skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com
Monday, 16 November
Skotty Got His Gun
As we all know, last week we celebrated--by which I mean "didn't go to the bank" or "receive mail"--Veteran's Day. My dad is a vet, so my inability to buy stamps was important to me in complicated ways. As it turns out, that particular week ended up being harrowing for me in a way that true veterans can understand. Much like huddling under machine gun fire, I found myself in a similarly nightmarish scenario.
I was compelled to attend a training class on Office 2007.
I WAS THERE! As a fully grown man in a gray ponytail explained how Outlook was now "pretty neat." In fact, everything was "pretty neat," including programs that I routinely do not use, and in fact would actively resist using, such as PowerPoint and Excel.
"You see how you can import all this information from other programs like Access? It's pretty neat!"
Dear Mr. Ponytail:
Not only do I not give the slightest red rubber fuck about Excel, I give an even flabbier red rubber fuck about Access. I do not use either application, and if I did, I would surely put a bullet in my brain. I sure hope you die soon, Mr. Ponytail!
It was all just horrifying. We spent about fifteen minutes learning about how to put in watermarks into Word documents. My document consisted of the words "Blarg! Snuh! Guh!" Which I then overlaid with a bright orange watermark that read "SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM!" I felt I was making progress.
Later, when I was pointlessly learning about the fabulous new version of Excel, I made a column entitled "Pig Corpses." I promptly assigned myself a really impressive quantity of dead pigs, all of whom are destined for ignominy, since I then fucked everything else up and made the table completely unreadable. I hate Excel. On the other hand, I love pork.
I particularly liked the presentation on PowerPoint, another program that I find hideous and that I never intend to use again. Ponytail: "You can import older PowerPoint programs into the new PowerPoint." Hey, that's fucking amazing. It's like saying "You can pump fuel into this old Chevy simply by removing the gas cap!"
"It's pretty neat!" he concluded. I fruitlessly rubbed my temples.
This training session went on for six hours. Our company paid for this. Most likely through the fucking nose. Hey, speaking of, where did the phrase "through the nose" come from? Presumably not through interminable Microsoft training courses, which make me want to relentlessly pick mine, but I don't know. It is entirely possible in my mind that Microsoft only exists in order to make average citizens feel a deep desire to claw around in their sinus passages.
Microsoft: Pick Your E-Nose! It's Pretty Neat!
(PS: Microsoft fully endorses Veteran's Day, and in no way supports the idea of soldiers going back in time to be killed by enemy fire.)
Tuesday, 08 November
OMG OSX G4 LOL
Hello hello! Your Izzlepfaff experience is BOUND to be more exciting today! Why? Because I have a new computer! And by "new," I of course mean "used!"
You are going to shit your pants over my posts from now on. In fact, you're going to have to go to your neighbor's house, beat him or her senseless, steal their pants, and shit in their pants, then laboriously put their shit-filled pants back on their dead-weight bodies, and then put on your own again, thinking, "Man! I have shit so many pants!" from now on. I'm sorry! I don't make the rules. My gain has come at the expense of your pants. And the pants of your neighbors.
I have moved beyond my little old iMac with OS 8.3! Whatever that was! I now have a slightly less outdated G4! Apparently! With OSX! I guess!
Let me explain. This new iMac--which is a hand-me-down from some lesbian friends, which probably explains the really great wallpaper featuring a stacked blonde in a bikini holding a rifle and wearing some sort of Beefeater hat (no, not kidding)--is what is called, as I said, a "G4," or as those of us hip to the lingo, of G-furr, or also for us Anglophiles, a "Guv'nor." And OSX? Don't get confused. It stands for "Oh Shit Times Ten!" because for anyone who is used to anything else, it immediately makes no sense. In this way, you can sound like a British computer expert, just like me! "Gotcher a new computer, Guv'nor!" "Aye! Blimey! I think I put me hard drive in the rubbish bin!" "Oh shit! Times ten!"
Now don't get me wrong. This thing is adorable. My friend P., who set it all up for me, was showing me this browser thingy called Safari. (Side anecdote: I had asked him, based on geek recommendations, "What about Firefox?" His sheepish reply? "It freaked out on me.") For one thing, the little stoplights up there! Red obviously means "Stop"! Oh. Boy, it sure doesn't. Okay, then yellow means . . . uh . . . load slower? Whoa, page loads! Too fast! And green, I guess, means . . . I don't know. Does it mean, "Carry on! You're doing great!" I think of it as the Encouragement Button. Keep it up, Safari!
These are of course all lies. I got too scared to hit any buttons after my experience with the fucking red one.
Another feature, I am told, is this phenomenon called "tabbed browsing." With tabbed browsing, I can tell this weary machine to start downloading a page, and then, in another tab, start working on a different page entirely! Safari! Go get me this Tubgirl biography! In the meantime, I can check out what's new in evolutionary biology. And also get irritated with Slate! This is rad! It's like having multiple windows open in IE . . . but now I can call them tabs!
It has been suggested that I do not fully understand why this is cool. Which is almost certainly true. In the meantime, I do appreciate why it's called tabbed browsing. For every new one you open up, you get a little canned video of Tab Hunter to let you know what's going on! Hey, Tab! " 'Allo, Guv'nor!" he replies jauntily. " 'Aving a spot of trouble loading your fisting vidjeos!" I love that guy. "Oh shit!" I scream. And Tab, that rogue, replies tinnily, "Times ten, Guv'nor!"
I'm starting to see why Macs are so great. I think it mostly has to do with the racky blonde holding a rifle.
Tuesday, 13 April
Things Fall Apart
The computer situation was getting intolerable. I had to write, after all, and there was no reason that a certified fucking computer wizard like myself had to put up with some snotty little iMac who wanted to snooze. So I decided: no more. I'd resolve this one way or the other.
First I remembered the mantra of every helpdesk person I'd ever talked to: Did you reboot? This is the first thing out of every IT person's mouth, ever, no matter what, even if you're asking them why your monitor suddenly burst into flames. "Did you reboot?" "Yes, I did, and it failed to correct the monitor-on-fire system error." Whenever I hear the question "Did you reboot?", I think of frat guys in college saying "Didja fuck her?"
Anyway. Remembering the sage advice of others, I rebooted. Several times. I booted and rebooted the fucking machine around the room for a half hour, pausing only to ice up my foot periodically, as it was swelling noticably. Finally, hobbled by pain, I had to give up, and thought that later I'd probably have to figure out how to reboot my foot, as it hurt like hell, and I wondered how I'd do that. But it sure didn't do much for the iMac. It still wasn't working at all, and its CD tray was sticking out at me obscenely.
I picked up the little green beast and stared at it, wondering what to do next. Then, struck by inspiration, I began searching for its ass. This isn't as weird as it sounds: many times I have found that when I mercilessly grope the wife's ass, she more often then not springs into action at the stimulus. I figured that the iMac, being far less sophisticated than the wife (the iMac is, in truth, about as sophisticated as a fucking plank of cedar) would respond in kind. I turned the thing over in my hands, searching without success for the thing's ass. It was ungoosable. I tried to improvise by ramming a screwdriver into a USB port for a while, but the thing didn't even flinch.
This was getting bad. I realized that I couldn't do this alone. I needed to call reinforcements. That's when I called George Clooney. My reasoning was, hey, a former fake doctor is just what I need in order to help me diagnose what was wrong with my former fake computer. He naturally agreed to come right over.
"I need booze," he said when he came in the door. "Whip me up an Asian Tennis Racket." I nodded and went to the bar--I was pleased that he remembered my special drink. I mixed sake together with a special liquor imported from Madagascar and poured over ice. George eyed it critically, and then drank like a fiend. "Show me the patient," he said throatily. I took him to the iMac.
He stared at it. "I see you tried rebooting," he said after a while. "For like half an hour," I replied. "And don't even try goosing the sonofabitch. Thing doesn't have any kind of ass at all." " 'Sallright . . . neither does Brad Pitt, you want to know the truth."
George began gingerly probing the iMac, looking for trouble spots. "Does this hurt? How about this?" he asked. The iMac remained reticent, but George was unperturbed. My man. Eventually, he stopped the examination and sat contemplatively on my sofa, taking a hit off of my giant 15-gallon bong, known as the Green Manalishi. He exhaled a fog front of bluish smoke.
"I think I know the problem," he wheezed. "There's a problem with the TCP/IP settings."
"You mean 'tickipip,' " I said, gently correcting him.
"Right, whatever. It seems that you've got a bad Melissa Etheridge card, and it's just playing 'Come To My Window' over and over." He frowned. "It's pretty bad."
"Jesus!" I screamed. "That's fucking horrible!"
"Yeah," George drawled, "I once saw a machine get stuck on 'I Want To Come Over,' and it shut itself down for good."
"There's no hope, then," I moaned gloomily. "I'm going to have to put it down. Nothing can withstand that kind of assault. Poor little tickipip." I started fixing another round of Asian Tennis Rackets while George lolled bonelessly on the sofa, caressing the Green Manalishi.
"Yeah," he said tonelessly as I handed him the drink, "you're gonna have to upgrade. Get you a new machine . . . with that OSX shit in it." He sipped distractedly. "Those fuckers got Neko Cases."
"Man," I said, toasting him. "Now you're talking."
Friday, 02 April
Worms In The Goddamn Apple
Entries to the Pfaff may be sporadic for a while, depending--yesterday, the sackless, no-account iMac blew up spectacularly in the wife's face as she was saving a Word document. The shuddering little green bastard coughed once and then horked up a screen of textless nonsense, and accepted no further commands. The wife then attempted several restarts, with limited success: the recalcitrant beast refused to acknowledge that there was a modem lurking in its fucking guts.
So last night I attempted a software reinstall, which seemed successful, but since this was basically dumping the fucker in the river Lethe, it is now a newborn innocent little babe, and knows naught but factory settings. "Hey, what's your ISP phone number?" it cheerfully asks me. I don't fucking know! I have to get online to look that up! I hate computers.
I've printed out whole bunch of shit today in the hopes that I have enough information to goad the iMac into actual usefulness, but as I'm fearfully stupid, we'll see how it goes.
In the meantime . . . uh . . . I don't know. Click on my links over there. They're all porn-hounds, so chances are you'll find something good.
Monday, 21 July
Unrelated Geeky Addendum
In other news, does this Trackback pinging thing ever work? Not that I know much about it, or care, really, but this phrase is about to enter my everyday lexicon:
One or more errors occurred when sending update or TrackBack pings.
I'm going to start saying this to friends when they're spouting nonsense.
"Skot, we want you to be Richard Dawson."
"Sorry, one or more errors occurred when sending update or TrackBack pings."
"What? You fucking freak."
"Your entry has been saved."
Friday, 28 March
Ask Mr. Computer! (That's Me.)
Q: Mr. Computer, I noticed that your internet site was fucked all to hell for a while. What happened? Do you have pears in your head?
It's an excellent question. From what I can tell, the DNS was hacked at the root, causing a whole series of parsing errors. When your web bursar pinged my site, the apaches script gave out with problems, so you got the usual thing. I am taking the whole thing up with the server, and there might be legal action.
Q: Help! The people over at Metafilter are angry! I haven't seen this before. Is it usual? Thank you for being smarter than Christ, Mr. Computer.
You are welcome. The people at Metafilter are strange and radioactive, and you should never attempt to visit there without at least Netscape 4.0 and counseling. Sometimes they put porno there and that will get into your hard drive, but you can stop this by packing magnets around your CPU (the big box you hide your whisky bottle in). Anyway, you can make friends at Metafilter by talking about packet swtiching or ugly fat people or just by mentioning my name, because they think I'm fucking great. Slashpot is another stupid place too.
Q: Hey, Mr. Computer, I was talking to a chat room today and the chat room told me to stfu. What the heck? I think the world is crazy with things like this and you should help me.
Don't worry at all, I can help. When you were having computer sex a sex hacker saw you, because they look for that and use software to find it. The hacker was trying to log your sex with a Secured-Text File Upload so he could stream it on his bandwidth and post it to his own internet. Sometimes they even trade them so they can all whack it to different stuff; it is pretty sick. So this time you got burned, and it happens, but in the future you should make sure your computer sex uses an encryption key, which you can get pretty easy at Best Buy.
Q: stfu mr computer u r a dumbass if u think u no what u r tlaking about. u talk about shit u dont even understand u retard, so i guess that makes u mr retard heh. stfu
Nice try, Mr. Sex Hacker! You always have to be vigilant on the World's Wide Web. Don't worry about me folks, he is using the wrong font for my system! That's why some of the commands he is executing are not being rendered properly in my bursar. It may look different in Mazilla if your tabs are not set too.
Q: I click links like you say, but all the time I think,What the fuck is going on? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?
Now you're getting it. You are a shaman. This is how you net around.
Wednesday, 01 January
Spider-Man Can and Should Be Your Life
I have been enjoying one of my Christmas gifts very much: Spider-Man for the Game Cube. I've been enjoying it on a number of levels.
One is obvious: it allows me more time to ignore distractions like books, spending time with my mate, culture, movies, and the outside world. Where I once wasted ridiculous amounts of time interacting with "other people," now I only interact with one thing: Spider-Man. I mean, what would you rather do, be a superhero, or eat a nourishing meal? There's no contest. Plus I'm shedding pesky pounds, which is important when you've allowed yourself to bloat up to a fearsome 150 pounds. I'm 5'9", and I'm thinking that Spider-Man is really going to help me hit my ideal weight of 89 pounds in just a couple weeks.
Another thing I've rediscovered is my own fragile mortality. Spider-Man really brings this home for me, because I spend a lot of time dying. A lot of time. Whether it's plummeting 150 feet down to the pavement because I ran out of web fluid, or being mercilessly beaten to death by inept goons, or simply running directly into a blazing fire--three times--I realized "Man, I could go at any time. Dying would really cut into my time spent playing Spider-Man. I'd better not run into any large, blazing fires." And so I become smarter. I can't wait to get to the Green Goblin--probably in about nine years or so, if I stay clear of those dumb, unarmed, unskilled deathbringing goons I mentioned before--because he is going to kill me in so many numerous, inventive ways. I can't fucking wait!
Finally, what I've really discovered is my ability to overcome; I have, if I may, an indomitable will. My singlemindedness has empowered me to pooh-pooh challenges such as fiery, weeping bedsores on my buttocks; the plaintive cries of my fiancee to please, please speak to her; and powerful starvation-induced hallucinations. (It hampers gameplay when the inept goons all suddenly look like Tommy Smothers, and then they swarm out of the TV and start gnawing on your pale ankles while singing "Disco Duck.")
So I recommend that everyone get this game. It will make you wiser. It will make you a better person. It will make you oblivious to the needs of--or, really, existence of--other people. And we all know what Sartre said about other people: they're nice, but they're sure as hell not Spider-Man. And Sartre was a pretty happy guy.
Tuesday, 03 December
Ask Mr. Computer! (That's me.)
Some friends of mine come to me for help with their computers, and I always help them, because that's the kind of ridiculously nice and smart person I am. I recently helped my friend from Drablands with his Apple computer and now it runs like a dream! Assuming you dream of the things I do, like poisoning little kids and eating lots of hot dogs.
So if you want to, you can ask Mr. Computer (that's me) about your computer problems! It doesn't matter if you have a Kaypro or a Harley Packer, I can help you with style!
So, remember the magic phrase: ASK MR. COMPUTER or DIE!
Monday, 02 December
How To Find My Incredible Site
First you turn on the computer, and then you go to the Internet by using a bursar. You can get a bursar from businesses like Mosaic or Thumbzilla, you just have to drive over and pick it up. You need a hatchback. Then you go to the Internet Place (IP for short) by typing in your bursar of where you want to go. Sometimes you go to porno even if you don't want to, but nobody believes you. Anyway, that's how you net around.