february 1997

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catch up

    my computer at work told me 'checksum error' and MIS yanked it out from under my desk. (i felt like that monday morning, myself, but no one was there to yank me out of bed.)
    today became what my dad once termed a "coast day."
    actually, i spent large amounts of time setting up a new previously owned powerpc macintosh to the network. my company will need this set up some day for publications at mac pre-press houses. however, there's only so much meaningful activity a person can generate without the standard toolkit. my projects were delayed beyond this week's deadline, etcetera.
    i never thought i'd be able to say i want my ibm clone back, but i do, i do.

bottle of youth

    at the grocery i picked up some hard cider and baked chips for an evening home with deb. our favorite checkout clerk, the one who always waves regardless whether we're in her line or another, was in the speedy lane. when i arrived before her and presented ten-items-or-less of booty, she asked if i'd mind if she carded me.
    did i mind? did i mind? perhaps my vital aura fooled the girl. maybe it was youthful clothing and a leather jacket. who knows... i'm well beyond the state's legal drinking age. my hair has grey in it, even if i do wear it in a pony tail.
    so when this woman asks me if i mind being carded, it strikes me as somewhat flattering, and very much as amusing, both that she's carding a 35 year-old and that she's asking me if i mind being carded.
    i did not say "yes, i mind." instead i laughed and presented my driver's license.
    the woman looked at the birthate and said '"oh," very quietly, as if discovering an embarassment. i related an incident where my friend was carded at an 'r' rated movie when he was in his mid-twenties, while he was on a date. the clerk asked me if i liked guiness stout, and told me perhaps that i did not because it was too bitter. i give her a c+ for recovery.
    did i mind being carded? i'm still wondering what would have happened if i had minded.

lost _y keys

    the _e_ and _n_ keys on _y _acinotosh were sticking once in a while_ since this particular 1992 _odel_ a powerbook duo 230_ is known for a flaky keyboard_ and perhaps _ore i_portantly_ since i had twice previously cleaned the keyboard successfully_ i figured this would be a si_ple fix_
    wrongo_ bat friends!
    you know all those co_puter _anuals which say not to use any abrasive cleaners or solvents? well_ i forgot_ or didn_t realize that windex® was a solvent_ on the two previous cleanings i used rubbing alcohol_
    now i__ living without the pleasure of six keys_ because the windex® dissolved through the traces on _y keyboard_
    while a few of you i__ediately grasp the dysfunctional letter and so_e of you _ay note the obvious broken punctuation keys_ i_agine coding ht_l without a delete or an open bracket key_ _ _ whoo! whoo! can you say cut and paste?
    to_orrow i_ll see how to get it fixed_ sure_ i could have waited to publish this page until after i got _y keys back_ but that would be so _undane_

algernon, procrastinator

    leaving work at 6:30, i detoured to my regular florist, who normally closes at 6 pm. although the door was locked, the nice woman let me in. however, she told me forthwith there were no red roses, but i could have their last white one if i wanted. being otherwise defoliated, i bought myself nice frock of baby's breath surrounding a scrunchy pale rose which had seen better days.
    before i reached the car i determined i was not done shopping.
    next place between me and home also had a door proclaiming business hours end at 6:00 weekday evenings. spying a crowd inside, i stormed the castle. there was no resistance.
    nothing incorporating a red rose on the shelves was tastefully arranged. there were teddy bears sitting in some pots, tied to others (bondage bears?). a music cd, presumably love songs, had been tossed into other arrangements. i joked to a woman next to me that this was the sole day in a year when someone could charge $45 for a mauve bowl with three red roses, and two white lillies. one of the guys in line said something loud, about this being like christmas.
    the woman smiled, looked about, and said "am i the only chick in here?"
    now, my friend anne is adamant that chicks have beaks and yellow fuzz. this woman had a nose and wore a black blouse with black pants. i smiled and nodded to her. i thought, spies wear black. maybe she's travelling incognito. maybe the easter bunny isn't content with april any more, and sent agents to scope out february holidays for a secret switch...
    this avian in disguise browsed for perhaps thirty seconds more, running out moments before an employee locked the doors. maybe the chick decided february is too early for easter. perhaps she was afraid some man would decide fixing his own shake-and-bake chicken for dinner was cheaper than bringing flowers to his wife or girlfriend.
    i asked the keymaster whether he could set me up with a dozen reds, but he just laughed. the guy in line repeated his joke about christmas to the cashier, and it wasn't funny either. suddenly everything was surreal: chicks and christmas and laughing men. i spent a quick three minutes pondering price tags, my pay stub, marital bliss, and supply & demand, then pulled the mauve vase from the cooler. i had the sales girl throw in a heart-shaped red-foil balloon that says something i still haven't read.
    there was still one last florist on the way home. i burned rubber to this little ma-and-pop shop i've seen about block from my home. at seven pm on valentines day, if there was any florist still open and not sold out, it would be this place. no one knows about it. it's a house set up between two used-car dealers on auto row. who would know about this place except a desperate yellow-pages reader and someone like me who lived nearby? help us obi-wan, you're our only hope.
    the balloon blocked my view of the right front traffic, so i pushed it down below the dash. a minute passed and it popped out the t-top and became really obnoxious flopping in the 35 mph winds. i don't like driving with one hand on the wheel, but i made an exception.
    obi-wan's door said 7 PM was closing time; it took me a three rattles of the locked door to realize that door was not the main entrance. ma-bi-wan glaring over the shoulder of her customer helped me think faster. once inside, i asked pop-bi-wan if i could buy a dozen reds without a vase. pop began to say he had only the arrangements on the floor, but ma-bi-wan gave him the glare and told him it was seven o clock, and she didn't want to see my reds tomorrow. i said i'd be willing to buy a vase and have them throw it away, but mom said that wasn't necessary and glared at pop again. he wrapped them in only baby's breath and gold foil.
    deb thought even the mauve vase was ok. i cancelled our reservations at le papillion, and we forgot everything but each other.

a shot heard 'round the 'hood

    this morning i woke up to the sound of a gunshot. i can still hear the echo.
    my wife and i moved to santa clara from north omaha, where it wasn't unusual to hear gunfire when the windows were open. i've heard automatic gunfire, and i'm not talking about tv. the second july fourth in that 'hood, we joked about not needing fireworks.
    my first fortnight in california, fourteen year-old polly klaas was kidnapped from her bedroom while hosting a slumber party. i still don't know where petta luma is, but it's closer than omaha. there were national daily news updates until her body was found. welcome to the left coast.
    i wasn't convinced that we were safer in santa clara than north omaha, but it helped when my dad told me there was a murder on our omaha street three weeks after deb u-hauled our household goods out of there.
    qui est mos macho: murder or kidnap?
    this isn't san jose, folks. santa clara aspires to be cupertino when it grows up. santa clara residents don't shoot each other; they litigate.
    so i heard this gunshot, from perhaps two blocks away.
    did i dial the police, as i did when a drunk in the parking lot was shouting "911! call 911! 911! 911," yelling for twenty minutes after they arrived? did i call for a peace officer, like i occasionally do when some bosko's car alarm continues six patterns of noise pollution for half an hour, and the owner is the only one for eight blocks who's not being kept awake? did the man who calls 911 when he's awakened by jerks, did he call the police when he hears a gunshot?
    reader, i did not.
    for the next few minutes i dwelled on guns and possible targets in suburbia at 6:34 on a thursday morning. i compared the car alarms of santa clara to the similar-decibel rap from the brothers' car stereos in the omaha 'hood. birds started singing again when the echo stopped ringing in their tiny brains. i thought of how difficult it is for me to wake up in the morning even without children keeping me awake or worried. when the alarm went off i hit the snooze button, and fled back into slumberland.
    is this a behavior of a good person or a bad person? i have my koan for today.
    in other news, i may have broken my wrist. for forty-five minutes my apple printer refused to print from my apple computer, running an apple word processor.
    this is not acceptable behavior.
    historical evidence suggests rather short life spans for equipment that displeases me, notably printers and soldering irons. can you say "catharsis," kiddies? i knew you could.
    my wrist still hurts after eleven days. it took two days to repair the printer. printing from simpletext still crashes my mac, and i'm discovering printer fragments all around the computer desk nearly every day. i guess i lost this round.
    however, i did feel quite euphoric for about as long as it takes to say, "hulk smash printer!"

nothing frozen, nothing gained

    the site design may not meet my maturing needs, but I didn't change anything yet. indecision is a crippling disease. i really do not want to change the implementation, but i also fear finding out later that i'm not doing things because the site is designed poorly.
    who the hell cares? while i'm writhing, i could be having fun. am i having fun yet? sure i am; however, i'm also staying up nights tinkering with html, taking my powerbook to bed.
    more sleep to lose: my wife deb decided to give up abstinance for lent. oh boy. it's a tough job, but i think we can give this a decent effort. i expect i'll have to write my html in the early evenings, until easter, at least.
    what have you given up lately?

damn site better

    today i decided on a site design and created new content. WYSIWYG.
    ok, i couldn't resist the gratuitous animated gifs. sue me.

plus la change

    i bit the bullet and signed on to netgate as my service provider.
    netcom has been good enough to serve my needs for over three years, but they fail to provide unix shell account customers with web space. they don't even have a time-table to provide this service.
    bye-bye, netcom.
provider monthly storage www publishing

netgate $25 40mb yes
netcom $20 5mb no

home news woman worlorn the muse off-ramp
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