Thursday, July 25, 2013

Did You Ever Have A Bad Technology Day?

I should have known when I walked outside and heard Fort Lauderdale farting from across the river that today would be weird.

Getting out well before dawn, I walked Mr Dog out on our normal morning mile.  Rounding the corner near the park, I heard a sound.  A strange farting sound that I only had heard once before.  That had started me looking for a toxic cloud until I realized that the winds here predictably come from the East.  Yes, the ocean breezes saved me from the Mosquito Spray Truck that was dispensing death to all those many creatures that will hone in on my scent and try to turn me into a giant blood sausage.

Expecting strange we soldiered onward.  This being a noisy town, I wasn't surprised to hear the 6AM train on the distant FEC tracks, the traffic on Wilton Drive, and the general background 60 cycle hum from the many air conditioner compressors.

Not a quiet town.

But all of that is a normal part of living in the Not Big City that is South Florida.   Pretensions of small towns aside, we're in the middle of a sprawl of 7 or so million people, someone somewhere is going to drop a dish.

Getting home and going through the motions of operating the washing machine on super-duper-extra-hot to sterilize the dog's mats, I settled in for a morning.  While the laptop is behaving well, the network was not, so I ended up having to reload pages one handed.  You see, the mosquitoes are not the only thing that wanted to turn my arm into a blood sausage.  I had 40 plus pounds of playful dog insisting that my right hand was his play-toy.  Slowing life to a more relaxed pace, Mr Dog wanted his attention for the better part of an hour.

While I'm sitting there watching this bundle of black and white fur and energy gnaw on my arm, I'm getting messages coming through on my professional account.  Between printers breaking, computers acting strange, and someone just not having time to get to that meeting that he wanted with me early in the morning, I realized that the entire world was stuck in second gear today.

Miraculously, I managed to get a break, a solid 10 minutes of productivity when Rack the dog decided I'm Done and trotted off to his crate.  The big yellow school bus trundling by my house apparently over the speed limit seemed to help his decision while I get working on a phone call.

Many tech support woes can be solved by a simple axiom "Did you try restarting your computer?".  That's the Tech Support equivalent of "Did you Jiggle The Handle?" - great way for you to delay while you think about things like the true solution of the problem, or whether you really need that second mug of coffee.

Coffee almost always makes things better, and there's just enough time before that rescheduled meeting to meet the need.

Meanwhile, the washer that was supposed to be finished two hours before, finally gathers itself up and realizes that it's got a full load inside and snaps with a volley of beeps for attention.

Webpages set aside with a shrug, virtual servers started, it's time to get up and do something else.  Even the washer is running slow.  May as well step back and let it happen.

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