Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just for the Record, I HATE Computer Hardware & Software Issues!


Confirmed.  Virtual primal screams just don't have that same rejuvenating effect that live ones do!  It was worth a shot though.  Goodness knows, almost anything was worth a try today in an attempt at calmness and self-regulation!

I'm sure many of you out there have heard the idiom, "When it rains, it pours."  Well, it has been pouring here both literally and figuratively.  If you are familiar with Washington state, you know that you don't move here unless you have a taste for the rain.  Personally, I love the rain as long as I'm not driving in it!

I haven't had the best of days workwise so this blog post may start out with a bit of a vent.  Be forewarned.

Our Count Your Beans Dolls & Bears family business is run online.  We sell at eBay, Amazon, in occasional silent auction through our CYB blog and primarily through our website.  Occasionally we take phone calls but that is the exception rather than the norm. We market online through a variety of channels including Twitter & our CYB page at Facebook.  I field a substantial amount of emails each week in addition to listing auctions, updating sales channels, websites, marketing, communicating with customers and vendors and proactively trying to stay positive and keep our business afloat in an economy which isn't currently favoring our industry.  I try to ignore that and have it favor us anyway!  :-)

As such, it is imperative that I have functioning computers, functioning email, functioning hardware, functioning software, functioning printers, functioning brain, etc so that I can do my work.  If I don't, then you can guess what happens.  I'm screwed...  (Didn't mean to offend anyone there, it's just the word that I'm in the mood right now to use.)

These past few days have been a technical nightmare for me.  I have had problems with AOL, IE, my HP printers, the HP drivers and 2 of my HP computers.  I would not call myself a computer expert by any means of the imagination but I'm a fairly experienced user and what I've been going through has been ridiculously irritating and patience testing.  Fortunately, there are no viruses, just a whole bunch of apparent compatibility issues, dll files that have gone "missing", IE crashes, AOL crashes... the list goes on and on.

In fact, I used Google Chrome tonight to get to my blog to write since IE keeps "unexpectedly shutting down" every few minutes.  Since it has happened dozens of times and I seem to be doing a fairly good job now of predicting it, I wouldn't really call it "unexpected", but who am I to question Bill Gates and Microsoft? (It is times like this that I miss my college Mac!  Heck, today, I even missed my Apple IIe!)

Anyway, how the recent round of computer issues started was that we got a new wireless all-in-one printer a few weeks ago because our last one was the victim of a curious 4 year old who was interested in its inner workings.

When I was in bed sleeping one morning, John decided to be "helpful" and try to install the drivers & software on my system for me. (Please note, I already had 1 working printer that I was connected to.) Unfortunately, bless his heart, John had recently spent 3 -4 hours the previous day trying to figure out how to do this through his own system and he had problem after problem after problem. He has many God given talents in this world but this is not his forte'.  I asked him whatever he did, to please not mess with my computer because we couldn't afford (financially and emotionally) to have problems.  "Let me take care of it please."

As a bit of background, in 11 years of business, we have gone through many computers, computer crashes, reformatted hard drives and so forth and in almost every instance where there was a problem with my computer, it started when someone who didn't request permission did something on my computer when I wasn't around.  It is not only an invasion of privacy to me but at times it felt like sabotage.  Why? I just don't know. It makes no sense but after a few times of it happening, you begin to wonder... I have tried to advocate for myself in my relationship but I guess I need to keep on working on those skills because I must not be doing a very good job.   I can't tell you how many hundreds of hours of time, thousands of hours of lost work (once the computer & back-up were destroyed) and thousands of dollars it has cost me to deal with these computer issues over the years.

I hesitate putting this out here because it paints a picture that I don't like others to see.  Still I would have to imagine others have relationship issues where respect and privacy can sometimes be a challenge.  If you're with someone long enough, all sorts of issues are bound to arise.  I try to forgive others, learn from the mistakes and challenges, communicate and move forward.  I also try to forget past transgressions but I'm not so good at that.  Forgiving others is easier than forgetting.  Forgiving myself?  Well, if you read my blog from Saturday, June 12th, you'll know I have a long way to go but I'm working on it! 

Anyway, I'm still in the midst right now of trying to fix things with my computer area.  I have two computers networked together that I use, a printer and now a "back-up" bonus printer.  I am tempted to call in some sort of IT wiz but I'm so afraid he/she will do something to my system to screw it up more. (This has happened in the past so I am very hesitant.)  I also don't have the funds right now I am anticipating it might cost to have someone come in as we just spent unexpected money on car repairs, health issues & stuff the kids needed and my money tree hasn't quite replenished itself yet.

In our family, it often feels like we're the Geek Squad (I use that term lovingly).  Right now, I definitely could use a computer guru (my son will be there in a few years) AND squad, a trustworthy auto mechanic, a house handyman (clone my Dad please), a personal trainer and a life coach!  (A masseuse wouldn't be bad either but now I'm getting greedy!)

My rant is officially over....

Now I'm going to say something positive!

I am blessed in so many ways.  The opportunity to be able to have the kind of technology I do, to be able to live in the country I do, to be able to run my own business, to be able to stay home with my kids...   all of that means WAY WAY WAY much more than the irritation and frustration over some computer issues.

That stuff is really minor when I think about it.  I  have two eyes that see, two ears that hear, a nose that smells, legs that walk, a mouth that smiles and laughs, a body that can do so many amazing things!

God has blessed me with so much!   All this material stuff... it's all his.    The challenges he sends my way... they're so I grow stronger.  If I fail or struggle in my relationships, it's an opportunity for me to learn from my mistakes and make changes.

Those computer problems aren't so bad after all when put into that perspective.  In fact, I embrace them!  Well, perhaps that is a bit much... (I still feel like chucking my computer out the 2nd story window.)  Tomorrow when I wake up, I will embrace them!

And hey... I would embrace your friendship as well.  Feel free to leave me a comment on this blog or one of the others.  If you'd like me to email you back personally, just let me know how to contact you, otherwise, I'll post in the comments section of my blog. 

If you want to post anonymously, that is cool too!  I respect your privacy but am interested in the comments of my visitors. (Sometimes I look at all those 0 comment posts and hear crickets!!!)

If you have questions for me or are interested in me writing about any particular topic, I'm open to that too!  Thanks for your support! 
Here is to primal screams helping replenish dreams!



  1. Sometimes we all need to vent. Don't feel badly. If we did not, we wouldn't be human. I like the way that you chose to end with a positive after a day that sounds it was the pits.

    My husband also has fix-it intentions but struggles with the implementation. His fixer-upper projects have taken WAY longer than if we hired someone. I wish he would realize that it is not in every man's genes to be Tim the Tool Man Taylor (HA!)

  2. Your Home Improvement reference totally amused me! I wish we were more handy around the home but the truth is, it just isn't our forte. I'd rather spend money on gardeners and fix-it people than try and do it ourselves badly, then pay someone else to repair our mistakes.

    I'm not lazy, just practical. In the time it would take for us to try and muddle through some project ourselves, I can get on the computer, sell some extra stuff through the business and pay for hiring someone to help.

    With computer issues, that's another thing because I have trouble trusting people on my computer. I've been burned too many times in the past. Our business is the livelihood and sole source of income for our family. Mess with my computer and you're messing with food I'm going to put on the table for the kiddos (which they might or might not eat but that's not the point!!!)

    Sorry, here I am venting again! :-) That will teach you to post on my blog!

    Seriously, though, thanks for stopping by! Please visit again!