Tuesday, April 19, 2005

167. The Times That Be In It

Things are not going well. That's the first thing to realise.

The new school year has begun and it is utter pandemonium. The students are naturally confused ( the new intake, anyway) and the teachers are running around like headless chickens "organising" things. Stay well away from me!

In the meantime, inbetween time, all my computers are showing pernickety signs of rebellion. In ordinary times I might even be sympathetic, but not now, not now ....

The iMac at home (this one, in fact) has a major system fault and starts up with all the Extensions off nine times out of ten. Which means you can't access the Internet, email, print, or do anything except look at a dumb unresponsive screen. Tonight, temporarily, I am in luck. Sooner or later the keyboard will stick and produce only capital letters.

The computer at school (Windows XP) refuses to burn CDs any more -- chances are, I have worn out the laser by wanton overuse nearly every single day for the last year. But it still doesn't work any more. Major problem, with all the iTunes downloads I have been collecting!

Plus it won't upload photos to this or any other blog using Picasa and Hello. I think our local security nazi has been fiddling with the firewalls so now we've gone non-pictorial.

Talk about bad timing!!

In addition, the new laptop brought into our happy home by Darling (the better half) depends on a wireless hookup to this iMac. It can't access Hello - Picasa is OK - because of the connection and it won't be able to access the internet either once the iMac gets carted into the repair bin.

As if I had time for all this crap.

April, said Eliot, is the cruellest month. For all he knew, the dandy, fastidious, sharp-faced, American East Coast arse-licking gobshite little shyster who threw his wife into a loony bin. Apeneck Sweeney, indeed; inside sniggerings about the Sheenies. Good poet, but a disgusting human being.

Sheenies and Sweeneys better stock than he ever came from. Suibhne of the Birds.

One mustn't grumble. I can never understand why people say that. Half the pleasure of life is grumbling about things that go wrong.

But when things go wrong, they tend to go wrong all over the place. When things break down, they tend to break down in pairs, and threes, and fives. It's a bloody hassle to get things repaired, get things back to normal. Then you go on for a bit. Next thing you know, it starts up all over again.

We're planning to go to New York in June. That's a plus, I guess. I like New York. Weird, not always safe, but stimulating. I had to get a new passport -- here we go, back to the grumbles!! -- even though the present one had seven years to run. I had to pay full whack for a new 10-year passport ($110) so it would be machine-readable. Otherwise you have to go to the local US Embassy and stand in line for 5-6 hours to get a visa. Bollix entirely to that load of noise. Plus you have to do an interview. No way. I'm not going to actually TALK to these checklist robots, give us all a break. I just want to pop in and out for my daughter's graduation, a week at the most. You'll never see me, I'll be quiet as a mouse. I won't praise the Lord God Bush but I won't talk agin him -- much. And I'll never come back again. Of that I can be fairly sure.

Come October, even the machine-readable passports will be out of date. Then we will need digital photos and even newer technology. The Irish Embassy tell me they have no plans to comply. What makes the US government think they can design passports for the rest of the world?

What if the Rest of the World replied in kind -- photographing and fingerprinting American tourists? Demanding new-style passports? Brazil had a go at this and some American airline pilots tried to beat up the local immigration officers. Gives you an idea of how Americans might feel if placed under the same restrictions. The reason we don't apply the same humiliating conditions on American tourists is because a) we are rational people; b) we welcome tourists and business people to our countries; c) what's the point? and d) perhaps we are more intelligent.

In other news, I have just finished "Flashman on the March" the 12th and latest appearance of the Flashman papers, a record of the most highly decorated heroic poltroon and lecher of Victorian England. Brilliant. Warms the cockles of your ever-doubting heart. This time he is in Abyssinia with Napier in 1868.

There is much else to say but this will have to do. I must come up with some way to get photographs back on the Blog. Right so ...

Slan anois