There’s one thing we’ve come to accept in our high tech world. Nothing works. At least for me. Every time. Like my computer’s duel with the internet. And yes, I’m one of those ALBO (see below) folks that eschews using a cell phone to do my web-surfing. Call me old school, but I still use the computer instead as if it were still the 1990s.

Anyway, I’m probably wrong about this, but on these windy days it seems like things get slower on the internet. I mean, can the Magdalena winds slow down – or slow up – my DSL?

Like a mime walking against the wind?

OK, I can’t say I’ve had too many experiences with mimes, although during my Victor, Colorado period one of the town’s colorful characters was a San Francisco street mime who would freak the old-timers out with her angular movements and wavy arms. Victor at that time – the 1970s – was like a scaled-down Northern Exposure-type place where people who wanted to lay low moved to – present company excepted – but it did have its share of aura readers, water dowsers, and astrologers, not to mention the occasional juggler or amateur magician.

But that’s another story for another time.

I’ve moaned and groaned about this before, maybe all too much, but I still seem to be trapped in a continual kerfuffle over passwords. If you mess up or forget a password you can’t do what you were expecting to do. Or, you’re suddenly and unceremoniously informed there’s been a security breach, and if you don’t want your life savings to disappear into the great beyond then you’d better get cracking and change that danged password. Then you spend who knows how much time going through the process of setting up a new password and by the time you’ve done that all and are allowed to get where you were going, you’ve forgotten what you wanted to do and the fun has gone out of it.

This never happened when we didn’t have the convenience of shopping or banking or writing letters on the internet. You know, the olden days when we had to buy things at a real store, walk into a real bank and mail our letters and things in a real envelope. Those who are “a little bit older,” ALBO for short, know what I’m talking about; those halcyon days before supersized meals and designer jeans, back when everything was IRL.

IRL is, as you may know, is social media jargon for “in real life,’ which now has the companion acronym of LMIRL, or “let’s meet in real life.” Another one I’ve seen pop up is the “Fauci ouchie,” which is what you get to avoid getting “vid” or “rona.”

Another addition to our discourse that I’m waiting to see put into everyday usage is Mx., which can replace Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. if you’re writing somebody and want to be gender-neutral. But I’d stay away from pronouncing it out loud, as in, “hello, Mix Smith.” Even worse, can you imagine introducing “Mix and Mix Smith?”

Speaking of my above-mentioned DSL, it occurred to me that the one word that has more meanings than any other is the word up. For instance, when my DSL slows down, it slows up.

People wake up in the morning, stir up trouble, line up at the bank, work up an appetite, and think up excuses. You call up your friends, brighten up a room, polish up the silver, warm up the leftovers and clean up the kitchen. You also lock up the house and fix up the old car.

In a conversation, why does a topic come up? Why do we speak up, and why is someone up for election and if there’s a tie vote, it is a toss-up. Why is it up to someone to write up a report? To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed up is special. A drain must be opened up because it is blocked up. Someone opens up a store in the morning but closes it up at night.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding up. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing up. When it rains, it soaks up the earth. When it does not rain, things dry up. We lie down, but sometimes we are laid up.

If you are up to it, you might try building up a list of the many ways up is used. It will take up a lot of your time, but if you don’t give up, you may wind up with up to a hundred or more.

You look something up in your address book . . . or not. . . it’s up to you.

Looks like my space is up, so I’d better wrap it up and just shut up.