No problem like an internet problem

Just so you know I am not a techie or a geek. Normally I boot my computer up and hope that the steam will take it to full throttle. Oh, you say, computers don’t run on steam. Mine does. Else what is that mist coming out of its sides?

The other day I had a bit of trouble with my internet. My comp wasn’t wifi-ing correctly. The dumaflachie that tells me it’s on had become the Invisible Man. So I called the It-that-shall-not-be-named Internet Provider I pay a small fortune to.

I related the problem to Mr. Low-level who took my call. Let’s just call him LL for short. Over the phone, I heard a smirk coming from this guy on the other side of the world. Some place in Canada, I believe. The smirker tried to cover it up. That is often the game they play. The “why you smirking at me” game. They go into complete denial when you call them on their smirking. Dumb fool that I am, expecting customer service. All I get is a: “Well, sir, it’s against our policy to smirk at a customer. However, if you wish, we can email you our new smirker app. At no cost to you, sir. It will smirk at all your friends.”

I knew he smirked. I just knew it. But, after 3 hours of being put on hold, then spending another three hours getting tossed from Department A to Department Z back to Department B, I didn’t have the energy to argue. I just wanted the internet to work and the steam to go away.

LL directed me to unplug the whatchamacallit from the thingamajig, stick it up my butt for thirty seconds. I followed his directions. You know how cold and sticky that thingamajig is? Well, let’s just say it’s cold and sticky. I plugged it back into the computer. This did not solve the problem. I knew it wouldn’t. It never does.

The steam was pouring out of the computer, and I still couldn’t get on the internet, even if my life depended on it. In addition to that, my butt was hurting something fierce from the whatchamacallit I’d stuck up my rear end only a few minutes ago.

By this time, I was losing any kind of patience I had left. There was enough steam in my house to be able to run a locomotive from D. C. to L. A. and have some left over for a return trip. All I wanted to do was get on the internet and order a new computer. Sure I could’ve gone down to the local Computerama Store and picked one up the easy way. But no, I didn’t want to do that.

Amazon is my best friend. We have spent a lot of time bonding. It always shows me the love. I would have felt that I betrayed it. It might have been hurt and stopped all that free shipping I have received over the years.

LL said to me, “Sir, I am going to put you on hold. I have to consult one of my partners-in-crime here.” He put me on hold but I could hear him talking. About surfing of all things. He wasn’t trying to help me with my problem. He was worried about his big-assed surfboard. It was enough to make me want to fly up to Canada, walk into that call center and shove a surf board up his you-know-what. See how he felt.

Finally, after more waiting and more waiting, he said to me, “I think we have a solution to your problem, sir. What you need to do is—”

“Click,” I heard my cell phone say. “You are out of your monthly allotment of minutes. To add minutes, we will need three credit cards and your first born child.” I tried to explain to the darn thing that I didn’t have a first-born child. It was not listening.

Wasn’t that just fine and dandy? No computer. No internet. No phone.

Anyway to make a long story longer, I went down to Computerama and bought a brand spanking new computer. It has an antenna I placed on the roof so I can receive the internet. The way it works is that it contacts an alien spacecraft hovering over earth and bounces a wave back to me. I can now contact any website on the nine planets of our solar system. (And, yes, Pluto is a planet.) Oh, and my new service includes unlimited phone service.

All it is costing me is a monthly allotment of the plutonium in my head. But that’s okay. I have plenty to spare. So no more steam and no more whatchamacallits up my rump. There is only one problem. I am getting Dear John letters from Amazon. It doesn’t love me anymore. I sent it flowers. That didn’t work.

Any suggestions what I can do to get Amazon to love me again?

Passwords, Passwords and More Passwords

How the heck do I keep track of them?

All the passwords I have to create to enter various and sundry sites on the web. I mean, I have passwords for my work, for my credit union, for WordPress, for my computer, for my router, for my credit card account, for my cell phone, for Facebook, for my health insurance account, for my car insurance site, for Netflix, for my cable company, for my utilities company, for my antivirus account, for my library account, for this and for that and for more of the same.

I have passwords to get to my passwords, and passwords to get to those passwords. And the experts tell me not to use the same passwords. How do I keep track of the darned things? What happens if I get the alzheimers and can’t remember any of them? Pretty soon I will need a password just to get into my car and one to get into my house. God help me if I ever forget those.

There are so many of the darn things to remember and I’m supposed to change them every fifteen minutes or so. It has become overwhelming. On top of all my personal passwords, I have to remember passwords at work. And all these passwords are supposed to be alphanumeric with this that or the other emoji so some hacker in Russia can’t break in and steal some of my prized possessions.

One of these days all my brain will contain is passwords. I’ll meet a friend and say, “Well, hello, loopy4837….oh, sorry, hello George….” All the technological revolution in the past twenty years has caused is making me into one big worry wort.

“What was that dad-nab-it password?” Oops, I just forgot the password to my brain.

I know, I know. Our computers have gotten a lot smarter. They remember passwords. But what happens if someone steals my computer?

Pretty soon I’ll find out they’ve logged into my Frogger Game Online and are playing in my name and they are losing. I had twenty gadzillion points racked up and now they’ve lost every last one of them. All because I stored my passwords on my computer. Or horror of horrors, they’ve logged into my WordPress Account and are writing my blogs for me. And the darned thief spells worse than I do.

Years ago I worked in the data processing department at my local library. (These days it would be called the IT Department.) I remember this cartoon my boss had tacked onto the bulletin board in our office. It showed an open grave and a woman standing over it, saying a prayer. A man in a suit was leaning over and asking her, “Did he … give you the password?”

Wonder what will happen if God forgets Her passwords? We will be in a real world of hurt.

Just a thought: maybe She can contact the NSA.

Hair

Today I want to write about hair. Or the lack thereof. I have lost most of the fuzz up on the lawn that is the top of my head. Seems much of it is missing in action. One could say that it has gone Hamlet on me. It just can’t make up its mind. Either go bald or grow some grass up there, I yell. I’m tired of maybe some hair.

Unfortunately my yelling, cajoling, pleading hasn’t helped. There are still a few weeds sprouting up on top of Ol’ Smokey. Mostly there’s nothing. At least, nothing to write home about. But I haven’t gone completely Yul Brynner. Yet.

A long time ago back in the way back yonders, I had hair dangling down to somewhere else. You know where, but I’m not saying. It wouldn’t be right in mixed company. I was one of those who could sing the anthem to “Hair”. The song that came out of the musical, celebrating the fun the hippies were having and all the rest of us were not having. Either we didn’t have the courage or the good sense. Now that I think back it was probably a bit of both.

As far as my hair goes, I think what happened is gravity took over, pulling the grass downward. My hair started going south. I shave and ten minutes later I have a faceful again.

So now I’m singing, “Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair. Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen. Give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer.” Man, I miss all that hair flying in the breeze in a convertible with the top down. But don’t worry. I am not going George Castanza and wearing a toup. I’d be embarrassed to show my face in public. I do have my pride.

If the gods are not going along with my prayer of a song, the least they could do is complete the job with the head. I am ready for a Telly Savalas make-over. You know, completely, undeniably bald. Pretty soon, you would see me with that Telly lollipop he used to suck on in “Kojak”.

It might even increase my sex appeal the way it did with T. S. and Yul. A little sex appeal can only help a writer who wants readers for his blog and his books. That’s right, I have books and more books a-coming down the road. And it would be nice to have readers for them.

By the way, why isn’t there a theme song out there, celebrating baldness. It’s only right that we get both sides of the story. Sinéad O’Connor could sing it. Just one is all we ask. There are a lot of us who could use the encouragement.

And come to think of it, our beards could use a little of that support too. Need I remind everybody that one of our greatest Presidents had a beard. ‘Course that was after he went off and killed all those vampires. Guess all that vampire hunting made him too tired to shave.

New State Nicknames

Been thinking the States all need new nicknames. The old ones have become a bit worn out. So here’s a list I am proposing:

Alabama, the “between Mississippi and Georgia” state.

Alaska, the “I can see Russia from my house” state.

Arizona, the “wanna see our sinkhole…it’s a canyon” state.

Arkansas, the “Bill Clinton, need I say more” state.

California, the “who’s afraid of the big bad earthquake” state.

Colorado, the “our pot is better than your pot” state.

Connecticut, the “who can spell me” state.

Delaware, the “we’re bigger than Rhode Island” state.

Florida, the “we do know the difference between a dimple and a chad” state

Georgia, the “we have real pits in our peaches” state.

Hawaii, the “we’ve got lu’aus and surfing, what have you got” state.

Idaho, the “can you take some of these potatoes off our hands” state

Illinois, the “our President Lincoln was better than your President” state

Indiana, the “you spell it backwards and you’ve got anaidnI” state.

Iowa, the “we start the whole mess every four years, would you please forgive us” state.

Kansas, the “when you’re in Kansas, you know you’re in Kansas” state

Kentucky, the “wanna race” state.

Louisiana, the “oh, no, not another hurricane” state.

Maine, the “Stephen King scares us too” state.

Maryland, the “we’re in the Navy” state.

Massachusetts, the “home of the Boston cream pie, don’t you wish you had a pie as good” state.

Michigan, the “we’ve got four Great Lakes, how many do you have” state.

Minnesota, the”oh geez bet it’s gonna be cold tomorrow” state

Mississippi, the “we’re right next to Alabama” state.

Missouri, the “we can show you the way to Kansas, Dorothy” state

Montana: the “we warned Custer and he just wouldn’t listen” state.

Nebraska, the “Warren Buffet lives in our state” state.

Nevada, the “get married and divorced in 24 hours” state.

New Hampshire, the “can’t get more Yankee than us” state.

New Jersey, the “we’re really not that bad, we just play it that way on TV” state.

New Mexico, the “hey, come see our balloons” state.

New York: the “youse guys” state

North Carolina, the “we got nice mountains” state.

North Dakota, the “wish I was South Dakota” state.

Ohio, the “we’re named after a river, what are you named after” state.

Oklahoma, the “I’m just passing through” state.

Oregon, the “we’re just below Washington” state.

Pennsylvania, . the “nobody steals our stealers and we have the authentic cheese steak” state.

Rhode Island, the “yes we’re here.. just look really hard” state.

South Carolina, the “if you wanna be a Republican president, you better win our state” state.

South Dakota, the “I wish I was North Dakota, y’all” state.

Tennessee, the “state where al gore invented the internet and discovered global warming” state

Texas, the “our jack rabbits are bigger than your jack rabbits” state.

Utah, the “our capital is named after a lake” state.

Vermont, the “state where two hippies could make ice cream and name it after other hippies” state.

Virginia, the “older than all the other states” state.

Washington, the “rain and more rain” state.

West Virginia, the “we’re the only state that’s got west in its name, Kanye” state.

Wisconsin, the “our cheese really is cheese” state.

Wyoming, the “cow tipping” state.

Ten Things To Know About Cow-tipping

Note. For purposes of safety, do not confuse cow-tipping with outhouse tipping. The latter can get you damaged by the outhouse occupant. If you do practice this sport of outhouse tipping, please be prepared to run like hell.

1.   According to the International Organizations for the Advancement of Cow-tipping United for Pleasure (better known as IACTUP), cow-tipping has been in existence since the founding of the country. Previous to the coming of the English at Jamestown, the Indians participated in a practice called bear-tipping. Due to the high percentage of loss of life from the exercise, the Indians were absolutely thrilled when they discovered the English had brought several cows and a bull with them to the New World.

2.   When the country was trying to decide who the first president would be, the founding fathers held a cow-tipping contest. George Washington beat out Thomas Jefferson by fifteen seconds. General Washington would have done a slam dunk of three minutes had he not dropped his false teeth and picked them up and put them back in his mouth. The teeth always needed considerable adjustment. Why did he waste time retrieving his teeth? He knew that the paparazzi would be taking photos and he wanted to look his best.

3.   When Theodore Roosevelt went west, he participated in the sport. He not only tipped cows. He tipped waiters. He tipped waitresses. He even tipped buffalo. By the time he returned east, he had gotten himself into the Guinness Book of Records with forty-three cow-tips.

4.  According to Hoyle’s Rules for Cow-tipping, proper attire must be worn for a successful cow-tipping affair: For the casual cow-tipping, broad-brimmed hat such as a cowboy hat, long-sleeved shirt, jeans and boots can be worn by both men and women. For the more formal affair, broad-brimmed hat, black tux and dress boots for the men. For the ladies, a gown of any color will do in addition to the hat and the boots.

5.  It is essential that the prospective cow-tipper bring two bottles of whiskey to the arena. One for the cow-tipper, one for the cow.

6.  Before the actual cow-tipping, identify the target of your affection. Is it a cow or is it a bull? To do this, approach said target from the rear, lift the tail and inspect the goodies. If a bull, please do not disturb the fellow. Back away slowly and leave him in peace. He may very well think you are a cow. Bulls are well-known for their poor eyesight.

7. When approaching the cow, watch your step. If you don’t, you may be up to your neck in manure. In 2012, thirty potential cow-tippers died from drowning in the stuff.

8.  If you happen to hear loud noises during your cow-tipping, it probably is not a car backfiring. More than likely it is a the cow’s owner. He/she may very well be  upset with you for cow-tipping without a license. Cow owners, better known in the local vernacular as cow havers, have been known for their excellent marksmanship when drawing a bead and firing on a potential cow-tipper. In most Western states, it is not against the law to damage a cow-tipper. IACTUP is lobbying to have the law changed. The Wyoming legislature in 2013 was the first state to cooperate. California may soon join Wyoming.

9.  Cow-tipping has become so popular there is a movement to create a National Cow-tipping Hall of Fame.

10.  A cow-tipping kit is now being sold for all those amateurs who may see this as a rite of passage into adulthood. Please follow the instructions exactly. The manufacturer will not be responsible for any deviations.