Monday, March 26, 2007

A Lot of Inconvenience

This is a disappointing announcement of something that happened right here on my blogging desk. It happened on Saturday while I stifled the scream of a PMSing crow. I felt as if two of my fingers on each hand were removed. My first thought was, “How will I post on my blog?” An hour on the phone with the Dell technician resulted in him pronouncing my laptop remote mouse and keyboard dead. It might be up to a week before the replacement parts arrive, so, until then I’ll be reaching for my poor, motionless mouse and cursing to high heaven. Speaking to an English speaking-challenged Dell technician for over an hour who just couldn’t get the service ID numbers right nearly put Michael and I over the edge. Michael must have flipped the laptop over six times to clearly and loudly recite the ID numbers too many times, using a lighted magnifier lens to read the ridiculously small print. “C as in Charles, N as in Nancy, K as in Kevin…and it went on and on…


Why am I so upset? I learned to type on a manual typewriter (another age reveal). Speed and accuracy have always been my goal. My fingers fly over a keyboard while I gaze through the window. Laptop keyboards aren’t the same. When I see people using a laptop keyboard, I imagine they never really learned to keyboard at all and they just hunt and peck with four fingers at 20 wpm. How pathetic. I’m probably dead wrong but I can’t believe high school students have the type of keyboard proficiency I have learned.

On Sunday I discovered how challenged I am in this new situation. With my arms and elbows held high above the desk, I had trouble typing simple three letter words and just couldn’t keep my pointer fingers on the F and J keys. Then I had the bright idea to raise my chair six inches. Duh... I had planned to work diligently on my template but that will have to wait. It’s still slow going.

Perhaps after a week of weaning from my traditional keyboard and mouse, I’ll step into the year 2007 and start pricing one of those wireless laptops that I can carry around with me. Now, what type of gear would I need on a daily basis to carry a laptop, binocs, and camera to the grocery store?


A weekend highlight was the temperature. The pond is in bad shape after a drastic change in temperature with an algae bloom of the string and free-floating variety clogging the filter and pump. I'll need to purchase some chemicals very soon.


We haven't had a chance to shed our winter coats! The warm temperatures offered some tongue wagging smiles. These photos were taken as the dogs were resting.


No googly eyes on this Boston. Bella exudes sweetness in her expression.


Mr. Biggins came to visit and I wanted to grab that slab of a tongue and if I did, he wouldn't care at all. He's a very sweet young man.


A googly eyed girl. Chloe has been transformed into a puppy again after her surgery in February. Have you ever seen a wider grin on a dog? What a comic.


I...just...can't...resist these little Chickadees. I'll take their photos until the end of time.


This red-bellied woodpecker visited on Friday and Saturday. Although he is not as brave as the others, I used my stalking skills to get this shot. I'm so thrilled.

It might delight some of my readers that I won't be posting in my usual long-winded style this week. This post took longer than I thought it would since I'm keyboard challenged tonight. I tried, though. Gee, this is hard. I just reached for my dead mouse for the 50th time.


LauraHinNJ said...

I remember manual typewriters, Mary - you're not THAT old!


I totally can't type properly. I took one semester of typing and dropped it after that because it reminded me too much of piano class. I'm pretty quick though and always hold my pinkie fingers high like a good pianist!

The dogs are cute and happy, but I can hardly imagine your heat so soon!

I've never used chemicals in my pond - rely instead on the UV light which does a pretty good job so long as I don't mind a bit of string algae in the shallows.

I wonder what you use that doesn't hurt the fish or your plants?

Cuppa said...

Old habits are hard to break aren't they? You might hear me screaming this week too. Because AC's laptop is in the repair shop I am using an old laptop that has the delete key, the control key and backspace key in a different place than I am used to and it is driving my CRAZY!!!!

ON a brighter note though, take heart my dear. I learned to type on a manual typewriter in high school too and had great difficulty adjusting to the flat keyboard on my laptop, but now I love it. I have to have the laptop on my laptop though. I can't sit at a desk and use it.

LOve the chickadee pics too. Never tire of them, so keep 'em coming.

Ruth said...

We had a Dell computer in our household that landed us in the "Dell Hell" support system. Never will I buy another one! I use my laptop on my lap, otherwise I get a stiff shoulder and neck. I can visualize you using your "stalking skills" on that woodpecker. Sounds like something out of Napoleon Dynamite. LOL!

Susan Gets Native said...

Being the young chick that I am, I learned to truly type on a computer keyboard in high school. But my first experience with typing was on my Mom's old manual. It was dark green metal and weighed about 7000 pounds. Those long arms with the letters on the end were fascinating.
I can type fairly quickly, but my left pinkie is so weak. I have trouble with the "q" and "z".

Red-bellieds are so shy. Keep up the stealth moves!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I learned on a manual typewriter too, although we were excited to have 2 new "IBM Selectric" typewriters in the class. This many years later and I've become on of those 4 finger pecking typists. My high school graduation present was a Smith Corona "Sterling" (my kids think it's a hoot to play with!)

Unknown said...

I learned to type on a manual but mastered on a selectric. However, I can switch from keyboard to keyboard and still maintain my speed (90+ wpm) with only a little adjustment time.

Remember, however, that the old hands held high, fingers curled methods are no longer recommended. Now, you want to keep your wrists as flat as possible in order to avoid aggravating the carpal tunnel.

Still, broken computer bits and pieces are well worth screaming about -- particularly when PMS is rearing its ugly head. Hope all is better this week!

Annie in Austin said...

Mary, I'm typing on a keyboard with a mouse right now [not even a wireless mouse - this one is attached!] and have no real experience on a laptop. It must feel very strange to you to switch like that!

I didn't have typing class in school. My parents gave me a portable manual typewriter with an instruction book at Christmas of senior year in high school. So I had a few months to learn before college started.

The birds and dogs look thrilled to have spring!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't think they even teach kids actual "keyboarding" anymore in school. By the time they are 6 their fingers are already flying over a keyboard in some haphazard fashion. I teach in a post-secondary school, and these habits are hard to break, "home row" ?? What's that??
Love your bird pics!! I know the difficulty of stalking the red-bellied woodpecker. He is so easily spooked!

KGMom said...

Keyboarding--indeed! I leanred on a manual typewriter, too, and in fact typed my master's thesis (all 100 pages) on a manual. And did it in 3 days, no mistakes!
I think I would have a harder time getting used to the dead mouse. I do remember some DOS commands, so losing the mouse isn't a complete disaster for me, but most inconvenient.
Oh, so you have met the English challenged help--we went through that in Dec. when we dropped Verizon for internet connection.
So glad your camera is stil in fine shape--love the photos of the girls.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I do believe that Chloe's smile is wider than her head!!!

sonia a. mascaro said...

I remember manual typewriters, Mary, and I have till now my old one as ornament from an old era! LOL!

I don't like laptop keyboards, too.

Love all your photos. What a beautiful tiny plants in the pond!

Bella, Chloe and Mr. Biggins are just adorable! And they are really smiling! I can't remember, who is the owner of Mr. Biggins?

Anonymous said...

The keyboarding class that I took in highschool was the best thing I had ever done! Of course, all the kids in class cheated to get better grades (everything was based on the curve)! But, I kept strong and learned the right way! Although my grades might not have been as good, I probably type 80 words a minutes on the laptop/normaly keyboard. But, mistakes do happen and I have always struggled with spelling. Sorry to hear about your computer! Ugg, what was up with Saturday?

Mary said...

Laura, the UV light works great but my pond is in full sun and if I get a break out of string algae I need to rid of it. I use algae fix (safe for pondlife) but you need to be careful of inhibiting plant growth.

Cuppa, I don't think I'll ever LOVE the laptop keyboard!

Ruth, I really know how to stalk :0)

Susan, my Mom had a typwriter like that - I think it was a Royal - dark green and weighed 7,000 lbs.

Lynne, I really liked those self-correcting Selectrics! Isn't Chloe's face a cartoon?!

Liza, my wrists lay flatter than they used to but I still bang away old style.

Annie, I'm ready for the "wired" mouse and keyboard...hmmmfff.

Hi Nancy! I agree with you and doubt they are taught how to keyboard and if they are, the requirements are minimal. Glad you enjoyed my dog faces and birds!

Donna, yes, at the least the camera is operating. I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

Sonia, Mr. Biggins is my daughter's boy (my granddog). He's a one year old Boxer mix.

Mon@rch, it is so worth it to be able to keyboard. Good for you! I don't know what cloud hung over my head on Saturday. We never had trouble with the Dell desktop...

dmmgmfm said...

Oh how well I understand! I am forced to use a laptop keyboard right now as well. It has cut my typing speed in half and we won't even go into my accuracy, which was dicey at best!

Good to see you posting, even if they are short...

Julie Zickefoose said...

U kin du it, Mary. Jest git uset to it. I did and luk at me!