The Retiree: November 6, 2013


Thirteen is obviously an unlucky number, and 2013 has to be 2000 worse. I can base that contention on my own personal experience. Here's part of my year:
• Septic system froze
• Outboard wouldn't start for most of the summer
• Tree had to come down (we decided it was time)
• Two neighbors had bad accidents
• Computer quit
• Son   got   activated   again (leaves next year)
• Coffeemaker quit
• Toaster oven quit
• Wife needs a tooth crowned.
Some of those things were nuisances, but others will bug us for years. For example, the tree. It was a 20-foot stump taken down that will be messing up the yard for a long time. We think Son-in-law needs exercise, and he'll be here when wood splitting is best—the dark of winter. We got a new coffeemaker. I fixed the outboard by rewiring the starter switch—never do that. Neighbors survived their accidents, thankfully. Septic system revived after throwing $300 at it. We tossed the toaster oven and bought a toaster. The crown is scheduled to be fixed.
The computer was replaced and has the latest operating system. It's new enough to make my printer obsolete, and I just replaced the print cartridges on the old one, which worked fine when the computer worked. Learning a new system is a little like taking a class in brain surgery. In all the years I worked with systems, I rarely took the side of the user, except when I was on a quality assurance team and our task was to break the system, which was fun. Now, as a user, I remember those old IBM manuals that were perfectly clear once you knew the system but were meaningless when you didn't.
Norton, whoever he is, interrupts my computer work from time to time with IBM-like messages regarding arcane functions that I never knew existed and about which there seems to be no solution. But the thing still works, so I ignore them. I just may find out where Norton lives, and delete him.
There are things called charms that I need to figure out. I'd also like to know why my old system seems to be lurking under the new one, and why a smart new computer can't seem to locate my old software, which is right there where I put it before the old computer died.
Next year thirteen will be replaced by fourteen, if the years continue in sequence the way they have in the past. Maybe then things will go my way.
But, as I said before, maybe pigs can fly.
P.S. I just installed a new printer because the old one is obsolete, and I found out that the picture card in my camera is obsolete as well. It figures. It's still 2013.