Beware of She Who Writes With Flaming Laptop

Because apparently there are no funny pictures of a computer on fire...

Because apparently there are no funny pictures of a computer on fire…

Just in case you were thinking I was such a bitch for 1)  Not responding to all of your wonderful comments 2)  Not reading your blog posts or 3)  Not seeming to be around at all so that you were wandering around crying and calling for me by name…  I know, how dare I disappear for a few days!

You see, I’m too hot.  Or rather, my laptop is.

The old girl has been having some issues (as do I, but this isn’t the time to discuss it). I uninstalled some programs, swapped my mouse, did some other things and it’s not so bad.  I still can’t be on for long periods of time, which is sad, but considering the alternative I’ll take what I can get.

blue screenBasically my computer gets too hot, and then it forgets who it is, what it’s doing, and apparently who I am.  That’s bad.  I’m not sure if I need to find an Alzheimer’s unit for confused computers or if there is still hope.

One thing I have learned is If you own a Dell laptop of any kind, DO NOT google “flaming laptop” thinking you’re going to find something funny.  All it will do is scare the bejeezus out of you!  Not only did I find very scary images of laptops on fire or melted, but many of them were of the very same make and model of computer that I am tapping away on right now. I DID NOT share that information at the time, so it fully leads me to believe that this really is one big problem looking for a place to happen.

update kittySo if you’re thinking about sending me a shiny, brand new laptop, shoot me an email and we’ll talk.  Until then just think of me as “She Who Writes With Flaming Laptop”.  Or for short you can call me SWWWFL, pronounced “swiffle”.

Since you’re reading, please hop over to Theme Thursday by clicking the cute button below and see what my ladeez love.  It’s all about favorite things.  I also love things, and I linked up the post I did earlier this year if you want to read about it.  But you don’t have to.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a new post with my thoughts about the BlogHer 2013 conference.  Have a Happy Thursday!

Theme Thursday

Analog Girl Stuck in a Digital World

The last in my series of guest bloggers who rock, Tamara is the woman behind PenPaperPad.  She and I both belong to the blogging group Bloppy Bloggers.  I love her writing!  I thought that she would be an awesome choice to round out my week of guest bloggers.  I was right-she submitted a most excellent post for me!

The biography of Miss Tamara Woods:


Tamara Woods is a poet, blogger and generally pusher of words from Honolulu by way of West Virginia. Her current big project is getting her first collection of poetry, The Shaping of an “Angry Black Woman to an e-store near you. You can cyber stalk her via Twitter, Facebook and check out her mumbling on her blog, PenPaperPad.

Here is her post:

I’m getting a new phone. You my dear readers, don’t even know how truly steeped in awesome this is.

It involved a summit in the house between my boyfriend (The Mathemagician) and me. I told him that I needed all 4 Gs. All of them.

He asked, “What are the Gs for?” Quizzing me like I need logic.

I said, “I don’t know, but I’m CONVINCED I need all of them.”  Ha! This is my understanding of technology.

Before these fancy-pants new phones with their swipey technology and apps, I would keep a cell for like five years! My current phone has been in my hot little hands for a little over a year. Already it lags, failing when I try to upload things to any social media site, pretending like it’s all full of data like my texts are its Thanksgiving dinner—memory too full to text my left fanny. Then the crashing, oh for the crashing. I had to develop a trick for texting on this phone:

  1.           Write and send text,
  2.           When it inevitably gets stuck on a send screen, hit the back arrow.
  3.           After receiving the message letting me know it’s sorry but it needs to close (again) then I click on wait.
  4.           Seven times out of 10 this will cause the text to send. Otherwise, I have to take the battery out, because it’s 100 percent frozen.

WHAT?! When did phones need a secret decoder ring to use it?!

I feel like an analog girl stuck in a digital world.

I want to use one of the fanciers cassette tapes (remember the ones that were see-through and you could SEE THE TAPE? (Oooh…classy.) I can sit in front of my stereo, listening to FM or college radio (satellite radio, what? Nope, I don’t know about you yet. I have to press record at just the right time, so I can make a radio deejay mixed tape masterpiece. This one will be for long drives.

I’d really like to have a phone that I used as a phone instead of a multi-tasking time waster. The only time I actually talk on the thing is either to schedule an appointment or talk to my Mom. (Which sometimes feels like a doctor’s appointment forever asking me how the plumbing is going down there and if she’ll be holding a grandbaby any time before she dies. Don’t worry, my Mom has been talking about things happening before she dies since the 80s. She doesn’t even ask me about getting married first anymore this one. She’s traded wedding bells for booties.)

What was I talking about again?

Oh yeah, technohell.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m really glad for technology. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to share ideas with you guys and I’d have to leave my house and meet people IRL. *gulp*

Sometimes I just with the future was a little further away. I feel like I’ve stepped into a sci-fi film, but without all the special effects. The year 2020 used to sound so distant and foreign like flying cars and a hallowdeck where I could pretend to be in France in the early 1900s sipping tea and eating something chocolate. Now it’s only 7 years away!

So, I’m getting a new phone. Hopefully, this one will last for at least two years before advances in phone technology makes me have to develop a decoder ring to upload a photo to Instagram.

One Mom Dragged Into the 21st Century

I’m wondering if I will have this conversation with my kids someday?

I guess I could say I’ve come a long way the last few years.  In this past year you could say that I almost am current with technology. ALMOST.  I will probably still be one of those parents whose kids understand the stuff better than I do.

I’ve had this blog set up for awhile to post on Twitter.  That’s all I’ve done with it, because I tend to shun whatever everyone else is doing.  I don’t necessarily desire to be like everyone else (not to mention I didn’t really understand it).  Like I watched Desperate Housewives until everyone else was raving about it, then I lost interest.  I don’t watch Reality TV, or anything that normal people really like.  I never even really texted until my I figured out it was the only way I could get anything through to my husband (because EVENTUALLY he would look at his phone).  Honestly I didn’t have a smartphone or a laptop for quite some time.  The most advanced thing I did for years was pay bills online.

However, I succumbed to peer pressure this weekend from The Bearded Iris, a very funny lady who writes a very funny blog.  She wrote a blog about PMS, and I shared my somewhat witty post with her.  She told me I had to “Use the Twittah”.  So I gave her my handle.  Not only did she hook me up, she even gave me a shout out on Twitter.  How nice!  In addition she referred me to  “Some Twitter Truths You Need To Know” on her blog, which is actually pretty handy. ADD me is going to have to print it out and use a highlighter to figure it all out, because that’s how I roll.  I know, how ironic is that?  People who use paper, funny, right?

So I went forward with it, made a few comments and posted a few tweets of my own.  I am now a proud member of the PMS Club.  I’m not sure what the membership cards will look like, but it’s nice to have someone to commiserate with.  I also found some new blogs to follow, as well gained a bunch of followers myself.  That’s cool!  Welcome to all the new followers, I hope I’m entertaining enough to keep people coming back, and more coming to take a look.

While I am busy not trying to get too attached to technology, The Professor is using an Ipad at school.  The school got a pretty cool technology grant, and I believe they have enough Ipads so that there is one available for each student to use in the classroom.  That’s all I have hear about are these Ipads.  I am sure they are cool, but no, we are not getting one any time soon.  I’d rather spend my money on more important stuff like, oh I don’t know, my utility bill?  He and the Princess are stuck playing games and visiting websites on the ancient Dell laptop that got me started actually doing stuff on the internets.  I bought the laptop after getting tired of fighting my husband to use the desktop computer, since I had extra money coming in at the time with my preschool music classes.  This is the computer that I swear caused the economic downturn-I ordered it off of Dell and the day it arrived my husband’s workplace announced they were shutting their doors.  Nice timing, Sarah.  I shouldn’t have been surprised that right after I got my smartphone the place I worked decided that my employed decided to downsize my job.  I should have recognized the pattern by now, I buy something for myself, bad things happen!  I really need to stop that.

I now have my husband’s refurbished laptop, while he got the laptop that would supposedly take over the world.  You have to have that stuff when you’re an Evil Genius you know.  Having a computer that actually can do stuff has been great.  That was what helped me finally get into blogging.  I actually watch stuff on YouTube.  I spend way too much time on it, but then again, I don’t have a lot else to do these days.  I’ve done a few other things with it that haven’t quite come to fruition.  Like getting Photoshop Elements when it was really cheap.  It’s great, if you know how to use it!  Instead, I continue to use Picasa.  The Grocery IQ program?  Working better than I had intended, but it’s not foolproof-if your phone doesn’t get charged like it should and it dies on you, you have no grocery list to look at.  That didn’t work so well…

While I’m raving about my new feats and good intentions in technology, the rabbit ears are revolting on us.  I publicly fired PBS on Twitter this past week for no longer coming in on the TV, even if we sat perfectly still.  How dare they!  I’m not sure if conditions have to be perfect or what.  Princess Tantrum was most unhappy, and I realized just how much I get done when she has her couple of favorite shows to watch.  I tried turning on their laptop and letting her watch her shows on the website.  She didn’t like that.  She would watch a little, play a game, and then shut the laptop off after a few minutes.  Then she would tell me she wasn’t done, and we’d start all over.  We’d have to turn it back on, wait for it to boot up, etc, etc.  Remember my great idea that we could just hook up the laptop to the TV and watch our shows?  If I could only get him to relinquish the thing for a little while, this might just happen.  Damn you, Bejeweled Blitz!

So we’re about halfway there, but I doubt we’re ever going to be the most current ones on the block.  How up are you on technology?  Do you think you could live without it?  I’m sure I probably could, but I definitely would miss it!

Well that’s certainly one way to look at it!

Where Have All the Humans Gone?

I’d take Ernestine any time over these dang automated menus I have to deal with. I want to talk to real people!

All I really wanted to do was talk to a real live human being.  I just had questions.

Does anyone actually like the automated menus that most companies have gone to that supposedly help improve the customer experience?  I find that whenever I call one of these places, I never need any of the choices they have on their menu.  We have our mortgage through a major lender, and I have only had to call for things that the menu lady doesn’t recognize, so called “normal stuff”.  For example, I never need to check my balance when I call, because I have the internet to do that.  The last couple of times I have called, it has been about an overpayment.

The menu lady doesn’t understand that word, and there really wasn’t anything on the menu that really matched what I needed.  Anything about payments just was her reciting my balance and last payment received.  She kept telling me they needed more information to help me.  Like most calls with automated menus, I found my voice rising and almost yelling at the robotic lady voice.  “OVERPAYMENT!  CUSTOMER SERVICE (she didn’t understand that either)! NO!  YES!  SPEAK TO REPRESENTATIVE (nor did she understand that)!  I forget how I finally got to talk to a human, but it took a really long time to reach her.  I’m not really convinced the person I spoke to was a real human, because after all of that they still messed it up.  I waited almost a month for a check to arrive.  It didn’t.  So I had to call back AGAIN and go through the same thing to find out that all they did was apply my overpayment to my principle.  If I wanted anything else done, like making a smaller payment the next time, I  would have to call back yet again!  This was already messing with the little bit of sanity that I have that’s on shaky terms.

I have to deal with this pretty much any time I call, well, anywhere.  The student loan company is the worst.  I’m sorry, I don’t want to use your website.  I want people to help me, not a calculator.  My cell phone company website doesn’t work half the time.  For some reason I end up viewing a blank page more often than not.  If there’s a problem, I’d almost rather drive to town and ask at their store.

Adding to my frustration is the current state of my cell phone.  The phone still works, except the part you talk into.  I can hear the person on the other end, but they can’t hear me.  After some careful research, I did discover that it was usable on speakerphone.  Not exactly convenient when you are a Mom, and the kids are programmed to start making terrible noise/scream/talk to you/run out the door into the cornfield when you are on the phone (all of those things have actually happened to me, except that she didn’t make it into the cornfield).  I can’t use the landline phone because the only one we still have is a dinosaur phone that roars when it rings and is terribly uncomfortable to use, and every town is long distance from where we live.  I hope to some day be able to afford to get the phone fixed.

What would they think if Moms had an automated menu?  “Thank you for having me as your Mom.  If this is a life threatening emergency, please press 1.  For all other situations, please press 2.”  “Welcome to the Mom menu.  Please listen closely as my options have changed.  For food situations, press 1.  For sibling altercations, press 2.  For general complaints, press 3.  For tattling and all other situations, please remain on the line and your request will be processed in the order received.”  For those “other situations”, there will be the same elevator music over and over with “Your request is important to me.  Thank you for being a valuable child.  I am currently experiencing an unusually high volume of requests.  You can also visit my website at”

If nothing else, it might buy me some time in the shower or the bathroom.  I’ll definitely have to look into it…