Friday, September 25, 2009

Tech Frustrations, Take Three

I am really lucky. My Florida D-I-L is a computer maven, and she is willing to come when I cry for help. Her husband – my younger son - told me it was okay to download Internet Explorer 8. “It works better.” Famous last words. Ever since I did that, my D-I-L has made two trips to my house to undo the damage that the download has done. My new rule is never mess with a functioning computer program that this senior citizen is using without hassle. It seems Internet 8 is not compatible with many programs I use such as Word, My Space, Blogger, etc and without the aide of my D-I-L, I still could not cut and paste my blog onto My Space or Blogspot.

The computer techs at My Space could not help me find all the missing comments people made on my blog, but my DIL found them. She has the patience of a saint, a skill necessary to be a computer maven. She actually reads directions carefully and then follows them without taking short cuts – another helpful skill when fixing things. Even better, she understood the secret language the computer geeks a.k.a tech support people at My Space were telling me in their auto response. Their latest unhelpful letter was different from their usual one where they tell me to clean my computer. (I take this as a personal insult. It is clean. I dust it and use alcohol wipes on the keys. Hubby is in charge of cleaning the cookies. He gets rid of them often because, according to what My Space techs usually write me, my computer is diabetic and can’t tolerate them. My husband detoxes our computers at least once a week with various spy-searching programs. Cookies, I am usually told by My Space are the root of all-evil. I am beginning to think having a cookie in my computer is responsible for every problem that occurs on My Space.)

However, when the blog comments disappeared into cyberspace, this time My Space said it had something to do with I think the word is caches. To me Cache is an expensive dress store with clothes designed for anorexic females. Fortunately, my Florida DIL knew what they were talking about and immediately corrected the problem. And like magic, my readers comments appeared! After she left yesterday, I tried to open something on a new web site. My computer told me Adobe is not responding to my requests and I need a special disk to reinstall it. Now, I have to wait until my D-I-L has another free day to come and find where Adobe is hiding in my hard drive.

I have one question for all of you that don’t have free computer mavens a stone’s throw away. Is it possible to ever figure out how to fix these messes by yourself, or do you choose between food and functioning computers?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hot Time in Old Town

There was a hot time in old town last weekend. My development – a.k.a. active senior community – had a Margaritaville dance. Our social hall was decorated to resemble the Keys and margaritas were handed to each of us as we entered – which helped loosen-up what normally is a very reserved, prim and proper group.

The DJ played just enough slow music to keep Hubby up and moving for half the evening. Our social director planned contests for the ladies, but, alas, not the wet t-shirt ones that Key West is known for. Not even the free booze was enough to tempt the gals of this community to partake in that kind of contest. Instead, we had a Best Key West Outfit contest. Let me tell you, during the parade around the room some of these women proved they still could do a wicked shimmy. I watched one with envy. If I shook my upper torso as she did, Hubby would have had to rush me to the nearest chiropractor.

The nicest entertainment of the evening for me – and others who admitted it – was watching evidence that new love – be it at 16 or 66 – is always a joy to view. Two neighbors, who had become engaged that evening, had many eyes on them while they snuggled during a romantic slow dance. I asked Hubby why we didn’t dance that way anymore. He studied the couple and then whispered to me, “Because my hands don’t need to be warmed.”

I laughed and was relieved that he didn’t tell me that my rear was too wide for him to reach around, or that my pants were too tight for him to easily slide his hands into my back pockets.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tight Squeeze

Trying to hang family pictures, awards, and a collection of maps was the greatest challenge I’ve had since the move. You see, they once occupied the walls of a long hallway and two bedrooms and my challenge was to get them all into the walls of a 10 x 12 foot office that I share with my husband. Unlike our old house, these ceilings are the high ones, so I did have equivalent wall space – it’s just that Hubby didn’t expect me to literally use all of it. While I was nailing away, he was insisting I was making his office look like a cave decorated with floor to ceiling paintings. I pointed out that there were two desks and two computers in our office. By the time I was done, we compromised. The space directly over his computer was an “eye resting area” – not a picture for him to see - just a plain bone colored wall as he wanted.

I’ve always had one unwritten rule for hanging pictures and mirrors in highly visible spots: make sure I like what I’ll see since I’ll see it a lot. I intentionally hung a picture of a skinny me facing my desk and placed another one of skinny me with my grandkids on my desk. I have literally taken off 3 pounds since I unpacked and hung our pictures a few days ago. Every time I’m tempted to get up from my desk and head to the kitchen to stuff my mouth, no matter which way I turn, I am confronted by images of a slender me. Until now, I never thought of pictures as diet motivators, but obviously, they work for me.

The unofficial rule for family pictures is not to display them in your formal living room – unless you are the descendant of famous people like George and Martha Washington and have their portrait to hang over your mantel. I think a decorator who had an ugly family or infamous relatives and didn’t want them on display came up with this rule.

There is another unofficial rule someone told me about today for family pictures in the bedroom. Only put up pictures of relatives who never upset you. If you stare into the face of a loved one that has just upset you, you might not have sweet dreams. Hmmm. That eliminates anyone over 21, including Hubby and yours truly. It leaves only my grandkids and their dog.