Changing my vote

I use MSN as my Internet home page so whenever I go online that’s my launching pad.

I use MSN as my Internet home page so whenever I go online that’s my launching pad. 

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. On the one hand, it updates you on everything that’s going on in the world. You can even set it up so it shows your local news too. 

On the other hand, it also lets you know what’s going on in the celebrity world. When confronted with news of Beyonce’s $36,000 fingernails or how the FBI is interested in Justin Beiber’s hair I don my superiority mask, roll my eyes and do my best to ignore the teaser headlines.

But then I start thinking, “Really? The FBI is interested in Justin Beiber’s hair? For the longest time I couldn’t figure out why anyone would be interested in Justin Beiber let alone the FBI. The sight of this little kid turning crowds of teens into sobbing screaming mobs was confusing to say the least. When I expressed my bewilderment to a friend she smirked and replied, “Two words. Donny Osmond.”

That shut me up in a hurry. Donny even looked like Justin back in the day. I remember being 12 and gazing at Donny on the cover of his album that featured a risqué shot of him sitting on a rock by a stream removing his white socks. The sight of his hairless ankles and bare feet were enough to make me feel faint. And when he sang Go away little girl I thought I’d die. 

So now I understand why all those girls are interested in Justin and his thick hair. But why the FBI? Once I start asking questions it’s all over but the clicking. 

My superiority mask bites the dust. The most annoying thing is the headlines never live up to the tease but I never seem to learn. Turns out the FBI were merely discussing social networking and how 35 hours of YouTube video are being uploaded every minute and most of it featured some kid by the name of Justin Beiber. The FBI agent then quipped, “At my age I have to wonder who is this kid and why can’t he get a haircut?” 

MSN also has the question of the day.

By choosing one of the multiple choice answers you get to see how other people voted. For example, today’s question was “Prince William and Kate Middleton are reportedly touring Canada in July. Would you like to meet the couple?” to which 59 per cent said no, 35 per cent said yes and six per cent were undecided. 

People don’t always vote truthfully, even when they think they are. A few weeks back the question of the day was “Could you get by without your computer?” to which 25 per cent said they could. Kind of funny when you consider only those who had a computer could vote. Funnier yet, I was among the 25 per cent. My obsession with becoming self sufficient and living the simple life translates easily to shunning technology. At least that was my thinking. All I can say now is to be careful what you wish for. Or how you vote. 

Yesterday I was merrily working away on the computer I could get by without when things went frightfully awry. A Trojan galloped onto the screen and took over. My antivirus assured me it had the problem corralled and all was well, but it rapidly became apparent this was not the case.

In a matter of minutes I was told my hard drive was gone. I don’t know a lot about computers, but that didn’t seem like a very good thing at all. So I pulled the plug and rushed it to emergency.  And that’s how I learned how much I depend on my computer. I use it to find seeds for my garden. I use it to find hatching eggs. I use it to record my thoughts and check my bank balance. I use it for work and for communicating with friends and family. I use it to find answers.

Just last week when I grew tired of scraping balls of snow from the soles of my horse’s feet so they wouldn’t have to wobble about on icy stilts, I turned to my computer and found out that applying cooking spray would keep the snow from sticking.  

If only a shot of Pam could keep a virus from sticking to my computer. My poor sick computer that — and oh how it galls me to admit it — I can’t do without. 

Shannon McKinnon is a humour columnist from the Peace River country.  You can read past columns online by visiting