Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tis the Season to fight technology

(Or why you should never spill coffee into your lap top computer)

by Maria Geraci

Technology and I do not mix. Let me tell you why.

A couple of weeks ago the unthinkable happened. While typing away feverishly on my previous 10-year-old Dell lap top computer, I accidentally knocked over the nearly full cup of steaming hot coffee I'd been drinking.

Although my first impulse was to dial 911, I refrained and instead acted like the quick thinking nurse/slash/author that I am. I turned my laptop over and gave it a few solid whacks on the back (ala the Heimlich Maneuver). It sort of worked. Most of the coffee came dripping out, but I knew that some was stuck in there too and my only alternative at this point was to wait it out and hope that once the coffee dried, my lap top wouldn't mind too much. Heck, maybe the caffeine might even give it some sort of boost.

Alas, it did not. While it's mostly workable, every once in while it does this wacky sort of thing (yes, that's how I tried to explain it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy) and it's just too unreliable now for a working author. Which means I need a new lap top.

Lesson learned: Liquids and lap tops are not simpatico.

On to my iPhone problems. I am one of those people who own an original iPhone. Yes, I was one of those foolish millions who rushed to buy an iPhone before Apple got their stuff together on the product. Which meant that within the first 3 months of owning the little darling, I had to get 2 replacement phones because none of them worked correctly. By the time I was on my 3rd iPhone I vowed (Scarlet O'Hara style) never to buy one again. But... I did love a lot about it. The keyboard was big enough to text easily, I could get my emails on my phone. I could use it as a camera. Heck, I could even check the weather. I really liked that little phone. Alas, it's now so outdated that none of the updates will take, which means, I guess that it's long past time for a new phone. But I'm just not sure I'm ready for a new iPhone. I mean, do I trust them again? Surely, by now they have their act together. Everyone else seems to love the newest versions (including my kids), so I guess I should swallow my pride, forget my hand fisted vow and upgrade to a new iPhone 5 (or whatever number it's on now).

Lesson learned: Don't buy the newest product until the manufacturer has a chance to work out the kinks. No one wants to be a consumer guinea pig.

And last but not least... my outdoor Christmas lights have gone wacky.

I love Christmas lights. I put them up the first weekend in December and they stay on until a couple of days after New Years (bah Humbug to those people who take their Christmas decorations down December 26th!).

This season I have 3 sections of lights going a la Clark Griswald. Two in the front of the house, one on the side. All the sections are on separate timers programmed to go on at  6pm and turn off at midnight. The first few days, all was well. Then I noticed one of the front sections was delayed a few minutes. Then the side section started turning on about 15 minutes earlier than the front sections. No problem. I simply redid all the timers, which fixed the problem. For a day or so. Last night the left front section turned on, business as usual. I waited for the right front section to follow. And waited. And waited. Finally, exasperated, I marched outside to see what the problem was. That's when I found the left front section timer was missing a dial. How did that happen? Beats me. All I know is, I give up. I have 3 healthy beautiful children and a very patient husband who laughs at all my foolishness.  I will enjoy the lights when and if they decide to come on.

Lesson learned: Technology might beat me down, but it will never crush my Christmas spirit.

I wish you and your family, a joyous, healthy holiday filled with much love!


  1. Marie, thanks for the chuckles. I'd hold off on the iPhone until they get a decent maps app.

    I hope you get your new laptop soon. I know what a hassle being without a computer is.

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