Going… going… guano! : SKYPE

“Not for me, for a friend…” I protest here to my Xanga friends in the first sentence. Like a guy at the druggist’s, handing the cashier his hemorrhoid creme, crab-lice shampoo, and what else gross I can think of? ‘Barry Manilow sings Opera’ from the cut-out racks. Maybe throw in ‘Life after a Messy Divorce’ a paperback from Self-help.
Abjectly embarrassed, I disclaim any implication that I actually ‘wanted-to’ sign up for Skype. Siblings, engaged in a discussion over the fate of our Inherited Mother-lode, seem to think that staring at me staring into a key-hole camera in a laptop is the key to  blissful mutual understanding and meeting of minds. I’m less than amused, but what’s a guy to do? “Why do you think we perfected e-mail as the medium for thoughtful reflection and discourse?” I ask, swimming against the trend and tide.

Sooo… I research Skype, the virus they laughingly call a program. Voip. (Voice over internet protocol). Uses your computer whether you like it or not as a ‘node’. Or worse, a ‘Super-node’.
Thanks, sucker. All the way to the bank, Millions of Latvians are screaming streaming-bytes to
and fro to Bangla-Deshi-s, and meanwhile you can’t even open NotePad in less than a half-hour of hour-glass down-time. My only previous experience with it is trying to scrape it out of infected computers while distraught friends whose lives it’d ruined watch in nail-biting anguish.
Anyway,
“Whom the Skypes would destroy, they first make crazy”. Demented. Enraged to the point where the neighbors open their windows to see what might be the cause of the commotion.
I innocently clicked on
‘Download’. The usual *required fields: Name, e-mail. I asked someone in the room if the name had to be genuine. He suggested “Donald Fucking Duck Esq.” Sorry, against my endangered but intact moral code’, I told him and  entered (one of) my official names.
‘Choose User Name:’ came up next, and was
the deal-breaker and real subject of this rant. I entered ‘jsolberg’ of course, for ease of remembrance, all the while assuming that in today’s modern world in which we live in today, somebody else had already thought of it. But no, Skype, Inc. gave absolutely neither nod nor wink and proceeded to ask me for a password, which I obliged. The next step, and why I’m livid as I write this, was a series of ‘Decipher This Chicken-scratch’ boxes. I got the first one right, sure as I sit here. I wait for the ‘Thank you’, but instead get… ‘another’ box of hieroglyphics. Bingo on that one too. But once again, instead of any kind of progress, I get ”Puzzle # 3′. By this time, I’m pissed, about 8 on a scale of ten, exacerbated by the fact that the new ‘Challenge Box’ contains not one three(3) cryptic words(!). I fill in the Answer box, and, for my efforts, get # 4. Followed by #s 5, 6, 7, and 8.(!) F*ck, it’s like they’re subbing me out to decipher the Voynich manuscript , which has foiled cryptologists for centuries.

Ok, giving up was the easy part, except for the vocal-chord strain. The neighbor’s dog, suspecting a gruesome murder, started up with an awesome chorus of yelping und yalping. A fellow walking past on the street approached, cell-phone in hand, ready to do ‘what any other hero woulda done in a situation like that’: call our equivalent of 911.

I decided firmly that if Skype hasn’t the brains to program the sign-up interface with a screen
alerting the victim that his proposed user-name is already taken, well, I draw the line right
about there! Hell, if I really need to talk, I can yell out the window, now that I know my ‘Voice-over-atmosphere-protocol’ carries quite well, thanks.

ADD: trying to exit this goddamn disaster, I got screen-stuck on an un-closeable pagelet which
announced, in atypical clarity, that ‘one daresn’t use Skype to contact Emergency Services’; in my case the guys with the white jackets and the disposable, sterile strait-jacket. Great.
Bottom line: anyone wants to talk to me, the email’s {solberg73@gmail.com} I’ll send an 8X10
retouched photo if needed. From back before I lost my mind. Just don’t mention skype or penis in the ‘subject’, ok?
(‘Guano‘ is bat-shit, by the way. Hate it when folks don’t get the joke, through no fault of their own.)



Wu: Thanks for sharing this, boss. I myself recently made a re-assessment of my ‘connected-ness’ status. Made some changes…
Me: Um, that explains the blindfold?
Wu: You noticed?
Me: Sure. And the ear-plugs? Wow, feels like we headed in the same direction, guy.
Wu: Right on. I smell what you sayin’, bro

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12 thoughts on “Going… going… guano! : SKYPE

  1. Roadkill_Spatula

    I use Skype mostly in conjunction with my cell phone because unless you have a headset, the proximity of speaker and microphone creates a cacophony of feedback chirps, hums, and squeals. (Hitting Mute after every utterance helps stop it.) The technology is still a long way from the Dick Tracy two-way wrist TV phone, but has been instrumental in my courting.

    Reply
  2. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – Hmm.. hitting ‘mute’ reminds me of my early days as a ham operator before we developed VOX, which keyed the XMTR (and muted the RCVR at a selected mike level. I still habitually say ‘over’, even though there’s now no need.So, what you use the POS for is as an int’l phone server, so to speak, right? Cheaper than a real phone line, is it?I’m being pressured mainly for its video capability. Not thrilled, personally. ‘Fraid I’ll leave the tag on my brown suit jacket or something, ha.

    Reply
  3. elgan

    Interesting you should bring this up just now. My friend Linda, whom you met, got a new computer and has had a terrible time installing Skype. It took all night to download. That is the main way we communicate, using the instant message feature, rarely the videophone capabilities. It works well enough on my MacBook. I’ve never tried it on a PC. You’d think those guys would get their act together, after all this time.

    Reply
  4. jsolberg

    @elgan – El, I’m becoming less and less tolerant of flawed software written by over-billed wunderkinder. This time I drew the line fairly close to the starting gate. One would hope the market would weed out the dross, but what with a sucker born every 60 seconds +/-….

    Reply
  5. MelFamy

    Our Iraqi friends here talk to their family in Egypt using Skype. It worked for all but a few hours during the riots last spring. Another fine work from the master. When are you going to put together an anthology?

    Reply
  6. jsolberg

    @MelFamy – Yeah, not sayin’ it don’t work; they’ve had 60 million simultaneous callers and didn’t crash, thanks to the ‘donated’ resources of unknowing computer owners. But any program which by removing it so dramatically fixes the performance of laggy machines gets black marks in my book.As to Anthology, ahh, a subject of no small interest. In theory Xanga’s archives are themselves an anthology, pending the End of Days. I would love to, for me and also an edition for your own not-insignificant output, to assemble a nicely-bound coffee-table book with each entry printed on high-quality paper, (probably better than some of my lit-jism) I’ve recently spent a Walpurgis-nacht or two re-reading posts. What better Pulse-o-meter of brain-function over time could be imagined.//Resisting the urge to google ‘going..going..guano!’ By me it’s a little lapidary standout. It’d kill me to see that some brainless mall-lizard blundered onto it first.

    Reply
  7. MelFamy

    You have enough terrific stuff that your problem would be deciding what to leave out.I’ve been re-reading my stuff from way back; I can read it as a fan, because I forgot about writing a bunch of them. If I add in some of the satires and the song parodies, I have enough material for a decent-sized book. I would, of course offer you the job of translating my work into Hebrew. hmmmm…HE-BREW, Beer for the manly Jew.

    Reply
  8. jsolberg

    @MelFamy – Yup, gulp it down warm for maximum inhebriation.Thanks for the kudos. /I actually talked to a printer a couple yrs ago in Jaffa, since I routinely save everything as .bmp screen-captures, which takes hours, btw. ‘Save as HTML’ through the browser is faster, plus includes the comment interaction. And oddly, the pictures, in spite of the file size for the whole mess being ridiculously small. I’m still not sure if the home-made archives are then available off-line. A simple question, but I get conflicting results.So with no need to select, one could just make up a book, chronologically. A real page turner. I have about a thousand articles. And yeah, I don’t remember clearly writing lots of ’em, although they do ring a bell. I then either salivate or spit, ha.we’ll keep working on the idea/ JS

    Reply
  9. Roadkill_Spatula

    I bought a T-Mobile phone plan that includes free international calls (to hard lines only), so Skype is mainly to let us admire each other. But it does save a lot on phone calls if you don’t have such a plan.

    Reply
  10. dirtbubble

    Skype tries to cook my cellphone from the inside so I uninstalled it there. The folks from Latin America can call us free on the home PC, though so I can’t complain – well, I could but I won’t. And I’m not so thrilled about video calling either, now that’s here just like in science fiction. I’m holding out for a teleportation app.

    Reply
  11. seedsower

    “Decipher This Chicken-scratch’ boxes. I got the first one right, sure as I sit here. I wait for the ‘Thank you’, but instead get… ‘another’ box of hieroglyphics.”…ha! that is exactly right , I hate them there codes! You make me smile,so clever you are.I wish you would get Skype so I could see your handsome face.

    Reply

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