Saturday, May 29, 2021

Computer problems damage my calm

I'm in a horrible mood today.

My computer developed a near-fatal problem overnight. It says it can't find a "wireless device" anymore. I am writing this sitting in the hall, connected to an ethernet cable-- completely blocking the hall so no one larger than a cat can pass unless I get out of the way. This isn't going to work for anyone-- except the cats.

I may try to find longer ethernet cables, or connectors so I can make a cable long enough to at least get out of the hall. 

I can post in a limited way from my phone. 

Until/unless I can get this solved, I may be mostly limited to posting "Blips".

This is going to be a huge problem for writing my columns.

If anyone wants to chip in so I can afford more options to fix this, I'd appreciate it (my birthday is coming up in a few weeks, so you could just call it a birthday gift). If not, that's fine. I'll survive.

UPDATE: Thanks for the help. I am up and "running" again. (And thanks to scheduling posts ahead, I didn't even miss one this morning!)


Homelessness and responsibility

Whenever I go to Albuquerque for a rare visit I see more homeless people than I've ever seen anywhere else. I'm sure there are worse places, but I haven't seen any in my limited experience.

I looked for a photograph to show what I saw at Albuquerque's Coronado Park and vicinity since I forgot to take one myself, but all of them looked a lot less horrible than what I witnessed this time. Does this mean it's getting worse? So I used a picture I took of the best thing to see in ABQ.

My feelings on homelessness are mixed.

I was homeless for a short time nearly 20 years ago. Instead of hanging out in a city park looking for handouts and doing drugs, I lived out of my car, in the woods, visiting a small town park daily for tap water and an electrical outlet. Wilderness survival skills are great, even when you aren't exactly in the wilderness, but staying "acceptable" for polite society sometimes requires a little more. If I'd been anywhere near a part of the world I cared to stay in, I probably wouldn't have bothered making the effort to stay "civilized" but would have just walked off with what I could carry.

I'm not sure if I was trespassing while homeless-- I didn't cross any fences nor did I see any signs, but I may have been. Either way, I took great care to not make a mess or damage the property-- or to even leave any sign I had ever been there when I left. Then, as soon as I could (I had a job the whole time) I got myself out of the worst of that situation. Almost an "out of the frying pan, into the fire" situation, but here I am.

So I do have empathy for the homeless.

I can't imagine choosing to stay in a city once you become homeless. But then, I'm not a city person. I suppose those who are can't imagine abandoning that familiar landscape for the woods.

The homeless situation in Albuquerque is a whole other mess. And, yes, "mess" is literally what I mean. The way most of them behave, you can tell addiction or other types of mental illness are a major part of the problem, not just a lack of a job or a house. 

I saw very few women among the homeless in ABQ. That might mean they gathered elsewhere, or dressed to blend in with the men, or were inside their makeshift shelters and tents. But maybe women have more opportunities for getting help, or are more likely to accept help than are men. Or maybe I just wasn't observant enough to see the women right in front of me.

This time, none of them approached me to ask for handouts. That was different. They also seemed to be more contained at the park than in previous visits-- whether by their own choice or some other factor. 

As long as they aren't trespassing or damaging private property, nor aggressively demanding handouts or robbing others, I don't have an issue with leaving them alone to live as they prefer. Even in a city park.

But the mess they create doesn't stay put, and a chainlink fence doesn't solve it. I hate the litter and filth that I see the homeless in ABQ causing. They sure don't seem to mind making the world filthier for the rest of us. I can't even begin to understand this.

Litter is a private property violation, no matter who does it or where. It doesn't stay put but blows in the wind. You can't litter without violating the rights of others. No matter who you are. 

There's nothing about being homeless that requires you to be irresponsible; to litter and mess up things. But, among these ABQ homeless, I don't see responsible behavior. I see lots of irresponsible behavior. Of course, as with everyone, the bad ones get all the attention... if there are any good ones in the background. Maybe the responsible ones are all out in the woods.


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