More Random Thoughts, or This Is What Happens When I Break My Computer

Well, okay, I haven’t actually broken my computer. The universe broke my computer — that’s my story, anyway. What happened is that a week or so ago, I noticed it was ssssllllloooowwwwiiinnnggg down to an excruciatingly painful crawl and with my computer savvy born of years of unwittingly inviting viruses to take up residence I correctly deduced that I had acquired a bug. Took it to a computer place, they cleaned it up in a few days and gave it back. And in my eternal quest to save money, I vetoed the security package upgrade the computer guy offered me and simply said — and I quote — “Oh, just go with the basic free one and I’ll buy the upgrade later.” Yes, I actually said those words. Learn from my mistake, friends: NEVER do that.  Because, in the karmic way of the universe, three days after I got my computer back and before I could hand over extra money for extra protection, I got hit with an even more vicious bug that effectively blocked me out of everything but endless games of Spider Solitaire. So my long-suffering beloved laptop is at another computer place for thorough cleaning — and I’ve already told the guy to load it up with every piece of security he can.  And although I believe in the mantra of “never explain, never complain” — – No, really, I do — I wanted you all to know what I haven’t posted lately. My equally long-suffering husband is graciously sharing his laptop with me, but it’s just not the same. So, what’s been happening around here the past few days?

  • Younger Daughter turned 25. This seems extremely unbelievable to me –that my baby girl is 25. I’m beginning to understand why my parents look at me and say, “We cannot believe you are 54.”
  • As a result of being too enthusiastic and optimistic stupid, I agreed to write press releases for several non-profit events within the span of one week. Luckily, none of them got shorted — I procrastinated equally on each of them.
  • Husband and I were scheduled for health screenings at his workplace, and as we were getting ready that morning and he caught me weighing my clothes, I had to explain to him the fine art of dressing for the scales. He was impressed horrified.
  • Here in Mississippi, we’re watching the disintegration of our two SEC football seasons while in neighboring Alabama the Tide rolls on. I am not happy.
  • With the arrival of our second grandson — 3 1/2-year-old Capt. Adorable’s younger brother — a mere month away, I keep a packed ready-to-go bag in my car at all times and am in constant Grandma Alert mode. Every time Older Daughter calls, she says, “It’s not time yet” before she even says “hello.”
I’ve taken some awesome photos with my new camera that actually works and doesn’t eat batteries, so as soon as I get my laptop back, I’ll share. Thank you all for your patience. I now am going back to playing Spider Solitaire and sending disruptive mental messages to N. Saban.

Computers, or Why the @#$% Isn’t Mine Working?

You know, I usually think that I’m a pretty independent person. I mean, I don’t need much hand-holding. It’s true that my husband is in charge of critter removal and he insists on doing the heavy lifting when we go to the recycling center, but other than that, in general, I consider myself as tending toward the capable side. Except, apparently, when it comes to my laptop. I was a late adopter of wireless computing — I’ve only had my beloved workhouse for about four years. But I use it everyday. It’s part of my routine: Snarl at the cat to get her claws off of my shoulder at 5 a.m., give up and get up, feed cats, make coffee, get paper out of box, turn on laptop and the day has started. So a couple of days ago, when my laptop refused to cooperate, it threw my whole schedule out of whack. (And, as my husband thoughtfully pointed out, do we ever say that anything is “in whack?” Interesting. Sort of like you never hear about “gruntled” employees.) I always forget how much I depend on the computer for work and friends and news and mindless entertainment until I don’t have it anymore and that makes me ponder how it happened that my laptop is such an integral part of what I do and who I am. And then I just drink more coffee and harangue my computer guru about WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG???? After a couple of days of testing and getting advice and trying different things, I’m still laptop-less. But we’re getting closer, I think. And, honestly, my computer guru is the best ever and I’m not telling you who he is because I don’t want to share. So there. My husband has taken great pity on me — or maybe he’s just tired of my ranting and raving — and volunteered his laptop for my early-morning forays into World Wide Web Land until mine is back among the living. Keep your fingers crossed.

Bugs and Bones

My laptop suddenly developed an annoying quirk of not letting me do anything until I’d signed up for some sort of anti-virus, anti-spam, pro-we’re-holding-your-computer-hostage-until-you-fork-over-$39.99 bug so I ran it over to my favorite computer folks for an emergency bug-dectomy. Luckily, Younger Daughter is Dayton, Ohio, for a competition  with the high-school percussion group she’s working with, so I’m borrowing her laptop, which she totally would let me do if she were here to ask. And of course there’s always the clunky old desktop, too. Remember back in the old days when the desktop was the only computer in the house and you had to sit right in front of where it was to use it???

Older Daughter’s had to sit down to do everything lately since she sprained/broke her ankle in spectacular fashion by falling in a hole their dog had dug in their backyard and has been hobbling around with a splint and crutches. But it’s not her fault, poor baby. Read my weekly newspaper column at to find out who’s to blame.

Blogging and Computers

Arrrggghhhh! I am still stuck in Wonky Computerland and am having to struggle with our antiquated and dusty desktop while Internet access sort of comes and goes. All my favorite blogs are marked for immediate reading on my laptop, which is still in intensive care at the computer hospital. Without those daily readings, I realized how much I missed seeing Lecia’s photos on A Day That Is Dessert and reading Becky’s adventures at Suburban Matron. And countless others. Being out of the blogging loop makes me understand how much I enjoy checking in with the blogging community and being a part of such a smart, creative, funny and thoughtful group of (mostly) women. You all rock and I can’t wait to get back home. It’s rough out here without you.

Since I”m stuck today without my photos and lists of brilliant-ideas-to-turn-into-blog-posts (which are all on the laptop — well, the photos anyway), all I can offer is my newspaper column from this past week. But I do poke fun at my husband in it, so that’s always entertaining.

Computer Bugs

Virtual bugThis is exactly how I feel today, after I spent all morning trying to fumigate my computer and then sadly gave it up and turned to a professional. The thing is, I’m the sort of person who never gets bitten by bugs. I can stay outside from 6 to 11 on a summer night drinking beer and talking about the new Alabama quarterback and everybody else is scratching and miserable as they try to swat away mosquitoes and I’m thoroughly enjoying the wonderful evening. But somehow that anti-bug protection does not translate to my laptop. This morning I was attacked by one of those “You’ve got a virus so click here to get rid of it” scams and the more I tried to combat it on my own the worse it got. And what’s so aggravating is that I keep my online security systems current and practice safe surfing — but this one got me. So please beware! I took my laptop to the local computer person who promised quick relief. In the meantime I’m using my daughter’s desktop, which doesn’t like me very much in the first place and is, I can tell, right now very suspicious that I’m a carrier of Bad Things and must be Dealt With Cautiously. Wish me luck.