Ch-ch-changing

Changing seasons

changing times

changing clothes

changing rhymes

 

Changing mind

changing ways

changing hours

changing days

 

Changing tastes

changing drinks

changing food

changing links

 

Changing sea

changing skies

changing clouds

changing eyes

 

Changing hope

changing dreams

changing plans

changing schemes

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Here We Go Again – A Microsoft Rant

Microsoft has done it again; they’ve “improved” their Word product. 

Three features that I’ve grown used to are suddenly no longer functioning correctly after the latest MS “update”. As a writer, I liked the recently used files, pinned files, and the bookmarker that lets me pick up where I left off the last time that I was in a document. Stupidly of me, I like them so much that I trusted Microsoft to leave them as they are.

No.

I’ve been dealing with Microsoft products for over thirty years. Their updates and improvements regularly ripped up what I’m used to using, slowing me down, wasting time, and adding unnecessary aggravation.

My latest used files, according to MS Word, was in September of 2016. This is from a program that I use every day. The pinned files? All unpinned. Thanks, Microsoft. You’re a fucking peach. 

After finding the files that I used yesterday, the bookmark for where I left off is absent. I know where I was working, etc., but what the hell?

Of course, I must laugh. I must release long, bitter peals of angry laughter because, while Microsoft taketh away and fouls things up, it urges me, “Look! Look at our bright, shiny, NEW stuff. We’re improved, not like the sucky old product that we used to be.”

  1. Why should I look at your new and improved shit when you just removed my normally used shit, Microsoft?
  2. Why can’t I keep using the old, sucky shit.

(And yes, I recognize that the MS Word features that I’d grown accustomed to using were themselves new features, once upon a time. It’s great that they created an provided them. But can’t they see how it builds distrust when they do this sort of crap? It’s like good ol’ Charlie Brown trusting Lucy to hold the bowl. She always pulls it away, and he keeps believing that THIS TIME it’ll be different. Then, Lucy, like Microsoft proves, nope, we fooled you again.)

It’s the world’s way, innit? Don’t know about that, but it sure as hell is the Microsoft way.

GRRR.

A Dad Dream

I dreamed my Dad and I were in a store, but a few caveats are needed to qualify this. Much younger, I was taller than I’ve ever been. Dad wasn’t my true father but a colonel I’d worked for in the Air Force. This colonel and I didn’t get along well. Fortunately, he wasn’t in my chain of command. He was the Deputy Base Commander, though, so I had encounters with him almost every day. Another colonel that I was buddies with told me that the other colonel had changed through the years. He said, “He used to seem so happy and had so much fun. Now he barely wants to smile.”

That was my Dad in this dream, not at all like my real Dad. Dream Dad was retired, and I was still active, and outranked him. Neither of us were in uniforms, though. These were matters that I knew.

We were at a Home Depot shopping for plants. Dad wanted to plant flowers at his house. I was there, assisting, following him around. Dad had become forgetful and clutzy. He kept knocking things over. I was concerned, amused, and exasperated as I followed him around and watched the Home Depot personnel cleaning up after his messes.

Dad and I were chatting through all of this, mostly about what he was doing, from what I remember. I began suggesting that we leave but Dad wasn’t ready. It went like this, me following him around as he carried a basket, looking for plants and knocking things over, until I quit following him and drifted away. After I did that, I heard a loud crash. Knowing that he was behind it, I trotted into another area.

A clerk stopped me. “Some hazardous stuff has been spilled,” he said. “We need to clean it up before anyone can go in.”

I looked into the room and saw my dream father standing to one side not far away. Clerks and customers were standing around the perimeter, arms folded, leaning against shelves, as two others cleaned up a mess in the middle.

“Just tell me this,” I said to the clerk. I pointed at Dad. “Did he cause this?” As the clerk nodded, I smiled and said, “That’s what I thought.”

The dream ended.

An Uplifting Dream

Last night’s dream felt so uplifting and positive. I remember taking off my shirt and having my abdomen suddenly beginning muscular, showing off an eight pack. Suddenly, everyone was looking at me in admiration. I’m usually withdrawn and self-effacing, but I was happy for the attention and accepted it with grace.

As marvelous as that was, a woman suddenly sought me . I vaguely knew and recognized her. She said that she was back to get a story from me, fulfilling a promise she’d made a few years before.

Delighted, I was completely taken back by the unexpected request. I wasn’t aware of any promise, but I wasn’t about to question it and scrambled through my files for something.

Nothing was ready. I confessed to her, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have anything ready.”

She said, “Do you have anything that you think is promising?”

“Yes, yes, I have many things partially begun or sketched out.”

“Pick one.”

I returned to my files and began searching. “Okay, I think I have one in mind.”

As I continued searching, she said, “How soon can you get it ready?”

“I’m not sure. It’s going to take some time and work.”

“Get it ready. Finish it. I’m waiting for you.”

The end.

Well, cool. Amazing how something as unexplained as a nocturnal dream can feel so empowering, infusing me with positive energy while it shunts negative energy away.

 

Let Go

There had been decisions before, but things change, so new decisions were reached and accepted. What had been important became meaningless as priorities sifted like sand dunes.

Others ran into him, exchanging greetings, but then, privately told one another, “He’s really changed,” “Yes, he let himself go.”

They saw it as a bad thing.

Taken for Granted

As I showered today, enjoying fresh hot water, I thought about all the moments leading to that one. I looked back toward Ashland becoming a town and the settlers coming together with a decision to establish a water system. They created dams and cisterns, and channeled water to pipes for homes to tap off them.

Imagine all of that, the thinking and conversations that were held about the idea, and the decisions that had to be made. Someone paid for it, someone oversaw the work, and others did the work.

Then expand, look at our modern areas with their drainage, sewage, and water supplies. The trails, paths, sidewalks, streets, and roads that were built, expanding into higheways, and then augmented with interstate expressways. Look at the driveways, parking spots, parking garages, and gas stations. Look at the new charging stations for electric cars. Look beyond to the communication lines, from telegraphs and telephones to antennas, and cable television and Internet connections to satellite feeds and cell towers.

It is amazing stuff that I take for granted, this infrastructure that I use with little thought, and it’s such a small, small fragment of the entire development that we call civilization. Shame that we have the potential to destroy all of this thought and work by careless thought and activity.

Especially when you consider the more amazing planet upon which all of this is built.

Portents

He couldn’t quantify how long it took — minutes, certainly, but how many? — but it required some time before he could gather enough information and thinking to perceive, something was wrong, and then to specify what it was. That, he told himself, was because it was morning, he’d not had his coffee, he was hungover, and this was weird. Then his thoughts were, I must be wrong. He sought to understand what was going on by learning how he was wrong.

The thing first noticed was that the sun was coming in the wrong windows. For that to be happening, it had to be past noon. This time of year, the sun didn’t move to the front windows until the mid-afternoon. He’d just arisen, so he must have slept in past noon. That made sense. The clocks said seven oh three, but they must be wrong.

Armed with a cup of coffee, he went outside to vet further observations. Nothing was really there. It seemed like morning, with the most obvious clues being that his neighbors’ cars were parked as though they had not left for work yet. Unless…was it a holiday?

His Fitbit said it was November fourteenth. He pondered whether he could accept that its calendar was accurate while its time was wrong. Either way, November fourteenth wasn’t a holiday, was it? None that he could recall.

To the computer! It would explain it all. He couldn’t really think what it was going to explain. From his simple observations, the sun was rising in the west.

That didn’t portend anything good for the remains of the day.

Thursday’s Theme Song

Drifting further back along the memory stream today, back to nineteen seventy-two, I stumble over one of my favorite artists, a person named David Bowie.

Bowie’s song, “Changes,” came out when I was in high school. My most vivid memory, though, was talking about the song during my first permanent duty assignment in nineteen seventy-five, three years later. I was with the 2750ABW at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Permanent meant that I was assigned to the place, and would be there for a while. I was a command post emergency actions controller for the base and HQ Logistics Command. Three of us were on duty at a time, for twelve or eight hour shifts.

One night, I was on duty with Dale and Sistrunk. Studying, as we were often doing, I was singing the song to myself. “What is that you’re singing?” one asked. I explained what it was, and who performed it. They knew Bowie, but not that song, which surprised me. It was a youth’s surprise. I thought we all inhabited the same universe in America, where we all listened to rock music. But Sistrunk didn’t listen to music in his car or at home, and Dale preferred light jazz. I didn’t know the light jazz performers he enjoyed, and was amused, thinking of him as dated, when he shared their names.

That’s why “Changes” is perfect for that memory, and this time. As years passed, windows opened on myself, but they still remained small and few. I stayed in my personal garrison, spying on others, wondering what they think of me, as I thought of them. I think about the child I was, and then the man I was, and now, the person that I became, and wonder who I’ll be next.

Bowie’s lyrics capture the sentiment. “Every time I thought I’d got it made, it seemed the taste was not so sweet. So I turned myself to face me, but I’ve never caught a glimpse of how the others must see the faker. I’m much too fast to take that test.”

We think of the universe, world, and its inhabitants in terms of static existences, but really, we have snapshots of moments that we consider permanent. Almost everything is always changing. We’re just not fast enough to comprehend it.

As a bonus, it was Rick Wakeman on the piano in “Changes.” Wakeman was already known for his session work on many albums, but had formed Yes with others, another group I greatly enjoyed.

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