Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Computers are stupid

So I was getting on the internet sometime around the beginning of the month, you know, checking the eeemail or whatever, and I noticed something strange: I was completely disconnected. (This is strange because my computer is set to automatically connect to the network when I'm at home.) When I tried to manually connect, it told me that the security key was wrong, or that the encryption type was wrong, or that the signal strength was low. I think the signal strength message was just to mock me, and altering the other two things manually made no difference. I input the correct information, and got the same messages. So now my computer was lying to me openly. What the fizz.

Turns out that when Mr. PC wanted me to check the security key, I was supposed to move to a different tab and check a box to "enable Atheros settings," a command I neither understand nor have ever un-checked in the first place. That, plus disabling then enabling my wireless device (again), resetting the router (again), and re-typing the security key for about the fifteenth time, finally "resolved" the "problem." Obviously.

In the meantime, I've been listening a lot lately to a guy named Shane Claiborne. He has worked for Mother Teresa and Willow Creek, helped found an urban Christian community in Philadelphia, and written a number of books, among other things. It's easy to see that he's different (when he spoke at church I kept staring at his homemade pants, which look very much like regular pants, only backwards), but one of the things that most impressed me about him was his willingness to move past cynicism.

Cynycism and I go way back. Runs in the family, I guess. It seems pretty popular in Portland, too. Claiborne says that cynicism doesn't take a lot of energy, and I agree at least that it can be easy to default to once you get in the habit.

The thing is, you will never run out of things to be negative and annoyed about, if you are in the business of being negative and annoyed. Life is full of potential aggravations. Like computers. But your angry response is not predetermined; like it says in that one TV show, you always have a choice. Choose life.

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