The Techno-Ditz

I’ve been shedding tears over computers for more than twenty years, more than half my adult life. Give me a mechanical thingie any day. The parts break or wear out: replace the part, et voilà, it works again. Computers being the electronic creatures they are, if you fix one thing, that might not be the problem, but you don’t know if it is unless you fix the one thing first. Then you fix the next one thing. And the next one thing. Like The Lord of the Rings. Then you re-boot, to check if the fix fixed it. Yikes. Giving it the boot sounds about right. Or throwing it into the fire.

I make fun of myself and call myself a “techno-ditz.” Not knowing doesn’t stop me , it just takes me longer to do technology. Thus this blog is a learning process, like homework. How do I add pictures? Oops, step back, how do I take pictures? I can take pictures with my computer? How do I add a link? How do I link one of my posts to another one of my posts? How do I add a link so folks who stumble across my blogs can read the other delightful writers from whom I’ve received inspiration? Yeah yeah, send me lots of advice, I gotta learn it for myself. Maybe you can ‘splain it to me so I can easily understand it. “How to” books, especially about computer stuff, seem little better than kindling to me. The books tell you what you can do, where it is, and why you should do it, but they forget to tell you “how to”. The screen shots in the book rarely match my screen. My brain isn’t wired for electronics. My dyslexia barely wires my brain for life skills, and it makes me unnecessarily creative when solving computer problems. “Could it be this?” I say. “You want to know how they work or how to make ’em work for you?” growls my IT guy.

So I get the screaming mimis and scream for Mimi, my blog mentor. She is younger than me, quite a bit younger than me; she is younger enough she could be my daughter. Like people in her age group she’s been working with computer technology all her adult life rather than just half of it like me.

**An Aside: My dyslexia allows me to be distractable and curious, and because I’m more wired for language and linguistics my insatiable curiosity had to know the origins of the phrase “screaming mimi”. Silly me, I thought it had something to do with British cabaret, you know, a little risqué and raucous. Instead it has a rather serious beginning related to the loud “meeming” sound of a certain type of World War I missile bomb. After the war, returning soldiers would cringe at particular loud noises and were said to have the “screaming mimis” (often spelled “meemies”). The frightened shaking of the veterans resembled the horrible experience of delirium tremens when withdrawing from alcohol abuse. In current slang it is more likely to be associated with having “the creeps”, or “the willies”, or “the heebie jeebies”. For me “having the screaming mimis” is like a general over-riding hysteria. AND I discovered a 1958 movie called “Screaming Mimi” with Anita Ekberg and Gypsy Rose Lee. Can’t wait to order it from the library.**

My son is the next generation younger even. He has had a computer in his face from day one. I got to go back to college when he arrived and held him in one arm while nursing while typing my homework into a word processor with the other hand. Just so you, know I can type one handed with either hand real darn good. Mommies develop all kinds of new skills.

Before he was two he knew which floppy disc went into which drive; we had two kinds back then: five and a quarter, and the new three and a half, since we’d graduated from cassettes. I know, I know, what’s a floppy disc? Yes, we really kept back-up on cassette tapes. He’s even more tech savvy than Mimi, but he has no patience. My old moldiness requires infinite patience and someone willing to answer the stupidest question as if it is a perfectly valid question. My computer knowledge is more historical than cutting edge. Ask me about Dr. Grace Hopper. You have to know where you’ve been to see where you’re going and young people don’t even know how to write with pencil and paper – truth! In my school district children are barely taught block lettering and two weeks of third grade are spent on cursive writing. I volunteered in the elementary schools all during my son’s educational career so I know of what I speak.

It’s time for this techno-ditz to re-boot and order that movie from the library. I have a mechanical thingie to display movies onto an electronic thingy for my viewing and relaxation pleasure.

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