Jul 09


techdifcolors.jpgNot surprising, considering that I’m afraid of my own alarm clock.

No. Really. It’s a smart clock that automatically adjusts for daylight savings time, making it far, far, smarter than I. My old clock was dumb. It would start beeping in the middle of the night, and I couldn’t make it stop. Is the smart clock too bright for that, or wily enough to outwit me and go off at the crack of dawn, even though I have my phone programmed not to ring before 10AM? Only time will tell.

I am no longer afraid of my phone, the land line, but still get confused about getting messages from my cell. Or sending texts. I’ve mastered Hi-Def TV and can record, replay, and delete like a pro. But this level of competence took more calls to Time Warner than they or I would care to admit, and I’m still not sure how long recorded shows remain available for viewing. I will figure this out, and learn to live with all the new and exciting technology I feel I ought to know —
in the fullness of time.

Meanwhile, I blog.

If you really want to know about technical difficulties —BE ME AND START A BLOG. . .

I know, I know, it looks great. But that’s mostly thanks to Marc Nadel, the caricaturist, and especially to the continuing efforts of the webmaster, who constantly gets me out of the holes I dig myself into.The thing is, I am not a techie. I am not even techier than thou, no matter what level of expertise thou might happen to possess. Not that long ago I was a technophobe, so that this blog, even though it was well designed and is well maintained, is one of life’s more interesting challenges for a person like me.

The Blasts From Hell
Let’s start with the the e-mails. You might have received one of the e-mail blasts I send out when I post something new. Or you might not have. E-mail blasts require creating mailing lists, and it has taken me months to put these together, so your name might be left out. On the other hand, you might have gotten two of the same one because 1) I double clicked on SEND or 2) I forgot to include a link the first time and had to resend the whole thing or 3) you somehow got on two lists. Bad blogger!

Then there was the time I clicked the wrong button and sent out an e-mail without blind copies. And there they were, all those names and addresses flapping in the breeze. I didn’t make that mistake again, but on the last blast either AOL or I (neither of us is perfect) sent about ten flappers among the quietly discreet blinders. I now check for that even when AOL is acting weird, but who knows what other technical difficulties, temporary or otherwise, are lurking out there in the blogosphere.

I actually have fun with the e-mails, playing with different colors and typefaces. Readers seem to really like them and click on the link (when I remember to include it) to come to the site. Last time, I used red, white and blue for the Fourth of July fireworks post. A little jarring, colorwise, but so very patriotic. I also found a way, or thought I had, to create cute lines of stars across the top and bottom. The thing is, when I sent the first batch out, the stars come out as X’s. It looked really dumb, I thought, although one reader thought they were kisses, because of the play on words about putting fireworks, AKA romance, in your relationship.

What scared me was that the search engines might pick up all those X’s as some sort of advertisement for porn, and all my work would go down in Spam. Not to mention the weirdos that might come to the site, so to speak. Isn’t it ironic, not romantic, that my e-mail blast about fireworks — which must be so technically perfect— went so technically astray? Oh well, the post was well received: many readers liked   FIREWORKS ‘R US! And so far no one but the usual eccentrics have showed up on the comments section. Friends, Romans, Eccentrics! Send me your comments! No devotees of The Garter Belt News need apply.

Nobody knows the technological troubles I’ve seen.. . .

I haven’t even told you about my forays into the myriad forums that bloggers are supposed to join. I have managed to respond to the wrong question in a discussion group on Blog Catalog, confusing everyone including me. I have also sent messages to myself on Facebook, which, by the way, I joined by mistake: I was looking for MySpace. I may have inadvertently invented FaceSpace, but who knows.

On my own site, I have posted the same article twice, deleted a post by mistake and had to recreate it from scratch, forgotten to hit Save and couldn’t figure out why my changes weren’t registering, published articles before they were edited (Yes, Virginia, I do edit), have created links that didn’t link, and have made a thousand and one other mistakes, but who’s counting. Fortunately, it was all fixable. Maddening, but fixable.

It’s an adventure every time I put a photo onto the site. Wrong picture, wrong place, wrong size, I’ve done it all. One day I used the wrong browser to work on a post and all the photos on the site started going blank! Everything I touched turned a weird shade of mottled puce. The more I tried to fix it, the worse it got.
Of course I did what any true recovering technophobe would do, I calmly and coolly TOTALLY PANICKED. I had just had a piece posted on the online newspaper Woman Around Town www/ with a link back to my site! All those women would come to a Place of Puce (talk about a Decorating Disaster!) and would never return. I was doomed! I called the webmaster and woke him up. Hey, it was before ten. How could I? I had worked myself up over nothing, and woke him over nothing, because the problem righted itself when I went back to the right browser. And through all this, the blogosphere never even blinked.

Oh well, a girl can’t let these things get her down.
And for a person who’s afraid of her alarm clock, and whose palms sweated bullets the first time she sat down at a computer, I’m actually pretty fearless when it comes to blogging and the Internet. Backed up by a webmaster who can fix anything I mess up, I’m afraid that I now  have delusions of adequacy.

I’ve also learned that while I can talk to the universe all I want (Yo, Universe!) I can’t blow it up, no matter what dumbass thing I do on my computer, and I do some pretty dumbass things. I couldn’t even cause a blackout in NYC, which some of us thought we did a few years ago, being as how we were on line when it happened. Just a coincidence! I swear! I didn’t do it! Anyway, the blogosphere appears to be in no imminent danger for now. Even from me. But if it starts ringing in the middle of the night, let me know immediately.


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