Electronic Overload

17678017_sAah, we are definitely in a new age, aren’t we, with a computer in just about ever home. Be it laptop, desktop, or notebook. Then, we have our iPods, iPhones, iPads, tablets, E-Readers, and MP3 players, to name a few; all to help us get through the day, and keep in touch. In fact, most of us can’t understand how we ever got along without any of this stuff. I’m seriously surprised hubbie doesn’t have a holster sewn in to his pajama bottoms, he’s so attached, and the phone is going off most of the day. No, he’s not a drug dealer, he runs a pet sitting service – LOL. I have to say, once the technological age hit, it went full throttle, didn’t it? It doesn’t seem very long ago that one had to hit the phone booth on the corner to call the office to inform them you’d be late. How about running your film over to the local drug store to wait a week or more to get it back. And what about that first camcorder? You know, the one that needed strapping to your shoulder, because of its size.  But, not only has the equipment reached new techno highs, so has our ability to reach out, or even service ourselves – e-mails, text messages, Mapquest, Google Maps, Expedia, and Google Earth. Personally, I could almost be rendered useless without my Google Earth. That’s how addicted I am. More on that later. I mean, even as a writer, we don’t have to traipse off to the library any longer for research. All we need do is type in Google, or Bing – am I right?

Some of you know hubbie and I had to go north a couple of weeks ago. Before we left, I slept my desktop, since I wouldn’t be home. All the other play things came along for the ride. Well, when we returned home, and I booted up that desktop, it began giving me a “more than I need” set of problems. It ground along with the little orange light on the Central Processing Unit (CPU) blinkety, blink, blink, blinking. Because it had been turned off, so to speak, I assumed it just wanted to update itself. Until I realized it would update itself while asleep; I had it set that way. Two days later, weird messages started popping up – “disk space low.” What!! This computer is two years old, and when the guy explained a terabyte, I knew I’d only need to buy a new one for appearances sake. What to do now?

I feverishly began cleaning out everything I could. I caught up with archiving pictures, and blog pics. I then, headed off to the cache on both Internet Explorer and Firefox. I moved every text document I could to a flash drive; deleted programs that I would never, have never used. All e-mail folders – emptied of old stuff. Why do we writers keep organization e-mails three years old, thinking one day we may need one? I went over to the Microsoft site, and ran the free virus scan thinking gee, maybe I have a bug. And, lastly, I called Hewlett Packard to make certain I hadn’t missed hidden areas that may need emptying. But, they pretty much said, buy a warranty and we can talk.  Anyhoo, all that work saved me three point whatever gigabytes. On general principle (GP) alone, I simply refuse to buy a new computer. And, as you’ve figured, I had to delete Google Earth. With like 850 MB of space used – WOW! But, aaarrrggghhh!!! Each day that passes without it, I get more and more irritable. Like someone looking for that fix.

So, what to do, what to do? There is seriously only one solution. The attorney I work for has at least four other external hard drives hooked to his network. It’s a tiny office.  “OORAH!” I do not want to become a replica of him, but after some research, I actually found that those external drives come in terabytes; one or two, if you want. Therefore, I’m definitely seeing one for iTunes, and another for Google Earth if that’s possible. Then, maybe a third for my regular text documents. You know how iTunes has a “Wish List” tab? My wish list is to have a separate computer for Google Earth. Huh? Huh? That would be too kewl. But, the more you use all of your gadgets, the fuller they become, until they all begin to scream at you, NO MORE. In any event, yes, I’ll have wires everywhere with these external thingies, but hey, we’re talking connectivity, and isn’t that what all of this is about? Staying connected. And, I WILL do it without a new computer.

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

Through the Storm

Well, we are all breathing a sigh of relief from our week of dilemma’s; earthquakes, hurricanes – yes, our mettle has been tested, and look, whoever is reading this on the East coast has come through the storm.  Maybe a bit frazzled and worn, but thank God, we’re still here.  In this part of the world, everything is leaning or twisted, including us, because as of last night we were still clinging to the righteous stench left from our morning bird bathes – but all, I think, are none the worst for wear, and ready to continue on, renewed.  However, since we had no power for three days, I had no idea how rough things had become in the Northeast.  Now, after watching the goings on, and reading the e-mails from my Writing Loop it all makes my three-day power outage appear like a camping trip.  But for me, all of this has taught me what modern-day equipment/electronics I cannot do without: External modems, air conditioning, generators, connectors for iPods, cell phones, and undisturbed and functioning satellites.  We have come this far in time, but one natural disturbance, and we’re all catapulted back a lot of years – when 2011 quickly becomes 1960.

Here in the Southeast I dealt with three-day long (for some), and widespread power outages, missing shingles, so many downed trees, downed power lines, and downed trees on power lines.  This is sad, because some of those trees appeared to have age on them; the kind that were here in the 1600s – the ones that had stories to tell, if they could.  Also, going out to eat had been wishful thinking as not only your neighbor’s house sat dark, so did the local restaurant/watering hole.  I must say, this is my first and I hope last encounter with such a hurricane.  But, at least all the community rallied, sharing whatever resources they had that could help another.  In fact, as I wrote this yesterday, I watched the Home Owner’s Association workers walk around holding shingles and peering toward the sky as they tried to determine what went where, while the clouds began to build again as another rain shower became imminent – an evident left over rain ban from Irene (and if she’s reading this, not Peterson).

But, assuredly we’re slowly coming back in this area.  On Sunday, we stood in line for one hour to get coffee at a local Dunkin Donuts; the only place brewing a bean – go figure.  However, since this is the south, there is that hospitality that began from the time we stepped on-line until we reached the counter.  Then, I realized, half the people we’d been talking to weren’t locals at all; they were tourists from Chicago, Texas and around the corner from where I lived in New York, and New Jersey, which helps me remember that basically no matter where you are, when there is any type of disruption such as this – the good, the soul, the spirit that our Creator built really does live deep inside, and it renews my belief in humanity.

My husband is a believer – he always says basically, people are friendly, they sometimes just don’t realize it.  But, all you have to do is break the ice and begin talking – they usually open up.  I say that, and I have to chuckle, because there is this little experiment in sociology he does that makes me laugh.  He likes to catch people off guard by speaking to them.  Then, he watches and smiles as they fumble for their voice to respond.

One last thing, I’d like to send my heartfelt sympathies to all the families of those souls who were lost in this storm.  After that last rain ban moved through yesterday, we went for a drive, and right behind my house sat the most beautiful, no beginning and no end rainbow.  I know for some, it may not appear a rainbow type moment, but we all have a kind of built-in shock absorber, if you will.  Just take some deep breaths, put your head down, and plow through.  This too shall pass.