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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

It’s as Easy as, ‘One, Two, Twelve, K, Delta, Nine, T, Sixteen, Bleh!’

New and improved Blog™ — now with 58% more blather!

Hey again. Looks like I’ll be posting some shorter entries for a while, at least until I get my 101 Things About Me fleshed out.

(I just had to goddamned different, didn’t I? Oh, noooo, can’t just think of 101 things. No, that’s not hard enough for Charlie, is it? No, I’ve got to go and turn each thing into a post, too. Which is twice as many posts as the rest of this filthy blog. Which means that soon there’s gonna be three times as much pointless, unread shit here as there is now. Beautiful. Man, if I wasn’t already out of work, I’d be heading that way now. Is it too late to change the name of this thing to: What the Hell Am I Thinking?)

Okay, it’s not quite as bad as all that. My 101 things are finished, and I’m almost four percent done with the posts for each. Almost four percent. That deserves a cookie, or a beer, or something, doesn’t it? Sexual favors? Anyone? No? All right, back to blogging, then.

Lessee, what else have I got? Oh, yeah, here’s a good one. I don’t know about the rest of you folks, but apparently I live my life under one big stinkin’ umbrella of It Can’t Ever Be Fucking Simple, Can It?. And I don’t even mean the times that I make things hard for myself — I mean, I do that all the time, and I’ve learned that the only one who deserves a good, hard spanking for that is me. I’m still working on convincing my wife that I need nearly-daily spankings, but I’m slowly working on that.

(Well, recently, that’s taken a, ahem, ‘back seat’ to some ideas I have involving a French maid outfit, but the spanking thing is still on the list. And no, you uber-pissy freaks, I’m not gonna call it a ‘Freedom maid’ outfit. Get the fuck over it already, would you? Go hunt bunnies or something. Get it out of your systems, for Chrissakes.)

All right, so where was I? Ah, nothing’s ever friggin’ simple. Right.

I’ll give you a recent case in point, which is, oddly enough, technology-related. You’d think, perhaps, that since I’m a software engineer and a gadgety sort of fellow (I know how to program my VCR, for instance), then techno-crap might occasionally work around here without a hitch. Ah, but that wouldn’t be deliciously ironic, now, would it? Nature — or Fate or God or Santa or whoever you think is peering down at us — wouldn’t get its rocks off quite so jollily if I had a hard time with, I don’t knoiw, knitting, or spot welding, or animal husbandry. These are not things that I’m supposed to be good at, that I have on my resume, or that I claim to have any experience with.

(To be fair, I did attend college in Kentucky. So I saw some things happen to particular sorts of animals that could loosely — and I use the term loosely loosely — be described as ‘husbandry’. Or at least ‘pimpery’, or maybe ‘one night standery’. But I’m not sure that these sorts of ungodly practices are part of the official duties of true ‘animal husbandry’. I’ll have to check on that, and get back to you.

And just to nip any ideas you may have in the bud — no, yours truly was never involved in this sort of farmy tomfoolery. For one thing, I’m not from Kentucky myself. So I wouldn’t even know which beasticles qualified as, um, ‘good eatin’. So to speak. And besides, I have two long-standing rules that would disqualify me from this sort of nonsense:

  • First, I have vowed never to pork anything that’s actually made of pork, or any other tasty meatstuff. (Okay, so maybe ‘meatstuff’ in the current context is a poor choice of words. But you know what I mean, and it’s not a verb, all right? Filthy perv.)
  • Additionally, I have a self-enforced rule never to bump uglies with any creature who’s ass is hairier than my own. (This has served me very well throughout the years, though it did cost me a date to the freshman Spring Fling. Carrie Sue, if you’re out there, I only hope I let you down easy.)

Anyway, I was a latecomer to the game. By the time I got to school, all of the good udder was taken. And the last thing you want to do is come between a man and his, er, livestock. Those farmboys have pitchforks, and they know how to use ’em.)

Okay, way off topic, as usual. I did say this was going to be shorter, didn’t I?

So, back in civilization, I’ll tell you about a recent technological clusterfuck that I managed to stumble through. It happened a couple of months ago, soon after we moved into our house. I wanted to set up a wireless network, so we didn’t have to string eight thousand feet of cable all over half our rooms to hook up our computers. Fine. So I go to a local computer store, and I buy a USB wireless adapter for me, and an internal FireWire card for my wife’s Mac, and a wireless access point, or WAP, to send out the signals. So, of course, WAP is the first friggin’ sound I hear as I thump my head against the desk when I try setting it up. WAP! WAP! WAP! WAP! WAP!

See, I thought I’d do the smart thing, the clever thing, and buy a USB card and WAP from the same company. Namely, SMC. Aha, I thought to myself, these two will talk to each other right out of the box, and then if the Mac card doesn’t work, I’ll have yet another opporunity to bad-mouth Macs to my wife. Mwaa ha hah! Mwaa ha hah! Mwah!

(Okay, fine, there was quite a bit more ‘Mwaa hah‘ing after that, and the other customers in the store started staring at me, but I’m trying to keep this at a reasonable length. Work with me here, would ya?)

So, anyway, I bring the shit home, set it all up, and what happens? Well, of course the WAP — which I configured using my own very-non-Mac-like computer, I might add — chirps happily back and forth to the Mac, sending packets whizzing back and forth around my head and generally getting along quite nicely. And to the USB adapter, it’s own SMC cousin, sitting three feet closer, and configured by the very same machine that breathed life into the WAP itself? Nothing. Not one damned peep. Complete radio silence.

All right. Fine. I’m used to this. Remember, It Can’t Ever Be Fucking Simple, Can It? So I started fiddling with stuff. I changed from the custom IP address I really wanted to use back to the default. Mac fine, my machine mute. Okay. I downloaded new software for the USB adapter. Same thing. I took the adapter off the USB hub and plugged it directly into the machine. Nothing.

That’s when the little twitch I get over my eyebrow began. I kept trying things — oh, I got creative, all right — but now it was personal. I unplugged and replugged. I uninstalled, reinstalled, and reconfigured.

I motivated (‘C’mon, you lousy shit. I know you can do it. You know you can do it. Now frickin’ damn do it!‘).

I begged (‘If you just work, I’ll set you by a window. Look, grass! Trees, for Chrissakes! What do you want from me?!‘).

I used reverse psychology. (‘Fine, ya lousy hunk of shit. You like that damned Mac so much, why don’t you marry it?!‘).

But mainly, I cursed. (‘So fuckin’ help me God, if you don’t get your damned shit together, I’m gonna tie this cable around your fuckin’ throat!‘).

In my frustration, I even made up new words. (‘You butter-shittin’ heiney-lover-munchy-fuckin’ dingle-humpin’ prickety-ass ho!).

And then, of course, I wept. Wept and cursed, cursed and wept. This went on for about three days. Finally, I called customer support.

(Hey, I’m a man. Three days of unmitigated vein-throbbing fury is about right before admitting defeat, right, guys?)

I had three conversations with customer support — all of them can be summed up with these four lines:

Him: Can I get your (account/registration/social security/phone/etc.) number?

Me: Yes, it’s (whatever the hell he was asking for).

(Repeat above steps around thirty-eight times)

Him: Okay, did you try (downloading software/reinstalling/resetting/banging your head with a frying pan/etc.)?

Me: Yes. Yes, a thousand times, yes.

(Repeat above steps approximately two hundred and thirty-five times)

Which is to say, the diddledick on the other end of the line knew less than I did. So now I had struggled with the damned thing, lost, admitted defeat, and shamefully called in outside help… only to be stuck right back where I was. At that point there was a little more cursing. Mainly weeping, and gnashing of teeth, but I think I managed some curses in there, too.

Anyway, to make a long story…um, actually quite long, I suppose… I finally figured out the problem. On my own, thank you very much. It turns out that the software that shipped with the WAP — not the adapter, but the WAP itself — was out of date, even though the product was nearly brand new. So out of date, in fact, that the good folks (read: Satanic buttmunching asswipes) at SMC had seen fit to ship USB adapters that were 100% incompatible with this less-than-a-year-old-but-entirely-useless-to-me WAP software. Folks, if there really is a Hell, I can only hope that there’s a special circle cordoned off for these sons of bitches, and that the circle involves piranha, and blenders, and colonoscopes, and… and… well, I don’t know what else. I’ll make a list. But it had better be fucking bad, whatever it is. Frigging morons.

So, I downloaded the WAP firmware, and the damned thing worked, finally. The worst was over. But of course, it’s never truly over, now is it? No. Nature’s got to get in one last nipple-twister or two, just so you don’t forget who’s the boss around here. So of course, everything worked just peachily when I added encryption to the network, to keep our neighbors from scamming our feed. Everything, that is, except keeping that damned Mac online. It simply wouldn’t connect. I found tricks and tips and step-by-step instructions — a ‘$’ before the password, only use so many letters, or all digits, or no digits, or put on a tutu and dance the lambada when you reboot. Nothing worked. The one machine that had worked from day one simply refused to play ball. So I hacked it to little tiny bits with my bare hands, and knelt among the shards, with a foamy, maniacal grin on my face.

Oh, wait. That’s what I wanted to do. Right. What I actually did was to mutter, ‘Fuck it‘, turn encryption off, and warchalk my own sidewalk so all of our neighbors can suck their porn down through our big hairy fat wireless pipe. Yeah! That’ll teach ’em to piss around with me!

So, anyway, that’s my wireless story. So much for short posts, eh? Hey, at least I’m still four percent done with my 101 Things links. Oh, right. Almost four percent done. Harrumph. No rest for the weary blogger, I suppose. Guess I’ll have a look at that next, then. First, I need a beer, though. Just reliving all this wireless nonsense has got me all frothy and twitchy and bothered, and not in a good way. Hey, maybe I’ll sniff a couple of local network packets before I get going again, too. There’s a lot of activity on the WAP; I’ll bet the guy up the street is downloading farm animal pics over our connection again. He’s from Kentucky, you know. Sick fuckin’ bastard. Probably works for SMC, too.

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  04/09/05: Com. Studio
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  09/06/04: Connection

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Selected Things:
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  #7: My Name
  #11: My Spelling Bee
  #35: My Spring Break
  #36: My Skydives
  #53: My Memory
  #55: My Quote
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  #100: My Poor Knee

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