Tag Archives: laptop

Too much stress too early in the morning

There are times I love and am amazed with technology, and there times a loath it with an intense passion.  This morning at 7:30 a.m. at the First Christian Church in Guyton was one of the latter.

Despite my relatively advanced age (late 50s), I am moderately proficient with computer technology. I am just old enough, however, to continue to be amazed that I can carry my entire work life around with me on my laptop. With my home WiFi and my cell phone, I am about 95% as efficient sitting at my kitchen table as I am at my desk at work.

All is wonderful…until it isn’t.

To make a long story short, I was out of bed at 5 am this morning for a breakfast Rotary Club talk in a small town about an hour away. When I arrived and turned on my laptop, I discovered the folder with all my Powerpoint presentations, was empty. It was not a great piece of news at 730 in the morning.  This particular group had already heard my basic overview talk. I had borrowed a presentation from our director so I would have a fresh act. It was not something I could ad lib without the Powerpoint support.

My hosts said, “Why don’t you just take a few minutes and tell us about some of the things going on there?”

OK. I can do that. So I got up and talked off the cuff for about 15 minutes. I repeated some basic background information about who we are, and talked about some of the current projects I have written about over the past couple of months. I doubt if I would win any “best presentation” awards, but it filled the time and no one walked out or threw the remains of their breakfast at me. I guess I came out ahead.

(For you technogeeks out there, the problem turned out to be a sync problem between my laptop and the server at work. I don’t understand it, but the files are now back and things seem to be working again. In the future, I’ll also have my presentation on a flash drive as a backup.)

And speaking of technology, I ran across this very funny blog post about a journalism professor who forced his class to put together a newsletter using 1980 technology like manual typewriters. It is funny. I can relate.

Random annoyances

Things have been slow here this summer, and I haven’t felt very inspired. But I do feel an obligation to “feed the monster” as we used to say in my TV news days.

There has been good news and bad news sitting in front of me at work these past two days. The good news is that my laptop computer has finally reached its well-deserved retirement age and has been replaced by a younger model. The bad news is that the new laptop came with Windows 7 and Office 2010.

New and better? Perhaps.

Different from what I have been using for years? Definitely.

I have spent some frustrating times searching for a missing button “…that used to be right HERE!”

It will smooth out, but in the meanwhile I’m getting a headache.

*    *   *   *

What is it with people who need to talk all the time?

We have several friends who have this compulsion, so I have seen (heard?) a lot of it. A couple of weeks ago we visited some family and ran into a serious contender for the world championship.

After a child-relative’s birthday party, many of us retired to our niece’s house. We had a small group of extended family sitting around the table on the patio, exchanging news and catching up. However, the flow of conversation was almost entirely one-sided. The girlfriend of one of the family members grabbed the imaginary microphone and just would not let go. She was energetic; she was opinionated; and she was argumentative. That’s not always a problem, but  this woman wouldn’t let anyone else get a word in edgewise.

I enjoy a good discussion, even a debate. I think of a non-personal argument as a good sport. But I hate to try to out-shout someone just to participate. At one point, she was ranting about some political issue and asking questions like, “Why does this make sense?”

I tried to inject myself several times, but I don’t even think she could hear me over the sound of her own voice. Finally, I raised my voice (for which I am still ashamed) and said, “Hey! You are asking some questions. I’d be happy to provide some answers if you would stop talking along enough to listen.”

She looked at me like I had just landed in a space ship and was speaking Martian.

It was just a short while later she went looking for her boyfriend and announced it was time for them to go home.

Oh well. It was nice to hear what some of the other guests had to say.

A slow Saturday

It’s a slow weekend here at Casa Poolman. Mrs. P is working both days of the weekend, including Mother’s Day, which she just loves (not.)

I am spending Saturday taking care of miscellaneous chores around the house.

I took a walk for exercise this morning and ran into my across-the-street neighbor, Judy. This was the first time I have laid eyes on Judy since last fall. She lost her husband to cancer several years ago, so she lives there alone. She has a son and his family here on the island and a daughter and family in North Carolina. She filled me on all her news, including a grandson in North Carolina who was born at 26 weeks gestation, but is now doing well. After about an hour of the update, it was time to get moving again. I excused myself and continued with my walk.

I ate some lunch and cleaned up the back yard. We have the solar cover still on the pool. The water is around 85 degrees, which is just getting to the temperature Mrs. P likes it. Hopefully, she’ll soon get the chance to enjoy it.

I am taking a two day course in “Communicating Science Effectively” which is being held on our campus this week. The problem is the course requires I show up with a functional laptop and a bunch of Adobe software. Our IT guys tell me my clunker of a computer won’t handle those programs. (I am due for a new laptop in July.) So I arranged to borrow Poolboy’s computer for the course. I am spending the afternoon downloading and installing trial versions of a bunch of software. Fascinating work. He will want his laptop back tomorrow, and then I’ll take it back again on Tuesday. What a pain.

I am reading / lecturing at 5:30 pm Mass this evening. I am just planning on a Papa Murphy’s pizza for dinner. Mrs. P really doesn’t like a big meal when she is working back-to-back shifts.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, but Mrs. P is working again. I’ll have a nice meal of barbecued ribs, hash brown potatoes, etc ready when she gets home. It’s the least I can do.