Friday, August 2, 2019

Frustration - redux

It's been more than a few years since I wrote the newspaper column below. A few things have changed, more than a few actually, in that time. Now living alone, so I have no one else to blame for many of the frustrations I encounter. Some are the normal aggravations in life that everyone encounters, of course. Some due to changes in the world around us, when we might prefer that things stayed the same.
Nowadays 'responsive' is the buzz word when it comes to web site building. An even steeper learning curve than first learning HTML code, I discovered. But, as with the coding, I've learned a smattering of the subject. And I'm glad I learned a little about coding. When my responsive design won't do what I want it to do, I can look at the code, and maybe, possibly, get a hint of the reason. And sometimes I look at the code and don't have a clue, to re-coin a hoary phrase.
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I don’t deal well with frustration. So of course many things in life seem to conspire to frustrate me. Say I set out to tighten the drawer knobs on a small chest of drawers for which I’ll need several items. Can those items be found? Certainly not. That would make it too easy. Some gremlin has moved the screwdriver from where it has resided for years in the front of the junk drawer. After half an hour I locate it in the secondary junk drawer underneath the plastic baggie of tiny leftover screws from a DIY shelf unit.
Muttering inaudible, I hope, imprecations I clutch the screwdriver and go to the kitchen drawer which normally holds tools I use more often. I’ll need the needle-nose pliers to hold the washer inside the drawer while I tighten the knob. I use the pliers most often to rip open those tabs on milk and other liquid container plastic lids, another long-term source of frustration.
Frustration is not limited to the physical. It has been my daily fare for the last few weeks as I try to clean up the code on several web pages. I created the pages two and three or so years ago while attempting to learn the basic skills of website building with HTML code. I learned a little and made working pages, after a fashion. I kept learning in fits and starts as I wanted to make changes to the pages. Then other interests and duties kept me from working with code on a daily basis. Lately when I would look at my early coding in the source code I itched to do more than make minor changes, to clean and tighten it up. I just couldn’t seem to find time or feel I could concentrate enough to do it. Finally, housebound periodically by snow this winter, I tackled the job. Only to find that evidently my little gray cells failed to retain enough knowledge and I’ve had to dig to figure out how to get the pages to do what I want them to do. Perhaps another benefit for all this cerebral activity will be to keep some of the bugaboos of old age at bay.