V-Twin Values(C)
Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Motorcycles of the past (I know - define "past") had kick-start mechanisms that required the rider to stand on the starter pedal, jump on the pedal, and dink-around with the choke in order to start the engine. This activity - jumping on the kick-start - could go on for several tries before the motorcycle was brought to life. It took patience, persistence, and no small amount of energy to accomplish the task. The rider kept at it until the engine turned over because he (or she) wanted to ride. Keeping at it usually paid off handsomely as the motorcycle came to life, warmed up, and the rider could eventually take the motorcycle off the kickstand, shift it into gear, and ease forward to balance and ride.

My computer is recovering from a four-week episode of not working. Have you ever had your computer work one day, and the very next day a sinking feeling settles in when you power-on the computer and you get a black screen with white letters that say "Operating System Not Found". What do we do? Don't we first stare at the display with incredulity and think, "Oh no! Not MY computer. There must be a mistake!" Then we start sliding the mouse around the desk and tapping keys on the keyboard, as if that will make the message go away and the rest of the power-up sequence get back on track. We tap, tap, tap those keyboard buttons just like the motorcyclist jumped on that kickstart pedal over and over again, certain it would get the bike going with a little more fortitude put into the effort.

We finally realize all that keyboard tapping isn't going to do a thing to get the computer going so we shove our finger against the "off" button in anger or frustration. Then we try again; push "on", watch the screen glow, listen to the fan come on, hear the disk drive start spinning, watch the screen go black, and stare at that frickin' cursor just sitting there blinking with the message "Operating System not Found" scripted across the first line of the screen. And we do it again! Yes, again.

Finally, we realize nothing more is going to happen so we get creative: ALT-CTRL-DEL keys are pressed simultaneously in the hopes that something happens. That little Windows icon on the key on the lower left of the keyboard gets struck a couple of times in the hopes that the icon will appear on the screen, too. Still nothing. We even turn the display on and off as if that will do something to show a different message. It's absurd, but we do it.

Eventually, just like a motorcycle engine that is intent on NOT starting, the computer continues to give us the dreaded message and we come to the conclusion - after checking all manner of input devices to see if we've left anything in them the last time we used the computer - that the system is just not going to start. Next we call the technician to come bale us out. We can't get anything done until he/she does. It's that same sinking feeling we get when we're all ready for that ride and the bike just won't start. Now what are you going to do?

Persistence - determination that "it will work if I try hard enough" and realization that sometimes, it just won't unless we call for help with the situation.
V-Twin Values(C) are thoughts, ideas, principles, and personal truths discovered while riding, because of riding, or metaphors for riding a motorcycle.

04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 /

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