Mary’s Morning

Morning blessings
as I count them:
wake
stretch
greet the sun

both smell and taste
of coffee
steaming in my favorite mug,
the one Darrell made,
that fits smooth
in the curve of my hand

sitting and fitting
with Otis
my sweet dog
in our favorite chair

and
writing
a few words
while the day is still new

This is for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads where we are asked to write something keeping the words of Mary Oliver in mind, “It mustn’t be fancy.”
Mary Oliver’s passing leaves me so very sad, yet mindful of little wonders all around.

Sepia Tea

1tea

We dress in Sunday’s best
sitting in the front room.
Your helpmeet serves
weak tea
while I fantasize
of rich, dark coffee

The low sun tumbles through
the open window
dazzling, on the glass-topped table
and silver-plated flat-ware

Outside, the dancing
sparkling surface of the lake
draws my gaze
Although I long
for its cool depths

 

This is for the Real Toads.

Image is The Cup by Adolf de Meyer, 1912. Fair Use Principles

Why I Believe Technology Hates Me

I will be the first to say I’m not very techie.  I don’t deny it.  If there was a 12-step group I’d stand up and admit it to all assembled.  Admitting the problem is the first step in correcting it, right?  But it’s more than just that – really.  I have this superpower (well, two actually, but one is choosing the slowest moving line in any store, theatre, etc., and we can discuss that another time).  But the superpower related to this little rant is my ability to foil technology, which is why technology hates me.  And yes, I have evidence.

First, I am one of the approximately 7 people on the planet, in 2015 A.D., who does not have regular access to cellular telephone service.  Cell towers refuse to send signals to my house.  My techie friend, Lori, refers to my locale as “Amishville.”    Several years ago my phone carrier decided to put up a tower just across the highway from my house.  I was happy that I would actually be able to use my cell phone while at home!  Then my neighbors, whose homes are built on land 2 feet higher than mine, and are magically able to get cell phone reception, decided either:

  1. I did not deserve cellular telephone reception
  2. If I received cellular telephone signals after going without for so long, I would use them all up
  3. If I got cellular telephone reception I would somehow foil the technology and everyone would be without it; therefore, the situation was too dangerous to be allowed (this is the one I believe)
  4. The cell tower hundreds of yards from their homes was more dangerous to them than the phones they held against the sides of their heads most of the day, and would give them cancer, decrease their homes’ property values, and make their teeth fall out.

Or something like that…I’m fuzzy on all the details of their arguments.  But the final result is the same.  Cellular telephone technology hates me (and maybe my neighbors do too).

So,          Technology: 1  /  Mary: 0

Another example of a technology that hates me is the coffee maker.  I may not be very techie, but I can make coffee.  At least I could… until Christmas last year. I received a Keurig rapid, single cup, hot beverage brewing/dispensing system. It all started well.  I managed to get the coffee maker out of its hermetically sealed packaging and set up on the kitchen counter before Boxing Day.  I read the instructions, which told me that besides buying little, plastic overpriced individual coffee “kups” to use in the Keurig rapid, single cup hot beverage brewing/dispensing system, I also needed to buy bottled or spring or water.  Unfortunately it was winter, not spring, so I opted for softened water, which was also acceptable, but sort of looked down upon (like sending your kids to Hogwarts in hand-me-down wizard robes).  Anyway, after setting the brew kup size, time, date, temperature, barometric pressure, average wind speed and number of cats in the household I was ready to brew my first kup of coffee.  Let me tell you, it was wonderful.  And so was the second kup.

But, the following morning, when I was half asleep and really in need of a good kup of coffee, once again technology failed me.  Or I foiled technology.  After swearing at, apologizing to and pleading with the Keurig rapid, single cup hot beverage brewing/dispensing system, I read the troubleshooting tips in the booklet that came packed with my Keurig rapid, single cup hot beverage brewing/dispensing system.  It suggested I first unplug the coffee maker, wait 97 seconds (or something like that) and plug it in again.  After doing that four times (because I’m not good with technology, and maybe I didn’t do that quite right) I moved on to their next suggestion: clean the hollow needle that stabs into the coffee kup with an unbent paperclip, in case coffee grounds have plugged it.

I sacrificed 6 paperclips and two fingers doing this to the best of my ability before finally giving up and calling the toll free number found in miniscule writing in a tiny corner on page 23 of the instruction booklet.  Surprisingly, they were, “experiencing heavier than usual call volume at this time,” so I waited about 35 minutes before Jason asked if he could help me.  But first I had to find the serial number affixed in microscopic hieroglyphs to a recessed spot at the lower edge on the back of the machine.  After several unpluggings and paperclip cleanings under expert direction, it turned out I had indeed killed the Keurig rapid, single cup hot beverage brewing/dispensing system, and Jason said he would send me a new one in seven to 10 business days.  In the meantime, I probably needed to buy some Redbull  caffeine laced energy drinks.  But finally after about 8 business days and two weekend days I had my shiny, new Keurig rapid, single cup hot beverage brewing/dispensing system.

This one lasted a full two weeks before I had to call Paul at customer service.  When he asked how he could help me I told him he could get me a damn cup of coffee.  He did not get me a coffee, but eventually we came to the conclusion that I had again destroyed this epitome of modern, coffee-making technology. Perhaps this second Keurig rapid, single cup hot beverage brewing/dispensing system somehow knew that I had destroyed the first one, and was bent on revenge.  Or perhaps I once again foiled modern technology.  Anyway, eventually Paul sent me yet another Keurig rapid, single cup hot beverage brewing/dispensing system.  This one is still making my coffee each day, fingers crossed, knock wood, etc. But only after several weeks of caffeine-deprived hell.

So,          Technology: 2  /  Mary: 1, sort of

My most recent example of how technology hates me comes from the Fitbit popular brand, activity tracker I just purchased.  It’s a great activity tracker, intuitive and easy to use. Any idiot can work one.  So, my cute little Fitbit popular brand, activity tracker arrived in the mail from Amazon a major online retailer. I struggled a bit, but eventually managed to get it out of the packaging.  The simple step-by-step instructions to set up and sync it were pretty straightforward, but being left-handed, I went backwards and only found them after I was done.  Still, it was easy enough that I managed anyway, only taking about three times as long as the average Bonobo.

The Fitbit popular brand, activity tracker was working swimmingly until the morning of day three (and yes, I did heed the instructions to not take it swimming).  This particular morning my Fitbit popular brand, activity tracker would not sync to my computer.  I tried three times for good measure, because as we all know, I’m not good with technological innovations. Then I got my coffee and tried again, because coffee helps everything (and I thanked the heavens the Keurig rapid, single cup hot beverage brewing/dispensing system was still working).  But the Fitbit popular brand, activity tracker still would not sync.  I went to the online troubleshooting site and tried all their suggestions several times, to no avail.  Then I went to the online community forum and spent an inordinate amount of time reading, deciphering and trying their suggestions.  I even resorted to the number one cure-all – I turned my computer off and back on.  But when it did not sync, I knew I was sunk.

Finally I swallowed my pride and found a phone number that would connect me to a live, human Fitbit popular brand, activity tracker employee who could tell me the one, obvious thing I didn’t do.  I didn’t even have to wait that long on hold, when Aggie asked me how she could help.  In the end though, it turned out the only way Aggie was able to help me was to send another Fitbit popular brand acitvity tracker.  Something actually went wrong with the device.  I was not being inept, once again, technology hates me.

So,          Technology: 3  /  Mary: 1, sort of

I have lots more examples of this, but let’s face it, I’ve already rambled on quite a bit, and you’re getting antsy, ready to go on to the next blog.  Or maybe even go out and exercise or make yourself a cup of coffee or phone a loved one.  Well go on then, and enjoy it, because technology is probably your friend.  But now you know I have good reason to believe technology hates me.

*NOTE: While the above is entirely true it may not be factually accurate in every detail, which is why I have omitted (sort of) using any brand names.