Enjoying My Back Yard?

111026_seguridad_spam_XLSo many ideas to talk about today, but am forced to pick one.

Do you ever take a look at your spam? Spam is Spam, no doubt about it. I wrote a blog about this some time ago, amazed by how far back some of these spammies go to dip into my writing well.

Well, I just happened to look at some of them this morning, and I don’t get it. Really.

It’s like there’s a whole conversation going on between commenters that have absolutely nothing to do with me or my blog.

For example: on You Are Not Your Conditioning (http://wp.me/p1pIBL-1os), I found:

2015/12/23 at 3:02 pm….Most wish to think of the premium covers and can avoid getting an insurance coverage cover for their own reasons.

2015/12/24 at 1:24 am….Back to Community Care our son had over 100,000.00 left in treatment. In between centers, health center and flight for life.

2015/12/24 at 3:13 am….Thankfully some working Americans do have medical healthcare protection through their employers.

2015/12/24 at 3:31 am….Although we have excellent coverage in BC it does not pay much out of the country so we have travel medical insurance companies to negotiate with.

12/24/15 3:43 am….Given that she is on an HSA insurance plan through her work, this exercises truly great for her too, considering that she has to fund the very first $2,500.

2015/12/24 at 4:35 am….Prior to responding to that question, it is necessary making sure that you really need insurance.

Who ARE these people? Are they actually communicating with each other? Did they miss a digit along the way and just keep talking?

None of the addresses are the same, and the addresses they DO have are as phony as a landing on Pluto.  But nonetheless, someone(s) are using my blog as a gathering place to share their insurance worries.

I don’t know if I should be worried or not. I mean, I’m sure there are a thousand ways to send spam to every blogger known to man. Maybe they lie in wait, hoping that someone opens and reads them or follows a link to their black hole that drains all the info from your world into theirs. And I’m sure there is a sucker born every minute, which means an extra bucket for them to scoop from.

If these slicksters would only put their efforts into writing something worthwhile, instead of having make-believe conversations in other people’s worlds, think of how interesting their writing would be.

It would sure beat: Unsparing porn galleries (put link here) .in/?facebook_anna
kester elementary school chicas de marruecos gros culs xxx black a$z master rapidshare 1949 indian arrow.

Makes me wonder if I can report any of this. Or if I should just be content being one in six million every day that hits the “Delete Permanently” button for my Spam folder.

After I take a peek, of course…


Computer Hoarder or Zen Master?

animated-gifs-computers-48 (1)Considering how haphazardly I live, organization is not a word that frequently passes my lips. I just have too much information, and not enough room/time/energy to organize it all. But then last week my Irish Muse stopped by, and I’ve been working on Big O 101. Most things around me are falling more-or-less in place.

One place I haven’t had much of a problem, though, is my laptop.

I used to fill notebooks with thoughts, ideas, research, menus for the week. The old-old ones were more like journals, full of angst and awakenings, blah blah blah. Necessary but over. The new ones, though, are a different animal. They are full of things I don’t recognize. Names. Lots of numbers that don’t mean a thing.  Notebooks became jotting books. Need a piece of paper to write down that stupid email address? Write it in the middle of a notebook. Need to add something to the grocery list but don’t have a piece of paper handy? Write it in the middle of the notebook.

I now prefer to document my writing, research, images, and ideas on my laptop.

I must admit I have kept things in much better order than the days of pen and paper. I keep/download too many things on my desktop, but they all eventually find a folder home of their own. I have folders for Stories, Chapters, Essays – Finished, and Stories, Chapters, Essays – Unfinished. I have a Humoring the Goddess folder with dozens of sub-folders.  I have one called Recipes, one called Resumes, and one called Research (which, btw, has the largest, oddest assortment of information I’ve ever seen). Novels have their own folder; inside those are sub-folders of character backgrounds, copy I’ve cut and couldn’t part with, earlier versions from cavemen days, maps of ancient landscapes that may or may not be relevant – all kinds of weird stuff.

I have folders with images: with my downloading prowess I’ve no doubt got three copies of every photo I’ve ever downloaded from my phone. I’ve got family photos, photos I’ve used in blogs, photos I think are cool, photos that are inspiration for other projects, and photos that are…just photos.

I’ve got a very busy Sunday Evening Art Gallery folder, with one subbie for “dones” and another subbie with “futures.” I’ve got folders with names of novels I’ve never finished, folders of novels I’ve finished, and books I’ve downloaded and have yet to read. I’ve got cute little folders such as Girl Things, Books-Music-Words, and Family Cards and Art, and boring ones like Taxes and Passwords.

The cool thing about keeping all those folders and documents around is once I open them,  it’s like time-traveling through the galaxy. Where did I get these things? Why were they important to me at the time? What did I want to do with these things?

Through the years I have carried these folders and documents and images with me, from computer to computer, from flash drive to flash drive. This is the most organized I have been, organizing the most useless information. But then again, that’s not really true. If I look closely, there is a growth pattern here. Much like the journals I kept in my 40s, there is a growth curve here somewhere. There is an emotional maturity I’ve slowly achieved, even though my future horizons are as open as ever.

I do like the fact that this is one area of my life that I’ve been able to categorize. I mean, I do detailed work at work, I keep a clean house, my DVDs are alphabetized (so I don’t have to go through piles every time I’m looking for a movie), and I’ve even attempted to clean out my kitchen cabinets.

But there’s something satisfying about opening a pretzel logic database and actually being able to find something. There’s something fun about thumbing through my Research folder and perusing auras, Rite of Pan, Medieval words, wormholes, and clichés.

What a weirdo! And what a galaxy to explore!

Tell me about YOUR computer. Are you organized? Do you have more ideas than gigabites? Or are you a catcher-catch-can kinda laptopper?

Not Today

computer-freakout-gifI have finally started to settle down from my week in Eagle River, Wisconsin. “Great Times Come With the Territory” is the ER code. I tend to agree. I went up with my grandbaby and daughter-in-law at the beginning of the week, the Men joining us on Friday. Every day I kept saying “I could get used to this.” Sleeping in late, not much cleaning to speak of, morning walks to the lake, boat rides, naps — you get the picture.

I also found myself slowly melting into a pool of pudding. A little less motivation each day. More of an urge to sit on the deck with a drink (mostly non-alcoholic), making small talk, reading Game of Thrones Book I. Catching rays at the beach. No TV, just DVDs and VHS tapes. I had a slow Internet connection, but it was just enough to check e-mails and Facebook.

And I kept on saying, “I could get used to this.”

But I had a job and a house and two cats four hours south of the “Great Times” town that I needed to get back to. So with a sigh of resignation and a bit of Zen I returned to my ‘real’ ity.  Driving down the backroads to my office computer job this morning, I realized that maybe it was a good thing to come back when I did. Escaping for a week, forgetting after a while to check the clock, staying up late, sleeping later, really warped my reality. I found it so easy to forget about world news and office gossip and all the things that bug me. I didn’t have to compete with anyone, compare myself with anyone, nor push myself past the point of no return. I ran around morning through evening with my favorite four-year-old, screwing up my biological clock and my muscles, not caring about either.

I found myself becoming a Duh. I suppose that’s not a bad thing. If sitting and staring off the deck through the seasons became my daily fare, I imagine sooner or later my A.D.D. would kick in and I’d be rabbiting around town in no time. I’m sure I’d get back into the groove and write up a storm and maybe even put enough energy into it to get published. Or start a real live exercise routine like walking to the lake (and further) and back every morning.

Then there’s the winters up there. From November through April it’s snow boots, snow shovels, and snow flakes (both the water and people kind). Unless you are a snowmobile babe (which I definitely am not), the most action you get during the week is running to the grocery store. Writing time — maybe. Sleeping time — definitely. An easy road to Winter Duh.

So I suppose for now it’s better to be tied to a computer entering data eight hours a day, feeling overworked and under-appreciated, never having enough time to do what I need to do, less what I want to do, having problems sleeping and waking up, trying to find a way to work out my day shift with my husband’s night shift.

Better to be a frazzled, burned out Duh than a sleepy, pleasantly lethargic Duh.

At least for now.


Look Through Any Window

CAM00209I keep saying over and over again that I’m not getting older, that technology isn’t getting the best of me. After all, I do work in an office; I do code copy for the Web; I do work with spreadsheets and word documents, and do design a website here and there. So it’s not like I’m a rookie here.

But I recently bought a new laptop with Windows 8, and I can’t tell you how lost I am.

There are boxes on the startup screen that mean nothing to me. Boxes I want nothing to do with. Yet it is nearly impossible to figure out how to get rid of them. I’ve been looking for how to open the DVD drive (besides pushing the button on the side), or how to put an icon on the desktop. Every corner is a link to another universe. Is this supposed to be the new wave of enlightenment? The “world” at my “fingertips”?

I am beginning to understand why my father wanted to cocoon himself in his apartment in his later years. I can see why seasoned veterans would rather make phone calls with a flip phone or turn on the telly and have only 5 stations to choose from. Every time I turn around I have to learn something “new” which, to most of us, means “complicated.”

I am all for growing and learning something new. Or reinforcing what we already know. You’re never too young or too old to develop or refine your skills. I know a lady who is learning to speak a new language, a girlfriend who is going to cooking school, and a couple of guys who are building a car practically from scratch. What’s not to learn? So it takes some of us a little longer to put piece 1a3 into 2f6; sooner or later we figure it out, and are (hopefully) wiser for the fact.

But back to Windows 8. Who really needs all this stuff? Who needs three different browsers and two photo saving programs and clouds and Skypes and skies and a dozen game icons? I know – they all have their special place in others’  lives. My girlfriend used Skype to talk to her husband who was in Thailand, and many people would never know what their nieces or nephews or their kid’s friends’ kids look like if it weren’t for downloading their photos into one of the galleries. Listening to your own music from your laptop is really nice, too.

But what I don’t need is to click on four different corners to change screens, or a plethora of icons that will take me weeks to figure out. Am I just lazy? I don’t like that word. Stupefied? No…not that word either. Mystified? Well, I do like that word, but I hate to use it on such a three-dimensional object as a laptop. Maybe it’s more like being … distracted. I am such a sensitive, awakened, seasoned, middle-aged persona (like you) that I don’t have time to waste learning things that aren’t important to me (kinda like the subjects in college).

I already have a hard enough time coordinating jewelry and outfits. Or keeping my laptop files in some semblance of order. I’m not up for figuring out squares and corners. I just want simple word documents and chat boxes and an easy way to get to WordPress. For me and my limited play time, all I really need is a laptop with a smooth keyboard, a bit of Photoshop to play with images, and, okay, I-Tunes. And that mahjong game. And the link to Yahoo TV.  And, okay. The link to my horoscope. You get my drift.

My head’s already in the clouds enough the way it is. I’m not sure I need my laptop there, too….