Posts Tagged ‘computers’

time travel

How long has it been, Gentle Reader? Time is right now  its own, very weird, hard edged commodity.  There’s never enough of it of course, which strikes me as strange now that we’re in this here rural lifestyle where it appears that people think we simply sit around and fan idly through magazines all day long and have oodles of it, when in fact it’s your basic sun up to sun down and beyond.  Just for the basics.

Skipping over current events, or more like it dashing over sinkholes pursued by hellhounds, it seems simple survival is quite a success these days.  I heard Representative Labrador (from Idaho, go figure) say that no one had ever died from not being able to get health care in response to a constituent’s disapproval of the current proposed “healthcare” legislation.  So, OK.  That’s so totally stupid I think we need say no more.  We’re just in for a really bumpy ride before this all immolates, and it’s everywhere.  One has to decide pretty quickly just how excited to get over each explosion.

Meanwhile our efforts to get at least part way into the current century in terms of “technology” continue.  It no longer makes my head explode when people dismissively say, oh, you can too get internet/doctors/books there and blahblahblah.  No, because we learned that the even the actual City of Redding does not have optic fiber connections anywhere.  The official municipal communications apparently occur on some sort of paper cup and string arrangement.  So why should I think my precarious existence should have more up to date arrangements?

Nevertheless.  The telephone situation here is dismal.  The ATT cel phone only works at a distance of about 14 miles from home.  The Hughesnet satellite home phone connection works when it feels like it and aside from not liking snow, it’s not clear what makes the satellite say, uh, NO.  Not Now.   I’ve thus been casting about for a better, more cost effective and workable phone solution that might also allow me to do more marketing for my website and products.  You know, like Instagram and stuff.  So.  I got my first smart phone.  (And yes it IS somewhat intimidating and I feel like a gorilla trying to type on it.) Credo Mobile, an at least relatively ethical carrier, free (” “) IPhone, and apparently coverage even HERE in the round house.  I agonized over the decision, but if all goes well I can get rid of three devices and just have one that works as it is supposed to.  And save money in the process which is becoming ever more important.

However the usual key words here are: IF ALL GOES WELL.  Because so far? It has been a marvelous exercise in equanimity, mindfulness, staying calm, and carrying on.  I haven’t cried, even under intense provocation, and only had one small slug of vodka after the first six hour stressathon.

Initially things went reasonably smoothly and the phone came to my mailbox when they said it would, the offer had changed in the few days since my first call but not significantly.  I felt a strange unease about setting the phone up,  without knowing why (SILLY BEAR)….and then it all became clear.  First, there was the connection for customer support, after the 2+ hour attempted online connection could not be made,  to someone in Nigeria which on my phone felt very much like the aforementioned paper cup arrangement.  Turned out I couldn’t have my old number ported to the new phone because I did not know what my ATT PIN was.  So, fine.  Give me a new number, we’ll carry on.  But NO!!!! My Apple ID wouldn’t work.  An hour plus into it I hung up and called Apple.   An hour plus into that? My home phone died.  Nothing having been successfully wrestled to the ground at that point.

AFOG, for sure.  I realized I had about a second to make up my mind not to freak out about it all, to breathe, do something else, start over tomorrow.  This was the part with the vodka.  Then I went outside and transplanted seedlings.

I started anew the next day, already having about six hours into this.  I called Apple first, where to my stupefaction (since this was about the fourth time I’d called in the past few months about this issue) the Rep revealed that? GUESS WHAT? There’s a website where you can reestablish your Apple ID.  I was thrilled.  Moving on, 45 minutes down, to calling Credo again to get connected, I found that the Apple ID had not been instantly updated so I still couldn’t do anything with that.   Fine, fine.  Another hour and another mini-death for the house phone later, it was revealed that my new IPhone was not going to power up.  Period.  No way.  It seems it needs a new SIM card.  Which we hope will arrive on the morrow when we have to go to town anyway.  Then I get to suit up and do it all over again.  Anyway it took the bulk of the weekend and while, yes, I learned a lot, nothing really got DONE.

I’m assuming this will all get wrestled to the ground and be fine.  The lacking PIN and unfindable ID related to a time long, long ago where someone else was doing my IT.  Good to sever all that and move forward into the NOW.  The question really is, how does one deal with all this overwhelming frustration and time suck?  Over something one doesn’t, in the big picture, really need but in quotidian context, must have.  It seemed sort of like everything else- all these things move in one’s life and have impact (like health care, let’s say, or a recent mystifying spot visit from two huge sheriffs trundling up our “driveway” one morning) without one having any ability to influence any part of it.  Except how one responds.

So I decided to use this as an opportunity to really work on my thoughts.  Revamped my brain as follows: 1) this is manageable 2) time can be used productively even in hacked up increments, to wit our lovely bean seedlings 3) no reason for fear or anxiety, (actually really ever) but if those things rear their unshapely heads, there’s a five minute limit and  4) in spite of feeling as though one is flying into the maw of some huge devouring reptilian creature, things are really OK.  Let’s ramp it back down to just thinking about a PHONE and not branch into ISTHEREAMETEORWITHGODZILLAONITCOMINGMYWAY.

Essentially, what I realized yet again was that we live in rather…interesting times.  The level of discordant energy is over the moon and it’s pretty hard not to feel that to an at times overwhelming extent.  Everyone really does feel it, and around here it appears to be contributing to a Night of the Living Dead atmosphere full of heroin users. However, that isn’t this.  The discord isn’t about us, personally,  and although things are dicey there’s no reason to assume the worst is always just around the corner.  In a decadent situation, things will fall down.  It is what it is, and it is where one finds oneself.  The saying used to be (pardon me, guys) if it has tires or testicles you’re going to have problems with it.  Now it’s more like if it has bytes? You’ll get bitten.  These things are par for the course though, and the continuing effort has to be toward conscious discernment in terms of just how important any given sandtrap really is, and are there sharks.  Also, even if you lose strokes you still get out of the trap for the most part so it still all boils down to learning from experience, and accepting that winds always shift.

To think I at least thought I was out of school.  Now I find I’m not only still there, but I’m playing golf in another galaxy.  And golf? used to be my most-detested sport but I find now it is quite calming to watch.  Which I take to mean, on some level, that once you put your preconceptions down, it’s a whole new world in a rather stunning way.  I’m just hoping this newest new world includes a working IPhone.

Blessings and thanks! oh, and, the Dog is fine. Even if he has lately tended a bit to melodrama- but that is a story for another time.  Right now he needs to play……

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just a dream

Don’t think it hasn’t been fun around here, Gentle Reader.  Really.  Perhaps it was a delightful coincidence? but somehow the demise of the satellite internet at the place the crazy train stopped coincided with an episode of carpal tunnel from hell.  So.  I had no way to get any work done for two weeks, technically speaking, being satellite-less for reasons beyond my control and any understanding.  And I also had pain in my paws that precluded even SIMPLE THINGS, like throwing The Dog his squeaky, footed ball.

In the way of the universe, however, the cavalry did arrive.  Suddenly, out of the blue, my business rose from its moribund condition and orders began to come in.  Interestingly they were mostly for pain in the hands, along with some other things like shingles and car wreck remedies.  Which I was uniquely positioned, at the time, to attend to- the hand pain I mean.    The shingles remedy was a success, and it’s too soon to know about the car wreck, but the hand pain special? Actually worked.

Once again I was reminded that all the time I spend worrying and anxiety-fying myself is pretty much a waste of time.  Things do work out.  (I can actually pay the rent once again, and as usual.  The Dog is coming along and we haven’t had any exploding heads for a few days, although he did try to abscond with my one remaining garden ornament: a metal, reclining frog.  I was able to accept the demise of the turtle, butterfly, and bumblebees, along with a small mulberry tree, a wild ginger, and god knows what else.  But the frog? Not so much.  I managed to retrieve it as The Dog was dragging it into his downstairs dominion and although he got cross for a moment, he saw reason when it was presented to him in the form of liver treats.) The thing of it seems to be keeping oneself aligned with the bigger picture, the bigger consciousness, and letting the energy of events take care of itself for the most part.  My “guidance” yesterday was a line from Rumi: “break the legs of everything I want”, in the sense of let me get rid of my ego drives and get, essentially, on the cosmic train.  That cosmic train is what carries us all, and has all the information we need for wherever we are.  I used to think this sort of thinking was ridiculous in a way, being as tied to the “small s” self as anyone.  But now, and especially after the Healing of the Thumbs, I see again that in fact, the answers really are out there, and more importantly, so are the questions.  So you really don’t have to worry about that. The joy of the search and of finding the right question is the food of the soul, and the fuel of a decent life.

Anyway that’s what I think today.  There’s still propane to be gotten, which can be dicey- last time we were there we narrowly missed a huge explosion because some idiot had a too large container in the back of his truck and it all got disappeared to the overall tune of $60k damage, but that’s what makes rural life so interesting, right?  You never know when things are going to go boom.  Somehow, though, it all seems clearer at the moment now that I know for a fact that control is an illusion, and I figure we’ll get through our propane purchase safely.  Who knows what we’ll contend with next?

power or headache?

Knowledge, I mean, Gentle Reader.  Knowledge IS power, of course, which is why it is so zealously protected from us in school.  But I foolishly looked up yet another word from my recent medical record and it turns out that not only did my fine doctors make my heart stop, they also made a lung collapse.  NO WONDER I COULDN’T BREATHE FOR SIX WEEKS.  It certainly would have helped if they’d told me about this but then again, CYA is the order of the day, and medical records are at times written by spin doctors.

In any event I am finally feeling a great deal better and resorting to my own devices, more or less.

In other important news, a skink has moved in to the yurt and we still have an ever growing resident frog who has chosen a bag of almonds as command central.  We haven’t made much progress in the garden because it’s been over 100 degrees F every day for a while, but perhaps tomorrow.  All the seedlings are HUGE now.   I flirted with a tremendously handsome German Shepherd yesterday- an ex-military dog who was vigilantly ignoring me (Can’t you see I AM WORKING woman???)  until he and his human left the store we were in, and the dog sneaked a glance and a smile at me.

Still there is the perennial dilemma- the more chaotic things get the more one must slow down and concentrate.  Take yesterday, for example.  We went up to town to get groceries, it being really too hot to do anything else.  It was 107, the power went out in town and half my errands got cancelled as a result.  Some were important, but in a world where everything is controlled by computers? No power, no door opens, no cash register works.  Things grind to a halt.  So, okay.  Perhaps what I think is important really isn’t, I thought.  We got home barely in time to get indoors with, thankfully, groceries, before a torrential rainstorm with thunder and lightening happened.  *I* thought it was a stroke of good luck that our power was still on and the Partner put it squarely in the dodged a bullet category.

That, I think, is the essential question around here most of the time, and has a bit to do with how level the playing field is.  The fewer resources you have, the more you have to actually contend with what happens around you, because YOU have to do it and you can’t just go shopping or get someone else to do it.  It’s all well and good to be resourceful and live simply- more people should be doing that.  At the same time it can be exhausting and hard to get a bead on.  Is the universe telling you to give up right this instant when for all your effort you still can’t quite get over the jump?  Is it sheer good luck you’ve made it this far or is fate just diddling you around til you get to the actual pit with the stakes and the live tiger to fall into? On the BBC news last night there was a segment on refugees from Africa who are being held in Libya, I think, having failed to launch a seaworthy escape.  These were all men- evidently the lagging European sympathies for such struggles extend very slightly to women and children, but not to men.  All these men seemed to be able to fluently speak more than one language, be astonishingly poised given the circumstance, and have a snowball’s chance in Hell of improving their lot.  A roomful of young able men, wanting to do the right thing and escape a life of being press-ganged into paramilitary service.  Or worse.  One man from Nigeria, when asked the intensely silly question of whether he’d try to do it again, took a deep breath, closed his eyes, then looked at the interviewer and said quite calmly that if he found the same thing there that made him leave his house before, yes he would do it again.

And that is true: yes, one WOULD do it again.  And then have the jump off into God knows what if the effort is successful, or the horrendous fall into the pit if it isn’t.  How can this be right?  Feeling lucky or dodging bullets is not good enough for a long term action plan.  But luck and bullets are determined by those in power for the most part, whatever propaganda one is inundated with to the contrary.  If luck is out of the question for you, then what?  I do firmly believe in what we might call the Great Mystery, and I know that death walks with us all the time, nothing is certain, blah blah BLAH.  I believe that things work out as they should whether we know what that is or not, and that something over and above human action makes things move along.  But riding such a tidal wave of insufficiency in this world makes you wonder.  And sometimes that can make you afraid.  Perhaps the thing of it in these times is to simply stay with the fact that you are alive, and something can be done in whatever circumstance you find yourself in, however small and even if it is only maintaining equilibrium of a sort in your own mind.  It is important to do what you have to do, and as Bruce Lee rightly said, we should pray for the strength to be able to just do that.  But in times where it seems the roar of implosion of everything you ever knew is all you can hear?  It can be a challenge to stay in that place inside.   At least I am finding it to be so, even as I feel ever more sure that all the people in this world who are moving toward something better and freer and kinder, however they can, must surely succeed.  Let it be so, please, and thank you.

la la la lalalala

Well. For the most part it has continued, of late, to be an extra weird mix of sturm AND drang.  I managed to obtain and download a new operating system for my antediluvian laptop, and also downloaded what appears to be a browser that will work.  I only cried about three times during all of that, which I think is pretty impressive, especially given the situation.  My heavy lifting routine consists of imagining a giant paddle with which I swat away all the bothersome thoughts about What Needs To Be Done.  Because I am not there yet, not at the place where Things Can Be Done.  Still a week away from being able to lift anything heavier than a kleenex, and watching the world careen from breathtaking mess to breathtaking mess on top of it.

In the meantime, I have been reading.  Detective novels during that grim period where I was applying ice blocks to my midriff and head, and now?  Two splendid LONG novels.  ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, by Anthony Doerr, which is just wonderful.  Elegant, sinuous language and the visual construction of an amazing world.  The other is WOLF HALL, by Hilary Mantel.  (I have fallen hopelessly in love with Mark Rylance, who has the part of Thomas Cromwell in the current PBS version-it is quite wonderful to populate the novel with the excellently cast actors therefrom, especially him with his ruined face and clear, burning eyes.)  Anyway for such a long book about the Tudors, for heaven’s sake, it is completely riveting.  The action is implied from the characters’ inner processes, and you come away from it with the feeling of having been at an incredible dinner party where you observed everything unfold from a much larger perspective than your usual seat allows you.

Otherwise, it is still all about riding the wave, or the bull, or whatever it is that we get on as humans one way or another and have to stay on til the ride’s over.  This has been an enlightening experience, of course (at the same time as it is completely the opposite) and I have learned a lot about what rises up in us when we’re sick and injured.  All that stuff has to be dealt with for healing to occur and we can see all over the place how hard a time people are having with this particular project.  It takes witnessing and someone who can abide with the difficulties without having opinions about them- which is the work of a lifetime, in itself.  There’s a tremendous quality of breath holding to all this, along with an overwhelming sense of being somehow tested by some perhaps completely crazed inquisitor.  How much of your fear can you leave behind, really?  How clearly can you think about things when all your old “stuff” is forming an ungodly ferment with the new input and foaming all over the place?  How much, really, does any of this matter?  What in the end can any of us do in the face of the enormous suffering on this earth when we can’t keep our own minds in check?  Oh my.  The deep breathing it all takes!

Then again, there’s always the moment where a flash of light comes in and reminds one that since it is a question of perspective and focus, probably mostly a time to rest up and get ready to jump the next time the merry-go-round passes.  I do believe that we are guided, the information we need is available to us, and the thing is to step into the fires that burn in us instead of running away from them.  Easier said than done of course.  Still.  Civility and kindness go a long way and if each of us made perhaps a stronger effort we might see something interesting.  At the moment I’m having a devil of a time with the civility part, but probably because having spent my life being polite, self effacing and helpful, the impulse to even THINK in uncivil terms has been mercilessly suppressed.  There’s a certain amount of outgassing that happens, I guess.

In the meantime, it is clearer to me than ever before that the truth is of paramount importance and we must really all begin to seek it and tell it.  Truth.  Not opinions, and not propaganda.  It’s pretty clear if you choose to look, and the fact that things have gone on on this planet in this ridiculously dysfunctional way for so long seems to indicate that it might just be time for a change.  Not the non-change we see in politics and wars now, but a change to actual right-living.  Everyone working toward the common goals of stewarding resources and providing support to their communities. Setting aside the illusory thing called money, and enterprise, and economies in favor of something that actually matters across the board.   Call me crazy but even notwithstanding the past month, I still believe it can happen.

that old black hole

One of my favorite songs, that is, by Dr. Dog.  “looks like that old black hole/no matter how i try/ i set out every day/never to arrive”.  Or something like that.  A wonderful song, in any event.

But really.  There are SO MANY black holes in daily life now it really gets to be quite the endeavor to navigate.  The nature of reality seems to be such these days that people really cannot take it in; it’s too painful at times.   I guess I’m grateful for all the humiliations I endured as a young person, because now I really don’t care too much what people I don’t respect think of me.  Many of my friends are waking up to the fact that the rewards they went after are simply not there, and they are surrounded by people they don’t respect who have some measure of power over them.    One of the key lessons in life, it turns out, is knowing when to leave.

The other thing that took most of the air out of my cranium, temporarily, was this week’s doctor visit.  An annual physical, yes, with a doctor I’ve seen for years. ( I’m not going to go into the horrors of the mechanics paying for such a thing: let’s just say that really? The Affordable Care Act is a quadruple win for the insurance companies.  If you’re poor? You have absolutely no choice whatsoever about the care you get, and let’s just say it can be summed up in a six letter word that starts with “c” and ends with “y”.  It is, after all, against the law not to have health insurance.  Which, if you’re poor, you cannot afford.  The alternatives are the equivalent of nothing. )Anyway, her office has become completely computerized, all the records are in a cloud now, and the really great thing? Is you get to sit on a chair with a paper towel on it by the door to the exam room with that fetching gown they give you on, with a person sitting next to you TYPING IN EVERYTHING you and the doctor say to each other.  Then, you get to get back up on the table having redeposited your clothes on the aforesaid chair, and the three of you get to enjoy your rectal exam.  It’s great, let me tell you.

So, when the doctor asked me if I had anything I wanted to discuss with her, I said, yes, but with YOU.  Not the rest of the world.  Then she asked me if anything was bothering me and I heard myself emit a rather short, barking laugh.  Oh, I said, I wish I’d known you’d ask me that.  I’d’ve brought a SCROLL.  She seemed rather shocked at my state of glowing good health, considering the challenges of my daily life now.  Irritated as well that I refused vaccinations for things I don’t need them for, like flu and shingles.  A high point was when I responded to the query about whether or not I have heart palpitations.  Of course, I said.  I’m out of my mind with stress most of the time BUT THAT’S WHY I MEDITATE.   And no, I don’t need an ortho consult for my hip pain.  THAT’S WHY I DO YOGA.  Anyway I found it all rather unsettling because, I suppose, it was a search light focused on how far out of the world I used to live in I am now.  Which I am happy about, yes, but.  It’s as though once you exit that regulated world of job and commute and all the rest of it (get up in the dark, shit, shave, force feed, as the poet Bukowski- I think- wrote) people cannot even look at you.  You don’t exist to them in the same way and there’s even a bit of withdrawing, as though they might catch whatever it is that you’ve got:  that thing that allows you to live outside their known world. My teacher always said one should be their own testimony.  I’m finding that a rather interesting prospect, because  my intact condition- my testimony, really- seems to be unbelievable to people like, say, my doctor.  My impression is thus that the work I do is not taken seriously.  At all.  Like studying and applying thousands of years of observation and practice counts for nothing, and herbs and proper food are irrelevant.

Oh, well.  I had other things to attend to, which I did.  On the way home (since I had to go down to the bay area for this appointment and thus drive back home later), I saw a rabbit peeking out of a hedgerow, and a flock of geese resting in a field.  The sky looked like an opal.  The hills are cracked and burnt  but the irrigated rice fields reflected a deep blue sky setting off an ethereal green.  Magic exists, and we must carry on and we must help each other.  That is, anyway, what I decided, yet again.  I got home after some digressions, the Partner dashed out to cover me with kisses,  and had some lovely vegetable stew I’d made the night before ready for dinner.  It smelled wonderful, the stars were out, and that is really about as good as it gets if you’re honest.  Peace be with us all.

uranus transits, hummingbird brain

You’d think, with my astrological awareness, that it might have dawned on me that the past few years’ high test, high impact, knock the crap out of you altogether occurrences were largely due to my never to happen again (thank you very much) but still ongoing Uranus transit.  Whether or not you “believe” in astrology, it’s like aspirin.  It works no matter what.  So, a Uranus transit?  It’s like someone coming into your life at 3 a.m., turning every single light on,  and just throwing everything out the door.  Everything.  Out.  It all must go and good luck finding what stays.  Especially since there may have been body parts thrown out that might have at one point seemed critical to functioning.

The current MIA happens to be my website.  HA HA HA HA.  Isn’t that cute?  First I have an internet based business with no internet.  I renew my services monthly because I am the poster child for low budget.  I called repeatedly to make sure everything was being paid for monthly like it said on the info page.  I had to change banks and THOUGHT I’d changed the payment options but the web host seems to have turned a blind eye…..and, voila! suddenly I am not there anymore.   A bit disconcerting to say the least.  But, holding steady to my fragments of sanity, I’m thinking, oh, ok.  A glitch! I eat those for breakfast!  Still, it means at least an hour on the phone with someone who probably won’t be paying attention which means:  armed struggle not to lose temper.  There wasn’t anything to be done online about it, so as I’m also trying to work on my meditation practice  when I find myself thinking things like: WHY ME?  ALL THE EFFING TIME? CAN’T THIS CRAP HAPPEN TO SOMEONE ELSE?  I immediately correct the thought to, let me learn from this.  AT LEAST LET ME REMAIN CALM.   The Partner is no help at times like this because, to him, computers and the internet are largely interchangeable with the devil.  So, so far, I’m clinging to the tiny bubble of optimism that arose when 2013 was finally over.

Meanwhile, we were in fact discussing hummingbird brains this morning.

ME:  I wonder what they think about?

PARTNER:  It’s all instinct.  They aren’t thinking about what color flower to go to.

ME:  Well, I meant, what do they TALK TO EACH OTHER about?

PARTNER: !!!@@@!!!!!!

We finally managed to get to the point where we figure they just see so much more than we do, in terms of color and energy, they’re often operating in that 97% area where humans don’t often go.  This led to dogs, the famous, but what about dogs?  Dogs don’t see color at all, which seems unfair, and combined with their inability to digest chocolate, practically a deal breaker.   But we agreed that seeing color on top of smelling everything they can smell would probably be just way too much.  There is, after all, order in the cosmos.  Just not in my life at present.

Good news/bad news

We discovered flat tire number ten this morning.  On a brand new tire.  (This was while we were outside trying to figure out where to have the cord of wood dumped that arrived this morning and of course THAT whole exercise did not, let’s just say, go without incident, either.)  Which, since it wasn’t purchased around here (a friend got them for me in the bay area when it was clear that I’d never make it home on the round ribbons I had on the car) meant I had to take it someplace and pay to get it fixed. The prior nine were all in tires we’d bought at Big O in Redding at the beginning of this festive interlude.   The good news?  Les Schwab (closer, which is meaningful)  has wifi.  FORTUNE SMILED, GENTLE READER.  I am Writing in Les Schwab Tire Center!  How exciting is that.

I’ve decided that probably we’re almost at enough already.  It appears that this particular hole in this particular tire? maybe was not ALTOGETHER accidental.  It can’t be the same disgruntled ex boyfriend who was stabbing my truck radiator with an icepick long ago in another life, and I didn’t realize I’d irritated anyone else up here to that extent.  So, I’m remaining calm but one does have to wonder just exactly how a GIANT SCREW got up in the frigging sidewall with enough force to penetrate and flatten a tire.  Oh, well.

Meanwhile, having checked my Business Operation for a pulse (barely) I now find my battery is almost out of juice in ye olde trusty laptop.  I guess that means that’s it for now!  Watch this space……