There’s a crap for that. Stick a pitchfork me. I’m done. Well done. By Satan himself.
The future’s so blight I gotta dig graves. A pitchfork works well for that, right?
So, technology. Let’s talk about that. It’s here. It has landed on our chests like a motherfucking elephant in a COPD commercial. Let me posit this: How’s that technology working out for you?
In a moment I’m going to share my ideas regarding the three-pronged attack on our very existence by technology. (Get it? Pitchfork?) I used to think there was only one prong but that was before spring break. I’ve since expanded my thinking (as well as something else).
Call it my Grand Unification Theory of Technology (GUTT) if you will. It’s time for a gut check. Spoiler alert: Mine has been spilled open by a pitchfork. Dammit. They let anyone own these things.
It’s time to stick ’em with the prongy end. Make the jump and I’ll get to the point.
Twitter is down today in an evil plot to deny you my pith.
It seems like only yesterday I was waxing poetic about the suckiness of their technology. Am I prescient or what?
It’s the curse of the guru. Yes, I’m taking credit.
My pith on Twitter will resume when their techs get back from break. Someone’s getting fired.
File this post under Product Reviews (Pending)…
Once upon a time I purchased an iMac from the Apple store…
That’s when everything went right to Hell.
This post was written on a Mac. Barely.
This is the story — still in progress — of a computer that desperately needs to be put to sleep in more ways than one.
One fine day, after waiting four goddamn years, it was finally time to buy a new computer. My old one was running Windows XP, crashed often (frequently with Blue Screens of Death), literally took twenty minutes from boot before it could open a browser, and sounded like a Boeing 747 taking off, even though I had paid extra for the “super-quiet case.”
Yeah, there’s one of me born every minute.
For months before the big day, I had been using Apple “Mac Mini” computers at my new job. It was the first time I’d ever used any Apple computers. It was love at first byte. (Har.)
My first day on the job and the boss showed me to my desk. There was a nice widescreen LED monitor. I looked around but didn’t see any computer. I called my boss over and asked, “What makes this thing go?” Continue reading →
In case you haven’t noticed, this is my “C” post in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. And I’m just as subtle as always.
Today’s tale is one of torment and revenge. It even includes a possible effort to update the Bible. And it features the continued suffering and destruction of yours truly. Curious? Intrigued? Then keep reading!
This post is in honor of a Crapple iMac Computer. Yes, I said, “Crapple.” That is the word I have chosen in honor of this auspicious occasion.
If this was Sesame Street the word “Crapple” would probably be constructed something like this:
“Crrrrrrap … aaaaapple.”
“Crrap … aapple.”
I guess it helps to imagine two silhouetted faces frothily spitting those words back and forth at each other.
Anyway, growing up as a lonely anti-social and awkward geek, computers have always been very important to me. More important than people. (Har! No contest there.) I owned three before graduating high school. So I guess the progression goes computers, cats, poop, then people.
Since then my computer has evolved into my primary work tool and my primary source of recreation. I’d gladly shoot my TV, but I’d (usually) take a bullet for my computer.
On the other hand, I remain very much cursed. Sure, negativity has been ingrained in me since the moment of my conception, but it has also been nudged and nurtured by the curse. DNA and environment have conspired to make me what I am.
Sometimes I feel so cursed I speculate that God might be using me as an instrument to help introduce a new book in the Bible. It would, of course, be a sequel to the Book of Job. It would be called, of course, the Book of Tom.
The over-riding and oft-asked question manifestly revealed in the book of Job is, “Why do the righteous suffer?” (Wikipedia.)
Indeed! Great gurus aren’t just born. They are made. If they have the potential and are lucky enough to capitalize on the right set of circumstances.
But let us not digress and commit the sin of making this post too much about me. (Ha!)
In a nutshell, here’s the rest of the story:
My wife’s computer was about nine years old. I purchased it in July 2002. (Yes, I remember the date.) I finally got cable internet to my house, but my existing computer was so old the cable tech couldn’t make it work on broadband. So I ran down to Staples and bought a new Compaq so I’d have high speed internet that night. (Since leaving the big city I had been relegated to dial-up so I was ready.)
That was a long time ago. Since then the computer is barely a paperweight. It takes half an hour to do things like open an email or view a web page.
Meanwhile, my computer was about four years old. Not too bad, but it was having serious problems. It would BSOD (blue screen of death) all the time. It would literally take about 20 minutes after turning it on before it became usable. It was slowly dying.
Additionally, I had paid extra for something called the “super quiet case” with a special cooling system, but that thing was the loudest motherfucking computer I’d ever heard in my entire life. Being in my office was like listening to a jumbo jet taking off. It was slowly driving me mad.
I ended up hating my computer. But it was all I had. To this day, it is still the only computer where I have ever produced my Hyppo and Critter comic strip.
I was screwed. My computer sucked and I couldn’t afford to buy a new one. I tried over and over again starting a computer fund, but to no avail. It’s hard to save what you don’t got.
At work I was using a computer called a Mac Mini. It was awesome. It was about the size of an external hard drive and sat right there on top of my desk. At first, I didn’t even know it was a computer, it was so friggin’ small. And, although a few years old, it ran like butter. And, it was so quiet, you literally couldn’t tell it was turned on even though it was only a couple feet away.
It was love at first byte.
I’d never used a Mac before but I took to it like Tiger to a high-priced whore. But there was no way I’d be able to afford one of my own. Not when having a single dollar bill in my wallet felt like I was carrying a fortune.
Long story short, my sister stepped in and bought me one as a gift. She was buying herself a 27″ iMac with all the upgrades. She threw in a base model 21.5″ iMac for me. Brand freakin’ new.
I never forgot, though, that for everything the universe bestows, there is a price that will be extracted. Why? Basically “because you wish it” works out to be the most plausible explanation.
The computer didn’t arrive as promised. Delay, delay, delay.
When it finally arrived, it had Spanish language keyboard and the manual was in Spanish, too. There was some kind of hella snafu there. No biggie. It was still beautiful and awesome. It was amazing how a computer could be so cool as to transform my whole office.
I called Apple and they sent me the correct keyboard at no charge. I still have the manual in Spanish as my memento of the occasion.
That should have been the glitch, but I knew it wouldn’t be that easy.
As I began using the computer, I began to realize that something was seriously askew. It was slow and sluggish. Even though it had a beefier processor and double the memory of my computer at work, it ran like shit in comparison.
When a Mac pauses, the icon turns into a spinning wheel of color. It’s much like the “pause” hourglass on a Windows computer. On a Mac it has come to be infamously known as the “beach ball.”
And, just like Windows has the BSOD, the Mac version has come to be known as the BBOD or the “Beach Ball Of Death.”
At work my computers have never – not even once – crashed to the point where I had to hold down the power button for five seconds to reset, even though the computers are left on 24 hours a day for months at a time. At home, this happens two to three times a day.
The beach balls continually hit my computer all the time, and they typically last anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. If I’m lucky the beach ball will go away and I can continue to use the computer. If I’m not lucky I have to hold down the power button for five seconds and start completely over.
It’s not supposed to be like this. I’ve lived through several beach balls even while composing this post.
At first I tried to work the problem on my own. I adjusted settings and surfed the net for solutions. I did all the diagnostics I could find. I ran Apple’s built-in hardware tests. Nothing ever found a problem or did anything to help.
As a last resort, I even tried re-installing the operating system to factory condition. This was a major pain in the ass, but I was desperate. I turned on my computer, actually feeling hopeful, only to find my faithful beach ball companion waiting for me.
I was beat. It was time to call Apple.
Could I get a replacement computer? Nope. For that you had to call within 30 days, I was told. Like an idiot I had tried to fix my computer on my own for six weeks before finally giving up and calling them. For that I now had to be punished. Rules are rules, right? Too fucking bad for me that it has only been six weeks and the thing cost $1,199.
It’s still covered by warranty, though. So on Monday morning I’ll be taking the thing to my authorized Apple repair center and we’ll see what they can do. That means I won’t have my computer for a week.
And that is how that shit works. I wish for something. Normally the answer is “no.” But if, perchance, it is “yes” then there will be a price to pay. Why? Because I wished it.
That’s just the way it is. Either this is a new book in the Bible or I’m someone’s science experiment.
You can bet your sweet ass I’ll be back to report how Apple takes care of me. I’m pretty sure I have a few more “eat my ass” posts left just in case. On the other hand, if it goes well, I have a nice friendly post in the works describing the conversion of a lifelong Windows user and his journey to the Mac.
Which will it be? It’s your move, Apple.
This is my “C” post for the April 2011 “A to Z Blogging Challenge.”
Sunday was a crazy day for this humble blog. It was briefly noticed by the outside world.
I woke up and turned on my computer. The top story was one about a horrific accident at an off-road race where a truck went off-course and killed eight people. It was one of those stories where one piece of coverage just isn’t enough. I read several different news sources.
As I did this, I noticed that none of the stories had a word to say about the driver of the truck involved. The driver wasn’t identified, but even beyond that, the journalists didn’t mention a driver at all.
Finally I found a story that said the driver’s name wasn’t being released yet.
This puzzled me. Not that fact that the name wasn’t being released; that seemed routine. No, what puzzled me was the fact that so many journalists seemed to forget that one of the most basic components of any news story is supposed to be “who.” If they didn’t know the name yet they should have included a line saying something along the lines of: “The name of the driver has not been released.”
Good journalism will cover the 5W1H: Who, What, Where, Why, When, and How.
I figured that the omission of “who” by some journalists was probably a combination of a hectic breaking new story and the desire to get the story out in a timely fashion, i.e., to get the “scoop.”
I remembered seeing a picture of the truck in coverage by the Los Angeles Times. I went back and found that photo. The truck was upside down. I loaded the image in Photoshop and rotated it 180 degrees. I was now able to clearly read the words “Misery Motorsports” on the side of the truck.
From there it was an easy trail. First I Googled the MySpace page of Misery Motorsports and got the name Brett Sloppy, age 28. I then determined that the California 200 race was governed by an organization known as MDR Racing. I went to the official MDR web site which was functioning intermittently, no doubt because it was being overloaded by curious visitors like me. On that web site I found a PDF file of race participants and saw that Brett Sloppy was listed. I was now reasonably sure I had the name of the driver.
Now, I’m not claiming this was any Sherlock Holmes caliber of investigation. But it did get me the probable name of the driver. It was still early Sunday morning and I wanted to publish what I had learned. So I monkey-pounded my keyboard and attempted to put my typical Abyss-spin on it. I was careful, however, that when I published the name I noted how I had come by the information and that it was not information that was confirmed.
When I checked on the blog a little while later I realized that my blog traffic was at an unprecedented level. I did some checking and found that I was #2 in Google for the phrase “misery motorsports” (without the quotation marks). For a breaking news story this was huge search engine position. I’m still amazed at how quickly my WordPress postings can get into the Google index. Phrases like “mdr crash” and “brett sloppy” were #2 and #3 for my incoming traffic but very small compared to “misery motorsports.”
Today my search position for these phrases has slipped considerably as big-time web sites like The Huffington Post have now covered them.
Sunday is now officially in the books. Due to this traffic spike my blog set a new single day record. The traffic was 13 times my normal average and I’m still seeing the effects. So far today my blog is already 3 times higher than normal traffic levels.
I have to say I don’t normally go after breaking news stories with traffic in mind, and I was very surprised by this result. It was decidedly not a goal of mine when I decided to add my two cents about the tragic accident. I’m still not sure if the extra traffic is a good thing or not. I suspect that very few, if any, of the people who read yesterday’s post will be intrigued enough to stick around and become regular readers.
Still, I found the experience interesting and thought I’d share a little about how it all went down.
I turned on my computer this morning and the top news item on my home page was about a horrible crash that killed 8 people and hurt 12 more.
A witness said the crash scattered “bodies everywhere.” After the vehicle went airborne it landed on spectators. Bystanders rushed in to help those pinned by the vehicle.
The race is called the California 200 and takes place near Bessemer Mine Road at Soggy Dry Lake in Lucerne Valley, CA. The course length is 50 miles.
The driver, who as far as I can tell hasn’t been identified yet, lost control of his vehicle and reportedly went airborne before going off the course and rolling over spectators who were located approx. 10 feet from the course. There was reportedly no safety barrier.
According to the Associated Press, “[a witness] said that the driver, who wasn’t named, was forced to run from the scene when the crowd grew unruly and some began throwing rocks at him. It was not clear why he lost control of the truck.”
I haven’t been able to find the name of the driver in news reports. However, a photograph in the LA Times clearly shows the wording “Misery Motorsports” on the upside-down vehicle. I did some checking and found a MySpace page for Misery Motorsports that contains the name “Brett Sloppy,” who is listed as a 28-year-old male. A Bretty Sloppy was a registered race participant in the “1500 Class” per the MDR Racing web site.
Note: I’m not claiming to know the name of the driver. This is just some information that I found.
The main reason I take an interest in this horrible story is the human behavior that took place after the crash. As far as I can tell there is no indication this was anything other than a very unfortunate accident. Yet some in the crowd apparently were angry and something like a mob mentality set in. I wasn’t there, but it seems as if while some persons were in need of urgent medical attention, others were directing their energies against the driver by throwing rocks.
I also don’t understand our obsessive adoration for vehicle races powered by the internal combustion engine. In our society there is little worshiped more than the all-powerful internal combustion engine. Perhaps it even outranks television and cell phones. As far as “sports” go I’ve never understood the attraction of watching internal combustion engines go round and round in circles, but hey, that’s just me.
Since I’ve never attended an internal combustion engine “sporting” festival, I don’t understand things like: Why do spectators have to be so close to observe the event? It seems to me that it would be wise to calculate the “danger area” where accidents could conceivably happen and keep observers out of that area. I can’t see a valid reason to have spectators in that danger area. Perhaps it is the thrill of danger? If so, the seeking of danger does not magically eliminate the actual risk.
Thinking about it, I can recall incidents where vehicles (like cars and boats) have flown off race courses and injured people before.
It all seems pretty crazy to me.
UPDATE: This text was recently posted on Brett Sloppy’s Facebook page. “Soo incredibly lost and devistated my thoughts and prayers go out to all the familys and friends involved.. Thank you too all my friends for sticking with me even thru these tragic times I love you all.”