Rant. (You are forewarned.)

All the world is suffering~~sayeth the Buddha. And others, too.

Please pour yourself a glass of wine.

I am going to rant.

You usually won’t hear me ranting and carrying on over here at Lake Superior Spirit.

Usually I am “turning things around” to see everything in a more positive light.

Today I am scowling.  Frowning.  Huffing and puffing in indignation!

“What has happened?” you ask, with concern.

“My…computer…has…died,” I spit out.

“But how are you writing a blog?” you inquire, nicely.

“I am writing on Ms. Ellie, the laptop,” I snarl.

“Can you express gratitude for that?” you smile sweetly.

Mud puddle reflections

Yes, the main computer hath died.

And it’s not pretty.

You know why it’s not pretty?  Because I am about to receive 1,800 tax payments which need to be receipted.  Starting December 1st.  (You know I’m a township treasurer, right?)  And the computer…hath…shined its “black screen of death”.

This has happened before.  Not like it’s a novel occurrence, oh no!  The computer has a sense of humor. It waits to see when Kathy is the busiest, the most stressed, the most occupied and giggles, “Ah ha!  Let’s make her life crazy RIGHT NOW!”

In my greatest spiritual fantasies, I smile.  I ignore the Computer’s refusal to start. I express gratitude for the adjunct Ms. Ellie.  I put it all in God’s hands.

In my lesser spiritual fantasies, I am not as loving.

I glare at the poor computer repair fellow (whom I adore) who told me just hours ago, “Oh it’s nothing!  It’s just that your woodstove dust has clogged up your fan. Nothing to worry about.  I ran every test imaginable.  It will be fine.”

when your world tilts

However–when I took the poor ailing creature home from the Computer Repair Shop–all sorts of Error Messages began appearing.  I began to wail to poor Barry. 

Then a Blue Screen appeared.  It said, “Erasing all physical memory now.”

I am not a happy camper.

I am pouring myself a glass of wine.

I have no idea what photos to show you.  All of the “good” photos are…on…the…other…computer.

OK, let’s start to relax.

Let’s start the inner pep talk.

“It will be fine, Kathy.  It is always fine. You know that, don’t you?  Whenever you stress out, doesn’t it work out OK in the end?”

“Yes,” I reply.

“Can you just breathe?  Just breathe in and out.  Affirm that it is going to be OK.  Can you do that?”

“It is going to be OK,” I reply.

“Very good.  Very good.  Can you keep affirming this until Tuesday when you bring the computer back to the doctor?”

“Errr…” I reply.

“Very good,” says the Higher Self. 

Calm down now. Seek quiet. Meditate. It will all work out.

Ladies and gentlemen.  Please.  What do you do when you’re frustrated?  When Life has tested you?  Do you immediately revert to the positive, the joyful, the allowing?  Or do you rant? 

(Your answers will help keep my mind off the current challenge. Thank you.)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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58 Responses to Rant. (You are forewarned.)

  1. bearyweather says:

    I rant … sometimes stomp around and at rare times, have been known to throw something or hit something.
    I hope you regularly back up your data files, music and pictures (I use a portable hard drive to store important things)
    Having that relieves so much stress … the other things are replaceable/repairable … learned the hard way many years ago (I am a school computer tech).
    If you have to replace it … think “Mac” … yep, I am a extreme Apple Fan.

    Hope your computer doctor can save the patient .. or at the very least, your important stuff.

    • Kathy says:

      G’morning bearyweather! First, I suppose I should allieve any commenter anxiety. I do have backups. Backups of the tax program, Quickbooks, documents and photos. Phew… When the computer started acting squirrelly last week I quickly backed up the remaining photos. Some anxiety remains about retrieving the backups & all the work to get everything up and running. But you never know! My computer doctors have performed miracles before. They have retrieved files against all possible odds.

      Too bad you aren’t closer, maybe you could help! (And our daughter just bought her first Mac last year.)

  2. RANT got me to read your post right away. I think your rant is very civilized. I’d at least throw the monitor through the ice forming on the lake. GRRRRRRR!
    When I am freaked out, yes, I usually rant first, though I must confess that this month I have been very BuddhaDiva like regarding my own life, saving my rants for things that do not yet affect me, like TSA pat downs, and bad movies I’ll never go see anyway! Yep, drown your rant in a very NICE glass of wine, and then take a thorough day off tomorrow. Not to be enlightened and allowing, but because you’ll be done with your rant by then, and why waste a good day feeling anyway other than happy?

    • Kathy says:

      BuddhaDiva like! I love it, Carla. I can see you being very BuddhaDiva like. I was like that concerning TSA pat downs at the airport when in Florida. ha ha! Funny what things bring on a rant in some of us…and what doesn’t… P.S. I have arisen feeling absolutely happy! Actually, the writing of this rant (OK, maybe the wine, too) completely cleared away the fuss. OK, I might not be absolutely happy if I dwell on the injured patient, but–why waste a good day feeling any way other than happy? A BuddhaDiva said so…

  3. Marianne says:

    Oh. No. I really hope your information is safe. I’ve learned to not resist my feelings because you may have heard the saying, “What you resist, persists.” Good rant, Kathy. Bravo!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Marianne, I often remember that saying “What you resist, persists.” A good rant can be healing. Especially when combined with some creativity. I’m sure that’s what the doctor ordered. And now I am grateful that it’s over. (snicker…)

  4. Hahahah Kathy! I just remembered! I ranted vehemently, loudly, and ferociously this week when my cats peed on my bed. Now I see the gift in it: they stimulated a rant so I could remain in serenity and allowing over more serious scary problems. Though such behavior does put the cats at risk of becoming outdoor cats at the start of a Maine winter.

    • Kathy says:

      Barry and I decided to decorate the house with some Christmas decorations last night. And I kept reading him some of these comments. Carla, we laughed for two minutes about your cat peeing problem. (But I am concerned about possible more serious scary problems…)

      • Oh, I am so happy my naughty cats gave you and Barry a good laugh. More evidence of Purpose Bigger than ME! These are the very cats that appear in the background of my video, being wonderfully companionable, unfazed by my “working”. They are so unattached to whatever made them mad enough to pee, and my ranting response to it.

  5. I am not much of a ranter… and if I do it is short lived. I tend to move right on to whatever it is I need to do next to fix the problem. But I do stress. I do get that sick feeling in my stomach when I am worried I won’t be able to meet my commitments. The thing I often forget to do in these situations is ask for help. I tend to think that it is my problem and I need to make it right all BY MYSELF – which is usually the wrong answer.

    What needs to be done and who can help Kathy?

    I can usually figure out the first part but I forget to ask the second part. In extraordinary situations it is perfectly reasonable to engage extraordinary helpers.

    Good Luck… and remember sleep often produces solutions we were not able to think of the day before.

    • Kathy says:

      I’m not much of a ranter, either, Terrill. It was amazing how creatively writing this blog almost immediately took away my sense of helplessness. I think your question is a very valuable one that cuts to the core. What needs to be done and who can help? It is also interesting how our bodies share with us when we need to ask these kinds of questions (with perhaps that sickish feeling). Pondering the gift of our bodies this morning.

  6. OM says:

    At the risk of being too serious, I would contribute the possibility that peace and ranting are not opposites at all. There is the “peace that passes understanding.” That is the kind of peace you feel when you are absolutely nuts with annoyance, resentment, astonishment, and would indeed like to dump the computer in the lake, as Carla said.

    Being “enlightened and allowing,” as Carla said, TO ME means you “allow” your rant and everything associated with it. It’s so true, “what you resist persists.” Accepting and allowing ALL the feelings, expressing them in ways which won’t damage future survival chances of said computer, or future interactions with local folks like Barry, LOL, letting the feelings be like a wave which passes through you and out. Are we not here to experience?? Here you are, experiencing, LOL!!!

    To me, the whole “enlightenment” bit involves something else, on another level, from daily life, not INSTEAD OF anything, but IN ADDITION TO IT, an addition on some deeper parallel yet interactive level.

    But you already knew exactly what I would say, didn’t you?! OM the preacher, learning to stay quiet occasionally, LOL!! But this is not one of the occasions! Sigh!

    Anyone who can rant in such hilarious fashion is perfectly fine, I assure you *she says speaking with self-mocking authority.*

    Love you!!! Computers do die. That’s why backups were invented. And you’ll get those receipts out, yep, you will……

    • Kathy says:

      OM, perfectly said! Sometimes I understand this 100% and other times–not so much. Do you remember when I wrote the blog “Why I am not a Lightworker”? It’s because of what you have just said here. It’s because when we limit or curtail our ability to rant, to be angry, to be frustrated–we’re often perpetuating a cycle of karmic ups and downs. Sometimes moving ot the positive too quickly is simply an exercise in stifling, pushing away, denying. (I may have known exactly what you might say…but, truly…it felt good to hear it yet again.)

  7. Dawn says:

    Rant. You just feel better.

    What is that last image – it’s wonderful.

  8. Emma says:

    Holy crap! I’m really sorry to hear that. Ugh!!!

    Rant away!

  9. P.j. grath says:

    Hope the wine helped. Red or white? Remember to sip slowly and taste each mouthful. It works best that way. –And was that a Christmas ornament with a light inside???

    • Kathy says:

      It was white wine. Chardonnay, I believe. (There is some left in the bottle…I could go check?) I am sorry to report that I gulped the first few mouthfuls. Then, when a warm and rosy glow arrived, I began to sip. We put up Christmas decorations. Listened to Christmas music. Later watched a movie. The last photo is a lamp in a San Diego restaurant from last November.

  10. Susan D says:

    Pour myself a glass of wine? Then what? Drink it? Not on your life. See? You’re one up on me already. LOL. Isn’t life grand? YOU can pour yourself a glass of wine and, even more, YOU can drink it! Yay! And, this is the one that used to irritate the heck out of me: “Oh, aren’t you just soooo fortunate to HAVE this wonderful job, Dear, so that you sometimes run into these kinds of problems?” Grrrrrr… Heh, heh. I agree with OM … have the rant, experience it. It’s wonderful. Rants don’t have room for “there, there’s” and folks running in to “fix” ya … Rants are as authentic as humans get – yep. Pure, unadulterated whatevers coming out – they’re so darn cleansing. I’m a pacer, pull at my hair, talk to myself ranter. So, I’m getting exercise, a scalp massage and talking it out while ranting. I know all will be/is well with you. Rants also cause the solutions to feel miraculous, and the calm after the rants are – maybe? – worth the price of the rant. Wonderful pictures, wonderful rant, wonderful you!

    • Kathy says:

      My dear Susan D! I do swear you have upped the ante and had your own rant here! Very good, my dear. One of my options did involve driving in to town and having tea with you somewhere, since you couldn’t have a glass of wine. However I had just returned from Houghton so the option of returning to town only resulted in more annoyance. Susan, it’s a wonder you have any hair left or weigh anything after your ranting routines. Gosh, I feel soooo relaxed today. This was the most wonderful rant. 🙂

  11. Nicole Smith says:

    There is something about computer death that is the hardest to bear for those of us who are very dependent on the beasties. When mine failed for the second time in a week, I just started to cry. As you said, the timing couldn’t be worse for you from a business perspective, and that is truly tough to handle with Buddha-like calm.

    Deeply sympathetic,


    • Kathy says:

      Oh no…I am sad for your tears, Nicole. The second time in a week is just crazy techno-behavior! It’s the business aspect that makes it stressful. The other little computer is handling everything else just fine. Thank you for your sympathy and looking forward to our skype call on Thursday.

  12. Elisa's Spot says:

    I would have used more F bombs! (and other choice words)

    I DID use them, all of those weeks.

    E says don’t worry it’s a blessing to someone, probably a tax payer that needs a lil extra something. (don’t worry I snarled at her FOR you–to which she laughed and said don’t worry, it’ll be ok, data can be retrieved, I know it can, I know Intel majors, they train at my school)

    I simply cannot type to you the horrid words and sounds that I am repressing right now, reflecting dismay! Maybe if you took a tent outside and duct taped you to a tree, rather like you did for solstice one season?

    Hugs, right over there in the corner, if and when you want to have them.

    • Kathy says:

      Ha! Funny, Elisa. I don’t think I used the F-word yesterday. Hmmm. The Ranter probably didn’t remember it. lol! I am very hopeful that all the data is retrievable. Duct taped me to a tree? OK, you are funny. You truly are. (But I appreciate the hugs.)

  13. emaclean says:

    Bummer. Rant away! Curse! and of course, pour yourself another glass of wine. It will all seem better in the morning, especially if you have your dead computer backed up. You do have it backed up right? That’s one thing I tend to not do as often as I should and then later regret it. Thanks for the reminder. I will back up tonight! Hope you are able to recover all the important stuff!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Erin! Tonight I am calmly sipping tea. Lemon ginger. Yes, it should have been all backed up. Glad to provide incentive for your own backup chores!

  14. k odell says:

    a good rant is fine- so is a glass of wine- it lets off steam so you have room to be hopeful. I bought an external harddrive to back up all my important stuff in that I might need if one of my computer dies. the computer usually survives with a little surgery though the documents in it might not. I hope it all works out!

    • Kathy says:

      K, I just bought one of those external hard drives, too, after my daughter’s computer failed. It cost about $50 or $60 but I think it’s worth it. I really think it’s worth it NOW. Thanks for the kind words.

  15. John says:

    Kathy, everyone is asking the same thing, ease all of our anxiety, you do have a current back-up don’t you? Between you and Barry you are keepers of sacred data, your lives revolve around edited words, calculated numbers and compressed image files. Both of you should actually be working out of a Cloud (public or private). Do we need to be conducting a course on virtual computing and storage? Please tell us you have a current back-up!!!

    • Kathy says:

      John, how I like how you put it. “Keepers of sacred data.” YES! And the answer, as you’ve probably already ascertained, is YES. Current back up accounted for. As for Barry, he rarely uses the home computers except for listening to the news and checking the weather.

  16. Janine says:

    Great post. Put me on the verge of tears and the verge of laughter. I think we can all identify with the frustration of computers – great tools when they work. Thanks for being such a good writer..

    ..You’ve backed-up your data right?????

    • Kathy says:

      Janine, I was so thrilled to see you here! Thank you for stoppin’ by and then saying such nice things about the writing. I love writing probably about as much as you love getting your fingers in clay and creating amazing pottery.

  17. Kiah says:

    I cry when I’m frustrated! Love the last photo; what is it?

    Hope the Christmas decorating cheered you up. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      You do cry when you’re frustrated, don’t you? Sometimes I do, too. The Christmas decorating was very cheery, although it would have been better if you and Chris were here. Did you see the answer about the last photo? A lamp from a San Diego restaurant. I am 66.6% sure it was a lamp from a San Diego restaurant…I get less sure as the day goes on.

  18. Nomme de Plumme says:

    What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. We learn the most when we are outside the comfort bubble and by the sounds of things you are outside of you comfort zone. Don’t sweat it though, try to learn to enjoy being outside the CZ.
    Good luck.

    • Kathy says:

      My favorite Nomme de Plumme! (I can’t believe you’re still reading and commenting, Nomme.) Yes, you are so right about that comfort zone. I would like the CZ to reappear later this week, though. That would be a nice way to start December…

  19. Dawn says:

    I try not to rant because it frightens my husband who is by nature a “fixer” of problems. And he takes it so personally. Plus it makes my head ache. But usually when something like this happens that makes me so afraid I do rant a tiny bit silently.

    I know what you mean about the loss of photos, those can never be replicated, you will never have the light the same, the image the same. I hope they’re somewhere safe!!

    • Kathy says:

      Ahhh yes, the challenges of ranting in front of a partner. To rant or not to rant…that is the question. It sounds like Hamlet would ponder that one for a long time. Because isn’t there benefits when we rant and benefits when we remain silent? Just like there is a detrimental side of ranting and of keeping things stifled inside. Sigh… I am pretty sure most of the photos are still safe. Not all, but the ones that count.

  20. holessence says:

    Kathy – I think a good “rant” is healthy now and then. On June 11th when my hard-drive died I did a good bit of it. It didn’t change anything on the hard-drive but made me feel a heckofa lot better. Sort of like venting a boiling pan on the stove. I did an awful lot of drum playing for a few weeks there while we were waiting for the Geek Squad to remedy the situation.

    Got drums?

    • Kathy says:

      Drums, drums… Nope, we don’t have any drums. Barry has several guitars but i think he would be horrified if I started banging on them! I am glad you agree with a healthy rant, Laurie. That makes me feel better. Really. Truly. I remember the untimely demise of your hard drive. Not a good thing.

  21. truels says:

    I do not rant – but wish I did 😉 ….. Hope you get the beast going again. We live in a complex digital world – and if those digi-things stop working – it makes us very vulnerable – right?

    • Kathy says:

      You wish you ranted? Wow, I have never heard anyone express that. Most people wish they didn’t rant. We are strange humans–all of us. 🙂 Yes, that vulnerability can be a challenge. I hope your computer remains healthy, happy and wise.

  22. Robin says:

    I depends. Sometimes I rant and rave and scream about how unfair life is (that would be my stuck-in-adolescence self…lol!). I think rants have their place and can be healthy at times.

    But other times I am accepting of what life has thrown at me. That is particularly true with computer-related problems. I used to get terribly upset. I would rant, rave, and cry over it. But I’ve been through so many big computer losses that I have come to think of it as a chance to start fresh. It wasn’t easy getting to that point.

    That last image is perfect for this post and the caption you used. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, your words sound so much like the way I might have answered this question. Describing the different parts of ourself…strange to think that part of us might still be stuck in adolescence, yikes! I do think that my–relative–calmness–even though you might not be able to tell that after this little rant–is due to the number of computer losses experienced.

  23. Karma says:

    Your rant seems to have hit a nerve with folks! It is a reminder to get that back-up hard drive I keep meaning to get too – been through enough failures by now where I should know better, and this hard drive keeps getting more stacked up with photos. I hope all is well with your computer soon – if not, at least this is the season of sales.
    I send ranting emails to my sister and best friend when I have one of these challenges. The three of us have been best friends since we were 4, 5, and 6 years old, so they are the ones who know just the right thing to say to me to get me through.
    By the way, I enjoyed a coffee and biscotti while reading your rant – nearly as good as a glass of wine for this type of situation!

    • Kathy says:

      My goodness, you are so right, Karen. This ranting blog has hit a nerve with folks! I am envious that you have a sister and friends with whom you can rant. I do have friends…but no sister. That is a special gift to have. Mmmm…coffee and biscotti sounds marvelous! Could I have one too?

  24. Hmmm…I think an external hard drive would make a good Christmas gift for you this year. Or, maybe a good online photo service like Smugmug.com to back up your photos. I use both.

    Have another glass of wine, Kathy. I know this will pile on work for you. We’re all routing for you to overcome. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I have an external hard drive, Scott. Phew…that helps on many fronts. It doesn’t help the taxpayers who are calling today wanting to know their balance.

      Latest update! The computer is now in the shop. I won’t reveal any diagnoses yet, but it MAY not be a complete Death Sentence. Will keep you all updated.

  25. sonali says:

    Well, I understand the feeling when the computer breaks down, and you have hell-lots pending tasks, unsaved data, no back ups, favorite stuff so on. Doesn’t matter much in front of all the beautiful things in the world. Its a machine and can always break 😉 Its fun putting it back in place. I don’t think I rant – when I’m truly frustrated I enter a silent mode. that does make people wonder many a times.

    Not to forget, I love your pics. esp, the way you have captured the mud puddle reflection and also the gleaming lamp! Wonderful. Don’t you worry about the computer, dearie 🙂 *Hope you smile*

    • Kathy says:

      Oh Sonali! That’s what I used to do when I was younger. I would go silent. Lots of times. Sometimes a cold icy silence, and sometimes just an “absent” silence. I am glad you like the mud puddle. It reminds us that there can be shining reflections–even in the mud of our lives. I am smiling your way this morning.

  26. Colleen says:

    Kathy, this was a very fine rant! A first classs rant! I so appreciate your style and your approach to life and you 🙂

  27. Cindy Lou says:

    Sometimes one must just rant…especially those of us who don’t very often. It’s good for the soul – gets out all the ‘stuff’ and then we can get on with life and breathing deeply and being grateful for the important things. Hope all has tilted back to normal for you, sweetie 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy Lou, I was thinking about you on the drive up to Houghton. And here you are! I so delight when you comment. But also realize you need a break for blog-reading worlds too. You’ve been reading and commenting a long time. In blog-time, that is.

  28. Elisa's Spot says:

    “Hemingway Never Did This
    I read that he lost a suitcase full of manuscripts on a
    train and that they never were recovered.
    I can’t match the agony of this
    but the other night I wrote a 3-page poem
    upon this computer
    and through my lack of diligence and

    and by playing around with commands
    on the menu
    I somehow managed to erase the poem
    believe me, such a thing is difficult to do
    even for a novice
    but I somehow managed to do

    now I don’t think this 3-pager was immortal
    but there were some crazy wild lines,
    now gone forever.
    it bothers more than a touch, it’s some-
    thing like knocking over a good bottle of

    and writing about it hardly makes a good
    still, I thought somehow you’d like to

    if not, at least you’ve read this far
    and there could be better work
    down the line.

    let’s hope so, for your sake
    – Charles Bukowski”

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