Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Random Clicker

When I opened my word processor this morning to work on reformatting a manuscript to submit to a new journal, I realized that I am a very blessed individual. What made me appreciate my blessed-ness? Well, MS Word has starting displaying some...interesting features. First, it...scrolls. Don't know how to explain it any better, but the MSWord window no longer fits on my screen, but if I move my mouse to the top or bottom of the screen,... it scrolls. Second, I have magically lost my vertical scroll bar. This is different from what I described before. The scroll bar is what we use to page up or down through a manuscript. The other thing I described is an actual scrolling of the whole screen.

You might be wondering why I call these things signs of my blessed nature and not signs of the demonic nature of Microsoft. The answer is because these are just symptoms of one of my very special gifts: the ability to make things happen on computers that no one else thought possible. General Disarray is a very savvy computer dude. When something surprising happens on my computer, I assume he already knows about it and how to fix it. Turns out that most of what I am able to do is quite surprising even to him. How do I get my computer to perform magical and obscure acts? Turns out, I am a random clicker.

Random clicking occurs when one is either a) frustrated when the computer is slow or b) oblivious to the fact that you have opened some tab, folder, important setting, and continue to type in an oblivious fashion. These are not mutually exclusive. The end result is a rather random setting of various important control parameters on one's computer. The trick, of course, if for these random clickings to result in something new and unusual and not just crash your computer.

Some of you may be thinking right now that my special ability of random clicking in creative and bizarre ways is related to my other super-hero ability: the ability to instantaneously convert any room to its maximum entropy value. You would be wrong. How do I know you are wrong? Because I have genetic proof that these are separate gifts. My father is a chaos vortex such as myself, my mother most definitely is not. However, my mother is a random clicker and manages to make their computer do all sorts of fascinating things not previously known to man, which my father cannot undo. (They now have separate computers - supposedly this is for 'convenience', but I suspect that my father couldn't take it any more. Interestingly, I have just realized that General Disarray and I also have separate computers at home, and I just realized I don't know a valid reason why...). Thus I support my assertion that I actually have inherited two completely unrelated superpowers.

I don't mind my superpowers. (For instance, if anyone wanted to pick up research secrets from my office: good luck!) They have been a part of me for as long as I can remember. But some mornings, when I really need to scroll back and forth through that 30 page manuscript to work on references, I really wish I could get that vertical scroll bar back!


Fia said...

get a mac :-)

River Tam said...


Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Chaos vortex - that's me! Love the term... I will use it in conversation my boss ASAP. (He answers most queries as to how he's doing with the words "you know, fighting the entropy". But even he is impressed at the messiness of my desk).

PhysioProf said...

If I am helping someone with a computer task, and I see them random clicking, I become enraged and have to stop helping.