Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rebooting Christmas (and Life)

Mellow as I am these days, I gave in early to the Christmas music. My wife has been sneakily listening to it since Halloween. She asked me last night if I would make a couple of playlists on iTunes so she could plug in the iPod to the stereo receiver since we don't have a CD player hooked up to it anymore.

But technology comes with a price - a heavy price of frustration. I had finally given in to downloading iTunes 10.7 on my old netbook worried whether it would exceed its capabilities. I uninstalled Bonjour that comes with iTunes because I knew I didn't have any of those fancy devices that work with it anyway and an earlier version had given me a lot of trouble. I started to import the MoTab version of Christmas music and my dang iTunes wouldn't work! (I think I can say "dang" if I've already said "MoTab"). So I tried all kinds of things to get it going - trouble shooting this and that, re-installing "Bonjour," uninstalling iTunes 10.7 and installing 9.2.5 (which couldn't read my files since they'd already been read by a more "advanced" version, and all kinds of other stuff I'm not even sure I can explain (without embarrassing myself with my techie friends and family).

But finally, and without even a reboot, I got a new installation of 10.7 to work just fine. I'm typing now as iTunes imports all the Christmas music my wife loves and I don't really get sometimes (like, why is Neil Diamond singing Christmas Carols anyway?)

And since it's Sunday, it's time for a little moralizing.

There is a lot of software wired into each of us. Sometimes some of it doesn't work (like Karl Rove's vote-count system for instance). We all have out little glitches and things that go wrong that don't seem to make sense. I'm sure some brilliant software engineer could figure out what was wrong with my system, but then, there's that constant stream of error messages to Microsoft that I don't think any human could ever solve.

A lot of our personal glitches and faults are way beyond human understanding. That's why I'm glad for faith and hope in the pure love of Christ, even if he may not have been born in December when it was so convenient to co-opt pagan holidays. (Sorry, I just had to get that in for those who strain at Xmas* and swallow Bill O'Reilly).

So, in the true spirit of the season, let's work on fixing some of our own software defects. We can get free support from a great call center.


*There is no need to be offended at the printed form of Xmas. It is tempting to pronounce it as "ex-mass," but it is merely an abbreviation for Christmas. The Greek "X" being the first letter of Χριστός, or "Christ." Some also note that an X is a form of a cross representing Christ and Christianity for centuries. Some might even prefer a respectful replacement for the sacred name so it is not overused. It certainly bothers me when the sacred name is used in an aggressive way to fight an imaginary war on holiday tradition, most of which has little to do with sacred things anyway. Peace (and good will).

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