Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spending Each Day

Two quick bones to pick with the world: my new laptop comes with Vista Premium and it's been a nice OS until recently. I have some 18,000 pictures and I use Picasa to organize and import from my camera. Picasa also recently upgraded and the new look is nice, easy to use etc. Except, as I discovered to my horror when I plugged in my camera, something is missing. To whit: auto detection of media happens when I plugged in my camera under OS XP. Picasa would boot up with the import window discovering my images on  my camera card. Worked that way if I ppopped my card into the reader, too. Picasa jumps up to let me do my image thing. Now with Vista and new and improved Picasa when i plug in my camera to the USB port there is a noise to indicate something, but not Picasa. Eventually, and I do mean eventually, a requester pops up asking me if I want to do a number of things with my camera. None involve Picasa, in fact all of the choices involve Microsoft products that I rarely use. I tried to make Picasa the default program for jpegs and although it appeared to have taken, when I offer up my camera card with 200+ images, the laptop ignores me. Eventually..... it offers me Microsoft Media center. I hate that rag.

It took me several days of teeth grinding and searching through irrelevant forum threads to find out that both Picasa and Microsoft had decided to remove the auto detect option, in Microsoft's case it offers you their product or none. Of course, you know you can boot up Picasa, plug in the camera and TELL it to import, but it really was faster the old way. So since when is it an upgrade to have a well used handy capability disabled? This kind of thinking would lead to a well advanced highly technical society failing to provide basic services to it's citizenry, health care or education. In a dinky waterlogged country like Holland they have no nukes, but they do have very nice universities and you get on the handy mass transit and go to the hospital to get your tumor removed for free and again on the tram to a university to get your Masters for free. Yet our government mocks such "niceties" as nothing we'd like to have around here. Heck no! That sounds like socialism to me, son.

I live in the Great Empire State, a name not without irony. Here, in the democratic country of the United States I cannot start a petition to make medical marijuana legal. I can't start a referendum either. We don't allow people to write their own laws and introduce them to the Legislature for approval by the People. Not our form of government, you see. That would make laws all higgledy-piggledy, you see. But that means we are not at all a Democracy. No, we are a Republic, but it's a democratic republic! That means we vote for those we want to represent us, like a representative democracy. Only we can't nominate who we want to vote for, unless we are either Republicans or Democrats or occasionally some other approved political party. I vote for the person, not the Party, so I am not allowed to nominate. I am allowed to vote in the general election, though, for or against the people the Party has picked to run. I'm feeling rather distant from a democracy at this point. But I can run myself for public office, yes? Not exactly. You have to be able to get several thousand people to sign a petition in your favor. That means you quit your job, if you have one, and walk around your district getting valid signatures. Any invalid signatures might get you tossed out of the race. Yes, it's a race, but a funny kind. For instance, the news media are not required to cover candidates. In fact if you are someone like me, the news will NOT cover you. If you are a sitting Senator with a funny name like, say, Kucinich it makes it hard to say your name on the air so they won't cover you either, even though you are already supported by millions of people. So I need to raise some several million dollars to buy air time to press my case for office. They don't have to take my money, either. What about the "debates"? Well, they don't have to allow people like me into the debates and if someone like Senator Kucinich does get a court order to require them to have him in the debate they can ask him the stupid questions, like "Have you stopped beating your children?" or "What kind of tree would you be?"

I would be the tree falling on their house.

Yet I have hope. I know the Deity is watching and laughing. I know this for lots of reasons, but here's one. We have no cat, Hidey, as you know, was crushed by a car wheel. So we have ashes instead. We also have mice living in our library and basement and pantry. We also have an assortment of Havaheart traps for raccoons, possums, and rabbits and mice. The mouse one is maybe ten inches long. These traps have two little doors on each end that flip up and are held in place by a thin rod which has a pad for bait and a bent end that rests against and pushes against another similar rod that holds one door up, the bait pad rod holds the other up and where the two rods engage you have to get the two 1/16th inch wide rounded rods to press just right and then lay the trap down with no vibration because the slightest bump and the damn rods disengage and the doors drop. (Where the hell is he going with this?)

I picked up the small trap. Both doors were flopping open, the bent rods were disengaged and moldy from the last bait. I looked at the trap in my hand and then I rolled my wrist to turn it upside down to look at the mold. Yucky, needs warm soapy water. I rotated my wrist again, bringing the trap upright. I looked down at the trap. Both doors were up and held in place by the two bent rods, which were touching by about a 1/16th of an inch, just enough to hold the mechanism in place with the doors open and the trap set. I never touched it with my fingers except to roll it over, un-set, and roll it back to find it set. It usually takes me a few minutes to make the trip rods engage properly and hold long enough to place it on the ground. This time it did it by itself. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that this proves the existence of a non-human, on-material presence which not only can affect the material world, but has a sense of humor about it. What's so funny about a trap setting itself? When I put the trap gently down I bumped it just a bit and the trigger went and the doors shut, locked by the two wire loops falling into their proper latches.

Somewhere She is chuckling at my situation. I have to wash the trap to remove the mold and re-bait it for the mouse and I am confident that no matter how many times I roll my wrist while holding the trap it will NEVER do that trick again. It makes me dizzy.

I had three excellent photographs of the Hudson in winter matted and framed for show. I spent a lot of money, frankly, to get museum quality work. Yikes, but it's okay because yesterday we got the flyer for the Arts Center Winter Solstice exhibition. $5 per entry, must be framed and ready to hang. Yup, taken care of! Must be signed on the photograph itself and be marked as one of a limited edition. Oh. I never signed the print before i spent all that money to seal it nice and tight for show. I can't enter any of the beautiful shots of the Hudson in Winter. Goddamfuckshitpiss!!

I guess I need to have more prints made and maybe i can use those salvaged frames and the mat board in the back room... I have a mat cutter... sigh. Can't afford to have new prints framed the nice way. Ah well, live and learn. In the distance I hear faint chuckling.

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