Technology Battles

We’ve got some problems here, Siri —

you don’t come when I call,
you give me bad advice
or none at all.

you say, “I didn’t get that”
or you change the subject
and fall totally  flat.


You’ve gotten me lost —
your directions are wrong
and come with a siri-ous cost.

Yes Siri —

lying to your partner
is a capital offence
And so rude to be silent;
I demand recompense.
I’m reconsidering our relationship
You show no remorse —
I’m breaking it off,
Dissolution? Divorce?

I’ve set you up
and set you up
and set you up
yet still you ignore.
Oh Siri, Siri,
I’m showing you the door.

Oh wait,
maybe it’s because you’re American male?

I could give you one last dance—
and change you to British—
at least then when you’re wrong
I’ll be charmed by your accent
and the extent of your content
and you won’t be so frus-TRA’-ting
and I shan’t throw you in the dust bin.
But seriously Siri
This IS your final chance…


On Organizing One’s World

Slipshod or Precise?

Messy or Neat?

Planned or Random?

Just what DOES your dining room table look like? Yes, I know, the only excuse for a messy dining room table is tax time… and ahem, yes, it’s soon upon us.

messy tableYes this is what the dining room table usually looks like. I thought about cleaning it off just for this photo shoot. But that would be putting a better face on me and my organizational skills than I deserve, and it might put undue pressure on you, the reader, to look around at your own house and wonder why you don’t measure up.

We usually eat at this table so (except at tax time) it can’t be too filled with junk. But I do admit that some evenings I have shoved stuff to the side just to make room for two plates. Sighs loudly. 

So I confess to being a disorderly, organized person. An ex-librarian for goodness sakes, and now a secretary! Files must be in alphabetical order, but the desk is often messy. I go in fits and starts. Stuff collects until I can’t stand it and then I go on a binge of organizing and throwing away, shredding, filing… Last year as we took tax stuff to our new accountant, I was rather nervous that in one of those binges, I had shredded important documents that she would need.

Indexing! said the librarian. Organization! 

And so, in an effort to start 2017 in good form and Organize My World (starting with paperwork) I’ve cleaned and re-organized the kitchen cabinet, my clothes closet, my nightstand, and I am seriously working on my own attitude toward busy-ness. I’m reading Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald (which has been on my unread bookshelf for four years now…) and it is speaking to me loud and clear.

MacDonald’s book is definitely about one’s private world, which is the heart of our moral compass, our self-esteem, our values, our conversations with God, our souls. Yet I can’t help but think if our outer worlds are messy, it must, in part, reflect our inner world.

“For me the appropriate metaphor for the inner spiritual center is a garden, a place of potential peace and tranquility. This garden is a place where the  Spirit of God comes to make self-disclosure, to share wisdom, to give affirmation or rebuke, to provide encouragement, and to give direction and guidance. When this garden is in proper order, it is a quiet place, and there is an absence of busyness, of defiling noise, of confusion.

The inner garden is a delicate place, and if not properly maintained it will be quickly overrun by intrusive undergrowth. God does not often walk in disordered gardens…”

garden statue
And in the next chapter, he continues the garden metaphor…

“Few of us can appreciate the terrible conspiracy of noise there is about us, noise that denies us the silence and solitude we need for this cultivation of the inner garden. It would not be hard to believe that the archenemy of God has conspired to surround us at every conceivable point in our lives with the interfering noises of civilization that, when left unmuffled, usually drown out the voice of God. Those who walk with God will tell you plainly, God does not ordinarily shout to make Himself heard.”

(My copy of this book was published in 1985 — way before the electronic revolution changed the type and amount of noise in our lives).

I long for simplicity — an end to clutter — both in my outer and inner worlds. I long to get rid of paper, unnecessary choices that complicate life, and I long to be the type of person who puts everything away in the correct place when I’m finished with it… Or, at least remember where I put it so I don’t have to spend twenty minutes searching for it.

“God does not ordinarily shout to make Himself heard…” That bears repeating, doesn’t it? And the still small voice is hard to hear when distraction, busy-ness, and clutter fill your heart, your mind, and your life.

Clean your house — and while you are cleaning, pray.

Weed your garden — and while you are weeding, listen to the birdsong.

Read your bible — and while you are reading, think on who He is and how to best honor Him in your life.

And for goodness sakes, clean off that dining room table — and while you are organizing, sing.

Updates, Schmupdates: or, if it ain’t broke, do an update

I’m old.

Old enough that I don’t always like to check my age category, because it’s too far down on the list.

Old enough that my time left is precious, and I don’t want to spend it re-learning what I thought I already knew.

Old enough that I believed the lie that technology is supposed to make our lives easier and simpler.

Lately, I’ve been fighting technology, and it’s wearing me down…

Quote on technology by Richard Foster

First there was Windows 10 on my office computer. Now I have to put in a password every ten minutes when the screen goes to sleep. (Is that why it’s called Windows 10?) Oh yes, I’ve set and reset the settings. Ten times at least. The screen is not supposed to go to sleep — ever. But there it is, every ten minutes it starts snoring. Does exactly what it wants. I think I’m going to start calling it HAL. (Proof that I’m old.)

Then there was the new iOS on my iPhone. Now the blue tooth in the car just circles around and around, and I can’t play the music that is on my phone. I used to be able to do this… And yes, I’ve uninstalled my phone and reinstalled it. Three times. Nothing. No music. I’ll have to go back to CD’s I guess.

Then there was El Capitan on the MAC. Yep, the wireless printer stopped working. This is actually one of the success stories, because after uninstalling and reinstalling the printer three times, it has finally started working again. But my new writing program Scrivener — advertised as El Capitan ready — has frozen repeatedly. It is frozen as I write this (which is why I’m doing a blog post instead of writing on my novel).

And then there is the WordPress update. For a year now, they’ve been telling me to switch to  the improved posting experience, but I’ve always been able to get around it. Because the old way of posting had commands right at my fingertips. Easy. Visible. But today I tried to get in the back way, and BAM, the new dashboard is the only one to be seen. I was beyond frustrated…

New and improved rarely means improved. It means frustrated and irritated, which quite frankly, I don’t need in my life. Is there anyone who does?

cat and computer

I’ve learned my lesson. I’ve turned off automatic updates. I’ll just have to put up with those annoying little numbers on the App Store. And those banners on the Mac that make me feel like I’m way behind the times? I’m blind to them.

I can take it.

Because, yeah, I’m old.

(If you are a frustrated WordPress user, here’s the workaround, courtesy of  Life in the Realm of Fantasy. Go to My Stats; click on WP Admin; click on posts; and Voila — you are at your old familiar dashboard. Thank you, Connie!  NEWS: And just this morning I noticed that from my home page drop down under My Sites, WP Admin is actually one of the tabs. Yes! Eliminate extra clicking!)