Laptops. You Just Gotta Show ‘Em Who’s Boss

A commentary for all hard-working bloggers, writers and commentators who have seen their work mangled by a vindictive piece of plastic, silicon and wire powered by electricity.

This is a true story, not 30 mins oldWIN_20180727_19_28_44_Pro

 

 

 

My dear wife is possessed of a particularly truculent machine whose ways are steeped in indolence and malice.

This morning for a reason which in a fit of bare faced effrontery it claimed was an ‘error’ the device refused to print a Word document. As my darling girl had other tasks to attend to and I was in a combative mood (Spring has come far too early for my likingPicture_of_Thomas_Carlyle ) I volunteered to take on the beast.

 

 

The first thing I noticed was it had slithered on to Airplane or Air flight mode which is something I find very annoying and personally cannot see the point of, you seem unable to do anything useful with a laptop while flying about the place. I daresay there are many worthy and experienced folk who can conduct valuable work on their machines while at 10,000 feet in the air. I am not one of them.

Anyway having got rid of that piece of nonsense I expected better of the machine. No, it refused to see the error of its ways. Insisted the printing request was still and ‘error’ and had also planned with the browsers to not to offer any solutions. This was also annoying, whereas IE just comes up with a feeble message about  not being to find anything some idiot at Microsoft Edge/ MSN without any concept of the mindset of an average user annoyed and in a hurry has contrived ‘Hmmm….there seems to be something ‘ with the inference this is the users fault rather than Microsoft/MSN. There must be more damage done to machines and blood vessels through this Microsoft/MSN tomfoolery than anything else it has contrived.

Quite naturally as any normal laptop user I had reached the anger-management stage.

Since it was my wife’s machine I shut it off; counted to ten to make sure I had not suffered any brain damage, went to dry the dishes, then switched it back on.

There was an ominous silence, followed by some lurid screen colour which reminded me of runny custard which had become the habitation of a particularly nasty bacteria, and the infuriating message ‘Just a moment’ followed by the whirly thing. I suspect the whirly thing is a device included to mesmerise the user into a lightly passive state in which they cannot use another device to send justifiably abusive messages to the laptop manufacture and of course Microsoft.

I quit the room to do other things, to return to find after at least 5 minutes the whirly thing was still there and the custard had definitely mutated into a toxic slime.

At this stage I did was any well adjusted and mature male would do, I addressed the device in a tone of gathering violence in these words:

“Work. You (redacted) useless piece of (redacted)” 

and as I was holding, not wearing one of my light house shoes, struck it lightly (you must take my word for it) on the plastic side of the screen.

At which point on came the Screen Saver and the printer burst into life.

I defy any expert professional or amateur in matters of laptops and their programming to offer any of their technical explanations as to why this worked. Where all honest and hardworking users of laptops know full well:

The evil things respond to anger and are cowardly when confronted by good honest human rage.

sturm_drang3

And some people think computers will take over the world!

I would as soon suggest the UK government knows what it is doing over Brexit.Theresa MayBritish Cabinet…..

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A Writer (and Diarist?)’s Challenge

A writer should never shirk from addressing challenges in message nor description, despite the social or self-imposed barriers they encounter. After all, the very essence of writing is to strive, to reach and then even break through those barriers, never worrying about the reaction. A writer, in this aspect must display boldness.Victorian writing

The task confronting me was another episode of tardy attention upon WP and lack of interaction with my good friends upon the community. There was good reason. However, to explain this required a deft, one might say diplomatic approach. If I simply cited illness or incapacity and left the business there, then all sorts of wrong intimations might arise, unwarranted concerns would be expressed, and a farcical air of melodrama would impinge upon my blog. This would not do.Social Graces

There again. And here is the overriding problem. An average British male, in their late 60s b85885aa0fd01f0cbebaa2798639b472

 

 

 

 

aware of the number of lady readers to his blog does simply not feel at ease in going into, in this case the relevant detailed description. Now, whereas we all have secret chuckles at ‘Carry On’ films, these are normally conducted in more domestic matters. To utilise this approach simply would seem, well crass.

Therefore, I explain the circumstances of the last several days in a slightly cryptic manner and trying to avoid the Too Much Information syndrome. These facts and opinions are for your considerations.

Yeast. Not to do with baking. Medical. Jokes about yeast making things rise no longer seem remotely funny.

Not all conditions respond to medicines. Some require surgical responses, lest conditions get worse. Gender reassignment is not a phrase I personally, in my lifestyle ever thought a possibility.

Not to worry, having imagined conversations with idiots on the Web-footed Rightalexjonesrandpaul-alexjonesimage  and Fashionable LeftPompus
over their laughably ignorant notions of biblical surnames and surgical procedures was quite amusing; almost tempting me to indulge their ignorance…..My imagination does get vivid at times.

The UK. Our NHS….yes it does surgical procedures on a Sunday. So the NHS works, despite the antics of governments, the slimy efforts of money-making corporations and hapless misconceptions of the 8d8f41c1217d3007621ceda397c48ef6Trumpster Propagandists in the USA.

Being under general anaesthetics gives you real clarity as regards Napoleon’s victory at the battle of Austerlitz in 1805.

Of course, being in Britain recovery in the recovery room is aided by a nice cup of TEA!cuppa_tea_1660618c

The removal of a surgical dressing by one’s spouse can be quite an intimate episode (I’m talking about shared trust and tenderness….what are some of you thinking about?).

Why does going to a hospital or attending Mass cause one to catch a cold?

Like, Slowness City man. Move legs won’t you? Brain stop drifting! Hey, that snooze just sneaked up on me! How come it’s hard to concentrate on Comic Books?

Whereas I do not take nor approve of recreational drugs the residual after effects of a general anaesthetics did help with a tricky few chapters of my current book and gave me whole new insights into the songs out of ‘Cats’ ‘Mr.Mistoffelees’ and ‘Bustopher Jones’ as they travelled through my head day after day, without the least bit of annoyance.

In conclusion, fellow male readers. Do not wince or shudder. In comparison with what our dear ladies have to go through in life….

Mate, like this is nothing!

‘Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones –

                                    In fact, he’s remarkably fat.

                                    He doesn’t haunt pubs- he has eight or nine clubs,’

bjones-karen

Love that song……

Times which try writers’ souls*

Ah me….

Interludes with “Skirmishers of Fire, Steel and Lace”Unit2_Lesson2(not again)

As you may (or not) be aware I have been writing Volume II of my Fantasy Epic. For those who have been following earlier post being either (A) Morbidly fascinated (B) Wanting to find out how not to do things (C) Are finding this narrative more entertaining that Vol I, you will have surmised there have been problems with the re-write. (If there’s anyone out there who is now saying ‘Saw it coming’…..I don’t wanna know!…Leave me alone, I am artistically suffering here!).

Gefühle-Die-Leiden-des-jungen-Werthers-676x884

Anyhows, there I was having reached a certain point where I decided to shift the whole emphasis under the firm (at the time) belief that the narrative could stand the strain. Thus didst I forge out.      puritan-christmas-color

To reach the point when it seemed judicious to go back to earlier chapters and squeeze in just a few words…..no paragraphs….now whole chapters to make the newish turn in the plot fit and…..

Yep! The whole thing shuddered! And bits started to fly off in all sorts of direction. “Crash and burn” should have been the phrase but somehow by a miraculous effort of character and stubbornness the craft was landed, and although not in one piece, at least all the bits were quite close together and as bits intact.

The only damage being to my writer’s sensibilities.Me

Naturally it was time for a mature action.sturm_drang3

After the obligatory sulk, lapse in self-belief in my ability to write and of course a few   8d8f41c1217d3007621ceda397c48ef6 s at the covers of the books of very successful writers (Yes I indulge in that too!) I squared my shoulders, set my chin firmly forward but on realising the whole pose looked ridiculous returned to writing.

Annndddd back to the very beginning of the book. Never mind about the time going down wrong trails, never mind about those promising characters who were now cluttering up the narrative (Sorry folks, but there will be other volumes or more, so hang on in there, your time will come).  Chapters are being re-written, placed in a different order (I can get away with that since there is not just one location, or time), whole sub-plots put aside for another day.

Anyone who has faced this circumstances will tell you it is a ‘Load’ (in several senses of the word.)

But out of the blue my very good friend Sha’ Tara of  Burning Woman’ https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/20902694

when replying to one of my replies to one of her posts added this comment:

“By the way, I am re-reading “The Patchwork Warriors” and finding it much more interesting and relevant this time around. I would recommend to anyone who’s already read it to go over it again, and if anyone’s not read it, to do so. Yes, you can copy and paste this into your blog or book review if you wish, and I’ll have more to say about Patchwork when I finish this re-read, I’m sure.”

And boy did my spirits soar and endeavour solidified, so a very heartfelt THANK YOU to SHA’TARA, ‘Skirmishers’ is revitalised!

The downside to this is the writing eats into my WP time, so I’ll not be around as much as I could like to be; many of you will understand the statement……. ‘The Book Is Calling’Boating

You are, none of you, forgotten.

After all without your calming influences, interesting posts, insights into Life I would still be grubbing about on FB wasting time picking fights with other hapless folk.

Thank you one and all.

Trial_by_Jury_-_Chaos_in_the_Courtroom(He didn’t try and pull a cheap advertising ploy on the 1st  book….Oh darling I am so happy!)

Of Protagonists, The Unexpected and The Go-Figure (Adventures in the World of “Our Skirmishers of Silk, Steel and Fire”

 

*thomas-paine-9431951-1-402‘Pon my soul…. Plagiarised!’

Of Protagonists, The Unexpected and The Go-Figure (Adventures in the World of “Our Skirmishers of Silk, Steel and Fire”

One of the advantages of having no illusions about ever being a great success (as opposed to dreams and wishes that is) in writing is one is able to experiment and not be afraid whichever what-way matters go. Once more, dear reader and fellow writer, feel free to take out notebook and notate either ‘Hey I must try that’ or ‘No, must avoid that’ or ‘Oh boy that is so not going to work for me!’. To repeat my blog is all about pitfalls, wrong turnings, but best of all ‘Wow! The blessed thing actually worked! Who’d thought it??’ So gentle follower let us take another sojourn, shall we?Williamterriss7

Many successful and also good writers (the two do not necessarily go together) will hold fast to the idea of there being at least one strong protagonist. To have a hero or central character who forges though a book with no particularly effective opposition is not going to work. (unless the writer might be the latest Commercial Thing- which we are not are we?)   This is a good point and is undeniable.

Once more I have to admit, villains are my weak spot, they are there to be humiliated or slaughtered. Morally, elastic types who drift between ethical and legal borders, not so bad with those. Real fearsome, terrifying, evil folk…..not going to have a good time in my pages, if they do hang around it’s only to suffer…So sue me.200px-Advokat,_Engelsk_advokatdräkt,_Nordisk_familjebok

Anyway, a solution to this dilemma and to give my characters more to do than just than having a fun time or a challenging romp? Ah there was the rub! (Pause for Shakespearean interlude of silent staring off-stage).Othell0-8_2-1924-Jago

Now speaking for myself I read a history, mostly military, and after reading a lot of this it began to dawn, very little every goes to plan. In fact, after many amendments to the original we have the military saying, ‘No plan survives contact with the enemy’ (the original is much longer and slightly turgid). Thus, it occurred to me in the real world would you have a seemingly all-powerful and cunning protagonist whose plans went along so smoothly until the last few heroic efforts of the central characters?…. Nah! Great military geniuses and shrewd political operators were often wrong footed by the unexpected and had to adapt… if they were that good at their job!

To get around my prejudice (yes, it is a prejudice, must admit it) I thought about the many events in history and how these overwhelmed the participants maybe permanently, maybe temporarily and set the protagonist as The Situation the world was in.

To re-cap or to introduce. The World, which is ours set in a future at some stage was overwhelmed by a force which has many names (Ethereal, Stommigheid to name but two). Its true nature is not to date revealed, however can be utilised by machines, mind or physical effort, but NOT, NOT controlled. Think of an ocean or a river, think of water. Now in this future the World may be split or have given rise to other satellite worlds as a result of the arrival of this force, which is subject to its own relationships to the Universe and using the Water analogy there are tides (aka tydes- just liked the ‘y’) and storms. The stories are taking place at one of these junctures.

The first volume……..

Patchwork (See Amazon Kindle for your copy of ‘Of Patchwork Warriors’)

understanding-anger_183x90_184933693(if he does that again, I swear….)

set up the central characters, a familiarity on how this force affects the world and also an insight into some of the life forms other than what we might think of as human. This second volume looks into how the coming turbulence is affecting the plans, strategies and intentions of disparate folk, organisations, and races. The principal theme here is that no one is control, there are no superior beings, everyone is in the same boat, most just don’t realise it, they are floundering, or adjusting all the time.

Thus my central characters are working in constantly shifting states, whereas they remain true to reach other. The often comic and wacky Karlyn is drifting or being driven closer to learn about her background; Every Soldier Arketre is being shunted up the ladder of responsibility and getting some tough orders. While Trelli is still continuing her journey of discovery and adaptability to her new ‘powers’ although her journey parallels her two comrades she has a more ethical dimension to cope with. Not that matters are any easier for Karlyn and Arketre whose actions are decisions are always overlaid by their emotional and physical love for each other. They, all three are facing the ramifications of actions by several agencies and individuals, who themselves are linked in some case.

Yeh, great fun. The challenge is to keep the whole business fairly easy to follow. No one cares for a book which has them going ‘Huh?’ Confused person on Brexitand then flipping back through a few chapters to find out who was what, doing which then. Nor do they like to read a narrative interrupted by a brief resumé of that character’s actions another few chapters back. Lavery_Maiss_AurasNope it all needs balance. AND making sure the central characters aren’t swamped by everyone else’s business.

In fact, at times writing this novel seems to have parallels to writing a history. The basic facts have to be there, the important characters must be given their full due, but attention must be given to those lesser folk who turn up and spoil everything AND there are always circumstances outside of any player’s control; usually weather. (smart folk should always take into account weather, it happens)

This makes for a degree of flexibility too, as you never know who will rise to the occasion and who will get overwhelmed and fall out. The only spoiler I have three is the continual presence of the three centrals Arketre Beritt (solider), Karlyn Nahtinee (adventurer and enigma) and Trelli (Professional Name Currently Trelyvana Waywanderer, and she’s regretting choosing it. The Everyone of the saga).

The best part is, there I am wandering about the house doing my share of chores, when suddenly I get a ‘Hey! ‘They’ would do ‘that’. Of course ‘they’ would,’ interlude, which was not planned, but bubbled up from the whole brew.

I just love writing by the proverbial seat of my laptop. The first draft was OK, but now the real fun has begun.

So I thus end with a familiar refrain. You can think about this approach. You can shake your head in sad despair at my hapless ways. You can recoil in horror and sprinkle your laptop screen with sacred coffee (or tea) at such heresies. Your choice.  Just do me one small favour.

Keep writing. Never, ever give up on your writing.

Wishing you Good Journeys People!

Winning Back Your Novel (Adventures in the Writing of “Our Skirmishers of Silk, Steel and Fire”)

Every Picture Tells A Story???

Sometimes a picture just…well y’know….it begs a comment:

Flirty Singles

(the following dialogue inspired by the great Bob Newhart)

‘Ah Good Morning Miss Singles. Welcome to the job interview. Can I get you a glass of water? Tea? Coffee? Sure coffee! And, black, yea. No sugar, sure….Just a spoonful of salt? (nervous laugh)..well that’s different…Eh keeps you focused does it? I’ll have to…err…look into that.

Now construction site work. What a lot of folk don’t realise that in addition to being quite labour intensive, a lot of skill is needed so I hope you don’t mind if some of my questions seems a measure intrusive…Err would you like a tissue Miss Singles..looks like you got something in your eye..Ah I see, that just a twitch..Yeh! Quite twitch. Guess it’s dust and pollen……. and maybe the gun powder? Make your own bullets do you? Well I make my own flies for fishing, so… …Anyway. Now I have to ask (laughs). Your first name there, it’s…… I see….uhh-huh…Yeh grandparents sometimes make some freaky requests of their children….Oh made their money in the 1960s on the West Coast, yeh…kinda makes sense now….Have you ever discussed this with them. Ah, both died in a house fire…I’ll just get your some paper towelling, you spilled some of your coffee when you were giggling. And your parents?….Those creeps are still alive y’say….Well I guess that ties up that line of enquiry.

I see you went through twenty schools. Did you parents move much? No. Hmm, some places can be picky can’t they? Did the kids call you silly-nick names….Yeh I guess it would have gone better for them if they had….. Sports? Gridiron, I didn’t know some schools had girls’ teams…..Not in a girls’ team… Offensive tackle? No kidding, they are usually kinda taller….You say it an’t needed when you jump at the face….Yeh that would be different…Hmm…Now my opinion is those guys were being a bit whinny, it is a contact sport after all, just as long as you didn’t try and wrench the helmet off….Only the once…He used your first name did he? How did I know?….oh….. just a lucky guess.

Ah I see here you signed up for the Marines…..And were dropped out of basic training because your drill sergeant and the rest of the squad were getting nightmares…. Special forces said they needed stealth not banshee screaming. Geez, I hate to come across as sounding stuffy and cranky but they don’t breed them as tough as they did in my day…Nah…cooks and that’s no walk in the park I can tell you! Now this rejection from the Chicago Police Department to my mind just isn’t helpful, I mean what does ‘Hah! Not until Hell Freezes Over’ offer to the applicant? It’s just not helpful.

OK, before we go out and try out on site there, if you don’t mind me asking, who took the photo? It’s only just first impressions y’understand but…..ahhh…doesn’t seem your style. Oh….right.…..So your mother…Sorry, as you wish…This three-dammed witch…. is good at photoshop and all that..stuff…Oh on FaceBook and Instagram……Gee that’s tough. But I guess that mothers for you trying to get you married….My, that is some twitch!

Well anyway, here we are. Office being on site. As you can see a lot of construction going on here….HEY guys! You might wanna tone down the remarks….YEH? Well Joe it’s my opinion you’re damn lucky you are up there and not down here! Don’t worry I’ll have a word with them at lunch break….Sure…ha-ha….for their own sakes.

OK, so this is Harry our site foreman. No Harry I wouldn’t make too much of that twitch if I were you. I’d be careful there Harry…Yeh I kinda guessed she’d have that sorta grip in her handshake, put it in cold water after, swelling’ll go down. So this is Miss Singles…No Harry, her first name isn’t important, truly Harry you want to trust me on that one. Remember how I was right about that gas leak?…Well it’s the same kind of situation Harry. Yeh, glad you see it my way.

Sorry Miss Singles, just a little bit of construction site chat there. Now I’d….You like to try out with the sledgehammer? Oh sure, if you feel that way. That piece of old granite foundation there …Yeh….I guess if……OK, then, there you go…..Yeh I know Harry, that’s one hellava swing there…..No I don’t know what she’s putting on the rock, some, I dunno, looks like a photo…..Yeeaaaaah I gotta feeling it might be an old family photo and…WOA!..No I don’t think was a lucky strike there Harry, and you should come out from behind that truck and see her swing again! No I think you’re exaggerating there, I reckon you did see worse shrapnel in Iraq! Geez-Louise willya look at that, split straight down the middle! I don’t see you need worry about the scream when she swings Harry, I mean you watch those tennis players on the tournaments, the racket they kick up…..Hey! The Racket! Didja get that one Harry?…Oh c’mon Harry you are the site foreman, just ducking when Miss Singles swings isn’t good for your image……JOE! Look I warned you about your comments, that’s just not appropriate……..Now y’see Joe you just provoked that! Thinking she couldn’t hit you with a chunk of granite you being two stories up. Well more fool you fellah!…..Wassat Charlie? Well if your daughter’s little league team needs a new pitching coach, I guess you’d better discuss that with Miss Singles after your shift there, not my business buddy.

Ok Miss Singles, that block of granite looks like it’s ready for the bagging and spreading on someone’s pathway now, you might want to stop…Yeh, if there’s still bit of the photo left, when you’re ready then. But I’m convinced we can use you around here….Pardon…..Oh sure you can take the sledgehammer home to prove to your parents you got the job. The way you’re stroking it, you obviously like the…..We call it a tool on site Miss Singles, not a weapon…….Excuse me a minute…..Joe! Now fellah it’s no use you  clinging to that girder and whimpering, you’re getting in the way of Bill’s riveting there….Boy some of these guys are such cry-babies!

So you start tomorrow then Miss Singles. Pardon…Oh no, you don’t have to be so formal and call me Mr. Nightly…..’Jay’ will do, just like the intial…Uh? Nah I never use the full name, that was my parents’ fascination with east European culture..Jerkov, yeh….yeh! No they aren’t around anymore, died in a tragic freak car accident. Apparently an electrical fault, caused  a petrol explosion….Yeh…Tough break.

Well, then see ya tomorrow! Y’know I got a feeling you and I are going to get along just fine!

Current Events- The Correct Approach

This is and will continue to be a busy and challenging week for the public in and around the UK. At these testing time, it is essential we display our nation( s) in ‘Best Light’.

Here, therefore, are inspirational and instructive posters:

On addressing a minster of the British Government as to why they are not conducting Brexit negotiations in a mature and sensible manner.

Admonishment

On welcoming home that most beloved of British Heroes, the gallant but unbowed defeated (In this case the English Soccer Team)

Welcoming home

On reading that someone named Kylie Jenner is on their way to being a self-made billionaire:

shoulder-shrug

On hearing that some guy from the USA who resides in Washington DC is on their way to visit the UK

 

Big Raspberry

Big Raspberry

 

Fortunately thanks to the vigilance of Lucy Brazier and thus timely reminder, don’t forget at all times:

cuppa_tea_1660618c