I wonder if I've angered the gods lately? I seem to be suffering from a spate of technical problems, unrelated but arising in succession.
I was preparing my epic GF1 vs. E-P1 post for publication this morning when...certain keys on my keyboard stopped working. It made it hard to type certain special characters and cut and paste. After forty-five minutes of prying off the keys and cleaning out the schmutz that has somehow collected beneath them (when is somebody going to invent an un-dirtiable keyboard?), I gave up and ordered a new keyboard for express delivery. This has been an on-again, off-again problem for about the past four days. I'm really hoping it's the keyboard and not something in the e-brain of the blog compositor.
Last weekend our freshly serviced lawnmower failed to start. The service guy showed up in his pickup truck last night to cart it away again. He tells me that although I bought a lawnmower that has "Honda" emblazened on it, it's not a Honda lawnmower—it's a Sears Craftsman lawnmower, with an engine built by Honda to Sears' specs—meaning, of much lower quality than "real" Honda engines.
Wish I'd known that before I overpaid for it.
I will probably sort out my ongoing bad lawnmower luck someday. Probably just as soon as my son moves away and I move back into an apartment.
There have been other incidents. Most notably: I came across a cache of brand new, still shrinkwrapped jazz records recently, at a local used bookstore. Bought 'em all. Thought I had made a real score. So guess what? About half of them are faulty. One is perfect but for a neatly scribed scratch that runs most of the way across one song. Another is intolerably noisy, with pops and ticks throughout the whole record. Mind you, these were unopened. They're all manufacturing defects.
I suppose there had to be some reason why they were bargain priced and stuck in a bin in an out-of-the-way used book store.
Of course, with the 9,000 or so music files I have on the hard drive, I don't have that problem. I have a different problem. Every time iTunes updates, which is frequently, it can't find any music that wasn't purchased from iTunes. I have to go search manually for the files before I can play them.
It's always something. Maybe if I bought an iTunes how-to book to not read, it would help.
Zeus? Buddy? What have I ever done to you, man?
Regular programming will return when the new keyboard gets here. With any luck, that is: I ain't killing no goat.
UPDATE: I got the new keyboard on Thursday (a nice Microsoft Natural Ergo 4000) after learning that the problem was indeed in the TypePad interface and not in the old keyboard at all. But I put a lot of miles on my keyboard, and the old one was in pretty grubby condition. Fortunately, I really do learn something every week here on TOP, and this week I learned about washing dirty keyboards in the dishwasher (the amusing link is from a reader named charlie—thanks, charlie), so the old one is in the dishwasher right now.
Meanwhile, I'd forgotten how nice these keyboards feel when they're new—they're not mechanical, but the type with the plastic membranes under the keys—but they're still very nice.
Featured Comment by Riley: "I believe the proper sacrifice for a keyboard is a hamster."
Featured Comment by Stan B.: "To this day, don't know why keyboards don't come equipped with a crumb tray...."
Featured Comment by Hugh Look: "I think you've been a victim of a unique and very secret collaboration between Apple and Microsoft, the little-known Critical Task Detector (CDT), now built in to all small computers. CDT monitors the speed at which you strike the keys, the force with which you strike them, the number of times you use the backspace key and the sweat on your fingertips. Clever software then computes the probability of an impending deadline by adding these up, and when it gets a suitably large number it decides that indeed a deadline is looming and you need to be punished for leaving it so late, so that You Will Never Do It Again. You know what happens next.
"I'm taking Microsoft and Apple to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that CDT is discriminatory against a) freelance newsletter editors (as I used to be until CDT forced me out of the business) and b) people with ADD (as I still am)."
Featured Comment by Fred: "If you have a goat—put it to work on your lawn!"
Featured Comment by fmertz: "Pullleeeeze! The proper sacrifice for a keyboard is, wait for it...a mouse!"