Long ago, back about… 2001-2003, I had a website. Back before the word “blog” was coined. Back when we called them “web logs” and “web journals” and just “my goofy-damned web site.” So, because I’m a lazy blogger and some of these were actually funny (I can too be funny) I’ve decided to start re-posting some of the original Kat Litters. But rather than begin at the beginning, let’s start with June… June 2002 in this case.
Here I give you Horns of the Dilemma
originally posted June 7, 2002:
Faced with a challenge, what does one do? Run and hide? Jump out and scare it to death? Wrestle it to the ground and make it squeal? Some challenges seem easy to meet or obvious that you will at least try to wrestle them. Others present an ambiguity. Or cold-sweat inducing terror.
There’s always a scary moment once I’ve committed to something. That “oh, shit, what if I screw up?” moment. But, it’s sort of like riding a bronco, I guess. Just hold on tight and be prepared to dodge the trampling feet if you fall off.
Maybe this should be a rodeo event: challenge-wrangling.
You’re all set in the stall, astride your trusty challenge-steed (in my case that will be a deceptively mild, six-legged computer–four legs for the CPU and two for the monitor).
The alarm sounds.
The gates swing open.
The rampaging Challenge charges into the ring! It’s a wild, intimidating creature, snorting and tossing its huge, frightening head and making the ground tremble with the thunder of its hooves! It has the head of a dragon, or at the very least a giant sort of frilled lizard, on a snake-like neck. Its mouth is filled with venomous fangs and razor-edged teeth and a forked tongue which spews legalese. Its body is rawhide and smoke with a cat-o-nine-tails on the rump-roast end. And Gad, does it move fast! Eels have nothing in this guy for slippery.
I know that if I just leave it alone, it will leave me alone until the “what a wimp” buzzer sounds. But I’m in the ring now, and anything I do may attract its attention, not to mention the attention of all my friends and detractors who are sitting in the stands eating popcorn.
I kick my trusty computer into a trot and head for the Challenge.
It whips around at my approach and paws the ground. Small continents drown in the tsunami caused by the disturbance. It lets out a fearsome bellow and begins to charge!
Argh! It’s attacking! Run away!
But, no! I must wrangle the rampaging Challenge. My stalwart computer quivers, but holds its ground. I grip my mouse and prepare for the Challenge. I spur my computer forward. “Heigh-ho, Linux-box!”*
The keyboard cord sings across the distance and loops around the neck of the Challenge. My CPU rears back on its legs, holding the Challenge still as I leap off its back and head for the beast, mouse and cable in hand. The monitor gambols about on the other side, attempting to distract the monster.
I run to the creature as it pauses a moment to watch an amusing mpeg of my ferret dancing. I use my cordless mouse and double-click the Challenge on the head. While it is dazed, I leap upon it with my faithful keyboard and wrestle the monster to the ground. I must type very fast to outpace the flood of legalese from the creature’s mouth and shut it up and tie its flailing, knife-shod hooves. A handy ethernet cable does the trick.
And the Challenge is on the floor. Hah! It’s really just a kitten. It was nothing!
I laugh and wave to the crowd. Victory is mine.
But the Challenge shrugs off the cables at the last minute, leaping to its feet in rage.
Oops…. Maybe I should have plugged in the stupid computer, first….
* Yes, I used to use Linux. This was before I worked for Microsoft and before I switched to Mac. Long story; I’ll tell you the details some other time.