Saturday, April 4, 2009

Shots Fired

Well, who'da thunk it? I seemed to have moved my blog to Blogger; a thing which I had no intention of doing. Many of my friends from MSN Spaces moved, but I chose to stay, despite the fact that it got cuter and more jejeune everyday. But this morning I was completely unable to login to my blog which is more than two years old and which has only improved with age. I have spent half an hour or more and can NOT find a way to login to Spaces as ME. I can (after a struggle) get to MSN Spaces itself, and it welcomes me as a stranger, urging me to start a blog today, but when I say I am me, senior blogiste extraordinaire, an old resident, it knows me not. Just because I failed to make an entry for a month I am apparently a complete stranger to Spaces. Well, so be it.

You'd think after nearly 40 years in the computer biz, I could achieve anything, but the fact is that I have so little interest in, or liking for, computer work, that I learn nothing that I do not need to know for work - and my work does not involve the net. Here I am a babe in the woods. It took 3 tries to get onto Blogger - I HATE those faux words one has to type in to verify one's identity because apparently I can't read them. They are always cutely twisted together (what is that about?) and 'o's are set so closely to 'l's that the pair looks like a single 'd' or 'b' or 'p' and I kept getting spurned, and this is one dude that does not take kindly to spurning. Blogger, you are on notice.

I will, if ever I find my way back to Spaces, post a link from there to here, or perhaps from here to there, because there are a slim handful of folks whom I have come to value hearing from. I don't want them to think I left them without a word. I intend to find my old pal jeankfl who already made the switch from Spaces to Blogger and find out if she knows how the hell to get back into Spaces one more time to post the link and urge folks to visit my new digs. Anyway, my effort to get into Spaces came about because I finally wrote a new entry in Word which I planned to post, and I couldn't. Not one to waste, I am posting my entry below; viz:

Saturday! Is there any more glorious pair of words in any language than “Saturday morning”? If I may speak for you all for a moment, no, there is not. I knew you would agree. This, of course, assumes that there are no children in the house, no spouse holding a list and a tool of some sort, and favoring you with meaningful looks. True, outside my window I am being given spouse-like looks such as no bird should ever give a benefactor, as the fledged ones teeter in the wind on empty suet and seed containers. I fled Smallville yesterday, while a number of people were being shot in the nearby city of Binghamton; the cruelest of all fates would be to be shot late Friday, on a working day just before Saturday. What a disappointing end to a workweek that would be!

One accepts being shot eventually, of course; it is the American way – but just before the weekend? That is too cruel a fate. The gentleman doing the shooting seems to have lost his job recently, and based on the sketchy facts known so far, I would guess that he worked in a building adjacent to me, if not in the same building. I am suitably grateful that he chose to take out a crowd of folks who had no relation whatsoever to his grievance, rather than someone more closely placed to the source. This is a point where my friend jeankfl could point out the goodness of the Almighty, but I would point out that, given the overt religiosity in these parts, those who fell before the onslaught were statistically far more likely to share her illusions than me.

The wind blew fiercely all night and things outside seem this morning to be in places they were not to be found yesterday. Daffodils, hyacinths, crocus and blue scilla are a-bloom and it is with dismay that I notice that among the scattered drops of rain falling this morning are a few drops that might better be described as flakes, and that might better be described as snow. I waited long for the rewards of my brother George’s planting fervor, and I do not wish to see it reach the same premature end as the folks in Binghamton.

Speaking of George, he moved out last month to live in the city, closer to his social circle. I remain here, not having a social circle – or for that matter a social anything, although one of the old roomies from Saudi visited two weeks ago and spent the weekend. According to my friend, the changes in Saudi are many and deep, and he now rather likes living there, something that could not be said of him when I lived there – I loved it back then and would probably rue the changes, but despite having been born and raised in the third world, he is more westernized than I. We pretty much agree that the current king is the best since Feisal, and is making huge strides to improve life there for all but the most Wahhabist, a group that will not be satisfied until the entire world is either deceased or agreeing with them; in this they resemble closely many of my church-going neighbors. I suspect both are torn between their secret preference that we all be dead and the reflection that our conversion would put that much more cash into the old plate. Although at least the Muslims are not so overtly crass as to pass around a begging bowl in their actual places of worship.

I received a call from a lawyer – or one who hinted that he was such – claiming that he was calling to collect a debt I owed an apartment complex from 2005 in Milwaukee, WI. The actual facts are these: I moved in there and attempted to place my bicycle in the storage unit which was assigned to my apartment, judging by the number painted thereupon. I found it full of boxes and padlocked, so I went to the office and expressed my frustration. “Oh,” said the female therein, cheerily, “Just pick an empty unit and put your padlock on it.” This I did, and four months later when fate decreed a move to another state, I removed my bike and the lock, cleaned my place, had movers pack everything up and left after having given required notice and so forth. Two months later I received a bill for $660 for the labor involved for the apartment people (apparently they hired major league baseball players to do this, and paid them the wages to which they were accustomed) to clean out “my” storage area. I wrote and explained the above scenario and apparently they laid low and waited to sell my ‘debt’ to a collection agency, which calls itself a ‘law office’. Said agency seems to have been about a step behind me as I moved hither and yon, and did not reach me until this week, four years later. When I explained the scenario, the person at the other end of the call sniffed, “Did you get it in writing?” Which, of course, I did not; who other than another brazen thief would have thought to ask the clueless (or collusive) person who breezily suggested using a different space to please write that down.

I pay my debts on time – even when I don’t like them, such as the charges for leaving a lease early and so on; and it enrages me when someone tells me I didn’t. These people are opportunists and thieves and I was not long in my apartment before I got the clear idea that no one escaped the place without being dunned for something – it was one reason I used packers and movers to ensure my zeal did not flag while even a fragment of my belongs remained. It was clear that this debt collector would not go away until I paid and that even if I went to court in a now distant state, I would lose without any proof of my story, so I reverted to my most childish mode. I got the cheque – or money order - from the post office, then – and this took a great deal of time, science and effort - I carefully coated the entire perimeter of the order with human feces: to wit, my own. I then sprayed the whole with Deer-Off, and if you haven’t smelled that fine but foul-smelling product, you have not extended your olfactory experience anywhere near its outer boundary, believe me. Then I sent it off.

In this era of populist outage, it is my humble hope that scavengers such as these bill collectors who have no interest in the legitimacy of the claims they pursue, and tenants who are pretty defenseless against dishonest and avaricious tactics of unscrupulous housing complexes, let alone the sheer ineptitude of the best and brightest which taxpayers pay such handsome bonuses to retain, that the pissed off victims of job loss, and other disappointments will finally turn their guns to more appropriate targets than old folks homes, classrooms and the like. It is idle to deplore these shooting rampages; as Stokely Carmichael said accurately, “Violence is as American as cherry pie.” Moreso, I’d think. One would not give every American a car and expect that no one would drive; similarly why would anyone expect everyone to own a gun and not use it? But just as we try to channel driving into certain areas, and use it usefully, why on earth aren’t shooting rampages similarly channeled? Why is a single member of the Enron or Citibank or AIG upper management left alive, while students and charity workers and McDonald’s customers are being mowed down regularly? Priorities, people! Let’s introduce a little regulation into these mass killings. The Earth will be a better place – at least this corner of it – and the shooters, one would think, can die a great deal more happily in the knowledge that they have in fact cured the ill that so disturbed them.

Hey, if there is anyone feeling really pissed off in the Milwaukee area, I have an address for you!


  1. Hey! Glad you're over here! I hope we can get more frequent posts. hehe At any rate, I hope you made it back into your space, if only to get all your posts. I probably have most of them on my RSS feed, if you need any.
    You amaze me again.. I don't know of anyone that could come up with scheduled gun rampages! I think it might catch on. Let's publicize and see what happens. Maybe we'll lose a lot of those AIG, bankers, and wall street bigwigs that have turned our economy into crap, while we all sat and smiled and stupidly let them do it. Excellent idea!

  2. Still can't get back into Spaces as a member - what is up with THAT? It is true we sat and smiled, but I, for one, have a dazzling smile. I must say you tracked me down quickly - If I go unto the mountain thou art there and if I go into the desert, thou art there. Blogger must have been, relatively, a piece of cake!

  3. THIS IS ACTUALLY One Beam-- Not blue any longer!

    40 years in computers? You must have been one of the ones who invented/perfected them! Doesn't surprise me, I guess.

    I agree--people who try to say I didn't do something I DID, or that I AM something I am not, or Said something I didn't, infuriate me. The latter two I have fairly well learned to just let go of after the initial rage.......'it's their problem, not mine' sort of thing; but why does it always seem that even though I have four deep drawers PACKED with stuff I KNOW I will need someday to prove this that or the other, when I actually do need to prove something, the slip of tattered paper seems to have simply drifted off on yesterday's wind? What's up with that? It seems to be some cosmic Law. Otherwise why is that such a consistant occurance?! It just happened to me yesterday, as I was sorting through my ENTIRE four deep drawers and every file within the large metal frame..........the one article that my dear brother wants me to re-read and give him some advice on is OF COURSE GONE.............and now for the humiliation of admitting it to my bro, who has a mind like a vise when it comes to keeping information and knowing where to lay his hands on some errant article.........

    Love Jeankfl's comment. These rampages simply need to happen to the people who by all appearances DESERVE them. (Jeankfl--has anyone ever told you your blog name always makes one want to sneeze, or think maybe one just did?!?)