Displaced Geek

Just a city geek and father coming to terms with being replanted in farm country

Posts Tagged ‘annoyances

Wherein My Daughter is not Obtuse

Gabriella loves books. At two years old, she understandably enjoys the pictures more than the words – which is exactly why I’m ticked off. It seems to me, that the majority of children’s book illustrators out there think all kids are stupid. Now you might feel like saying, “C’mon Pete, that’s a little harsh, don’t you think?” To which I answer, “No!” Too long have we suffered with pretty pictures in children’s books that are completely at odds with the words. Don’t believe me?
Allow me to show you some examples


Written by Peter

January 27, 2012 at 2152

Cameroon? Really?

Wow, roughly four times the traffic I get daily, on a day I didn’t post anything? Let’s check…. Aha! Yup, Hello everyone from Cameroon!!!!!

Damn clickjacking spammer people.

Written by Peter

January 16, 2012 at 2206

Posted in Uncategorized

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Hey user, here’s 9 things you should know.

Disclaimer: I used ‘guy’ in the following post to denote a person of either gender. I know several “IT Gals”, and would truly hate to piss them off.

Everybody’s got an IT guy. Whether it’s an official “I’m hiring you to fix this” or the much more common, “Hey, you can check this out for me right?”, he(or she) is the one you go to when clicking the mouse button a little harder or smacking the side of your monitor just doesn’t do the trick anymore.
What you don’t realize is that whether he wants to be or not, your IT guy is probably also an illusionist, FBI profiler, and CIA interrogator. And it’s all your fault.

  • 1 – Don’t Lie To Me.

I’ve yet to meet someone who wasn’t guilty of this to some degree. From something as small and classic as “I didn’t click on anything, I swear!” to the bigger and much more aggravating “I must’ve been hacked, I’d never have something like THAT on my computer”, these do nothing but annoy me when I find out. And trust me, even if I don’t call you on it, I always find out. (usually within a few minutes of turning on your machine)

  • 2 – Insulting your last IT guy does not make us friends.

Chances are, I’m already an acquaintance, and so was the last guy. What makes you think I want to hear about what a crappy job he did, and how poorly he treated you? Whether you’re paying me or not, I’m doing the job now. If the last guy really did that poor of a job, I’ll see that, and if he didn’t, well then you probably came to me because you thought you could get the same service cheaper, and I really don’t need to hear about that either. Badmouthing someone whose shoes I’m filling does nothing but sour our relationship, and predisposes me to dislike you as a person.

  • 3 – Yes, you’re probably part of the problem.

I’m not saying there’s nothing wrong with your machine, I’m saying you’re making it worse. Computers do what they’re told. You may not have intended to click that button, or hit that key, but the computer doesn’t know that, and it’s going to do what it thinks it’s supposed to when that button is clicked, or that key is pressed whether you meant for it to or not. So when I tell you you’re causing your own issues, don’t get angry and snap at me – listen.

  • 4 – I can only fix the problem I can see.

It may look like what I do is magic, but I assure you, it isn’t. There is no incantation that just fixes everything. What I’m actually doing is searching through all the places where bad things hide on your computer, and then figuring out how to remove them one by one. If you were having a problem six weeks ago and it’s not happening now, it’s quite possible I won’t see it. And if I don’t see it, it’s not getting fixed.

  • 5 – Look before you click.

The only means of communicating with you available to the computer is the monitor. If it’s throwing up a box asking you a question, there’s probably a reason. No, not all dialog boxes are useful, or even do anything. However, simply clicking ‘yes’ whenever anything pops up, and then complaining about your files being deleted is not going to get you any sympathy.

  • 6 – Obsolescence is a real thing.

There’s only so much even I can do to make the PC your son built eight years ago and now refuses to support (because it’s eight years old) “go faster”. You need a new computer. If that last machine was built with the intent to upgrade, then maybe we can buy some new components, but it’s only delaying the inevitable. Besides, chances are you bought the cheapest thing you could find from Wal-Mart, and it makes an eMachines box look fast.

  • 7 – Toolbars are evil.

Just don't.
I think that about sums it up, don’t you?

  • 8 – Every system repair is different.

For as much as they all have in common, there are no two jobs that are identical. This means that no, I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take; and no I can’t just do the same thing I did to your neighbor’s machine to make it work; and no I don’t think you’ll be able to “just check your E-Mail for a minute” while I’m dropped into a recovery console. The best thing you can do is leave me alone while I do what I do.

  • 9 – I don’t know what personal data you’re missing.

I can only tell you what data is present and accessible right this minute. I have NO IDEA what data was on there before I sat down. If I see 1500 pictures from the summit of Everest, I have no way of knowing that you actually took 1673. The only person that knows that is you. If you tell me what to look for, I will look for it. But if I tell you it’s not there, I can assure you I didn’t waste any of my time deleting it for kicks.

Written by Peter

October 29, 2011 at 1513

Posted in geek

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I guess some days she goes hungry.

Macbeth called sleep the ‘chief nourisher in life’s feast’. So why is it so damn hard to get our daughter to take a nap?

From about one o’clock through until I give up (usually 2:30 / 3) our house is absolutely insane. No matter how tired she may actually be, Gabriella will not simply lay her head down and sleep. No, she needs to kick and scream, or even worse – play nicely with Josie (her doll) and watch the cars go by outside her window.

You may think I’m unreasonable for not being content with the playing nicely, and in theory I’d agree with you. An hour or two of “quiet time” in her crib should suffice in place of an actual nap as far as routine is concerned. The problem is that when she actually does play quietly and then gets back up for the rest of the day, all hell breaks loose at around six. Suddenly I’m parent to a monster. And not a nice, furry Monster like Elmo or Grover or Cookie or Herry. She’s a very BIG, SCARY, HUNGRY MONSTER with sharp teeth and claws and an ATTITUDE. Thanks Jon

Therefore, I do battle each day in order to get her to sleep. Most days I ultimately win. Some days, well some days when I go upstairs I’m presented with this.

Written by Peter

August 12, 2011 at 1525

Posted in parenting

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This is what I’m sayin’

I just stumbled on a blog post I just had to share. Tiffany Lim puts very concisely something I often feel, but can never quite articulate.

The desire to be green is a respectable impulse, but somehow, as in so many other aspects of our society, the standard bearers for the movement are off-putting in their zealousness. This post gives some evidence that shows it’s not just in my head.

Now I’m not saying we should all paint our houses with lead, drive SUVs to the corner store, and send our empty plastic bottles in the incinerator. I’ll do my part to help with the local drought watch, and use rainwater to water the garden. But don’t get all high and mighty if my shoes aren’t made out of recycled tires, because your second house probably runs 3 window air conditioners, even when you’re not at home.

Written by Peter

August 11, 2011 at 1509

Posted in musings

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P&S ~= PoS?

I keep toying with the idea of making a coffee table book composed solely of photos from our garden. There’s certainly enough material, but there’s one huge roadblock – our camera.

I put a lot of thought and research into the purchase of our camera, and I like it. For most things, it’s more than good enough. But it suffers from a fault that’s common to all “point and shoot” models, lack of manual focus. The automatic focus is great for faces, framed shots, and plenty of other day to day stuff, but when it comes to shooting one specific spot in a frame with lots of varying depths, but not much variation in color, it’s crap. I know that sounds like a complex and infrequent occurence, but it’s really not. When I want to snap a shot of a single flower or pepper in amongst other flowers and peppers, I’m pretty much SOL.

I’ve simply taken to framing a larger area, snapping a half-dozen shots, and cropping the image to what I want once I find one that has my desired object in focus. This accomplishes what I want, but it is terribly annoying.

Written by Peter

August 6, 2011 at 1107

Posted in musings

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