Living and Crying on Technology Drive or This Could Happen To You!

ripWatching your computer in its death throes, [“I’ll back it up some day”] spinning its last breath, unable to catch its Windows screen, is a learning moment. After 7 years of faithful service or 70 human years, I was ready to close the eyes, I mean the lid, on my Toshiba Satellite. The cause of death wasn’t old age; it was Windows Update.

Windows Update was supposed to allow you to not think about the health or tweaks of your system – sort of a wannabe Mac.  When it works, and when it’s in its youth it does, it’s great.  It doesn’t age well.

Problems with Windows start with a mad search on Google forums, which frequently come up with the casual advice “Reinstall Windows.”

Do you know how many people can really reinstall Windows? Only a puny and smug tech portion of the end user population.  To pile on more grief, you’ll need to reinstall all your other software, remember all your passwords and bookmarks, etc. etc.

It ALMOST makes me want a Mac.

Windows Update is a lackadaisical employee, leaving my available memory and hard drive to actually work. When it gets ambitious, it causes a loop, sucking the air out of the hard drive and causing the keyboard to work in slow motion.  Then I manually go in and allow it to update the system.

The brakes went on my hard drive the other day, and I decided to run chkdsk /f /r, which is like tweezers to your brow – plucks out the wild hairs and you’re on your way. This requires a reboot. Unfortunately, Windows Update also decided to force an update, which started the uh-oh.

The laptop hung at 11% chkdsk – after rebooting, oh, 10 times or so.  I was forced to use my husband’s Mac and found one rogue remark on a support site that simply suggested to wait it out.

The next morning we had a Lazarus moment – my StarTrek background on my screen greeted me, like nothing had happened.  I ripped out a jump drive and backed up and sent things off to Drop Box.  I haven’t lost the love, but there’s definitely a trust issue now.

Here’s my advice

1. Check those stupid updates – I checked the last 8 by choosing “more information” – most of them are for tasks or software you don’t do or have.
2. Don’t run chkdsk – find some 3rd party piece to do it for you – it’s just too dicey otherwise
3. I’m not going to tell you to back up – you can’t possibly be as careless as I am, are you?



Guns, Goats and Gateway Drugs

Guns and Goats

Guns and Goats

As the two sides of this argument gather their ammo, global and national statistics are being pulled and molded like taffy.  Statistics are chatter: the meat’s in the subtexts; human nature, mental illness and the 2nd Amendment.

Pulitzer Prize winning book ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’ covers 13,000 years of human history to explain how Western Europe came out on top.  The more sophisticated the weaponry became the higher the number died in combat vs. disease.  The good news was, as weaponry advanced, so did the culture and technology.  This end product was launched by the male of our species whose testosterone causes the strongest males to survive and multiply and and females, assisted by pheromones and common sense choosing males who will protect their young.  We’re just like goats, just a little smarter.

21st century males no longer duke it out.  Non sports-minded young men lean toward hours of Xbox games, pit bull puppies and collecting knives and/or guns.  On the sunset side, older men substitute testosterone with flashy cars, fat wallets, guns and political heft.  Some men are driven to scrimmaging in the woods with conspiracy theories in their imagination because they must be fighting against something in order to achieve hormonal balance. Guns have the same testosterone driven draw as a well honed spear once did.

In the middle of the testosterone fray are the mentally ill and adolescent males (“Poster Children for Risky Compulsiveness”) and non-Alpha males.  They’re all looking for a bitch, just like any other goat which will bring out and up their testosterone.  Which brings me to the allure of the holding a hard cold gun in ones hand.

While the original intent of the 2nd Amendment was in response to England’s aggression against its colonists (keeping people “in their place” is an Alpha Goat kind of response),  its text and context has been manhandled.  If we are purists of the law, if I have the right to bear arms to protect myself from the government, I have the right to own the newest, best arms.  I can’t protect myself with a semiautomatic if my government has cooler, better weapons, right?  How about nuclear warheads?  How about drones?  That’s what the 2nd amendment means, right?  Either you give everyone, and by everyone I mean the mentally ill and the testosterone-challenged the right to have lethal weapons of mass destruction – or you don’t.

Semi-automatics are a gateway drug to nuclear warheads.  The irony is that the hormone protecting and promoting our survival can lead to its last chapter, making the goats smarter species  in the long run.

*Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Jared M. Diamond  1997  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California’s Gold Medal.