Sunday, January 3, 2016

Mechanical Contaminants

While I hesitate to reiterate today's trifling annoyances (because in a general way they are typical of what happens regularly), I feel compelled to do so if for no other reason than as a matter of record.

Speaking of records - if you will permit me this brief detour - I have within the past several days undergone a significant change of heart about my literary medium of choice.  Since I was fourteen years old (when I began keeping a diary) I have continued to write as a hobby in one form or another.My first media involved so-called "hard copy"; that is, books of one description or another in which I usually wrote in long-hand using a pen (ballpoint or fountain pen).  Then I began typing everything and inserting the pages into a three-ring binder (one which I dignified by having it bound in leather and my name embossed in gold lettering).  Finally with the advent of computers I shifted to electronic production.  Within that latter framework I first used primarily WordPerfect (that is, just one big file on my computer).  I then discovered blogs (in fact, the one I am using now).  And about two years ago I had a web site constructed in anticipation of my running for election to municipal Council.  When I withdrew my election application I decided to keep the web site and convert it into another blog, although one which I fashioned more private than this Google blog.
However two days ago I began encountering technical problems with the web site, to the point where I decided to abandon it and use my blog instead.  The web site was initially plagued with adware pop-ups which I thought were peculiar to the web site only (namely, the host).  Apart from my domain name (the use of which I am supposed to renew annually at a small cost), the web site is free (or perhaps subject to a small annual hosting fee).  I nonetheless presumed that the host was someone insinuating these annoying advertisements.  Turns out, after considerable on-line investigation today, that the problem is not uncommon and that it may affect (though I am unsure) more than just my web site but rather my entire computer.  After hours of tedious trial and error efforts, we appear to have eliminated the pop-ups by turning off the internet connection, then of course re-connecting.  I am still not convinced that this will do the trick, and I am prepared to face having to take the computer to a technician.  That will have to wait until I see if the problem re-surfaces, which - touch wood - it hasn't done for several hours.

The other problem today was also a mechanical problem, this one related to my Cadillac.  Actually, there were two problems; one, the Head Up Display (HUD) was not displaying.  Nothing.  It wasn't merely a matter of adjusting the intensity of the brightness.  There was nothing.  After having turned the engine off and on a couple of times, it reappeared.  No idea what the problem was.  The other concern is that the driver's window does not operate correctly all the time; specifically, the automatic UP function does not work on command.  Sometimes it is necessary to flick the switch several times before it works, or seemingly get the window up far enough that it kicks into gear to complete the run.

The upshot of all this is as follows.  First, respecting the computer problem, it continues to affect the web site (though apparently nothing else that I deal with, specifically not my Google blog).  The car has for the time being self-corrected itself.

I am going to give up dealing with this stuff.  It just disappoints me that even if and when I wrestle all of it to the ground, it's only a matter of time before the same general problems happen again.

Post Scriptum

Regarding the car window problem, I discovered some very sticky pine tree sap which had collected on the upper limit of the driver's side window.  I am speculating that this is what caused the window to fail to go up.  Once the window was down, the sticky pine gum may well have jammed in the rubber window covering.  Anyway I removed the damn stuff though not without considerable effort.  I had to buy a tin of lighter fluid.  I applied a good deal of it before the sap finally dissolved.

As for the contaminated computer, the device was taken to a technician and wiped clean. The operating system was re-installed.  It has taken another day to re-install everything.  I lost some documentation in the process though nothing important.

Although I hadn't mentioned it (because it wasn't really a mechanical problem), something like a falling pine cone made a noticeable dent in the hood of my car about two weeks ago.  That has now been corrected thanks to a chap who operates a mobile "pointless repair" service.  I met him at the Cadillac dealership and he performed his magic.

So all in all we're currently back on track.  Except of course for Bell Canada who once again this evening I have been "live chatting" with to get them to correct the inaccurate billing of long distance charges which they purport we initiated in Canada!  We've been here for the past two months!  I hate Bell the way my paternal grandfather hated Canadian Pacific Railway (in which he likewise invested heavily).  I understand Bell recently won the award for the least favourable carrier in North America.  Small wonder.  Either they're run by a pack of scoundrels or they're out of control.

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