Thursday, April 30, 2009

Maybe there's something to this.....

About a week ago a friend sent me one of those emails that you are supposed to pass on. She said that two days after she sent it, she found money in the parking lot. I usually don't do those but this one caught my attention since it had the word "money" attached to it. Like in .... getting money. It was a "Money Fairy" and said if I passed it along that I would get some unexpected money. Wow....who couldn't use THAT.

I passed it along to several friends and waited. Two days after, I received a notice in the mail stating that the President had signed something that would give me, as well as many others, $250 just because I get Social Security. Well, that was unexpected and I sure can use it. A day after that I received my income tax refund. I expected that but I still can use it. Today I received a phone call stating that I had been overcharged on a bill and my refund of $300 would be coming in the mail tomorrow or the next day. Now, THAT was truly unexpected.

Makes you sort of wonder if there isn't something to these "good luck fairies". I'm not about to look a gift the mouth. Let me know if you want her....I'll send her on to you too.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My horns were out.....

Peaceful evening at home. Supper is finished, dishes are done. Settling back with a good book.........


Me: Hello

Phone: (recorded announcement) This is your final and very last chance to make sure your vehicle is covered under warranty. We have made several attempts to contact you....DON'T DELAY...your warranty is about to expire. Press 1 now to be connected to one of our trained warranty specialists.

Me: (pressing 1)

Phone: This is Jennifer...please give me the year and make of your vehicle.

Me: Jennifer, I think there's been some mistake. My vehicle is 16 years old.

Phone: 'click'

Earlier today: One of the strangest calls I've ever received.


Me: Hello

Phone: Recorded announcement. "If you were expecting a call from eBay, press the pound sign now"

Me: hanging up.


I would just like to know one thing. Whatever happened to the "Do not call" list. I don't think its working. It seems like the loophole for exemptions has gotten bigger and bigger. Just sayin'.......

Saturday, April 25, 2009

So long dear friend.....

I met her playing a word game. She said something in the chat section about hurting her knee and I offered her some advice along with worry that she hadn't seen a doctor. That started a nearly 7 year internet friendship. I never met her personally but I have pictures and Christmas cards and if she didn't hear from me for a couple days, she would call me. We lived in the same state but over 300 miles apart. I kept planning on making the trip to see her.

We chatted online Wednesday for a long time...Thursday she wasn't online so I sent her an email. I came home from work on Friday to a message waiting for me on my answering machine. When I listened to the message I was in shock. It was her son....whom I had never talked to before. He was telling me that she had died in her sleep sometime during Thursday night into Friday morning. The whole family is numb....she leaves behind a husband, 3 children and 5 grandchildren.....and two very devoted dogs. She had not been ill, but had complained to me about not feeling too well the last few days. She had high blood pressure and had run out of her medication months ago. She put off getting to the doctor for a refill.

We chatted online nearly every single day for almost 7 years. She was a very dear and close friend. We confided in each other....we trusted one another and I will miss her more than I can ever say. Don't let anyone ever tell you that a friend you haven't met in person can't be a close one. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What the ?.....

Ok, so a couple posts back I mentioned that I bought another printer to replace my very old one. My old one still worked but no longer would print in color so I felt the need to upgrade. Since I'd had such good luck with this brand name....Hewlett Packard...I decided to buy the same kind. I went to their site and began searching for a replacement.

Now you know if someone gives you TOO many choices, it takes a lot longer to make up your mind. I searched their site for hours. I read all the specs, I read all the reviews from other buyers (which are very helpful). I checked out the type of ink cartridges that were required and if people complained about the ink usage. I thought I was being very diligent in my search. I finally picked one out. My scanner had quit working a year ago so I was in need of another one of those also. I thought it would be a good idea to buy the printer that also scans....and it copies and it faxes too. The fact that I got it at almost half price was a good selling point too.

I couldn't get it hooked up immediately upon arrival because my eyesight was impaired due to a visit to my eye doctor. I had to wait for a few days until I had the patience and time to devote to this endeavor. When the time came, I unhooked my old printer, deleted the software and began my adventure. All was going well until I tried to scan. Everything came to a screeching halt. The printer promptly folded its arms, clamped its jaw tightly and flatly refused to scan. It was nice enough to tell me its own language of course. So I had to go to their site and find the online manual since no manual was shipped with the printer....and look up the reason in the FAQ section relating to scanning. It suggested a couple things to do and then stated if those failed I must contact customer support. I tried, I I called customer support.....thank God for toll free 800 numbers. I was connected to a support person within a minute and my prayers for someone without an accent were quickly squelched as soon as he opened his mouth. But he wasn't TOO bad and I figured I could possibly work with him. I don't know if I was calling India but my support person certainly was of that origin.

He was very nice and very knowledgeable. He had the patience of a SAINT as he tried different things to get this printer to scan, which it stubbornly refused to do. I granted him remote access to my machine and watched as he did various things.....deleted the program for the printer and reinstalled it....twice. This man worked very hard but ultimately he was unable to get the printer to scan because my operating system is Windows 2000 and I guess the scanning feature of the printer is incompatible with that version of Windows. They did not say that in the specs....matter of fact it stated that it WAS compatible with Windows 2000 and that was a selling point for me.

After four hours and 20 minutes on the phone with support and the scanning feature still inoperable, I did thank my support person enthusiastically, but it was time to let it go. He worked very hard but it just wasn't cooperating. I asked to speak with his supervisor and praised him for his patience and his knowledge even though he was not able to conquer the problem. What made me laugh under my breath MANY times during this call was that he kept saying to me...."relax, breathe deeply, do not get stressed....this is just a machine. I will help you....we will fix not worry". What a wonderful way to look at things. So...Nareesh....bless you, wherever you are....for the patience you had and for keeping me from chewing through the phone wires. I hope Hewlett Packard gives this guy a raise......and I also hope Hewlett Packard looks at their marketing department and makes sure they are a bit more accurate when they say something will work with a certain operating system. Yeah....I know....I'm due for a computer upgrade. It'll happen eventually....I'll be forced into it. But for right now I just don't want to fool with it.

My old printer, apparently feeling rejected and indignant, decided to leak black ink onto my living room carpet where I had set the printer by the door so my grandson could take it home to use with his computer since he has no printer at all. Thank goodness my carpeting is several shades of dirt, all swirled together....but the black ink showed up like a neon sign in the desert. My daughter and I worked at it for quite some time, blotting first, then using Rug Doctor to try and get it cleaned up. Almost a whole bottle of the stuff later, the stain is very faint and probably would not be noticed by a stranger....but I can see it. At my age.....and I'm still learning. Never trust an old printer....of course if I hadn't stupidly stood it up on end, it may not have done this. Who knew ink could leak out of those cartridges?......certainly not me. Keep smilin'.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A celebration.....

Actually it was yesterday. I am immensely proud of myself for yesterday was the 19th anniversary of me quitting smoking.

Medically doctor informed me that anyone who has not smoked in 15 years, is considered to have never smoked. How great is that!

I made my decision after they announced that cigarettes were going to go up 25 cents a pack. I was already paying $1.41 a pack and was UPSET over this price hike. (Jeez, I know I'm aging myself here, but when I first started smoking, they were only 23 cents a pack. You would put a quarter in the machine and the pack would have 2 pennies taped to the side. Anybody else remember that?)

I made up my mind that there was no way I was going to give the cigarette company any more of my money. The very next day was the first day for me not to light up with my morning coffee in a long, long time. Yep, I had some crabby days.....some days I was just a plain bitch that you'd have to walk a wide circle around....but I mostly held it together pretty well. I was glad that I'd never gotten into the habit of smoking in bed or waking up and smoking in the middle of the night like a friend of mine did. It was just one less habit I had to break. My hardest time was when I had a cup of coffee. It just seemed like a cigarette went with the I've found out that a Danish tastes so much better. LOL

I quit "cold turkey". I had tried to quit a couple times before but failed after only a few days. I even went to a hypnotist for help. It didn't help. I think that I just wasn't ready. You have to WANT to quit....REALLY want to quit before you can. I wanted to. And I did it. I'm so glad I did and I wish I could convince my children to do the same. But....they will when they're ready.

I also wish I could pass on some things to others who are struggling to quit but each person is different. Whenever I felt a craving I did play a hand held game....Gameboy I believe it was called and I would play Tetris on it. That helped to keep my hands busy and soon the craving would pass. I also did an odd thing because I found it absolutely necessary to carry a pack with me at all times. I never opened it....but I just had to have it in my purse. After 3 months I finally gave away the unopened pack to a friend who smoked the same brand. It was at that time that I finally

I wish I would have put the money I would have spent on cigarettes in my savings account. I meant to do that but you forget after a while. I don't even want to sit down and add up what it would have amounted to in all these years.

So Smocha....keep up the good work. If I can do it, anybody can. You will feel so much better and thats really what its all about. You just wait and see!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And I didn't even get kissed.....

Monday, being what it is.....Monday....can hold many surprises for us. I drove to work without thinking too much about anything except that I didn't get much sleep the night before. Once in a while that happens to me and it really makes me sympathize with people who have trouble sleeping every night.

I don't think I'd been at work for more than an hour when one the the department heads came up to me and said that my passenger front tire was nearly flat. What! Those are almost brand new tires. I just got them a few months ago.

I couldn't leave my desk since I was the only one there to answer phones at the time so I had to sit and wait. Soon the maintenance guy came in and I asked him if he would take a look at my tire. He came back shortly and said it was nearly totally flat. He said he'd get the portable air compressor and put some air in it and see what happens. I told him that I had hit a really big pothole a couple days ago. He just gave me that look. You know the look. That look that men give you when they think you have the intelligence of a flea. He came back a few minutes later and said it took air OK and he'd check it again in a couple hours. He more or less implied that he thought I drove the 6 miles to work on a flat. I told him that it wasn't flat when I was driving it; I would have felt it. I've had a flat before....I know what it feels like. He gave me that look again.

The tire held air fine all day and when I got out of work at 5, I headed straight for Belle Tire, which is about 3 miles away. They informed me that I had a gigantic SCREW in that tire and they fixed it. I'm gonna tell you that I'm mad that the tire is damaged because it was new....but I'm glad that they found something so that I can report to the men at work that there was something that made it go flat after I got to work and I didn't drive it like that from home like a brainless wonder. I figure I must have ran over it just before pulling into the parking lot at work. How it managed to hold air all day long is a mystery I'd rather not think about....I'm just glad it held air long enough for me to make it 3 miles to get it fixed. *Sigh*

Friday, April 10, 2009

Computers....gotta love em.....and a thank you.

I have spent so many hours and hours in front of a computer monitor that I see it in my sleep. My workplace is putting something new into effect....using PDF files. Now, I'm a long-time word processor user...first it was WordPerfect and for the past 10 years its been Word. With all that use, you become proficient and settle into a comfy little niche. Then they put something new in front of your face.

Does anyone know anything about PDF files that could help us understand them more. To me its like a graphic image on the paper that you cannot edit without special software. The special software will be coming to us in the next few months when everything else is all in place. The one thing bad about employers is that when they implement something new, they expect you to be all versed on it and able to perform within say......15 minutes. My co-worker and I are trying to get a head start on it all. She knows just about everything at work but she's not the best when it comes to computers if its something that ventures out of the normal range of just typing. That's where I come in. I know a bit more about computers and will work on something forever in order to master it. She leaves it to me to figure it out and then teach least when it comes to computing.

I've never had to use PDF files before and am puzzled by them. You can incorporate them in Word but you have to hold your breath and say a couple prayers first for patience. This is what I've been working on for the past week or so. I think we finally have it mastered and I'm sure we've gone about it the most difficult way....but at least its done. I can't say that it looks well incorporated within a Word document.....I'm not totally pleased with it but for the time being, it will have to do. If anyone has worked with these files and can give me some hints, it would be appreciated.

Is it any wonder that I had an eye doctor's appointment in the middle of all this. The exam turned out pretty well and my eyes haven't changed much at all. I wear contact lenses and love them. I've been wearing contacts since 1961 and can't rave about them enough. They had to dilate my eyes while there and I spent the next 8 hours with hampered vision. I hate that feeling. Of course when I got home, a box was waiting for me and it was my new printer. My old workhorse finally gave it up after 12 years of VERY dedicated work for me. I naturally stuck with the same company and was fortunate that they were having a wonderful sale. I got this printer for almost half off the regular price. I was anxious to unpack everything and get it up and running but I couldn't see well enough and had to postpone it. That is what I'm going to tackle today. I just hope and pray everything thats supposed to be in the box really IS in the box. You know how that goes. I did notice right off the bat that the instruction manual is not included in the box. Apparently if you desire such a thing, you have to download and print it off yourself (only 218 pages). What's up with that? I guess its a ploy to get you to use more ink. I'm not going to print it off unless I can't find what I want by looking at it its PDF file format.

I will end this post by relaying a message from my daughter to all of you who had such kind and encouraging comments for her. She said that during the first night of her class in Drug and Alcohol Abuse she felt your presence there with her. She, of course, had to be tested before entering the class and her test was, of course, negative. She tried to get something positive out of the class even though it really didn't pertain to her as she does not partake of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs. Afterward she sat in her car in the parking lot and cried. Tears of relief that one session of one class out of three was finished and prayed for strength to manage the rest of the sessions. The instructor had informed the class that "passing" this particular class could take as long as 9 months...if you continued to be in denial about your problem. She to deal with this. She doesn't have the problem but they surely will interpret that as DENIAL of her can she fake it and pretend to have the problem and then pretend to be getting better. It made her head hurt to think of it. The following week, she went through the same process for this same class and, again, felt the strength coming from all of you. Within 3 days, she received a letter (divine intervention?) stating that she would no longer have to take this class and they would be transferring her into another class, which is Anger Management. Someone is finally paying attention and recognized that she did not belong there. So, she will take the Anger Management and attempt to come away with something positive out of it. There isn't a person anywhere that can't take a few tips on how to manage your anger every now and then. She sends a sincere thank you to all of you. We can get through this. We WILL get through this. Bless you all.