Germs, Rationalizing visual desire, PC surgery, Training

Time for a little post as the camcorder downloads and reformats the .avi file of this morning’s practice into a .wmf. I did a kind of crummy standing & my-small-bit of second practice. Felt headachey and generally ucky. My Gift is at home with a stomach virus and I’m hoping my less than vibrant morning is more about switching from coffee to chai than about her germs.

So far, I looked at the teeny onboard screen version of the film. Once I reformat, I can see it full screen on my laptop. I don’t think I’ll discover anything too surprising. I mean, my main concern was that I’d inadvertently gone too far in making my movements economical, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The other concern was that perhaps my sense of moving more deeply into the new poses is actually just a huge delusion. I have this weird perception that I can’t “feel” these poses the way I feel the primary poses. This may be an illusion: I may have been in exactly the same position when I first learned primary. Back then, though, I wouldn’t have known what I was missing, and I certainly wouldn’t have had any expectation of kinesthetic familiarity or “correctness.”

Okay, maybe I just wanted to see my practice from the outside. If nothing else, it’ll be cool to archive this file and have a look at it around this time next year. My own little time capsule.

Last night I decided to call Dell technical support. I bought a new laptop a few weeks ago and the wireless card has been a little peculiar right from the get-go. I get booted off the connection every so often for no good reason. Upon diagnosis, I found that the computer can’t always see the wireless card. Well, that wasn’t the start of the diagnosis, unfortunately: first, I messed around with the whole wireless system in the house. Which is dumb, really, because the problem was more likely coming from my laptop. But we’ve had router issues in the past, so that’s where I went looking first.

Once the router was discovered to be okay, I found that my wireless card could be made visible to the laptop with a simple fix: a reboot. So that was my lazy solution. Obviously, any time I lost the connection, I didn’t have internet access to send a note to Dell’s technicians (I prefer starting with an email, because I hate phone calls). So I’d “fix” the problem with a reboot, and then once I was back online, what was the point of trying to explain my problem?

This poor “fix” eventually caught up with me, of course: connection loss got more and more frequent, and less and less responsive to the reboot solution. So last night I broke down and called. We went over all of the stuff that I’d learned over the previous couple of weeks. Like a good diagnostic technician, the fellow at tech support wasn’t going to take my word for it: we had to go through everything, from the very start, all over again. “Is the computer turned on?” No, he didn’t start quite there, but we did start with the very basics. I’m pretty sure he had an EPSS (electronic performance support system) running as we went along, because there were long pauses in our conversation as he read. I’ve got nothing against EPSSs — in fact, I’d love to design one. It did occur to me, though, that this methodical process probably drives both customers and technicians crazy. The customer doesn’t know why diagnosis has to include questions about things the customer has probably already figured out, and the technician probably hates how much the customer hates it — but nothing’s worse than jumping to a (more sophisticated, and possibly incorrect) conclusion, only to find out that a good bit of due diligence at the beginning could have saved all the headaches.

Anyhow, last night the technician and I ruled out numerous issues that might be affecting my wireless connection, and finally we got to my hypothesis: the wireless card is defective. First, though, we had to make sure all of the connections to the card were correct. “Do you have a screwdriver?” he asked. Woohoo! I wanted to yell, We’re going in! Under the blind direction of the Dell technician, I took apart the front of the laptop, removed the keyboard, and took out and inspected the wireless card. Reattached all of the wires, reassembled the laptop, downloaded and installed new drivers, and voila — still didn’t work.

“I don’t want to ship the laptop anywhere. Can you just send me the new card and I’ll install it?” I asked.

“That’s how we do it,” he replied.

Interesting. Our little surgery, though it didn’t solve my problem, did train me to do the work once I get the new part. Pretty good training solution all around.

The Cop had training this morning, too. They do it via simulations with actors. He has to go into buildings with little information and respond to random situations: a criminal holding another cop at gunpoint, a domestic argument spiraling toward violence, etc. I think the folks who make these trainings may ask the SWAT team for descriptions of situations that were hard to judge and then turn them into these scenarios for the others to try.

Yeah, I’ll admit it: I’m a training professional, so I am very excited by these examples of training. Nerdy, I know. 🙂 Okay, practice footage is done. Gonna go have a look.

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2 Responses

  1. lyrical snippet from “Arkansas Traveller”:

    Hello stranger

    Well, hello stranger

    Can’t you see that your roof is leaking?
    Why don’t you fix it?

    Well, right now it’s rainin’ too hard
    And when the suns a shinin
    why, it dont leak!

    🙂

  2. Yup, you nailed it! 🙂

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