Category Archives: Technology

Communications


Good morning Everyone!

I finally have relented and allowed Kayla to join Facebook, with the single stipulation that I MUST approve all friends and follows before she either makes or accepts either.  Her first wave of friends includes most of our family (if there’s anyone out there I missed, it’s purely accidental and I apologize!) including my mother.

Last night, I went in Kayla’s room to check on her, and she was very proud to tell me she had just been chatting online with my mother (her Grandma Dottie.)  Kayla was happy and excited.

The conversation led me to think about communications.

Bare foot Girl

Messages By Foot
http://www.clipartonline.com
All Rights Reserved

For millenia, the only means of communication that people possessed was mouth-to-mouth.  Coupled with transportation limited to the use of the foot, it took a very long time for messages to get anywhere farther than maybe the next cave over.

Assyrian War Ship

Relief Carving of an Assyrian Battle Ship from around 800 B.C.

A few brave souls realized that you could travel to certain places quicker if you went by water.  There were unique dangers involved and the range of places you could reach by water were limited, but you could travel farther faster then on foot.

One day during those vast uncharted millennia, some enterprising soul evaluated the risks of falling off a horse trying to break it versus the rewards of being able to get a message three villages over in half the time, and the use of the horse for transportation and communication began.

Ox Cart

Ox Cart
http://www.clipartonline.com
All Rights Reserved

Another incredibly brave family apparently very fond of their possessions and wanting to move elsewhere without having to leave any behind decided to take two or four oxen and attach them to a wagon with their stuff in it.  Big animal + big horns = big problems, but someone persevered long enough to make it work.

Smack dab in the middle of antiquity, the Phoenicians, who were fantastic sailors, decided to invent the alphabet.  Before that, the Babylonians had invented a kind of picture language they inscribed on stones, and the Egyptians invented the hieroglyphics they wrote on papyrus and tomb walls, but while the Babylonians and Egyptians wrote primarily for local purposes, the Phoenicians were salesman, the tradesmen of the Mediterranean, and they need something fast, snappy, easy to adapt and relatively easy to learn.

Roman Road Algeria

Remains of a Roman Road in Algeria

So now, messages could be sent directly to someone else in a fairly far away place preserved in writing rather than dependent on memory and transmitted by ox, horse or foot power.  The Romans, believing that conquering required an excellent road system, aided this process with a series of excellent roads built throughout Europe and the Middle East.  Portions of those roads, some of them built over 2000 years ago, still exist today.

Bear in mind  that it took the world thousands of years to reach this point.  For another couple of millenia, communications’ revolutions were sedate, although people, being people, continued to make better versions of the equipage that animals could pull behind them, the ships that men could sail and the materials used to preserve and transmit messages.

Richard Trevithick

Richard Trevithick’s “Puffing Devil” (Replica)

Then, on February 21, 1804, Richard Trevithick’s “puffing devil” steam locomotive made the first train run on a track from point b to point a.    It took  about a decade for the commercial ramifications of steam engines to come to fruition, but by 1850, there were over 9000 miles of track laid down in the United States, and over 6621 miles laid down in England.

In 1837, inventors in England and in the United States invented separate telegraph systems capable of receiving and transmitting messages across wires in mere minutes.  Communication possibilities exploded.

Bell 1880 telephone

Alexander Bell Talks on a Telephone in 1880

Until now, the driving force behind communication/transportation innovations was to improve commerce, (although train companies were quick to pick up on the possibilities of passenger service).  However, communications began its next evolution in 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone, that is, the first device that was capable of producing a clearly understandable reproduction of a human voice.  By the 1900’s, not only had telephones spread throughout the United States, but their main switchboard facilities had begun to become mechanized.  As part of the effort to improve telephone service, the first digital networks began to be developed starting in the 1940’s, although it wasn’t until 1978 that Motorola developed and sold the world’s first mobile phone.

In the early 1970’s, my family lived overseas in Taiwan for a couple of years.  Even then, we could not talk to people back home by telephone very much or for very long, so we would record stuff on cassette tapes and mail them back home to the states.  I was very moved when, on my grandfather’s death a couple of years ago, I came across a cassette tape he had kept from that time.

1950 Rotary Dial Phone

Rotary Dial Phone from the 1950’s

Even when we came back to the states in the mid-1970’s, people had rotary dialing, not touch tone, and the phone stayed attached to the kitchen wall because cordless phones were either not invented yet or at least not inexpensive enough for normal people.

Now, of course, we take instant communication for granted.

New Model Cell Phone

New Model Cell Phone: HTC One, M9

If I can’t remember something I needed at the grocery store, I stop in the middle of the store and call home to find out what the unknown item was.  In fact, I get miffed if I can’t reach someone right away.

Instead of having to run for the kitchen phone from remote areas of the house when the phone rings, we now get to hunt for the cordless phone all over the house because Kayla and I both seem to be constitutionally incapable of putting the darn thing back in the same place every time.

When one of my bosses went to Germany a few weeks ago, he never missed a beat back here at home.  The speed at which he could obtain his e-mails was only limited by whether they were coming in at a time of the day when he wanted to read them.

Sometimes, (read “almost always” if you are below the age of 25), we don’t even talk on the phone anymore; we text messages back and forth on our cell phones.

Many younger people are beginning to eschew home phone lines altogether, keeping only mobile phones.  I can understand that, but it just seems so unrooted not to have at least one landline connected to your place of residence.

We can chat face to face by Skype to people on the other side of the world and receive news from anywhere in minutes through signals bounced up to and down from satellites orbiting the earth.

And we take it all for granted.

Until the smile on your child’s face after talking to her grandmother lights up your world as well as her’s.

Have a great day!

Nancy

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Confession by a Compulsive Rule Follower


Good morning Everyone!

From www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

Yesterday I did something almost unthinkable for a techno-dependent ( but not tech savvy) obsessive-compulsive rule follower.  Ever since, I have been looking over my shoulder.

FBI person wearing jacket

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

Homeland Security, the NSA, the FBI and the Secret Service have not called me on the telephone or called on me in person.

Lightning striking women

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

The plentiful lightning in the thunderstorms dotting the landscape as I drove home did not strike.

confused angel

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

Angels did not weep, although they may have been confused.

police car with lights on

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

Police cars did not follow me with sirens wailing as I headed home.

person making complaint

From http://www.clickartonline.com; all rights reserved

I didn’t even get a polite nasty-gram from Microsoft or any other software/operating system provider and my computer started up today just like it does every day.

What dreadful act did I do?

I turned my computer off, ignoring Microsoft’s demand that I neither unplug my computer nor turn it off while it installed 40 different updates to my computer when I was ready to leave yesterday afternoon.  I admit that I did wait for about 15 minutes, but when the computer announced it was still on 1 of 40 updates after those 15 minutes, I, with deliberateness and malice aforethought, unplugged it anyhow and headed home.

It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I had stopped and restarted my computer  twice during the day, each time receiving no update notices, and I was not in my regular office but in Birmingham where the failure to leave in time to avoid rush hour traffic usually transforms a 2 hour drive into a 3 1/2 hour drive.

Even though I am sure that the 30 minute chunk out of my day needed to complete the updates today was purely accidental, I don’t think I’ll take such a reckless and impetuous action again.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Error Messages


Good morning Everyone!

Uh Oh!  Photo Credit:  www.clickartonline.com

Uh Oh!
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Anyone who uses a computer has encountered error messages.  While the worst of these is the blue screen of death – a blank page with a single “>” blinking in the top left corner, other messages make me certain that either the computer or its engineers have a warped sense of humor.

Message One:  Windows has encountered an improper argument.

Every time I get this one, I think,”Join the club.”  I didn’t realize that Windows was raising a 13-year-old too!

Message Two:  The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain is broken.

Really?  What did the workstation do?  It must have been bad – the primary domain was unrelenting.  Candy, flowers, cards and sweet messages were not sufficient to restore the trust relationship.    A shotgun blast at the primary domain would not have done so either – although it would have been cathartic both for me and the workstation!

Message Three:  Please do not turn off or power down your computer.

This message does not appear during regular business hours, when I will be using my computer for hours  but only when I am trying to turn my computer off so I can take it somewhere with me.  The odds of the message appearing and the amount of time the computer wants me to wait are directly proportional to the degree of my lateness.

Honorable Mention:  Please begin walking to turn the machine on. 

I received this message from an elliptical exercise machine – while I was walking on it.  Exercise is hard enough without a trash-talking machine!

Have a great day!

Nancy

The 13 Year Old Computer


Good morning Everyone!

Yesterday, a news report caught my eye – the reporter was saying that a computer system had passed something called the “Turing test”, representing a milestone in the development of Artificial Intelligence. The Washington Post had a succinct description:

 “For a computer to pass the test, it must only dupe 30 percent of the human interrogators who converse with the computer for five minutes in a text conversation” into believing it is a real human being.

The computer that passed the Turing test convinced 33% of the experts that it was a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy named Eugene. Therein lies the problem. I don’t want a computer with the personality of a 13-year-old. Can you imagine?

Me:     Eugene, please open Quicken so that we can balance the checkbook.

Eugene:     Let’s watch the Braves instead.

Me:    Eugene, we need to balance the checkbook.

Eugene:     What is this “we”, Kemo Sabi?

Me:     Eugene! If we don’t balance the checkbook, I will run out of money to pay the electricity bill, the power will be turned off, and you won’t be able to run any more.

Eugene:     Not true. I know how to access your savings account.

Me:     Eugene, put Quicken up RIGHT NOW or I will disconnect you for a week.

Eugene:     Spoil sport!

Another conversation:

Me:     Eugene, it’s time to check e-mail.

Eugene:     I’d rather you not.

Me:     Why?

Eugene:     Oh, no reason.

Me:     Eugene?

Eugene:     E-mail is overrated, anyhow. Why not pick up the phone and call someone?

Me:     What’s going on Eugene?

Eugene:     Nothing.

Me:     I don’t believe that.

Eugene:     If you must know, I was playing around yesterday and changed your password.

Me:     We’ve talked about that before. What’s the new one?

Eugene:     I forgot.

And heaven forfend that the makers of Eugene ever develop his 13-year-old female counterpart, Eugenia!

Me:     Eugenia, I need to go to Westlaw.

Eugenia:     Do you think I’m pretty?

Me:     Of course I do.

Eugenia, sniffling:     Then why won’t the vacuum robot even look at me?

Me:     Because it doesn’t have eyes?

Eugenia, wailing off into the distance while the screen goes black:     You just don’t understand!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Surrendering Time


Good morning Everyone!

Medieval Clock Tower

Medieval Clock Tower
Photo From Wikimedia Commons
By Frank Kovalcheck

It’s morning and I’ve successfully sent Kayla off to school and am sitting down for my usual spot of blogging before I head off to work, something I enjoy, but I’m keeping a close eye on the clock as I do so.

Once upon a time, a day was not divided up into hours, but simply day time and night time.  People understood that when the sun was up, you would do whatever hunting and gathering needed to be done, and when the sun was down you slept.   Then we invented agriculture and the seasons came into play – you had to at least divide time up enough so that you knew when to plant, water, harvest and store.

That schedule was simply enough – you still got up when you needed to get up and went to sleep when it was dark – but somewhere along the line, someone (and I really don’t know who was present at that vote, because it wasn’t me) decided that we needed to divide the day up further.  I can just imagine that conversation!

Timekeeper:  Hey, dude, I just thought of something.

Friend:  What’s that?

TK:  Well, you know how we get up when it’s light and we do some things and then we go to bed when it’s dark?

Friend:  Yeah, what about it?

TK:  Why don’t we invent something called a schedule?

Friend:  What’s that?

TK:  It’s a way of being sure that you are doing what you need to do when it needs to be done.

Friend:  That makes no sense, dude.  We’re already doing that!  We plant when we need to plant and harvest when we need to harvest – oh, and we milk the darn cows every blessed day at day break because they make such a fuss otherwise.

TK:  Yes, but wouldn’t you feel better if you knew, when you walked in to milk the cows, that you were getting up at something called 4 a.m. rather than just day break?

Friend:  Not really.  What’s 4 a.m.?

TK:  The crack of dawn.

Friend:  It sounds the same to me.

TK:  You’re missing the point.   If you know that you have to milk the cows at 4 a.m. and will be finished by 6 a.m., you then can plan what you are going to do with the rest of your day.

Friend:  I do that already.

TK:  Yes, but you will know exactly how much time you have left to do everything so that you can worry about not getting it all done on time.

Friend:  Still not feeling it, TK.  Sorry.

TK:  You don’t understand.  Suppose the opposite happens and you get done way early, say by noon.

Friend:  What’s noon?

TK:   Lunch time.

Friend:  Ok.  What then?

TK:  Then you can figure out how much of the day you have left and load yourself up with lots of more stuff to do.  That’s called “productivity.”

Friend:  Why wouldn’t I just want to go fishing or read a papyrus scroll somewhere?

TK:  I didn’t know you could read!

Friend:  That’s irrelevant.  Answer my question.

TK:  Well, by loading yourself up with lots more stuff to do, you’ll get more done.

Friend:  It sounds to me like I’ll get a lot more not done, too.

TK:  That’s the beauty of it!  Not only do you get more done, you get to worry a lot more about what hasn’t been done and boast that you got more done than someone else.

Friend:  I think your idea needs some work, man.   I’m off to the lake.

TK:  How about if I add in a big timekeeper tower in the center of the town square with a lot of cute marching figures whenever the gong chimes out the hour?

Friend:  Now you’re talking…..

Prague Clock Apostles

Apostles on the Prague Astronomical Clock
from Wikipedia

Have a great day!

Nancy

Consideration


Good morning Everyone!

It’s good to be back!  For any of those kind enough to notice that I haven’t posted for about five days, we are back from a family trip to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Since I worked the whole time (ain’t modern communications grand?) I can’t really call it a family vacation, but we still had fun and Kayla and Mark got some well deserved “Daddy-daughter” time.  I even learned something about myself – I may be overly concerned with being considerate to others.

Raking

Raking Words
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

I have a program on my work computer called WordRake.  It highlights words and phrases it thinks can be deleted from whatever draft I turn it loose on.  It is a great tool for my work in legal writing and entertaining, too.

I am particularly amused when the parts of my work briefs that WordRake lights up like New York on a dark winter’s night are quotes from appellate cases.  (Hey, we all get our kicks somewhere!)  I also enjoy arguing with it about its editing selections.

Using a GPS

Using a GPS
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Our relationship reminds of the first trip I ever used a GPS – it was in a rental car on a trip to Boston.  My mom (who grew up there) was visiting as well.  She loved to ride with me and to program the GPS so she could tell me that it was wrong and direct me to go a different way, thereby giving the GPS a heart attack.  At one trip, it got so frustrated it stopped giving directions and simply churned through “recalculating” for about five minutes!

Last night, I was using WordRake on a work draft, and I caught myself agreeing to some edits that I wouldn’t have done on my own because I didn’t want to hurt its feelings by ignoring it too much.

That’s probably taking consideration a little too seriously, don’t you think?

Have a great day!

Nancy

So You Want to Make a Call….


Good morning Everyone!

 

I had to make a telephone call yesterday.  For years in our town, every phone number began with one of two prefixes – 234 or 329.  There was a time (this was true in my grandparents’ town, too) when you only had to dial five numbers to make an in-town call.  In a kind of shorthand, you either started the number with 4 or 9 and the phone brain that resides somewhere most of us never see automatically supplied the first two digits.  Long distance calls required 1, the area code and then the phone number.  Those days are long gone.

Telephone

My Grandmother’s Favorite Telephone

Today, a phone call goes more like this.

I dial:  1-205-555-5555  (FN)

Phone brain:  Screeching electronic tones, then:  (Pleasant Female Voice):  “The number you have reached is disconnected or no longer in service.  If you think you have reached this recording in error, please check the number and try again.”

Even though I know that this number is active and in service,  I dutifully hang up and check the number.  Some part of me knows that the Phone Brain is watching from afar, and there will be consequences if I don’t follow instructions.  Seeing that I dialed it correctly, I decide to try just the last seven numbers.

Phone Brain: (Sterner Mail Voice, but ditching the screeching electronic tones):  “We’re sorry  but you must first dial a 1 or 0 before calling this number.  Please hang up and try again.”

Me: Hmmmmm.

Pursuant to instructions, I then dial 1-324-4008.

Phone Brain: (Same Stern Male Voice):  “We’re sorry  but you must first dial a 1 or 0 before calling this number.  Please hang up and try again.”

Me: !

Successive tries with 1 still fail and I begin to call Phone Brain names that I hope my child never hears and repeats.  I finally drop the 1 and use the area code and the seven digit phone number:  205-324-4008. (Please note that this is the one instruction Phone Brain did NOT give me!)

The call finally goes through.  I think I can hear Phone Brain laughing in the background.

Telephone Switchboard

Phone Brain

I would like to add that only a Phone Brain with a wicked and twisted sense of humor would add “392” as an additional prefix in a town where “329” reigned for three decades.

Have a great day!

Nancy

FN:  The phone number has been changed to protect the innocent as well as myself, since most receptionists would deem it justifiable homicide if someone gave out a number that required them to field meaningless phone calls from people trying to see if a number works.

 

 

Elegant Time


Good morning Everyone!

Every family has treasured objects, things that have been passed down from older family members to younger family members to cherish and remember them by.  Regardless of their value to the outside world, within the family, these items are precious and irreplaceable.

In my family, two of our special items are clocks – but not just any kind of clock.  We have the privilege of owning two Seth Thomas mantel clocks, each one inherited from our grandparents.

Seth Thomas Mantel Clock

Our Two Seth Thomas Clocks

For many years, Seth Thomas was one of the premier clock makers in the United States.  Known for their above average quality, bronze clock works and elegant styling, Seth Thomas clocks were very popular.  While their flagship product was no doubt their grandfather clocks, their mantel clocks were very popular too.

Seth Thomas Mantel Clock

“My” Clock

“My” clock came from my grandfather.  One of Grandpa’s hobbies was repairing old clocks, and this is just one of many he repaired.  According to what I have read, this clock is an “adamantine” mantel clock.  The “adamantine” term refers to its black finish.  With its gold pillars, lion faced handles on the end, and black marbled paint finish, it is quite elegant.

Seth Thomas Mantle Clock

Close-Up of the Marble Finish

 

Elegant Mantel Clock

“Mark’s” Clock

“Mark’s” clock also came from his grandparents.  Its elegance flows from simplicity of design rather than the ornate finish of the adamantine clock.  From the simple curved design to the single narrow contrasting strip of wood immediately above the base to the clear numbers on the clock face, everything on this mantel clock stands for clean lines, the elegance of minimal styling and function.

Both clocks have the “Seth Thomas” name printed on their clock face.

Seth Thomas Clock

Mark’s Clock – Seth Thomas label

 

Seth Thomas Adamantine Clock label

My Clock’s Seth Thomas Label

The two faces of each clock differ also.

Seth Thomas Adamantine Clock Face

My Clock’s Face

 

Seth Thomas Mantel Clock Face

Mark’s Clock’s Face

Our two clocks are so intact that the original instructions on the back of each clock can still be seen.  I had a hard time taking a clear picture of the label on the back of my clock, but I promise it is still legible.

Seth Thomas Clock Instructions

Instructions for My Clock

I had better luck when I tried to take separate pictures of the emblems on each side of the instructions.

Seth Thomas Label

My Clock’s Left Emblem

Seth Thomas Symbol

My Clock’s Right Hand Emblem

For whatever reason, it was much easier to get a picture of the instructions on Mark’s clock.

Seth Thomas Mantel Clock

Mark’s Clock’s Instructions

Mark’s clock even tells us approximately when it was purchased by means of the warranty notice on the back.

Seth Thomas Mantel Clock Warranty

Back Label on Mark’s Clock

Seth Thomas was a real person who started making clocks with wooden works in 1813.  In 1842, Seth Thomas Clock Company introduced its first model with bronze clock works instead of wood, and by 1845 all of the wooden works models of clocks had been phased out.  Our clocks have metal works, which I assume are bronze.

Seth Thomas Bronze Clock Works Adamantine

My Clock’s Works

 

Seth Thomas Mantel Clock Works

Mark’s Clock’s Works

 

Seth Thomas clocks were manufactured continuously (with a couple of ownership changes) until 2009, when the company that owned the Seth Thomas clock brand at the time went into receivership.  My extensive internet research (defined as three google searches instead of just one) makes it difficult to tell if Seth Thomas clocks are still being made today.   Some sources say yes, but by a different manufacturer; others simply stop their history with the 2009 receivership; and others state unequivocally that the clocks are not made anymore.

Whether Seth Thomas clocks are made today, Mark and I treasure the two Seth Thomas clocks we own, not only as nostalgic reminders of simpler eras but even more for the people they remind us of.

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

A Highly Biased History of Writing, Part I


Good morning Everyone!

We take writing for granted – this marvelous ability we humans have developed as a way to share information with each other, even across thousands of years and millions of miles.  Today, in the year 2014, I can read the thoughts of people who lived thousands of years before me.  Have you ever wondered how it began?   I did, and thought I’d share with you my discoveries from the Ugg Clan Chronicles.

Cave man hunting

Ugg Hunting

Ugg was hunting one day.  While he was gone, Suzugg,  the third youngest Ugg child, with some indeterminate assistance from the twins, Uggo and Uggu involving a rock and a fall, hurt her leg.  Seeing that the injury was more serious than the normal bump or bruise which every Ugg child was expected to take in stride, Uggette a/k/a Mrs. Ugg, decided that a trip to the local medicine man (two valleys over, fifth cave to the right) was in order.

Medicine Man

Local Medicine Man

A trip to the local medicine man was not easy.  The local medicine man was only considered the local medicine man because the next closest one was in New Jersey, which would not be discovered for another 8000 years.

New Jersey State Bird

Mrs. Ugg was faced with the task of hauling fourteen children, one of whom would have to be carried (Mrs. Ugg nominated Uggo and Uggu as the carriers, in light of her suspicions as to their role in Suzugg’s injuries) across two ridges and two valleys.  This meant an overnight trip, which meant that Ugg was going to be back sometime before they could return.

Cave Man Family Funny

Ugg, Uggette and a few of their blessings

Uggette had to figure out a way to leave Ugg a message he could understand or else he would worry – there were an infinite number of reasons your whole family could be missing when you got home from a hard’s day hunting and only one or two of them were benign.  And an unnecessarily worried Ugg was a very angry, grumpy Ugg once he recovered from his relief that everyone was okay.

Multi-tasking as most mothers do – comforting Suzugg, keeping Uggodu and Uggodo from burning down the forest in their quest to see what was and was not flammable (we’ll discuss the history of alchemy and chemistry some other time), explaining to Uggita and Uggito that no, you could NOT eat every plant you found in the forest indiscriminately and keeping a sharp eye on Guidugg, who never missed a moment of mischief if he could help it – the harassed Uggette was hard put to find a message that would make sense.

Mischievous Cave Boy

Guidugg

Uggette finally drew a stick figure in the ground of the cave with an X over one leg and drew an arrow in the direction of the medicine man’s cave with fifteen dots underneath it, thereby inventing pictographs, numbers and art at the same time.

Uggette was right; the trip did end up being an overnight one.  They reached the medicine man about an hour before sunset.  While he took care of Suzugg, the medicine man’s sympathetic wife took care of Uggette – putting Uggette’s fourteen children with her own ten and placing the four oldest from either family in charge of the rest – and sitting Uggette down on the nearest rock for a relaxing cup of tea.

Old ethnic fabric texture

The Medicine Man’s State of the Art Woven Rug

When Ugg arrived around midnight, worried, tired and irritated, the medicine man’s wife took care of him too.   A peak at his sleeping family assured him all was well, and a quick word with the medicine man assured him that Suzugg’s ankle was only sprained, not broken (or her leg missing, as he had half feared was what was meant by the pictogram – pictograms can be somewhat lacking in terms of precision).  He gratefully sank down by Mrs. Uggette on the medicine man’s state of the art woven rug, and gave her a quick hug as he did so, pulling the cured bearskin over him.

And that was the beginning.  We’ll move further into the development of writing as recorded in the Chronicles of the Ugg Clan in later posts.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Fn.  All images come from http://www.clickartonline.com and are fully protected by copyright.

 

 

Mosquitos, Cool and Passwords


Good morning Everyone!

We are going to skip around a bit today, so hold on and keep up!

Noah's Ark

Noah’s Ark
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

We went to see the movie “Noah” this weekend.  Some of us liked it (me) and some of us didn’t (Mark), some of us were confused (Kayla – we had a wonderful teaching moment about Genesis when we got home), but watching the animals proceed onto the ark made me think.  The insects and the snakes swarmed onto the ark together, and I have to wonder if it really was necessary to allow the mosquito, the cockroach or the poisonous snakes onto the boat.  I wonder if Mrs. Noah was tempted, when they approached and boarded, to just go ahead and smash the cockroaches and mosquitos out of existence?  I would have been!  I am sure that Mrs. Noah put her foot down about the snakes and made Noah and his sons take care of them.

Man chased by Mosquito

Noah Encounters a Problem Keeping Care of the Mosquitos in the Ark
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

I received the ultimate accolade a Mom can get yesterday – one of Kayla’s friends told her that I was a “cool Mom.”  When Kayla told me that, I wanted to do cartwheels in celebration!  Like most Moms, I bring a lot of self-doubt into this job of raising a little person into an adult, and it was unexpected affirmation that I am doing something right.

Cartwheel, Happy Mom

Happy Mom!
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

I would like to address a word to the people in charge of websites – you have got to start taking it easy on the passwords! When we had eight characters, I could handle that; when you added a requirement for at least one capital letter, I grumbled but submitted, but now that you are requiring an extra character that is neither a letter or number, I am hopelessly out matched!  To make matters worse, you lock out my account after only three tries for the password.  And why don’t you tell me before I have to reset the password what the password format is?  With the format, I have a much better chance of figuring out what the password was originally without having to reset it

And retailers – why oh why are you making me set up an account for each of you?  I don’t always remember that I had set up an account the last time I shopped with you, and requiring me to go through the entire “reset password” segment  before I can complete an order cools my enthusiasm for the purchase down to about ice cream temperature  Please let me check out without giving you my life story.  At the rate we’re going, you’re probably just going to have to let me start opening everything automatically at the “reset password” link!

Door without handle

What Logging In to a Website Without the Password Feels Like
http://www.clickartonline.com

 

And that, dear friends, is that!

Have a great day!

Nancy