Monday, August 15, 2022


Recently we had a bad storm.  A friend called me to let me know her cordless phone was fried by a lightning strike and to only call her cell.  I thought I had dodged the bullet for I could still make and receive calls but then something strange happened. 

The next day my phone showed I had a message but when I tried to play it, all I got was beeps, scratches and a muffled rumble in the background. Oh oh, maybe that part of my machine got fried. I don't have cell service here so since I had to go to town that day anyway, I thought I'd check my answering system. When I got to Walmart, which has a strong cell signal, I was able to use my flip phone to call my number. 

I got the message and left one of my own. "Hi Patti, this is a test. Hope it comes through. Thank you. "  Yes, I am polite even to myself.

 When I got home, I learned my message came through loud and clear.  What I also learned was that, good grief, do I sound like that?

Remember the first time you actually heard your voice the way others hear you? Not the glamorized version your imagination hears in your head but what you really sound like? 

For me it was when tape recorders became popular in the 70's and I heard my voice. I was shocked. I really thought I had a sexy, throaty voice.  I had been in disbelief when someone told me I sounded like Dolly Parton.  Sadly not the singing Parton but the talking one.  Then I heard myself on tape and thought, when did I pick up an accent? Throaty, sexy---nope--- try nasal, southern and whiny. 

Well I hadn't heard myself since the shocking 70's and knew my voice had aged but I had no idea how badly till I played back the message. My goodness, that girl is sick I thought. My voice was muffled but also squeaky. That is hard to do. It cracked and I sounded like I was being choked. 

I know you are sitting there smugly knowing that isn't your case at all.  If you record your own answering message  then you already know what you sound like. But if you use the generic voice message, try calling your own phone and leave a message. Then let me know if you sound at all like you thought you did.    Hope you are pleasantly surprised. I sure wasn't. 

Monday, August 8, 2022


Don't know about you but I am not tech savvy.  I am stumbling along with an ancient computer, am using Windows 7 and sadly,  my geek go-to-friend passed last year.  I so envy those of you who have family members or friends on call to walk you through the dark, technical areas. 

So when something goes wrong here, I usually stagger around a bit but usually end up at the computer doctor's place of business. 

This time it snuck up on me.  First my computer crashed  but rebooting and running a scan seemed to fix things.  Then a few days later, I got a pop up screen that said I was running out of memory.  Now that hurt my feelings a bit. I know that, but how does Windows know? Then I realized it was not a personal observation but that my computer was running out of memory, not me--yet. OK.

First I cleared my cache which bought me some space.  Then I uninstalled unused programs.  That seemed to help my memory but then my wireless mouse just died. OK, now I am getting worried. I was under attack.

I could move my cursor with the mouse but the clickers didn't work. New battery didn't help. Simple solution would have been to just buy a new mouse but since the stores were closed, I had to futz around with it first to see if I could make it work. Just the stubborn in me.

Truthfully, I can't say just what all I tried next for it was just a case of oops, maybe and oh dear. I got into areas I totally didn't recognize and I am sure I could have lost everything.  Fortunately, my computer and all its functions survived. 

Then as maybe a reward for my efforts, the mouse spontaneously resuscitated and once more clicked away perfectly. I have no clue what worked, just grateful I didn't kill my computer.

Do you attempt to cure your computer's ills, call a family member or friend,  or do you run to the computer hospital when things go sour?