Our intermittent connection problem just went critical. We’ve been having off and on connection issues since before Christmas, but I thought it was an outside problem.


Today, when no one in the house could stay connected and some of us could not connect at all, I realized we have a problem. It doesn’t appear to be the modem and the computers are fine.

The router is apparently failing. I don’t know how old it is, but it’s probably a few years old. I don’t remember when we installed it. One way or the other, in computer years, it’s ancient.

Charter has been ramping up their broadband speed. It’s possible — maybe probable — the router can’t handle the higher speed. In any case, the router is surely due for replacement. It’s one of those things we don’t replace until it stops working. Otherwise, it’s easier to just let it be. No one ever wants to crawl around in my office plugging and unplugging cables, and configuring equipment.

Tomorrow, we’ll buy a new router. It’s Owen’s day off, so he will hook it up. It’s a pain in the butt, but not the end of the world.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to get back online until we replace it. It’s been difficult and getting worse. In case I can’t get online for a while, not to worry.

The router is sick. Garry and I are fine!


Pens and Pencils – When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?

72-alien-102914_14 computer keyboard

I learned to touch type the summer between sixth and seventh grade. Even though the New York city schools, at that point in time — heaven only knows what they teach these days — required every college-bound student to take a year of touch typing, that wasn’t enough for my mother. Typing wasn’t optional for her. She typed to my young eyes at a million words per minute. As far as I could tell, she never made a mistake. No white-out for her!

She believed typing was a necessary life skill, right up there with ironing. We disagreed about the ironing. I hated it. Still hate it. I’ve actually thrown away clothing rather than iron it. Oddly, though, while I was serious about collecting vintage and antique dolls, I spent days repairing, hand-washing, then ironing tiny, frilly dresses, coats, and hats. Life is full of paradox.

I wouldn’t iron for myself. When I married Garry, there was a codicil to our vows: for better or worse, but no ironing. Fortunately, Garry irons well and sometimes, if I grovel and prostrate myself, he will iron something for me.

typewriter with glass sides -2

After I learned touch typing, I never wrote anything by hand. Except notes on cards. Those could hardly be called substantive. Lists. I write lists by hand. On paper. I have a little notebook I carry with me in which I jot down information I might need when I don’t have a computer nearby. Almost everything in my world lives somewhere on my computer or worse, online, on somebody else’s server. A single day without WiFi — or worse, minus electricity — and my world would grind to a full stop.

I admit it. I’m hooked.

I don’t have a handwriting anymore. I make weird errors when I write by hand, even weirder than the mistakes I make on a keyboard. I omit words and letters. I don’t leave space between words, sentences, and paragraphs. My writing slants up or downhill. As often as not, I get to the edge of the page in the middle of a word. Not the kind of place where a hyphen can be inserted. My words begin crawling up (or down) what ought to be a margin.

Fifty years ago, I forswore writing by hand. I doubt I could go back to writing by hand even if I wanted to, even if, by some horrible magical, nuclear, dystopian, catastrophic end-of-the-world scenario, all keyboards disappeared.

There’s history here. I fell madly, passionately in love with computers the moment I met one for the first time. It was 1982. Although I had earlier encountered word processors and of course, the big computer at my alma mater, this was my first personal, face-to-face with one of the Big Guys. Of course now, anyone’s smart phone can do more than that giant mainframe could do … but back then, it was a miracle.

We never forget that moment of first love, right? I had begun work with the development team of DB-1 at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. I was given a work station networked with the university’s main frame. When my finger caressed those keys, my mind screamed the message:


I’ve never looked back. I never will.


Serenity - Weekly Photo Challenge, an image that defines serenity.

72-dreamscape-Peacham-Monday-early morn_018

It’s very early. Past dawn, but so early the morning mist still blankets the valley. The world is yawning, stretching. In less than an hour, the sun will be high in the sky. The mist will disperse. The trees will sparkle in the sunshine. For this brief interval, there is utter peaceful. The definition of serenity.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Wood

Old barns and old trees have the most interesting wood and wood bark. As wood weathers, it gains character. The old barn in some of these pictures was all about the wood … and the old handmade windows. The trees are all about their bark. I thought at least one of these looks like an Ent. Maybe you can guess which one.


old wood barn BW

old wood barn window


wood bark in the woods