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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Monday, June 18, 2007

garbage in, garbage out

It's cool and wet outside. Our building's garbage-box on the back lane has again been violated, this time through the rusted mesh of its roof, I'm sure by raccoons. Last night Kimmie woke me to say that someone or something was on our back deck. I padded in the dark to look out, fiddling to get my glasses on. Peering down through the blinds, I saw an animal thumping indiscreetly down to the little landing near the top of the stairs up from the patio. Looking out through the partly opened window, I saw it was a raccoon. It paused in its self-licking to look brazenly up at me. Ah well, better than finding a person down on the deck, as I have a couple of times in the past (once a burglar, trying to open the window that faces the deck). I locked the window shut at a narrow setting--raccoons can zip up the side of a building in seconds--and we returned to bed.

Last week, when I learned that animals were again getting in to our garbage-box, I discovered that the roof-mesh had been torn away from the sides in a couple of spots. At one of those spots, I found a large (two-fist-sized) granite rock lying on the mesh. I feel sure that this rock had been used as a tool to break into the box. While we know that skunks used to raid the box before we had it sealed, I think it's raccoons this time--and they have the brass and brains to be actual burglars, using tools to break in.

In my capacity as (outgoing) president of our strata corporation, I have arranged for a carpenter to come and patch the box again, but of course it takes days to arrange, even with a good nearby guy who actually shows up to do the work (most trades don't, in our experience, especially plumbers). Today is garbage pickup day, so I'll see what the collectors take away, and which animal-ravaged bags they leave behind for someone--likely the strata president--to clean up.

Writing these blog-posts has become more difficult and irritating for a technical reason seemingly originating with Blogger.com. For the past week or so, the characters do not appear as soon as I type them, but after a delay of a couple of seconds. They slowly appear, one by flashing one, in a stream after each burst of typing. It's strangely annoying, not being able to see what I'm typing as I type it, but having to wait until Blogger feeds me the characters. Each typo takes extra time to fix, since I have to wait for the characters to appear, then backspace to the error. In all, it has become an irritating process. Too bad. I suppose I could compose the posts in Word and then paste them in--but it's annoying that the process has become less good, rather than improving. Maybe it's an artifact of my old Windows 98 operating system, which no one really supports anymore. A new computer would mean getting Windows Vista, reportedly a crappy, bloated, bug-ridden mess.

Will faulty technology finally drive me off the Web?

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