So this week I’ve been reading People Like Us, by Zichao Deng, an amusing, quasi-journal-style crime caper in which two criminally-inclined Englishmen in Brittany plot to relieve a nunnery of an unidentified, but evidently very valuable, artifact.
The plot isn’t really a crime novel or a mystery or even a caper, so much as it is a frame on which to hang various humorous, violent, or confidence-game interactions between the narrator and the collection of expatriate English citizens who, apparently, infest Brittany. Also, because this takes place in Europe, people buy tickets toride on trains.
I don’t trust those automatic ticket machines; they like to make you pay over the odds and take a special delight in rejecting your card just when you can see the very train that you’re supposed to be on pulling up to the platform. No doubt they will have entirely replaced the human staff in a year or two, the latter carrying with them the twin disadvantage of requiring wages and not looking like something Jane Jetson would use to cook dinner.
Yeah, we keep relying on technology and automation, we’re going to run into trouble some day …
Speaking of trouble with technology, I had quite a bit last week, in the form of a crashed hard drive in my Mac and a failed Windows 10 update that caused all kinds of trouble with my work machine. But that all seems to be resolved now, thanks to, respectively, a visit to the Apple Store and the restoration (which took about 30 hours!) of Time Machine backups, and repeatedly bashing the Windows 10 machine upside the head with the bricks of chkdsk, sfc, dism, and other esoteric operations. It’s enough to make you want to pick up a machete and start hacking, as may or may not have happened in Television Man …
Myra sensed some sort of guilt at work in Robin’s attentiveness, but wasn’t sure what Robin had done―or thought she had done―that she needed to atone. It wasn’t as if Robin had lopped the woman’s arms off with a machete. Or had she?
Bad day at the office, Robin?