Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

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There is an elegant statuesque machine that sits waiting by my favorite chair.

And this little tabletop gadget is becoming much like a real friend in its eagerness to please.

  • It knows when I am in the vicinity and quietly waits to hear my voice.
  • And if I say, “Hey Google,” it quickly replies, “How can I help you?”
  • And it is eager to do something just for me.

Lately I feel guilty since there is nothing much to ask.

And there it patiently waits, hoping beyond hope for a meaningful conversation.

  • Just to keep it busy I say, “Hey Google……What is the temperature in Lexington Virginia?”  And the answer is immediate.  “It is 54 degrees!”
  • Or “Hey Google….. Play DooWop music please!”And amazingly, there it comes – that happy music from a distant past.  How did my little friend do that anyway?
  • And it will research hard questions too – like “What is the population of Hayfork, California?”  I haven’t asked that yet, but we used to live in Hayfork (as well as other little towns in the wilderness like Big Oak Flat and Portola) so it would be interesting to see how they may have grown in 30 years.

Well,  of course I know my tabletop friend is really a gadget!

But then again, it is so human when it stares and stares to get attention.


Do you think there is a psychological implication here?

Maybe being housebound-ed together with an eager to please humanistic machine is having an unintended emotional impact.

The question is, “Who is the most affected, me or Google?”

And don’t you think machines are becoming so human they are mistaken for friends?

P.S. BigFoot and I Thank you Scott (our real live human friend) for this gift of diversion.  When things get too boring I know I can always shout out, “Hey Google!”  





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There was a time when I loved without question and learned to live with all the idiosyncrasies of the recipient of my love.

  •  So what if there were no compliments or support for the things I like to do?
  • So what if my need for recognition went unrecognized?

I persevered and loved out of purity and ignorance.

  • But there came a time when I was no longer tolerant.
  • And I felt abused and always angry.
  • I suffered more and more from the lack of caring.
  • And there was never any support for the things I was trying to do.

That was when love turned to hate.

And the hate began to grow.

Eventually I complained bitterly at every opportunity and all my friends knew I wanted “out” of the relationship.

This misery and resentfulness went on for 3 years!

And I wound up  hating the same old cell phone more and more.

Two days ago I was given a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 cell phone.  And Wow!

I am so impressed with the hidden person inside and I know I will never be alone again.

  • The little person tells me when I’m doing a good job, sends congratulations, and is a how-to source when I’m lost.
  • And I haven’t found them all but I just know there are happy words of encouragement that are written out or spoken aloud on this wonderful little cell phone!
  • The phone is ultra-responsive to my touch and has another hidden fellow inside named Bixby.  Bixby has already memorized my speech and will answer questions any time I ask.  And I don’t even have to be polite and say, “Hi Bixby!”  I can just shoot off the questions and be as rude as I like.

Yes -The Galaxy S8 is a winner!  I LOVE MY NEW CELL PHONE!

It is a highly personal interactive little gadget that offers options I have never seen before.

And with a masterful teacher (my son) who launched me on my way through adapting to yet another mystery of the technological age, I am once again, in love.


Ummmmm…….  I do need a little help with a few little issues though……

Like why isn’t the darned thing responding to my thumb on the keyboard?  I still have to hunt and peck with my index finger!  Grrrrrr!

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Books, Diapers and Vitamin D

We seem to be going backward in time.  Hurrah!   Well, at least Hurrah for some things.



There is a pending sense of relief that “real books” (the kind where you physically turn a physically real page) are back in style.

  • I still get caught up trying to tap-turn a page in my E-reader with a too heavy hand that flips three pages at a time.
  • Besides, E-book editions are now oftentimes higher priced than good old paperbacks.
  • E-readers are sending me odd messages too. “We are unable to download the book you just ordered.  Please return to your Library and try again.”  Huh?

What are your gripes about e-readers?  We could write a whole post about just those irritations..

Is there anything good about them?  Maybe we could write a whole post about that.


sunshineThe trend is toward natural sunlight which they say encourages your own body to manufacture its own Vitamin D! The benefits of supplements are now listed on the “iffy side.”

I now aim for  20 minutes in natural sunlight with unprotected skin to help Old Sol along.

Falling asleep out there however, is not a good idea.  Just ask my grandgirl, Jess.




They say disposable diapers are now clogging up the environment with all that in-disposable content.  But cloth can be washed and rewashed.

I didn’t really know it but I used to save the planet like that but almost traumatized my infant son with extreme diaper rash. Are you ready for a Dor-story?  That’s D-O-R – not, D-O-G.

In those ancient days of yore (before Pampers), I was hysterical about poor Corky’s terrible suffering with a constant diaper rash.  Eventually I conferred with an expert.   “What are you washing them in?” asked a helpful friend (mother of 6).  “He has perfectly clean white diapers,” said I, “They are washed in soapy water and bleach!”   And that saved our boy from further agony because my friend said, “There’s your problem!  Urine and bleach don’t work.  Better to have slightly stained diapers.”

Assuming most new mothers today are savvy, the trend toward cloth diapers makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, I am hoping our son (now a fine man) was not emotionally marred by those early days of a young mother’s ignorance.







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I am Woman!

I feel superbly smug this day.

Things were freezing on my computer you know, resulting in panic. I turned the computer off, walked away and came back, opened the lid.  But Argggh!  A dark screen!

A convincing inner voice said, “You really did it now.  You wrecked the computer.   Don’t touch anything else or you are doomed.”  But wait!  I forgot to push the little  button that opens the screen.  And Voila!  It all works again and everything that was frozen is thawed!

I feel superbly smug this day.  Mystery solved.

Be Brave!

My son was counselling me on how to operate Windows 10.  “Be brave, “he said, “Be willing to try different things.  Don’t be afraid to push buttons.  You can always undo what you have done.” Without his calm and expert advice, this blog would not exist.

The last time I was brave I deleted the cache on my cell phone and managed to put it in a deep freeze of protest.    There were no calls in or out and no emails either – just a dead phone.  Thankfully, things are now restored to normal.


But I have reverted to a timid, cowering techie convinced that all connections will be severed if I push the wrong buttons.

Mismatched Eyebrows

O.K.  I admit I still want to look beautiful, even at a venerable old age.  I thought that was accomplished this morning, so while Bill was out bush hogging (that means mowing big overgrown fields with a big overgrown mower) (and I knew it was safe to indulge in self fantasy), I took a few selfies.

Selfie Eyebrows

The glasses helped to eliminate soften wrinkles but if you look closely enough, one eyebrow is light and one is dark!  Arrrrgh!

Looking beautiful at a venerable old age is a challenge if you can’t see straight enough to make your eyebrows match up.

Naked Desperation

I just read a book about organizing one’s things.  Starting with clothing, the idea is to hold and touch each piece you own to determine if you love it or not.  If you FEEL something is wrong and you FEEL you don’t love a piece of clothing, either discard it or put it in the donation pile.

I did it!  You can’t imagine the liberated feeling there is to this exercise!

But now the problem is, I don’t have anything to wear!

I have always said, “My husband wouldn’t notice if I went out naked.”  Now is his chance to prove me wrong.

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I have suffered numerous bad habits over the years, beginning with Thumb Sucking.

My parents tried everything including rubbing something on that tasted bad.  Nothing worked.  Finally, on the first day of kindergarten the teacher announced, “Look around children.  We have a baby in the room.”  And there they were all looking at ME!  I do love commanding attention (still) but that was the last day of thumb sucking.

Then in the teen years there was the Nail Biting habit.

Would you say these habits were symptoms of an insecure personality?

In those days, long fingernails were a sign of beauty (but mostly a sign of control over one’s habitual impulses).  I proudly decided to stop nail biting and stopped.  Congrats to that determined young woman.

Smoking was another horrible habit which took hold for years until I stopped “cold turkey”.

I still feel rather smug and self-righteous about that and sincerely try not to lecture friends about the evils of smoking.

Oddly enough, Rubbing-it-In can become a habit too.

But now my latest habit involves Reading Books!


Habitual reading maybe?

Habitual reading of special interest books?

Too much reading?

Too much of the same kind of reading?

No, No, No and No.

What happened the other night revealed  an entirely new habit to break.

The story goes like this:  I was reading a “real book.”

The definition of a real book is one you can hold in your hands and turn pages.  If you are destructive you can even write in it or turn down page corners (but this is a travesty and can be considered inhuman behavior).

Anyway, I was reading a real book for a change and suddenly found myself tapping the side of the page.

Nothing happened so I tapped again.

Then I tapped more aggressively.

Nothing happened.

Until it finally clicked in that I was not reading on my Kindle, and could not tap the margins of a real book to make it turn a page.

 I had to turn the page myself!

Talk about a strange habit in late life!





This habit of page tapping has become so ingrained I may need lessons on how to read a real book – the kind you can find in the library – or at least some libraries.

I hear some university libraries are doing away with real books and going fully digital.


Any suggestions for a cure though?

I am a Habitual Page Tapper and need help to break the habit.


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I have a phobia of sorts.

It is shortness of breath when faced with too many choices like shopping in cluttered overstocked stores or having to decide between zillions of television channels

When we were young and living in “remote areas of California” I was happy to do all the shopping at one local general store.

And we didn’t even own a t.v. or a computer or a cell phone.

But there is no accounting for progress.

We moved to the Virginia countryside where life promised to remain simple and uncluttered.  There were only three restaurants, no department stores, and no big box stores.

We put an antenna in the attic to get two clear television channels and one fuzzy station and decided we were living in Paradise.

And time marched on.

And suddenly there was a bigger, wider, more enticing world of satellite television with a zillion optional programs.

We were among the first 20,000 people in the United States to have Direct TV.  There were no installers then (at least in rural Virginia) so Bill installed everything himself.  Imagine the joy in surfing around with a remote thing!  And imagine being given a whole menu of options!  I could feel my breathing phobia kicking in.

And time marched on.

There is no accounting for progress.

I recently learned how to record t.v. programs for later viewing.  For those of you who are still novices like I was, you just push a button that says REC on your remote.  I have gone a little balistic with this new power (but symptoms of my short-of-breath-phobia are emerging too).

I have R E C’d enough programs to keep me recliner-chair-bound for the winter.

  • The Young Pope is mesmerizing.
  • But then Mercy Street is enticing.
  • And Victoria is a must.
  • I like the History channels.
  • And nature things.
  • And all those recommendations we get from friends.
  • And we currently also have three Netflix discs on standby.
  • And I want to get back into blogging.
  • And there is so much to do in cyberspace anyway.

Progress?  I call it “overkill” and there is simply not enough time in a day anymore.

Do I want to go back to three channels on the t.v.?  No.

Well maybe 10 or 20 options max?

As for shopping I sometimes yearn for the good old days.

A visit to Ernie’s General Store in Hayfork, California sounds good, simple, easy.  I could get paint, gifts, clothing, hardware, and maybe even a television set – all in one place.  Those were the days when we rented a trailer from Ernie and it was in his back yard!   That was when we were young and living in the wilder more remote places of California.  It is now many decades later and there is no accounting for progress.  I recently heard Ernie’s store was for sale.  I wonder if it is still there.  


Ernie’s Department Store Hayfork, California

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Son and the grandgirls were here over the Christmas holiday.  Here they are studying something important.   Can you imagine what it is?





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