Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The New New Winner

Today, I had a fellow, both hard of hearing and somewhat belligerent, call in for service. He had paid for the online services because of problems with his keyboard. Apparently, it would not make the special symbols at the top of the keyboard (! @ # $ % ^ & * and so forth). Fully expecting this to be a problem with stickykeys, I walked him through the excruciatingly long process of linking his system to mine through screen sharing.

Sure enough, my input goes through fine to his notepad. Though he did have trouble finding the number 2 when he typed it into notepad, and when I highlighted it and waved the cursor around it to show him where it was. Then he tried to type an @ symbol. It came up a two.

"Ok, press the shift key and hit the two."
"That's the one that says caps lock, right?"
"No, its the one that says shift."
Another two crops up.
"Sir, are you holding it down?"
"No, should I be?"

Yes, friends, I have found a human being who both owns a computer and claims to have used it for stock trading online, who was unaware of how to use the shift key. For reference, the shift key was invented as an innovation to the mechanical typewriter by 1910, which predates ENIAC, generally considered the first general-purpose electronic computer, by 37 years. Being unapologetically 'not an expert' and having 'no intention of becoming one' is not an excuse here.

So we have a new winner. I can only imagine that he is a retiree, most likely from the upper class, who dictated his letters to some hapless, brow-beaten secretary for his entire career and is likely to kill himself through comical incompetence the moment he has to, say, do his laundry or cook a meal.

Well, he did pay $50 to have someone tell him what a shift key is, so maybe there is some justice in the world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Well, it took some doing, but now I own a car. And what a car! Its a 2005 Jetta with all the bells and whistles. A silver dynamo with decent gas mileage, leather seats, a six-disk changer, and one of those remote-entry click-gadgets. More than one person has commented that it has room for no less than two corpses in the trunk. The whole thing is a triumph of free-spirited German engineering, and the giant Volkswagen logo on the grill makes it easy to find in parking lots.

Also, I just got back from the nation's capital, as I'd gone to visit Leigh Ann. We had tons of fun, I walked way more than I was accustomed to, and I got to see the National Gallery, the Spy Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Air & Space Museum, among others. It has to be one of the most inspiring things I've done in some time. Faced with the noble endeavors and the greatness that this country once had when it had an ounce of vision, side-by-side with the accomplishments of science and art on an unrivaled scale, I felt myself re-energized. I've started laying back into the Adventures of Upgrade & Beatnik Baby and I may have a few other art-type projects bubbling in my brain.

On another life-related note, I spent seven hours playing Rock Band this weekend. It was amazingly fun. I'm tempted to buy it for the Wii, but I've decided to hold out for Rock Band II. Video games have always been about wish fulfillment and fantasy. Interesting that it has grown out of fueling our fantasies of heroism and adventure to give us the simulated life of a rock star. I personally think once someone invents Pornography Hero, society will grind to a halt as no one will leave the house ever again.