Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Synapses Are Inept

Here are two things you may already know about me:

1. I grew up on a farm, surrounded by tractors and pickups and other vehicles that hauled every kind of trailer, and
2. Husband and I have camped in our pop-up camper practically every summer since Boy#4 was an infant.

What you may not know is this:

1. While I am an excellent pretty good adequate driver, I cannot back anything that is attached to whatever I am driving.
2. Not at all.

Really. I have tried, and tried, and tried some more, but I cannot get the logic of the operation through my head. When you back a car and want to steer it in a certain direction, you turn the wheel the opposite direction of the direction you want the rear end of the car to go, right? It's so instinctive you don't even think about it. When you're trying to back a trailer into a camping space, though, you turn the wheel--left to go left? maybe? right to go left? I think?

It takes a retraining of brain synapses to overcome the instincts ingrained by so many decades of driving, and I have not been patient or committed enough to do that retraining. Oh, it wasn't for lack of trying. Every summer, after I had decided this would be the year I'd learn to back the trailer and gotten behind the wheel to steer the camper into its spot under the trees, I would veer it to the right, pull forward, veer to the left, pull forward, stop, take a deep breath, veer whichever direction would be most inconvenient, then give up and huffily hand the steering wheel back to Husband. (It didn't help that every time I would try to get into a camping spot there would be a couple of old farmers sitting on their lawn chairs in the next spot laughing heartily at my inepititude. Or if there weren't, I imagined there were.)

I thought of this inability to back a trailer this morning when the computer guys installed a second monitor on my desk. The Boys and Husband have been urging me to make this upgrade for years. It's going to be FABULOUS!, they tell me. And improve my productivity to an INFINITE DEGREE!, they add. I'll have all my work done by 8:12 a.m. every day!, they promise.

Except that because of a glitch in my operating system, I have to move the cursor to the right to have it show up on the left screen. I can't just drag windows logically from east to west across the gap between the two monitors, I have to drag a window completely around the world and come in from west to east. At least a dozen times I've been reminded why that little white arrow is called a "cursor" as I tried to figure out exactly where the blankety-blank thing disappeared over the Atlantic.

My friends the computer guys are going to fix the glitch within the next couple of days, and then I'll be able to once again navigate using logic and reason. Until then, they're going to be sitting in lawn chairs next to my desk and laughing at me as I try fruitlessly to retrain the navigation synapses in my brain.

I'm pretty sure the camper is laughing, too.


  1. I work with dual monitors every day and it is a very easy fix! You can switch the cords plugged into your monitors which changes which one is primary (you may have to move one to the other side when you do that, but tada! I hope they get it done soon for you, I love reading your blog!

  2. Two monitors? I can't even imagine how confusing that would be for me. You should be applauded for simply attempting this.