March 12, 2011

QWERTY Thoughts

I was skyping with my friend, Sarah, when I spilled tea into my keyboard. This is hardly the first time and won't be the last, but it was slurpier than usual, so I grabbed a paper towel. Actually, that's a lie. I smooshed the end of my sleeve in there first,then realized it wasn't going to work, then grabbed a paper towel.

Because one thing always leads to another, I noticed some more crud under the keys, so I reached for my special computer tool kit. This means I opened up the cutlery drawer and pulled out a butter knife. I pried up the little quartet of keys where the tea had landed, and figured I'd just sop it up. Ick. Do you know how much serious crud can build up in your keyboard? My god, that cat can shed.

I did the only reasonable thing. I pried every key off the board, confident I could remember where they all went. See that title up there? That's all I could remember. I forgot to tell Sarah what I was doing, so this popped up in the skype box:

[1:55:41 PM] Just Lorraine: 66666uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu7h6r777777788r4e
[1:55:46 PM] Just Lorraine: i';m cleaning ig
[2:11:09 PM] Just Lorraine: e`sdddddffxfxfgXXXXXXXXXGCVGVCgzzzzxxxcccccxxvvvvvvvvjkjjjkk]]]]]]]]]\[]'[[]]\\\\\\\\[[[]\p///9mm
[2:11:17 PM] Just Lorraine: ]'[''''''''''''''''''

To which Sarah replied: "oh, this can't be good".
I got enough keys back on to tell her what I was doing, so she didn't go all Life Alert on me. I then proceeded to use most of a container of Lysol wipes to clean the keyboard.

It is not lost on me that a new keyboard costs about 20 bucks; I just had to get the junk out of it. Sarah then had to watch a steady stream of entries as I tested each key to see what it was, then put the little button back on. Part way through, I realized I'd pried off the keys and some had flown a distance. One of the 7s was under the stove. At that point, I could only tell her I'd lost the seven. That, and now my space bar is clanging in a really annoying manner.

As I assembled random keys back into place, I thought how easy it would be to do the same with, I don't know, my life. To pry everything up and totally clean underneath, then just pop everything back into place and carry on. It's never that easy, of course, and there is always some part that clangs or bangs that didn't before. Part of getting older, I'm sure, but I also think it has a lot to do with the way I look at the world. It changes, a lot. I'm speechifying on Monday, and this particular group is a good audience for stories about my Dad. But as I sit here thinking 'you can't talk about that again', I realize, I can. It's not about a story changing, it's about the fact that I now see things differently. That's my Dad for you; the lessons carry on long after the curtain has fallen.

I was writing earlier and another language peeve of mine popped up. If 'too' means more, than I think there should be a 'soo' as well.

I'm also joining the Trillium Miata Club tomorrow as their guest speaker. I have no idea what they're gonna get. Should be fun. Every year, I go on the time change day. I figure if you invite me on time change Sunday, you get what you get. Maybe I'll just tell them some Dad stories.


Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Lorraine, just unscrew the bolts underneath the keyboard and lift the top tray off. A can of compressed air will blow out whatever crud is there. Or go hi tech like me and bang it upside down hoping 50% will land in the garbage can. I can show you how, no charge!

March 12, 2011 5:32 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Unscrew bolts? That would require my other tool kit. The one with the nail files.....

March 12, 2011 5:53 PM  
Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Hhmmm, speechifying on Monday, huh? Is that sort of like when you start out giving an address on a topic then veer off into your most embarassing moments in life and advise others what NOT TO DO under pain of death, to avoid humiliating lapses of judgement scar you for good?
Because I've done that.
It feels good especially if you leave the dais BEFORE looking at the audience.That's the key, leave before you see them otherwise it's just another anecdote in life's humiliating moments...just sayin'.

March 12, 2011 8:30 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 13, 2011 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Roz said...

I just had a little look under my keyboard to see the bolts and there are, like, 8 baby screws to undo. I know as soon as I undo them, the phone will ring and I'll need my keyboard. I did find two little legs that make my keyboard pop up and sit up, so I satisfied myself with an angled keyboard. That's enough excitement for one day.

March 14, 2011 1:28 PM  

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