Posts Tagged ‘computers’

We are half way through the first month of the new year and already I want to toss technology out on its ear. Now, before you label me a rebel or freak, hear me out please.

At work, I am ‘the one’ who is most challenged and most frustrated by technology. Naturally we have several members on the team that embrace technology and can make computer programs stand up and dance. Sometimes just getting the blasted machines turned on is a feat worthy of singing for me.


Needless to say, all new programs have to go through the ‘Ryan test’. If I can succeed in the ultimate objective, then anyone can get the job done.

They seem to delight in anything that will force me, kicking and protesting and whining, into the current century. I about had a coronary when they pulled all the paper out of our office and went ‘paperless’.

All this negativity can sometimes give me a complex– as if someone is trying to imply my computer and technology skills are below par. I might not be up there with computer programmers and game players, but I seriously beg to differ.

Just in the last year and a half, I have constructed and designed a websiteall by myself. Hello??? Major accomplishment. I have maintained and added new social media sites–all by myself. I have learned more computer skills just by way of blogging then most first year computer students do.  I have produced my own book trailer videos. My list could go on.  I am proud of what I can do, because most of it I learned on my  own and through lots of trial and error–mostly error. However, in the end, I get it done.

But, yes, computers and technology still manage to frustrate me on at least a daily level. Sometimes it might be a phone– a device I happen to think was designed by satan himself. Sometimes it’s automobiles or electricity– things that surely can only be temporary foolishness–right? But usually it’s the computer that makes me grind my teeth.

And it’s the dumbest darn things that do it to. Like links. Someone can send me a link to somewhere. I can click it and bingo–off I go like it was planned time travel. Cool. Great. But when I do the old copy and paste thing to place same link into the body of something else, well, it ceases to work altogether. No click and bingo. Nothing. What is the difference? Or take the program Excel. Why does Excel sometimes decide to corrupt a cell or cells in one line, but leave neighboring cells alone? It’s just enough to ruin the integrity of the document. Why do programs sometimes stop responding on one browser, but  once you upload them to another browser, they work just fine and dandy? And why do we bother telling websites to remember our user name and password when it really won’t?

It’s the little things like that which happen to drive me insane. And earn me a reputation of a technology hater. Well, hate is a strong word, let’s go with technology disliker. That’s more applicable.

I cuss, pound the desk, yell and moan, tinker with the problem, until I ultimately solve the problem. Until the next one comes along. It just seems to me things should be easier on these modern contraptions then they appear to be. But maybe I am just old-fashioned.

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Anyone who knows my frustration with technology, especially the endless amount of passwords and codes we need to do just about anything nowadays, will fully understand my latest endeavor.

A few years ago I started doodling cartoons to give a sardonic voice to my otherwise silent lamentations about certain things going on in my life. Nowhere near an artist, it still served the intended purpose– that being an ironic and glib look at periods in my life. A coping mechanism.

So below is the latest in a series of things that have irked me one time too many. As I like to say to people who press my buttons… be careful, you might end up in one of my books or turned into a cartoon character.
Passwords 10-2014 AITT

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It was my computer’s fault. Honestly. My sweet little tempermental old PC had been driving me crazy all morning with its pokey wandering attitude. Deciding I needed a break before I yielded to the temptation to smash it, I decided to run to the store for a few things, top off the gas tank and drop some stuff off at GoodWill. Long enough for me to cool down and the computer to figure out if it wanted to clean disc C or not.
Just a quick run to town, I thought. Even left the coffee pot on because I would be right back. That was about 1:00.
Even as I warmed up the truck and scraped the windshield, I did question the sanity of going the 3 miles to town when I knew the roads could be icy. No matter, if I went back inside, I’d have to do another round of battle with that blasted computer and I was just not ready to. Onward, I say, ever onward.

Got my groceries, topped off the tank, donations deposited. One mile to go and I would be home. Ready for coffee and see where the computer got to on the disc clean project. It was now 1:35 pm.

Coming upon the bridge I felt the back tires hit the ice. I never saw the ice. I was too busy looking at the oncoming tractor and trailer as I slid all over his side of the road. Utterly convinced I was soon to become part of the front of that truck, I stayed remarkably calm.

Completely out of control now, I swept over the middle, spun around a couple times, coming to rest finally against the guardrail on the correct side of the road, but facing the oncoming traffic. At least I was completely off the road.

Ironically, I stayed calm the entire time, no crying or screaming. I was so proud. I even reminded myself to stay relaxed so there would be no bone jarring impact. Gold stars to me for such clear thinking. What I could kick myself over is the fact it never occured to me to: a) drive in 4 wheel drive in the first place or b) shift into neutral the moment I felt the back slid on the bridge.

I admit I was shaking a little as I gazed down the ravine on the other side of the guardrail. I could have kissed the guardrail at that point. I was thanking God it was not worse via either becoming a speed bump to a semi or landing in some unusual postion on the bottom of the hill. Fishing out my cell phone, I dialed 911- still shaking but thinking already 5 steps ahead.
1-I left the coffee pot on, 2- I need a rental car as I have a book signing tomorrow, 3– I’ll need to contact a friend to get me home, 4– I have groceries to think about-perishables and 5–I need to contact the insurance company.

Wait a sec. the phone wouldn’t dial out for a 911 call. Tried twice. This isn’t too good. A nice lady stopped and asked if I was okay. Sure, I assured her, just fine. I needed a phone that called out to 911. She obliged. I crawled out the passengers door, no easy feat by the way. It was cold, spitting rain pellets but I watched the trucks rolling by and rememeber I was lucky.

Okay, long story short, the police arrived, the wrecker arrived, my friend arrived. I now have a rental car in my drive. It took a lot of extra steps but fortunately I was able to do most of them from my friend’s car with my phone. And funny, all I could think about was I left the coffee pot on because this was just a fast run to town.

I got back home at 5 pm.About 4 hours later. And the computer is still being difficult. And my Jeep affectionately known as “Scout’ is safely stored at the mechanics pending the insurance steps. I was really glad to have that hot coffee waiting for me when I finally got back. Tomorrow I will travel to the book signing, thankful it was not scheduled for today. And I will turn off the coffee pot before I leave. The next time my computer acts up, I’ll go take a nap.

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