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    Bells and whistles

    Well, I'm back from the good city of Charlotte after attending the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. (I took my wife there for a milestone birthday, although I won't tell the world how OLD she is...) The trip was sort of a last minute decision, so we ended up at the Sun Suites, which I'm not going to link to because I don't want to turn into a billboard here. Anyway, we walk into the room and first thing we notice is there's a dead bee on the table, next to some hardware for securing a light fixture. Seems they changed all of the light bulbs in the room before we got there and they forgot to replace the covers, and apparently broke the dead bee cover because we couldn't find it anywhere.

    The room was chintzy but not obnoxiously so, so we made do for the two night stay. Only major problem was trying to connect to their "wireless" internet service. After fumbling through dialup earlier in the morning and debating a trip to downtown for Kinko's, I decided instead to go to Best Buy and pick up a wireless card for my laptop. I ended up spending several hours on Saturday morning trying to connect to the hotel's wireless system, finally doing that with the manager's help, and then a couple of hours on Sunday morning, this time with help from the front desk woman who wasn't able to connect me either. Finally I just gave up.

    I don't know what it is, but I used to be semi-functional on computers and now that XP has taken over the world I find it harder and harder to accomplish what I need without an outside computer consultation service. I think I just want computers to do what I want (and keep doing it without any sass) and forget about all of the bells and whistles sometimes.  To me, Microsoft is sort of like the U.S. Legislature: every year they sit around thinking of new and more complex laws--but is there ever a point where we just sit back and say, "OK, that works! Enough tweaking for a while." ? Of course, I'll never get a job as New Product Developer for Bill Gates with that attitude!

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