Don’t go where I’ve been!

Screen shot 2015-03-28 at 1.59.57 PM

‘The Scream’ detail. Edvard Munch, 1853.

Paint March ominous gray pierced with crimson lightning. Color me lost: In March I lost my peace of mind, my self-confidence and, I feared, my identity. Gone, too, are convenient passwords, bank and credit card accounts, computer back-up, and any hope of nightmare-less sleep.

But I gained even more faith in family, friends, and technical helpers, all of whom pushed, prodded and guided me patiently out of the scam I fell for. Trite sayings flitted across my short-circuited brain: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” for instance.

Had I become complacent believing Apple products are inherently safe from nefarious scum who prey on gullible folk? Yes, I panicked when the Apple-looking warning appeared after I’d Googled “punctuation.” Something so innocent as quotation marks, for heavens sakes, and bam I was sucked in.

I won’t glorify with too much detail here in case the evil-doers are lurking in the closet or behind one of the icons on my desktop. But please, do not call even if the number appears to be your computer company’s; do not listen to barely intelligible techno-babble and let them convince you that your computer has fallen victim to a virus; do not permit them take over your computer to get rid of the gremlins; and do not sign up for lifetime service for any device you buy for the rest of your life no matter how good it sounds.

The dastardly deed was so easily done and so frustratingly difficult to undo. Leslie and Martin had my back, literally and figuratively, within an hour of learning what I’d allowed to happen. Carolynn propped me up long-distance, and Joanne listened to me rant, as did Jean, halfway around the world. Peter even doled out hugs and cups of tea although he couldn’t grasp what had happened to my computer, nor can he even turn on his own laptop anymore.

It took two weeks to change accounts, passwords and IDs, and many nail-biting nights trying to think what else I should change, protect, close, delete.

I spent days on the phone with a very patient senior technician at Apple. I bought a new router and modem. And then, when my ancient cell phone finally fizzled, I gave in and bought a smart phone, yet another technical gadget to outsmart me daily.

With the back-up restored I was home free, wasn’t I? But when the auxiliary devices were replaced the computer could no longer talk to them, and  I hadn’t a clue how to fix that. Gone were iTunes, iDVD, Netflix, Pages, Keynote, even my printer.  Martin to the rescue. Again.

Now, shrieking threats from the #*!≠¡ scammers interrupt our evenings, and I could write a Thesaurus entry with the list of names I’ve called myself…and them. Find me under “bird-brained.”

This whole techno-upset was about the worst thing that has ever happened to me, or maybe I’ve forgotten all the other bad stuff. I’m sure my age exacerbated my frustration and embarrassment.

Oh, we had other problems this month too — another sewer clog, frozen pipes twice — but although those still aren’t resolved, they are nothing compared to being scammed. This was a month I won’t forget and one I don’t want to remember.

March madness redefined.


Fall back? Not again!

If Daylight Savings Time rings your chimes the way it does mine—loudly, annoyingly, abrasively—please click here to tell the politicians in Washington why youScreen shot 2014-10-23 at 9.40.00 AM want your clocks left alone year round.  We’re just a week away from the “fall back” date, and I hate it as much now as I have all the other times I’ve written about it.

Last year my friend Linda commented on my end-of-October post “Leave my blankie alone!”  She wrote, “After our Spring Forward time change, one of our students at the school where I taught, was an hour late for the next week. On the following Monday, I met the mother at her car and casually mentioned that we had changed the time for Daylight Saving. Her comment was, “Don’t tell me they are doing that again!”

I’ve linked this post to last year’s rant about time change (see above) because, well, I’ve run out of time!  So much to do before the evenings darken at the hour they’re supposed to and the sun wakes me at the “right time” once again.



Leave my blankie alone!

Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket. 
An Indian Chief’s observation when he heard about the government’s action on Daylight-Saving Time.

“Have you noticed how dark it is in the mornings?” my daughter asked Sunday afternoon.

“And next week it’ll be light again when you get up for work,” I said.

Her eyes were question marks.

“Time changes Sunday,” I reminded her, “lighter in the mornings…darker in the evenings…”

ACK! NO!  Is it that time already?”

Yup, it’s ti-i-i-me.

Nothing gets me wound up like pending time change. My mind has been made up long since about the foolishness of clocks “springing” ahead and “falling back.” If clocks were left alone there would be a gradual, natural change from daylight to dark, dark to daylight — an astrological dimmer switch, so to speak — not the mind-numbing jolt we get now.

A scholar once said, “Daylight-Saving Time effectively transfers an hour of little-used early morning light to evening.” Where, I wonder, did that “scholar” get his education?  Didn’t we all learn in fourth or fifth grade that early morning light comes from the east.  If an hour were truly “moved,” we’d have morning sun at dinnertime, wouldn’t we?

To the rationale, lose an hour’s sleep in the spring, gain it back in the fall, I say bollocks.  I have never met anyone who lolls around for months thinking, oooh, I can’t wait until I get back that hour’s sleep I lost. Saying time “springs forward” and “falls back” doesn’t make it so. And what are we saving daylight from?

Six years ago the Congress-approved Energy Policy Act went into effect.  One of the provisions added four more weeks of DST, changing the previous April/October dates established in 1966 to March/November.  Some have questioned whether daylight-saving results in net energy savings.  Really? Y’think?

One debatable reason for extending into November was that it would encourage greater voter participation because more people would go to the polls if it was still light when they returned home from work. The argument has some holes: not everyone leaves work at 5:00 p.m; some people work nights; some don’t have jobs to return home from; and others simply don’t vote because they can’t bring themselves to elect any of the candidates.

Frankly, I doubt that adding four weeks to Daylight-Saving Time has increased voter turn-out at all. Now, if they were to tack-on Congressional term limits, I’ll bet voters would knock down the doors to cast their ballots, especially this November!