Friday, October 25, 2013

Birthday Greetings from Saturn

Dear John,

I decided to go with an individual birthday message this year. Last year's didn't go as well as I'd hoped, mainly because Neptune's delivery lacks the dignity and respect that you deserve as one of my people.

This has been an enlightening year. You have grown in wisdom, and you seem to be earning more titles all the time, which I'm always in favor of.

In the spirit of continued self-improvement, I offer a few suggestions to ponder as you celebrate 42 years. You'll want to do something about your schedule; it seems rather unpredictable at times. Boredom is healthy and necessary, you know, and you could definitely use some more of it. While it's good that you have the desire to be creative, I've never really seen the point of it myself. Besides, you don't really have time; Mercury is on the fritz as usual and it's the perfect opportunity to tackle that project. A report did reach me, however, that gave me pause. How are we supposed to edit without a computer? I assume that you will resolve this situation forthwith.

I understand you were extremely upset about the recent government shutdown, and that you continue to deal with its financial effects for the short-term. I'm sorry that happened; I hoped it wouldn't. But you worked for no pay for nearly three weeks, and for that, you have my respect. If the people responsible had just followed my example and shown any sense of fiscal responsibility, there would have been no need for this situation. But luckily, it's all over now, and hopefully there will be no repeat.

In any event, I wish you a happy and healthy year, and hope you will continue to be the serious, driven, hardworking indvidual I know you are.

Yours truly,


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Technology, Logistics, and a New Computer During Mercury Retrograde

Technology and Mercury retrograde go about as well together as "government" and "decision-making". 

So remember the part about not doing upgrades during Mercury retrograde? Well...for some reason Apple decided to have an important iOS upgrade during this time. I installed it last night and everything appears to be fine.

One thing that's been happening to me that has Mercury's fingerprints all over it is that the process for buying a new computer is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. I was hoping to have it in place in my house this Friday, but at this point I haven't even bought it yet. I'm recycling the computer through Apple, and a 3rd party company sent me a big box for my iMac with a shipping label. The box alone too a whole week to get here; I mean, I could've driven out to CA in that much time. But since they're paying for the gas and the shipping I guess they can do it the most economical way for them, which is Fedex Ground.

Anyway, so I backup everything, box up the computer, and bring it into Fedex on Saturday. Then I find out Fedex Ground doesn't ship on Saturdays, so it really isn't going anyplace until Monday. I pull up my mobile Fedex app on Monday night and it's made it all the way to...Fairfax, probably less than five miles from where I dropped it off. And then I see that they've adjusted the delivery date to Monday, October 28th. Originally they said it takes five business days to get from my neck of the woods to California, so I'm thinking Friday the 25th. So now I'm irritated but not surprised, as Mercury strikes again. In true Mercury retrograde style, however, as I pull up the app Tuesday morning, it says it's made it as far as Hagerstown, MD, and the delivery date to the company has now been changed BACK to October 25.

With Mercury in retrograde, it might ARRIVE at the company on the 25th, but how soon someone will unbox it and evaluate it is a mystery. Once they do, they'll have to decide if my description of my computer's condition was accurate; I received a quote for a certain refund based on the information I submitted online, but of course everything is subject to the evaluation. Once that is done, they have to send me the refund information, which will be on an Apple Gift Card. I found out after sending it in that I will have the gift card "within three weeks". So the question is how long I'm going to wait before I cave in and buy it; looks like I'm holding onto the gift card for a future purchase.

And then of course is buying the new computer, which should arrive within 4-5 business days after it is ordered. Once it gets here, then it's time for a massive run of installing and re-configuring the system, which will also entail the installation of Windows on a virtual machine on the Mac.

I'm disappointed I won't have the machine in my hands sooner, but it may be a fortuitous event that everything is running behind schedule. Getting this computer ready for prime time in a Mercury retrograde seems like an accident waiting to happen. Mercury will be in its storm from the 10th to the 15th of November, and then we'll be back up to full speed again and things should be calm.

I'll let you know what happens. There is so much potential for Mercury retrograde fuckery that I can't even begin to consider it all, but hopefully I'll be able to get a computer here and set up fairly quickly. And with Mercury retro, playing it smart and getting by are about the best you can do with new electronics. 

Wish me luck. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio: Watch Out for the Stinger!

So here we go again, folks. Mercury retrograde is upon us! It feels like things have been a little nuts, at least in my life, even before the retrograde began.

One close friend brought up an interesting point that bears repeating here. What we are experiencing right now is transiting Mercury retrograde. In other words, Mercury is retrograde right now and it affects everyone. But it does NOT affect everyone equally. If you were born when Mercury was in retrograde--we call that natal Mercury retrograde--then things may be different for you. As a Gemini friend asked me, "So are people who have natal Mercury retrograde totally fucked?"

Let me explain. Folks who were born during Mercury retrograde usually have extremely quick brains. Oftentimes, their brains work faster than their mouths, which means they may trip over their words or find themselves incapable of being clear about expressing their thoughts from time to time.

With that said, the benefit to having Mercury retrograde in your birth chart is that you live with it all the time, so when Mercury transits through a retrograde period, like it is doing now, the effects on you are generally lessened. It's like dealing with the heat and humidity of Washington, DC, but because you were born in Florida it doesn't phase you. The same could be said for someone from Buffalo who doesn't bat an eyelash at driving in two inches of snow.

One of the differences that makes Merc retro more interesting is that Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio, a very intense sign. Scorpio sun also begins in a few days to bring more Scorpio energy to the party. You'll want to be extremely careful of what you say during this time. It's said that Scorpios can either heal or kill with words, but for all sun signs, Mercury in Scorpio ratchets communication matters up a notch. So I would expect either a total shitstorm or nothing at all; this Mercury retro will not be about moderation. Be careful of anything you say that might be perceived as passive-aggressive as well.

Unfortunately, however, reports are already reaching me that things today have been hairy, with Facebook having problems simply posting things to people's timelines, for example.  

My spin teacher at the gym was having trouble with her schedule and struggled balancing her personal calendar with her personal training appointments. She was unaware of Mercury retrograde until I explained it, at which time she told me that her iPhone had been acting up all morning, only intermittently receiving email and text messages while people were trying to get hold of her. They all came in a flood. I also mentioned that she should expect more last-minute cancellations and small appointment problems. Turns out her 11:00am appointment showed up at 10 that morning! Typical Mercury retrograde bullshit. I suspect she feels like she learned something today.

Hopefully you'll have a lighter Merc retro than the last one, which was a bitch for me. I am definitely approaching this one with caution; in addition to being a sun sign Scorpio, I have Mercury in Scorpio natally as well. So you can bet your ass I'm treading very lightly.

Good luck! Send your comments on how the retrograde is--or is not--affecting you.