One Minute Ramble: The Next Day

I woke up this morning with the strangest feeling that I had forgotten to do something. The feeling was so intense, it felt urgent. How can you have an urgent forgotten feeling?

The reason for this feeling was very clear to me. I hadn’t actually forgotten anything, and I had nothing equally urgent to do. What I had done, or rather what I hadn’t done, was post a post yesterday.

I’ve had the odd day off from posting in the past, the reasons for these were either due to a really runny nose (seriously! I had a bad cold), a major news event made me feel as though I didn’t want to write (that was a horrible feeling) and a little break at Christmas (which was nice).

The fact that I didn’t post yesterday meant that I have lost my PostADay Challenge, and even though I have posted more posts than days so far, I now haven’t posted every day, so the little thingy that says I’m part of the challenge has been removed. I could go to the PostAWeek Challenge, but I’m not going to bother. This also means that today’s post is the last one with the postaday2011 tag. Future historians may remember Friday September 16th 2011 for this one very fact…

That isn’t to say that I am stopping posting.

Oh No!

I’ll still be posting every day (give or take the odd one).

A change is as good as a rest, as they say. And I say it quite frequently too. Not that there is much of a change around here, on the whole it is still ‘business’ as usual.

I still feel good anyway, which is the best thing!

The Brand-New Drive-Thru Review

Today’s review is about the newly opened intergalactic drive through just beyond Mars. Actually, the drive-thru itself is on Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons, and the decision to have the drive-thru there has caused a little resentment, especially with the supporters of Mars’ other moon, Deimos, and the Cytherean Movement (those Venusian traditionalists!), who wanted the chance for a more exotic way to promote the tropical shores of Venus itself. How a ‘fast food joint’ can be anywhere near exotic is a question asked by many, but the company that owns the rights to the chain are always looking for different ways to ensure that the restaurants blend into their surroundings.

Named ▲○±Ð⌂ ƒØ § ∟µ ®, the new Martian drive-thru is the third in the chain to be opened in our Solar System. It still uses the striking luminous green and red triangles as its eye-catching logo, which tend to look yellow when viewed in a certain way, and this time the triangles have been arranged to represent the letter M. For Mars.

As well as selling the usual curly fries and burgers, they also sell lettuce and onions, and all food is freshly cooked (apart from the lettuce).

The company pride themselves on the quality of their food, and they are keen to shun the image of being a ‘fast food joint’ by guaranteeing that all orders will be completely cooked in two hours. They have invested millions in introducing state of the art salons so customers can get their hair cut / done whilst waiting for their food. Customers needing to use this facility should be aware that they will have to park in order to do so, thus losing their ‘drive thru’ status, and discount. Other customers should be aware that, due to those who do not wish to take full advantage of the hair service, queues are likely to be long at the drive thru, and recommend phoning their order in at special telephone points along the approach to the drive thru.

The good thing about the queues, the brochure advises, are the spectacular views of Mars, as Phobos hurtles around the planet at great speed. Being at just under 6000 miles from the surface of Mars, the sunsets and sunrises that can be viewed are simply breath-taking. Customers do not even notice that the moon is orbiting Mars quicker than Mars is actually spinning on it’s axis, however some may experience some speed related nausea. Luckily, the food is well worth waiting for, and all will be forgotten after the first bite.

The company points out that as the orbit of Phobos is actually decreasing, there will come a time when the moon will either smash into the surface of the planet, or, due to gravity issues, the moon will disintegrate completely and become a ring around the planet (similar to the rings around Saturn). They are working closely with Health and Safety teams to ensure that all orders are safely completed before this catastrophic, yet completely natural event occurs, but stress that this is a long way off in the future.

For those who have never been to Phobos before, this graphic indicates how to find the moon in relation to Mars.
DeimosIf you arrive at a moon that is this shape, you have travelled too far and arrived at Deimos.

PhobosYou must turn back immediately, and look for the moon that is this shape

The company has recently introduced a new slogan based entirely on their waiting times. “Hope to see you soon” has been classed as a ‘chalk’ and ‘cheese’ slogan, with some hoping that something better will come along soon.

  • Trivia:
    Phobos and Deimos are considered by some to be asteroids that have got themselves caught up in the gravitational pull of Mars.
    Phobos and Deimos are characters from Greek Mythology, and both are sons of Ares, who was the God of War.
    Phobos’ name means fear, and Deimos’ means dread. Ares, to the Romans, was known as Mars.

Looking Deeper…

Down the lane.
There’s a river down the lane.
There’s a road alongside the river down the lane.
There’s a gate on the road that’s alongside the river down the lane.
There’s a post by the gate that’s on the road that’s alongside the river down the lane.
There’s a sign on the post by the gate that’s on the road that’s alongside the river down the lane.
There’s a word on the sign that’s on the post that’s by the gate which is on the road that’s alongside the river down the lane.
There’s a letter on the word that’s on the sign on the post which is by the gate on the road alongside the river down the lane.
There’s an address on the letter on the word on the sign on the post by the gate on the road by the river down the lane.
There’s a name above the address on the letter on the word on the sign on the post by the gate on the road alongside the river down the lane.
There’s a smudge on the name above the address on the letter on the word on the sign on the post that’s by the gate on the road that’s alongside the river down the lane.
A raindrop has caused the smudge on the name above the address on the letter on the word on the sign on the post by the gate on the road by the river down the lane.
The raincloud dripped the raindrop that caused the smudge on the name above the address on the letter on the word on the sign on the post by the gate on the road by the river down the lane.
The same raincloud that dripped the raindrop that caused the smudge on the name above the address on the letter on the word on the sign on the post by the gate on the road by the river that dripped on me.
I suppose that should teach me for looking too deeply into things.

Introducing Brianpower

Brianpower is another of my complex internal personalities. Not in a nagging way, as Bernard is. Or as frustrating as Fred, my inner driver. Or as nerdy as Tom the Geek. Or as heroic as Aquatom. Or as beautiful as Thomasina. Or as gothically divine looking as my inner honorary vampire. Or as nimble(?) as Fingers, my inner typist.

Brianpower is completely different to all of my other aspects. He only appears when I find myself overwhelmed by something. When there is too much going on that I feel I can’t take any more.

Brianpower springs into action in these situations. There’s a line in a song (I can’t remember the name of it off the top of my head right now, but that isn’t important in this instance Winking smile) that says “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” which is his favourite line of any song. Not in a running away kind of way, but in a call to arms kind of way.

For instance, work is very busy at the moment. I feel as though I am being buried under more and more work as a deadline is getting closer and closer. I feel as though I can’t understand what I’m doing (more so than usual), I have no support, it’s all my fault, I have, I can’t, it’s not, it’s gone, how, where, why, WHO?, ctrl alt del… you get the picture. Brianpower steps up to the mark, in a very “Calm down, dear” way. He says, “Look. You don’t have to do everything at once. One step at a time. Move forward. Keep calm and carry on.”

He doesn’t actually do anything for me… I have to do all the work myself, but when he appears in my mind, and says the above (or similar) I know that I have let things get the better of me. I then have a choice, as he doesn’t force me to do anything either. I can sit gibbering, dribbling, fretting and panicking, or I can respond to his call to arms, pick myself up, pull myself together, and get on with the task in hand.

I may not know what I’m doing, but I’ll be doing it far better than if I allowed the situation to run away with me.

A Mouse Possessed

What seems like years ago, and was actually mere months, I mentioned a problem I have with my mouse.

The problem remains to this day, but I have managed to live with it. Frustratingly infuriating (or should that be infuriatingly frustrating?) at times, other times it appears to operate as any proper mouse should.

My mouse isn't like thisWhen I first obtained my wireless mouse, I was literally over the moon. I was able to move my mouse to another side of the room, and click away whenever my screen saver kicked in, which was – and is – very useful if I’m watching a video through my computer. I wouldn’t really have the mouse on the other side of the room for any other reason, but it is somewhat comforting to know that I could do so, if I so wanted.

The freedom is amazing. It was like getting the first TV that had remote control. Sheer bliss. Then, remote control devices were introduced for other things, such as central locking on cars (I don’t have that on my current car and have to lock and unlock the car the old fashioned way, by using a key), remote control blinds and curtains (I currently don’t own any of them), remote control garage doors and driveway gates (Aquatom Mansion doesn’t have driveway gates or a garage) and remote control in-vehicle music systems. (I actually own one of these, but as I’m sat practically on top of the buttons themselves in the car, the need for the remote control isn’t such a great one. Also, as remote control devices have a tendency to go missing, looking for the device whilst driving is actually a hazard, and should be discouraged.)

So, back to my mouse. It has a friendly, pulsating red light that looks as though it is breathing when it is not in use. Even when the computer isn’t switched on, this red light appears and disappears at it’s own very regular pattern. When I then start to use the mouse, the light suddenly shines so brightly, as though I have startled the mouse awake. And the brightness then appears each time I left click, right click, or use the middle wheel.

The red light also shines brightly when I try to sleep.

I can see it, through my closed eyes, brightly pulsating. Not the regular breathing pattern. Oh no. It is shining brightly, as though an invisible hand is touching the mouse, or moving it ever so slightly.

The mouse and the keyboard (which is also wireless) send their ‘signals’ to a little box that is connected to the computer itself. This box has a blue light that flashes whenever the mouse or the keyboard is being used. And, when the mouse isn’t sleeping (when it is flashing brightly by itself and not ‘breathing’) the blue light is flashing in response to it. So, I know that the mouse is doing something…

To keep myself sane, I have put this down to Dot, my ghostly visitor, as she likes anything technical. When I first got the computer, and was trying to use Word, whole sentences would start to be typed out in front of me, or characters would start to appear in username and password boxes on websites when I wasn’t typing them. I put these down to Dot too, although I have no idea how she could do that.

So, Dot explains the mouse’s actions when I’m not using it, but she can’t be the reason for the other problem that I have. The problem when I am using it.

  • I click the mouse – nothing happens on screen, it is as though I haven’t clicked.
  • I want to single click – it double clicks.
  • I want to highlight a block of text – it starts to highlight what I am selecting, then loses it’s grip and then highlights the latter part of the text… or even worse it highlights the beginning of the text, and then cuts it and inserts it somewhere else in the text.
  • I want to click on a certain part of the screen – the curser moves to another part of the screen (usually the corner X that closes the application down)

I don’t see Dot doing that, as she is a friendly ghost. So maybe Dot isn’t responsible for the mouse suddenly flashing brightly when it isn’t in use. Which, can only mean one other thing.

My mouse is possessed.

Possessed by an intermittent entity that isn’t sinister, isn’t evil, isn’t nasty in any way, but very very mischievous. One that needs to make it’s presence known through my mouse.

Or something.