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

Exploring

Maybe it’s the nice weather that has my mind on travel and exploring, I don’t know.  But, come with me.  I’m driving on a little stretch of Via Guglielmo Marconi Highway on my way to Le Sirenuse Hotel in Positano, Italy.  The breeze circles through my convertible, and hits me in the face as it whips under the brim of my straw hat.  I have to keep my attention on the road so as not to fly over the edge – off the Amalfi Coast into the Mediterranean sea below.  I’ve travelled from one village of white buildings and flowers to another.  Suddenly, I have to stop; a farmer is passing with his herd of sheep.  I remove my sunglasses, and lean over the door to pet one as they go by.  But, wait….where am I?  Oh….wait a minute….I’m sorry, I’m in Virginia.

I must say, I have loved to travel since my first trip on my own.  The travel bee stung, and if I’m not mistaken left the stinger in my neck, since my hunger grew from that point.  Sometimes, however, circumstances keep you tied down and you’re not able to satisfy that urge to journey.  Now, I don’t want to sound like or portray myself as a spokesperson for Google, but has anyone checked out “Google Earth?”

Since procrastination is closely associated with writing, this computer marvel has, on many occasions, taken my time and pulled me away from my make-believe residents in their fictional town.  In my dillydallying I don’t mind being alone because I use the hours to search new places I’d like to visit.  My co-worker frowned at me one day as I tried to explain the concept.  I guess  an explorer spirit is required for one to understand.  The application needs to come with a warning, however.  If there is only a hint of voyager hidden inside make certain to set an alarm of some sort, because the day will develop wings.

In my children’s book, The Wrought Iron Bridge, I will admit it is about a real true bridge.  Since I downloaded and surfed this site, I actually found that viaduct.  I hadn’t seen it since childhood.  The excitement it brought in realizing it had an actual name, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places caught me by total surprise.  I’ve also been known to go back to the old neighborhood in Brooklyn and Queens, and get this – to be able to drop down to street level, almost took my breath.  To sit at my computer here in Virginia and take a peek at Seventh Avenue in front of Madison Square Garden where my husband and I met or reminisce while I drive along the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii.  The entire experience gives a whole new sense to loitering.

To be able to map out a road trip from here to the west coast, an expedition I’d like to take one day, with every stop in between – from hotel to restaurant to sight-seeing stops is nothing short of extraordinary, with the help of a whole community of dreamers with e-mail addresses and cameras.  This neighborhood of people gladly upload their photos of all the interesting places along the way.  The businesses, hotels, restaurants and chambers (Chamber of Commerce)  have all contributed their info to overwork the brain. To explore the “World” and decide on a completely new place that piques the curiosity, and for me the award would have to go to Port Elizabeth, South Africa – the southern most town – on the Indian Ocean side.

As most writers sit and stare out of the window or walk around in deep thought, I simply click minimize – double-click on my globe, type an address and away I go.  Then, when my husband makes fun, I just remind him of the community.

Oh, one last thing, it has been one month since going live with this site.  Mosey on over to “View from The Roads,” as promised I have left pictures from another area here in Hampton Roads.  Happy trails.

Photo courtesy of iStock Photo