Jul 30, 2009


This silly machine and I are engaged in a battle of wits. If you've been reading this here blog for more than fifteen minutes, then you know exactly who is winning said battle, but my pea-sized intellect is another subject for another day.

I think what is most troubling about this damn computer is that it DOES STUFF. And, more importantly, it DOES STUFF that I don't want it to and it DOES THIS STUFF while I am sleeping and seemingly minding my own business.

Each morning is an adventure in discovery as I try to figure out what fresh hell will be delivered to my screen. I spend the better part of a week getting everything just so...all of the bookmarks and blog pages and other crap in the exact spot I want them, and POOF!, I awaken to find out that my computer thinks they would be better another way.

Case in point....a few months ago the computer decided that I needed to have Internet Explorer 8.0. I don't want 8.0. I have 7.0 and I like it very much, thank you. But somehow I awoke to discover that 8.0 had been downloaded and installed while I was off doing something important (like solving world peace or finding my laying tool for instance).

So I un-installed 8.0 and managed to tell the nice man on the phone that if my computer wanted to be an 8.0 so badly, then it could just get in the car and drive itself back to BestBuy and be done with it. I want 7.0. (The man was completely unsympathetic, by the way, and I don't think the fact that he actually works for the Mishawaka Utility company (and not the computer company) helped matters. At all.

Today was another morning fraught with angst and a lot of hair pulling as I clicked onto my "very important work to do" page (that would be the stitchy blog reading page), only to find out that we are, once again, back in Installed and Downloaded Hellville.

Now before you are kind enough to tell me how to fix everything, please know that I have the Geek Squad on standby, and if I don't end up throwing this thing out into the front yard, they will be here (free of charge, by the way), to fix what ails me.

I think this is why I love stitching so much. If I look at something I've done and it's hideous, the only words I hear from the linen/canvas are: "You put the stitches in that way, dumb ass." So then as I'm ripping out my mistakes I have nobody to blame but myself. With this situation, however, this computer does what it pleases/when it pleases and doesn't have the common decency to ask first. It sits in its armoire and says "No, we're going to do it MY way because only I know what's good for you and you'll learn to like it. Or else."

When Aunt Chrissy and I visited Target this week we walked through the electronic section because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about over these new flat screen/bigger than a drive-in movescreen TeeVees. My current TeeVee is about twelve years old, and I'm pretty sure that it was obsolete a full ten minutes after I bought it, but I can faintly make out people's faces on it and it's good enough for me.

Or so I thought.

As Aunt Chrissy and I stood in front of the display wall of 42 and 50 inch flat screen HDTV plasma TeeVees, we gaped in awe at everything we'd been missing. The colors! The details! The sparkle and shine! We stood there for a full twenty minutes clutching hands while the wonder of it all washed over us. I suppose it was somewhat like the reaction that most people have when they see the Grand Canyon for the first time...your eyes struggle to adjust as you step from black and white into technicolor and the little munchkins giggle in the flowers all around you.

I suppose that this experience should have convinced me that not all technology is bad, but unless things start to shape up in the Spinster Stitcher Computer Department, we're going back to legal pads and Bic pens. Period.

I will win this battle. I will beat this computer into submission and force it to do what I want it to do WHEN I want it to do it. I will teach it to ASK me if I want something new and I will even teach it NOT to do things in the middle of the night while it thinks I'm sleeping.

In the meantime, stitching will continue, Stewey will pee, and all will be right with the world once again. Here's what I stitched last night (and yes, it was while watching my crappy little four inch TeeVee without and H, D, or TV involved):


  1. I am so with you on this one. My poor sweet 9 year old computer was forced to except Explorers 8.0 version and hasn't been the same since. I don't recognize anything anymore, I'm living with a stranger. Then Realplayer turns into this Beta version. Beta is code for this software has lots of bugs, but we are forcing you to use it anyway, because we are to lazy to bother.
    Love the little lady you are stitching. I am going back to my cross stich now, CJ ok;-)

  2. Ain't technology great??? I find that the older I get the less I care about I-Pods, Wii, Facebook, Blu-Ray, cellphones, etc., etc....

    When we moved into this house a couple years ago we already had a finished basement so we decided to make it a "Man Cave" for my DH. He has his 42" plasma with HD and surround sound and he is a happy camper. We bought all new "comfy" furniture for down there and even carpeted. He has his own full bath and everything! After all, the man worked hard for 50 years, he deserves some pleasure, right? So, I have the whole upstairs to myself...and what kind of TV do I have??? An old, WalMart 24" clunker that we got 10 years ago. The color isn't too good anymore but it still works and I'm not getting a new one until it dies...LOL

  3. So sorry to hear of your computer problems, but they are exactly why we use Mac computers (and Firefox for our browser). We don't have a single program from Microsoft, as there are plenty of free programs that will emulate Word and Excel.

    But on the television side, I say, get thee to HDTV as Soon As Possible. Yes, it is worth forgoing even a few Laura Perin charts to get one of the miracles of the modern age. You think Gordon Ramsey is swoony now? HA! Wait until you see him in HDTV. We got hooked on Lost in HDTV when it first aired. It was like having a jungle right there in your own living room. And DVDs? Get a new DVD upconverting (it doubles all those little bits) player (not that expensive) and watch all your old DVDs (and Netflix) in HD (1080p) quality, too. You will never go back. Heck, you will never want to see television in Standard Definition again. And you don't have to go all the way to Blu-Ray either. A new HDTV, upconverting DVD, and HD content from your cable/satellite company. You may never leave the Happy Chair again.

  4. My parents just foisted a 36" Sony Trinitron Wega on us (268lbs). It turns out the armoir is only 32" wide. The armoir is a nice piece of furniture so the dude (cheap!) wouldn't replace it. We sold the tv for less than we paid for our piece of crap Daewoo on sale at Target 8 years ago. What sense does that make? "There's nothing wrong with our tv," saith the dude.

  5. I've often wondered with you having a talking and computer savvy dog, is there really an Aunt Chrissy? Or is she a voice in your head or only someone you can only see? :)


  6. Missy, there really is an Aunt Chrissy, that would be ME! Coni I say take Kathryn's advice!!!!

  7. ohhhhhhhh, my husband bought me the new hdtv for my stitching room and I love it! I now have my Bose and my new tv in my own room! You will love it and never look back! I think Stewey would really like it, too!

  8. It's that old update-whenever-it-damn-well-wants computer problem. I have that one once in a while. Good luck with that.

    I have about the same TV as you do, and I'm gonna stick with it until it dies. Knowing how they make electronic things, it probably won't last that long. We'll see.

  9. It's only the beginning...the computers THINK they will take us over...but, as long as we know what is important - stitching, chocolate and caring for our loved ones, they (the computers) can't win!
    Keep your chin up!
    Oh, and BTW, I'm hankering for one of those HDTV's too, but el cheapo says that the TVs we have are fine.

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  11. Totally with you on the computer and TV thing. My TV is a throw back from the days of 8 track tapes! I really love your LHN's "My needle's Work." Can't wait to see her all finished. :)

  12. Amen Spinster Stitcher!
    Every year my husband buys me some technological device I don't want in the first place for my birthday or Christmas. He could just buy a gift certificate to the
    Silver Needle and be done. For my birthday I got a Garmin. Like I travel anywhere on a daily basis where I need directions! I know my way to work and the Sonic already.

  13. I like Firefox for a browser and I think you can disable the automatic updates somehow. Of course your Geek quad guys (or gals) will be able to fix it for you, but it's your computer and nothing should change on its own! That's just weird...and make sure you have spyware to root out unwanted elves that may be changing things during the night.

    Wish I could afford to replace all tvs in the house. Alas, that will not happen for quite some time!

  14. Coni, absolutely tell the Geek Squad to disable the automatic update. Mine updated me to the 8.0 and it took me three days to get rid of it. I went straight to Microsoft, told them I thought the 8.0 was crap and I wanted my old I. E. back. They sent me instructions to do just that. No more auto updating for me anymore, and my computer gets turned off at night also. (No more busy elves moving MY things. Teeheehee!)
    P. S. love how your needleworker is looking!

  15. Sorry about your techy bad luck - stitching looks great!

  16. Boy, did your post touch a sore spot with me. I stayed with Explorer 6.0 for as long as I could hold out. I only changed it because 6.0 would not accept the string of commands to make up my blog background. So I reluctantly installed it. Now before you know it, they're asking me to upgrade to Explorer 8. I'm going to gird my loins on this one and hold off as long as I can. I'm getting old and don't like change! And I'm with you on the TVs too - I have one that's 20 years old and the picture is marvelous. DH and son came home with the big screen. Hate to tell you but everyone on that screen looks squat and fat - crisp and clear - but distorted in the body!

  17. Worse than a computer changing itself is a man in your life changing it for you under the guise of making it "better." Someone in our house decided we didn't need Access anymore and there went all my database files. Overdyed floss lists and WIPs and UFOs. Poof! Disappeared.

    All I can say is, don't you dare throw that computer out on the front lawn. Unless you plan on spending a lot of time at your public library blogging!

  18. I'm struggling with Internet Explorer 8 too, and one of the most annoying messages I get every morning is 'Your last browsing session closed unexpectedly ....' which it certainly didn't as I always sign off. I usually tell it to f**k off and X out of the message but I can't face seeing this for the next however many years it might be. I cannot get into several blogs any more, and some cause the computer to just freeze up. X'ing out of them doesn't work, it just logs me out of everything. An improvement? No way. Coni, you have my sympathy.

  19. Coni I feel your pain but I'm with Aunt Chrissy - take Kathryn's advice, piff Microsoft and at least get Firefox (it's free to download) if you are unable to move all the way across to Apple. I piffed IE for Mozilla and boy was that the right thing to do. Also piffed Outlook in it's various incarnations and went with Mozilla's Thunderbird (FREE!) and again so much better it makes one wonder why the fight was kept up so long. And this from someone who will fight the fight with the computer and usually win. You need all your energy for stitching, don't waste it on Microsoft.