Techno Cure

the damn key fob

For those companies that truly believe they are the….pentagon, get over it. When security is so tight that it renders you helpless with any tiny misstep, like leaving your key fob on your desk when you head out on a dealer visit, please stop it. We’re working here. To those companies that believe that outsourcing will give you the same level of service and understanding, start them in the field… To those companies that believe that everyone is tech savvy remember you have a few technosauruses left.

Call the help desk, forgot my key fob, can you help? Of course, I’m going to say the fob is lost and issue you a temporary blah blah number. Great. And….I’m going to send you the next ten so you can continue during the day (customer service added value I think to myself). When you get home call back and we’ll say the fob was found. Perfect.

Except. The temporary number didn’t work. I wasn’t able to open the list they sent on my phone. Luckily we could work in the dealer’s system and I could answer email on my phone.  Get home, call in and say “fob found”. Oh good they say and set me up again. Now I might not be tech savvy but common sense I got. Please stay on the line while I try it I say… guessed it, it doesn’t work. Moment please, tapping in the back ground and come to find out my fob isn’t live on the server, whatever the hell that means. Ok make it live. We will have to refer the ticket to that group. What group? “That group”. Ok but I need to work here…just sayin. Yes Miss Sandi we understand, doubtful I think.

Fast forward to this morning. Apparently “that group” was very accommodating emailing me instructions on how to reset, restore, re-something my fob. Trouble is I can’t read it on my phone so I send it to my home email (probably an enormous violation of pentagon security) where I can read it on my iPad. Go to blah blah blah.muc seriously that’s in another country but I try it and guess what… I can’t get in. Perhaps if I go to the office, no, I’m not doing that nothing gets done there and I’ve got serious stuff to actually do. I call back and “explain” my situation and they will do what they can. No, in my best do not F with me calm voice, I don’t want instructions I want you to do what you do on your server and let me know when I’m up and running. Here’s my cell number let me know when it’s done.

I hang up…and go to a Zumba class.

I know… but I went anyway. So for one hour I went and got my ass kicked by a little dynamo that likes to think she’s letting us work to our own level all the while giving you the stink eye if you’re not.  One hour of the best selection of Latin inspired salsa hip hop samba merengue music. I sweat my ass off, you would think I no long have an ass but I assure you, and for all the boxing segments I had visions of “that group” and help desk personnel. Completely spent I got home, showered, made a delicious cup of coffee and tried again.

It worked. I worked. No one got hurt. Thank you Missy.


Making a Living

Adorno Spring Fair (31)

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill

I took a photo walk today to the Adorno Father’s Spring Fair. They do a couple of them a year and really it’s our little town and surrounding towns coming out to eat, ride, play games and buy stuff. It’s the people selling the stuff that intrigued me this time.

It was not a typical spring day, it was chilly and windy and the vendors were bundled up. Trying to make a living at a Spring Fair would scare the hell out of me. But in talking to many of them I found this was supplemental income. It was the buying and selling of everyone’s favorite junk. It was the food vendors, who were not bundled up at all but grateful that for once they were not totally dehydrated by the end of the day. It was the crafters that knew they would not be able to make a living doing what they love until they retired and had a “real” source of income.

The carney people who bring the rides from Fair to Carnival to Celebration to Festival are simply people who want always to be moving. They are the ramblers and shifters of the bunch but I have to say, nice as hell.

There were volunteers collecting for veterans and the Adorno Fathers. There was the ever present Fair staple the 50/50. Take a chance, come on buy a ticket. We make a winner every half hour.

It was an afternoon filled with the smell of the grills, the music from the middle of the Fair, the kids laughing and screaming (especially the one who made it to the top of the rock wall and got “stuck”) the dogs, the elders and mostly all of us minglers and spenders.

Me, I had my camera and my gift of gab. I took their cards and email addresses and Facebook pages to pass along the photos from the day.   By doing what I love and giving it away I couldn’t help be very grateful for my ordinary little LIFE.

See the Adorno Spring Fair Album:








This was holy week, for Christians and Jews.  The energy of this week was at work on many levels.  In the midst of church going, fasting, cooking, gathering and praying little miracles were happening.  Those little miracles are the true resurrection and the light.  Reminders that there is something bigger at work…always.

Little Mason.  He’s the slow one of the three dogs my friend Marlo mothers.  I don’t want to say she owns them because truth be told they actually own her.  They are children in the truest sense of the word.

Wake up one morning, and I mean early morning, to little Mason having a…something…seizure.  Off to the Animal Hospital just minutes away and they can’t seem to find anything wrong.  Take him home and a good night’s sleep turns into another…something….seizure in the later morning.  Off they go again and this time she leaves him.  It’s hard to leave a dog-child at the hospital.  A call comes to get permission to do an MRI and spinal tap.  Of course she says.  The day goes by and finally the results are…something…not all that good.  The spinal cord is being crushed by…something…the blood to his brain is…something.  And on and on in medical speak that could spin your head around.  What to do?  If we do nothing, he will live a fragile life that will degenerate into a fateful decision eventually.

Is there a chance for him, little Mason?  Say what you want about soon to be ex-husbands sometimes they react exactly the way they once would have…in a good way. There is history and shared values from all the good years.  There are means that perhaps you don’t have and a generosity born of…something.   So several hours later and many thousands of dollars later little Mason is better…much better…like not even a little slow now better.  So much better that the doctor wants to write him up in the veterinary journal and follow his progress better.

Praying that God gives you what you need can often lead you to make decisions that will do just that, give you what you need.  Thankfully Mason will be fine.  His siblings, especially Bella, will have him back in a way they’ve never known.  A painful divorce may be imminent but a reliable friendship may emerge.  And a dog mother knows like she knows that her decision was helped by her faith in doing what was needed through a gift from God.

Buona Pasqua

Air Texting


It’s like texting in the air without having your phone…you mimic real texting…STOP DOING THAT.  RIGHT NOW.   Unless you want to be mistaken for someone who should be rocking back and forth on the psych ward you need to stop.   It looks ridiculous.

It scares me that just the mention of the word text causes people to do this.  Have we lost all sense of being among the living that we are struck by some Pavlovian trigger to move our fingers when we talk about what we said to someone via text message?

There is actually a Facebook page; they call themselves a community, Air Texting Rocks:

air texting

This community is screaming teenage angst.  So far they’ve got 15 Likes, been up since 2010 and hopefully have outgrown being grounded from their phones over the last 4 years.  Who knows?

I get this silliness from teenagers.  I don’t get the trigger response from adults.  I know you think I’m sounding anti-technology but I am actually a fan of technology when it enhances my life.  I was one of the first people shopping on line, paying bills on line, I had, and still have (no snappy remarks) one of the first Tivos.  I love my laptop and even more my IPad.  But when it comes to the phone I know it’s just another piece of equipment.  I use it to make my life easier but it doesn’t define my world.  I feel lucky to have been on the cusp of new technology while still young enough to appreciate it and make it part of my language but old enough to understand that human interaction is key to a long and healthy life.

While waiting to be seating in a restaurant the other night I watched a couple stand side by side each on their own phone.  There was no conversation.  There was literally no interaction.  They had the look of a couple out without the kids, or out after a hard day, or even if it was just out for a quick bite they didn’t speak to each other.  What could be so enthralling on their phones that they didn’t feel the need to speak.  When I’m with my people, I’m with my people.  No phones allowed.  I want to hear what you have to say, I’m interested in you.  If you aren’t interested enough in me to put your phone away for a couple of hours you’re not my people.

with my people

If you can’t speak without air texting you have a problem.  Your technology has become something other than a tool.  It has gotten under your skin and into your brain.  What if technology fails?  Are you self-reliant enough to withstand down time?

Tom Chatfield from the BBC:

If it’s disconcerting that checking my smartphone has become a habit, there’s a particular irony for me: for the last few months, I’ve been involved in a project to design a “code of conduct” for smartphone usage on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. The code comes in seven parts, and aims to help holiday makers stop their smartphones taking over time they’ve set aside for leisure, each other and the place they’re in. Behind it, though, lies something that applies to us all: the need for new etiquettes in an era where shared notions of acceptable behavior lag years, if not decades, behind the tools we’ve incorporated into our lives.

My phone code of conduct? If you call my cell phone after 9 it will go to voice mail.  If you call and I don’t call you back, get over it.  I’ve taken to checking my messages at certain times of the day, I’m not a doctor it’s never an emergency.  Unless, of course, you’re my Mother in which case everything is the end of the world.  If I’m out with friends, not gonna get me because if I’m with you I’m with you.

Most of all, STOP AIR TEXTING, you’re acting like the phone is a phantom limb and it demeans you on so many levels.  You are a person of high intelligence that can certainly have a conversation without it. Surely you must know what to do with your hands while speaking. If you don’t then learn, quickly, before the temptation to rock back and forth sets in next.




Hope is not a strategy they said.  Taken from the context of some very high level business meetings where someone was trying to get their customer, dealer, vendor, whoever to respond to an incentive, process, threat, whatever. Yeah hope is definitely not a strategy in business.  Hope is more a component.

Hope is truly a component of a life well lived.  For me it’s one of the four H’s; hope, humor, hustle and hide.  None of these components can really stand on their own, none of them is self-sustaining.  They need a little somthin somethin on the side to be effective.

As a literary device hope is a key concept in many classic and contemporary fictional works. It can be used as a plot device and is often a motivating force for change in dynamic characters.  But even here you can clearly see it is only a concept there is nothing concrete happening unless…somethin.

Doesn’t mean I don’t love the phrase.  I loved it the minute I heard it.  It’s one of those stop in your tracks phrases that remind you every time you use a word like hope to look a little further.

One of the symbols of hope is the Swallow in Aesop fables and numerous other historic literature.  It symbolizes hope, in part because it is among the first birds to appear at the end of winter and the start of spring

Spring actually begins for me on April 1st.  I’m not good in March, it holds too much blah blah for me.  Too much what if and too much sorrow for me to welcome Spring on its actual arrival date.  So on April 1st I hoped somethin would bring some welcome relief from this very hard winter.

Through dinner with friends, good news from friends and even better weather than expected my hope was fulfilling itself nicely.   The emergence of my garden always fulfills my hope for welcome relief.  There is always that one day that the sun and my energy converge and begin the process of cleaning out the back garden, hanging the rug over the railing and giving it a good beating, uncovering the tiny little poke-throughs that just can’t help coming up before the hard frost fear is over.

This weekend brought me sunshine and wind to blow the leaves all the way to the edge of the enchanted forest.  It brought rug beating with no choking or sneezing thanks again to the wind. It brought out mineral oil for the wood furniture and cushions, if only temporarily.

It brought the first pansies to the garden centers and dirt under my fingernails.  It brought the end of the indoor farmers market and the anticipation of the outdoor market with its strawberries and asparagus and peas.

So while hope is not a strategy, on this weekend, it was a call to move, walk, beat, scrub, to welcome Spring and continue to hope for more.