28 May, 2006

Okay, let us try this again. So far I've only got two complaints about this here Writer program, which are that I cannot figure out how to search and replace paragraph marks and I cannot figure out how to set the default page margins to one inch. I mean, why is that so hard? It is easy in Microsoft Word. You just go into the page formatting, set the margins to what you want, and then click the set default button. For some reason, Writer just doesn't have that ability, which is strange since it is so easy to set the default tab stop to every half inch, but the program has something against an easy way to set the default page margins. I suppose this really wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that the default page margins are set to 0.79 inches. I mean, huh? Is this metric or something? I mean, who wants their default page margins to be something so bizarre as 0.79 inches? Then there was the fact that the default tab stops were every 0.49 inches. Again, huh? I suppose this is cool if it lines up with something metric, but since I don't use metric measurements, I just don't know if it does. I suppose this is really more of just a nagging nonsensical problem, but it still bugs the hell out of me.

Of course, the other annoying little problem is that I cannot figure out how to search for the end of paragraph mark. Now, this is something I use all of the time when doing one of these here journal entries. Yeah, I know. I know. I could just use some fancy automatically formatting HTML program or other, but I am just stubborn. I don't want some damn program or other telling me what is best for whatever the hell it is that it wants me to do. These damn HTML programs always throw in all of this truly bizarre and outlandish formatting. It just takes up so much damn real estate. I mean, sure. Maybe it doesn't matter considering how fast most web pages can load, but that is not the point. I don't want extraneous weirdness hidden in the nether regions of my web pages. I want what I want to be there. Not all of this other crap that the stupid program thinks should be there because of some rather bizarre and unusual set of circumstances which just might result in that code being there being of some value to somebody or other. I mean, just screw them. Let them eat cake. Whatever. They can deal. I want my code to be as clean as I can manage to make it, which means I want to add the vast majority of the HTML tags myself. This means that after I'm done typing all of this up in Writer I'm going to add the stupid paragraph tags myself, which is a whole lot easier when I can search for the end of paragraph marks in the stupid word processor.

Oh, yeah, it is easy in Microsoft Word. The paragraph mark is represented in the search thingummy by the character combination of ^p. Easy. Just search for ^p and you've got it. If only things were so easy in Writer. I mean, maybe they are. Maybe this is just a case of my inability to figure out what in all of the high holy hells of the world that this here Writer program uses to represent the end of paragraph. If I knew that, then maybe I could search for it. If I could search for it, then maybe I would have a nice little doohickey through which it would speed up the process of adding all of the little HTML paragraph tags. But, no. I've got to be difficult. I've got to be all hands-on and stuff. So here we are.

So, yeah, maybe this is only like the second time I've fired up Writer. I haven't spent a lot of time with the program. Maybe if I did then I might have a better idea of where in the blazing nether regions of hell they hide this information, but I just cannot be bothered. I would rather waste my time on other not necessarily important stuff like the fact that my last journal entry just sucked.

Oh, it did. It sucked. The second I finished it I knew that it sucked. There was just no life to it. No energy. No snap, crackle or pop. No voom. It just lay there like a dead trout wondering what it had done to piss the universe off so much. I mean it had probably been going along swimming happily to itself and looking for food. Spied something good swishing around. Maybe a bug. Maybe good grub. Hmmm. Lets take a bite. Then wham. Jerked out of the wet squishy swimmy stuff. Surrounded by this horrible air. Flopping around. Hit by a hard board. Smack. Flop around. Flop. Struggle. Flop. Struggle for breath, which is hard when you don't breathe air. Then slowly and painfully suffocate to death. Gasping for breath the whole time. Oh, you think this is easy? Just try holding your breath for once and see how long you last. Oh, better yet. Try holding your breath while at the bottom of a really deep swimming pool. Okay, seriously, don't try that last one. You could wind up as dead as that mackerel. Oh, wait, I just changed fish on you. You'll be as dead underwater as this poor smelly trout is above water. So don't do it.

So, yeah, that last journal entry just sucked. I think it had a lot to do with trying out this new fangled word processing type program for the first time. I was nervous. I was tense. I was quite unsure of what I was doing. I kept waiting for the program to go kaflooy like that idiotic Wordperfect kept exploding on me. I mean, seriously, there is nothing like trying out a word processing program on some damn thing or other when suddenly the whole half a page goes tan. No, I'm serious. All the page just turned a nice light shade of tan. Kind of throws a body for a loop. Wondering what happened. Wondering what to do next. Wondering where all of that great and wondrous text you had been working on just went. Okay, I know. The text was neither great nor wondrous, but that is kind of missing the point. It threw me off my game. And, I just kept waiting for that moment to happen with Writer, and I am getting quite sick and tired of writing Writer over and over again. Writer. Writer. Can't they manage to shorten the name of this program or something? I know it has got something to do with trademarketing, but I don't really give a flying rat's butt. Bat, that is. I don't give a bat's butt.

So, here I am. Finally doing something about the fact that my last journal entry was godawful. Finally getting that last entry off of the main page. How many weeks later? I don't care. If I think about it, I'll cry. It's work. I'll just blame work. Exhausting work. I think we put out five grants in six weeks. Something like that. Very stressful. Very exhausting. The joys of working wherever it is that I work since I try not to mention the place by name so that people don't actively think I'm trying to badmouth my place of business or anything like that. Keep a little mystery in people's lives. Yeah, that and the fact there is this trend of people getting fired for talking too much about their places of business. I don't mean my place of work in particular. I think the most famous story was that lady who worked for an airline. I think it was an airline. So, yeah, I try to shy away from mentioning the actual name of my employer, but its initials are U.C.S.F. Oh, yeah, nobody will be able to figure out where I work from only knowing the initials.

That's a joke, son. A funny. I keep pitching them, and you keep ducking. Try to keep up next time.

But the point of my story is that I've been really busy, stressed and tired. Haven't had a vacation in something like two years either. Strange but true. I had to look it up to confirm that it really has been that long. There's just something that always comes up. Something that has to be done. And because of how this ship is run, there is just nobody else who can step up and do the job. Sucks. Anyway, I've been tired. But at least I got that first String Finger Theatre reprint book done. I'm actually rather proud of that. I kept it a medium sized secret because I didn't want anybody running out and ordering a copy only to discover that it sucked. And I couldn't get myself a copy without first making it available at Cafe Press. So there was this whole window of opportunity for people to order this thing that would just suck. It's not exactly as if there has been a rush of people ordering it now that I've made the announcement that it is there and has a distinct lack of suckiness, but that is quite obviously not the point. I just wanted to be sure it looked okay, and in fact, it looks cool. It looks quite cool. In the middle of all the stress and exhaustion and whatnot at work, it was really nice for this thing to arrive and not suck. I actually took it to work and ran around showing people how cool it was. They didn't care, but that is hardly the point. It be cool. It be very cool.

Now, I'm working on book two, or I would be working on book two if I wasn't so godawful exhausted from work. Sigh. Okay, five grants down in something like six weeks. Now, there is just one more to go. No problem. Oh, wait, there is also all of this other paperwork that needs attention. These things will need signing and the person who must apply a John Hancock is going on vacation in something like two weeks. Oh, this bites. I'm going to be a busy monkey for at least the next two weeks. I don't even think I'll be able to ask for vacation until at least July.

Yeah, this really sucks monkey balls. It does. It really does. Two freaking years without a break. I think I will upgrade those to donkey balls, thank you very much. Hopefully, it'll stop there, and I won't need elephant balls. You know I've never even noticed if donkeys or elephants have protruding balls. So, I just might have to upgrade to lion and tiger balls. Have you ever seen those? They are huge, man. Bigger than squirrel balls and those little bastards have got some huge freaking balls on them. I mean they are huge for the size of the little bastards. Huge.

Oh, and I've also spent a couple of hours staring at music paper. Yeah, I'm torn between this whole notion of mine that I just want to produce some crap music just to get some and producing music I can actually stand to listen to. It doesn't help that I actually like that last little piece of shit sonatina that I produced. I swear. I don't know how I did it. I really don't. But somehow that last little piece of shit sonatina actually has some gas to it. So, I don't know. I'm working on it. I've thrown out the first couple of ideas I had just because they sucked too much. I plunked them out, thought that they sucked when compared to the Sonatina in G, and into the recycle bin they went.

So, I don't know. I'm going to work on it. Sucks that it has been so long. Annoying. Frustrating to the point of insanity and distraction. We shall see. With any luck I'll actually get a vacation in July or August. Yeah, and then dinosaurs will fly out of my butt. Dinosaurs, man.

copyright © 2006 by keith d. jones – all rights reserved
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