Snoring is sure sign of a seasoned journalist

What may appear as sleeping to the untrained eye is actually the complex routine of a seasoned journalist focused on a Pulitzer … or possibly a Putziler.

Every journalist has a routine. For example, I always write my column early in the morning. The earlier the better. That’s because, generally speaking, I’m not awake yet. Sure, I may be drinking coffee and typing, but if you were to monitor my brain activity, it would register somewhere between an earthworm and the average American watching Jersey Shore.

Admittedly, my brain doesn’t open for business until about 10 a.m. By then, I’ve been at the keyboard for three or four hours with no real memory of what I’ve been writing. I assure my editor this unique quirk is the sign of a seasoned professional.

And she assures me the reason we need to keep replacing my keyboard is because, at least once a month, she finds me face down drooling on the return key. That may be true, but I tend to do my best work under pressure. And there’s nothing like the pressure of trying to finish a column before saliva short-circuits your keyboard. Continue reading

Going on Safari? Always bring a chimp for back-up

We’re going on Safari! … uh, wait… No we’re not. Someone get the chimp from tech support!!

At this moment, someone at Apple is undoubtedly being rousted out of bed to address the fact that my Safari web browser suddenly crashed without warning.

This probably hasn’t happened to you. At least not since starting this paragraph. But it happens to me a lot, especially while reading the latest news on the presidential race, when I often find myself snoring face down on my keyboard.

But when I awake, there is a helpful pop-up window telling me my Safari application has unexpectedly quit, just in case I wasn’t aware of this, and was continuing to pound the space bar like a chimp trying to open a coconut.

I would never do that, of course. We have an IT department fully capable of pounding the space bar for me. Assuming “Chim-Chim” isn’t busy throwing yesterday’s lunch at someone.

Regardless, there are always three options in the pop-up window to help resolve the situation: close, reopen and report. Without getting too technical, I will explain how each of these work:

Close: After clicking on this option, your Safari window closes much the same as it did on its own, usually while in the middle of a critical banking or Fantasy Football transaction, except with the added satisfaction of having done it to yourself;

Reopen: Clicking on this will reopen your Safari window, providing you with an opportunity to blink before blankly staring at the same three helpful options again;

Report: I could be wrong, but I suspect this works much like crosswalk buttons, which are spring loaded and connected directly to …

Nothing.

Their sole purpose is to provide pedestrians with something to do until the light changes every three minutes ANYWAY, regardless of how many times they pound the button into the light pole.

Because of this suspicion, I have never actually used the report option until this morning when, in an act of desperation, I clicked on it and suddenly heard cars crashing in the crosswalk outside our office.

Ok, not really. But I was promptly given an official looking window to write in, along with an equally official send to apple button to click.

At the bottom, in small print, I was assured no personal information would be sent with the report, nor would anyone contact me a result of submitting it, thereby making it nearly impossible for someone named “P-Ram” to track me down and take my computer.

To be safe, I decided to keep Chim-Chim with me anyway.

Looking at the text window, there was limited space for my report. Being a journalist, I am used to using words usefully, and not just filling space with useless words that might otherwise be used for something useful, to wit I wrote:

Hi. I’d like to report that Safari stinks.

Satisfied that I accurately described my problem to the folks at Apple, I pressed the send button.

The response was almost immediate. The question is how long I should let Chim-Chim pound the space bar.