Happy Monday

Enzo wanted to say hello.

I’ve stayed reasonably current with technology since I demi-retired. I’m good with all the basic software, for business and pleasure, that daily life in 2023 requires. I’ve made peace with every new version of Word, Excel, and my built-in photos software. That’s about all I need. But by default, I’m the also hardware/software technician in this household, and I don’t like that one bit. Never have. Everyone has different gifts, which is what an astute former boss of mine used to say when she was forced to be realistic about the capabilities of her tiny nonprofit staff. My husband’s gifts, and they are numerous, are very different from my own. Which means that if something involving our Macs or phones or cable/internet service hiccoughs, I’m the one at bat. Because I love the wider world made possible by that modem sitting over there in the corner, I’m willing at least to try to find a fix.

I don’t remember who said, “Everything works if you unplug it for 30 seconds.” Maybe it’s just a Facebook meme, but it’s definitely the first line of defense for Comcast (bless their thieving hearts) or software that locks up or a phone that does something glitchy. Mostly I’m successful, and unintimidated, in such situations. New equipment is a whole other ball of wax.

This morning, I spent almost half an hour trying to insert ink cartridges in our new printer. Since so much today is basically plastic junk, I’m always leery of pulling too hard and struggled for a bit before I finally got the cradle in the right position to drop in the cartridges. The next challenge was getting my laptop and Hubby’s desktop to recognize the printer. Not quite the expected walk in the park, it turns out.

Backing up a bit, I should explain that when the gift of patience was being dispensed, I received plenty for the important things—family, dog, friendships, food. Getting myself on the right train, in Italian, in La Spezia. Listening to ten different tenors sing “Che gelida manina” on YouTube. Even become comfortably used to (or maybe deaf to) the endless din of Penn State football, then wrestling, from August to March. The things we do for love.

But for anything technical that requires a slightly higher level of knowledge or a slightly different thought process, I’m my father’s daughter. In other words, I throw a fit. Remember Ralphie’s father fixing the furnace in Christmas Story—not quite so colorful, but… Down deep, all I want to do is hurl the biggest hammer in the basement at that stupid plastic box. Instead, I grumble. I bang doors. I may use an unseemly word or phrase (having learned them all while living in a girls’ dorm). I’m sure I make my blood pressure go up. This is when I say, to anyone within earshot, or no one, as the case may be, “I’m never doing this again. Go find a 10-year-old” because I know that a 10-year-old would have had this task knocked by now.

So I took Enzo for a walk, which was lovely as the sun is actually shining this afternoon. Then I gave him a treat and sat down beside him to write my frustration away.

I’m sure that the new printer will be up and running by tomorrow.

Or in a heap by the trash can. Bets, anyone?

This week’s book recommendation: Ann Patchett’s magnificent collectedhttps://parnassusmusing.net essays, These Precious Days. I couldn’t put it down, and now I want to read everything else of hers that I’ve missed and take a roadtrip to Nashville to visit her bookstore, Parnassus (which you can follow on WordPress, by the way). But most of all, I want her wisdom, and her determination, and her honesty, and her humor. If you’re an essay fan, and maybe even if you’re not, please read it. By the way, I received this book in the mail, as a surprise, from a friend I haven’t seen in ages. What a way to start the new year!

Note: I’ve linked Roberto Alagna’s gorgeous “Che gelida ganina” for you. Searching will take you to countless Pavarotti recordings, but there are so many beautiful, expressive performances to be enjoyed. I personally think that Alagna has never gotten his due.

8 thoughts on “Happy Monday

  1. Apple Hill Cottage

    I hate printers. I was just messing around with my old HP. AGAIN. And thinking of just throwing it in the trash. I’m sorry for your trouble, but glad to know that it’s not just me😵‍💫 (I also love Ann Patchett and have written this down on my to read list…)


  2. Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    I have the same role here, and I’ve been known to walk away saying an unfriendly word or two. 🙂 Sometimes, I sit here googling on two laptops and my iPhone trying to find the answer. If all else fails, I wait until a grandchild visits, and they roll their eyes and do it in a couple of clicks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda Hungate

    I was laughing the whole way through this story. My husband is our “fix it” wizard except when it comes to the printer. The most dreaded words in our house…”I can’t get the printer to work”. What follows is an abrupt launching from his beloved recliner, stomping into the office, and a vow to throw this blankety blank, useless piece of plastic nightmare through the window. Petey, our cat, and I huddle together on the sofa wrapped up in a blanket praying that the storm passes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ron

    Hopefully, you guys made it through the recent deep freeze over your way.
    Well, I trust your printer is printing or resting peacefully in a nearby landfill. I’m the computer guy around here, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the changes. Luckily Eva has a wonderfully talented nephew nearby that can step in when needed.


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