & shiny & all, Epic Bozos say so, & their credibility is FABULOUS, right? SIMPLY FABULOUS. & as long as nobody notices that tinfoil is very shiny & does the shiny part really well till someone loads it with anything heavier than a (virtual) dog biscuit whereupon it collapses. Shiningly. Also, a video of how to move your crucial irreplaceable email life to this ramshackle gantrey? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA stop stop you’re killing me. There have been moments, these last few days, of software Abaddon, when even Young Beowulf†† has been brought to a halt. Briefly. But still.
So, The Story Thus Far. Epic Bozo Co fell off the wrong side of the Event Horizon & I had no email. No. Email. I live by email, whether I like it or not, & its absence was, you know, terrifying. Young Beowulf said that finding me another provider††† was not the issue. YES IT IS!! IT IS THE ISSUE!!! No it isn’t, he said, patiently, & then prepared to lay his phone down & run into the next room & slam the door as soon as he added: The issue is that we’re going to have to move you to the new Microsoft Office Package
. . . for the new provider to talk to.
Which is what has been happening the last few days/epochs while star systems rose & fell. Young Beowulf has been muttering about the new Office for . . . quite a while & I have been valiantly ignoring him. VALIANTLY. But even Young Beowulf will turn all mean & nasty & threatening if I refuse to submit to Microsquelch tyranny after they stop providing support for the current package I was forced to get used to the last time they got bored & decided to upend as much of world civilisation as they could get their grubby little system units on. So the date of my agony & affliction was marching relentlessly toward me anyway. It was merely arriving a little early.
So the thing I hate WORST? Guess. Go on, guess. You got it in one, didn’t you? THE MICROSQUELCH WORD EDITORIAL [INSERT GRAPHIC PHRASE FOR TOXIC RUBBISH HERE] . . . malarkey. It was bad in the old package—it’s been the dregs of the alleged craft of (alleged) literature since the Microsquelch Empire flipping well began—whose cretinous idea was it in the first place to pay a lot of plug-&-pray geeks to kludge up alleged advice telling anybody how to write? Like sentences? & these pestiferous nudniks have got a whole lot pushier about it as the years & updates pass. WHO DIED & MADE THEM GOD?
The old Word version, which, of course, I hated like moth infestations in my sweaters§ when I was first crossing virtual pointy weapons with it . . . you could at least kind of ignore their idiot suggestions. The underlines & the pop ups & so on were relatively—that’s relatively—low key & I admit that the spellchecker saved me a lot of typos, although its inability to remember that a document in American English doesn’t want all those ‘u’s & a document in British English spells ‘curb’ ‘kerb’, & so forth & so on & on & on & on & ON is VERY ANNOYING§§. But the NEW version . . . frelling LIGHTS UP with all the instructions they want to beat your prose to death with, & then carve bloody sigils in like serial killers in all those murder mysteries I don’t read because I don’t like serial killers. For example, EVERY contraction, that’s EVERY CONTRACTION, in book-in-progress, is highlighted in PURPLE & I’m informed, severely, that in formal writing you should write out contractions. WHERE THE JOLLY DOODAH DO THEY GET THEIR DEFINITION OF FORMAL WRITING? BECAUSE THE DOCUMENT IN QUESTION IS 1,000,000,000,000,000 WORDS LONG?§§§ HOW STUPID IS THAT????‡
I KNOW MORE ABOUT WRITING IN ENGLISH THAN ALL SODDING MICROSQUELCH EMPLOYEES EVER FRELLING WHELPED.
Stick to your motherboards, guys. Actually, no, please all go out into the world & get real jobs, like pounding sand & sorting giant piles of seeds into their individual kinds.‡‡ & I don’t want to know if someone is about to tell me that MS HIRED ACTUAL ENGLISH TEACHERS. They didn’t check credentials well enough. That degree from Cambridge University is actually from Camshaft Blunderbuss Inauthenticity, applicants just smudged the lettering some.
You don’t think so? Come up with a better explanation for the indescribable fatuousness of Word’s editorial dysfunction.
PS: Young Beowulf turned off ALL the editorial crapola.‡‡‡ Do I even have to tell you that this has only slightly interrupted the flow of on-screen sewage? Turns out Footnote #1 is barely the beginning.
& then there’s Outlook . . .
No, no, I’m stopping. I’M STOPPING.
* * *
*OKAY. BRAND NEW REASON FOR RAVENING HATRED. Blogdad^ spent a significant portion of yesterday afternoon trying to turn off all the hyped-on-steroids^^ autocorrect functions including auto-cap beginning sentences & paras, because the book I’m writing doesn’t always follow standard caps, & GUESS WHAT?? At random intervals it starts re-capping. Randomly.
^who is also my Comprehensive Tech Guy+, & what the hot flaming doodah ordinary ditzbrains like me do when they haven’t got a Comprehensive Tech Guy . . . no, no, no, I can imagine it & I don’t want to
+ I kind of want to name him Beowulf# in his Comprehensive Tech Guy manifestation, but Beowulf turned into an arrogant jerk when he got old—& got himself killed for it, which is maybe a little drastic, but jerkness is dangerous when you’re a famous warrior—maybe I could name CTG Young Beowulf.
# everybody is getting a new name for the new blog. Except Blogdad, of course, because that would be silly~ & Merrilee, because it’s a little daftie even by my standards to rename my agent, even if I’m aware that, aside from the fact that the blog means I’m back on line again somehow or other, which she has been lobbying for, my particular manifestation of on line-ness which is this blog makes her close her eyes & pinch the bridge of her nose.
~ & when am I ever SILLY?=
= I can hear the Tree of Footnote@ protests pouring in. But I probably won’t see them until Beowulf pounds Grendel some more. ARRRRGH. I admit that protests are not my favourite blogmail but no blogmail at all is worse. There’s no jolly la la la la la la REASON to write the blasted blog unless people are reading it, protestingly or otherwise, & No Comments makes me feel hung out to dry in an uncaring universe.@@
@ This is the way my mind works! Take it up with the Great DNA Juggler in the Sky!
@@ That is not a mixed metaphor.
^^ The really bad kind of steroids, the ones that make you turn green & fall over & other things too graphic for this blog. The two years I pumped iron [sic] & heard stories from the guys who pumped like super triathalon iron with knobs on, & looked like it, well, steroids are bad for you, & I’ll stay wimpy, it’s fine.
** Indeed the rabbit hole was so deep & labyrinthine that I excised a large chunk of it & will bewilder you with it some other post.
***Also, the bloatier the bloatware the more AAAAAAs are necessary.
† Including which Starbucks we left our brains in & whether our common sense is still in the bottom of some disintegrating box of old shoes & floppy discs which got hauled off to the dump years ago.
†† You are keeping up with the footnotes, aren’t you? You aren’t doing that labour-saving thing of not flicking up & down till your eyes go funny, but reading them all at the end of the post?
††† If provider is the correct snazzy tech term, as opposed to server, thingummy, festering pustule, or malign entity murmuring ‘mwa ha ha ha ha’.
§§ According to Bulfinch^ Psyche sorted wheat, barley, millet, vetches [some kind of peas], beans & lentils into separate pigeon-food containers. But she got a cute guy at the end of it^^, which is not an option for ex-Microsquelch employees. Ex-Microsquelch employees sort grains like Sisyphus pushes that rock, eye-strainingly tiny grains that you need tweezers to pick up one at a time, & your back hurts from all the crouching & your tweezer-wielding hand cramps, & . . . YESSSSSSSSS.
^ I still can’t find a lot of my books BECAUSE I STILL DON’T HAVE THEM SORTED ON SHELVES. Bulfinch I can find.
^^ I wonder when was the last time I reread this story? It’s been a while. In Bulfinch anyway. Psyche doesn’t come off well. She’s a limp, hopeless, whining little cow, as useless as Venus keeps telling her she is. Oh, & Venus? The other main woman in the story? Is a raging termagant. Arrrgh. & I remember, sadly, that when I was first reading Bulfinch as a preteen, this kind of thing was standard op, barely worth registering, women are just like that. I want to hope that things have changed.
§§§ Somehow I doubt I’m the only MS Office user^ who has documents in both. Furthermore I was just talking to a British friend last night who also uses MS perforce, & he was saying that MS’s American origins keep emerging like alligators from the New York City sewers^^ & he has to go back & reinstate British spellings even though he has ‘British English’ ticked in the appropriate box. Since he’s already using the new version of Office, this is yet another actual-customer-effect glitch they haven’t bothered to fix.
^ Furiously resentful or otherwise
^^ Not his choice of phrase. He’s too polite.
‡ It’s a teenage girl’s diary! When you were writing your teenage diary, of whatever gender(s), did YOU write out all the contractions???
‡‡ Very stupid. Very very VERY stupid.
‡‡‡ I admit I’m going to miss the spellchecker even if it can’t keep American & British straight. I’m not in proofreader mode when I’m writing, & truthfully I’m never in proofreader mode for my own stuff. Maybe Young Beowulf can negotiate some kind of limited truce. This computer nonsense must be good for something.^
^ Bring back the IBM Selectric. My new motto.