Woe Techno


1.  Photo snapped by cell phone slightly crooked and cropped.


2.  Image scanned via Microsoft Paint (200 res, -500 brightness as zero looks washed out)

My new HP computer came with a “basic” print driver installed for my HP printer.  I have spent countless hours trying to download and install the “full feature” print driver from the HP website.   It gets ye so far into the install process and pops up a message box that says “can’t find file” and I am pretty sure that the file it can’t find was supposed to be included in that download.  My printer is off warranty now so I cannot email technical support.  It will not let me.  They do have a “Smart Friend” support option at several price points.  I’m not paying $99 or even $14.95 (the cheapest option) to walk me through a bogus fix.  The printer is working fine… it is their software (or lack there of) that is screwed.   I tried popping the CD that came with the printer even though Windows 8.1 is not on the list of supported systems.  I was thinking that if I can install that first, then maybe it can be upgraded.  No luck.  The CD opens up to a box and a message to click INSTALL with only one problem:  there is no install button.  The only visible button is EXIT.  I downloaded and installed the HP Print Doctor, which directed me back to the download full feature driver website, so I tried to download it again using a different browser.  It is ridiculous!  What am I supposed to do?  Toss a perfectly good, less than two years old HP printer into a landfill and go buy a new one with an up to date print driver CD in the box?

Back to the Print Doctor, click, click.  Oh, what’s this?  A suggestion to use someone else’s software to access the scan function on my HP printer?  How lovely.  The example stated was Microsoft Paint.

Digital photography isn’t much of an option until I find (or buy a replacement) USB cord for my “less than ten years old but now so obsolete a pawn shop won’t take it” Minolta D7 because this new PC does NOT have a slot big enough for the camera’s SD memory card.  My sister suggested a way to wiggle around that.  She said photo machines might have a slot to fit my card.  If so, I can pay to have photos burnt onto a CD.

All this techno stuff is supposed to make everything easier, more user friendly and it is, until you hit a snag.  Trying to fix a simple problem is a major complication.

I miss the days when things were simple.  Take cars, they are all over-engineered and complicated now.  Anyone remember the straight six?  There was so much room under the hood, everything laid out kind of simple and easy to find, so even a “girl” like me could crawl in there with a Chilton’s book and do her own minor repairs.

Guess that makes me a straight six girl in a complicated techno world.  Thanks for reading.

Holiday & Hybernation

wpid-IMG_20140104_085441.jpgI have provisions:  milk, bread, beads, coffee, cigs, pencils, cereal, etc.   It is January.  And it is frigid  COLD here in Ohio.  The sunlight pouring through my windows is deceptive.   As I write, it is only 10 degrees Fahrenheit out there, but it feels like minus 4.  The day will warm up, but the bitter is coming.  Bing weather predicts Tuesday as the worst with a minus 14 at 8AM, then warming up to flat zero by 6PM.  Of course, that is subject to change.  Every time I glance at the weather predictions, the numbers seem to have shifted slightly.  I don’t think they really know enough to accurately predict by hour so many days ahead.

Anyway, I don’t do bitter cold well.  My bones lock up and nerves complain, so I am just going to hibernate until the weather breaks.   I will leave my apartment, but I am not leaving this building unless it becomes absolutely necessary.

So, how was your holidays?  Happy New Years, and all that jazz.

I had a good holiday.

We had a little Christmas Eve gathering with the grandchildren at my place, then I went down to Salem with the Xman.   We hung out at his new house for awhile.   It is not exactly new anymore, just new to me as I hadn’t seen it before.  He moved there after his house burned down in 2012.  With his permission, I snapped a photo of this old photo to post on Facebook with an “anyone remember these boys” just for grins, as children of two of the young men in the old photograph have children on my friend’s list.  

Left to right, the late Buck Brown, the Xman, and Billy Joe Van Cooney.

Left to right, the late Buck Brown, the Xman, and Billy Joe Van Cooney.

It’s a bad photo, but considering it is a photo of a photo that survived a fire… not bad at all.

I like this photo because it shows all three of them together. I don’t know what year this photo was taken, might have been a year or so before or even that same summer; it is hard to tell trying to base time by the Xman’s balding pattern. Bill moved to Holmes County years ago and Buck died two… no, it’s been three years now.

One of the reasons I posted it was because I wanted my daughter to see her dad as he was when I met him. Kids should get a glimpse of time before them, to see their father as just a boy hanging out with his friends.

I stayed a couple nights at my sister’s house, spent Christmas day visiting with family who lives in and around Salem, and celebrated New Year’s Eve at First Night Youngstown.  (I gave the spare badge to a neighbor who was planning on going and had yet to buy his ticket.)   At midnight, I was already home snuggled in my bed so if what you do at midnight influences the coming year, I should get plenty of rest in 2014.

If I have any resolutions for this year, it will be to make smaller art again…  here is a cell phone photo of the drawing I chopped down to 5×7 and finished on New Year’s Day.  There is a story behind the Two Faced woman, but I shall tell you that another day… a case of life infiltrating art.

Two Faced

Two Faced

Eight Days, Not Weeks

Texting with a friend about the commercialization of the Holiday Season, I said something about it’s supposed to be 8 days of Christmas, not 8 weeks.

He corrected me:  “Hanukah as 8, Christmas has 12.”

Oh.  Eight or twelve, toe-may-toe, toe-matt-o (spelling out two pronunciations of tomato), the  store shelves start loading up with the Christmas crap around about Halloween in anticipation for the shopping frenzy that swings into full gear on Black Friday.  We are bombarded with “buy this, buy that” for weeks on end.  It is ridiculous!   So, I decided to loosely limit myself to eight days this year, considering that I had already done a little decorating and I’m not going to be a Scrooge and avoid Christmas parades and other activities, just loosely limit my holiday prep until after the 18th.

Oh my gosh… I am NOT doing that again!

If I could do ALL of my Christmas shopping by walking from store to store here in downtown Youngstown just like in an old black and white movie, I would much more enjoy the experience.  As far as fantasy goes, I may as well throw in just enough snow flakes to make it pretty without making the sidewalks too slippery and have costumed Carolers singing on street corners.   Downtown Youngstown needs more small shops, places that sell toys and trinkets and candles, hobby supplies, and all sorts of things. The jewelry store in the 20 Federal has some gift items and Youngstown Nation has Youngstown themed T-shirts and such, but I cannot find everything I want right here.  Perhaps in time, as it takes years to revitalize a city.

What I am NOT doing again is shopping around the holidays in Boardman.   Stores are packed with people and the traffic is crazy.  Even taking the WRTA bus was a bit nuts.

Next year, I’m doing most of my shopping in July.

Not exactly a Christmas Tree

Not exactly a Christmas Tree