I had to do something work-wise that required Windows. A picture had to be dragged into a program to add the caption. Can’t do it without that program. It’s part of the exquisitely calibrated ecosystem of apps that serve as helpmeets to the big ugly non-intuitive program through which all our work must pass. It’s one of those super-powerful programs that does EVERYTHING, and hence the simplest tasks you do every day are complicated by an interface that has buttons and menus for every possible thing you could do, but won’t. I have fantasies in which I talk to the developers, and I am always R. Lee Ermey; sometimes they’re Private Pyle, and sometimes they’re Private Joker. The latter isn’t as satisfying because I can imagine them smirking at my outbursts, but on the other hand, if you saw “Full Metal Jacket,” you know that Ermey gave Joker a fist to the gut, so there’s that.

First step: get the files from my Mac to the Windows drives. There are many ways to do this, and they all feel like I’m smuggling dissidents across the Berlin Wall. Called up the Windows environment. All I got was Windows. No apps. No START menu. Just . . . Windows.

Well, I’ll have to use my desktop computer. I never use it, because it’s Windows, and the keyboard feels like I’m typing on dice. The mouse weighs .4 ounces, and skitters around because it’s Dell crap. The screen is on an arm that swings out, and when I pulled it out the monitor sagged, like the head of a sad, tired person WHO HAS TO USE WINDOWS. No, that’s not fair. Lots of people like Windows. But Windows on an office computer is just a thing of No Fun. It’s someone else’s computer, and for some of us that’s like sleeping in your sister’s bedroom.

I pushed it up. It sagged down. Gah. Looked to see where it could be tightened; there was a hole for a hex wrench, but who had a hex wrench? Hello: here’s a hex wrench, fastened to the back of the arm that holds the monitor.

I tried to pop it out. It wouldn’t. For some reason I didn’t think of the screwdriver on my keychain Swiss Army Knife, but thought a coin would do the trick. I didn’t have a coin. Who has coins? So go buy something from the vending machine.

Went to the vending machine; bought peanuts. PAID FOR IT WITH MY CREDIT CARD. IDIOT. Bought another pack of peanuts. It was $1.10, and I got 90 cents in change, which will go into a bucket and sit there for three years until the bucket is full. The peanuts might as well have been two dollars. Go back to desk, pry out the hex tool, adjust the monitor, sit down, type in user name.

Keyboard doesn’t work.

Probably dead batteries. Go back to the supply cabinet - which is right by the vending machine - and get fresh batteries. Install them. The keyboard works. Enter password . . . but what’s my password? It’s automatically saved on my Mac, and I update it monthly . . . checked my password manager. Ah. Type it in.


Well, which is it? Would that be too much to ask? Did I misspell the pw? Don’t know, because I just got black dots, a security feature you can’t disable because there might be invisible members of Anonymous hovering over your shoulder. Tried again. Nothing. Well, maybe I’ll just reset it. On the Mac I call up the Microsoft Explorer emulator and go to the company’s password reset page. It asks four security questions. I either failed one or four or three or two - it wouldn’t say which. Call technical support. Change password over the phone. Input password.


Tech support guy says he’ll come over and take a look. I get an alert from my phone: my meter is going to expire in 20 minutes. Call up the app that lets me add time remotely. NO INTERNET CONNECTION, it says.


Run two blocks, feed meter, run back. Tech guy is at the desk. Clucks and scowls and types and fusses - and a few minutes later he figures out the problem: I’m not connected to the network. One of the Cat-5 cables under the desk had been disconnected.

So the system is configured to say INCORRECT USER NAME OR LOGIN when the problem is actually something entirely different. Nice.

Now I’m in. Call up list of programs. I don’t have the one that lets you add the caption.

I felt stupid. I hate feeling stupid. A few weeks ago I discovered an incompatibility between the new Mac OS and the Citrix plug-in we used, and through some sleuthing discovered that the company’s website where we got the plug-in was giving the non-updated version; there was a newer version that fixed an SSL bug. So I called technical support, all proud, because I’d fixed the problem I’d called them about an hour before. (They’d told me to uninstall it and install it again.) I said I’d send them the details and they would be up to speed and maybe that company webpage could be updated?

“Okay,” he said. Translation: it’s a Mac, pal, and this will never come up again.

This sums up today:

What an accomplishment. Kudos are due. That was almost the highlight. Almost.



More "funny" recipies from a monster mag from 1973.



Get it? Ghoul Hash? Goulash? As with all things that involve the creatures of the damned, it's a pun, and so it's funny - but then you stop and say hey wait that has a macabre aspect as well, alongside the humor - suddenly I am chilled to the bone.


Where will someone in Germany or Yugoslavia get monkey fat?



Government Agents vs. the Phantom Legion: it's all about shipping schedules.

Sounds like a lawsuit. The summary:

How did that go?


Handy impervious wood box.

Of course we go right back to the Boardroom of the Trucker Men, and someone has the nerve to say what needs to be said:



There's some more shade, but Hal fires back by saying, more or less, "I'd tell you more about my future plan, but one of you is probably the brains of the hijacking operation, so go pound sand. He says he's going to turn everything over to the District Attorney, and when we go back to the Phantom's office building, he says they'll have to steal his evidence before it gets to the DA.

It's nice that everything's so straightforward; this would be silly if it was a diversion from stopping a moon landing. Anyway, the DA shows up and wants to hear the evidence.

Oh no. No.



Sigh. Well, we can skip to the end for the DEATH . . . BY ACCIDENT! The janitor, who's a traitor - they're always traitors in serials - tells the bad guys that Duncan is driving home, so they drive to Duncan's home and shoot him as he parks his car.

Actually, no, they set up a road accident.



Wait, if that's next week, what the hell did we just see?

Ready for some late 60s Appliance design? You'd better be.


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