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During a five hour cell phone diagnostic phone call with Dell, for my new Inspiron 1545 laptop, I was told,

“Why don’t you just get on high speed.  Only 10% of the population are still on Dialup, you know.”

This was probably in response to my “I’m returning this laptop, and placing it !$^%$%@^.”  No, not really, I try to be polite, until they drive me to the point where I am so frustrated that I begin to yell.   The good news on that is that I did not have to walk my treadmill yesterday as my heart rate surged numerous times during my five hour conversation.

My problem: Computer, external modem and AOL worked fine when I got it.  I went on WiFi and came home and dialup will no longer work.  Called Dell, their one intelligent tech, who is apparently on vacation, got me up and running again.  Dialup worked.  Then, I went on DSL, at library, and I have not been able to get on dialup since.

At that point, they had me over to a supervisor, I spoke to no less than five supervisors yesterday (and they say the government is full of waste),  who again has me uninstall and reinstall AOL, for the 752th time.  And, refuse to listen to the fact that I could get online with my external modem when I bought the machine until I went on WiFi at daughters and then they walked me through the fix and it was again working, then I went to the library and got on DSL and that was that. 

He then proceeded to blame the problem on what I tried to do to fix the problem.  Obviously, Dell technicians do not know that step B follows step A.  It was broken first, you idiot, or I wouldn’t have been trying to fix it.

So, this morning I decided to see just how many people are still on dial-up.  I mean, although it is good fun, starting it up and going and doing the dishes as it starts and then pushing a button and going to dust as it goes to the site.  I wouldn’t know what to do with all my free time if I were on high speed.  I might have to scrub the floor.  Plus, I am one of 93 million Americans, or ONE-THIRD OF THE COUNTRY, who do NOT have high-speed internet in their homes, and so thoroughly enjoy it. 

And, Mr. Dell Technician, that is 35% of Americans and NOT 10%.  So, how bright are you?  35% of US Internet Still on Dialup  And that is according to the FCC. 

The upshot is:  I have one choice.  I am supposed to reformat my computer to restore it to Factory state.  Then, at home I am to set Internet Connections to Dial Default.  But, when I go anywhere near Wi-Fi or DSL, I must change Internet Connection settings to Never Dial or it will again get corrupted and I will have to reformat the computer yet again. 

Hmmmm, now what if my neighbor gets WiFi???  That puts me at risk for again having to “restore my computer to Factory state” as I might not have had time to change my settings before they go on WiFi  and my computer picked up their signal.

First, I really do not believe that would work.  I’m sorry, I took a college Logic course and this just misses on so many points. 

I am sure I face a future of reformating my computer every week when I come home from the library.  Or, just giving up. 

You’ll have to excuse me, I am off to inform all my neighbors that they must warn me if they get Wi-Fi so I can change my settings.

Right after that, next time I go to the library, I shall try to figure out how to get this blog on RSS.  I haven’t a clue.

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I have been quiet lately because I feel I have nothing to contribute to what is happening in the world. 

I sit here, with food and water and medical care, at least until March 31st, and am still frustrated by the length of time it takes to get aid to someone in this “modern” world. 

It is a time when our words can circle the globe in a matter of mili-seconds and yet a bottle of water takes five days to arrive.  This disaster of all disasters will perhaps be the launching ground for a new hope of recovery for future disasters.  We watched Katrina and said, “This should never happen again.” Yet, here is another country suffering without water, care and food.

Some think tank needs to sit down and figure out an answer.  Nature will always have a hand to deal to us and we need to be better prepared.

Perhaps we need a league of ships stationed and manned by alternating countries, so that rescue equipment, personnel (medical and rescue), food and water are within one to three days of every port.

That is the third thing I have thought of but the solutions have so many snags, even in my mind, that I am not certain what can be done. 

That is why I have been quiet lately. 

My hope and thoughts are with the Haitians, here and in Haiti.

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There was never a meal around my mother’s family table, or so I was told by my dad, that did not contain a conversation about something gross.  His  sole contribution to the conversation was a groan, and “Do we have to talk about… snakes, snot, poop, wounds at the dinner table.”

So, with this post, I page homage to the gross side of my family.  We shall discuss eyeballs and surgery.  See, you grimaced didn’t you?

You will have to trust me here, everyone says, “You’re too young to have cataracts.” And, I so totally agree with them, but vibrantly colorful artist that I am, the world has gotten a bit off color lately and it is time to fix my eyes.  The thought of being rendered blind by having your lens taken out is terrifying.

I think I was in fourth grade when the teacher told my mother I was having trouble seeing.  On the ride home from the optometrist, we stopped at the corner store and I distinctly remember looking up at the second story of the house next door and stating,  “I didn’t know there was a window up there.”  I’m not even sure I knew the house had a second story. 

Since then, I have worn glasses or contacts.  They are part of who I am.  I absolutely hate going to the beach and not being able to see. 

When you have those esoteric conversations about whether you would rather lose your sight or your hearing, or your arms or your legs (okay, if you have not had those conversations, you did not obviously grow up in the 60s.  Anyway, I basically really, really need my eyes and my right arm/hand.  I’m an artist and believe me, I get horribly depressed when I cannot create.

So, doc says  that it is time to take care of the cataracts.  Now, I have had more surgeries than you can count and this is my first panic one.  I mean, they are operating on my freakin’ eyes.  This is the scream I hear over and over in my head.

Unlike most people, I was worried about holding my eye in the right position.  Most people say they cannot stand to see something coming at their eye.  EMT still has a problem putting his contacts in.  But, I have a lazy eye and often do not realize that my right eye is looking forward and my left eye is off on its own viewing my peripheral area. 

My ophthalmologist does not give you shots or pills to calm you, he gives you eye drops.  First you get three eye drops four times in the hour before you go in.  One of them burns like fire.  Then, you go into the operating room and he floods your eye, repeatedly.  You are drapped with more cloth than a mummy and the eye drops repeat. 

By this time, I could not see.  All you see are shadows of shapes or color.  I hate bright light and it took a minute to adjust to the lamp, then I just lay there stiff as a board, scared to move and as tense as I high tension wire.

The next two minutes lasted about an hour (I swear – but husband swears I was back before he got back from the bathroom). 

Since you cannot see you are not sure but the incision (I think) hurt a bit and what felt like stitches.  Mostly what I saw was like being underwater and the world above me swirling and him moving the lens around, to get it in place, I presume.  It was all very surreal and science fictiony. 

My left eye is to be done on Tuesday at 6am.  I now have 20/20 vision in my right eye.  UberCool!  Excuse me if I used that wrong, I really have no clue what Uber means.  Which I guess disproves the point that I am too young for cataracts.

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Apparently, after going on the internet on my daughter’s luxurious high speed, at Christmas, my new Dell computer, with Windows 7, came home and went on strike and said,

“No Way. You can cry. You can stomp your feet. You can install and uninstall aol a billion times but I am NOT going online dialup with AOL.”

The computer has spoken. I took it to the library to gently cajole it into AOL on high speed. NOPE! Well, on high speed it was okay but it was not fooling around.   Even after I downloaded AOL 9.5, I brought it home and it resides in a loop.

It says, “AOL will now install. ….”

Then, it says, “You need to restart your computer.”

Then, it says, “AOL will now install….”

Then, it says, “You need to restart. . . etc, etc, etc, over and over and over.

Anyway, even my desktop wasn’t working for about four days. I think it was too cold in the house. Maybe that’s why everyone was complaining, “IT’s TOO COLD IN THE HOUSE.”  Despite which I have a $400 heating bill.

So, that is where I have been, that and at doctors and hospitals, as husband continues his month long battle with pneumonia.  

Next post, the joys of letting a doctor dig in your eyeball.  Not for the squeamish.

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Okay, I know that is supposed to be twelve but I am tired.

On the first day of Christmas , blah! blah! blah! a busted computer for me.
On the second day of Christmas, (insert) two dead cell phones
On the third day of Christmas —- A cough, a Dr. visit, and Whooping cough, Oh Joy!
On the fourth day of Christmas –Four medications
On the fifth day of Christmas — WINDOWS SEVEN
On the sixth day of Christmas — Husband with pneumonia and five medications
On the seventh day of Christmas — seven repeated tries using external modem

Okay, this is really lame, but all soooo true.

Hope your week is wonderful, warm and illness free.

I mean, who the heck gets whooping cough? Apparently, Me!

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I have never made a New Year’s Resolutions.  I figure, if I cannot get myself to do “whatever it is” during the year, then I am not going to follow through just because it is January 1st.  I have not even gone to a New Years Eve party in many years and I rather miss doing so. 

One of my grand nephews posted his New Year’s resolutions the other day and it made me wonder about New Year’s traditions.  Like most research, you never learn just one thing, when you start digging. 

Did you know?:

That, Auld Lang Syne is actually a Scottish song and is totally unreadable in English for me.  I really like Hamish Macbeth and Bagpipes and the landscape of Scotland and the lilt in their speech.  I just cannot always understand it.  Thanks to poet, Robert Burns, who wrote it, and Guy Lombardo, who first played it in 1929, we have a tradition that makes us feel, on January 1st, like we are part of something greater, as people all over  (okay, in your time zone anyway) sing the same song, at the same time, just with the wrong lyrics.  Sort of like our National Anthem, eh?  Check the link at the bottom of this post to view the proper lyrics.

That, Scotland is also the birthplace of Hogmanay (hog-mah-NAY).  This is a “rousing” Scottish tradition of “first-footing.”  Okay, when did the Scottish ever do anything that was n0t rousing?  That is why I love them so.  “First-footing” is when neighbors visit each other for New Year’s wishes.  They bring a gift of coal for the fire (which would be really welcome this year) and shortbread (which, I have had honest-to-goodness Scottish Shortbread and it is good).  It is sort of like our bottle of booze and cookies, which would be equally welcome.  The part I like is that it is considered especially lucky if a tall, dark and handsome man is the first person to enter your house after the New Year is rung.  Hmmmm, Viggo Mortensen, I will be waiting.  (HAH!  Betcha thought I could not figure a way to get him in for New Years?)

 On to Japan: As a symbol of renewal, New Years is a very important holidame to bid farewell to the problems of the past and prepare for a new beginning, and houses are scrubbed, with this in mind.  For several years now, I have said to myself “Whew! That year is done.  It’s gotta get better, next year.”  Now, I know where my problem lies.  This New Year’s day will find me elbow deep in soapy water.  I am working on a good new year.

Then, in Spain, they eat twelve grapes at midnight.  This secures twelve happy months.  So, I will be scrubbing with grapes in my mouth. 

In my Ancestral homeland of the Netherlands, at least the Dutch part, they burn their Christmas trees and shoots off fireworks to purge the old and welcome the new.  Since husband is allergic to what they put on fir trees, I have a plastic one.  Oh, the shame and totally non-burnable, so can I just burn the wood that is down from the tornado?  I am hedging all bets here.

So, this year, as the New Year ball drops in Times square and millions of people in fancy clothing gather to swill their favorite drink , eat cookies, and sing Auld Lang Syne , I shall be down on my knees scrubbing the house and eating grapes and blacked eyed peas.  This is a traditional southern dish and ensures I will have plenty of everything the rest of the new year.

And, what about my New Year’s Resolutions?  Those items the Babylonians are believed to have first made and broken? 

If we just work at:

  • treating each other with respect
  • treating our world with respect
  • and treating ourselves with respect

How can we lose?

It’s the first time I have used infoplease New Year’s Traditions  check it out.

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There are just days when I wonder why I got up.  It certainly wasn’t to fight this VISTA computer.  And, in all fairness, not all the things that are wrong with this computer are VISTA’s fault.

But, those warm blankets were really calling to me and telling me not to get up and I should have listened. 

JCountry got in a bit of trouble at school today, thank goodness it was not major “expulsion” trouble, but sometimes you have to wonder just where his brain is?

We have three people ill in the house, EMT/Army boy, who went to update his EMT license, while hacking and spitting and coughing and looking like he has not slept in days.  I have a headache.

And, then, to have an excuse not to go and clean, decorate for the holidays, bake or sew the quilt I am working on, I went on-line to check my favorite bloggers and check family stuff on FaceBook and, Guess what?  I am not allowed on FaceBook. 

It tells me that my IP has been associated with “abusive behavior.”  I went to sleep, being a normal person and wake up being a harasser?  Okay, that is probably not even a word, but then, I am not someone who harasses people or abuses anyone.

I have been using this computer for several weeks now.  I have been the only one to go on FaceBook with it, for a very long time.   I do not understand.

I should have stayed in bed.

UPDATE: December 11, 2009: I am again able to post on Facebook.

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