Patience, and how little is left…

The mouse to my computer is on the fritz, as of last night.  Dave cleaned it in all the ways we’ve been trained, we put in new batteries, and it began tracking a little better.  Not good enough, but better.

We have a Dell, and it’s old, as computers go.  I think we bought it in late 2001 or early 2002.  It was state of the art at the time, and Dell has gone where Dell has gone, so we’re rethinking our entire computer life at the moment.  As a matter of fact, we’ve decided the next computer purchase will be a Mac.  After so many years of being pc advocates, this is a huge jump.

That’s not my problem today, however.  My problem today (the only one I’m choosing to address at this moment, anyway), is that we purchased a new wireless mouse this afternoon, feeling fine about our choice upon leaving the store.  Seemed like a simple fix. 

We had run too many errands, as it was, and this is something that has changed since Owen died.  I no longer can stay out for hours at a time, doing things I’d rather not do in the first place.  We needed to go to Wal-Mart (yes, I know, we don’t need anyone to post comments about Big Box stores, thank you very much), as that is where we buy a lot of our staples – cat food, paper products, and small household appliances.  Buying local for these things is a financial burden to most people nowdays, which is what Big Box stores count on, and we have not moved into the arena of political advocacy as being more important than saving a few bucks.  Why do you think Big Box stores are so successful?  Because most Americans need to save those few bucks.  I’m not interested in the political rant I could go to, considering my present state of mind (the mouse issue), so will save that for a time when that thing called patience returns.

For those computer hardware folks out there, this will seem all too familiar.  When we purchased the Dell, we chose a wireless keyboard and mouse.  The boxes arrived, so long ago now, and we were delighted to have a new tool, a new toy.   All of us were delighted, and spent countless hours writing, downloading, playing music, managing our bookkeeping, and all those other things so many of us have come to think of, as necessary. 

What we didn’t realize at the time, nor up until today, was that the receiver for these two wireless components, included both of them as a “kit”.  When we tried to install our newly purchased wireless mouse today, we discovered that there was a hardware conflict, in that the new mouse could not be installed without removing the old software for the kit – both keyboard and mouse.  Well, we didn’t freakin’ buy a new keyboard, since this antique still works great, and I love it’s clicking sound.  It reminds me of Owen, clicking away his nights, while searching for the meaning of life…or new music, whichever mood struck.

After several phone calls to vendors, we discovered that we would be better off purchasing another wireless kit including both keyboard and mouse, to replace our now failing, original mouse.  This sounded like nothing more than a way to get the crazy consumers off the tech support line. I don’t have this kind of patience anymore.  Just give me a simple answer, so I can get on with my night. 

My nights are spent playing this instrument, my computer.  So, I made the executive decision (household version, that is) to reinstall the old crappy mouse, and return the sparkly, new mouse to the store tomorrow.  Thank god, Dave was sitting here and offered to do the deed. 

Earlier, at the last minute in the store, I thought perhaps it was time for a new mouse pad, one with a wrist pad.  Once everything was returned to the old setup, and I began using the mouse with the new pad, it occurred to me, that maybe it wasn’t the mouse at all, that had been causing me pain, but the 5 – 6 year old mouse pad, that has only been cleaned, probably once a year.  I tossed the piece of synthetic material into the trash, cleaned the desk, and tried the old mouse again.  Voila!  Tracking! 

For about 30 seconds, I was so pleased, and thought about the simple fixes in life that we overlook so often.  Then, the old wireless mouse began some of its old habits (old, meaning since last night).  I was dismayed, but because I could get back on the computer with only slight annoyances, I felt comfortable enough to put my stress into words.  These are my words.

Before Owen died, I could stick with a problem from beginning to end, consider all the possibilities in between, and feel good not only about the outcome, but also about the process.  Now, all I want is the answer.  I don’t enjoy the process.  The process is excruciating.  Yet, it is still the only way to get to the answer in so much of my everyday life.  What happens instead of the previous enjoyment in finding answers, is this…I snap at Dave, leave the room, and observe myself lighting a cigarette, which just makes me sick, and doing it anyway.

What happened to that life lesson I worked so hard to learn – patience?  I have no patience for stupidity, rudeness, time wasters, people who don’t understand grief, and about a million other things that never bothered me before May 29, 2007. 

I have many people to thank for the change in my lack of tolerance.  The Petaluma Police Department, kids who don’t give a shit about the future, kids who don’t give a shit about anyone else, the Sonoma County Coroner’s Office, and, ultimately, myself.  Why me?  Because I feel responsible for Owen turning right instead of left on that Tuesday night, when he was told to walk his bike home from the theater by a Petaluma Police officer, and decided to go downtown instead.  Was I there?  No.  Do I hate it, that I was out of town for my job?  Yes.  Do I believe that if I had been home, he would have called me and asked for a ride?  Yes.  And, there we have it. 

No Owen, no patience.


~ by Linda on August 25, 2007.

3 Responses to “Patience, and how little is left…”

  1. Hi, MissLou…
    Do what I’ve done… Wired keyboard ($12 @ Office Depot), wired mouse also. Probably about the same $. Yeah… the cords get in the way (just a very little bit), but no batteries and the the tracking seem snappier and simple is SO MUCH FUN!
    Oddly enough in the most recent MAXIMUM PC Dream Machine issue, they reverted to corded mouse and keyboard, too. What do you know?

    Love you,


  2. BTW: The new MAC Mini has Core2Duo processor @ 1.83 GIG and 2.0 GIG, twice the RAM, new iLife and it coast the same as before. I’d still wait for Leopard in October so you don’t have tp pay $129 for the new OS (Kind blows apart the low entry price of these machines)


  3. Nat, Anna, and Ruby came over today with In-N-Out burgers on their way to the city. Anna took apart the old mouse, removed some lint that Dave had missed (with tweasers), used the canned air, in the cavity, and it’s all better now. But, yes, I’ve heard these wireless mice don’t track as fast, or as well. My mouse at work is wired, and because of the configuration of my desk, the wire is ALWAYS in the way. I’ve tried so many things, but this is the least of my worries at work, so I let it roll off.

    Re the Mac, yeah, we won’t be doing anything until at least October. We were going to get Owen a new computer for his 21st birhday. He had saved part of the money, and we’d all been searching our options for several months. I get bummed out just thinking about shopping for a replacement for us now.

    Love you back,

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