I’ve been pretty distracted this last few days, so rather than do a thorough job talking about any one thing, I’m afraid I’ll have to settle for a few words on several topics. Think of it as the Reader’s Digest condensed version.
First: the awful shootings in Tucson. The tragedy is overwhelming, and we’re all hopeful that the congresswoman recovers fully. It would be a miracle, but they do happen now and then. The days when any three people could have someone temporarily committed to a mental health facility (at least in Wisconsin) were rife with potential for abuse of civil liberties, but we can hardly help but wonder if the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. The junior college the shooter attended and the police were aware that he was dangerous, but couldn’t do anything until he did something illegal.
I’m disappointed in the people who are trying so hard to make the actions of an unbalanced person political fodder. There is plenty of intemperate language emanating from both sides of the political world, and thinking back to the previous presidency, I have no doubt which side has been the most vitriolic. Yes, people should be more civil, but no, the First Amendment isn’t pretend. People who thought President Bush was ruining the country had a right to say so in as strong language as they wished. The same is true for people who question the current policies.
Second, the reason I’ve been distracted is that my computer decided to go on strike. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I’ve had to reinstall the operating system, which in automotive lingo means that I had to put in a new engine.
Sadly, that resulted in the loss of everything on the computer. Fortunately, I had recently backed up my documents, except for my email, which is really where most of the information I need resided. And, being disorganized, I misplaced my registration numbers for the programs I use, so the people at Microsoft will be wanting me to pay them again pretty soon.
These services that back everything up on-line may seem expensive, but I’m beginning to think they’re probably a very good value.
Third on my list is our new fridge. We bought a new one just before Christmas, even though it seemed that the one we had was pretty new. But, upon thinking about it, we realized it was probably somewhere between 15 and 20 years old.
It worked perfectly well, except for occasionally freezing everything. Carrots and milk are especially bad when they’ve been frozen. It also ran almost all the time, commencing each cycle with a loud “POP!”
The new one worries us because it is so quiet. It hardly ever goes on, and when it does, it’s like a whisper. We can still have a conversation in the kitchen when it is running. Cool!
Forth, and last, both of our daughters have been hit by other drivers in the last several months. One driver took off – possibly because of his immigration status – and the other stepped up by taking full responsibility. Both of our kids will be fine, but it’s a reminder that the many distractions that modern society gives us should really be put aside while we’re driving. I don’t know if either of the two offenders noted above were texting, talking on the phone, putting on make-up, or whatever, but the point stands.
Those are my notes on the news. With Microsoft’s blessings, a more coherent column next week!