Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Lesson in Technology

Once upon a time, when you spent $70 on a piece of something that plugs into the wall (like a lamp or a radio or an electric blanket), you expected it to last for a day or two.  More literally, more than just a day or two.  Even more than just a year or two.

Yes, Technies in the readership, you may now laugh.  ROFLYAO.  But one among you might have suggested a possible solution to my computer issues some time ago.

Ever since the current computer arrived, I've been complaining that it was only marginally acceptable in connecting to the Internet.  It arrived with a new virus protector, Kaspersky.  Kaspersky introduced itself by locking out one of my favorite California genealogy websites, one I use daily when I am working with California families.  Kaspersky said the site had a virus.  The website vendor said they had lots of false virus reports from Kaspersky users.  Funny, my fellow researchers were not getting virus reports.  I over-rode Kaspersky, and had no further "virus" problems, at least from that website.

Despite the protests of  Daniel, my very expensive computer service provider that he had never had a problem with Kaspersky being too sensitive or causing other connectivity problems, my brain linked new computer, new virus protector, and slow connection speeds.  Besides, I had been given very little reason to trust Daniel's ability to troubleshoot computer problems or to "think outside the box".

Then our museum in Groveland ordered -- at my suggestion -- a software package that magically transforms our database into a webpage, and a companion web hosting service that, with a single click of a button, posts that webpage to the Internet.  I was charged with doing the posting.  Couldn't post; the computer kept timing out.  

Gave up on Daniel.  Traded out the modem with my cable service provider.  Small difference.  Talked to tech support people at my ISP and with my cable provider -- two different sets of support folk.  Got lots of suggestions, including, "It might be your router."  Hey, the thing was only 3 years old, why would it be dead already?

NETGEAR® N300 Wireless-N RouterYesterday I trudged back up to the mall and asked the nice young man at Radio Shack about the life expectancy of a wireless router.  He smiled.  "One to one-and-a-half years," he replied.  We looked at routers, and he recommended one.

"Do you need it right now?" he asked.  "This model goes on sale all the time.  If you can wait a little, you will save $20." He didn't come out and say this would be on sale the next day, but sure enough ....

The new router makes all the difference.  I'm feeling smug.  Still not a techie, but feeling confident that it's worth trying to resolve problems on my own.  Without Daniel's contract price, I can just by a new computer if I cannot fix the problem myself.  That IS something I learned from Daniel.

Give thanks each time you can find a positive lesson is dismal experience.  Look for those positives.  Don't forget to pray!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mall Walking

I'd been wishing for a walking partner to be my motivation to actually get out the door and walk.  So I was thrilled when R called and asked, "Want to walk?"

R prefers to walk indoors.  It's flat.  It's air conditioned.  You don't need an umbrella.  She suggested we walk at the local mall.

I'd heard about how lots of seniors all over the country get their exercise by walking in a nearby mall.  No mall space in Groveland, so it hasn't been an option.  It was a surprise to find out how it works.

Our mall opens early.  Not sure how early, but certainly by 7 a.m. when Long's opens their doors, and definitely by 8 a.m. when the Apple Store begins holding workshops and the exercise classes begin.  On Friday, Saturday and Monday, senior exercisers radiate out from the central court where their leader, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and Cinnabon reign supreme.  I was intrigued that the leader gives each movement its Chinese name, then describes the movement in English.  There are Baby-and-Me exercisers on the circular carpet area in front of the theaters, near the sushi bar.  There's a hospice support group that meets monthly near California Pizza Kitchen, and assorted small work or study groups gathered in the quiet corners.  There are the knitters and crocheters, and those who come to socialize.  And there are the walkers.  There are fast walkers and slow walkers, walkers with canes and walkers with walkers.  There are the serious exercise walkers, the therapeutic walkers and the social walkers.  The vast majority are seniors.

It takes us about 8 minutes to walk the entire perimeter of the mall.  We walk for an hour.  We no longer have to sit down 40 minutes into our walk.  We've grown from two of us to three (all high school classmates), and sometimes four.  We smell the cookies baking at The Cookie Corner, and watch the pretzels rise at the Pretzelmaker's shop.  We cannot stop and shop -- most of the shops do not open until after we leave.

One of these days, I will remember to ask a security guard what the distance is around the perimeter.  Then we'll know how far we walk.  

Give thanks for friends -- and especially friends who keep you motivated!
Don't forget to pray ....