Tuesday, July 26, 2011

With The Flaming Fire of 1000 Suns

C.J. most days.

C.J. after she's dealt with technology.

1. I think it's no secret that I despise most forms of technology, and they return the favor with interest.

2. Lately, I've had a lot of new-to-me technology to get used to. A new printer. A new laptop. And (finally) my very first smart phone.

3. Let's start with the printer, shall we?

4. It's lovely. And FAST. And very amenable to doing what is asked of it.

5. As long as I'm not the one doing the asking.

6. The other night I wanted to print out a few images for the storyboard I'm making for the novella I'm writing.

7. I opened the image in question and hit print.

8. Nothing happened.

9. The little print window stayed open on my laptop and it LOOKED like it was trying to do something, but nothing happened.

10. Then the print window on my laptop changed and informed me there was an error.

11. That's it.

12. An error.

13. All the advanced technology we have available to us, and we can't figure out how to make the computer actually TELL me what the problem is?

14. I tried again. With similar results.

15. Not to be outwitted by my new printer, I decided to run tests on ink levels. Before you wonder how I could be so incompatible with technology and still know how to run those tests, below the error message was a suggestion that I test the ink levels. I simply clicked the button and waited.

16. The computer suggested I buy more ink.

17. This was mystifying because I had JUST purchased this printer and had only printed the test documents.

18. Correction: my husband printed the test documents. Clearly, he'd established himself as the alpha male to the printer, and the foul beast of a thing would now obey only him.

19. I called my hubby into the office to get some help whipping my recalcitrant printer into shape. The conversation went like this:

Me: Can you help me, please? This stupid *#%@*% computer won't print.

Hubby: It won't? *comes into office* That's strange. It was working fine the other day.

Me: Yeah, for you. But it won't print for me. I gave it a very simple command, and it refused to obey.

Hubby: Hmmm

Me: See? *points to error message* I told it to print. I checked that it was sending the message to the right printer. I even ran tests on the ink levels because it told me to, and it still WON'T PRINT.

Hubby: *comes closer*

Me: I don't like this one bit. If we buy a new piece of technology, it should WORK. It should just WORK. No ambiguous error messages. No greedy requests from Epson saying we need to buy more ink when we haven't even used the ink we have because how could we? The stupid thing WON'T PRINT.

Hubby: Did you turn it on?

Me: *long pause* Oh.

Hubby: *does not try to hide bout of undignified laughter and reaches past me to turn the printer on*

Me: You're going to use this as a bit on your morning show tomorrow, aren't you?

Hubby: Absolutely.

20. Once I had my printer working, it was time for my new smart phone to look me in the eye and yell "Screw you AND your mama!"

21. I preface this story by telling you that up until two weeks ago, I was clinging to my geriatric cell phone whose only capability was to receive phone calls and text. No going online to check email or tweet clever little things as I was out and about. No GPS should I get lost. Just phone calls and texts.

22. We were happy together. We understood each other.

23. But my hubby (who has iEVERYTHING and adores it) kept telling me I needed a smart phone.

24. Apparently, "smart" is a euphemism for "ridiculous piece of crap."

25. My phone still accepts phone calls. And it still texts.

26. Sort of.

27. I can text. But I can't REPLY to texts because the phone refuses to send the message. Instead (because unlike my computer, my phone is capable of SPECIFIC error messages even though it refuses to shoulder the blame that rightfully belongs to it) it sends me error messages telling me I haven't used a correct phone number.

28. Even though this is the phone number the phone JUST ACCEPTED A TEXT FROM.

29. To make matters worse, two days after I started using the phone, we got an email alert that I had already used my allotted data whatchamacallit for the month.


31. Doing what? Not sending texts?

32. My hubby instructed me to close all apps after I was done using them.

33. I told him I would gladly do so. The second I actually started using apps.

34. He looked at my phone, couldn't figure out the problem, and called to up my data plan.

35. Within ONE WEEK, we got an email saying I'd already moved 1 gig of data.

36. I don't even know HOW to move 1 gig of data.

37. My hubby, who uses his iPhone constantly, doesn't even move 1 gig of data.

38. We took the phone into the local AT&T store and the very polite, nice man there couldn't figure it out either.

39. We called tech support from the store. The very polite nice man at tech support couldn't help.

40. We took out the sim card and re-inserted it. In SECONDS the phone was moving an obscene amount of data.

41. Everyone was asking me what I was doing and at this point I needed a stiff drink and a sledgehammer. I wanted to KILL my new smart phone.

42. If it didn't kill me first.

43. I wouldn't be surprised to learn my phone is part of a secret government experiment in which unsuspecting citizens are pushed to their limits in an effort to ascertain how high one's blood pressure has to rise for one to simply keel over.

44. My tombstone will read "Here lies C.J. Redwine who was stupid enough to get axed by a PHONE."

45. To make matters worse, for a variety of reasons I won't bother listing, AT&T won't let us exchange it for a different phone.

46. I offered to throw it against the wall and make an insurance claim, but the AT&T man didn't think I was serious, and my hubby took me out of the store before I could make good on my words.

47. I really hate technology with the flaming fire of 1000 suns.

48. In other news, I called the vet to make an appointment for Jack (our bob-tailed cat) because I suspect he might have a urinary tract infection. Here's a transcript of my conversation with the receptionist:

R: So, you think the cat might have a UTI?

Me: Yes.

R: Well, why don't you go ahead and collect a urine sample and bring it in?

Me: *long pause* Come again?
R: Collect a urine sample.

Me: From my CAT?

R: Yes.

Me: Are you crazy? I don't think I have enough medical insurance to cover the kind of injuries I would incur.

R: Oh. Well, in that case, we could do it for you. Would you prefer that?

Me: Absolutely.

49. Just what I need. Narrowly escape having an epitaph wherein my claim to fame is death by phone only to earn a tombstone with the words "Here lies what little remains of C.J. Redwine who thought she could safely extract urine from a cat and therefore deserved her fate."


  1. If it's any help, I HATE my iNEWNESS and would trade a gazillion lemon bars and few million cupcakes for my old fashioned BlackBerry that had my uberTwitter Bar of Fame. *sigh* sadly, I'm stuck with the iTAUNTYOUMERCILESSLY for a while... and if one more person says, "you just have to get used to it." I may have to volunteer them to collect your cat's sample... even if you don't need any more collections. *cue cat induce screams*

  2. I can't say I feel your pain since I work in the computer services department for my Government xD. But um there are those times when I think the internet and its various websites just loathe me because they refuse to function as well my internet router which likes to flaunt the red light of I-WON'T-LET-YOU-DO-ANYTHING from time time.

    If you're not allowed to inflict pain on the criminals of non-cooperation maybe you can have another technological object no one needs anymore that you can hurl against the wall to release your frustration.

  3. Wait I just jinxed myself. I tried using our fancy 3-in-1 printer here at work just now to scan and had to go through a whole process of constant "failed" printouts with help to finally get 1 little piece of paper scanned to my email.

  4. Holy wow, I know it's not funny but then again you just described me in a nutshell.

    The only difference is I live with a musician, meaning he knows nothing about nothing unless it's an instrument. Any technology in my house is strickly my responsibility. My latest was hooking a Blu-ray dvd player to the TV. Simple right...oh shush already. I didn't even know what the freaking input button was for on the tv.

    I'm still laughing over the receptionist. I rescue strays and even I have never taken a urine sample. (Hugs)Indigo

  5. Both mom and dad insisted I read this post haste...about 5 times. They seem to think I share in your ID ten T errors. Sound it out. Go on, you can do eet!

    I'm smart enough NOT to get a smart phone.


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