We live in one of those places where people say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” I wrote this when my daughter was eight, and I think about it every year at this time.
When it begins she runs to the window
Wide-eyed, she lingers there
a piston pumping up and down
I imagine other children around the city
moving up and down at their windows
parts of a giant engine that would
make this fluff fall faster
Soon she is made to go to bed
She quivers quietly piled with quilts
Drifts off to dream blizzards
Blankets are laid on the lawn
in a beautiful slumber where
snowmen lumber around the yard
Where the school bus doesn’t slow
in front of the house
doesn’t show for days on end
Then the sun’s in the window
Day breaks into her room
She bolts from the bed
The world stills
Her face falls
Dogwood petals cover the driveway
© Eileen Ridge 2007
The classic line: “Something came on, and I pushed it, and I didn’t read it, and now I don’t know what’s going on.”
What was going on in this case was a user dealing with Microsoft changing Hotmail to Outlook.com. He may have been a little less thrown if he’d read the message about the change.
When you see a message appear on your screen, read it. Think about writing it down, since you may not understand it, and after you click a button, you probably won’t remember what it said.
Whether you either (or neither) of these things, if you find yourself stuck, I’m happy to help get you unstuck.
After buying Unworthy Lives, by Jason L. (“Les”) Atkins, 2004,
who died this weekend. Continue reading
A word of advice, folks: when you have a problem with your computer, nip it in the bud! Don’t let it fester and get worse and worse, because the worse it gets, the harder the problem is to solve. Promise me, okay? I love helping you, and I like to spare you the unnecessary heartbreak of a fouled-up system that can’t get fixed. –Eileen
© Eileen Ridge 1996
This is a piece about Hurricane Bertha, which came barreling up the East Coast in 1996. I was living alone in Nags Head, a bit north of where the storm made landfall (in the States) along the southern North Carolina coast. I’d just gotten my first laptop, and I marveled at being able to write on the computer, temporarily off the power grid. A week ago, Sandy devastated much of the East Coast (and parts beyond), while largely sparing us, reminding me of this old poem, which I wrote as a string of haiku in a sort of stream-of-consciousness fashion. Shortly after I wrote it, it was my joy to perform it with Mick Vaughn playing bass in a duo we called “Cosmic Leaf.” Continue reading
Many of you have heard my disclaimer for HP printers. It goes like this: If need my help for trouble with your HP printer, understand that it can take several hours (or more) to troubleshoot the problem, which may not result in a solution. I will be charging for all of that time, as I have given away too much time in the past, feeling like it shouldn’t take that long to solve a problem with a printer. HP’s printer software seems to get bigger and buggier every year. You couldn’t pay me to have one.
Today I’m adding Lexmark to the blacklist. I haven’t been a big fan of Lexmark in the past, but yesterday I had one of the worst printer-setup sessions I’ve had in quite in a while. The printer cartridges didn’t snap into place like you think they would, the instructions were lacking, the labels on top of the cartridges started sliding around, and I had to remove replace the cartridges numerous times to get it to work. A half-hour call to Lexmark was needed to complete the installation. When asked why the machine lacked a couple of obvious features, the support rep said, “I don’t know. They usually have that feature, but this model doesn’t.”
If you’re thinking about buying a new printer, do some research before you pull out your wallet. Check out Consumer Reports, if you’re a subscriber. Check out online retailers like Amazon and Newegg, where you can read user reviews and compare features between models. In general, you don’t need to spend a lot of money, but don’t jump at the first deal you see, and think about getting something better than the cheapest one you find.
Oh, and if you’re on the phone to a manufacturer complaining about a broken part on the model you have, don’t let them talk you into buying another. Think about a different brand.
Lastly, for the love of Pete, don’t buy an HP (or a Lexmark).
Comments are welcome, and I’m happy to answer questions you may have.
Memorial Day, 28 May 2012
for Christopher Jobson @itscolossal
by Eileen Ridge
Perched, this morning,
pondering photos of our fathers
at sail on gunmetal ships
what it sometimes seemed
as the whole world were at war Continue reading