Saturday, February 19, 2011

a wiper's tale . . .

Wow! I'm finally here!  Word-to-Go on my Blackberry Curve!  Never mind that I've owned this phone almost two years now and never checked out Documents-to-Go until today. And then there was the deal that my "included" version did not offer the "create a new file" option--which meant downloading a 30-day trial of the "premium" version and then rebooting the phone and . . .

Why now?  That is an even wilder personal technology tale!  I'm sitting in the waiting room of my car dealership, where I've spent three of the last four Saturday mornings also. The first visit was routine--oil change, tire rotating/balancing, and, by the way, could you replace my wiper blades?  I'm so trusting/oblivious/naive. Did I think to check the wiper blades when leaving?  No!!

It was only after running several errands on my way home that afternoon that I noticed that one wiper blade had gone AWOL. Where and how?  Who knew?  I found another open dealership that afternoon (mine had closed for the weekend) and had the blade replaced--with a mismatched clone--only to discover that the passenger wiper arm had also lost its connectivity, was out of commission, KAPUT.

Two weeks and many rainy days later, back at the dealership. Almost three hours later came the verdict that a part, not in stock, had to be ordered. OK . . .

After several email tussles over my needing to have the repair done on a Saturday, I was back last Saturday, armed with my  iPad, a book to read, papers to grade...  Two hours later came the verdict that the wrong part had been ordered and that the repair would take more time than their Saturday hours would allow. They'd work out a rental car for me though. What about bringing it in this morning (yes, a Saturday), picking up a rental, and then doing the swap-out, hopefully, after work on Monday?  Sure...  Not much of a rental car user or fan but, considering the alternatives ...

Did I mention that this was a warranty-covered repair?  Or that the part needed was out-of-stock statewide and had to be shipped from Texas?

So I was here bright and early this morning. Sent to the waiting room while they called the rental car place. I had read/deleted most of the 100+ unopened emails on my phone when they came with today's new scenario. Not a rental car to be found in the area!!!  But they had a technician on duty today who could replace my wiper transmission in maybe an hour or so?  Was I OK with waiting on that?

Needless to say, I had not come equipped, today, with iPad and a book to read and papers to grade. But I'm resourceful, if nothing else. I should have "killed" most of my hour's wait time by now. I'll email this story to myself so that it'll be ready to copy and paste into a blog entry once I'm home again.

I really should upgrade my phone, shouldn't I?

Followup: the repair took two hours so I consumed a cup of Starbucks cocoa and read some mindless magazines to fill the last hour.  Tested the wipers BEFORE leaving this time :-) Still mismatched, but HEY, they both work!!!  I can live with that . . .

Sunday, March 1, 2009

personal technology:Kindle 2 is too two to ignore???

I'm loving it!

OK, so I'm the book woman . . . Every gift to a family member has "a book" at the top of the guesswhatitis response list. The youngest grandbaby is vocal about her expectation that I arrive on her doorstep with books in my bag, every time, without fail. The second oldest said to me, just before Christmas, "Nonny, you won't believe this but there's this book I want . . ."

A Kindle was on my Christmas list but not under the tree. My children laughed at me. How could I--the catalyst for their own paper and ink book addictions, the very reason none of us has bookshelves enough, ever--want to read on a technothingamabob? a Kindle?

They were right. That part of who I am is imprinted in indelible inks on the pages where they keep their mother's perpetual profile. But some things change. Even mothers change. Even mothers old enough to be comfortably set in their ways change.

I ordered my own Kindle the day I discovered that generation 2 had arrived. I figured, backordered as it had been and still was, my Kindle would arrive with spring, or later. I was wrong. It arrived last week.

At the moment, the Kindle is charging--for the third time. I've bought three books, finished reading The Graveyard Book, am now somewhere in chapter 3 of By a Slow River (have ordered the print version too, but in the original French :).

Of all the personal technology that has come my way in this last year or years, this was the most natural transition from old ways to new.

It could be that being a book woman transcends physical form and substance.

It could be that being a book woman is all about having access--anywhere, anytime, any book--at my fingertips.

Could it be that both the book and the woman understand that change is the flip side of survive?

Or . . . could it be that, together, we're saving a tree or two or three???

Friday, January 9, 2009

personal technology: HDTV and DVD

I'm not much of a TV watcher. Small screens, outdated TVs--no problem. I've got cable! No problem until the arrival of the Wii.

Fast forward to my twice-handed-down "new" plasma HDTV--too small for its former owners but impressive as TVs go in my home!

There were new DVDs under the Christmas tree--and old ones still in shrink wrap and silver security stickers in the study cabinet. HDTV in the living room and only a VCR (and Wii for company)?

I ordered a DVD player that promises to upscale even my not-so-high-tech older DVDs for quality viewing.

And then I decided tonight that I could install it all by myself! YES!!!!

Fast forward to tomorrow when Time Warner is getting a used digital cable box back. Like I said, I'm not much of a TV watcher. Whatever the promised benefits of that black box, I needed the space it was occupying. Might want to play one of my old VHS movies, you know . . .

personal technology: the Wii

Too busy playing to write about it, I guess :-)

There were two technology toys on my Christmas wish list: Wii and Kindle. My children laughed at the idea of Kindle. After all, wasn't I the one who fueled their terminal addictions to real books, the paper and ink kind? So no Kindle for me under the tree . . . There were a few real books though . . .

And a Wii, with all sorts of accessories, enough to be a full-time retirement plan if I were retired and fit enough to exercise all day. I'm not . . .

There's a saying about statistics, that you can make them say whatever you want. I think that's even on a Facebook Flair button I saw somewhere. But I'm loving some of the statistics I finagled this week. The only drawback is, since you can't erase a score (or at least I don't know how to), I'm afraid I might have already peaked in some areas, with a downhill coast in my future. Or maybe even like what happens to the skier in the Wii Fit ski jump when I don't extend my legs in time . . . Snowball ride!

My first too awesome record was in bowling--Wii Sports style. One strike and, count them, nine spares! I don't think I've ever in my life come close to that. Should I just retire from bowling, as I did from running years ago when I placed first in my first-ever one-mile race???

Today's record is one, unfortunately, that I can't retire from. My initial Wii Fit age a week ago was six years less than my actual age--not impressive by any means, especially at my age, but I figured I could improve on that some. Some? Today's Wii Fit age was less than any of my children's actual age?!?!? And the tests were harder this time--like balancing on one leg, which I'd already been doing 30 seconds or so before I realized I hadn't pushed "A" to start the clock! But taking that test, and often, is part of the game. Guess I'll just have to steel myself for some silver days among the gold . . .

And then there's the fact that I still score "unbalanced" on most of the balance games. I'm working hard on those (ski jump and table tilt often bring me up to amateur status). I'm improving at the slalom but can't head soccer balls, walk tightropes, or catch fish while perched on a iceberg. I console myself that somehow, with no training, I'm easing into Yoga master or at least trainer more often than not. Well, except for the tree position . . . A human being is supposed to be able to self-contort like that????

I'll save the tennis and golf and hula hoop stories for another time. I will admit, though, that if I didn't have six months of fairly consistent neighborhood walks to my credit, much of this story coould not have been written--at least truthfully. And so, this week, while I Wii Fitted daily and Wii sported twice, I also made time for four neighborhood walks . . .

Feeling pretty good for January :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

a personal technology question


the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.
technology. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved October 08, 2008, from website:

OK, now that we know what technology really means, here's my question.

On my front porch this afternoon stood a tall carton, 50+ pounds of content, a white toddler sleigh bed with drawer from Dream on Me, Inc. Unassembled, of course . . . Are the simple tools I'll use to assemble the bed (and to disassemble the crib and mobile and . . .) this weekend still considered technology?

One more turn in the road of life . . . and decidedly a personal one. . .

footnote from Christmas 2008: a bed for Cassie

Saturday, October 4, 2008

personal technology: the phone

The phone is my technological weak link. I love, love, love connecting via email (maybe because writing is my therapy of choice) but seem unable to cultivate a dependency on the extra ear appendage . . . Friends, colleagues, family--all know that to leave voicemail on my cell means I may get it a week or two later. Voicemail on the unlisted landline? I do honestly mean to check that daily but slip up at times there too. And don't you call me at work! Blinking message lights are in my blind spot somehow . . . Even my car has its own hands-free number now, but do you think I give that information out? I think I emailed the number to family members but they, above all others, know that I don't drive and talk!

About six months ago, I came home to a line in use message on my answering machine. Now, honestly, who would be using my line when no one was home? Every line in the house was DOA. I faithfully followed the disconnect/reconnect advice to no avail. Then, magically, just before bedtime, a dial tone . . . The next morning, of course, the technician came out, checked the line outside, and said NOT US!!! and that problem I'd had must be interference somewhere inside the house . . . As if I haven't paid for years and years for that to be their problem too . . .

That was the first time, repeated at least half a dozen times, same scenario. My son-in-law said it sounded as though there was a short in the line outside somewhere. I finally figured out how to talk to a real person in this automated scheduling world. If you call in a repair request and then call back immediately to check on the status of that repair request, guess what??? The lady I spoke to a couple of weeks was helpful. She suggested I use the outside jack to check the line while the dial tone was still AWOL. I did. No dial tone. She agreed the problem must be external and said this would be handled the next day--when I received yet another of those calls that said NOT US!!! and that problem I'd had must be interference somewhere inside the house . . .

When it happened again on Monday (what did we ever do before cell phones?), I decided that being nice (I usually am) wasn't working. I threatened, after doing the talk-to-a-real-person number, to cut the landline cord. Ditch the service. (As if I would when my home alarm system--yet another personal technology story--depends on that . . .) Three messages on my cell phone when I checked it this morning (five days later). The first two said NOT US!!! and that problem I'd had must be interference somewhere inside the house . . . The third said . . .

We found the problem.

We fixed it.

which is webdings for

we found the problem,

and we fixed it!