18 October 2007

Trouble In MeatSpace

My other sister once spoke derisively of those who are hooked on SimLife and similar games. She is not a computer geek like me and do not see what is the big deal with having a second, digital life. While I do not play Second Life or ever want to have a digital alter ego, there are times I wish that meatspace, that is, the non-digital, real version of life, can be more like cyberspace.

My friend Teary finds it hard to believe that I am not handy with tools like hammer, power drill, and soldering irons. I am good at drawing cartoons, am I not? I must have good hand-eye coordination, otherwise I would not be able to draw that well. On top of that, I have a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, too! Or so it seems. Perhaps because my parents did not let me do things on my own and then I got into the computer field, to this day I am very reluctant to take on physical projects. No putting up of shelves, no installing of flood light, or anything involving soldering. Plumbing problems like clogged drains I can handle, mostly with success. I can take pipes apart and send down the snake. With much sweating and sore arm muscles, so far I have always succeeded at clearing the pipes. One time I was too gungho and even took apart the pipe part that attached to the wall. I had to enlist my brother-in-law (on the Wife side) to help stop the leak afterward. For tasks that I cannot bring myself to do, I have to rely on contractors or my brother-in-law C (the real Mechanical Engineer), but he lives in St. Louis and can only visit every now and then.

In the perfect world that I sometimes wish I live in, everything would be re-bootable. Drilled a hole half an inch below where it should be? Reboot. Soldered a container shut then realized something is inside that you need? Reboot. Painted yourself into a corner? You guess it... reboot.

I recently had the displeasure of having to change the light bulbs for the master bedroom. The bulbs are those long, florescent tubes, not the kind that pops over cartoon characters' heads when ideas hit them. It was a drop ceiling and the light fixture was not attached to the real ceiling but instead hang from a socket via some strings. Aarrgh! It was simply impossible for one person to put the new tubes into the fixture. I had to have the Wife hold the dangling fixture. If I was in the digital world, I suppose I could have used some kind of select tool to surgically remove the dangling fixture and put in one that attaches firmly to the ceiling. I sure can use a digital Second Life.

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