I’ll try to get all of them out in one post, so it’ll be easier to ignore them (and I’ll put them in an “extended`” entry, too). A number of persistent annoyances have been ganging up and trying to force themselves from my ill-tempered moments onto the internet, and perhaps by offering them their own little corner, I’ll get them off my back. Nothing wrong with Glasgow, neither the University nor the dear green place itself — just some odds and ends that don’t fit right with smooth sailing through my daily life.
First: when we packed things up in Durham, and when the shippers picked them up under Sarah’s watchful eye, there were forty-nine boxes of goods, mostly theological books. After a rather long wait, my goods arrived at the University a couple of weeks ago. As it turns out, the University traffic authoritiesw were perturbed that so large a vehicle was obstructing traffic in my neighborhood, so they registered the urgent imperative that the truck be moved away as soon as possible. When the moving crew told me “That’s it” and handed me the clipboard to sign, I hastily autographed the requisite forms and wished them well.
I know, in retrospect, that I ought to have counted boxes. Mea culpa. But after I got my personal possessions home to my flat (all intact), I started unpacking the books upstairs in my office, and it became apparent that not all was well. As it turns out, I can account for forty-one of the forty-nine boxes that were shipped from Durham. Let’s say that I carelessly failed to note the numbers of four of the boxes — that’s a high estimate, but we’ll say I’m that negligent. That still leaves four boxes of books that didn’t make it to my office.
I’m not sure what was in those boxes — Margaret and I (and Jennifer and Pippa) packed quickly last June when we had to vacate the leased house, and we repacked hurriedly when it became clear that some of our goods would be shipped with me to Glasgow. We spent several sweaty days in Sarah’s garage, looking into boxes, rearranging contents, deciding that this would go and that would stay. Somehow I ended up with about a box full of our children’s books, and none of my Dominic Crossan or Martin Hengel books (especially frustrating since I’m teaching Historical Jesus this semester). I haven’t fully finished sorting the books that did arrive, but usually that process makes evident other books I’m missing. They may be in a box in Durham, or even in Baltimore with Margaret; they may be in a crate somewhere in a warehouse, or at the bottom of the sea, or adorning the shelves of a theologically-inclined longshoreman. Whatever else is the case, though, I’m missing four or more boxes, and that’s irritating.
I’ve also been nursing a sore left shoulder for weeks. I think I remember feeling concern about it in New Haven this past summer, wondering whether I’d be able steadily to elevate the eucharistic elements. If that memory is right, I must have injured it in the packing/moving process (what little of it I actually did). My shoulder hurt in Nantucket; it hurt in Durham, when I flew back; it has been hurting here in Glasgow, all despite my putting relatively little strain on it. It hurts both in the shoulder joint itself (where I can make amusingly crackly sounds) and in the mid-upper-arm (where I’d associate it with the ligaments that attach my triceps to the bone). I try to avoid sleeping on that side, that shoulder, but sometimes in my sleepiness I roll over onto it. This makes at least ten weeks of nagging injury; I protest my lask of resilience.
OK, my third complaint involves the printer that I brought over from Durham. I plugged it in and started it up last week, and almost immediately in began giving me “low ink” warnings. I went to some trouble to obtain exactly the HP-branded cartridges that fit this printer (HP C4480), despite the ludicrously high price. Then when I popped the cartridges into the printer, the printer displayed a screen that said “Incorrect ink cartridges.” Evidently HP restricts its printers by geographical regions; you can’t just put the right printer cartridge in, you have to put in a cartridge that matches the correct region in which you originally bought the printer.
I wrote a note to the HP support people, who — about a day later — told me to print out a test sheet that would give them some data they needed. I had to reply that if I could print out a test sheet, I wouldn’t need HP Support any more. My problem was that I can’t print anything. This morning they wrote back to give me elaborate finger-tarantella exercises that lead up to the “Ten Tap Test Page.” The first two phases of the process actually seem to have worked perfectly; but the last, that was supposed to trigger the “ten tap” phase, was obscurely written and I haven’t been able to make heads or tails of it. Further developments pending. Grrr.
Finally, after two and a half days of clear sailing, my cold/flu kicked back in yesterday afternoon. It’s a weird thing; it’s as though my illness forgot some intermediate phase, but went ahead with this (concluding) sinus congestion in course. Now, plenty of people have had much worse times with colds and flu than I have; still, it’s one more thing, and I could do without it.
There — let‘s see if that drives these annoyances away and lets me sleep in peace.