Friday. Horrible Friday. I finished my morning work and was preparing to head to the video studio to test the new equipment, and walked past the TV. Saw the number: 27. And that was it for the rest of the day.
Oh yes now let’s write the Sunday humor column. As it turned out, I didn’t; just wrote the only thing I could think about. Dipped into Twitter here and there looking for links to news, and saw people trotting out their prefabs. Everyone has them, but not everyone can keep from waving them around. You have to think: could this insertion of a personal conviction possibly, under broad definitions, put me in the camp of the people who protest funerals? It could? I’d best shut up.
I had a prefab. I suspected that the killer was male, young, and had been on mood-changing prescription drugs for some time. For millions they are wondrous things that give them their lives back. For millions more they may suppress the actual personality - for good and for ill - and while it allows them to be happy, they grow up not knowing who they are without the pills. That might be the price some pay for not being crippled by depression; whether it's a fair price for not being troubled by anxiety, I can't say. I'd have to be pretty damned bleak and bereft to take them myself. But that's my personal view. I don't judge people who take them.
But now and then I suspect they make monsters. The dosage changes, the prescription changes, new brews seep through the head, something gets honed horribly sharp, and the user does unspeakable things. It's just a suspicion. Maybe it's not because we don't do this anymore, or we have too much of that in the culture. Maybe it's the pills. That’s why we see more of it now.
That’s my prefab, but twitter is not the place for these things, so I just said “There’s not a parent in the country who doesn’t want to go to their child’s school and pick them up.”
Internet culture in a nutshell: someone who lacks the empathy to understand a point, and feels compelled to point out his disbelief.
I will confine myself to pointing out that Joe Colucci's glasses are crooked.
(Before you jump to any conclusions - if you are a new reader - I had panic attacks in my mid-20s for a year, which led to a decade of agoraphobia and other wonderful anxietis; cured them, more or less, by white-knuckling through desensitizing situations. This doesn't make me better because I turned down drugs - I don't even know what was available then - and I'd say that I wasted an exhausting amount of time dealing with these anxieties when a pharmacological remedy might have helped, and helped quite quickly.)
Okay. This damned thing.
On Thursday my daughter was doing through the garage to get to school; pushed the button, and the door went up. Pushed it again: it didn’t go down. Huh? So the switch failed right there, betwixt uses?
Well, it had to fail some time, I suppose. Later that night I used the other button - there's one on the frame of the garage door, and one by the Bat-tunnel going up to the house. The garage door duly clattered up. When I went back inside after taking out the trash, I pushed the button again. It didn’t go down. Huh? So both switches failed on one day? There is where you want a HAL 9000 informing you weeks in advance that the switch is about to fail - not that I would do anything about it, but it wouldn't be a surprise.
Sigh: get out the ladder, go up, remove the cowling, remind myself how I like to say “cowling,” and examine the situation. Ah: All the wires had come undone. See that crazy bracket arrangement? The unit is so oddly mounted that it shakes like a rummy's hands when the chain engages. Over the course of a year or two, this undoes a nut, and the unit drops two inches to the side - pulling out the wires.
Just simply a matter of putting them back, I guess - except that what you see up there is a bunch of unlabeled wires that go to a big wad of wires, and there’s no way to tell which set goes to which terminal. Four terminals. Eight wires. You do the math.
I found the manual online, got a general idea of how it works - unstriped wire / striped wire / unstriped wire / striped wire - but I can’t tell if I’m attaching two sets of OFF wires or one set of OFF wires with the other ON wires; all I know is that no combination worked, at all, and when I ceased to feel my fingers I left it for tomorrow.
Which is a nice word for “Spring.”
Weekend viewing included one of the episodes from “Rutland Weekend Television,” the aforementioned Eric-Idle Pythonesque show. One of the musical parodies had this band: