Posts Tagged ‘software’

Remember the good old days when you actually had a software library? You paid a one time purchase price, got a CD and Instruction Book, and had the CD until the software was either outdated or no longer useful. Remember those days? I do. Being a graphic artist, I use Adobe Illustrator nearly every day. These days, I pay a monthly fee for the usage privilege but never actually own the software. Sort of like leasing a car you never intend to buy. This could be quirky old me, and others possibly think it far more convenient. For my part, I am a fan of receiving tangible objects for my money. Take books, for example. I prefer to read actual books you can hold and turn the pages. Just me.

My first experience with Illustrator was in 2000. I was working for a start-up company in the Bay Area. The company had lured me out of my previous job with promises of much higher wages and valuable stock options once the company, supposedly on a rocket trajectory to success, went public. My shares were stored in my safety deposit box along with my dreams of trips to exotic locales, a villa in the south of France, and a glorious donation to my children’s bank accounts to remember me fondly by upon my demise. Not to be, my friends. After nearly two years of nearly making that office my home, the technology the company was developing turned out to cost more to make than they could market it for. Duh and double duh, the CEO and CFO might have figured that out prior to getting the investors on board, I’m just saying. With no IPO forthcoming, the company laid off it’s nearly 100 employees, and closed it’s doors. My ten thousand or so shares went up in smoke along with my lofty dreams of world travel, in a ceremonial fire on a local beach after downing a couple of nice bottles of chardonnay with friends. Ah well.

At any rate, nowadays, I pay a monthly premium for the “use” of Illustrator every month. Several months ago, I decided I wanted to also learn to use Indesign, another Adobe program popular with designers. I went online and added it to my list of “rental software” which also added another monthly premium. Sigh. Learning virtually isn’t always the best option for me. I found the on-line instruction confusing, and wasn’t making much forward progress in wrapping my arms around Indesign. I decided to cancel. Not so fast, Bubba, says Murphy. My first roadblock, Adobe is very difficult to reach. They do not make it easy to get to a customer service rep. When I went on line, the system informed me if I cancelled, I would be held responsible for $140 in early cancellation fees. Whoa. Sooooo, I ended up on a “chat” with a representative most likely in Mozambique or points south. Turns out, after learning I wished to cancel, he now was offering me three months free if I stayed til the end of the subscription. I said I would take that offer, on the condition he would ensure me it wouldn’t be automatically renewed. That idea didn’t even get off the ground. Apparently, it is up to me to catch the reminder email awash in the copious sea of emails I receive every day. If not, it will, in fact, renew automatically. Fine. I have noted the exact day on my calendar, and I will catch it, but the experience reminded me once again to research thoroughly what I am signing up for before I go all it. In turn, I am reminding you. That being said, I am by God going learn that program since I am dishing out the money for it. Maybe this is the universe’s way of saying, “get off your lazy behind and just do it”!

This has been a hugely busy couple of weeks. A friend came up from the Bay Area over the weekend and I took a much needed sabbatical to spend time with her. We mostly ate, shopped, went to the movies, and ate again. Oh, did I mention we ate? My next scheduled meal should be breakfast, June 8, 2023. I believe I have enough calories stored to carry me through until then. It was great. I am totally blessed with the ladies who populate my life. Many of my friends I’ve known for years, and I value them all. Each one brings something special to my table making me a very lucky girl in so many ways.

Well rather than describing myself as lucky, more accurately I would say I am blessed, for I do not consider myself a lucky person. By that, I mean I am not lucky in games, drawings, or anything really involving chance. It must be written somewhere in my chart, “Susie will work for what she wants and needs. Luck will have no part in her story”. I would like to write an addendum to that notation, to apply to my remaining time on earth. If the universe is listening, I’m totally on board with this concept. Have your people contact my people. Truthfully, if I was you and had a chance to bet on a competition I was participating in, I would definitely put my money on my opponent. I can sit at the same slot machine for three hours and never hit a jackpot. Should I get up and move to the one directly next to it, in short order someone will sit down at the same machine, pull the handle once, and every light in the place will go off. Intellectually I know it is not me, but there is a nagging thought echoing deep inside my mind yelling, “Nope, it definitely is you”. Can’t help it, sometimes I actually think that damn voice has a point.

My therapist and I are working on the timbre of my inner voice. Your “inner voice” is the little voice inside your brain proclaiming loudly when you trip over the hose in the front yard, “well, that was stupid”, or reminding you when you are trying to open someone else’s car door with your key in the grocery store parking lot, “this is not your car, genius”. You know the one. My little voice has a wicked, wicked mouth at times, and I’m trying to teach it how to speak more kindly to myself and with love. Nameste.

Therapy is a journey of discovery. Uncovering what makes you tick, can be both very rewarding, and at times endlessly tiresome. Wouldn’t it be great if you simply bought those decadent shoes you didn’t need, brought them home, and wore them and enjoyed them? If you put them on your feet without ever questioning if you bought them because you were depressed, your boyfriend left you for the barista at Starbuck’s, or the shoes simply looked more than fabulous on your feet. But, nooooooo. Instead you have to nag yourself about them, reminding yourself of the recent budget you crafted sitting in your excel folder that did not include extra funding for the lovely black heels with red soles. Then, when you wear them and a blister forms on the back of your heel, somehow that voice is snickering and gloating, telling you this is your karma for being a bad, bad girl. Not. I will not listen. Bad shoes are what keeps Johnson & Johnson bandaid division in high clover. If women didn’t insist on wearing uncomfortable poorly fitting footwear they might have to lay off thousands of employees. If you look at it that way, we’re actually performing a public service. Your welcome.

I am hoping that cooking will begin to peak my interest again soon. It makes me sad I seem to have temporarily put a “closed due to lack of interest” sign on my kitchen door, abandoning my utensils and cookware to a life of boredom and decay. I know it is just part of the grieving process, but still it is odd for me not to be chopping and humming by the kitchen sink. This too will pass I’m sure, and my pots and pans will once again come out of retirement. For now though, I have enough leftovers for a week, so “good on you” I say.

Happy Monday! Hope the week treats you well and high clover is but a field away.

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This has been a busy few weeks in this blonde’s life. In spite of the pandemic roaring on outside my door, work of one type of another keeps seeping in through the cracks. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m a self-professed “worker bee” so enjoy being busy. Having plenty to do is not a complaint from me but rather a godsend, in case the universe is listening. If TV was the only avenue I had to focus my attention on, a good deal of my day would be spent with my feet up and my eyes closed. Thankfully, my days are mostly filled. This keeps both my mind and my fingers occupied which, as my grandmother used to say, was a good thing.

Much of my work is in graphics, which was my profession before I semi-retired. When working on a graphics project my right brain kicks into gear and I tend to become hyper-focused. Until I get it laid out in my mind I think about the project even when not looking at it on my laptop. Yesterday was a good example of that.  I opened Adobe Illustrator early in the day and worked for several hours. I took a break to grab some breakfast and catch the news. The temperature, according to the weather man was going to be in the high nineties. I love my garden, so I try to treat it well. Hearing it was going to hot, I went out to water before the heat moved in. My garden fountain has been turned off for the past few weeks due to a shortage of distilled water, which according to the manufacturer keeps the motor working well. I went to four stores looking for distilled water and none was to be found. Apparently people use distilled water for medical devices such as C-Pap’s, and the recent virus flare prompted a run on it. Day before yesterday I found the store shelves again restocked so picked up a few bottles. Deciding to go ahead and fill the fountain, I noticed the bushes around it had begun to encroach on the area where it was sitting.  Retrieving my brand new extra sharp clippers (I really shouldn’t be allowed sharp objects) I commenced to give the bush a trim. Yay. The cord running from the pump to the outdoor plug was partially hidden in the branches, so I pushed it aside and began to clip, clip, clip around the outside edges. Somewhere in the middle of my clipping I came across what felt to be a particularly large branch so I gave the clippers a good squeeze and heard it snap. Right afterwards the cord popped up now cut neatly in half. It must have slid back down out of sight. Sigh. Some days it is better to stay in bed. I guess I’ll look on the bright side, at least it wasn’t plugged in so I’m not sitting here keying this with sizzling hair. As is typical of the way things work I am now well stocked with distilled water and have no pump for the fountain. Good news, the pump is the most expensive part.  I can’t help but wonder when I look at my life if these things happen to other people or is it just me? When I was little my mom used to say, “Susan, slow down. You move before you think.” Words of wisdom.

The day when it begins like this, tends to end up in the same manner. Perhaps it’s a mindset or just the planets out of alignment. I have been doing my bi-weekly therapy appointments on Zoom of late.  Yesterday after cutting the cord, so to speak, I was upset with myself so rather than go back to work I decided to go to the market while it was still fairly cool outside.  In the vegetable section picking out a good cantaloupe, my 1:00 Zoom meeting popped up on my phone at not surprisingly 1:00. Whoops, another one bites the dust. Darn this mind. The meeting had completely disappeared from my radar. Hard to bluff my way out of it when shoppers with carts were wandering around behind me while we were talking. Ah well.

When I got home with my groceries I noticed a package in my mailbox. I assumed it was the remote I had ordered from Amazon several days before, which it was. Recently I had a new TV system installed by a new provider. The technician couldn’t complete the installation with regard to Neflix because I didn’t have the remote for the Blu-ray  undoubtedly hiding out in a bin somewhere in my storage shed. I went on-line (truly you can find almost anything) and amazingly found the correct remote. My Blu-ray is about eight years old so in the tech world it would be considered a bit of dinosaur.  In spite of getting a comprehensive package on my TV touting 600 channels I can’t seem to locate one program I want to watch. 575 of the programs tell you how to remove belly fat, get rid of that double chin, use an air fryer or get help for your acne but nothing else of of much interest. At least with Netflix I should have some options. Over the years I’ve become pretty good at being my own IT guy. Personally, I think they should include at IT tech with every purchase of an electronic item, but I don’t see that happening in the near future so I’ve learned to adapt. Excitedly I hooked up everything and went on line to synch Netflix with my device. Life was good. Everything looking like it was a go I selected a movie and then hit PLAY. A screen came up with the error message “Netflix no longer supports this device. Please call to speak to a technician.”

After waiting the usual thirty minutes for someone to answer, I got a lovely lady on the line who was very helpful. Using the three remotes I now had to put into service we went in and out of the TV setup and Blu-ray three or four times until we determined “Netflix no longer supports this device”. Sigh. So, I have a remote for a device that doesn’t work and now I have to order a Firestick and am paying for Netflix though I can’t watch it. Sure glad I saved that extra few bucks by switching providers.

I will end, however, with good news on the customer service front. Over the weekend I decided to dip into my savings to purchase a new dining room table. This house is much smaller than my previous home and the dining room table, though it does barely fit in my dining room, is much too big for the room. My body sports numerous bruises from the constant beating it takes every time I run into a table corner or bang my arm on a chair as I pass through to the kitchen. I looked on-line first and found a lovely table and chairs at a large furniture retailer for an incredibly good price. Their website said I needed to make an appointment at their showroom if I wished to see it, so I did, and showed up on time. The employee at the reception area looking as though he’d rather be almost anywhere than sitting at that front desk, said I didn’t need an appointment and with one disinterested finger flagged down a salesman. OK. I suggested to him they take down the appointment paragraph on the website so people don’t waste their time. From his expression I’m sure he got right on that suggestion. The salesman conversely was a very pleasant man who said he was on his second week of work. I had brought the Item numbers of the table and chairs I had looked at as well as the quoted website prices. After looking at the other tables available, most higher priced than the one I’d looked at, I said I still wanted the original one from the website. When he looked at the price he said, “that can’t be right”. I looked it up on my phone, and there it was in black and white on their website. Oh-oh. The salesman said naturally they would match that price. Naturally. The chairs were listed as $90 for a set of two. When I showed him that he said he had to get the manager. OK. The manager came and I showed him their own website and the prices. His face clouded over. “That can’t be right”. Again with the “that can’t be right”. It is your website, yes? Next he said, “I hate that website”. I didn’t respond. The man is entitled to his feelings. Next, he tried to convince me the $90 was for one chair. “Nope”, says I, “set of 2 clear as day”. Finally, he gave up and they sold it to me for the website prices. Stand your ground in a situation like this. To be clear, my goal was not to get something for nothing. However, if your business advertises a price for your merchandise you need to be prepared to honor it. When I went up to pay the manager he appeared downright upset. He said he was new in this position and the website wasn’t posting the right prices. That, as they say, is a personal problem. I try to spend my money wisely and research where I spend it. Most likely I will have this table for a long time and am happy to have gotten a good price for it. Sooooo, my lovely new table arrives next week. When I got home I looked up the table again just for giggles and sure enough the prices on both table and chairs had gone up significantly.

Two steps forward, one back. I’m okay with this. Life is always interesting, often entertaining, keeps me curious and energized. Make it a great one.







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