Saturday, July 19, 2008


Now that Larry's working at home, we have to share a lot. We share a phone line and a printer. We share the house, naturally, but it's a lot smaller with two people in here. And we share clients, which creates a lot of interesting situations. For example, I can say to him over morning coffee, "Have you heard from Joe lately?" And when he says, "I got a note from him yesterday," I snap back, "What? He answered your email and not mine?"

Exceedingly petty? You bet.

Also, I'm now the tech guy for all of Larry's computer problems, even though he has a PC and not a Mac, and even though I've never owned a PC, not once, and can't stand them. Larry is the smartest guy I know. He can remember anything, fix everything, and figure anything out. But Larry is a two-finger typist. His understanding of computers is moored in that stage where he thinks the keyboard will crumble to dust if he pushes the wrong button.

So when Larry was designing a newsletter for the aforementioned Joe and couldn't figure out how to turn it into a PDF file, mostly because he doesn't own a program to do that, I got to spend three hours coaxing him through the process of downloading said software. 

Larry: This is so stupid.
Me: Okay, okay, now click on the word "download."
Larry: It's not doing it.
Me: Yes it is.
Larry: This is so stupid.

Then I gave up, moved the file to my computer and spent even more time finding a way to make a PDF file that wasn't too large to send via email, while Larry stood behind me saying over and over again, "This is so stupid." 

And for the record? My printer is stupid. Gmail is stupid. The whole freaking internet? Stupid. 

A couple of weeks ago Larry wanted a powerpoint presentation transferred to his computer. I put it on one of my little flash drives and handed it over. Easy peasy, right? Nope.

Larry: Where does this go?
Me: In the little port-thingy on the side.
Larry: Now what?
Me: Now you open it.
Larry: This is so stupid. It won't open. How do I open it?
Me: It's your computer; How do you usually open files?
Larry: (pointing to the window for the hard drive) I don't know, they're always over here.

At this point, I was standing behind him. I slapped at his shoulder and said, "Move, move." But he wouldn't yield the chair. A little window popped up, listing all of the files on the porta-drive. The one at the top was a MP3 file, and it asked him what to do with it. And to choose what program would open it. Larry panicked. 

Larry: What do I do?  What do I do?
Me: Click ignore.
Larry: No!
Me: Why not?
Larry: It says it'll do this to all the files.
Me: Move. I'll do it.
Larry: No!

Then he wanted to know what it was, what a music file was doing on the disc, anyway. Actually, I knew it was a stray track from my audiobook of dirty boy D.H. Lawrence's novel, Lady Chatterly's Lover. Great book. But I was hardly in the mood to listen to two depressives having sex or nicknaming their genitals or whatever while trying to pry Larry's keyboard out of his hands.

Fortunately, the phone rang. In our new domestic situation, this solves all disputes. On second thought, maybe we should have played the file. It's possible that our computers would engage more fully, if that's the phrase, if we nicknamed them John Thomas and Lady Jane. Worth a try.

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