Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Computer and Basketball

I woke near midnight yesterday and all the people in my computer were green.
Now green happens to be my favorite color, but I mean really! My computer was taking things a bit too far.
For instance, the aforementioned picture of myself and my case manager, Erin, holding an apple pie. Now her hair really was green (instead of the lovely shoulder length, dark brown hair she usually has). My hair was green as well. And now it was a green apple pie.
All the people on the Internet were green as well. When one google's one can click on the "Images," icon and a whole bunch of pictures will magically appear. I did this and all the people in the pictures were green (or of a greenish tint).
This alarmed me. Something was amiss.
My computer and I battle daily. It's a cute little HP Slime-line, just a little bit bigger than your average shoe box. I use it primarily to do research on the net, and for word processing. Quite often my computer has it's unknown agenda though, and wants to do what it wants to do, rather than what I want it to do. Whenever it acts up I get very nervous, as doing research and word processing are very important to my daily rituals, and anything that jeopardizes these activities scares me. It doesn't help that for all practical purposes I am completely computer clueless. All I know about computers was what was taught to me by my two friends John and Mike, who both helped me buy and set up my current computer, and it wasn't much, and I was now a bit anxious about how to correct my green problem.
Said problem apparently occurred while I was attempting to burn a DVD of my favorite western film, "Will Penny," starring the great actor, Charlton Heston (who I saw in person once, at a tribute for the recently passed, Carl Sagan), for my neighbor, the notorious mongerer, Lester B. It must have been an infected movie file, as it was taking forever to burn, and now all my people were green (some very dear to me).
Well I could not let this stand, and I spent most of that morning and day trying to get things back to normal.
First I looked in my computer's control panel to see if I could easily fix the problem by making some small adjustment. No such luck. I then tried to restore the system to an earlier time when all my people weren't green, like the day before. That was done successfully, but the people were still green!
"God damn it," I said to myself.
Now more drastic actions were called for. Unfortunately I chose the wrong one.
I thought that if I reset my computer to it's original factory condition (one of the few things I do know how to do), surely the problem would be resolved.
I did this, and in the process lost all of my contact and calendar information.
And the people were still green. All of them.
"What the f--k," I exclaimed.
At this point I got busy trying just to get the computer back to some kind of normal operating condition.
But my computer didn't want to do that. It wanted to download all the Windows and HP updates it had just lost when I reset it back to it's original factory condition, 75 of them. This took about two hours. Then it wanted to download Norton security info. I'm into security, so I let it do that as well (the only good thing that came out of this pitiful situation is that I somehow got 60 more days of free Norton security), which didn't take that long.
I then had to install a codec pack (to watch movies), utorrent (to get movies), a Google shortcut for my desk top, my word processor (Abi-suite), and the Sage thesaurus program.
But my people were still green, and the computer wasn't doing things the way it had just a day ago. So I E-mailed Mike (who I don't know where he's currently living) and John (who now resides in Costa Rica), calling out for "Help!" Fortunately, they are used to this. I even E-mailed Hewlit Packard, thinking they would know how to solve this problem since they made the damn thing.
While waiting for a response it occurred to me that if my computer was indeed infected, maybe a Norton security scan would identify the problem. I ran the scan and after checking over 200,000 locations in the mysterious depths of the machines innards, it came across one lonely little tracking cookie which wasn't supposed to be there. I had Norton remove the offending piece of software, then checked my people.
Success! They were all back to normal. Now Erin's hair is back to it's lustrous dark brownness.
Mine too!
Enough about computers. Quite frankly I'm tired of the subject.
Today during support group we played basketball. Out back, behind my box, there is a small fenced in open area where we have our garden (The Garden Club has just recently resumed and all we are growing right now is a lavender plant, some shamrocks, six tomato plants, and a blue flowery plant that is not long for this world). There is also a small paved area surrounding a basketball hoop. Appropriately enough, this is where we played basketball, Erin, Paul, Rodney (another neighbor who is the only person I've ever met who knows all of the ancient Greek and Roman gods), myself, and an intern (case manager wanna be), also named Paul.
If I remember correctly the last time I have touched a basketball was way back when I was in high school. Too many years ago to mention. And I was clumsy at first, I'll admit that, handling the ball and shooting like a little girl.
But I got better and I smoked all of them.
We played the game thusly: we all took turns shooting from various locations, and those of us lucky enough (or in my case, skilled enough) to make the shot were allowed to ask any question of the others who were required to answer. I do believe I made the most shots, Paul (case manager Paul) second, and Erin third. Rodney may be great at mythology, but he sucks at basketball.
So I asked who their favorite television shows were, their favorite films, and books. I found out when Erin's birthday is (because my computer had delightedly deleted that information during it's last mishap).
Asking Erin questions like what her favorite things are is very amusing because she attempts to sincerely answer the question correctly, but she can't because she tends to shy away from "absolutes," like what the word "favorite," implies. She really worries over all her thoughtful answers, which I find quite fascinating. I don't know why.
She likes the contemporary comedian Demetri Martin, but will not state that he is her favorite.
I on the other hand have no problem with absolutes, and Jack Benny will always be my "favorite" funny man.
Favorite, favorite, favorite.

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