March 16, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:35 pm

It should come as no surprise to those who visit here with some regularity that I am a techno-dope. Unlike some who can change templates and blogging software with the ease of changing socks, I am delighted when I can successfully add something uncomplicated to the sidebar.

Perhaps a part of the reason that I am a techno-dope is that I am a techno-chicken. The non-techno-chickens go through life without fear of pushing every button, flipping every switch and clicking on every available option to see what happens, and this is true for everything from appliances to computer stuff. They have absolutely no concern that their pushing, flipping and clicking might result in a techno-disaster. Of course, by doing this they learn how things work and avoid becoming techno-dopes.

Unlike those techno-swashbucklers, I have never been a pusher, flipper or clicker just for the purpose of seeing what will happen. I tend to want to know what will happen before I push, flip or click. As such, I often find myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading “instructions” that quite often don’t even come close to addressing the concerns of a serious techno-chicken. “Computer instructions” pose an even greater problem because they tend to be written in a language that only vaguely resembles English, and even in the portions in which some of the “English” is understandable, the understandable bits are rendered useless because they have been polluted with liberal amounts of Geekspeak.

For the most part, I have learned to live with being a techno-chicken and, thereby having become a techno-dope, but sometimes, I’m confronted with a forehead-slapping example of my profound techno-dipshittery. The most recent instance involved the “Back” button on the Internet Explorer browser.

I have been using Internet Explorer for something like 12 years, both at home and at work, and as such I have 12 years of web-surfing experience. For twelve years, when following links left me five or six screens away from where I started, here was the drill to get back to where I started:

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Then, one day last week I decided to click on the little downward pointing black triangle to the right of the “Back” button.
back icon.jpg

Holy crap!!! Before me appeared all the places I had recently visited, and at the bottom of the list was the “History” icon. Giddy with the joy of discovery, I clicked the icon, and, holy crap!!! There were all the sites that I had been to since I sat down at the computer.

I figure that I must have lost a total of about a month of my life clicking on the “Back” button and waiting…clicking and waiting…clicking and waiting. Pathetic, I know.

Look, it isn’t easy to admit to myself, much less to the world, to being such a techno-maroon, but I hope that this exercise will prevent me from having to seek techno-chicken therapy.

I suppose that being a techno-chicken is a good idea around firearms, explosives and airplane cockpits where pressing buttons, flipping switches and clicking on things without knowing what will happen can lead to really bad things, but I damned well shouldn’t have waited twelve years to click on that little, black, downward pointing, black farookin’ triangle.


  1. Just Damn Dude! And I certainly would never admit to it.

    Comment by Dax Montana — March 16, 2005 @ 6:41 pm

  2. I got my first personal computer in ’84 and during a fit of computing confidence, managed to turn off the command that turned on the video card. I had to spend an hour on the phone with a tech guy who talked me through key stroke after key stroke to restore the command. By the time he was done he had a dozen of his coworkers hanging out with him, making snide remarks over his speaker phone while he helped me…

    very humbling.

    Comment by Gregor — March 16, 2005 @ 6:52 pm

  3. Too funny! I totally relate, especially to the “instructons” part, I always sit in awe while reading and say to myself…huh?

    So, I’m joining your club! and thanks for the “little well guarded secret” with the back button. Who knew?? (Not you and I obviously)

    Comment by dawn — March 16, 2005 @ 7:03 pm

  4. who woulda thunk it would only take 12 years to find it?? not me, that’s for sure; I’m too much the other way,,,I’ll hit a button, right click on something somewhere just to see what happens. Sometimes you get a big surprise,,,sometimes you get a BIG surprise, like not reading all the words and just hitting yes,,,not a good idea some of the time, especially when formatting!

    Comment by Michele — March 16, 2005 @ 7:20 pm

  5. Way to go Jim! Now, with just a *little* more practise, we’ll get you started on writing web pages and learning to _program_ computers!


    Comment by DMerriman — March 16, 2005 @ 8:08 pm

  6. How much of a T-D can you be if you can make a screen shot and format it down to just what you want. I believe you’re a whizz laying in the weeds.

    Comment by Sluggo — March 16, 2005 @ 8:25 pm

  7. I can barely SEE that little black arrow and have absolutely never clicked on it. Yet. I may find the courage since reading this.

    Comment by Shamrock — March 17, 2005 @ 7:05 am

  8. LOL! BTW, does a techno-chicken give a synthesized SuperChicken cry instead of the real thing? *G*

    Comment by Laughing Wolf — March 17, 2005 @ 8:00 am

  9. HaloScan Track Back Added

    We understand the trackback concept. How in the world you actually use it is another matter. Very embarrassing but, Jim at Parkway Rest Stop was willing to admit to he is a techno-chicken.we can own up to being a techno-ameba if our trackback doesn’t…

    Trackback by Enlighten-New Jersey — March 17, 2005 @ 6:15 pm

  10. It takes a REAL man to admit that.

    ; )

    Comment by Christina — March 17, 2005 @ 7:06 pm

  11. You need Firefox…tabbed browsing. I don’t hardly ever use my browser’s BACK button anymore. Bring your laptop to Jekyll, dude. I’ll get you hooked up.

    Comment by zonker — March 17, 2005 @ 9:37 pm

  12. Baby steps, zonk! Don’t be askairt to ask for help, Jim. Kay?

    And ONE OF THESE DAYS, WordPress and MovableType will play nice when it comes to trackbacks!


    Comment by Margi — March 18, 2005 @ 12:39 am

  13. Zonk,

    Did you say “laptop?”

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — March 18, 2005 @ 2:35 am

  14. MB discovered the joy of right-clicking purely by accident quite a few years ago…..leads to a whole new world !! Try that sometime when you are bored.

    Comment by MommaBear — March 18, 2005 @ 7:07 pm

  15. Very funny! However – I suffer from the opposire problem – I’ll click on everything to see what it does. Most of the time I guess pretty good, but every now and then — BLOOEY!

    I have learned to save my template before making changes, and that preview is my friend 🙂

    Comment by Barb — March 19, 2005 @ 11:01 am

  16. Obviously spell-checker is not one of the things I click on! That would be opposite, of course…

    Comment by Barb — March 19, 2005 @ 11:02 am

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