Monday, October 18, 2004

Broken, Missing, Incorrect or Otherwise

Today I clicked on the start menu of my computer to get to the "Open Office Document" tab, but it wasn't there. There was some other tab in its place. (Okay, so I deleted the new tab and I forget what it was now) So I'm sitting there wondering: what happened to my tab? Why is this other mysterious tab there? The "New Office Document" tab is still there. I don't think anyone else was on my computer since I was last. Everything else seems in order. So what the heck happened? And how can I fix it?

So, like I said, I deleted the mysterious tab. I guess for some reason I thought my missing tab would pop up in its place. (Okay, I admit, that was a pipe dream) When it didn't, I started poking around to see if I could find a link to it somewhere so I could recreate it in my start menu. Now I'm not the most computer savvy person around, but I know a trick or two- so I thought I might be able to fix it. After searching high and low, I found nothing helpful. It's not so much that I cannot function without that tab, but I liked it. That's the way I liked to do things. And now, no more tab. The only thing I can think of to replace it is to re-install Office. Yeah. Riiiight.

So this incident gets me thinking about a few things.

First: uh-oh does this mean my computer is crashing? Do I have a virus? I ran the scan Friday, but perhaps I'll run it again today.

Second: I think computers fall into the category of things that are wrong, don't work or break for no reason yet we accept them because we need them.

You know what I mean. Your computer gets the Blue Screen of Death every hour or so. You call your IT Department. When they find it convenient to come visit, the look at the computer for a few minutes, open up explorer, maybe run a virus scan, open up MS DOS and pretend they are doing something savvy, then look at you, shrug and say that nothing is wrong with it. You continue to have the problem daily for months until you finally convince them to buy you a new computer. Then a few months later, the new computer starts to do strange things like take away your "Open Office Document" tab. :P

Other examples include:

Printer/Copiers/Fax Machines: Can these things possibly function for a whole week without jamming, needing toner/ink/drums, feeding pages out randomly, printing wingdings, sending only 3 of my 4 page fax, etc.? And it can't just be one machine that malfunctions, it's like they are interconnected and they all act up at the same time. Ever see "Office Space"? That scene with the fax machine in the field with the baseball bat is going to be happening in my office very soon.

Cell Phones: dropped calls, bad reception, etc...while this seems to be improving, there are still lots of problems that people accept and move on. Whoops, I lost him, he must be on his cell, going through a bad area, can you hear me now? Nevertheless, we all have our cell phones, and we feel lost without them. Have you ever forgotten yours? I forgot mine one day and I felt completely lost. I was so worried that I would need it for something. (And I was at work all day, where it sits turned off in my desk) Heck 10 years ago practically no one even had a cell phone, but today we all have our phones with intermittent reception.

Weathermen: It's not so hard here in SoCal, but in other parts of the country I really wonder. They seem to predict the weather somewhat close about half of the time. Yet many people still tune in daily to get that weather report. Heck, there's even a whole channel dedicated to weather. And it has been on for many many years, so people must be watching it. What's next tuning in to the Psychic Friends Network for your daily prediction. (Okay, I know, some people actually do call those, but that's a whole different issue)

Some Runners-Up who aren't too bad, but are worth mentioning:

Cable Television: I have DirecTv, but I remember the days when every time it rained, or the wind blew wrong or the sun came out the cable would go out. It was really annoying, yet we all kept right on paying for our cable. (Though they would give you a credit if you called- I guess that is something)

Post Office: I have several issues with the post office. We are stuck with them, as they are the only way to mail something. If they screw up or make you mad, you can't go anywhere else. They are it. And the postal workers behind the counter know it. Many of them are nasty and unpleasant a good bit of the time. But what are you going to do about it? Additionally, I don't know how true this is, but I hear that a good bit of our mail never makes it to us. (Of course our bills always get to us though :P) I also see a lot of mail in my box that is not for me, has a different name or address on it, etc... The good news is that you can minimize using the post office these days because of e-mail and online bill paying.

Caller ID: Now don't get me wrong, I like my caller ID, but why is it that half of the calls either say: Restricted Caller, NO ID or it solely lists the state the call is coming from (like California Call)? I just want to know who it is calling me. The number would at least be helpful...

The Police Department/911: This obviously depends where you live. I have experienced excellent service in some communities. However in the majority of places it seems that the response is not quite speedy. One time I tried calling 911 for about 5 minutes straight and I kept getting the message that all lines were full and to try again later. Now in that case no one was bleeding to death, but it really makes you wonder what would happen if it was a life and death situation and minutes counted. I've also encountered situations with officers and detectives that really make me wonder about the functionality of fighting crime.

Conversely, I was thinking of some other things that I wish didn't work most of the time: The Beep Beep backing up truck noise, the annoying noise Nextel 2 way radios make after someone speaks, the annoying loud and vibrating car stereos blasting bass, lighters to light cigarettes, etc..

Those are just a few of the things that don't work but should, and do work but shouldn't. If any of you have any other ones to share, feel free to post a comment.

Hummm...maybe my lost tab is hanging out with the sock I lost in the dryer...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

To Own or Not To Own? Guns are the Question.

Back when the United States of America was becoming a country, it was common practice for most people to have guns. Then at some point in history people stopped carrying their guns with them, stopped having so many in the house- if any at all. With the way our society seems to be shaping itself today, I’m wondering if there will be a comeback to the days of owning several guns for protection.

With the downfall of our society comes an increase in robbery, burglary, hate crimes, etc. I’ll save the downfall of society rant for another time. My point is: do we need to get back to the time of carrying weapons, specifically guns, to feel safe? And not only to feel safe, but to actually be safe?

If you had asked me that a few years ago, I would not have thought I would ever need to/ want to own a gun. As I watch where our society is headed, I have rethought that issue. It’s unfortunate that we have gotten to this point, but let’s be realistic. If some big scary looking gang member is on drugs, or heck, even if some scrawny little twirp is on drugs: THEY LOSE ANY INHIBITIONS THEY MAY HAVE HAD. Their adrenaline rushes and they become stronger than usual. They don’t know or care about any consequences. All they know is that you have something they want, and they are going to take it from you: no matter what. They don’t care if they hurt you or kill you in the process. They will kill you for your car or even the five dollars in your wallet. Now do you wish you had a gun? What if the car they are stealing from you has your six month old baby strapped into the back seat? Do you really think they are going to let you take your child out before they take off? And we’ve all seen those police chase shows on T.V. How many times does the drug induced robber total the vehicle? Now do you want a gun so you can stop the son-of-a-bitch before he harms your child?

Personally, I’d like to have several guns in my home, one in my car and one in my purse. (After all, my gun at home would not do me any good if someone was trying to carjack me.)

I have to point out an issue from the Presidential Debate last night. They were asked about reauthorizing the assault weapons ban. I just have one thought for Sen. Kerry: He spoke about how the police force wanted this reauthorized because “They don‘t want to go into a drug bust and be facing an AK-47.” Okay, let’s think about this for one minute here. They are typically busting drug-lords. They have illegal drugs. Hmmm…do you honestly think that they have legal, registered weapons??? Do you honestly think they don’t have access to get illegal weapons? So if you ban AK-47’s, then you or I can’t get one, but Mr. DrugLord and his gang members can. And so when they break down my door to steal what I have, I won’t be able to own a weapon that competes with theirs. Gee, that makes sense.

Okay, so here’s what it comes down to: our society is taking a downfall. Honestly, I don’t see a turn around from this anytime soon. People are getting worse and worse, more spiteful, have more hatred and less morals. (unfortunately with our advances in technology and medicine, Darwinism hasn’t been allowed to flourish as it should) Those of us who do have morals and are bettering ourselves and are successful need to be able to protect and defend ourselves and our possessions from the underachievers.

I don’t think guns are for everyone. I do think guns are for people who can handle the responsibility of owning them. I believe in a screening process. I believe in proper training. (What good is a gun if you are too afraid to use it and Mr. Robber takes it right out of your hands?) I believe in owning guns.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Halloween Costume!

Alright kids, it'’s October and that means Halloween is right around the corner. I'’m going to the annual West Hollywood Halloween Carnival this year, so I need to have a kick-ass costume. I'’ve got a few things in mind, but I haven’'t settled on anything just yet. So everyone post your ideas. Let me know what you, your friends or kids are going to be. And post any suggestions you have for me. To give you an incentive, if you guys come up with a really good idea and I use it, I'’ll post a picture of how the costume turned out!

-Pix