Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Monday, August 11, 2014

Missing R and Number 3


I am currently using an ancient Mac laptop – one that was purchased at a pawnshop at what we believed was a reasonable price.  Roland needed it for his class.  Frustration set in as he toyed with this problem for more than a year.

     The keys on the top row would stick.  Well, 1-6 did.  It was okay.  He didn’t need the numbers.  But when the top row of letters (particularly the e, r and t) started sticking – well, that was a problem.  Most often, the keyboard from the computer was plugged into the unit.

     We took it in to be serviced.  Less than a month later, the “r” key started sticking again and is often missed into the words now, unless one pounds on it.  So often when I am typing, the “r” doesn’t make it into my word.  It can be frustrating.

     A spell check will usually pick up on my missing “r”s, but it will never catch my missing “3”s. Nor does it catch words like “bother”, “dove”, and “dive” when I am really writing “brother”, “drove” and “diver”.

     The 3/# doesn’t stick.  In the case of the 3/#, it was the actual button fell off.  We still have the key, but I find it easier to hit the white peg from underneath than to try to push it through the broken 3/# tile.  And so often when I am using the numbers (I actually use the number pad when using a regular keyboard) on the laptop, my “3”’s don’t make it in either.
Roland doesn’t even use this laptop anymore.  He’s “borrowing” a more updated laptop – for two more months.  Only two more months to go and he will be finished with his schooling – and hopefully he will be able to get a job in which he can use his degree.

Just thought I would mention my missing “r” button.  Perhaps you have run across some posts on this blog that don’t quite make sense.  I’m just giving a suggestion as to a possibility.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Dying Breed

          I remember seeing mailboxes in my neighborhood and at different corners when I was growing up.  I remember getting two Dr. Seuss books to give to my siblings.  I remember walking from our house to the nearest mailbox and counting the steps that I took and recording the number in the book. I don’t actually remember the number, but I know it was less than 100. Well, in one of them it was.  I don’t think I did them at the same time and so they may have had two different numbers.

          I have considered the mailbox an endangered species for some time.  Mailboxes started vanishing to very far and few between. 

I used a mailbox I passed between transfers when I rode the bus to one of my places of employment.  The last time I walked passed said location – the mailbox wasn’t there.  It was gone!  I didn’t know where the next nearest mailbox was – besides the post office.

Another thing that I found really odd was that sometimes next to the blue mailbox was what appeared to be a green mailbox.  They all had warnings that they were NOT to be used as mailboxes and warned individuals NOT to use it as a mailbox  - as though we could.  There were no slots.  The only way to get into it was with a key.  I didn’t understand what they were for.

Mailboxes used to stand out and populate as fire hydrants.  They were convenient.  Along came e-mail and texting and seem to have made mailboxes a dying breed.  A rarity.  And so have phone booths.  Those seem even rarer than mailboxes.

          Sometimes I will take pictures of Jenna posing with these rare objects.  For they may very well become extinct.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Welcome to the 21st Century!

            I was never hospitalized as a child – except for when I was born.  But until I gave birth to Jenna, I had never been a hospital patient.  But I do remember visiting various hospital patients.  I remember that there was more than one patient to a room and only a thin curtain separated the patients from one another.  Each patient wore a plastic bracelet that would protect the descriptive paper that identified the patient’s name and medical information.  There were clip boards that hung from the foot of each bed.

Patients were asked if they preferred smoking or non-smoking rooms.  And visitation was always limited to certain hours and certain ages. 

            Today each patient has his or her own room.  They wear bands made of unrippable material somewhere between paper and plastic foam.  It contains bar codes which are scanned each time the patient is given medicine or surgery, blood and urine samples and so forth – possibly meals (that way it can all get charged to the final bill) No longer are stupid clip board kept at the foot of the bed.  Everything is done by scanners and computers. It’s so cool to see how technology has evolved.

            The hospital that mom was in is a no smoking zone – the entire hospital and property.  That’s pretty cool.  I think that’s a great revelation that has come to pass. 

            As I mentioned, at least one of my sibs was always with my mom around the clock – which meant spending the night.  I had three members of my family spend the night with me before Jenna was born.  Roland and my mom were both in chairs.  I think Kayla spent the night on the floor.

Not all hospitals have joined this century, I suppose.  When my granddaughter was born, Tony wasn’t allowed to watch the birth.  Talk about old-school.  That’s the way it was when I was born.  Dad’s had to wait in another room.

            I’m not quite certain if I remember from real life or if it was just from the television that I remember the dorky hats that the nurses were required to wear, and the crisp white uniforms – often wondering if they had spare uniforms in their cars or their lockers in order to remain clean and white - as it was never obvious that they had been around barf or blood.    Today they wear colorful scrubs or sometimes nice street clothes.

            Perhaps it’s not the same in all hospitals, but those are some of the observations that I made while my mom was dying at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.  That was actually the same hospital where Patrick and I were born.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Another Guilty Pleasure

We haven’t always had cable – cancelled due to lack of finances – we’ve even cancelled the Internet.  I was okay with going to the library, but Roland wasn’t.  And now that he’s taking classes through the Internet – dropping the Internet would just frustrate him even more.

When so many stations were converted to HD and even the local channels needed some kind of box or connection, it seems like we always had TVland.  For a while it was our primary source of entertainment.  That, and going to the library for offered programs and to check out DVDs.

The station has added original programs including a reality show called “ForeverYoung”. The advertisements intrigued me, but I hadn’t watched it when it initially debuted.  But I did check it out yesterday. I was laughing so hard at watching these two (obviously) generations try and communicate.  Having lived between the two, I understand the frustration of the other – also having had to experience it myself.

Jenna is often asking, “Did they have such and such when you were little?” 

“Yes, we had Fisher Price people.  They weren’t made of plastic, they were made of wood.  They were smaller than what is offered now. “

“No we did not have iPods.  We didn’t even have CD’s.  We had phonographs and walkmans.

“No we did not have DVD’s.  I don’t recall the VCR coming out until I was a teenager.”

“Yes. We had cracker jacks.  But they offered cool prizes back then – well, at least compared to the lame prize that comes with cracker jacks today”

“No, we did not use slates back then.  We used paper. How old do you think I am?”

“There was an Electric Company.  But it didn’t come out until after Corey was born. It was different from what you watch today” (I had actually checked out a DVD from the library not realizing it was from the ‘70’s.  She couldn’t stand it)

She is far more superior at modern technology than I am.  She has found things on my phone that I didn’t even know existed.  She prefers Roland’s phone with his touch screen.  Roland is older than me and seems comfortable using his cell phone, but I hate it.  I actually have small fingers (one of the few parts of my body I can still refer to as small) but put me in front of a touch screen and they become clumsy fat hot dogs.  I can never find where I need to go and get so frustrated in trying to do so.

I appreciate the GPS – and the one that we had was not complicated and much easier to use than the map.  But I have used street maps before.  I must admit that I have texted messages – but it annoys me to go through each letter at a time – I’d much rather have a keyboard.  I do own a cell phone but started out dialing a rotary. 

I haven’t been on roller blades – but I know what they are.  I also remember the old time roller skate that fit over the shoe.  I owned several pairs of shoes with marks left from the roller skate that I used to glide around in my parents’ unfinished basement.

I’m actually too young to remember the car seat that my parents used vs. the ones that are out today.  Mine hung over the seat – front seat.  Mine was yellow.  It did not have the cool steering wheel feature built into it.  There was no car seat law that I know of.  Often the cars themselves didn’t come with safety belts for the driver – let alone the passengers.

I remember black and white television and a very limited amount of channels selection.  I remember life without Sesame Street and Sesame Street without Elmo.  In fact, I remember the original cast featured only four human beings.  And I remember three different Gordons. I can remember that Sesame Street did not explain Mr. Hooper’s death until a year after the fact.

I remember the world before computers made their way into just about every home.  I remember the ancient television sized monitors unlike the flat screens of today. I remember the manual typewriter and the cool features of the new electric ones.  

I remember cameras that required film.

I do like this “Forever Young” reality show that introduces “bridging the gap” and demonstrating that we really can learn from one another regardless of age.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I’ve Been Forced to say Good-bye

          Saying good-bye is not always a bad thing.  Especially when it only invites clutter and chaos. In 1985 I was on my mission.  It was my second Christmas in the mission field and my family decided to send me a tape and king size card with greetings from various friends and neighbors from my home ward. 

          A 22X25 poster paper was purchased and folded in half.  My family decorated the front with pictures which represented my personality – a picture of Baloo and Mowgli from Jungle Book (I love Disney’s animated version of that show) Ziggy, a picture of ceramic nativity set, trees and flower in bloom, dance shoes, real mountains (Utah mountains,   not the hills of Virginia where I served) the Salt Lake Temple, dolls, golden plates, scripture  paintings  , and musical icons. 

          In addition to all the magazine cut-outs were two actual photographs.  One was of me with my missionary name tag and the other was a recent family gathering that I would guess Corey had taken (as he was not in it) which included my dad’s mother, brother, sister and their families – or parts of them anyway (my uncle’s oldest two are also missing from the photo)

My 11X14 card contained signatures from so many – it was an honor that my family had gone around with the tape recorder to so many of my ward family.  I think they must have gotten all of them with one devise or the other.  Some would sign my card from self and spouse – and then I would find spouses signature elsewhere on the card.  Some would just sign names without a greeting.  Most were just typical Christmas greetings – but there were some that added personal comments.  Surprisingly, I still remember everybody who had signed the card.

Corey had placed on the back:  “When you care enough to send something better than a Hallmark” and “the Best Homemade Card Company around” – it still makes me smile – and really, it doesn’t take up that much room.  But it’s been bent, torn in places, and some of the pictures have faded.  I don’t really NEED it.  Time to say good-bye.

I don’t know where the tape is.  I have several shoe boxes full of cassette tapes.  Most I will end up throwing away – or use them for recording things I would like right now. I think most tapes contain something that I want – but certainly not all of it.

I remember a couple of people singing Christmas songs on the tape that my family had sent along with the enormous card. One visitor said that she wasn’t aware that I was even on a mission.  It was nice to hear so many voices that had been familiar to me. My family obviously put a lot of thought into my gift and thus I cherished it.  Still do – just not in a tangible way.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Losing Home, Discarding Memories & Wearing Out My Scanner

It will be a while before my next post – as I have TONS of photos and scrapbooking to go through.  I just simply don’t have the room for storing them – at least not the hard bound books (and there are many) but do have room on some drives to insert in the computer.

Blessed are they who can discard without sentimental attachment – for they don’t have to dejunk later on.  Their lives are made easier because they don’t save every little item.  They don’t have decades of clutter.

As Corey had mentioned in a previous post  Ellen and Nate have decided to throw out a bunch of mom’s junk.  And granted, it does look nicer than I think it has ever looked – and seems inviting.  But at the exact same time, it’s not
          I haven’t lived in mom’s house for over 11 years  but had always felt at home there.  I paid for the microwave that is in the kitchen.  I paid for the over-the-toilet cabinet downstairs.  Most of the pots and pans (that mostlikey don’t even get used anymore) are mine.  But we just don’t have room for them in our tiny house or ever tinier kitchen.  The house itself seemed to welcome me – but not anymore.  It hasn’t seemed to for the last year or so. 

Mom’s not the same.  And the house certainly isn’t.  I can’t just walk freely about the house as I had at one time.  The basement is now off limits – at least in my mind.  I feel like an unwanted guest so much of the time.  I don’t think Nate thinks very highly of me – not that his opinion of me matters.  But it’s hard enough visiting my mom as it is – and then to have the sane one act as though you don’t belong.  That he may be better than you. Here’s a salt shaker – why not just pour the salt into my wounds.
          And perhaps I’m just reading him wrong. I like things orderly and tidy too – though it doesn’t appear that way.  I’ve married into a family of slobs – except for Randy – who shows no sentimental attachment either and has no problem discarding ANYTHING.  And then there’s Tony and Jenna who are worse than I am about saving and hoarding.  And too often the sentiment is lost.
          I’m actually finding that right now with the things I have saved throughout the years.  I have embarrassed myself.  Why did I save this?  Why on earth did I save that?  What does this even mean?

          Last night I pulled pages out from two photo albums (the ones produced in the 70’s and 80’s; the ones with the magnetic pages that have tons of acid which eat away at the photos) and scanned a few memories;  pulled out the postcards for Jenna to send to her friends,  and ended up throwing away three scrapbooks this morning.  There’s really no purpose for me to hang onto it – especially because of the lack of space.

When we lost our first house, mom said I could store my memorabilia at her house.  She’s got tons of room.  She’d be in that house forever.  It would always be a part of us.  There was no reality for me three years ago when we moved.  Her memory was starting to go – but NOTHING like it is now.  The reality is that we may be selling mom’s house long before Roland and I can ever move from the one we are currently in.  Probably we’ll die here – and then our children will have to go through.  And Randy will be the only one who can throw it all away.  So I’m trying to help ease that burden now.  I am trying to consolidate and keep things simple.  Trying.  I just added to the overwhelmness pile.

The first album I went through included missionary photos – now nearly 30 years old.  There is very little sentimental (if any) left with that area or those I served.  I tried keeping in touch with those that I served with.  It made it hard when I was doing all the letter writing with very little (if any) correspondence on the other end.  And unlike Corey with a strong connection to many of those that he served, I lost track.  I don’t know these people.  And because the majority of them have faded and lost their color – it was easier to throw away. If worse comes to worse, I do still have the negatives  But is the technology for developing disc negatives still around? 

I actually did take this picture at Virginia Beach - I took it with
 my disc camera.  I was always impressed with the outcome

The second album started out with a week of summer activity.  Mom and Dad had gone with Corey on an excursion to  New York.  Kayla and I spent less money in the entire week than they did in just one day.  I removed those pages.

The remaining pages were of Patrick’s family.  Thus I will take it back to mom’s with a note for Sunny if she wishes to keep it or discard it will be her choice.  I am resigning myself from the position of family historian.

I have tried dejunking before.  Rationalizing that those who lived during Hitler’s reign were not able to hang onto their possessions.  With all the natural disasters that have taken place (floods, fires, Katrina, Sandy) so much is lost.  Why hang onto it?  What’s the point?
          I’ve made some scrapbook pages that I’m really quite proud of.  I would like to save those and pass them on.  I would like to save written words – they are so much more meaningful than what is typed into the computer – even if it does seem illegible.  I still have one more pile of scrapbooks.  And then the journals.  My pathetic journals.  Perhaps I’ll just throw those away.  I would like Jenna to have something.  But not so much that it will be overwhelming.

                                                          this would be an embarrassing page  

          Right now she’s fascinated with stuff from my childhood – asking questions.  Some I am able to answer.  Others I have no clue.  And I’m trying to teach her that if you can’t remember the reasons you were hanging onto something in the first place, perhaps they’re just not really worth hanging onto anymore.

          I did bring home a box she had made for the Reflections contest when she was in kindergarten.  There was an award ceremony that took place shortly after we moved.  I kept the box at mom’s house so that it wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle, and had actually forgotten about it.  Jenna enthusiastically retrieved it.  She thinks she’s going to keep it forever.  And maybe she will.  Maybe when she’s fifty she’ll decide she really doesn’t NEED it after all.

          And may my scanner last for many years and not break down in the middle of my “dejunking”  How grateful I am for modern technology which allows me to compact my memories.  I hope what I do save will prove to be useful for generations to come.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the assistance of a shoehorn

This morning I was helping Jenna to get the knots out of her shoelaces and adjust the shoes back to her feet.  She tugged at the heel of the shoe and stomped on the floor in attempts to get it to fit over her own heel.  It reminded me of the convenience of the shoehorn.

          I had worked at a daycare only briefly.  The children were required to take naps.  All shoes had to be removed before naps.  After the naps, all shoes were to be returned to feet.  This was not always an easy task.  Some of those children had really tight fitting shoes over really fragile feet.  Thus  I started bringing the shoehorn to work.

          Funny about the different reactions I received from the kids.  Suddenly I had this long line of children who would wait their turn to be fitted properly into their shoes – while others would go out of their way to find another teacher so that they would not have to deal with that “scary” shoehorn.

          It is actually a great invention.  I used to have several of them.  I don’t recall ever having seen one after I got married. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bless the Earl of Sandwich

          Though he is credited for quite immoral behavior and being too lazy to stop with his gambling habits to eat a proper meal, the legend also gives credit to John Montagu (then, the 4th Earl of Sandwich) for having created the world’s first sandwich. 
Not wishing to miss out on continuing with his gambling he ordered his meal to be brought to him between two slices of bread so that he would not have to stop to eat but could continue while holding the cards in one hand and the “sandwich” in the other.  How ingenious! Or so I believe it is.  And I’m not alone.  The sandwich is eaten daily by millions of people.  It’s a wonderful invention!