Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wednesday This and That

I went today to my little once-in-a-while part-time job at Library Headquarters to do some training. The head trainer, one of my dearest friends, is retiring in a week and today was the last time I'll train with her...unless she, like me, comes back as a part-time trainer. These days our Library is having such a hard time finding librarians and other staff that they are encouraging retirees to come back to work as part-timers. Soon the entire Department will be run by retired former employees.

Hubby called Nephew#1 today to break the news about not having him stay with us. We did pass on the information about the local University off-campus housing database and he will check it out to see if he can find a place to stay. We also offered him some financial support if he needs to rent a motel room for a short time while he searches for permanent housing. Nephew#1 actually took it quite well and he really is a wonderfully mature 25-year-old.

Late this afternoon Hubby and I went over to the local lumber yard to look at some synthetic wood decking material which Hubby, Friend and Friend's Brother will be using to replace the wood deck in our backyard...hopefully this weekend. We had to pick out the color and, since our exterior home colors are grey and white, we decided Winchester Grey would look best. Tomorrow Hubby and Friend will go over there to actually place the order. I'm already making plans to be far away from the house when construction begins. Friend thinks he and his brother can have it done in a day (two at the most) but, like all other remodeling projects, I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, February 26, 2007

You Want To Live Where?

Today my husband's nephew called to find out if he could stay with us "for a while" while he searches for a room to rent. He lives 60 miles from here and is going to be attending a nearby community college with plans to transfer to a local university after completing the prerequisite courses.

Now Nephew#1 is a really nice young man who is in his early 20's. He was only 3 years old when his dad was killed in a car accident and, through the years, he has been a really responsible kid helping my sister-in-law whenever he could. After spending a few years after high school trying to decide what to do with his life, it seems he is finally ready to make a commitment to school.

So now he wants to come stay with us. I know he says it's only until he finds a room to rent but I'm worried about a few days turning into a few weeks turning into a much longer time. He's having trouble finding a room now and how is it going to get easier if he's taking classes in school and working at the restaurant job he told us he's found?

And then there's the whole issue of my comfort level. I like my privacy, our house is very small and it's not really set up to accommodate another person. Our second bedroom serves as a really large closet with clothing racks, boxes and a small bed. The closet is also the one my husband uses for his clothing. Our third bedroom is actually our den/office where my computer and TV are located and, right now, there's no seating other than my desk chair. Are you getting the picture? The house needs work...lots of work...and it's just not ready to house another person.

So, my question I being selfish? My husband is very supportive of me and tells me he will tell his nephew "we're sorry but no" if that's what I want. What I'd really like is to have a really big home with a nice guest room but that's just not going to happen. I'm usually a really thoughtful person (honest) but right now I feel like I need to look after my needs first and that means my need for privacy rules...and that's making me feel guilty as heck!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

And the Winner Is…

Hubby and I just got back from a Golf Expo and we’ve now settled in at home waiting for the big show tonight. I love watching the Oscars pre-show to see how the women are dressed and I have to say that, in the past few years, the level of elegance has certainly improved. The show itself never holds much interest for me since I never see any of the nominated films but, this year, I am looking forward to seeing Ellen DeGeneres as the host so I will pay attention. Paying attention is hard for me especially when it comes to acceptance speeches…yawn. I heard that the New York Daily News was reporting that Delta Airlines is offering two free tickets to all the winners who manage to keep their speeches within the 45 second time limit. Somehow I think Delta’s financial future is safe…I don’t see them losing a whole lot of money on free tickets tonight.

This brings me to my very own experience at the Oscars show. Yes…I’ve actually attended an Academy Awards show. In March 2000, my friend’s daughter was working for the Academy and was able to secure two tickets to the show. Leaving Hubby at home, my friend and I arrived at the Shrine Auditorium (the site that year) and actually got to walk the red carpet. It was quite exciting although I was so disappointed no one asked me about my dress…I wanted to tell the world about my off-the-rack little black number which I'd purchased only days before for a startling $27 but, alas, Joan Rivers must have missed me in the crowd of stars. Anyway, our seats were on the main floor near an aisle so we got to see all the stars up close and personal. It was truly a night to remember and, when it was over and I returned home, I immediately got out my “Things To Do In My Life” list and checked off “Attend the Academy Awards."

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's My Party... - Create custom images's my birthday...just another day in another week in another year. When I was young, I'd celebrate my birthday for days. Now, I hardly notice it until someone calls me on the phone to wish me "Happy Birthday" or I get a birthday card in the mail. Our family tradition usually consists of going out for dinner on or near the actual day but this year we all have so many commitments we haven't actually picked an evening. We were going out on Sunday but then Hubby reminded me that it's Oscar night and I love sitting home and watching it (even if I haven't seen any of the films nominated for anything). I'm sure we'll find a time to get together but, until then, I'm perfectly happy pretending that I'm still a year younger.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dell = Do Expect Lotsa Lies

First off, in case you haven't been following my sad Dell saga, go here, here and here if you want to catch up to the present. The upshot is I sat home today waiting for a Dell technician to arrive to install two parts which were supposedly ordered three weeks ago for my desktop. At 11:30AM, the doorbell rang and there was Ed from Dell with a box. I thought my prayers had finally been answered. As Ed walked in, I told him how glad I was to see him with my power supply unit and processor fan after a long three weeks….that’s when Ed stopped short in his tracks.

Ed: “What power supply unit?”

Me: “The one Dell was supposed to order three weeks ago and the one I was promised would be installed today along with the new processor fan.”

Ed: “This box only contains the processor fan. We never received a power supply unit and the work order I have doesn’t indicate one was ordered. In fact, all the work order says is that your tower is making noise.”

Me: *unintelligible* since I was hyperventilating at the moment.

So…Ed installed the processor fan for me and I called Dell yet again to complain that, after three weeks and promise after promise (or should I say lie after lie), my power supply unit still is not replaced. I asked to speak to a supervisor and this time Christopher was the “lucky” person to have to make excuses for the no-show power supply. This time the excuse was that Dell’s records indicate the part was shipped and, for some unknown reason, the local installation company is saying the part never arrived. The long and short of it is, for the FOURTH time, the part needs to be "dispatched", I’ll have to wait yet again for someone to call to schedule another appointment when the part arrives, and yet again I will have to stay home and wait for a technician to come and install the part. Apparently the people at Dell don’t believe my time is of any value and that I have all the time in the world to wait for them.

In case you’re wondering…letter #2 is already in the mail to Michael Dell, Chairman of the Board. I haven’t yet heard from him (or his lackey) about letter #1 but I’m persistent and will continue to follow-up until I get some satisfaction...if that's possible at this point!

The Waiting Game

So…here I am today stuck at home waiting anxiously for the Dell computer technician. He called on Monday and promised to be here today between 11AM and 1PM, to finally install the new power supply unit I’ve been waiting for since February 1st. “Yes” it’s early in the morning and “yes” I could probably go out and run errands and be home by 11:00 but I’m always worried the technician will suddenly want to come early and, if I’m not home, I’ll miss my chance for the day and then I’ll have to re-schedule the darn appointment and spend yet another day waiting. Why is it they can never be at my house early in the morning so I don’t have to wait around all day? Whose house do they visit at 8:00AM? What did that lucky soul do to get them there at that time? Why isn’t that person ME?????

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You Win Some...

OK…I’m going to be lazy. I’m getting ready to go to the dentist right now and I don’t have the time to sit and write about my terrific day yesterday so if you want to know what happened yesterday…visit here. I’m sure this flies in the face of blogging etiquette but I’m hoping A Tired Mama won’t mind. After all…I shared my winnings with her.

Dental Update: Look cavities...only bleeding gums from all the digging and poking by the hygienist. And, of course, she gave me my six-month lecture about the importance of flossing...yes, yes, I know sticking a string between each tooth is important! And, for being such a good girl, I received the best part of going to the dentist which is the "free" packet of travel-sized toothpaste and floss as well as a brand-new toothbrush. I'm happy!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Red Flag Warning Cancelled

OK...I think I'm better. I had my really good cry and now my heart and head are back to normal and I don't feel like a raving lunatic. It's always been like that. Whenever I've felt out-of-control, I'd wait for the crying to come and then everything would be fine. I thought I was going to break out sobbing in church last night but I managed to hold back the tears. I could feel the sobs working their way up from my stomach through my heart to my eyes but I just willed myself not to cry. Once I got home, had some dinner and started watching TV, that's when the dam burst. My husband knows that I'm inconsolable when I'm at this stage so he left me alone and let me get over myself. So things are back to normal and I feel a heck of a lot better.

Yes...crying does make me feel better. Growing up, I was a pretty high-strung child and teen. I'd get myself worked up over something, run into my room, and burst into tears. When I was done, I come out and my mom would always ask "So...did all that crying make you feel better?" Her tone of voice always made me feel that somehow my crying was silly...a weakness. I could never make her understand that I DID feel better when it was over. My mom was not a fact, I can only remember two times when I saw her cry while I was growing up. The first time, she and I were watching the 1939 version of Wuthering Heights on TV and, as Merle Oberon was on her death bed with Laurence Olivier standing over her, the two of us were sobbing away. The only other time I saw my mom cry was when her mother passed away. So through the years, her stoicism always made me feel that my crying was something not to be tolerated. As an adult, however, I've come to realize that everyone handles emotions differently and there is no right or wrong way. So I've cried, I feel better and that's a good thing.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Run For Your Life

It’s a red flag moment. Stand back…don’t get near me. A red flag moment…I thought I was done with that. I thought, after I finally reached menopause, I’d be done behaving like a crazed maniac…I was wrong. For the past day or so, I’ve been one hormonal lunatic…of course, I’m not sure I have any more hormones left but I’m certainly acting like I do. Pity my poor husband. He’s feeling helpless and scared that this shrew of a woman is back after months and months of living with a wonderfully sane, calm, sweet wife. All I want to do right now is scream, cry and laugh…all at the same time. The only good thing…I know this will pass and that sane woman will return but will she stay?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ireland: Four Months and Counting

When Hubby and I came home this afternoon, we found two envelopes from our travel agent. Inside were our airplane tickets, tour confirmation and other assorted documents for our June Ireland trip. I guess this means we’re really going!

Now the fun begins. As Hubby will tell you, my favorite part of the trip is actually the months before our departure date. I absolutely love researching all the particulars about the places and sights we will see while we’re away. I search through various books, websites, blogs, and message boards looking for sightseeing suggestions, dining recommendations, great places to shop, and all the other fun stuff that goes with traveling. So…if any of you have been to Ireland and would like to share your experiences with me, please feel free to do so. Any help you can provide will be most appreciated.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Dell Saga Continues

Just a quick update...

The supposed e-mail from the Dell technician never appeared. I called the phone number and extension provided and left a voice mail message. The result...absolutely nothing.

My certified letter to Michael Dell, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, is in the mail.

Dell’s Next Day Service-Not!

I am so frustrated…I don’t know where to begun. On Feb.1st, I called Dell because my computer has been making a terrible noise at Startup. So I won’t bore you with the details, you can look here for the background. Anyway, it’s two weeks later and my issue is still unresolved. I’ve talked to two Dell Technical Support representatives plus a supervisor and still no new power supply for my computer. Instead, all I’ve gotten are conflicting stories, mis-information and an unfulfilled promise that the local technician would call me on Monday (2/12) to set up an installation appointment.

So today once again I called Dell Tech Support and spoke to yet another representative about my problem. After repeating the entire story for the fourth time, he checked my record and determined that it will be yet another 3-5 days before the power supply reaches the local technician. Grrrrrr…. I have to say I was remarkably controlled as I told him this was totally unacceptable, questioned him on Dell’s Next Day Service warranty, and then promised to write a letter to Dell’s corporate headquarters. That’s all it took. Suddenly the young man became my “new best friend.” He placed me on hold while he took care of whatever he needed to do to “rectify” the situation. The bottom line is he’s had to “re-dispatch” the order (why do I think the order was never placed originally) and it will still take another 3-5 days before the local technician receives the part and calls me to schedule an installation appointment. This time, however, the Dell tech actually promised to send an email to me with all the pertinent information plus he gave me his extension number so I can call him if this issue continues to remain unresolved. actual extension number! Does the number really work??? Let’s hope I don’t have to find out!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Ho Hum Brain

I'm not feeling particularly creative again but I am feeling compelled to blog since I missed yesterday. The closest I've come to "blogging" lately is helping my sister play with her blog template colors today. I guess that borders on creativity although it was my sister's decisions which ruled the day. If you have a chance, take a peek here and let her know how you like the new look.

Yesterday I spent a few hours at my post-retirement very part-time job at the Library. The best part was having a pre-meeting lunch with two of my friends in the unit I'm assigned to. Then the meeting I attended gave me the opportunity to "think outside the box." Oh yes, we've been commanded to think "creatively" as we come up with various policies and procedures for the new computer system which will be installed next year. There's that *creative* word again. No wonder I haven't been feeling particularly original in my blogging these past few days...I've used up all my creativity in other endeavors.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Every Penny Helps

Today I'm proud to say I started down the road of saving for our Ireland trip. On Saturday, I went to two computer stores looking for a carry bag for my new laptop. At Store #1, I spent $79.99 on a really nice bag only to discover that it was $20 cheaper at the store across the street. Of course I returned the $79.99 bag to store #1 and bought the same exact bag at store #2 for $59.99. Needless to say, I was pretty proud of myself...a $20 savings! So yesterday I went through the Sunday ads in the newspaper (my favorite Sunday morning activity) and, lo and behold, there was a Store #2 ad for my laptop bag for $29.99!!! So today I went back to Store #2 and was able to get the extra $30 off (a $10 instant rebate plus a $20 mail-in rebate). All in all, I saved a total of $50 so we're a few miles closer to Ireland!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

Today Hubby and I, along with two other couples, decided to go to the big travel show sponsored by the local newspaper. We've traveled as a group before (most recently Alaska) and thought we would scout out the various travel opportunities. We've been talking about our next vacation destination for some time now and had tentatively decided on an 11-day deluxe tour of Ireland. After picking up bags and bags filled with travel brochures (there goes my de-cluttering promise), we finally committed to Ireland as our choice and, after all friends and family were canvassed, only two couples (the two of us plus Mr. and Mrs. CPA) have decided to go in June. Mr. CPA will call the travel agent he has been working with tomorrow to make the final arrangements. Am I excited??? You bet. Although I've traveled to Europe before, this will be my first time in Ireland and this tour includes several nights staying in Irish castles. OK, so castles are a far cry from the little inexpensive bed & breakfasts I stayed in 24 years ago...when my entire 4 week European vacation cost me in the neighborhood of $1400. What can I say...times (and tastes) change.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

43 Years Ago...

In perusing my long list of favorite blogs, I came across one which really made me cringe. Thanks Late Bloomer Boomer for reminding me that yesterday marked the 43rd anniversary of the Beatles' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. I can still remember sitting in front of our TV in the living room being mesmerized by the Fabulous Four. I'd heard their music on the radio, I'd seen photos of them in the newspaper and magazines, but this was the first time I actually saw them perform and I was hooked. Suddenly my world was filled with the Beatles...albums, photos, magazines with articles about them, Beatles memorabilia...I had it all. Along with my baseball card collection, these things were what I treasured most. And how lucky was I when my friend's dad was able to get us free tickets to the August 1965 and 1966 history-making concerts at Shea Stadium. And how devastated was I when, a few years later, my dad made me throw out almost all my Beatles collection when we moved from New York...he just couldn't see paying the moving company "good money" to ship my extensive collection. All this is so timely because, when clearing out our storage unit recently, I came across the few items my dad did allow me to take with us to our new Beatles albums. The albums are still in pristine condition and I'm sure I could probably sell them on Ebay or some other website but that's just not going to happen! These albums are a link to my past and I'm planning to hang on to them for as long as I can.

Friday, February 9, 2007

A Pain In the Neck

I am feeling so guilty because I missed a day of posting yesterday...that's what I get for becoming addicted to blogging. I guess sitting hunch over the Silver Wonder on Wednesday was not a great idea...I ended up with a terribly painful pinched nerve in my neck. I'm not sure how much of it was my physical positioning in front of my laptop and how much of it was the psychological pressure of dealing with a new computer. Anyway, I spent most of yesterday and last night trying to find a comfortable position and gobbling up lots of Advil trying to find some relief. Am I better today??? Not really but I don't want to spend another day as an invalid so I'm trying to ignore the pain and go about my business. We'll see if I'm successful.

Today my goal is to begin reading the Microsoft Vista Help website trying to learn the very basics of Vista management. My assumption is that the more I learn about Vista, the less stressed I'll be about everything. I know most new computer users just jump right in and play around and I used to be one of them. I'm not sure what made me change but now I like to be ultra-prepared before I tackle any new task or activity. I don't know when that changed but it has me a little worried. I liked being spontaneous and a risk taker and now I feel like a "little old woman." Has anyone seen where my former self went? I want her back!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Silver Wonder Makes Her Debut

OK...after suffering through two days of nagging by Hubby (dear, sweet, wonderful Hubby), I finally bit the bullet and removed Silver Wonder from her box, plugged her into our router, opened her up and pushed the "On" button. The initial set-up wasn't too bad...I managed to make my way through all the registration screens and got to the Desktop. What a cool looking Desktop...remember...this is Vista. Unfortunately, that's when the trouble began. After updating the installed virus protection software, suddenly the computer began to do weird things...yes, multiple weird things. So I got on the phone with the Computer Company and it only took me two technicians (from a land afar) and more than 90 minutes to get my problems least I think they're resolved. The display now looks better and things seem to be working so I've packed Silver Wonder away for another day. I'm just too tired and cross-eyed right now to install the other software Hubby bought plus start learning all the new bells and whistles associated with Vista. After all...tomorrow is another day.

A Few Words

I don't have much to report this morning so this is just a quick update. Silver Wonder remains in her box although she did make a short appearance yesterday so that I could write down the all important Service Tag number should I need to call the Computer Company when I begin the arduous task of setting up and configuring her. Trust me...I'll get to that eventually.

Today I'm off to the doctor's with my cousin for her one-year post gastric bypass surgery checkup. I've been there with her from the start and I am amazed at her progress. She's lost more than 100 pounds and, although she finds herself at a plateau right now, I know she will continue to lose until she gets to her goal weight.

Oh, one last thing...yesterday my husband came home, after playing golf and running errands, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me. The occasion? was Tuesday! Let me say again...I am a very lucky woman.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Two Computer Family

Tah dah…”the eagle has landed.” After going with Hubby to his ophthalmologist appointment yesterday afternoon, we headed on over to Computer Whiz’s place of business where my "secret" Valentine’s Day/birthday/anniversary gift was waiting for me. And there, still in its shipping box, was my brand new computer…my very first notebook. We opened up the box, long enough to get a look at my new Silver Wonder, but then decided dinner was more important so, as a “thank you” for helping Hubby "surprise" me with this new toy, we took Computer Whiz, his wife, and daughter out to dinner.

So here I am this morning, on my old trustworthy desktop computer, with Silver Wonder still in her box (yes, I’ve decided she’s female). My plans for today are to sit down and read every bit of documentation (and there isn’t a lot) which came in the box, look over all the pre-installed software disks and boxes of additional software my Hubby bought, eventually remove Silver Wonder from the carton, plug her in, turn her on and begin to explore. Computer Whiz promises me he will come over at some point to help me secure my network so I can go wireless with confidence…and maybe give me a quick lesson on the basics of notebooks.

And "thank you" dear sweet Hubby for this terrific gift. I am a very lucky woman!

Monday, February 5, 2007

My Knees Are Knocking

OK…I admit it…I’m nervous. My “secret gift” is supposed to arrive today and my stomach is in knots. Yes…I know I should be excited because it’s what I’ve been talking about getting for months but, now that it’s almost here, I’m a basket case. You see…I don’t know a heck of a lot about computers. There I’ve said it…my secret gift is a computer…a notebook to be specific. I’ve been a computer user for years but, while I worked at the library, I could always call our PC Support Help Desk whenever a computer would go on the fritz. Someone would come out (not always in a timely manner), lay hands on the computer, and everything would be fine. Here at home, I’m the PC Support Help Desk. I’m not sure how I was appointed to this lofty position by my husband but it’s the way it is. Slowly I’ve managed to teach myself a little about computer maintenance when I’ve been forced to by my current computer. But now we’re adding a new notebook to the mix and, to make matters worse, it will have Windows Vista and Office 2007 . So now I will be forced to learn a re-designed operating system and new versions of programs I use frequently. I know, I know…things will be fine and I will love my gift once it comes. But right now all I want to do is throw up.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Golf Lessons and the Super Bowl

Today is our annual Sports Day in our household. It began with our once-a-month golf lessons with our wonderful golf pro this morning. Hubby and I have been taking lessons from him for more than 15 years. My husband’s game has improved dramatically over time and he can outdrive and outscore players significantly younger and stronger. My game, however, is another story. Most months, the only time I have a golf club in my hands is during my 30 minute lesson. On the rare occasion my husband convinces me to play a round of golf, I immediately tell the other golfers we’re paired with that I’m new to the game and ask for their patience. OK…so after 15+ years of lessons, I guess I shouldn’t refer to myself as a novice but that’s what my game looks like. That’s me…a 15+ year golf newbie.

So now we’re home; we’ve had our coffee and read the newspaper; and we’re getting ready to leave for our friend’s annual Super Bowl bash. This year I’m pretty proud of myself…I actually know which two teams are playing…the Bears and Colts, right? Of course, I still can’t decide which team to root for. Because I grew up in New York and was a Jets fan way back when, I’ve had an affinity for the AFL (oops, the AFC) through the years. But while I know which teams are playing today, I have no idea which team represents which NFL conference. And quite frankly, I no longer have an allegiance to the AFC…in fact, I really don’t care which side wins. All I hope to see is a really good game with lots of excitement and great TV commercials. Oh and let's not forget about the obscene quantities of food. After all, isn’t that what the Super Bowl is all about?

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Just Another Boring Saturday

I was considering not blogging today but I’d made a promise to myself to blog everyday (OK I’m already fudging…almost every day) so here this is. This was truly one of those ho-hum days that seem to take forever to end and hardly rate a blog. It started off with someone rapping on our door at 8:30AM. It turned out to be a power company workman letting us know they were working on the poles across the street and our electricity would be off from 9-1. Oh goody…there I was running around the house unplugging things, making sure our surge protectors were all on, trying to get dressed, blowdrying my hair, all within 30 minutes. Sure enough, at nine sharp, off went the power. With nothing to do, we decided to go to the local thrift store to drop off our most recent de-cluttering boxes, then to the Department Store to buy underwear for Hubby (what a thrill), then to the Big Box Warehouse to buy a few items including the veggie platter we were assigned to bring to tomorrow’s big Super Bowl party. Are you thoroughly bored yet?

Back home, we discovered the power was already back on so I spent the first few minutes traversing the house, resetting the clocks on every piece of equipment we have…I hate that chore! Then I spent the rest of the afternoon huddled in front of my computer reading blog after blog after blog. OK…I admit it…I’m addicted. Hubby had to tear me away from my computer late in the day so I could cut his hair before going to church. That’s normally an every-other-Saturday-morning task but, with the power off, my shaggy husband had to wait a few extra hours.

So now we’re home, we’ve eaten dinner and here I am, once again, in front of my computer blissfully blogging away. Ahhhh…the highlight of my day.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Clean Sweeping, Part III

So today was another trip to our storage unit for another foray back in time. Again we found several boxes of old Road and Track magazines (will they never end) but most of today’s boxes and the mysterious locked footlocker revealed much of my long ago collection of giraffe stuff…art work, mugs, statues, candles, stationery…you name it…anything and everything with an image of a giraffe. Well…I am of a mind to dispose of all this clutter (I’m so proud of myself) but my husband is having a harder time parting with it because it reminds him of our first years together when he decided a giraffe collection was just what I needed…don’t ask why. Anyway, to appease him and not hurt his feelings, I’ve decided to keep many of the nicer items in the footlocker and eventually take it to the new storage unit we will rent closer to home…where it will remain for another 25 years…sigh.

Along with all this "stuff," I found one box that had something from my way-back past. It was a large photo album which had birthday cards, Valentine's Day cards, letters and poetry written by two of my former boyfriends...and when I say former, I mean former. My husband and I have been together for 24 years so we're talking old, yellowed about a trip down memory lane! Well, that trip was short-lived since everything in the album has now been shredded and the album thrown away. My husband was surprised that I wanted to dispose of these mementos but I am trying soooo hard not to hang onto things that have no purpose and, since I haven't seen this album in 20+ years and I haven't missed it, why keep it????

Oh, one last’s an exciting update! Computer Whiz called this morning to speak to Hubby. Apparently my “secret” birthday gift, originally scheduled to be shipped mid-February, is actually on its way and is due to arrive on Monday. Oh goody, goody, goody…

Thursday, February 1, 2007

My Computer Needs a New...

My wonderful, expensive computer is nearly 3 years old (definitely "old" by most computer standards). When we ordered it way back when, I let my husband and our friend (Computer Whiz) choose all the bells and whistles and, yes, they managed to order a computer with more "stuff" than we will ever need. But it has been a great tool and, except for one suspected infestation requiring reformatting, it's been a really dependable "friend."

So, over the past few months, I've noticed that a buzzing sound has been coming from the back of the computer when it's first turned on. As time has gone on, the sound has gotten louder and louder until it has become truly annoying and worrisome. On Sunday, Computer Whiz came by, put his ear to the computer and diagnosed the problem as a power supply fan noise all within 10 minutes. So today, with only 70+ days left on my extended warranty, I finally called Tech Support to report the problem. Now I know much has been said about outsourcing and it is more than likely that tech rep "Steve"does not live in North America. However, I found "Steve" to be surprising helpful and informative. Yes I know troubleshooting can be a pain (especially when your computer is tucked into a cubby hole with all the cords intertwined and not easily reachable). But I managed to open the chassis (at least that's what I think "Steve" called it) and followed his instructions unplugging and re-plugging components, turning things on and off, following all sorts of keyboard instructions. After more than an hour (most of it on the floor on my hands and knees), "we" finally determined that the buzzing sound is indeed coming from the power supply. Of course, my computer is so old that the item is not in stock so "Steve" went ahead and ordered the part and he promised that I should hear from a technician a week from tomorrow (Friday).

This incident has only reinforced my desire to get a second computer. I can't imagine life without one and I have been living in fear that my current one will suddenly die an untimely death and I will be forced to live life as if stranded on a deserted island. Plus...I've discovered that, in most cases, any search for instructions on troubleshooting and correcting problems almost always requires you to have a computer that actually works so you can read all the online Help screens. Remember how I said in a previous post that my birthday is coming up and that my husband, with the help of a friend, is buying me a special gift? Well, that special friend happens to be Computer Whiz so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.