Monday, January 26, 2015

Learning How to Build a Website


HoneyBunch and I decided to take an online class on “how to build your own website.” HB is semiretired so he let his business website expire.  It listed items he no longer sold and the prices of the remaining items needed to be readjusted to the times.  This blog is the only thing linked to my website, so we need help.
He graduated at the top of his class from college and I consider myself quasi-intelligent, so we figured we could teach ourselves the ropes of website building.  How difficult could it be?
The first lesson explained some basic terms and asked us to create and save a folder on our desktops.  We needed to clear/ignore Rich Text Commands in HTML files.  No biggie.  Easy peasy. We both made 100 on our first quiz and we waited for Lesson Two. We were introduced to some basic tags and asked to use those tags while creating a simple page of text.
This is where we ran into trouble.
Let me just say your websites are safe.  Instead of envisioning us as the Bonnie and Clyde of HTML hacking, we are more like Thelma and Louise, driving pell mell, helter skelter into the World Wide Web abyss.
Our folders wouldn’t open, and when by accident they did, they wouldn’t save.
Neither HB on his economy-sized computer nor I on my high-tech gamer could open our “simple, little” folders we created and saved in Lesson One.
After hours of going over the same steps and getting nowhere, I took a break, an Aleve, and a nap.  When I woke up, I took two deep breaths, rolled up my sleeves, and went back into my office.  I erased everything and started over with Lesson One, but I kept getting the same response.  The stupid folder could not open.  How was I ever going to “Build a Website” if I couldn’t even open the folder!
I did not give up.  I adjusted a few of the steps from the online instructions and got my homework done, at least so far. I understand the online instructor cannot provide individual attention and each computer has its little quirks, so I did my own trouble shooting.
I shared my discovery with Thelma (aka HoneyBunch), and he tried it on his own computer.  His looks a little different from mine but he also finished his homework.

I doubt we will ever be proficient enough to meet what we need for our websites, but at least we will understand the jargon the technician feeds us when he explains his bill. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Year’s Resolutions 2015


I know what date it is; it is mid-January.  I am just now getting around to announcing my NY resolutions when most everyone else has already abandoned theirs.
See, that is the thing with resolutions – they should be resolute and not just wishful thing.  They should affect change.
When someone chooses “to lose weight” as a NY resolution, what they are really saying is that they “hope to” lose weight.  They announce it to the world, rush to the grocery store, stock up on fruits and veggies, and sign up for Zumba classes.
A few weeks later, all that elation hits bottom.  Expensive produce turns to ooze at the bottom of the vegetable bin and their gym membership card lays forgotten at the bottom of their abandoned gym bags. Their bottoms hit bottom.
Their “resolution” was really nothing more than “wishful thinking,” right up there with pinky swears, winning the lottery, and the odds of stealing a Hollywood hunk first-named Ryan from his hot Hollywood wife.
I prefer to make resolutions – determined, serious, hard line declarations of change.
On that note, I resolve to eat healthy in 2015.  I promise to avoid the grocery aisles that stock sodas, chips, and canned vegetables. I resolve to save money and avoid frivolous spending.  I will stick to only necessary purchases.  I refuse to buy another book or another piece of clothing until I exhaust the hordes I already own.  I resolve to exercise my mind, body, and soul, keeping everything working in tiptop shape as I age.  I will read more, walk more, get out and socialize more.
Funny thing about resolutions, they manifest themselves in change.  If we end up in the same place we started, it wasn’t true resolve.  We should see the change if we worked doggedly to attain it.

I hope to find myself at the end of 2015, healthier and with a little more pocket change in the old bank account. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Story Using the Sense of Sound


Listen to the sweet rondo a partner sings each night, a lullaby camouflaged among snuffles and snores, moans and groans.  Instead of annoyance, this joyful noise provides comfort, a succor of peace and love and protection.
Listen to the splendorous cacophony when family gathers. Baby babbles, a jumble of vowels and consonants, accompany the lisps and invented language of older siblings.  The timbre of adult voices synthesizes with the innocent giggles and shrieks of baby song. The irreplaceable value of such a crescendo is never appreciated until the swell subsides, family leaves, and silence takes its place.
An unexpected phone call and the voice at the other end warms us with smiles and memories. A baby giggles with joy and heart strings thrum a chord. A song plays on the radio and melody and lyrics pierce our soul.
Nature offers a symphony.  The cold seasons’ sonatas, howling winds and the soft snowfalls, complement the cantata rhythms of the warm half of the year. Owls call to each other in the dark of a hot night, mockingbirds steal the spring song of others, and insects tune up to discordant riffs.  
Even in the silent intermissions between orchestral displays, the quiet is a lyrical study of sound:  a clock ticks a tempo somewhere, a muffled TV chatters in the distance, and household appliances hum their staged beat.

The sense of sound provides a story. The sense of sound mirrors our soul.   

Monday, January 5, 2015

Finding Characters at the Grocery Store

 There’s the linebacker, the man with no patience.  He came to the grocery store to hunt and gather and no one or nothing will keep him from his objective. He has no patience with the coupon-toting mama or the comparison maven.  He Mad Max’s his way down the middle of the grocery aisles, oblivious to any rules of the road or kindness. He doesn’t care of the mayhem he created in pursuit of a deli chicken and a six pack of beer.
There’s the rooky, the first timer. He didn’t grab a basket on his way in and now is standing in the middle of the aisle.  He holds a grocery list and his cell phone in one hand, and he is balancing several bulky items in the other.  He yells into the phone that “they all look alike,” as he studies all the boxes on the shelf. One young mother reaches around him and grabs a box. A woman who could be his mother grabs another.  He shrugs and shoves a box of the same unto his arm with his cell phone and grocery list hand and runs off.  Maybe the next time he takes on the family grocery shopping, he will get a basket before venturing into the bowels of the grocery store.
Not all men dare the grocery store by themselves. 
There’s the suave playboy.  He is too busy to drive the cart for his wife.  He stands apart so the “babes” at the grocery store won’t confuse him with being married.  While his wife studies the cans of tomatoes, he effuses smarminess and charm. He chats with every passing female and winks at the young ones. If his wife catches him hitting on a woman, he affects a look of innocence.  His wife calls out in a voice we all can hear and exposes Mr. Charm for all that he is (or isn’t), “Don’t let me forget the prunes.  You know how you get if you don’t eat prunes.” 
The grazer can always be found dashing from one freebie stand to another.  He sometimes goes it alone while his wife is shopping or he stampedes with his whole family.  “Over here.  They’re serving sausage bites over here!” He not only leaves his trash on nearby displays or at the bottom of their grocery cart but he also tastes the grapes or helps himself to a free donut out of the bakery case. From the size of the waistline of his khakis, he has done this often.
The one male shopper who probably has the most interesting back story, is the bully.  He drives the shopping basket because he wants to know how every bit of his hard earned money is spent. Every item the wife puts into the basket has to be approved by him first. He never bothers to talk quietly to his wife, but yells in a voice for all to hear. He makes sure we all know that it is HIS money that will pay for all of that extravagance. 
He makes all the others look good.
I am sure there are other “types,” but these are the ones who always stand out and catch the writer's eye.