Technology Strikes Again!


Don’t laugh, but I still use AOL for my email. I’ve been using it since it first came out and saw no reason to stop. We have Verizon Fios here in Texas and during the first year we lived here, didn’t think anything about it until we noticed an increase in our AOL bill. We were still paying for the dialup. Duh! So, I cancelled the service but bought my screen name for life. My husband has his computer all set up with AOL connections to his sports and whatever else he does and his screen name is grandfathered into mine.

Monday, when I signed on for the morning, I noticed I had 26 items in my spam folder. It was all undelivered mail. I didn’t think anything about it until my friends started to email and call me saying they were getting spam mail from me. Huh?

Husband comes home from work with a packet they’ve received telling all employees to change their password because of spamming. Aha! Something is going on. I hate changing passwords even though I know I should. Now they are accepting special characters making it more creative. When I finally got the ‘brilliant’ message from AOL, I felt like I had won an Oscar! Then, watching the noon news, the story came on about AOL being hacked and advising everyone to change their password. AOL was currently working on the problem! Don’t you just love technology?

The good news is I finished reviewing my completed manuscript for my next book, tentatively called Not Just an Act. It’s another romantic comedy which I know you will love. I have yet to finish the blurb to submit to my publisher which I plan on doing very soon. I pray they like it as well!



I recently had to get a new laptop. It was in May or around then. I debated about getting a tablet but then again, I need my laptop for my writing. I have a smart phone which is way smarter than me that I use. At that time, they only were selling laptops with Windows 8 loaded as the Operating System. I felt that I could handle that because I did work Help Desk and am attuned to new technology. Well, let me tell you, it has been a ride that at this time in my life, I wasn’t prepared for.

Thank goodness one of my neighbors, a teacher, had received a copy Windows 8 for Dummies which she gladly loaned to me. Now I feel comfortable with it, but I don’t know it as well as I did XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. I’m getting by.

My point is the upgrade that is now available, Windows 8.1. First off, I wanted to back up my work but learned that’s not available in my version. Alrighty, then. I proceed with the download and install. I wait for about twenty minutes, the screen has a green line indicating the percentage of the download. One percent in twenty minutes. Huh? I check again in twenty more minutes. I’m now at four percent. At this point, I’ve resigned myself that this is going to take a while.

I go downstairs to start dinner and get it in the oven. Maybe a half hour tops? I come back upstairs and my page is at the beginning of the Microsoft Website, the one that says “Download now.’ What happened to my current download? I check Task Manager and it shows that there isn’t any download in progress. Really? At this point, I’m clicking all over the place trying to find out what happened. I came out empty handed.

My laptop is behaving as normal and you know what? Do I really need this update? Nope. Not at this time.


Big news for me is that I got a new smart phone. It’s not the latest but when it comes to smart phones, the easier it is for me, the better. I think I’ve been to the phone store twice now in the two days that I’ve had it to figure out how to do something! Now I know to not only check my aol account but to also check my gmail account. Duh!

I wrote a lot this week which is a good thing, since I didn’t get a chance to write all weekend. We had out of town company and had a blast!

Now is the hard part of getting the house back together, washing sheets and towels and vacuuming. How could 4 people make such a mess? If my mother in law came for a visit, I would fail her white glove test, that’s for sure!  What I’d really like to do is to crawl into bed and not wake up until tomorrow. Don’t see that happening. Darn!

One last comment…why do all my favorite NFL teams lose? Argh!!! I swear the games are fixed!



I can’t believe it’s fall already! Where has the time gone? I’ve been busy doing a lot of writing along with working and running errands. Dallas FINALLY had rain on Thursday night into Friday. It was the good kind; gentle and soaking for our lawns and lakes. It’s even cool outside, in the low 60’s and only climbing to the mid 80’s. The only thing I will miss is my swimming. I try to go at least once a day, to clear my head. I tried Thursday before the rain started and let me tell you, I was out of the pool so fast, I saw stars. Maybe I’ll invest in a wet suit.

I am getting a new smart phone, but not by choice. I love the phone I’ve had since 2011. It’s like a comfortable old shoe. We get along and we speak the same language. Until recently. I only use my phone to text, check my emails and Facebook. The other day, I turned on my phone only to get the error message that I have to resign in to access my emails. I do only to get the message that my login failed. Okay….I grab my car keys and drive to the Verizon store. I am there for an hour with three employees who can’t fix the problem. They apologize and give me the tech support number they use when they can’t solve a problem.

I wait until Friday to call because of my schedule. I am on the phone with tech support for forty-five minutes until they realize that Verizon no longer supports the software of my email programs on my phone. Since I am a loyal Verizon customer I am eligible for an upgrade. I picked the iPhone 4s for FREE! because the iPhone 5 is here. Also, it’s the same one my husband has and we can share accessories. I think my next blog might be about frustrations with a learning curve of a new phone. Or maybe not. It could be something more interesting….Have a great day!

LoisKaszniaIt’s funny how my patience gets thinner as I get older. I think I’m having a bad day and then I read some of the blogs from my friends and fellow authors and it really puts things in perspective.

Last year, I needed a new printer. My first book was in the process of being published and I wanted it to be perfect. Every stage of the editing, I would print it out to makes sure that I could see it. I painstakingly numbered everything and made sure I didn’t miss a thing. My six year old printer protested and died just when my editor sent me the final copy for review. Augh! I rushed out and got an HP Officejet Pro 8600. Absolutely loved it. Since I’ve always had such good luck with HP, I didn’t feel that I needed a warranty. This was in May of 2012.

Hence, my next book was getting ready to go through the entire editing process, due out in February of this year. This printer died right before Christmas. What? All I did was change the black ink cartridge and it made some really weird sounds. Then it flashed the error message: Print Read Error. Contact HP. So I did. They told me it was the Print Head cartridge and they would send me a new one that I could install myself. Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve had plenty of experience working with fixing printers from my old job working Help Desk. You don’t want to mess with it. So, I packed it up carefully and took it back to Office Max. Since I’m there at least once a week, they know me. They very graciously swapped it for a new one and this time I did purchase a warranty for an additional thirty dollars.

Three weeks ago, I went to copy something and I got the error message that the paper was not the correct size. Oh, I forgot to mention that I let my daughter print out one hundred pictures of a concert she had gone to, on my printer. She exhausted my ink supply and I had to go back to Office Max and buy close to eighty dollars of ink. (She did pay for it.) So, I asked myself this question; did printing the photo paper cause the printer not to read the right size paper? Hmm…

I printed out the book I’m working on and everything worked fine. So, I decided to scan what I wanted to copy and then print it out. By this time, every time I would print something, the printer started making some really weird noises. I started to get an error message; Please choose to print in black because Cyan needs to be replaced. Really? Didn’t I just replace it? So, from the old days at Help Desk, I unplugged the printer, took out and reinserted the brand new cartridges and booted her up again. Lo and behold. Print Read Error, Please contact HP.

After cursing like a sailor, I went up into the attic which is over one hundred degrees in the Dallas summer heat, to retrieve the original box. I packed it carefully again and debated. Do I really want another one of these HP printers? I mulled my options; I have over eighty dollars worth of ink that is sitting in a broken printer and it seems like I’ll be getting a new printer every six months. Okay, I’ll get the same one.

When I walked into Office Max with the printer, the clerk (he’s the one who sold it to me) just shook his head. Without saying a word, he went to the back and got me a brand new one right of the truck. We both agreed that maybe the third time is a charm? We shall see.

Technology, don’t you just love it?