COVID-19: Day 21: And technology fails me

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The other day, I was trying to have a conversation on my iPhone when the speaker phone kept cutting off.  Now I’ve gotten to be hard of hearing and I need that speaker phone.  No amount of tweaking, tech support, Apple chat, etc. etc. could get it to stop turning itself off after about a minute.

I’ve been lusting after the new iPhone.  That camera!  And, by golly, I was up for an upgrade.  So I did it.  I ordered the latest and greatest phone.  It arrived today and my internet promptly went down.  So I went to the grocery store thinking all would be well upon my return.

An aside:  I did the Kroger Clicklist.  Once again they were out of a lot of the stuff I ordered.  Pinto beans, yeast, potatoes, ham hocks, egg noodles and Spam.  I have a powerful hankering for both beans and cornbread AND scalloped potatoes with Spam.  Evidently, I’m to have neither.  I did stop at the Dollar General and find bow-tie pasta to substitute for the egg noodles.  Tuna casserole is in my near future.  Don’t laugh.  I make a mean tuna casserole!

All was not well upon my return.  I called Frontier.  Blessedly, I got competent folk each of the 4 times I called.  They would do this.  They would do that.  They would do something else and then VOILA my wireless would work for 15 minutes and then go down.  By the 5th time I called, I was getting desperate.  A very nice tech support guy apologized for all the problems and declared I needed a new modem.  I had suggested this on phone call number 1.  Never mind.

So, I am without wireless until Wednesday maybe Thursday.  This means I am tied to this behemoth of a desktop on the second floor of my house in the hottest room during an expected stretch of warm weather.  It also means I can’t set up the new phone as I need wireless to transfer from Phone A to Phone B.  I am not a happy camper.

COVID-19: Day 14: Oh Good Grief

So, it’s been one of those days.

I decided that part of the reason I was so discombobulated was that both my schedule and my routine were completely whacked.  So I set to finishing setting up the home office.  Before today, I was working here and there and had stuff scattered everywhere.  My sleep has been disturbed so I’ve been working at 4 a.m. and 2 a.m. and 7:17 a.m.  All of this had to stop.  So I decided, starting Monday, I will keep regular hours.

So.

I gathered everything together and took it to my home office.  The home office has been neglected for some time.  The first order of business was to clear the desk.  There wasn’t any room to work for all the flotsam and jetsam of my writing life.  Then I had to hook up the big monitor to the tower.  I’m too old to do spreadsheets on a small monitor.  There was a cable compatibility problem.  I had to cannibalize one monitor to get the type of cable I needed.  It’s a good thing I have a closet full of computer equipment.

It’s also a bad thing.  I think that’s where the chipmunk might have been, though I can’t be sure.  The dogs were whining and carrying on so I took down the baby gate that keeps them out of my office.  While I was busy with the cord problem, they were uncharacteristically quiet.

I should have known.

I turned around and almost stepped on a very dead, partly eviscerated chipmunk.

I don’t do dead things well.

After a necessary freak-out period, I went downstairs and got the dustpan to scoop up the poor little thing.  I did.  And then I put it in a garbage bag.  I then went to wash my hands, but, silly me, I left the plastic bag on the floor.  The dogs retrieved the chipmunk.

A chase ensued.

My nerves are shot.  AND THEN I tried to hook up the printer.  I won’t bore you, but it too was a comedy of errors but there was no loss of life involved.

I get the printer hooked up and discover it’s out of ink.  Won’t print.  I desperately need to print.   I fired up the ‘puter and went to my go-to places for ink.  Nobody can guarantee me delivery in a timely manner due to high demand.  Apparently, I am not the only person who has a home printer out of ink.

After searching, I do find ink that might be here Monday.  But might not.  No guarantees due to high demand.

I have a high demand for some relief from this day.  And I’m going to have it.  Right now.

Happy Sequestration!

Computer Woes and Whatnot

EmnyLou 012A couple of weeks ago I was sitting, minding my own business, at the laptop drinking coffee when Emmylou surprised me with a running leap into my lap.  It ended with coffee all over the keyboard.  I did all the things you’re supposed to do in such a situation to no avail.

The laptop keyboard refuses to work.  It’s had plenty of time to dry out.  The mouse and touchpad work fine, but no dice on the keyboard.

Sigh.

So, I bought a refurbished laptop with Windows 7 Pro on it, but that’s going back. The wifi wouldn’t work.  In a fit of desperation, I found an older model, but brand new laptop with Windows 7.  It arrived today.

I hate setting up computers.

Hate it.

Part of my job is tech support and I’m responsible for setting up new computers.  Right now, I have 10 laptops and 2 desktops waiting on me.  I didn’t need a disaster at home.

But I love Emmylou, I do I do.

No matter how many times I do it, there’s always a glitch, a problem, a snafu, a something.  Right now, the user interface for Facebook on the new laptop is unusable.

I’m disgruntled.

MarinedaddyIt’s been a lovely day, though.  Today is Veteran’s Day and I’ve been deep in thought about my dad’s Marine Corps experience as well as my own military brat upbringing.  I had my contractor out here to do a bunch of honey-dos that aren’t really honey-dos if you have to pay, but you know what I mean – just minor repairs to this and that.  Well, minor, except maybe for the roof.  Hoo boy, I don’t need bad news there.

I’m getting my mojo back.  It’s been a long two and half years, but I feel like I’m settling back into myself.  We’ll see.  I’m hopeful.

I hate vacuuming.

uprightI hate to vacuum. Passionately hate to vacuum. It’s not a mere dislike or simple dreaded task, it is full blown animosity. The only machine I share the same feelings for is Beelzebub of Bobbinhood.

With vacuuming, I have two current machines to torment me and a lifetime of ones that mocked my efforts at clean carpet.

I believe my feelings for vacuuming stem from two sources: my mother loved to vacuum and I have exceptionally long hair. These are pertinent, really they are.

My mother finds vacuuming to be a life affirming activity – so much so that she vacuums when stressed, when ill, when happy, when sad, when the floor is dirty, when she’s bored, and as a preamble to any other housekeeping chore. The vacuum cleaner was the soundtrack of my childhood. Television programs, conversations between friends, secrets whispered into a phone were all drowned out by the roar of the Hoover or Dirt Devil or the Vacuum du Jour. If your mother is a passionate vacuumer, how do you rebel? By only doing it when a) the filth has come to the attention of the Health Department or b) someone is coming over.

canisterSince I don’t vacuum hourly, or even weekly, the debris is a bit challenging what with dogs, cats, a dirt road, and a not-particularly-fastidious human. Add to this 30” strands of hair that wind about the brush bar and you have a disaster.

If I could just vacuum and be done with it, I might do it more often. But no. Alas and alack. Each vacuum adventure begins with dragging the damn thing out, turning it on and finding it will not suck. The suckiest household chore of all and neither machine will snort even a whisper of dust. It has nothing to do with the quality of the machines. I think in a past-life I must have done grievous harm to inventor of the vacuum cleaner. It’s all I can figure.

I have hundreds of dollars invested in vacuums. All of them, after a dance or two about the house, become possessed by demons.

Each session begins with cursing. Then there is the application of scissors to cut the hair into manageable pieces so the beater bar will turn freely. Then there’s the cane I use to poke down the hose to free the clogs of cat hair, dust bunnies and the stray leaf. It can take up to an hour of fiddle farting before any suction is achieved. Just as I stroll victorious through the bedroom pushing the damn thing, it will attempt to suck up the dust ruffle, or the puppy, or a phantom and the belt will break.

I buy belts in six packs. From Amazon.

Another hour tearing the machine apart to figure out how to put the belt on. It’s different each time. I swear it is.

Sometimes, I can’t bear it. Just can’t. So I drag out the backup machine. This one is pricey canister vacuum as opposed to an upright. It’s even more evil as something somewhere is not quite right and the gizmo attaching the thinger that seals the hose to achieve suction often doesn’t. So we’ll play unhook it, clean it out, says a prayer or two, reassemble it, test, rinse and repeat until finally it will attempt to suck.

In anyone else’s hands, the canister would be an overachiever – sucking up furniture given the opportunity. In my hands, it leaps at the curtains which causes a circuit to trip and I have to take the whole damn thing apart to reset the circuit.

I hate vacuuming. I do. I really do.

I vacuumed yesterday. I didn’t do a particularly stellar job at it as machine 1 clogged, wouldn’t beat and broke a belt when I’m all out of belts and machine 2 wouldn’t suck for the first 45 minutes.

Still. There is some of my mother in me. I am enjoying relatively clean carpet.