Friday, August 28, 2009

Death of a Computer

I came home to find a dead computer, and all my frantic attempts at resuscitation were in vain. Nobody admitted to seeing the actual demise of the PC, so it must have quietly expired while I was at work and Turtle and Claye were gallivanting around the countryside.

Not that there hadn't been signs, mind you. For two weeks now, something has been nibbling away at the computer innards. We first noticed it when Turtle exploded: "Hey! Where's Free Cell? It's not on here! Of all the stupid..." And though we tried to calm him, it only resulted in muttered threats of how we'd like it if someone deleted Puzzle Pirates, or worse yet--Facebook!
Nobody was deleting anything...and yet the fact remained. Not only Free Cell, but Spider Solitaire and all the standard games that stock the basic set-up were gone.

The next noticeable glitch came three days later: I did a print screen and tried to save it in paint. No Paint. Where was paint? How can there be a windows without paint? And was gone...spilled messily throughout the modem, no doubt, and dumped osmotically into that vast chasm called the "void of lost foreverness" where it joined, very probably, a malicious hoard of run-away homework assignments and painstakingly filled out income tax forms.

This was a ravenous bug indeed.

So today, when I walked into the house and saw a black screen instead of my computer generated screen-saver aquarium fish, I panicked. However, after only a moment in this hysterical state, I regained control and promptly began CPR--computer procedures for resuscitation. I restarted the system five or six times, plugged and unplugged all the cords, struck all the magic F keys, and hurled insults at the stubborn monitor, but one cold truth remained written indelibly on the screen after every feeble attempt at re-bootation: the virus had finally swallowed a vital organ--something nameless and only referred to as number 32. tum-tum-tum.

Well, it looked like I'd stumbled onto a hopeless situation, but I wasn't giving up yet...I had a shock disc--a re-installation CD--ha ha! I pulled out the paddles and said: "Stand Back!"

No biggie. It only took three hours to reformat and reload.

So here I am on my new computer; the sound isn't working yet, but I have e-mail, facebook, and picture it again. Interestingly enough I also have all those little games that come with the computer--Turtle will be happy to find free cell...and...I didn't lose any documents or pictures; they were all safe on my external hard drive. (As you can tell, this has happened before with more tragic results.) Life is grand in computer land.

A Book Young Children Will Love

Here's a book that children absolutely love. It's all about manners. Yes, that wasn't a typo. Manners. It's called, "Do I Have to Say Hello?

Years ago, my own children received it as a gift from their own "Aunt Delia". They enjoyed it. I packed it away, and now the grand kids have discovered it. The format consists mainly of multiple choice questions dealing with correct behavior and polite responses in various situations. The wrong answers are so inappropriate that everyone cracks up, but the lesson is taken, nonetheless. As an added bonus, the drawings are ludicrous and particularly amusing to elementary children.
I recommend that every adult read it aloud to a child. They both might learn something and it's great to laugh together.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Storms, Shadows, and Sunshine

Yesterday afternoon it rained...poured is more like it...Standing on my porch, I felt like I had been trapped behind a waterfall in a secret, dark cavern. It was wonderful. When the light broke through and the drips diminished, everything was colored a dull yellow gold. I stepped outside to see this rainbow stretching across the heavens. If you look closely, you will see another arc behind it...a shadow, if you will of the rainbow.