Saturday, August 21, 2010

OMG I'm Becoming My Mother #1 or What the ? With the International Symbols on the Oscillating Fan

It is truly an infinitesimal moment when you clearly realize you have become your mother.  I think I may have had mine this morning.  I've had glimpses, brushes with, vague discomfort at possibly sounding like her, but this was a true I am my mother moment.

Another hot summer in Texas with heat indexes nearing and hitting 110 in the afternoons.  The a/c works, poor thing, it never stops working, the ceiling fans never stop, but it can still get pretty warm.  So the other half brings me a new fangled tower fan.  Bless her technology enabled brain, we have the newest cutting edge design in oscillating fans.  This morning, about 6 am, after letting dogs in and out and the rest of my morning routine, I sit down with my coffee.  It's just a little stuffy, early enough that the temp is probably in the low 70's, the heat index in the low to mid 80s, high humidity but the sun isn't hitting the roof full force yet.  The a/c is taking it's one and only break time of the day.   It's just a little still and sticky so I decide to turn my new fan on. 

This fan has a timer, an ionizer, it oscillates AND it does some sort of pulsing with the air - all of these options are controlled by little push buttons at the top of the fan.  All the buttons have some sort of international symbols for their function.  OK - the clock button is easy, that's the timer.  Now I'm looking for the I and O for off and on - nope, not there.  We have all new symbols - they look like astrology mark ups at a psychic fair.  What in the sam hill, how do I get this gosh dern thing to work and why in Hades couldn't they have just put what was what in plain old English - if they're want to sell it in America than it needs to be in English!!!

That's it - OMG, I'm my mother.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stop-Look-Think - A Few Timely Online Safety Tips from the Old Broad

We older folk seem to be really enjoying Facebook. I know this old broad is! There are some definite safety and security issues though, and not just with FB, but with any online site you may register with. Since Facebook is turning into a stepping stone for many older baby boomers to become truly active on the web, now might be the time to make sure the experience stays good. So here's a few tips to get started with.

TIP #1: NEVER, EVER, EVER sign in with your user name and/or password after clicking on a link in an email. Better yet - my personal advice - never click on a link in an email. If it's a site you go to frequently, use the link you probably have on your desktop or in a file. If it's a site you have seldom or never used, type the basic address into your browser bar (the http: or www. thru .com,net,org, etc.) and visit that way. Your spyware and/or virus protection should alert you if it's a dangerous site (and if you don't have spyware/virus protection, there's some decent free software out there - GET SOME ASAP!!).

I've received emails saying that "so & so" wants to be your friend on FB! They look totally legitimate and are almost exact copies of the legitimate FB emails. For anyone that has spent some time on FB, you do get contacted by people whose name you may not immediately recognize, so it is tempting to click, sign in and "see" who this person might be. Only none of these people are in my Friend Requests when I sign into FB on my own!! Those emails are simply ways to access any information you have entered into FB plus your FB friends list.

TIP #2: When registering with a site, give only the REQUIRED information. Leave all OPTIONAL fields blank, you can always add more info at a later date. If you feel that the site is requiring too much information or don't see why they would need that information (i.e. A forum to discuss organic gardening does not need your SS#, a credit card, or your birth date), DO NOT GIVE IT TO THEM.

TIP #3: Take the time to check unknown or unvisited urls/addresses out. Simply copy and paste them into a search engine like Google or Bing, and see what comes up. Lots of gobbly-gook entries that make no sense? or just chains of words alphabetically related? Sounds like a phishing site to me, at the least it wants to plant a cookie on you so they can follow you around the web, at the worst will go after any and all info it can get. Or there might be results from other searchers that have posted to boards or forums with info that may clue you into the legitimacy or the fraudulence of the site.

TIP #4: Curiousity killed the cat BUT satisfaction brought it back. I'm pretty sure we all have avenues we might want to explore on the web that could put us in contact with some fringe elements. Be it a curiousity about ufo's, singles chat rooms, vampires, corsets, - yes, corsets. Acutally any antique dealer who has done any detailed online research into vintage clothing has probably found themselves clicking into some sites that were by no means educational in a fashion/design/historical sense!

So you want to peek down some unknown alleys? you want to register your email address so you can get thru the door? no problem. That's right - no problem. JUST SET UP A NEW EMAIL ACCOUNT TO EXPLORE WITH!!!! Whether by cable or phone line, if you have an internet provider you have 5 to 10 available online email addresses. That's not counting all the places you can set up free email accounts - gmail, hotmail, yahoo, aol. Open a new email address and explore - you can always go back and re-register with your legitimate account if you like or become involved with a site. And it a site turns out to be a real horror story - I registered for one site and the next morning had 150 emails waiting - you just cancel that email account. I probably opened and closed about a dozen or so email addresses in the first few years of wandering online. Never transfer your address book over, set up any profiles or provide any of your own personal links when setting up these addresses. Remember - surf safely.

TIP #5: Be aware of Facebook apps!!! and what they do!!!! Every "heart", "teddy bear", "dragon", "mafia", "game", "iq/personality quiz", etc. that shows up on your FB page from a friend - every one, when you click it - EVERY ONE has this little disclaimer saying that accepting this gift, joining this, whatever, means that you ALLOW THIS APP TOTAL ACCESS TO ALL THE PEOPLE ON YOUR FRIENDS LIST AND ALL THE INFO THEY ALLOW YOU TO SEE. I'm glad they let you know, I just don't know how many folk read and understand that little disclaimer? In any case - I say no to apps that are going to crawl thru my friends list; you, as well as me, are none of their business!

TIP #6: Do you use tabs? I use them like crazy and recently read a warning concerning them. If you are at your bank, Paypal, broker, or other online financial site, be wary of opening new tabs, even within the site. A way to "get into" open tabs not in use, has been used by hackers. Say you sign in to your bank account, then you want to check something out under History. If you are like me you are lible to just right click on History and then click Open In New Tab, find what you're looking for, close the tab and still have your home page open. Tabs are safe and fine to use, but it's probably a good idea to not use them on sites rich with confidential info. Windows has issued a patch for this with their regular updates, but the possibilities are still open to questions. Once again - better safe than sorry!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Assumptions Once Again Remind Me to Get My Head Out of My Assumptions

The old broad is ranting again!  education, academia, the younger generation, and OMG I'm my mother - all wrapped up in one.

Don't ever tell me astrology is a hoax - the only thing that can explain my stubborn idealism is that I'm an aquarian.  I'm 60, have no computer training whatsoever, literally finger picked my way around computers and the web and I can do more stuff and comprehend more hows/whys/whats than the 20 year olds I'm talking to who have been around computers all their lives!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I Have a Stalker and She is SMOKING - Get Thee Behind Me Cigarette Sin

Ms. Pearl Aufrere, pictured to the left, 1915, is thought to be an ex English chorus girl who traveled to America, was widely photographed, graced many cigarette cards, was engaged to royality at some point and is thought to have married "very well" and thereafter blended herself into the obscurity that the "very well" of the time demanded.  Would that cigarettes and their devious hold on me fade as obscurely and as well!  Lawsy - I still want to light one up.

Old Broad Attitude - Positives and Negatives of Facebook

2009 was the year I ventured into "social networking" with Twitter and Facebook. Going into 2010, the old broad already has some attitudes - big surprise there, right folks? - about both. Going to talk about Facebook today and will save Twitter for later.

Facebook could turn into a real love hate relationship for me, can see it already. It has reconnected me with some dynamite people that I'm really happy about being reconnected with! From the 1970's thru the last few years. We haven't become born again bff's, but it's been great to touch base, see where life has taken them and maybe, build on foundations already in place.

On the otherhand, my old hippy idealist side is a bit aghast again.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thank You Joseph Heller for Writing "Catch 22"

It is one of those books I am seriously glad to have read when younger.  The more years that go by, the more appreciation for the book and it's message.  It really helps to see the absurdity right off the bat and be able to enjoy the actual silliness all along, rather than suffer all the negative emotions from running in circles or hitting brick walls.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters Sounding Good - Must Be Getting Better! Finally!

Don't know about you but the music playing in the background says a whole lot about my mental and physical health.  Lately it's been a pretty continuous backdrop of low volume big band, elevator light jazz, or generic oldies.  Translation = either the pain meds are keeping me in a nice unfeeling limbo or I'm trying to keep myself there while biting the bullet.

While cruising around my little internet radio this morning, found myself turning up the volumne on Buddy Guy's "She Got the Devel In Her", then a bit more for Muddy Waters "Rollin' and Tumblin'", then cranked it up some more for Popa Chubby doing "San Catri" - who I'ld never heard of but wow, that's some nice guitar playing - and now am drifting on Aynsley Lister doing some pure blues with "Need Her So Bad".  

Okay - finally - back to my Montana Radio Cafe and, as they say, "we play the music you won't hear anywhere else" and all my other off the wall stations!  I must really, really, finally be getting better - can tell by the music! 

And in case you'ld like to check out the station mentioned above? Here's the link - !