Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Morning Chat

Technology: Aaaccchhh!

While I might not be able to live without my internet, getting out among nature’s wonders and birdwatching are what keep me sane. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite.”—Thomas Sowell

Internet Service

          Never mind that our family didn’t get a television until I was 14 years old, and today I don’t even own one, I can’t live without the internet. I go a bit crazy when it doesn’t work, which is exactly what happened about a month ago.

Can I have a bone? I’ll sit in your lap to chew it — and petting me will calm you down. Translation by Pat Bean

It started with interruptions to my service and a message that no internet service was available. About five minutes later, my internet would magically be working again,

After a couple of days of this annoyance, I decided to report the problem, which turned out to be a difficult task that took almost two hours. I waited, I talked to people on the phone, I chatted online and was transferred back and forth between staffers numerous times before someone finally said the problem was most likely my modem and a new one would be sent to me, and that when it arrived, I should return the old one.

After three more days of intermittent internet service the new one, or so I thought, arrived via UPS. I immediately switched the two modems out – and found myself with NO internet service.

So it was that I found myself back on the phone for another two-hour session of waiting and trying to communicate with idiots who kept transferring me around from one to another before I was finally told the problem evidently wasn’t a modem issue and a repairman would have to be sent out to investigate.

Here I got a break. While I was envisioning several days more without internet service before that could happen, I was told a repairman was available that afternoon. About four hours later a congenial guy with a modem in hand knocked on my door.

“I checked all the lines so it has to be your modem,” he said. On investigation, he discovered, and told me, that the “old” modem, which I had originally been sent in February of this year, was out of date, and the “new” modem sent me was even older than that.

          He then hooked up the truly new modem and within a few minutes I had perfect, fast-speed internet service. He then took both the old modems with him.

You think that would be the end of it. Oh! No!

Yesterday I got an email informing me that if I didn’t mail back my old modem, I would be charged $150, My patience, if I ever actually had any, was at an end. I looked down at my canine companion Scamp, who was getting concerned about my state of mind and yelled. They want me to pay $150 for a modem that doesn’t work!  I translated his response as Can I have a bone?

Finally, I settled down and called them once again, but never got through to anyone. I then went to online chat and wasted another hour before the idiot chatting with me said I would have to wait until the charge was actually billed until they could remove it.

As I said: Aaaccchhh!

          Bean Pat: To the repairmen, all of them, who continue to work through the coronavirus crisis, to keep technology working for those of us who can’t live without it. Thank you.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.


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“If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

I found Estero Llano State Park in Welasco, Texas, the old-fashioned-way, with a map. I'm not sure how the anhinga found its way here. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

I was in Dallas, returning from taking my daughter to work so I could use her car for the day. All I had to do to get back home was follow the GPS map installed on the dashboard of her Toyota Highlander.

But I decided I wanted to get a different view of the map. Silly me. As I’m sure you have already guessed, I pressed the wrong button and lost everything on the screen — and couldn’t get it back.

Because I had depended solely on the GPS to get me from one place to the next, I was confusingly lost with morning rush-hour traffic zooming all around me.

I was fortunate that I eventually came to a landmark I recognized and, although it took an extra 40 minutes, I did eventually get back to my daughter’s house.

I then used a map, and my own handcrafted cheat-sheet of right and left turns, to complete the day’s errands and to find my place back to pick up my daughter from work later that day.

The truth is that I’ve had to be pulled, while screaming, into most technological changes. I was one of the last to finally get a cell phone, and it was only this past Christmas, and only because it was a gift from my son, that I got a “smart” phone.

On the other hand, I was one of the first to get a home computer. After using one at work to write my newspaper stories, I found using a typewriter for my personal writings impossible.

Without GPS, Monarch butterflies, like this one I found at Quintana Neotropic Bird Sanctuary on Texas' Gulf Coast, migrate annually between Mexico and Canada, although it may take three generations to complete the journey. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My first computer didn’t even have a hard drive. Everything ran from floppy disks. And the word-processing program on it came with a black screen and green type, or you could make the type orange.

Today, I can’t imagine life without my computer and the Internet. Such a thought sounds barbaric.

Ditto life without my Kindle, which was also a gift and which I’ve now had for a year. I thought I would miss the feel of a real book in my hand, but I haven’t. I think the fact I can be reading almost any book I want almost instantly is a miracle – well until I discover how much I’ve spent at Amazon each month.

I still haven’t got a GPS, however. My canine traveling companion, Maggie, and I still use maps, albeit it computer ones, to find our way across the country.  It seems a GPS might be as difficult for me to use as an electric can opener, which is why I still use a manual one. 

But I’ve got a Twitter account, maggieandpat. And when I announced it, my oldest granddaughter laughed and said: “Who would have thought it would take my Nana to make me get a Twitter account?” 

Her comment made this wandering/wondering old broad feel young – well at least until a pain in one of my joints announced a change in the weather.

Bean’s Pat: Vimeo: My Friend Maia by Julie Warr http://vimeo.com/31733784 A video to inspire all us old broads, and perhaps those still young among us, too.


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