MARK’S ARTICLE – July 12, 2010
Last week was not one of my better weeks. It wasn’t your fault. I can’t believe it was mine. Kay, maybe. Yeah, probably Kay.
The week started off with "The Southern Cross." It’s a song sung by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Mostly Stills. – "Got out of town on a boat for the Southern Islands. Sailing a reach before a following sea…" -- No idea what a lot of it means, but I dig the tune. I’ll give it a 95. http://www.totallyfuzzy.net/ourtube/crosby-stills-nash/southern-cross-live-video_7b8ebe9d5.html
Right now, I’d give about anything to get it out of my head. Scratch that. I’ll give anything under $10. Hey, it’s buggin’ me, but I’m not completely outta my mind. That won’t happen till early Friday.
This is one of those times when a song keeps playing over and over in my brain. I played it twice last Monday and it hasn’t left me since. You may be able to get away with hearing a good song more than once, but not me. Not even "I." (Lt to rt) Stills, Nash, Crosby and Young (better known as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
The song is on a continuous cranial loop all day and into the night.
"Into the West" the song from "Return of the Kings" holds the record for the longest mental play, but this Southern Cross thing is getting close with no sign of let up.
I spilled my coffee twice on Tuesday. That’s another bad thing about the week. I seldom spill coffee. Maybe once every two months. Usually on a Thursday. I’ve got the remnant of a spill right here in the guts of my computer keyboard. It happened back in November. Since then my "j" key has been sticking. Have you ever had that problem?
Tuesday’s two coffee spills didn’t do any real damage. Both times the splash hit on a rug that has a weird design. Coffee blends well with it. Blended so well that I couldn’t find the second spill. I had to get down on my hands and knees. Found it with my left knee. Fascinating.
Although the coffee spills did little physical damage, they did give me pause. – What? Oh, sorry. -- Uh, the spills ‘caused me to worry about my coordination. It’s just not normal for an agile, athletic suave guy to juggle two coffees in one day. It’s not even normal for me. Or, even I. Weird week.
I wouldn’t worry all that much about mug juggles, if it weren’t for the blinker light on my Yaris. (That’s a baby Toyota. Cute as a bug.) Last week, I left my blinker light on… three times. Yes, I realize that blinker lights normally turn themselves off, but only if you make a complete 90-degree turn. If you do one of those 120-degree turns, that light just might stay on. At least mine might. And, when it does, my blinker doesn’t want to disturb me. It makes way too little noise.
Dennis told me that if he leaves his blinker light on too long, the thing will start blaring at him. I may have to take the car in and have Troy turn up the volume on my blinker. That’ll excite him.
Bottom line, I’ve turned into the driver I used to fuss about. Before I completely freak, I’d like you to run a test for me. How about finding the nearest Yaris, hot wire the thing (however that works), turn on the air conditioner and the blinker light and tell me how hard blinker is to hear. If you have no trouble hearing it, I may be turning into Kay’s uncle. If you do have trouble hearing it, I don’t have to feel so bad about making fun of Kay’s uncle.
The ol’ coup de grace of the whole week came with our decision to bundle. This particular bundling involved handing our telephone, Internet and HD TV service to one company instead of parceling it out to a couple. It was Kay’s idea. I knew I could drag her into this. Kay persuaded me to ditch Dish and bundle with our Telephone company, so we could save $60 a month. She made it sound so good that I agreed to delve into the world of the techno. Eve, thy name is Kay.
I was the one who did all the switching. There is a tablet on the desk behind me just full of notes and names and phone numbers. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but it’s much easier to buy into a service than it is to disconnect a service. The selling people are eager. The disconnecting people not so much.
I eventually told a Dish network guy – Miles, I think -- that if he sent me back to Customer Service I was going to get on a slow freighter to Kuala Lumpur and beat the daylights out of him. Fortunately, he had me on hold at the time. Miles couldn’t help it. He was just doing his job. It was pretty much Kay’s fault.
Eventually, I got everything disconnected that needed to be, and everything connected that was supposed to be. After just a few days we wanted out. We needed out! Our new HD TV DVR system must’ve been taken out of a house in Amityville. -- By the way, a TV without DVR is a box. (Isaac Newton, 1671)
Our new system was so slow and so much more complex. It required a PIN number to get into the closed captioning instructions. The remote had more buttons than a Van Heusen factory. The whole thing almost cost us our marriage.
I ended up having to switch everything back. Only took me a few hours and two pages of notes. Everyone I talked to from the Phone Company was from the States. So refreshing.
The guy from the Phone Company who came to pick up all the equipment said that much of my trouble was probably due to the metal roof. Seems wireless signals have trouble with metal roofs. Whatever, just move it out, and take the remotes with you. Devil sticks they were.
It was much easier to get Dish to take us back than it was for them to let us go. Apparently a prodigal son thing. Since I still had my equipment, Dish only charged us $40 to return to the fold. It took 10 minutes to get us back on line. A guy in a rock building in Nepal flipped a switch. Probably.
Fortunately, I learned a few things from the goings-on of the week. I learned that I may have turned into a deaf klutz with a reoccurring-song disease. And, I learned that the government doesn’t have a monopoly on bureaucracy. It all makes me wanna go "sailing a reach before a following sea." Whatever that means.