Archive for the ‘computers & technology’ Category

Just a short post. Our fabulous kids, namely our niece Alex and son Jesse went together and purchased an iPad for Jim.

I am sitting in the comfort of our living room typing away at the virtual keyboard with WordPress on the screen.

As I began this little exercise, my poor husband said, “I’ve lost it…”

All he did was show me how to put a direct link on the screen, and I asked whether I could put my bog on there ….. And the rest is history.

I guess I’d better give it back now. It really is his new toy….

It really is a very cool thing though.

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Long night last night, not much sleep.  The computer is an addiction that sucks me in.  And what is accomplished?

Seems like I have rediscovered the people of my childhood, who feel free to call me names; another place to be the odd man out.

I’m tired of it.

My garden does not call me names.

I’m going now.

You all take care, now.

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Life is always an adventure.  I went on an entire odyssey just to mail a few packages, and came back moved to rant just a small rant.

It isn’t very far across our little town, a matter of 3 or 4  miles.  If I lived in Amsterdam I would take my stuff to the post office on my bike, but if I lived there my bike would probably be equipped with a basket and there would probably be bike lanes.   So I took the truck, which is what I get to use for errands while Jim uses the Prius to commute the 35 miles to his job.

I was nearly rear-ended at a stop light by a little blonde in an SUV who was involved in looking at her email on her phone.   In the next half kilometer I was also almost sideswiped by a gentleman in a very old boat car who was sailing it out of a parking lot while engaged in a lively discussion with his BluTooth.   At the stop light I watched the lady next to me unconsciously creep forward as her foot left the brake pedal while she was laughing and gesturing with her cigarette while talking on her cell phone, which she had cradled in her ear.   She regained consciousness of her surroundings about a second before her bumper kissed the rear end of the truck in front of her at the red light, and was able to arrest her progress.   Good thing the light changed before her foot lifted again.

This cell phone stuff is getting ridiculous.

I know it is terribly convenient to be able to do absolutely everything on one small piece of electronics.   And I have to admit that I am enjoying the photos my niece is posting of Europe while she is still there via the beauty of the internet.   But what I am witnessing as a cell phone non-user is that suddenly I have become an inhabitant of a world where people voluntarily isolate themselves.   They may be sitting at the same table with the ostensible purpose of eating breakfast together, but they might as well be in separate houses for the amount of communicating they are doing with each other and any other person in the room.

I see people who have absolutely no qualms about driving around while they are talking on their telephones.   Some people have learned that holding a phone to your ear is dangerous, in fact even illegal in many places.  “I have a hands free device,” they cheerfully inform me, as if this makes up for the inherent snag in telephonic communication.   It doesn’t matter whether your phone is wired to the wall or imbedded in your cerebral cortex (which seems to be the next logical step in the miniaturization of telephones), if you are talking on the phone to another person, you project your “self” to where they are.   That self is no longer present in the place where your body is, your mind is taking you to the other person’s room and presence.   It is probably even envisioning them, the room they are in.   It takes a huge act of will to take your consciousness from that conversation and focus it on the traffic around you if you happen to be driving.   I’m sorry to tell you that the hands free device does not cure this ill.  Your mind still wanders.

Lets not even talk about how rude it is to be having a lunch date with someone and have them answer their phone.   I almost walked out of lunch with my girlfriend when she did that to me.   I could not believe it, I thought we were trying to get caught up with our lives.   And what was I supposed to do while she chatted with the other party?   Oh, I suppose I could have posted a status on Facebook or tweeted —  if I had had my cell phone with me, which I did not.  Besides, adding my own rudeness to the situation was going to make it any less rude, was it?

Your mind wanders if you are talking to a person in the car with you too.  That is the genesis of the laws forbidding young teenage drivers to have more than one passenger in the car with them.   I’ll just add that if you are looking at the radio trying to pick a station, you are not looking at the road, nor are you if you are applying makeup or reading the newspaper.   Sorry, peripheral vision doesn’t cut it.

The post office was an adventure too.   I was mailing a foreign package and I didn’t know which customs declarations form I was going to need for the item I was sending, so I filled them both out.   The Post Office employee found that amusing.   I had lots of time in line to fill them both out.   I am not the only person who missed the Christmas rush to mail packages by waiting until after the New Year.   Apparently there are quite a number of us.

While I was doing that I started thinking about how amazing it is that I can go to one building and give the guy my package with an address from the other side of an ocean on it and some money, and it will be there sometime next week.   Probably it will reach its destination before the other packages that I sent parcel post because they were so darned heavy, which are not leaving the continental United States.

I mean, just a few generations ago you would have had to contract with a private party travelling across the country to get your package to the coast, and then trust that person to make arrangements with a ship that was travelling across the ocean where perhaps another person might deign to take your package to the person you addressed it to.   I mean, Post Office, UPS, FedEX — all those guys.   It is totally amazing.

And cell phones are amazing too.   I just think maybe people should hang them up once in a while and look around at the world and see what has happened while you were gazing into your little box, flicking icons by, reading emails and newsfeeds, typg cht msgs tu ur bffs, and talking to them too, of course.

It might surprise you.


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I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the information age.

I decided to join up this afternoon.  I utilized the Website software provided by my professional association (Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals) to advertise my massage business.  Actually, the process was much easier than I expected and I had a blast trying to follow their instructions.     Check it out.

What do you think?   Am I getting the point across?  Would you call me?   Should I link to my blog or is that idiocy?

Now we’ll see if it is true that I need a website.

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The Havens has been hopping, but in amidst the craziness I’ve been able to look in on people a modicum, pay a few short on-line visits.  All the while I would mention to myself that I really needed to find a moment to make a blog post.    Well, this is the moment.

I did make the trek to Texas for the memorial service, which was quite lovely and meaningful.   I was very glad that I was able to be there for my sister, who definitely needs support during this early period of bereavement.   Along the way I made a few decisions that turned out to be not so wise, so I thought I would share a few of those events with you.

One of my first rather poor decisions was to decide to believe that the five minute tutorial I received on the new iPod was sufficient.   I will put here in my own defense that the person who gave it to me had gone to considerable effort to convince me it was “simple, easy, etc.”   Perhaps.   But I will say this:  it was not the best decision to do the first “solo” operations with it while trying to drive on the interstate highway.   In the first twenty minutes of my travels I wound up pulling off the highway at least four times as I attempted to make the device do what I wished it to do.

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am NOT the most “techie” of people, and my husband is quite cognizant of the way electronic devices can be impaired by proximity to my person.  Why this is the case is a mystery, but the fact is true that a remote control for the TV that refuses to do anything even remotely related to its true function when held in my hand will immediately, and without complaint, function perfectly when handed to him.  Needless to say, this can raise my frustration level quite high in a nanosecond.

However, I decided not to throw the expensive little toy out of the window of the car at that time.  Ultimately, when I reached my hotel the first night and described what was going on to my husband, he got on the computer at home and visited the iPod site and learned a few more things about the device.  Later he imparted that wisdom to me.

One of the things that really twisted my panties up was that when I FINALLY got the thing to actually play music for me, it only deigned to do that for three hours, which barely got me to the state of Oklahoma on my travels.   This was particularly disturbing since it was “supposed” to be able to perform for 24 hours on a charge, and so we had decided not to purchase the in-car 12 volt charger, as our finances are still in recovery and we really didn’t need to plunk down a goodly sized chunk of change right at that time.

So, imagine our surprise when we learned that even when you have the iPod nano turned off, it still uses battery power.   If you want it to stay fully charged, it must be plugged in, you can not leave it sitting by your purse waiting transport to the car for your trip.   Frankly, I find this decision on Apple computer’s part to be disturbing to the max.   We already have enough energy vampires in our home, we don’t need another one to add to the line of suckers of the life’s blood of the planet.

Call me old fashioned, but when I turn something OFF I  really expect it to be “off”, not gently sucking battery power from its own innards for whatever arcane purpose.  I mean, when I turn my flashlight off, it doesn’t discharge the batteries, why should the iPod nano be any different?

Okay.   Enough about the iPod.   I may eventually discover when it is that I love having the little device to provide me with entertainment.   Most of the time I don’t feel the need to be entertained, so this may take a while.   I am perfectly content with my own thoughts and the music of the birds and the wind in the leaves of the trees most of the time I am out working in the garden or walking the dog.

Anyway, another decision I made was to purchase ripe peaches in Texas for the purpose of stocking my freezer for the winter.   When I arrived home after driving from the hill country of Texas, staying overnight in Dallas, and then trekking through Texas, Arkansas, and half of Missouri, after 12 hours on the road following 4 hours of sleep, we HAD to do something with those peaches as soon as I arrived home.   They were not going to wait until the following morning, having already begun their process of transforming themselves into peach wine when I arrived home.   So this was possibly not the best decision I have ever made either.   Although I will say that these peaches are wonderfully ripe and sweet and red and delicious.

I made the decision to eat greasy road food on my way to and from Texas.   I also ate several desserts and consumed a rather larger amount of alcohol than I usually do.   I also decided (through neglect) to not walk my customary 3 miles.   Mostly I made that decision because I did not have my beautiful dog gazing meaningfully into my eyes to encourage me to get off my duff and go for that walk.   However, the upshot of all those decisions compounded by the hours I spent driving the car resulted in a gain of a whole pound of flesh upon my person.   Egads!   That is on its way out as we speak, I can tell you!

Another not so great decision I made was to eliminate the need to pay $12 in tolls for the privilege of driving through Oklahoma on my way home, and chose a route home that probably added around 3 hours to my travel time due to the fact that the route wended its way through the hills and small towns of Arkansas.   Very picturesque, but quite time consuming due to my anally retentive need to actually obey the speed limits on my way through towns.   I was not eager to save $12 on tolls only to get several hundred of those items extracted from me by an importunate official in some small town in the form of a fine for speeding.    On the other hand, I got 55 miles per gallon on my trip home because of the very sedate rate of speed I was being held to.   So it wasn’t all bad.

I saw some amazing weather in Texas on my way through.   This was a storm behind a storm I saw south of Dallas on my way to San Antonio.

A couple of days later the same weather system provided this rather amazing sunset for Jim’s delectation.

I got home to find the gardens enjoying the heat of summer, bursting with beautiful day lilies.   There are plenty of other things going on too.

This bouquet had an occupant that rode in from outside.

Can’t quite see that tiny yellow crab spider?   Here’s a closer close up.

While I was gone Jim harvested 15 pounds of potatoes and a whole bunch of garlic.  The garlic is hanging in the woodshed to dry, the potatoes are in the cooler in his shop.  Now I have empty spots in the vegetable garden that are going to receive a dose of black beans and pinto beans to grow for us.  Meanwhile the green beans are producing well, the carrots are also.   The broccoli patch has produced its first flush of heads and I am waiting to see about the side shoots.   I removed all the salad greens patch as it had bolted.   Soon there will be cucumbers, and we have been enjoying grilled zucchini and pattypan squashes for a couple of weeks.  The swiss chard is burgeoning.

And Jesse is still here visiting.   I could not be prouder of the way he is developing.  I can no longer really call him “My Boy,” as he is most definitely a man now.   And one who has maturity and a certain amount of sensitivity and wisdom, and who is very good at communicating too.    We are SO enjoying this visit as he is VERY MUCH enjoying his leave from the war-torn part of the world where he is soon to return.   Too soon — his leave is over on the 6th.

So I will probably disappear back into the Real World after this post and make little forays into the Internet World, as I have been in the last week.

So now I have decided that I must get out there and move the hoses to the next beds in the vegetable garden, and find my bean seeds.  Ta ta for now.

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