Tag Archives: computers

Cyber Zoo

Cyber Zoo

This modern world has changed and changed
until I have become estranged.
These alterations make me dizzy.
I do not like my world so busy.

The young are used to change, it’s true.
They love the instant and the new.
Texts and sound bites come so fast.
Nothing’s really built to last.

But, for someone over fifty,
all this change is hardly nifty.
When at each end the candle’s burned,
when everything we’ve newly learned,

when everything that we hold dear
turns obsolete within one year,
we’re always slightly out of gear,
which makes us feel unjustly queer.

They make these changes without a clue.
Let’s start out minor, then work up to
the major things they’ve set askew:
(I will not mention Dr. Who.)

Every computer becomes its clone.
I cannot use the telephone.
My applications change so quick
that I have come to feel I’m thick.

Skype makes its changes overnight.
(Yet rarely ever improves the site.)
Microsoft Word just loves to change,
which leaves her users feeling strange.

Move this to there and that down here;
so all my mental powers, I fear,
are spent in figuring out the APP
and organizing a mental map

of how to write instead of what,
creating one big mental glut.
No room for creativity.
No safe place where our minds soar free.

We’re always “searching” for, instead,
our minds caught up in fear and dread
of where they’ve moved the enlarge bar to
in this week’s Word processing zoo!

Our e-mail servers have joined the plot.
I feel like pitching out the lot.
Just when I’ve learned most every trick
of tool and contact, every lick—

their Machiavellian, evil team
goes and changes the whole darn scheme!
But when we’re sending coast-to-coastal,
the alternative is going postal.

So though we bitch and though we frown,
they are the only game in town;
and so they have us where they want us.
Though they frustrate, ire and daunt us,

one after another, they are the same,
playing at this modern game
of change for change’s sake, it’s true.
There’s really nothing much to do.

So I submit, though in a tizzy,
I’ll relax less and keep real busy.
I’ll leave the cyber world alone
and concentrate on just one bone

I have to pick in this modern world,
and I say this with my top lip curled.
Max Factor, Revlon, Almay, please—
I kneel before you on my knees.

Leave the lipstick colors that we hold dear
alone! Don’t change them every year.
Each time you cancel one that’s zesty,
to find another makes us testy!!!


This is a rewrite of a poem written four years ago. The prompt today is zoo.

Air Port

I arrived at the Halifax airport two and a half hours before my departure time for Toronto; but as you can see below, have had no problem figuring out how to pass the time:


Air Port

I must recharge my Apple.  I must post my blog.
Finding a place to do so was like rolling off a log,
but connecting to the wifi was by no means easy.
After five attempts I was feeling flushed and queasy.
Two hours before my flight would leave. I had the time to do it.
If only my computer had the wifi to imbue it!

The man who said he’d help threw up his hands and walked away.
“Oh, a Mac!!” was all that it seems he had to say
when two more tries and shutting off my Mac had no effect.
Yet still I do not rue the day I joined the Apple sect.
Their air ports may be iffy but they’ve other saving graces.
Somehow my mind just clicks with how they put me through my paces.

Once more I clicked “restart” and crossed my fingers and one eye.
Such rituals are Mac-like and might just serve to buy
admission to the Internet, along with one small oath
without which often my Mac Air, I must admit, is loath
to do what I direct it to. It has a stubborn bent.
But somehow sometimes it complies when I choose to vent.

Getting through security was navigated with ease.
And getting to my gate, again, was really quite a breeze.
But though I finally got online.  (I’m talking to you now.)
Please do not inquire about precisely how.
Macs are a fraternity with secrets we can’t tell;
but if you are an owner, I’m sure you know them well!!!

The prompt word today was “Recharge.”Thanks, WordPress, for once again fitting the prompt right into my life experience.

Endangered Practices


Endangered Practices

I fear the future will not stand
for communication writ by hand.
E-mail, Instragram and text
is current and what’s coming next
could well be texting brain-to-brain.
Practice your penmanship in vain,
for in most schools, it’s been junked.
Writing by hand has gone defunct!!


New Year Wisdom


New Year Wisdom

After going to a New Years party for a few hours, I came home to welcome in the New Year online with okcforgottenman. I was railing on about the fact that a prompt site for which I wished to download an app only had apps for phones and tablets. When I asked if they had an app for my Mac computer, they said no, the place they went to set up the prompt site didn’t have a setup for a Mac computer.  This, in addition to the fact that more and more apps and software are being set up to accommodate the tiny screens on cellphones and tablets without taking into consideration that some of us are on computers has caused me to wonder if  computers are becoming obsolete!

The fact that many baby boomers are now well into their sixties and approaching their seventies means our eyesight is not going to get any better, and frankly, I need the bigger screen. In addition, somehow those born in previous generations (at least mine) seem to have been born with larger thumbs than more recent generations, for I find it is physically impossible for me to navigate a phone or Kindle or tablet keyboard with even my fingers, let alone thumbs.

I then mentioned how everywhere I went, people were all on their phones—playing games, talking to people other than the people they were with, reading the news or blogs or email. No one was where they actually were! He replied that this didn’t bother him but then seemed to do an about-face by admitting, “I think something big is going to happen that will bring about the end of civilization, but I don’t necessarily know what it is. It might be Isis and it might be iPhones!”

What he has just said has the ring of truth to me. I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing, but never put it so well. I am frightened about how smart phones have taken us away from our surrounding people and environments. We are no longer one place at one time. Even if we are not talking on the phone, there is the potential of every person we know calling us at any time and any place. And most of us make that call a priority over whatever is going on at the time.

Okcforgottenman then told me about a new app that photoshops the faces of those talking on the computer, fixing the glitches, covering up all those details that Photoshop is so adept at covering up. Again, I had a feeling of déjà vu,  because I’ve been reading Ultimate Jest by David Foster Wallace, and just today, he talked about a time in the future when people on social networks are able to download an app that Photoshops their faces.

Eventually, the app makes changes to the point where people no longer really want to meet in person, because they feel they have become the false representation of themselves—or at least prefer it. No need to put on makeup, comb your hair, get dressed. Virtually, they will be perfected!! The trend reaches its zenith when in time, the app doesn’t even bother to start with the real image of the speaker but instead uses the image of a movie star or other “beautiful person” who most resembles the speaker–eventually coming to the place where what they have in common is four limbs and the same color of hair!

What he describes is so close to what okcforgottenman describes to me that I get a chill down my back and the brain freeze I always get when I’m faced with a startling truth I’ve never thought of before. Is there any science fiction that will not eventually become fact????

David Foster Wallace describes a turn that eventually makes people reject their fake personas and to go back to voice-only conversations that do not even present any images at all. In time, those who use the visual phones with face and body altering apps come to be seen as narcissistic, gauche and behind the times. This is something I cannot imagine happening as our dependence on cyber unreality becomes more and more prevalent.

As we retreat more and more into fantasy and living in the far distance, what will happen to the immediate world around us? Will it cease to have importance as anything other than providing for our immediate creature comforts such as food, bed, warmth, water and medical attention? Will all of our psychological, artistic, amorous, social and familial needs be met through our online devices? And as these devices get smaller and smaller, will we ourselves evolve into miniature beings capable of managing them? Are we evolving back down to subatomic size, and is this a cycle? Has it happened before?

Ridiculous. I’m being ridiculous. And yet who among us, born in the forties or fifties, would have ever imagined we could communicate with both words and pictures through the air, watch a movie on a device smaller than the hand piece of a telephone, or that people would be living their “real” lives out and even choosing husbands and wives on TV for all to see? How do we tell the difference between what is possible and what is  impossible anymore? I’m afraid it is hard to predict with any confidence at all.


Remember Me By This

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “For Posterity.”

The Prompt today was to write a post that you want to be remembered by. I’d like to try something different.  Instead of my telling you what post I’d like to be remembered by, would each reader please post a comment telling which post you would most remember me by?  It’s possible to search by topic if you don’t remember the title, or you can just scroll back through two years of prompts until you find your favorite.  This would be very very interesting to me, might help you find some posts you’ve never read, and also give me a day off from the frustration of searching and searching for ways to learn and remember PC ways.  Yes, I’m getting there, and I am beginning to think there was a reason for this painful lesson that forced me to learn how to coexist with my Acer.  Last night my Mac came alive for a few minutes several times before shutting off, which led Duckie to believe the problem might be in the fan. It has resided in the rice bag for most of the time since it came back from Daniel the dismemberer and is back there now, with my camera, which I also got to work for a few minutes, so perhaps not all is lost and praise be to the restorative powers of rice.  Remember this if you ever soak your camera or computer! I think the salt air is also a big contributor to computer demise. My next-door-neighbor Daniel (different Daniel) says his computers usually only last a year!  Okay, on to your assignment.  Please, please.  Judy (aka Jury)

Update: I finally answered the prompt as written here.

Two Saves

(Note to new readers: I have been at the beach for seven weeks now, which might make you understand a bit better how isolated I am in present circumstances explained below.)

(Update by okcforgottenman: Here is today’s WordPress Daily Prompt: Daring Do – Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?)

The prompt today, which I cannot copy here because I don’t know how to do it on the pc I have been using for the first time, or trying to, over these past two days since I murdered my (sob) Mac Air laptop, has something to do with some time when you have saved someone.  After thinking long and hard, mainly because I couldn’t figure out how to use the document software on the pc and then realizing I had no way to transfer it to my blog, anyway, I just decided that some power in either me or the universe (which is really the same thing) has decided that it is time for me to back away from technology for a time. If you don’t believe this, take into account that after both my Mac and my Kindle stopped working, then my phone did so also.  Thinking it was probably that I needed to buy more time, I resolved to do so only to find that its charger has absolutely vanished from my life.  I’ve turned the house upside down and it is nowhere.  Ah well, I’ll concentrate on photography, thought I, then realized I had no place to put the photographs.  After stumbling around for about 4 hours, I almost by mistake got them downloaded to this (devil) Acer pc, which promptly told me none had been downloaded.  A few hours later, I stumbled upon them but have no idea how to get them onto my blog…and, deciding to just give up on writing or talking to anyone I know outside of my immediate proximity, I took camera in hand…only to discover that my camera, also, is absolutely unoperational.  I think I wrote about this last night and sent it to a friend to post for me, but it was never received, so I won’t bore you with the details, other than that my camera has become a little turtle, constantly extending its head and neck only to withdraw them again, forever, until the battery wears out. Slip in a new battery and the same happens. I put it out of its misery, removed the battery and stuck it in a bag of rice, where it is keeping company with my Mac. Countless people tell me this is a remedy for waterlogged nonhuman entitites. I don’t know what is wrong with the camera, but that big bag of rice was sitting there handy, so why not. Anyway, this is why I am incommunicado and not posting .  Instead, I made a salad and chicken soup for a dinner I’m giving for departing friends tonight and got in the hammock with a good book, dozing a bit just in time for a friend to come by, jar me awake and ask if I was sleeping, then depart (her, not me) for a walk up the beach. So, what does this have to do with saving anyone?  Nothing.  Just a chance to unload on someone other than Duckie, who has been bearing the brunt of my frustration.  I do, however, have an answer to the question.

I have, in fact, saved two babies from drowning.  One was at a housewarming party given by my boyfriend’s son in California.  We’d all been given the tour, including the garden and hot tub, which was up on a raised patio out of view of the house.  One of the couples had a two-year-old child and I noticed he was not with his mother. Looking in the other room, I saw he wasn’t with his father, either, and I suddenly had a strong feeling that something was wrong. I ran out of the house and into the garden just in time to see him at the top of the stairs leading to the hot tub.  He walked over to the side, fell in and sank like a stone.  I ran up the stairs, jumped in the hot tub and fished him from the bottom before he ever bobbed to the surface.  I remember the entire thing in slow motion and have a very clear memory of the fact that it seemed as though his body had no tendency to float at all, but would have remained at the bottom of the deep hot tub.  The parents reaction was shock.  I can’t remember if they left the party or if they really realized how serious it was.  I know they didn’t thank me, which is of no importance other than a measure of either their inability to face the fact that their child had been within seconds of drowning or simply their shock and the fact they were thinking only of their child.

Strangely enough, this had happened before, at a stock pond just outside of the little South Dakota town where I grew up.  Everyone went swimming there, as there was no pool in town.  When I was still in jr. high, I’d just arrived when I saw a very tiny girl—really just a baby—fall into the dam (what we called a pond) and sink straight down under the very heavy moss that grew on the top of the water.  Her mother had her back turned, talking to a friend, and no one else noticed.  I jumped in and fished her out, returning her to her mother, who quickly collected her other children and left.  Again, no word of thanks.  It is not that it was required, and I mention it here only because it happened twice and, having not thought about this for so many years, I am wondering if it wasn’t embarrassment and guilt on the part of the parents that made them both react so matter-of-factly.

Hard Drive

The Prompt: Buyers, Beware? The year is 2214, and your computer’s dusty hard drive has just resurfaced at an antique store. Write a note to the curious buyer explaining what he or she will find there.


My Retablo, “Autobiography”

Hard Drive

If you long for mystery,
poems, facts and history,
long perambulations
and wild exaggerations,
recipes and letters and
episodes of Homeland,
Elementary, Sherlock, Friends,
a blogging site that never ends,

Emails, Youtube, Facebook notes,
starts of novels, copied quotes,
OkCupid pictures of
possibilities for love,
notes from nice guys, threats from creeps,
notes from guys who play for keeps,
friends who only write when drunk,
chain e-mails, jokes and other junk,

two hundred drafts of my third book,
(each one different, have a look),
kids stories and their illustrations,
the Christmas plans of my relations,
photographs of my whole life—
its happiness and pain and strife—
some successes but also follies,
fireworks, insects, gardens, dollies,

travel snaps and friendly faces,
rooms at home or foreign places,
birds and children, beaches, skies,
the camera lens is true and wise
and not as given to fraud and lies
as writings filtered through the eyes
of one who feels the joys or pains
of what she witnesses, then deigns

to try to change her reader’s mind
to accord with the type or kind
of thoughts she carries deep inside:
pride’s cutting edge, love’s waning tide—
things lovely, funny, jarring, rare.
So read this hard drive if you dare,
but if you fear a life laid bare,
I have one word for you. Beware.

The Air Around Me

The Prompt: Object Lesson—Sherlock Holmes had his pipe. Dorothy had her red shoes. Batman had his Batmobile. If we asked your friends what object they most immediately associate with you, what would they answer?

My MacBook Air—no contest!!!!  There is not a time when I’m home that it isn’t with me…and usually not a time away from home.  I have to be able to write at any given time and my Kindle is too hard to type on.

The Air Around Me

In the morning when I wake, she’s on my bedside table
where she’s been charging all night long, so now I find I’m able
to perch her on my counter as I brush my hair and dress,
put mascara on my lashes and curl them, I confess.
I take her to the kitchen as I blend my smoothie up—
slice the fruit, add soy milk, and pour it in a cup.
To my desk we go then, to write our morning verse.
If I wrote it longhand, I fear it would be worse.

When I do pool aerobics, she sits at pool edge.
(I put her on a table that has a little ledge
to protect her from disasters that might tip her in the pool.
I never take her in with me. I’m not a complete fool.)
That hour of exercise flies by as I watch junk TV.
Old situation comedies are what I like to see!
But when I drive to town I always listen to a book.
Much better than a video, as I don’t have to look.

At the plaza café, at my favorite outside table,
I converse with favorite friends whenever I am able.
But if they’re busy I just take my laptop there with me
and talk to her with fingers whenever they are free.
When the waiter brings totopos and the sauce to dip them in,
salsa on her keyboard would be disastrous sin;
so I have to move her—our contact I must breach—
but close enough so earbuds are still within my reach.

Before I eat, I talk to her with fingers fleet and swift.
During the meal, I listen, for my food I have to lift
from plate to mouth from plate to mouth till it becomes a rite.
Then my computer talks to me. She has no appetite.
She is my secretary and my bookshelf without end.
My video library and my calendar and friend.
She is my photo album and the archives for my writing.
She corrects my spelling and she’s expert at reciting
all my words right back to me so I can see what’s wrong.
And when I need interpreting, her language skills are strong.
So perhaps it’s clear now why she’s always here with me.
For the bond that binds us both is electricity!

Ping Hack

Ping Hack

“I don’t know what to make of ping,”
he told me, simply answering
my question of the difference
and, in truth, my inference
that he would know the answer and
as usual would take a hand
in clarifying one time more
what a speed test measures for
and what they had to do with “ping”
and downloading and uploading
and whether one point twenty three
was enough download for me
and whether zero point six seven
would get me into upload heaven
and what this ping stuff had to do
with starts and stops that ruined my view
of films that I had hoped to stream
that only made me want to scream

because they came in fits and starts,
ruining all my favorite parts!
Are they adequate, I asked?
His scorn was only partly masked
as he admitted they weren’t at all.
“And ping?” I asked him this last thing.
and he was quick in answering,
“I don’t know what to make of ping,”

Ping Fact (Addendum)

These numbers are the actual,
although they aren’t the factual
upload feeds
nor download speeds,
for I forgot to disconnect
the VPN and so I wrecked
results of loading speed and ping,
but I was apt in my rhyming

which only goes to show a poet
is not a techie, so now you knowet!


(This is the actual result of my speed test after I turned off the VPN.)

NaPoWriMo Day 7: Fidelity

Our prompt today was to write a love poem.


Each morning when I wake
to shrill alarm or sweet bird song,
depending upon the requirements of my day,
you are the first to greet my opening eyes.
You rest there on the pillow next to me
in the bed where first I, then you,
have fallen to sleep the night before
too soon, too soon,
before half our words were said.

After a quick trip to the john,
it is the first stroke of my fingers
that bring you finally to life.
Your countenance lights up
and the same love words
I revealed to you last night
are returned to me.

My hands caress
and new words come easily
first to me, then to you.
I touch gently all
your fine smoothness,
getting back
everything that I give
equal measure,
continuing our long love story
of give and take
as I shift your light frame onto my lap
to stroke your separate parts
from question mark to exclamation point.

Could a PC ever rouse this passion in me?
No way, MacBook Air. Thou art my love!

(I forgot to mention before that this love poem was to be written to an inanimate object. My love affair with Macs has extended over 30 years—from my very first floppy disk table model to my new love…the ultralight MacBook air.)