IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2008
TOWER OF BABEL
19 March 2008
If I were living in biblical times, I would have to say that I feel as though I'm working on the Tower of Babel. You remember the Tower of Babel, don't you? It was going to be the largest structure in the city of Babylon, however it became a source of pride for the people, and God wasn't happy...and you don't mess with God. He caused them all to speak different languages and "scattered the people throughout the earth."
It's not the "prideful" thing for me, but more of the "languages thing."
We can start with my orientation yesterday for STEAC, the Short Term Emergency Aid Committee, which is a non-profit volunteer organization whose purpose is to provide immediate, short-term emergency assistance with basic necessities (electricity bills, food, clothing, i.d. cards, etc.) to county families whose incomes are at or below the poverty level.
I volunteered for half a day in December, helping check in the holiday food baskets that were received and I learned they had a great need for volunteers to help with telephone calls, assessing the need and deciding who met the criteria to receive assistance. Yesterday, I met with a woman who has been volunteering at this job for years. And that's the problem. She knows the job so well, inside and out, backwards and forwards that as she explained what she was doing, and the agencies she was talking with and the forms she was filling out and the people who needed to have input on the decision, my eyes began to glaze over. She suddenly had started speaking a different language.
I am going to go back again in a couple of weeks and perhaps also visit the office in the interim.
Then this afternoon my desktop computer came back. My guru is a great guy and he's spent so much time getting this computer up to snuff, all at no cost. But he speaks faster than my 65 year old brain can comprehend and he tosses out terms and pops menus up on the screen and says "well, you go here and you do this and of course you never want to do that and if people play this game or that game this or that will happen and and and and and and....
I know he's talking. I know he's talking to me. I know that at least part of what he is explaining is important for me to know, but I can only understand about 1/4 of what he's saying at the speed he is rattling it off. And when he pops menus or screenshots up on the monitor and tells me that this and that and the other thing is important and here and there and the other place is where I look to do this, that or the other thing, I'm still back at "where is the plug" and my aging eyes can't focus on things that cycle across the screen so quickly.
So I just nod and pretend that I understand it all, when in reality I don't understand 1/10th of it, and I hope that when he leaves, I can figure it out.
But of course I can't.
I know that Front Page, which has been my bestest program for 7 years is no longer working and, unless I want to spend $300-400, will no longer work, so I have to find an alternative (at the moment, the alternative is to write this on the laptop and upload from the laptop, but I can't do that indefinitely). I know I have lost Microsoft Office, which I used only rarely, but did use from time to time.
I know that I have to reinstall all of my programs, which, after the last clean install of XP, I organized much better, so it's not as horrendous as it has been, but there are still disks I need to find (like Word Perfect). And when I get them installed, find the information that went with them...like my Outlook Express address book and all the e-mail that I had stored. I know that it's on here somewhere, but don't know how to find it, though the guru shows me how several times--with me standing across the room, when I can hardly see what's right in front of my face.
I cried a bit as I tried to reconfigure everything (it's going to take a long time) and Walt went out to the SPCA Thrift Store to pick up the new puppy, a Jack Russell terrier puppy (whose brother will join him tomorrow).
Then I went off to a board meeting for the Davis Community Network, where again I was in the midst of people who were speaking a language that sounded mostly like English but which included terminology and alphabet soup that I didn't have a CLUE about, so I just sat there and nodded my head and smiled and spoke only when I could contribute information about my area of expertise, which appears to be "social networking." I could at least enlighten people when they asked me what "Twitter" was (since nobody had heard of it) and I could give a somewhat intelligent-sounding definition!
It was nice to come home and watch something fairly mindless like "American Idol," though I don't know. Sometimes Randy Jackson sounds like he's working on the Tower of Babel too!!!
The number on the "blogodometer" (Tom's term) is now a whopping 2.11. I was going to put in 10 minutes several times a day, but only made it three times because that's when the guru showed up. So I hope to get over 1.11 miles tomorrow. They say that 10 minutes several times a day is just as good as 30 minutes at one stretch, so until my legs, hips and feet stop hurting, that's what I'll concentrate on.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Jack is a Jack Russell terrier (he has a brother named
MILES TO NOWHERE:
3/18/08: 2.11 mile
This is entry #2914