Temper, Temper

I am rather chagined to admit I had two tantrums at work this week. They involved cussing and slamming doors.  I am considered a pretty calm person at work, so the times when Dr. B,  as I am known  there,  loses her temper,  are alarming to my coworkers. I need to apologize.

There have been continuous changes at my work over the past two years in all aspects of what we do to  provide mental health services.  Covid has accelerated technological changes that were on the State back burner.  This has resulted in less than smooth rollouts of new technology.  This week, our telephones were decommissioned and replaced with a system tied to Microsoft Teams, so that we can only receive and make phone calls through our computers via head phones . The State IT department is pretty poor about communicating exactly how to set these things up.  “Just read the email and follow the instructions.”  Sometimes, that just doesn’t work! Don’t get me started on how absurd and vague were the instructions on how to set up e911  on my computer! Well, this leads to frustration, hence my tantrum. They are lucky I didn’t throw my phone through my office window.

I have had to engage in new technology to an extent I could never had imagined a year ago. I can’t wait for this all to be over.

What new technology have you used this year?  How has the pandemic changed your interface with technology? What have you done via technology or in other respects in the past ten months that you could never had dreamed of?

87 thoughts on “Temper, Temper”

  1. This will be a long post. Sorry. I’ve been writing on computers since 1981. Since 1995 I’ve worked with Windows as the master software, and I’ve written several books and hundreds of shorter pieces on Word, the word processing software developed by Microsoft.

    Microsoft exploits its near-monopoly position by forcing Windows users to buy a suite of applications called Office. To get Word, I had to buy many applications I never used. When computers age and fail, as they inevitably do, you lose both the applications and maybe the data. Sometimes things are lost forever, especially the applications. So you buy fresh software and try to salvage as much old data as you can.

    Microsoft is so obsessed with foiling software pirates that I have bought Office four times. This happened again this summer. When I bought my new computer I had to pay for another copy of Office because I need Word to access all the written documents I’ve generated over the decades. This latest copy of Office cost about $70.

    To defeat software pirates, Microsoft forces users of Office to validate their purchase. No problem. I paid for the software and have a receipt, plus I have a special numerical key that came with the software. But that key is protected with tape so pirates can’t steal the numbers. When I lifted the tape, it destroyed about seven of the numbers. They are lost forever. If anyone uses Microsoft software without validating it, the software locks up and becomes dysfunctional. My new software on my new computer is now disabled and I’m blocked from my own data.

    Worse, late this summer Microsoft stopped offering any customer support. I was partway through the process of showing them I had honestly purchased their product, but now I have nobody to talk to. The old customer support phone number is dead. When I beg for help they direct me to databases of advice, none of which mention the possibility that their anti-theft measures would screw their customers.

    My options: buy another copy of Office (my fifth) or abandon access to the Word documents I’ve written since the 1990s.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I bit the bullet and opted for the annual subscription to Office. I agree with you, Steve, that Microsoft’s de facto monopoly allows them to ignore customers to a large extent. But at least I write off the cost as a business expense (small consolation).

      I wasn’t aware of the Open Office software Clyde mentioned, but I’ll check that out. The thing about the writing/author business is that Word is the default application for submitting manuscripts, etc., so my docs need to at least be compatible with Word. Thanks for the tip, Clyde.

      Chris in Owatonna

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      1. I’ve never had any trouble accessing word documents in LibreOffice, and one of the “Save As” options it offers is to save it as a Word “.doc or .docx) document. I’ve never paid for Microsoft Office.

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      2. I wrote all three of my books in OO and then saved to Word to have them printed at Office Max. No hitch at all. After I saved i Checked through the total 570 pages. No to eat glitch,and it did include some B& W images which came through clean. It I would hate to suggest this and not have it work for you.

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  2. Word is a crime. Flat out. Yes I know Little Billy Gates is smart and lovely and all that, but he is like a monopoly. I switched to Open Office years ago. I can write And then save as Word if I want. Back when I made the switch I opened all my Word documents and then saved in Open Office. Is that how I did it? OO is freeware.

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  3. Based on today’s questions, I predict a slow weekend on the trail unless someone comes up with an alternative question or two. Sorry for your pain, Renee. Hope you get all those changes sorted out soon.

    Speaking of poor instructions. I asked a Danish friend of mine for her recipe for Risalamande. This was the menu item for our annual Christmas dinner that she was usually in charge of, and it was good. Here’s what she sent me:

    1 cup uncooked rice
    2 1/4 cup milk
    2 tablespoon sugar
    Pinch of salt
    Vanilla pod or 1tsp. vanilla

    “Cook rice and milk on low for 20 min. until rice is done. Stir to prevent scorching. Cool.

    Mix with 1cup heavy whipping cream, slivered almonds and one whole almond.

    Serve with cherry sauce.”

    For starters, look at the list of ingredients. There’s no mention that the rice needs to be Arborio rice, or of the heavy whipping cream or almonds, slivered or otherwise. What am I supposed to do with the sugar, salt, and vanilla? There’s also no mention that the whipping cream needs to whipped before it’s folded into the chilled, boiled rice. As far as the cherry sauce is concerned, you’re on your own.

    Fortunately, I know how to make this dish, so these poor and lacking instructions are OK. But can you imagine the mess you’d have on your hands if someone relied on this recipe and these instructions? Would you figure out on your own that the cherry sauce needs to be made with sweet, dark cherries and it must be served warm?

    I guess my point is this: I think your IT folks need a liaison between the young whippersnappers who wouldn’t have a clue what to do with a rotary phone, and the end users of the new technology who grew up using one. What seems perfectly intuitive to your IT folks is essentially a foreign language to you. You need a translator.

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  4. Oh, I am quite open to alternative questions. How about “What are your early memories with telephones and telegrams”? Or “What tantrums have you seen people have at work or in public”?

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    1. What are the worst instructions you have encountered?

      I have found “The Great British Baking Show” as satisfactory and calming pandemic entertainment upon the recommendation of my sister. Sometimes the judges choose items to bake then diabolically provide incomplete baking instructions and let the bakers struggle ON CAMERA. While indeed, this is entertaining, it has to be frustrating for those who are the source of my entertainment.

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      1. One of the seasons they had them make kransekake. And I think it was this year they had them make basically a kransekake in a different shape. For the technical. Truly diabolical. That is one of those “this seems like it should be easy” bakes, but oh my goodness, it can be tricksy. I would probably have a tantrum or two if I had to survive the technicals on that show.

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        1. I just finished this season— they did the horn of plenty kake without a diagram. One of the finished products looked like an erection.

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    2. I remember party lines, hearing other people’s rings. We were one long, three shorts. But in phone book two families with the last name of birkland were right by us in phonebook and on our party line. So their numbers were only one digit and two off from ours. Bit of confusion. And yes we had a snoop on our line.

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  5. I dreamt last night I had to ride in an elevator car that was malfunctioning. It was swaying and twirling around, and the gap I had to step over to enter the elevator car kept widening each of the many times I got on the elevator and I was worried my shoe would get caught. For some reason I had to ride with a guy who was carrying an electric saw, a pickaxe, and a live chicken. I tried to contact maintainence, but couldn’t find the phone number.

    I think I really need some time away from work!

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    1. I have been sleeping poorly this week, then having strange wandering dreams. My friend and I were wandering around empty storefronts in Eveleth looking for flowers and my two cats. We did not find either.

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    2. Maybe the chicken was there to prove which came first, the chicken, the egg, or the pickaxe?… Makes my dream that included a friend and mentor who died a couple of years ago dressed very 80s preppy (which he was decidedly not – a lot more like “The Dude” in “The Big Lebowski,” flowing locks and all) giving a lecture at a podium (he did work the speakers circuit, but strict lecture was not in his DNA)… I’ll take the chicken thank you.

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  6. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I could go on and on today about technology. I spent the last 2 days in an on-line training about a trauma treatment technique. I had to wait years for one of these trainings to become available because this technique has been used with military service members, but it had not spread outside of that to become widely available. The training itself was excellent.

    However, the trainer herself was located in Cincinnati, Ohio, on EST. So the training which went from 8:00am-4:00pm EST started for CST at 7:00am. Uffda. There were also people in the training from Great Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as the western USA, so what I am I complaining about? Once again, though, after two days online, I developed screen fatigue and a headache. I did not ever expect that technology would lead to what is really jet lag, while I sit right here in my own home, much less screen fatigue.

    Lou and I have recovered from our primary bout of COVID, although we still have some secondary inflammation. In the evenings Lou’s eustachian tubes have been closing due to the inflammation, then he cannot hear and I must yell at him. This nearly causes me to tantrum. To be clear, he struggled with this all fall and had to have tubes placed in both ears to prevent hearing loss and fluid gathering behind his badly damaged ear drums. The inflammation caused by COVID just exacerbated the problem. I am still having some sinus headaches, but otherwise we are both fine.

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  7. One of the things that I’ve struggled with for years in my job is other peoples’ problems with time management. In the last 5 to 6 years there have been three different time management platforms or forms that we needed to use,
    each more complicated than the one before. My answer is always “it’s not the platform, it’s not the form, it’s the person using it”. If you are not organized and you are not committed to making sure you are doing things on time, no piece of software is going to fix the problem. In fact I’m vocal enough about this that people have stopped inviting me to groups that are trying to fix time management issues in the travel division. Right before pandemic sent us home they rolled out a huge platform and process that is about 10 times more work than it needs to be and again won’t solve the problem. I was very vocal about that as well. (And trying to figure out how I could get around having to mess with it). Then right after I got furloughed, they rolled out new computers and new Windows platforms that apparently require actual hands on, in person training. So I’ve missed that as well. I can absolutely predict that if I get called back to my job, there will be a tantrums.

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  8. I think the only discernible change for me during pandemic is that I am texting a lot more, in place of in person discussions and meet ups.

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  9. One new development this week is that my computer monitor flashes snarky messages to me like “You were gone for a while and left me on” and “I caught you at ‘work’ (instead of at home, but the quotation marks around “work” make the message sound like a criticism.

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  10. I love my new computer, but it can drive me batty. When I leave to do something, it goes to sleep. Fine. There are settings I can adjust for that. But when I come back, Windows can’t find the internet right away. So it sends messages to me wailing about how something is wrong, and I need to check all my wire connections. Two minutes later, it calms down and I’m back in business. Meanwhile I’m doing a slow burn about those messages telling me I have done something stupid. Grrrrr!

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      1. Clippy. Yeah, he pissed off a bunch of people by personifying Microsoft’s eagerness to offer help that is unwanted. Then one day Clippy pissed off Bill Gates, who roared, “Clippy must die!”

        That screen that tells me I must have unplugged my computer is so much like the screen Comcast throws up when their internet signal goes down. That screen also slyly blames the consumer for the problem, when in fact Comcast technicians know the real problem is in their system. And now I’m getting angry again!

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        1. I’m one of the few people on the planet who liked Clippy. Mostly just cause it was a small diversion and I actually found several different animated characters of Clippy over the few years that he was alive. I was actually sad when Clippy died.

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  11. My most recent tantrum was, well, epic enough that I was glad I was the only human in the house and it involved enough yelling that I scared the dogs and I made myself hoarse. Last Friday afternoon I got an letter in the mail from Social Security that they had not received the documents they needed from me to process my claim (for my walloping $255 dollars that is my “survivor’s” benefit – my brother got the same amount in 1987 when his wife died – and the monthly $$ for Daughter until she turns 18). Mail arrived at my house at 3:55pm. The office closes at 4pm. The “missing” documents were mailed in early October – I know someone saw them as they were mailed back to me (one was a certified copy of my marriage license, which I had to get a second copy of – no way they were getting my only copy). And yet they say they didn’t get them. And, ohbytheway, I had less than a week to get them in or they would close the claim. No in-person options because of COVID and the mail system is totally bollocksed up (see also: my photo Holiday cards are somewhere between GA and here for over a week according to the tracking). That’ll be fun to figure out. Oh – and then I discovered that my boiler wasn’t working – the heat was off in the house for reasons I do not know. In order to keep from screaming about the boiler, I called my brother to help me puzzle through it – and while I am not entirely sure what I did that got it started again, it was clear that it was low on water, so that got added and all was good again. But I had to wait until Monday to get a person on the phone, after getting hung up on by the system twice, who said, “oh – yes. We did get that. It’s attached to your claim. It’s just miscoded. We’ll get that fixed.” Yes, thank you. Do that. (And maybe next time check your d*mn system before it auto-mails out that kind of letter.)

    …okay. I might not be over that tantrum yet… deeeep cleansing breath…

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  12. When I worked at the MN Legislature, I was employed by the DFL House of Reps organization. Republicans had their own offices and workers, just like ours. My coworkers had no problems with their GOP counterparts; in fact, they were friendly with many of them. The people everyone loathed were the IT guys, for they would periodically swoop in and force everyone to unlearn procedures and struggle with new software. The Republicans were a lot like us, but the IT geeks had special powers to make our lives miserable.

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  13. This year, I’ve “mastered” Zoom, virtual writing festivals, and YouTube recording and editing. Mastered in quotes means I’ve learned just enough to be dangerous (as the case seems to be with all technology I use.

    Also started texting regularly this year. I’m starting to prefer it for simple communication such as “What was our tee time again?” because I hate using the phone (a carryover from my old financial planning days when I had to either cold-call customers or not earn any commissions.

    But I’m already sick of Zoom. Virtual writing festivals are barely better than no festival at all. Anything to do with YouTube is an enormous time suck.

    I’d rather go for a walk in the woods. Should be XC skiing now, but that doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen anytime soon in a serious way in MN. Might have to start looking for skiing opportunities in other states. 😦

    Chris in O-town (finally got our first dusting of snow since the October storm. Big whoop.)

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  14. I’ve participated in a couple of Zoom meetings, and I dutifully put my iPhone in my purse whenever I leave the house, which isn’t that often. So far I’ve “mastered” being able to answer and make a call from my cell.

    I have learned how to send messages to husband’s phone from my laptop, which is a lot handier than writing lists by hand. It also has the advantage of me having a record of what I asked him to buy, so that when he comes home and didn’t buy celery, butter or whatever, he can’t say it wasn’t on the list. I don’t text, my thumbs seem permanently programmed to use only the spacebar. Besides, that tiny keyboard on the phone is not really conducive to typing with old stiff fingers. I see folks who are good at texting sending messages faster than I can think, and I’m in awe.

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    1. I dislike texting from a phone. I signed up for a Google Voice number, and have people send text messages to that instead. That way I can type responses out on a full keyboard. I can still have a copy of the incoming messages sent to the cell phone.

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      1. There is another cool thing you can do with Google Voice: Sometimes you need to call some company and you don’t know the number, and you look it up online. Instead of punching the number in on your phone, you can copy it and paste it into a box in Google Voice. A couple of seconds later your phone rings, and when you pick it up you’re connected to the number you pasted.

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  15. Last week I finally bought a Webcam. It’s a simple plug-in that sits freely on my tv monitor. Prior to that, my Zoom interactions were limited to my tiny telephone screen. It was easy to control what others could see of me and my surroundings. I swear I always wore clothing with zero irregular activities. Irregular activities are still right out but now a more tidy environment is required to keep up appearances. An unexpected development involves my birds. They are allowed out of their aviary and frequently perch on the monitor. They enjoy chasing the cursor and the warmth must feel quite good. Yesterday, they were out as normal and I left them unattended to do the dishes. In a brief time, one of them attacked the camera and chewed a bit of cord insulation. I should have known something was going on as they were really quiet. I might need to learn how to sync the camera to my phone. Rotten little kids!

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  16. I got an email demanding money from some guy who claimed he had film of me enjoying naughty sites on the internet. Sending him a few hundred bucks would protect my good reputation. I didn’t pay. My computer has no camera!

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  17. I have some new technology in my basement as of Tuesday. I had a new water heater installed, and it has a smart feature that is set up to turn off the water to the water heater if the sensor senses water in the drain pan. It’s also supposed to be a super efficient water heater, and is located closer to the the relevant plumbing than the older water heater was, due to having more flexibility in the venting options. Shorter distance from heat source to faucet.

    It makes me feel secure to know that the sensor is looking out for me.

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  18. Don’t get me started! I have a dread of any day that involved a new technology operation. Back when this all started, it was trying to set up/attend Zoom meetings and the webcam would work only intermittently. Ultimately bought an iPad so now I have back-up, and for some reason the webcam is now functioning most of the time. Now I just need to spend a couple of work weeks learning to navigate the iPad, but it sure hasn’t happened yet, and I can’t even FIND the tutorial on said iPad.

    Luckily I now have my camera again, so I can download pictures for blog posts, etc. We even filmed ourselves for the UU Christmas program, where lots of folks contributed some piece of music, and we hired some techie to piece it together. Our self-made video from that (pretty old) camera was a file so large that it wouldn’t go through by email or FB Messenger… ended up putting it on a flash drive and dropping it off.

    And we’re doing something wrong when we try to set up a Zoom meeting as we did a while ago with s-i-l and her husband…
    Grrrrrrrr………..

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    1. One question was about early experiences with telephones and telegrams. I have lots of memories of telephones, but no personal experience with telegrams. To me, telegrams are something sent by people in movies, like Sam Wainwright to George Bailey.

      Recently Stephen Colbert was interviewing Joe Biden and commented that Putin had sent Biden a telegram, “which I didn’t know you could still do.” I can identify with that. Who sends telegrams? I wouldn’t even know how.

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      1. Linda, I experienced enough of the telegram era to be able to tell you something. In the 1940s and a bit beyond, telegrams were often used to convey bad news. If your sister had a baby and everything about the birth was joyful, you would get a personal letter or a card. If your son was killed in action in the South Pacific, you got a telegram. People welcomed letters and dreaded telegrams.

        You sent a telegram, by the way, by visiting a Western Union office. You’d tell the agent what your message was and to whom it should go, and he would send it. For a bit of money, you could send a “singing telegram” at least in some cities.

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        1. About this time in the early ‘50s, I received a telegram from Santa. I still have it. Presumably my parents arranged it, but I don’t know that for a fact. It must have been some special promotion from Western Union.

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  19. OT YouTube channel suggestions: I’ve recently been watching some YouTube videos that are, essentially, short stories in video form. The quality of what I’ve seen has varied wildly. I’ve decided that there is something uniquely European about many short videos, and it doesn’t appeal to me. Some of these videos seem dark to me.

    A big supplier of short videos is the channel known as Omeletto. I don’t like many of those I’ve seen, and yet some are good. Here is one I liked.

    And here is a 20-minute short film that is quite well done. Warning: this one is not safe for work, as they say.

    I have no wisdom about how you find the good ones and avoid the bad. Some videos display lots of film awards, and those are usually better. I’m mostly posting today to acknowledge that there is this new art form, and it can be worth your time.

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  20. I’m having tantrums about the lack of zoom etiquette. Back in theater days, it was common to teach people “headset etiquette”. There are common courtesy rules about wearing an intercom headset: turn the mic off before you take it off and lay it on the table, don’t place the mic under your nose because we can hear you breathing, don’t yell while the mic is on, and no singing showtunes is allowed on the mic. We would cover this the first day of tech and then everyone was good for the rest of the run.
    So the zoom equivalent is mute your camera AND mic if you wander off, mute your camera if you’re going to carry it around while you walk around, and don’t let your kids take over while you’re gone.
    The other day I was on, it was a few minutes before we started and people were just chatting and suddenly one person comes on, face right in the camera and they are yelling “I CANT HEAR ANYTHING! MY MIC IS ON BUT I CANT HEAR THEM!!” Somehow they resolved it.
    Then another person is leaving the meeting. We all say goodbye, they get up and you hear “Hey Jane, how do I get out of this?” And the camera went up around the room, and across the ceiling until a grandchild’s face came in and they left the meeting. Now that was kind of funny.

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      1. None of my Zoom meetings have ever specified no pets, since they’re pretty informal groups. It’s a good thing, because when I sit down with the laptop I almost always get a visit from Sammy. He’s usually below camera view, but I pick him up and show him to everyone.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Pets are Different; they might be ok. I do find it interesting seeing everyone’s decor in the background. I use a virtual background when I can (some of my computers don’t like it).

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  21. technology

    i know i need help
    it’s amazing stuff that can make hard stuff easy and easy stuff hard
    i know i can figure it out if i need to but there are people i have connnections to track out to that are great at this stuff so just think as if it’s done then figure out the details later

    i have 3 new business launches coming up with a new partner who is wired with coca cola and the couple of ideas we will introduce will make life better in a meaningful way that is not currently being done

    i had a doctor work on my neck last year and after surgery i didn’t hear from him until they sent out a card saying it had been a year cmon in and when i called they said i lucked out and got to meet with him just before retirement . so i asked him if he was going to go plat golf or do woodworking or what . he said the neck surgeon pays well but is really boring. the tools he uses today are exactly the same tools that existed when he got into the box 40+ years ago so he is going to start a new surgeons tool biz improving all the stuff he knows how to fix that is possible but a pain in the neck ( no pun intended). he doesn’t need the money and can make lives better by contributing to the worlds betterment by introducing available technology where it’s been left alone up until now

    if i could snap my fingers and get it done i’ll bet i have 50-100 technology based ditties in my files waiting for me to get to them

    it’s an incredible time to be around
    so much available to do.
    years ago i drove 50,000 a year past so much beautiful country and wished i could figure out how to make a living from a great location like this. today it’s possible and even preferred by many.

    i am in the food biz now also and realizing robots will replace people for a lot of food prep and it gets scary thinking about how much can be controlled with a button taking the human element of the mundane end of the equation

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  22. This is totally OT but I’m interested in your perspective. When I went to find and upload that telegram from Santa, I discovered there was another telegram from Santa and also one from the Easter Bunny. The other two made specific mention of a couple my parents were friends with in the’50s. They were a childless couple and always very attentive to me. Even as a small child, I understood that their childlessness was a permanent condition. The husband of the couple would make up stories about imaginary rbeings in his garden to tell me and every time my parents would get together with them, they would have an OZ book to give me. I still have them.

    It seems apparent to me now that this couple was responsible for sending the telegrams. That strikes me as perhaps excessive. My parents stopped seeing them at some point, early on. I don’t remember any particular controversy but now, as a parent, I wonder if they were too avid and made my parents uncomfortable. For a while they were good friends and then we never saw them again. I was younger than ten and never gave it any thought.

    What do you think?

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    1. Perhaps your parents were uncomfortable with the couple’s distress over their childlessness and sensed a too much interest from them concerning you?

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        1. What I find interesting is that possibly, even though they were completely sincere, they overstepped some unspoken boundary. I’m only speculating but I can see, as a parent myself, how that could be discomfiting.

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        2. I think it would be easy to step over a boundary where kids and Santa are concerned. I’ve known many parents who are irrational about their kids and Santa. As if all of the ills of society are caused by kids finding out About Santa. So maybe the telegrams from Santa was a foot over a line where your parents were concerned.

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        3. What made it too intense, Bill? As an adult who doesn’t have kids of her own, but who has always loved kids, I have found that establishing a meaningful relationship with kids often is as simple as giving them my undivided attention.

          I have had numerous mutually satisfying relationships with younger kids of my friends. I’m saddened to think that they may now think of the attention I paid to their kids as too intense. I have taken kids to the theater, to children’s concerts, on picnics, camping, the circus, and even had them on sleepovers at my apartment. It is my firm belief, that a child cannot have too many caring adults in their lives.

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    2. How interesting it almost sounds worth pursuing it sounds like you don’t know why your parents stopped the relationship and it’s very odd that this many years later they would reach out in such a weird way to make contact with you wouldn’t it be fun to give them a call and find out what the hell they’re thinking and what the hell they’re doing or maybe you can just write us to a fictional story about what this is all about

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      1. Either you or I have misunderstood Bill’s rediscovery of this couple, tim. As I understand it, Bill, while searching for the initial Christmas telegram discovered that there were two others (that he apparently had forgotten about), so it was NOT the childless couple who were trying to reconnect.

        As a small child I had several extremely close relationships with two couples that for some reason stopped associating with my parents. Looking back, I have a pretty good idea why that was, but by the time that disconnect happened, my relationship with them was pretty solid. I continued to see them until they died, though they had no relationship with my parents for years before that happened. I was sixteen, so older than Bill when the relationships shifted, by I always felt very secure in my relationship with both couples. Only one of the couples was childless, the other had two adult children by the time I met them.

        That said, sometimes it’s best to let a sleeping dog lie. In Bill’s case there are several factors I would consider before trying to explore further. Are your parents still alive? Is this other couple still alive? I can’t see what possible harm there could be in sending those telegrams to a child they love. What could you possibly discover in this regard that would be traumatizing at this stage of your life?

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        1. Everyone besides me is long dead. I just rediscovered those telegrams and realized for the first time that they must have come from that other couple. The thing is, they were friends with my parents, but not longtime or especially close friends and their focus on me, in retrospect, was disproportionate with their friendship with my parents. It just occurred to me, on reflection, that it might have struck them as overly intense. On the other hand, the two couples might have just drifted apart as friends sometimes do, with nothing to do with me.

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        2. yep
          crazy busy weekend i just stuck my head in responded and saw bills post not reading the previous stuff
          i missed it and now how these emails got missed until now really entered the conversation
          excuse my blurt

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  23. Daughter has been asking about talking to Santa. Today, one of the local theaters had a zoom meeting with Santa. We knew the people involved, so gave them a heads up and some leading questions. It went pretty well and was fun. Daughter really liked it. We asked Santa what he was giving Mrs. Claus. He said that he gives her socks every year. Well socks and underwear has been a joke in my family for years. That’s what you’re getting for Christmas every year is socks and underwear. So we asked him if she got underwear too, which kind of flustered him and you could hear everyone get the giggles in the background. Santa had to fan himself.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Which brings to mind the wonderful gift exchanges at vs’ solstice party. The packages that people were deliberately trying to avoid because they might contain something awful. Sorry you had to skip it this year, vs.

        Liked by 2 people

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