Mine is a placid life, an admittedly parochial, routine affair with little probability of discomposure. Each day of my life – even when examined abstractly over a period of a year or more – is by any stretch largely the same; namely, a sober existence marked by such affirmative traditions as early rising, regular exercise, improving private study, responsive communications with family and friends and a healthful diet. The wallpaper to this harmonious dalliance is classic music, jazz and the exotic accents of the BBC hosts and their array of worldwide reporters. Yet occasionally there develops a discombobulation, the infrequency of which exponentially increases its agitation. A case in point is paradoxically the very vehicle which supports my current narrative. I speak of my web site.

Although I fashion myself as someone who embraces technology, I confine my enthusiasm to an understanding of how to make it do what I want it to do, much in the  way I understand an automobile.  My perspective is entirely utilitarian and if a problem should arise I am ready at any time to capitulate the scope of my insight to those more learned and studied in the art.  I wouldn’t for example consider changing a flat tire, much less opening the hood of my vehicle with a view to doing anything more exacting than adding liquid to the windshield wiper reservoir.  All other considerations are for me by definition esoteric, matters reserved to the intervention of those who have at least a hope of adding intelligence to the enquiry.

When however a disquieting conundrum recently arose in the management of my web site I hadn’t the privilege of delegation of the problem to someone else. First, the young gentleman who I had hired two years ago to create the web site for me when I initially planned to run for election to Municipal Council was now, happily for him, no longer an unemployed student looking to fulfill some temporary financial need by doing ad hoc technology work, but rather a salaried, pensioned employee of Her Majesty in Right of the Government of Canada.  He, if he were available, would no doubt have solved my dilemma in a flash; but to have engaged him to do so in view of his graduation of status was I thought beyond the pale.  Besides he might even have suggested something preposterous as consulting a self-help web site.  In any event – and this perhaps was more to the point – I was on the verge of abandoning my interest in the preservation of my web site at all, prepared to let it go so to speak.  More recently I had moved back to using my free blog site on Google.  That alone motivated me to question why I should pay some faceless company (albeit a Canadian company) to provide what I believe is called “web site hosting services” for another year.  Granted the cost of the web hosting was trivial but as one who is increasingly nurturing (as old people do) the value of cutting costs however small I felt a certain honour in questioning the expense. I should perhaps interject that several weeks ago I had paid another company to preserve my “domain name”, again a pathetically small expense (but one which might be even more preposterous considering who would be inclined  to expropriate my own name to themselves).

With these compelling qualifications at work in the background, it made my task of resolving the problem I was having with my web site both more exasperating and less purposeful.  Nonetheless every day I found myself returning to the web site to attempt to correct what I knew instinctively had to be a terribly simple matter, but each time without success. This pattern of trial and error continued for almost ten days I imagine, if not indeed longer.  I had become so accustomed to the stonewalling that it no longer ruffled me; and, what was oddly beneficial, the continued failure promoted me to take some remarkable measures to address the issue.  After all, what had I to lose?  I had already succeeded to diminish my interest in the current state of the site and now it was strictly a matter of personal pride to avoid being defeated by a bloody computer!

Anyone who has been around computers for several years knows that any question in the universe is capable of being answered by asking Google.  As time honoured as this tradition is, it oddly still requires time before people like me succumb to the indignity of doing so.  I suspect we still harbour a secret reservation that the event which is thwarting us is far too complicated to be unraveled by the mere address of a question to a machine.  Even phrasing the question in the very basic language of enquiry seems an implausible introduction to such fathomless exploration.

Of course you know where I’m going with this!  Laugh if you will, I quite understand!  In my defence may I at least round out the narrative by reporting that I had initially posed certain enquiries which appeared to be answered through the web site that powered my site, though to no avail.  It was only when I bothered to watch a You Tube exposition by some 12-year old girl that the dilemma was solved. Pointedly the web site transcripts mockingly regurgitated the very answer which was the exact problem, the only difference being they didn’t bother to add “Stupid!” at the end of their otherwise useless and misguided explanation.  In the end I found the resolution to my problem; and, because I had unwittingly made some further pleasing though unintended alterations along the way, I now had a renovated web site which “worked” as I planned.

This was but one of the victories of my day today. Of equal and perhaps greater importance was the extrapolation accomplished upon the not too negligible matter of arthritis and joint inflammation.  Since I quit taking all my prescription and over-the-counter pain killers on May 10th last I have endured an almost relentless battle with pain, sometimes approaching disabling, other times just annoying and distracting. I am however determined not to relent, not to go back to shovelling pain killers into my gullet and suffering the palpable “side effects” which are very real though normally iterated with the breeziness of a television ad. It does assist in my conviction to appreciate a modest improvement of my global condition even without the so-called medication.  But it is inarguable that when the pain visits itself upon my joints, my instinct is hardly stoic.  It is so easy to reach for a bottle of pills instead.

Perhaps because of the novelty of my experimentation with clean living I have been willing to endure far more abuse than I would otherwise have imagined. I advanced my goal somewhat today when there appeared to be a lull in the intensity of my discomfort.  It was possible that my catharsis was working, that I had begun to purge my system of the offending contaminants and set myself upon a more realistic path of behaviour.  As a compromise I resolved to attend upon a pharmacist to enquire about alternative medicine for the relief of my condition.  Pharmacies are of course ubiquitous (a fact which parenthetically I attribute not to an aging population or the popularity of cosmetics or junk food – though both are likely true – but rather to a facade and tax write-off for real estate investment). Anyway, there were no end of pharmacies to which I might direct myself in the investigation of this question.  As I happened to be on my way to Stittsville (to get the car washed, another of my miserable little habits), I decided to poke my nose in at the drug store in Sobey’s at Carp Road and Hazledean Road.

To my delight the pharmacist on duty was 1) young (so I surmised he would be sympathetically disposed to my “natural” medication enquiry); and, 2) of Asian decent (which nicely corresponded to my cultivation of the exotic nature of the remedy I sought). The pharmacist – named Joe – was exceedingly helpful and, after reasonable discussion, recommended Glucosamine Chondroitin.  Upon leaving Joe I diverted to Dandelion health food store in Almonte (to get some bread). While there I enquired about natural medication for arthritis and joint inflammation.  The clerk provided me two different potions.

Upon returning home I sampled all the new medication in accordance with the prescribed dosage. I have no idea whether anything will “work” but I am prepared to try.  The Glucosamine bottle mandates a minimum 4-week trial period so I cannot rush.  Even Celebrex mentioned something about saturating the body before it would work.  Again, I have no inclination to repeat the drugged effect of those prescription compounds, so I’ll wait it out for the time being.  In the meantime, it’s lots of water (another of nature’s purgatives).