I discovered an interesting fact about my satellite internet service this week. (I severely cut back on caffeine this week. I quit drinking coffee. I’m still drinking tea – I mean, I’m not crazy, right? – but the lack of coffee means that sometimes I end up staring into space thinking about nothing. Thinking about nothing sometimes leads to insights and/or discoveries, but most of these tend to be pointless or at best very small.) The interesting fact is that when I’m at work, I show up on my little map at the bottom of each page on this blog in roughly my correct location. When I’m at home, I appear to be in Arkansas. I am not in Arkansas. I have never even been to Arkansas. But I guess this internet provider has some sort of router or station or transmission widget in that area, because that is where my little dot on the map appears.
Part of me wants to set up a little proxy server thingy so that I will appear to be in Perth or a small town in Nunavut or something, but this strikes me as one of those stunts that would probably cause more problems than it solves.
Finally, remember General Patton who visited my house last weekend because he was looking to shoot some doves? Well, I was awakened at an ungodly hour this morning by someone knocking at my door. There was a pickup truck in my driveway and a skinny fellow with a beard and a great big mug of coffee on my porch. “Does Dave live here?”
“Do you know where Margaret White lives?”
At this point I am thinking – is this person casing my house? But you can’t see into the living room from the front door, and besides, I have nothing anyone would want to steal – a four-year-old laptop and a 6-year-old CD player are the most valuable things in my house, unless you count large items of furniture. And no one wants CD players anymore. So I reply that, no, I don’t know Margaret White, and he apologizes for disturbing me and he and his coffee go away.
This seems to be a feature of rural life in the south. People knock on your door and ask you questions. In three years of living in Nashville, that happened to me only once, and based on information connected to a burglary that happened down the street, that individual may well have been looking for a good apartment to break into. When I lived in New Jersey, no one ever showed up to ask the way to anywhere.
To those who would say of this aspect of rural life, as programmers say about unexpected little wrinkles in computer programs: “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!” No. It is not a feature. Anything that wakes me up at 7.00am on a Saturday is not a goddamn feature. It’s a bug.