Friday, December 20, 2002

Happy Christmas

Time is short. Time is money. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Not much time spent blogging lately, obviously, but I had to document that 13 year-old boy Matthew won a radio contest yesterday. Chip off the old block, unfortunately, as Lora is wont to point out. With a little help from 11 year-old Peter, he correctly answered the three "Brain Buster" questions on the Oldies station before going to school. (I was driving to work, and sadly, had a different radio station on.) They all related to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" which was on the tube again just a few days ago.

1: Who was the director of the kids' Christmas pageant?
2: How much does Lucy charge for psychiatric help?
3: What did Lucy want for Christmas?

So we have drive down to 120th and Howard to pick up whatever his prize was sometime in the next couple days... Pretty cool. They usually have decent sponsors, maybe it's some more free food. Who needs a "coveted" kitchen magnet or a right-wing bobblehead doll, anyway? (The answers, BTW, are "Charlie Brown", "five cents", and "real estate!")

Thursday, December 05, 2002

A short bleat concerning everyone's favorite OS... It's always an "application" that has "caused" a fatal error, or something the user did not do "properly" that makes the blue screen appear. (Rumor has it that the next Windows upgrade will include a more pleasing optional shade of blue for the screen of death.) If it accuses you of not telling it to shut itself down "properly", you can save time by just killing power to the damn thing. (In an office environment, this has the added benefit of causing conniptions in the IT department.) The only other option is to reinstall Windows, which carries the risk of losing all kinds of drivers and BIOS extensions and fixes and crap that you may have installed in order to upgrade video, hard drive, CD burner or various peripherals since the machine was new. Not a task to be undertaken when sleepy. Most Windows error messages are completely meaningless and most diagnostics it does are a waste of time. My computer spends about a minute counting its RAM when it wakes up, and I'm pretty sure it gets it wrong all three times. Every time the kids install a new game, something that used to work doesn't anymore. "Solitaire" doesn't even work anymore, fer cryin' out loud. Half the time "Setup" claims to be updating some file for something that was installed a month ago, and a "Driver Memory Error" always comes and goes with no discernable useful information offered. The machine may be twice as dumb as the people who wrote its operating system, surely one of the significant achievements of the modern era...