There Are Always Glitches.

I recently treated myself to a new iPad, planning to use it, I confess, for scrolling, for writing, and viewing cute dog videos. Because it was expensive, (Apple products are), I thought I would get it set up by a professional at an Apple Store.

When I approached the technician, I made the mistake of saying I had purchased the iPad from Best Buy.

“O,” he said. “We don’t do that for products not purchased at an Apple Store.”

My first impulse was to “go off” on him but then I realized he was busy and an employee at the bottom of the food chain who didn’t make policies.

Instead, I said, ‘What??!! I’m going to phone Steve Jobs…”

“On her ouija board,” interrupted my son who was with me.

With his help and my own iPhone, setting the new device up was easy, although it did involve a little of the obsessive-compulsive, on my part.

My daughter gave me the keyboard I requested for Christmas. Today I wanted to send the Pages document I had written to my PC to print. The old version of the word processing program used to convert the document to Word, no issues. (I should mention I’m cheap and didn’t buy a wifi enabled printer.) Not so, the new Pages.

Particular frustration ensued when the pop-up message announcing the end of support for my Word 2010 in October 2020. Now I will have to buy an subscription (to the tune of $79 annually) if I want to used Word. Gah. I have a lot of my “treasured” writing in Word so I have to open the mothy wallet.

I’m waiting to see what other “surprises” are in store. I do like the iPad and I like Word. I just didn’t expect to do things myself or to buy Office 365. It’s a new Year.

"tis the Season of Giving…

but what to give? The perennial problem. This year I broke it to my adult kids that once again, there would be no new car, no mortgage paid in full, and no yacht. I just want to get them a concrete expression of what they mean to me.

It’s no different for friends EXCEPT that the budget restraint is even greater. I guess I’ll have to find efficiencies. I want something that expresses how I appreciate their support and friendship.

Google knows everything, right? So I thought I’d look for inexpensive, thoughtful gift suggestions for women. What is the first suggestion? An Instapot. Who are they kidding? That’s not a gift. It might be something that makes meal preparation a little easier. You know what makes it really easy? A gift card to a restaurant. I didn’t go much farther on the list before I came to an Airfryer. Really? I hoped we’d advanced past the little woman in the 50s who looked great, cooked great, and was plain great for her man. Ugh.

Tasteful red for the Holiday giving.

Google stuff for men? Guess what socks and shorts aren’t on the list. Fun stuff is. Collectibles for movie and gaming fans. A Water-proof Build a Fire Kit for the outdoorsmen. I didn’t notice hedge clippers or snow shovels as likely to be popular. Before I sound misandristic, I like most men but for gift sugestions, they come out ahead.

I wasn’t kiddiing about the Fire Building Kit

So what will my friends get as tokens of my appreciation? I’m not sure. I guess I’ll need to get a little creative and hope that they feel a little of the value I place on our relationship. O, and laughs. I’ll try to provide more laughs.

May your Christmas Season be one of joy.

A bit of nostalgia lives

Once upon a time, many years ago, a girl on the Alberta prairies went to a one-roomed country school. The students ranged from grades one to nine and the instruction was old-time, structured, and she loved it. Once she was in grade three or four, the hated “fat” pencil was discarded and she began cursive writing using, gasp, a straight pen and ink from a bottle in the inkwell of the desk. Writing was serious and practice consisted of a series of patterns used in cursive and then more practice using the patterns in letters.

I was, of course, that girl and the straight pen and ink were a challenge. My fingers were splotched in blue-black ink, the nib on the straight pen would catch on the paper and my penmanship featured ink spatter more often than not. After I achieved a certain competency, I could use a fountain pen (ballpoints weren’t invented until the sixties when it was debated whether students should be permitted the use of these new-fangled instruments.).

Blue-black ink is so un-inspiring. I remember the day, (in Morgan’s department store of our small town) that I saw the South Sea Blue ink by Waterman on the shelf with the ordinary ink. It was beautiful. A rich, turquoise green, a colour I didn’t see in nature until years later when I saw the Caribbean. My mother bought it for me. I can imagine the horror that my teacher felt when she saw the new ink. It would have been an affront to her sense of order and the way things should be done.

All these years later, I saw a bottle of the ink in an antique store. I pointed it out to my son but when we looked at it, alas, the ink had dried away.

Fast forward to Christmas morning, 2018. My gift? A fountain pen and South Sea Blue Ink- now known as Inspired Blue but it is the same beautiful turquoise. Nostalgia complete.

It seems I’m not that much of a nerd. Like many older technologies, fountain pens are enjoying an resurgence in popularity. A lot of the aficionados are my vintage but there are young people, too, who have been drawn to this writing instrument.