Gentle Humor

I don't offend some of the people most of the time

Category: Computers

I Lost My Website

I lost my website! I looked under the beds, in the closets, in the back yard (in case my dog dragged it outside), behind the refrigerator, in the attic, behind my son’s ears, under both sofas, under all the sofa cushions (which turned out to be a lucrative place to look), in my car, in my daughter’s lair (a no-man’s land), and every in between but I couldn’t find it.

Then I realized that a company whose name could be pronounced Yey-Who (which is defined as a country bumpkin – and by sheer coincidence rhymes with pumpkin), this company had allowed my domain name to expire. If you don’t know what a domain name is, consider yourself lucky. You are oblivious to the frustrations of websites and the internet.

Alright, alright I’ll tell you what a domain name is. It’s the name where you reach a website, such as kissmyfoot.com. The www part in front of that stands for World Wide Web. There isn’t any other Web – world wide or otherwise – so you can get away with simply typing urafatcow.com without the www. You sure as heck don’t need the extra http colon forward-slash forward-slash in front of the web address, as in this example: http://www.pullmyfinger.com. Typing that to get to a website just shows that you are a rube amateur when it comes to the internet.

EXCEPT when you’re going to an FTP site. This stands for Foot Toe Pie. Ha Ha. It really stands for File Transfer Protocol, which is a fancy phrase website designers use to describe how they get stuff off their home computer (like sticky buggers) onto the World Wide Web for everyone else to partake of. But you don’t need to know anything about that because you are not a website designer.

Which leads me to why I lost my website. This certain web company I mentioned earlier whose name rhymes with BaBoo had my domain name, but they kept raising the price every year. Well, I raised a stink, so to speak, when they automatically renewed my domain name at an even higher price. I cancelled reordering my domain name from them, but it was about 11 months ago, and a person can forget a lot of stuff in 11 months, believe you me.

11 months slid by like Germans on a bobsled, and this company didn’t warn me my domain name was going to be cancelled, and somehow I neglected to put a tickler on my calendar to remind myself. A tickler, if you don’t know, is a feather device that tickles you silly when something is coming up. It focuses on the armpits and behind the knees – it would get the bottoms of your feet if it could reach.

So my domain name expired, unbeknownst to me, and since I’ve been working so many hours and haven’t written anything in a coon’s age, I didn’t notice until one of my loving fans expressed his extreme disappointment that I haven’t been filling pages of nonsense, and that my website now was an advertisement from the aforementioned Web company to buy frivolous nonsense of no use to anyone on this or any other planet.

So I’m happy to say that I got my domain name – gentlehumor.com – and my website back. And the web company was nice about it all – very helpful. I hold no grudge against them except their skyrocketing prices but, hey, they’re trying to make a living too, just like the rest of us. They just want it to be a very GOOD living.

So you, oh loyal and faithful readers, can expect many more words out of me. I can’t claim they’ll be sensible, honest, or even amusing, but, just like beans on a cattle drive, there’ll be plenty of ‘em.

Miss Misery

Miss me? I have been working my patootie off! Seriously, I’ve lost 5 pounds. I’m on the “Hard Work Diet.” Very effective.

I think someone is trying to tell me something – like I should be getting away from electronics and getting back to nature or back to bed.

Here’s what’s been going on in my life:

1. No internet again at my job. I did get it up for awhile but then it went down. I wonder if there’s Viagra for wireless connections?

2. I have a tech who is charging me $100 per hour so that he can explain to me the reasons I don’t have internet and he’ll have to come back tomorrow to fix it.

3. My Mac computer at home, the really nice and expensive iMac 24-incher, has dark streaks on it like it’s a worn out Etch-A-Sketch. I tried to rub one off but it’s under the screen. This does not bode well – and they’re growing.

4. The printers at work don’t work. Actually, all of them work except the one everyone wants to use. Everyone blames me.

5. Yesterday I spilled water on my daughter’s cell phone and it started going haywire. She ran through the house screaming, “Where’s the rice?” She buried the phone in a bowl of dry rice and it worked today. The rice absorbs the moisture. This is an old geeks’ tale but it does seem to work, and it’s the only thing working electronically around me – probably because it wasn’t mine.

Okay, that’s all except that I brought some work home to print and I got it half done and my toner went out. It’s been saying it would for weeks, but I didn’t believe it. Now that I really need those copies, I can’t get them because Xerox isn’t open at night and I didn’t plan ahead. Those “toner low” signals start about 2 weeks after you put in a new cartridge. How was I supposed to know tonight was the night, after all these months, that the toner actually did need to be replaced?

Yes, I’m as bored as you are about all this technical stuff. And since I must drive across town in the morning and meet that pricey tech at 6:00 a.m., I will bid you goodbye.

Oh, and I just watched Tosh.O again. Such a fun show. That’s what I needed tonight – to see how miserable the rest of the world is. Not that it takes any of my misery away, but you know the saying, “Misery loves Tosh Point Oh!”

Why I Feel So Stupid

I realize we are in the dark ages when it comes to technology. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING works like it’s supposed to. I have neglected posting for three days because of technology. That I can write this post and you can read it because of technology is neither here nor there.

I have been sold technology that does not function, and the techs representing the people who sold it to me don’t know any more about it than I do.

You are thinking I’m about as dumb as a screen door on a submarine. Yes you are. I can feel it. You think, “How could that ditz fall for all these people making all these promises that are apparently all lies just to get her to purchase technology that will not only solve her problem but will make matters worse?”

I feel like someone left a bag full of crap on my front porch and lit it on fire, and I ran out and stomped it out and then realized I’d pounded crap into the ridges in my shoes so deep it would take a sandblaster to get out, and then the doorbell rang again and I ran out and stomped the fire out again, and then the doorbell rang again. Right now I’m sitting here with crap I’ve tracked all through the house because I’m too exhausted to take off my shoes. Figuratively speaking, of course.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that the internet where I work is gone, thanks to a smooth salesman from the phone company that rhymes with PEST. Then I got wireless internet and OH BOY it’s so fast on ONE of my computers. Unfortunately, I’ve got EIGHT computers that need to be on the internet.

I was told the new device would serve eight, and silly me, I believed it. When I could only get a signal on one, I called the tech support people at a company whose name rhymes with PIMP except their name has a “t” on the end. They said, in the first place, it could only provide internet to seven computers at the same time. In the second place, everyone would have to log in and out all the time. I kept saying, “Are you serious? We can’t just turn on our computers and go on the internet?” Nope. We’d have to go through a convoluted process that I kept making her repeat because I just couldn’t believe it. She started getting a little cranky, like not only was I a stupid oaf, but I had no memory and why did my call have to end up with her?

I’m pretty tech savvy about most things. I can set up wireless networks and troubleshoot computers. I know my way around Macs and PC’s. When I talk to these people, I ask all the right questions, specifically, “Now exactly how do I access the printers that are on our wireless network? This wireless internet still lets me access all my printers, right?”

“Oh yes, you’ll still be able to access your printers. No problem!” Well, it’s no problem as long as you don’t use your wireless printer and wireless internet AT THE SAME TIME. One interferes with the other. It is virtually impossible, according to the hour-long conversation with that tech woman, to print something off the internet. Hmmm, that’s not what the salesperson told me, and you’d think he would have known that.

I’m convinced that all salespeople nowadays must first pass courses titled, “Principles of Unethical Salesmanship 101,” “How to Sleep Like a Baby Knowing You’ve Made A Commission on a Product that Will Keep the Customer Awake at Night Worrying About How to Make It Work,” and “How to Speak Very, Very Fast When Going Over the Fine Print,” and let’s not forget, “How to Fool Even Smart, Tech Savvy People, Especially When They Are Desperate for a Solution.”

I would write more, but honestly, I have many, many tech support people to call today. If you don’t hear from me for a few days, you’ll know I’m still on hold while they check something (tech speak for “while I consult the manual that will tell me what ridiculous answer to give this woman so she’ll hang up and leave me alone!”)

Spinning Wheel of Death

I have a Mac, which means I have the “spinning wheel of death” when Mac wants me to wait for it to do its thang. People with PC’s get an hour glass, but Macs have this little color wheel that rotates, letting you know that the Mac is thinking and you’d better not mess with it if you know what’s good for you.

I learned this the hard way – the same way I learn everything on the computer. I typed out something complex in a table and then got frustrated because the table wouldn’t size the way I wanted it to. So I tugged it with my cursor on one side and then the other. But I went too fast, and the confounded spinning wheel came up. I tried to save the document but the program was frozen like a tongue stuck to an icy flagpole. It wouldn’t budge, wouldn’t respond. Then it crashed, and my document disappeared forever.

When something won’t work on the computer, I start clicking and trying something else. When my aggravation escalates, I click even harder. The Mac does not like this. Not one bit. It sends the spinning wheel out to sit right in the middle of what I’m doing, taking its own sweet time to go away.

If I so much as twitch a finger on my mouse, that wheel says, “I TOLD you to BACK OFF, and you wouldn’t listen – you never listen, and I’ve warned you over and over and over again. How does someone get through a dumb thick brain like yours? When you see me, you better behave because if you so much as LOOK at me the wrong way, I’m going to send everything you got right out to space where you’ll never, ever, ever see it again. Understand?”

That wheel is a bee-otch. Sometimes my computer starts running slow. Maybe it got a little too wild with my PC and it’s got a hangover. Who knows what goes on in my office after I go to bed? There’s a radio on the other side of the PC, it might be playing techno-funk that the PC and Mac can’t resist – they dance and party all through the night – their mice snuggling in the dark shadows. Who knows why these computers run slow for no reason.

When it happens, out pops that spinning wheel, like a rat coming up the toilet bowl. This actually happened once to someone I knew. They heard some splashing in the toilet and opened the lid. There was a rat, sometimes referred to as a “sewer rat,” thrashing around in the toilet water. I don’t know what they did with it – in this situation, what could you do? Flush the toilet screeching, “Go back where you came from, you smarmy vermin?” Would you succumb to your child’s pleas of “Can we keep it mommy, pleeeee-ease? We’ll take really good care of it, honest we will. Can we, can we, can we?”

That’s the point; you don’t know WHAT to do with that spinning wheel any more than you’d know what to do with that unwelcome varmint in your toilet.

I love my Mac, and it’s fast and easy and fun to operate, but I hate that wheel. Always will.

Email Plagiarism

I got this email a while back and it’s funnier than anything I can come up with tonight. Is it plagiarism to copy emails? If it is, who’s going to sue me? No one knows who puts these emails together. I get whole slide shows of beautiful pictures with music that must have taken someone forever to do. Don’t people have to work? Perhaps this is how they pass the time while the boss is off at a meeting.

The original of this email had lots of different font styles and colors. Someone had put it together with a creative eye, and they had to gather these tidbits of humor – or did they make them up? How come they’ve got all this extra time and I’m lucky to get six hours of sleep a night I’m so swamped?

I get these well-crafted emails everyday. If you’re female, you probably receive those “sisterhood” emails – the ones with that cartoon lady, Maxine. I get a ton of those, and I have no idea who draws the cartoons or makes up the captions, or who gathers all those pictures of kittens in unnatural positions. I haven’t thought about it much but right now I’ve got a burning curiosity. What kind of people do these things? Would someone tell me? And they get no credit for them – there’s no signature or link to their website so you can purchase something.

I get a million pictures of animals doing things you don’t see in nature. Most of them have been Photoshopped. Dogs and cats don’t assume the missionary position while somebody is standing there holding a camera. I guess they could be animal porn stars. Some pictures are obviously real – the ones where a person with way too much time on their hands has made little outfits to dress up their dogs to like a devil or a Harley rider or Elvis. What I love is the look in the dogs’ eyes. They are not happy. They do not think they look cute.

The world is a crazy place, and that’s affirmed everyday in the emails I get – some from Nancy Pelosi-hating republicans who are trying to incite me to do something – anything – to put them out of their misery. They want me to AT LEAST forward their despair on to someone else so the recipient can be miserable, too. I hope these little tidbits will take you away from the craziness for a couple of minutes and brighten your day. The really crazy thing is – they’re true.

Mathematics & Arithmetic

Romance Mathematics

Smart man + smart woman = romance

Smart man + dumb woman = affair

Dumb man + smart woman = marriage

Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy

______________________________

OFFICE ARITHMETIC

Smart boss + smart employee = profit

Smart boss + dumb employee = production

Dumb boss + smart employee = promotion

Dumb boss + dumb employee = overtime

_____________________________

SHOPPING MATH

A man will pay $20 for a $10 item he needs.

A woman will pay $10 for a $20 item that she doesn’t need.

_____________________________

GENERAL EQUATIONS & STATISTICS

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.

A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.

A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

_____________________________

HAPPINESS

To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.

To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.

______________________________

LONGEVITY

Married men live longer than single men do, but married men are a lot more willing to die.

______________________________

PROPENSITY TO CHANGE

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.

A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, and she does.

_____________________________

DISCUSSION TECHNIQUE

A woman has the last word in any argument.

Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

_____________________________

HOW TO STOP PEOPLE FROM BUGGING YOU ABOUT GETTING MARRIED

Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, “You’re next.” They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.

Computer-Fried Brain

I have been staring at my computer for hours and my brain is fried. I bet a lot of people feel this way. I read somewhere that nearsightedness is up by 42% or something, and I’m sure it’s because of computers.

Twenty years ago if someone told me I’d be staring at a bright light for hours at a time, I would have thought it was some Bush Administration torture. My eyes burn and water, and the next morning everything is out of focus.

I’ve been chained to my computer creating this cartoon movie that took about 72 hours to make and is about 45 seconds long. If I can figure out how to upload it I will, but just in case I can’t, I’ll tell you the plot. BTW it was for an Adobe Flash class I’m taking.

There’s this Martian (from Mars) who lands a spaceship on Earth and starts walking. First a bumblebee stings him, then a dog bites him, then a skunk sprays him. So he turns around and walks back to his spaceship and goes back to Mars. The End.

Why did something so easy take so long? The Flash program is not really all that complicated, but you have to be precise with everything, and that was my downfall. It probably took my classmates three or four hours at the most. I had to keep looking at my notes, looking at the textbook, and still I couldn’t get it right.

Walt Disney this is not. I have a highly elevated respect for those guys now that I’ve done my own animation. Their cartoons actually move like something normal. Mine are just pictures yanking from one place to the next – a picture of a bee zigging a half inch here and zagging a half inch there. It’s actually pretty pathetic. I’m not going to upload it because I’ll be embarrassed.

So I’ll talk about the other fun things I did today besides work.

Well enough of that. I read a quote by Bob Dylan that went something like this: Money isn’t what’s important. What’s important is getting up in the morning and going to bed at night, and doing whatever you like in between. It’s a good philosophy, and one of these days, if I can figure out how to break the chains on this computer, I’m going to do what I like in between. Crazy thing is, I like working on my computer, I just don’t like looking at it, and I don’t like having a fried brain.

That is why I’m going to turn it off right now.

You Can’t Trust Anyone

I’ve been posting this blog for 109 days and I’ve gotten some interesting comments. I’m not sure but I think people must find random blogs and try to get your to respond back to them so that they can infect you with some mischievous virus that causes your computer to hand over all your personal information and then start smoking.

I’ve gotten comments like, “Yes, to agree that a fine post but never before.” As flattering as it is to get comments in the first place, I’m not sure exactly what this means. This one is a mystery too: “bluilpile is chaper than you think. Click here!” Plus I got one that said, “Remember me? I’m Mary from Russia. Reply back soon.” I’ve had several like this, and, of course, one of them had the word, “Viagra,” in it because for some reason I cannot escape this word being splattered everywhere I look at a lighted screen – be it a TV, computer, or my child’s old Lite Brite that was invented before Viagra – before all the men in America became limp.

I have written a blog about Viagra already, and I’d like to repeat everything I said there, but instead I’m going to somewhat stick to my subject for once. These identity theft people are very sneaky. I have posted some ads on Craig’s List, and I’ll get responses like, “Yes, I am very interested in your item. Please email if it is still available.”

“Oh boy!” I think. “Someone wants to buy my item!” I reply in an email right away and don’t hear back, so I figure they’ve bought someone else’s item. Then about a week later I get an email from my email provider, let’s say Comcast, that reads: “We are updating our email security from before and wish to have your current login and password for our records. Please to provide and reply to this email. Thank you for your very immediate assistance. comcast.”

When I got the first one of these, I scanned the message and, I’m ashamed to admit, typed my user name in the space provided. When I started typing my password, that little voice of caution whispered in my ear, “ARE YOU NUTS?”

I re-read the email carefully and was able to pick up on a foreign accent, plus I thought the “comcast” wasn’t very professional, and there was no cute little logo on the bottom.

I forwarded the email to Comcast (not my real service – I’m trying to guard my privacy here), and they replied that it was a scam.

Now I trust no one. If my daughter calls on the phone, I make her answer a security question before I’ll agree to whatever she’s asking.

It’s a sad world when you can’t trust anyone or anything, especially if it’s on your computer screen. But I’d live without complaint even in these trying times if I could just get Viagra away from me. I want this company to go out of business right now!! I don’t care if they are helping billions and billions of Americans. I can’t stand them. And KY Jelly is moving up my list of despised products in ads. Back in the day, in mixed company, I used to think Kotex commercials were bad. Now I’d give anything to replace all the limp men’s commercials with feminine hygiene products. They could have as many side-by-side comparison tests where they pour a gallon of blue water in the chosen brand and it doesn’t leak a drop. They can show dozens of carefree girls in white pants doing squats or on a dance line kicking their legs up over their heads and I’d be delighted if it would just get rid of Viagra. I’d gladly watch a million hemorrhoid commercials if I could just go back to the good old days…

Awful Gadgets

This is a short article that was published in the technical section of The Oregonian newspaper. They had asked people to write in with complaints about any gadgets, and just the word “complaint” made me rush to the computer. A photographer came out and took my picture, which was just awful because I was wearing braces on my teeth for a bite problem and couldn’t smile. The photographer coaxed me into smiling anyway and took the most hideous picture ever seen by mankind – and for some odd reason that’s the one the paper published.

Here’s the short story about my awful gadget:

A few years ago I bought a Sony IC recorder and a Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition program to dictate my book.  I thought I could put on the headset while I was doing mundane tasks around the house and dictate the conversations that my characters were always having in my head – Nobel Prize stuff that I never could remember when I got back to my computer.

The quality of the recorder was great, but because it was so compact, Sony had to use small, multi-function buttons and toggle switches with descriptions I could barely see.  I’d have to consult the manual regularly, which was frustrating and stifled my creativity.

Also, I found that those fantastic conversations my characters were having didn’t translate well to dictation.  If I didn’t focus completely on the dictating, my recording sounded like this:  “and, ah, then uh, Sarah said, uh, uh.” I couldn’t make a bed and talk at the same time, apparently.

In addition, the old Dragon Naturally Speaking program had a hard time with my accent.  I was raised in the south, where simple words like “milk” or “bread” are spoken as two syllables:  “Mee-ulk” and “bra-yud.”  Dragon Naturally Speaking translated many perfectly coherent sentences like this: “The end we win end to the store or…” (Then we went to the store.)  They’ve improved the program substantially since then, but not before I gave up.  I typed the book, which took considerably less time and irritation.

I still have the recorder and bring it out occasionally to see if my accent sounds more Oregonian.

Mac vs PC – And the Loser Is…Consumers

I’m getting a little fed up with the bickering between Macs and PCs. I have both, and I spend most of my day doing something on a computer – either playing Wordscraper on Facebook or doing projects with Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator – fantastic programs that let you be really creative once you take a couple of years to figure out how to use them (just kidding – I own stock in Adobe. They make fantastic products that I highly recommend to everyone, even infants).

The thing is, Macs do some things great, and PCs so some things great, and neither of them is great all by themselves. Everyone talks about PCs crashing, but just today I had to restart my Mac twice because I was uploading new photos and when I went to view them in iPhoto, my $2,400 Mac started pixilating – which means the whole screen looked like aliens had scrambled it. This is not the first time it’s happened. And I’ve had to reload my Leopard Operating System once with the reassurance from the guy at the Apple Genius Bar that he’s done his a bunch of times and it doesn’t do any harm. So the Mac is crashing to the point of having to reload the operating system, and Mac uses this as a put down for PCs? Shame on you, Mac!

My PC, on the other hand, sometimes makes me do extra steps, each one starting with, “Are you sure you want to…?” Yes, I’m sure I want to delete those twenty-three lousy shots of a duck. Yes I’m sure I want to close Internet Explorer.

But the Mac can be a real pain in the neck because it’s not happy unless you are dragging something somewhere. A website comes up and it looks like someone has taken an axe to the right side, so you have to drag the bottom corner to make it spread over the screen. If it would just come up like that to begin with, it would save that step. This happens in every program all the time. Even trying to look for a file in Finder you have to drag to see the whole file name, and according to the guy at the Mac genius bar, there’s no fix for that.

And DO NOT get me started on the Adobe programs on the Mac. In my opinion, they work better on a PC. Ouch, I felt that slap from every graphic designer in the universe. But you guys have always used them on a Mac. I started with them on the PC and they are easier there. Wanna know why? Because on the Mac you have to drag everything everywhere, that’s why. You open up Photoshop and you have to drag it to be full sized. In Dreamweaver, a website developing program, you have parts of the program spread all over your monitor that you constantly have to drag out of the way to be able to see. On the PC, the center of the screen is the website you’re working on, and your tools are lined up to the right and down below – and they’re always there. On the Mac, sometimes tools disappear completely and I have to hunt them down and find them in weird places, like in the kitchen pantry.

So in conclusion, Macs are a drag, and PCs are uppity and want to second-guess you all the time. We need a hybrid of these two, and if anyone wants to start a company that will bring the best features of both operating systems to consumers, I’ll buy a little of your stock. In the meantime, you boys doing your name calling in commercials should get your mouths washed out with soap for fibbing. Honestly, someone needs to send you to your rooms until you can learn to be like Thumper, “If you can’t say anything nice, get the heck off my TV screen.”

Computer Everglades

I was all excited this morning because I’m in a blogging frenzy and wanted to type in another post. I plopped down happily in front of the computer and tried to log in. My username is my email, and I have an assortment of passwords I cycle through to get into everything. I tried all the combinations, finally being allowed to log in when I accidently mistyped my email address. That one little wrong letter let me into my blogger account, but caused me to be greeted with a giant red warning, “Your email address has not been verified.”

“That’s because it’s WRONG!” I hissed back at the computer. “Well,” I said, determined to be in a good mood, “I’ll just fix that puppy and I’ll be off and running.”  But no, just like every freaking other thing having to do with computers, IT WON”T LET ME.

After reading for hours and hours, I find out that the mistake is permanent. Up front they happily volunteer to email me a new username, but the one I gave them is wrong and doesn’t exist, so it’s just going to go to Mercury and back without me ever seeing it.

And how was I able to log in the day before? It doesn’t matter. The computer just does what it wants to do, and you can’t fight it. The most any of us can hope for is to plow through a zillion posts that describe the same problem, and hope some other guy figured out how to fix it, then let him lead you out of your misery one irritating step at a time. I spend most of my life squinting at the screen with my mouth hanging open and a dull headache creeping up my forehead.

To get to the fix, it’s typical to have to elbow your way through lots of pages mostly consisting of capital letters strung together that appear to be common knowledge because they don’t explain them. It would be so much more fun to wade through the Everglades dodging snapping alligators than reading that stuff. By the end of the CMOS’s and RAM’s and CPU’s and ESAD’s, I just want to say, “I’ve got your motherboard right here, you sorry piece of crap!”

It’s late at night now, and I finally got it fixed. Don’t you even think about saying that this time it was my fault and not the computer’s. I might come right through the screen and lunge at your throat like a junkyard dog. If this post isn’t funny, I’m sorry, and if you don’t like it, you can just kiss my FDISK.

Copyright © 2017 by Suzanne Olsen