What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. The “Help Desk.” I converted to Windows 10 a week ago. I immediately filed a “trouble ticket” with the great big national help desk in the sky to address issues that were obvious immediately – I can’t use two monitors, file encryption prevents me from editing and saving documents, and using my computer to project a briefing onto a screen is problematic at best. Fortunately I’m not an information sector employee who uses his computer to generate and manipulate information into a coherent format to be used by others in decision making. Thank sweet merciful Jesus that the ticket has been “assigned to a local technician.” Now if after only a week someone could actually work on fixing the damned infernal machine and make it work properly we’d be all set.

2. News cycle. We have a TV in our office that runs all day every day on one of the major news networks. Being situationally aware is all well and good, but except for a rare moment of actual breaking news, what you find very quickly is the news at 9AM sounds a lot like news at 11 AM which sound a lot like the news at 2PM… and round and round we go. I’m all for some kind of background noise, but by the time I get out of that room I don’t care how compelling a news day it has been, I’ve utterly and completely stopped caring about what’s going on in the world. It seems to me a sane person can only hear the same thing repeated three or four hundred times before it starts doing bad things to their head.

3. Paying by credit card. Every website on the planet wants you to “save your credit card on file so they can auto renew your service next year.” That makes perfect sense for services that I use on a recurring basis. It’s a good theory. In a world where credit card providers have their networks being breached on a quarterly basis, though, in some cases I have three new card numbers assigned long before the yearly subscription runs out and it’s time to auto-renew. So really what I need all these companies to do is to stop giving me the option of saving my account / automatically renewing my subscriptions because we both know I’m still going to have to come back and enter all that shit on your page again since it’s all changed anyway.


Based on the email that arrived overnight from my domain registrar, it looks like http://www.jeffreytharp.com will be sticking around for at least another year. I suppose that could be good or bad depending on your point of view.

Taken wholly out of context, the email left me thinking about the issue of renewal in more general terms. It strikes me that this is a chance to evaluate where this blog has been and where it’s going, what’s worked well enough, and where I’d like to nudge it in slightly different directions. None of that is the work of a single day and certainly not of a single post.

Lately I’ve been kicking around the idea that I need to tighten up the focus of my writing a little bit. As you’ve no doubt seen, what shows up here tends to be sort of wide ranging, off the cuff ideas and commentary. That’s one of the aspects of this blog that I’ve always enjoyed. It has occurred to me, though, that in order to make it more than just whatever happens to be on my mind at any given point in the day (and to broaden its appeal beyond people who know me and want to see what I happen to be ranting about), there needs to be some kind of method overlain onto my particular brand of madness.

When it gets right down to where the fingers meet the keys, I don’t know exactly what I want this space to say about me and what I’m trying to do with my small slice of the internet. I have a hard time imagining that I’d be able to stay focused on just one or two main themes after I’ve spent the last seven years blogging about whatever notion captured my interest. With all that said, I want to believe it can be more than what it is currently. You might say I have a passion for this kind of writing. The commitment I’ve made to keeping this page current – now racing towards it’s eighth anniversary – is the longest commitment I’ve ever willingly made to anything in my life. If that doesn’t speak to passion for an activity, I’m not sure what would.

Now if I could just gin up a way to make this work a little less pro bono and a little more income earning, we might be on to something here. Then again that one time when I tried to make my living from history, my first passion in life, it quickly turned into work and a situation other than fun. Maybe I’d be best served by not trying to make a buck off of this one and just keep doing it because it’s what I love.

All of that because Go Daddy sent me an email. Sometimes I really do wonder just how the hell my brain works.