Monday, May 31, 2010

The Wire

Te Deum
by Charles Reznikoff

Not because of victories I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day's work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.

What a weekend.  Soccer was rained out.  There were play dates galore, with children coming and going at such at a vigorous rate on Saturday I had to do a head count to check all mine had come home to roost and weren't stuck in some-else's pantry eating their way through packets of Smiths salt and vinegar chips and Pascall marshmallows, or still in the back seat of their car asleep. 

Into this busy thoroughfare, monumental piles of laundry and baskets of ironing threatened to spill over organically like a noxious creeper and trail up hallways and round corners.  I managed to wrestle a particularly imposing mound of school uniforms into submission, whereupon the Strong, Silent One, took over the task and had them lined up square and neat, military-style.  Creases don't mess with him.  I'm a bit slap-dash but his technique is impeccable.  Those shirt sleeves stand to attention and salute him.  Me, they make rude signs.  I have noticed, with some irritation, that he irons with the cord on the inside side of the ironing board (and leaves it there) while I iron with the cord on the side furthest away.  Maybe that's it.  Keep the cord close.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of his command over computer cables which distract him easily, slither out of his grip and go forth to multiply in the basement.  We have a museum-standard collection of netgear, modems, routers, cords and every imaginable adapter, yet still, unbelievably, we can be missing the ONE critical connection which would enable me, from my private retreat in the West Wing, to watch a bit of telly while ironing or occasionally hook my laptop to the network in peace and seclusion.

Coupled with this, we continue to have an intermittent problem with a particular fuse blowing and are seeking to isolate the problem by using different appliances from different power points on different circuits.  So there is an extremely elegant extension cord covered with a fine patina of dust and dried paint draped across the kitchen through a drawer to the underside of the cooktop at present, and we boil the kettle from point in the hallway off a fine-grade, pure wool, Turkish rug.  Through this higger-jiggery, hokery-pokery we hope to divine the errant wire and provide some mystical signs and symbols to guide the master electrician magician and his box of tricks. 

No wonder I'm highly strung.

Image: View from the back deck with silhouette of extant telegraph pole - a quaint feature of Old Canberra streetscapes from those pioneering days before cables were laid underground and ADSL ruled the waves.


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