COMPUTERS, SOFTWARE, GUNS, AND US: NOT A RANT, JUST A RAMBLE

Yesterday, I tried to download a book from my Audible.com library and got a message telling me I didn’t have adequate permission.

I’ve been an Audible member since 2002 and I’m pretty sure I have more than adequate permissions. I tried what I thought I knew, then gave up and called Audible. Which is not as horrific as, for example, having to call Dell. I think I’d rather have a root canal than have to deal with Dell service people. The folks at Audible are nice. Helpful. Mostly knowledgeable. Pleasant and patient. Which is good because when my computer is playing up, I transform into a very cranky old person. I depend on my computer. I expect it to just do its job, without complaint. Without hesitation and without any special massaging. I don’t burn incense to it as I used to with some of my more persnickety machines through the years.

72-alien-two-blue-tools-10212016_07

We went through every menu and fixed permissions. Edited the registry. Nope, permission still denied. Which was when I realized that the application denying permission was actually Chrome, not Windows or my operating system. Good news? I wouldn’t need to call Dell. Bad news? What are the odds of actually getting a person to talk to at Google?

But my new friend at Audible had a secret weapon. He gave me the tech support direct line for Google! How cool is that? I was dubious, but I finally womaned up and called them.

Two dogs and a computer

Two dogs and a computer

They answered. It was human, not a robot. We got it fixed. Something had corrupted between when I signed off last night — well after midnight — and when I arose in the late hours of the day and signed on. This confirms my belief that our dogs secretly have opposable thumbs. They do stuff on the computers while we sleep. How else can a perfectly good browser go bad while nothing is happening? It’s got to be the dogs. J’accuse!


One of the many conversations Garry and I had yesterday had to do with weapons and shooting people to protect ourselves or others. He said he might not be able to kill anyone unless they threatened me. Then, all bets were off. I said I was afraid, unfamiliar as I am with guns except for the 22 mm target rifle I used to slay paper plates almost 50 years ago. On vacation in Maine. Even then, I didn’t load the rifle or clean it. Someone just handed it to me, loaded and cocked, said “Hold it this way” and I shot the crap out of that paper plate. It never stood a chance against my wrath.

That same long ago day in Maine, as my friends and I were passing the rifle around, shooting those paper plates (which we had tacked to an understanding pine tree) … a pheasant wandered by, and decided to hang around awhile. He wasn’t impressed with our fire power. He just stood there, in front of the tree, looking at us.

pheasant

An argument broke out. Who would shoot the pheasant? What if we shot him, but he didn’t die? Who was going to shoot him again? Who would pull out the feathers and what else did you need to do to make that pheasant into a meal? Eventually, we just shooed him away. Mighty hunters we were not.

Given that little piece of history, I have no reason to believe in my ability to kill anything. For any reason. If I started to think, by the time my brain registered the need for haste, I’d be dead. Unless that other part of me kicked in, that “emergency response unit” that seems to pop up only on an “as needed” basis. At which point all my thought processes stop and I just do whatever I need to do to survive. That could happen, right? But I wouldn’t count on it.

Garry has at least had the benefit of having gone through basic training in the Marine Corps. Once, a long time ago, he could take his weapon apart and put it back together with his eyes closed. Not that we have such a weapon, but at least he has — somewhere in memory — a fundamental familiarity with a weapon.

Lucky that we’ve never been tested, eh?

24 thoughts on “COMPUTERS, SOFTWARE, GUNS, AND US: NOT A RANT, JUST A RAMBLE

  1. You should really buy your dogs their own computer, then the problems will definitely disappear. Every Swiss active soldier has a rifle at home. My son had one. they are also supplied with ammunition, but the box is sealed and must remain sealed, unless in exceptional situations if the country is invaded. However who wants to invade Switzerland when all the evil powers have their money stashed away in their Swiss bank accounts. My son is no longer in the army – too old and he completed his duty, so he returned his rifle. He could have bought it from the army for a good price, but decided he did not need it. Just to inform, all healthy guys in Switzerland have to do service 3 weeks a year until their time is completed. My son was not a volunteer, he had to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We used to have universal service here, but it turns out, there are more than enough volunteers. They actually turn quite a few people away. For a lot of young people, the armed services offer them benefits (like a college education) that are very tempting. My granddaughter wanted to join, but her club foot was too severe. And eventually, Garry’s bad hearing caught up with him and they sent him home. They seemed to feel that a deaf marine who might not hear the order to “advance” or “retreat” or “fire!” was not a good risk — to himself of others. Garry was also a volunteer. Too many John Wayne movies.

      By the time I was of an age to enlist in anything, not only was the Vietnam war in full swing, but my back was already surgically repaired, so no one would have taken me anyway. I actually wanted to join the CIA. They have a website nowadays and are always recruiting. Talk about fantastic benefits … wow. Good pay, lots of perks, and a medical package that may be the best anywhere. But they also want a lot, like the ability to fluently speak at least three languages, only one of which can be English and at least one has to be either Russian, German, or Chinese. I have a dead ear for languages, so my spying days never started. Ah well.

      You’re right. Why would anyone attack their own bank? No one is THAT stupid, not even our soon-to-be president.

      But what kind of computer should I get for the dogs? I don’t think a simple tablet would be adequate. I’m pretty sure Bonnie has some high level development skills and Gibbs has at least two websites of his own, probably on the Dark Web.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I enjoyed my short tenure in the Marines. I got do a lot of things in basic training, including a real life bar fight in a nearby town that was big on segregation. I walked out of the bar with skinned knuckles and a big smile.

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      • Funny I wanted to join the police force in England, but with the aim of getting into the plain clothes division. In the meanwhile I found my job in Switzerland. However, when I was a working woman I often surfed around on the computer visitng the 10 most wanted on the FB I site. That was vey interesting and then I continued to the CIA site, which even more interesting. I think if I had been born on the other side of the Atlantic, I also might have joined, although the physicals would probably have bee too much for me. I might have chances now with my fluent German and little bit of Russian. Who knows?

        I will ask Tabby, perhaps they both might be in Pawbook. Perhaps there is also a Pawpad for canines in the shape of a bone.

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  2. Technology is great… until it isn’t. 🙂 As for defending myself, I already know I can and will, and I don’t need a gun to do it. WA state law says I can’t have one anyways because I have bipolar. Even though I’m nicely medicated, and studies show that people with mental illnesses aren’t the problem, I can’t have one because the government, in its infinite wisdom, thinks I might go mental one day. *sigh*

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    • Every time Garry and I have a fight, I’m glad we don’t have guns in the house. What people might do in a fit of anger should be left at the level of flesh to flesh. When you break you hand on someone else’s face, it probably will remind you that you may be overreacting.

      The most common gun fatality in the U.S. are among family members who “lost it” in the heat of intra-family squabbling — or their toddler was saying “Mommy, what’s this” and then it went BANG! Guns are for soldiers, police, maybe high level spies. Or those who really need to hunt to survive. I can always grab a kitchen knife. I even bought a sharpener last week so my knives might actually be sharp enough to cut something besides my fingers.

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      • The number one rule of owning a gun (or any weapon really) is never have it in your hand unless you’re going to use it for its intended purpose. People pull guns because they want to “scare” others and end up shooting them — which is the gun’s intended purpose. They break the rule, and suffer the consequence. They used to teach this to kids way back when guns were used to hunt dinner, but now that we get our meat from the grocery store, it’s not a thing — hence the accidents.

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        • The problem is that the consequences are paid by the person who gets shot, not the shooter. Because “it was an accident.” It’s just a butcher’s bill. Anyone who keeps a gun needs to at least have taken one course in properly using, maintaining, and securing it. And I favor insurance — like for cars. I don’t see anyone taking to the streets to object to auto insurance … or homeowner’s.

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          • No, I agree with you. People who own guns need to be trained in the usage of guns and taught how to use them and the when and why of using them (only use them for their intended purpose — a gun is not for scaring people), &c…

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            • I have yet to meet a gun owner who didn’t agree with those basic things, which is why I really don’t understand all the wrangling. We accept regulation for driving a car, so why not for a gun? You can’t give a haircut without a license and insurance, so shouldn’t you need at least as much to have an automatic weapon? It doesn’t make sense.

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    • I’m generally okay with technology. Most things I use in my daily life, I know enough to take care of and I’m good about maintaining things. But there are a lot of things that happen that are inexplicable. No one can really explain why a file that was working fine suddenly corrupts, so when things go wrong, they seem to go terribly wrong. Inevitably a bunch of things will go bad at the same time.

      Like many (most?) people these days, I more or less live online, so when it’s down, I’m an unhappy camper 🙂

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      • I might be asking you for technology help in the future then because I am awful with technology! You think being a millennial I would be the best at it, but clearly not.

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        • Actually, I think those of us who were around when technology was just starting and went with it understand more than most of you youngsters. We never took it for granted. As it grew, we learned. Our early computers required you know things that no one bothers to learn anymore — except engineers. Everything wasn’t automated. AI was still in the future. So if we were going to use technology, we had to know a few things. Not unlike learning to drive on a manual tranny rather than an automatic, or learning photography before digital and autofocus. It wasn’t that we were smarter. It’s that we didn’t have any choice 🙂

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