Lint-Trap 1/21/01: New Year's Kleenex

New Year's Kleenex


So I'm spending the day in a pre-cioppino frenzy of straightening. To let you know how bad it was, I lost my to-do list!. A wiser person than I would probably have taken this as a strong message from my unconscious mind. Being the weak-willed person I am, I just rooted around, turning over logs and rocks, until the damn thing surfaced.

So, what do you do to get ready for a cioppino party. Well, of course, I had to finish assembling the birdfeeder I got for Christmas so I could get at least some of the 10 Lbs. of seed I bought for it out of the living room. Looked around the workroom for the perfect nail. Found it. Went out to hang the birdfeeder, and discovered a perfect nail already in place. Hung the birdfeeder.

And then, there was the Mac. As part of starting this journal, I got a PC, and decided to break what had been a 13-year stretch with always a Macintosh in the house. Recently, it had been used only for Quicken and the occasional one-page letter, but there was a lot of history there.

So of course, I spent a couple of hours converting old Mac MS Word files to RTF format and writing them on floppies, so they could be carried to the PC and converted back to Word format. Did I mention that MS software is boring and tedious? Something that would have taken me about 2 minutes on Unix (if I had had to do it at all, which I wouldn't have) took two hours with the 'modern' user interfaces, icons, windows, etc. And this was to get a MS word file from one box to another.

At the rate we are going, someone who can write a shell script, not to mention a perl program, is going to look like a magician to the average computer user.

Well, I had converted a bunch of files before, but hadn't been able to find several floppies which finally turned up today. So, before I lost them again (the usual fate of most things when I 'clean up') I sat down and converted them. And of course, read them.

They were not easy reading. They were homework I had done four years ago when in the workshop that allowed me to find the courage to leave my wife and take my first tentative steps, in my early fifties, into adulthood. There was a diary I had kept for a few months online at that time. It was harrowing to recall the amount of pain. It was also inspiring to see how sure my direction was--my instincts, when I listened to them, pointed in just the right direction. And I followed, even though I was too blinded by the pain to see the path much of the time.

After that job was done, Diana came up for a couple of hours and helped me regain my center, as well as helping me put away the Christmas decorations.

I fixed the light in the hall that broke the day I moved into the house, and has stayed broken for a year. I bought a new fixture before Christmas, and now I have a nice light. Of course, I didn't have the right kind of bulb, so I had to run out and get it. And get some money to pay off the fish man tomorrow. And get a few things for snacks while we are waiting for the clams to open.

And pay the bills. The same logic that inspired me to copy the floppies inspired me to pay the bills before they dissapeared for the third time in the piles surrounding my computers. Quick, pay the gas bill before it goes up again!

But the high point of the day of preparation was the migration of the scissors from their winter quarters at the Christmas present wrapping table back to my office. Their first job was to snip away at some empty kleenex boxes to make little bins to hold reciepts, bank statements, etc. I took last year's boxes, groaning and bloated, and moved them to the Income Tax table.

At this point, even I'm getting bored telling you about it. But it was surprisingly pleasant, a ritual of the new year.

More stuff keeps coming up for me about color. But both rumination and experimentation thereupon will have to wait until after cioppino day...

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.