Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Favorite Computer and Why I Love it

January 10 already. Christmas came and went and suddenly we are into 2015. My calendar's white space is filling too fast. I have enjoyed my down time this winter--no pressure, no deadlines unless you count the deadlines of poetry contests I was determined to  make.

For two days I found myself organizing my documents on my old laptop. I  have done my best to go paperless, but I have problems finding what I filed. Maybe it is the way I title my files. Or, maybe it is the way I change the title several times before I'm finished with it. 

My problem might be that I use three different computers - my Windows 8 desktop, my small Dell basic laptop, and my older laptop where most  of my writing is stored. I had hoped to transfer all my work to the new desktop, but I hate that system - Windows 8. I now  hear there  will be another system coming out  in the fall, hopefully  like Windows 7 or XP,  because the majority of the people who use Windows hate Windows 8. It is a poor combination of the popular tablet method and a computer. The genius who thought this up should find another  line of work.

Also,  my new desktop computer has become inhabited by gremlins that pop up and freeze the page when I try to use Google Chrome or try to get into my blogs. Now I avoid using that computer for blogging.

There was a time when I felt I was on top of new technology, when I urged my peers to use the Internet to promote their books and help them build a platform for their work. I even garnered the admiration of a young nephew who was impressed that a person my age, and I was much younger then, administered a couple of blogs. 

I have a Facebook and a Twitter account and a  Pinterest account and a LinkedIn account and a Google plus account. But  there is no way I have time to use all those things. I try to get to Facebook once or twice a week. That is all I can or want to do.

Recently it dawned on me that my favorite computer in my house is the old dinosaur that sits in my studio. It is not connected to the Internet at all. My genealogy program and my Word program is all I use on that old relic, and it faithfully opens and endures for as long as I can sit and use it. I also have a good photography program to use with my scanner. I spend hours scanning old family photos stored in albums that are falling apart, hoping to save them for future generations, and hoping they will care. 

I don't remember when we bought this computer, but I smile when I sit down to use it. It is like an old friend that I know will not fail me. No viruses, no mal-ware, no danger of being hacked. Like an old pair of shoes that are slightly out of style, it feels comfortable to me.

Writing is a way to learn about ourselves. Often when I begin, I don't know where I will end up. 
The lesson I learned today by writing this post is that it is the Internet that stresses me, that gives me a headache. Less time on the Internet and more time on the word processor is my  goal from now on. 

The following poem comes from my interest in family history and many trips to old cemeteries. Tell me what you think.

A Southern Family Cemetery  
by Glenda Council Beall      

The creaking wrought iron gate
breaks the silence on the hill
like thunder warns of summer storms.
I feel the breath of gentle winds
that nuzzle long leaf pines and leafy oaks. 

They surround sleeping ancestors
lying in the dust of caskets facing East,
buried deep, blanket green. Lichen-covered
crumbling stones etched with family names
are barely seen through overgrown azaleas.

My great grandfather, John, veteran
of the War Between the States lies
bordered by two wives; Fanny,
dead at fifty-three, worn out
from birthing seven children.

Missouri half his age, presented 
seven more to complete his second
round before he passed away at seventy-five.
My family men are strong
and woman-wise.

This deathwatch lends my mortal
soul continuum. Strung together
by our veins, like roads on a map,
century to century, suffering the same
finality, enduring the same foreverness.

(Previously published in a different version in Stepping Stone, 2000)


DJan said...

You are quite computer savvy, and I have to say that I am pleased not to have any PC products in my life any more. When I retired, it all became Apple, and they all seem to work very well for me. Just sayin' that maybe it's not the internet but Windows! :-)

Ellen Schofield said...

Words of wisdom, Glenda. I liked your poem, even though it, like genealogy itself, reminded me of my own mortality a bit more than I might like.

Abbie Taylor said...

I'm with you. I have Facebook and Twitter but don't use them as often as I probably should. I share posts like this one that strike my fancy and provide occasional status updates, mainly about my writing on Facebook, but that's about it. The 140-character limit on Twitter has turned me off so don't do much with that at all. I try to spend more time writing and less time on the Internet. Happy computing.

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I like this poem very much. I don't think I've heard it before. I know what you mean about computers.
I hope you are well and having a Happy New Year!

Glenda Beall said...

DJan, you are probably correct about it being Microsoft and not the Internet. Others have told me they have no viruses or problems with Apple products, but I can't afford another expensive computer now. I have to make do with what I have for the time being.
My friend, Rebecca said I should file my docs on Google Drive and then can reach then from any computer. I have been doing that lately so I hope to get better organized. Thanks for your suggestions.

Glenda Beall said...

Ellen, thanks for the compliment on my poem. I know you are busy with Sewly Repurposed, your new business, but I hope you also have time for genealogy and writing your family history.
Wish we could find a way to purchase a little more time each day to do all the things we want to do.

Glenda Beall said...

Abbie, thanks for sharing my post and for leaving a comment. Yes, social media has become a full time hobby for many folks, but I can't take the time and don't want to become addicted to it. I am a procrastinator anyway, so don't need another reason to put off other things I need to do.
I spent two hours in a book store today which I would much rather do than spend two hours on Facebook or Twitter.

Glenda Beall said...

Hi Brenda Kay,
I have been babysitting my sister's two little dogs and they are so sweet. I took them to the doggie park one cold day and realized why I couldn't have two dogs. They wrapped me up in their leashes and wanted to go in different directions. When I get another one, I will settle for one small dog I can scoop up into my arms.Have you gotten another dog? said...

Impressed with all you do on the computer. I'm a PC person myself, and although I have a slim trim laptop, like you, I prefer my old dinosaur of a computer, with a large screen that helps me see the WHOLE picture. :-)

Glenda Beall said...

Hi Roughwighting, thanks for leaving a comment here. I visited your sight and enjoyed reading your blog about getting out of control. I fought that battle all my life. Still do at times.