Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bugged by Microsoft

Inching toward the end of a long week full of two-minute tasks that each managed to consume an entire day, I’m beginning to think that like Batman to Robin, Murphy’s Law deserves its own sidekick corollary, Microsoft’s Law. Come to think of it, despite seniority, Microsoft’s Law seems to be the lead hero here. Sorry for the demotion Murphy, but you, of all people, must have seen it coming.

In addition to Microsoft, I am convinced that the following are all out to get me: Time Warner Cable, Hewlett Packard, Verizon and that gigantic Kool-aid mutant—part pitcher, part man—that year after year continues to bust through brick walls without so much as a tiny crack or micro chip. Very creepy: I can see where Jim Jones got his inspiration. Freakishly indestructible artificially-colored beverage containers aside, (he’s probably just meant to intimidate and devoid of any real substance), it is Microsoft who really does seem to be the ringleader of my endless plights. Conspiratorial paranoia ? Perhaps. But one thing is for sure, Microsoft bugs me.

One would think that my having married a computer scientist would have helped the situation; but in fact, it seems to get worse and worse. In the spirit of “know thy enemy” I’ve progressively been trying to learn more and more of the complicated Windows functions. Microsoft, however, has consistently been able to create new bugs faster than my learning curve. (And even if the Kool-Aid man were to defect to my side, I’m sure Microsoftball would still stay ahead of this pitcher’s curve as well).

How their conspiratorial plot is insidious! For years they have been impugning my credibility. Nine times out of ten I am forced to clamor for the cool-headed aid of my beloved computer geek to recover and restore my work. It’s absolutely true: a bitch in time saves nine but 8 ¾ of those times he does exactly the same thing I had been doing for hours on end; save that it works--seamlessly.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Why We Can't See the Bushes for the Trees

In his speech on Tuesday, President Bush asserted that despite the Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency does indeed have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, he does not intend to seek any further regulations beyond his proposal for more fuel-efficient cars. Critics of this stance are many, and Mr. Bush has certainly taken a lot of heat on global warming.

Despite the overwhelming consensus in the scientific community concerning the reality of climate change and the very serious threats it poses, it may nonetheless be judicious to entertain the possibility that on this matter, Bush’s critics, and even Supreme Court Justices, might nonetheless not be in the best position to judge. It is undeniable that, as President, Bush has access to information far beyond what any individual, organization or institution can ever know despite the fact that his ostensibly limited intelligence may often preclude his intelligent use of Intelligence.

It is not entirely unreasonable to believe that the notion that regulated commercial emission cuts would offer no more than a band-aid solution may in fact not be an entirely scabrous idea. As shocking as it may sound, particularly to those whose judgment is sound, the president may, in fact, actually have it right and know something that the scientists do not and cannot know. It is not often that President Bush is referred to as realistic. Still, with Gonzales soon to speak before Congress to defend the Department of Justice against allegations that eight US attorneys were allegedly fired for purely political reasons and the president himself having just two days ago insisted that attempts by Congress to link financial support for the war with timetables for withdrawal would undermine the troops, it is no doubt irrefutable that any attempt to limit hot air emissions at this time would in fact be hopelessly futile. Only Bush Administration officials may know the full extent to which, since 2001, not American industries but the White House itself has been the overwhelming source of toxic hot air released into our environment.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Fool's Play

Lucy Lots
Language Arts
2nd Period
April 1, 2007

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran

[To tune of the Beach Boys, somewhere between 30,000 and 665,000 Iraqi lives depending on who you ask, 3250 American lives, and well over a trillion dollars that we know of. Music gradually fades as Ira and Brit take the stage]

IRA: Mommy, Brit went into my room without my permission!

BRIT: Did not!

IRA: Did too!

BRIT: Did not!

IRA: Did too!

[Georgina peers down the hall, witnessing a few seconds of the squabble. But she’s in the middle of getting ready to go out for a quiet stroll through Bagdad with the neighbor, Mr. McCain, and decides to ignore the problem for now. She loads the hunting rifle just in case for when Dick gets home.]

BRIT: Mom, Ira went into my room and took a bunch of my action figures!

IRA: Well, that’s because you came into my room without asking!

BRIT: Did not!

[Her countenance changes as she starts to get worried about her toys. She remembers one time when Ira hid mum’s favourite earrings for over a year and two months! Meanwhile Ira picks up a plastic figure and mimics it talking]

IRA: We love to snoop around Ira’s room. We’re always invading his privacy…If you’d just say you’re sorry, admit that you were wrong and that you were snooping around my room and promise not to do it again, I might just give them back, you know.

BRIT: [Making a huge effort to look strong and unaffected while holding back tears]
Well, I, I didn’t, I mean, I didn’t mean, I…

IRA: Allah, what a spoiled little pest you are! It’s absolutely unbelievable!

Brit: [Whimpering] But I, I…

IRA: You, you, you, exactly. You’re mom and dad’s favorite. You get everything. How come you get to have your own superdeluxe supersoaker, and Star War’s ship and bee bee gun and I don’t, huh? It’s not fair!

FIRST CHORUS: [Peeking through the window]
Yeah, yeah, yeah! [Their protests get progressively louder, from mumble to groan to full out screaming, so loud it’s becoming deafening. More and more neighbors hear the fight and run over to join Ira’s crowd.]

GEORGINA: [This is starting to tick her off, to push her buttons. She was so looking forward to her peaceful stroll, even maybe making some plans to go fly fishin’, and veggin’ out just a tiny bit more. She’s so close to the maximum conscious veg-out state. She can just feel it.]
Sweet Holy Jesus, blessed be thy name. Wha’d ya gotta do round here t’git a little peace and quiet? Now you tell me! [Peering upward] Seriously, Jesus, that wasn’t one of them rhentrical questions. [Peering back down the hall] Children, this is unacceptable behavior! [She’s heard enough. She closes her door. Dick will take care of this soon.]

SECOND CHORUS: [Brit’s friends peeking in through another window]
Ira is so ridiculous, so unreasonable, making such a big deal out of everything! Yeah, yeah, yeah! [They jump into Georgina's nephew's Hummer hoping to bring back some others to witness the spectacle.]

[Dick comes home. Hears the squabbling and reaches for the rifle with a sly, stifled grin. He fires a round and toys start flying everywhere, breaking into pieces and making a terrible mess. Little action figure limbs fly across the room, Playdough splatters against the walls. Dick mumbles to himself.]
Ah, who cares? Mrs. Rumsfeld will take care of it tomorrow. No, wait, she was fired. Who is the new cleaning lady again? No matter, Mr. Snow will cover up the whole thing anyway. No, wait. Didn’t he have to take sick leave or something? What is it that he’s got again? Anthrax? Typhoid Fever? Lou Gehrig’s Disease? Carpel Tunnel? Oh who cares! You can always count on Rover to take care of these things anyway.
[He looks affectionately at his beloved pit bull and fires another round. But this time a stray bullet hits the propane tank that fuels their swimming pool. The explosion wipes out not only their house but the entire neighborhood.]

[Beach Boys music, begins loud, then gradually fades out] Yes we caaan, oh yes we caaan! We'll have 'em rockin' and a'rollin' rockin' and a'reelin' bomb Iran, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!


LUCY: [Lucy hands her mother the play she has just written for her language arts homework assignment. Long Pause.]
Ahem! So what do you think?

MOM: Oh, yeah, it’s great, honey.

LUCY: But you were just holding it. You weren’t even actually reading it; you were totally focused on the TV the whole time, watching CNN.

MOM: Don’t be silly of course I was reading it. I wasn’t watching CNN.

LUCY: Oh yeah? Then tell me what it’s about?

MOM: They’re fighting over who invaded whose space, one of them takes some of the other’s action figures, fighting over who should apologize, how unfair it is that only one of them gets the big guns…It’s great, your teacher will love it.

LUCY: [Scrutinizing her mother’s face with skepticism]
If you really were reading it, then tell me how it ends.
MOM: [Blushing]
Um…Oh, my. Look at the time!

LUCY: See! I told you you were totally focused on CNN!

MOM: We’ll, I don’t want to be late to the party. They’re fundraising for Hillary you know, or Greenpeace. I forget which.

[Mom’s a bit distracted: more details are coming out about Anna Nicole Smith’s death and then there was that boy scout lost for several days in the woods and then finally found, a heart wrenching affair for any mother, and that astronaut diaper lady, it was just too much! Forgetting that it’s nighttime and pitch black outside, she puts on her huge designer sunglasses and neglecting to turn off the TV and the lights, exits the house, firmly shutting the door behind her.]