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It’s a new year and that means the title of this post probably brings the expectancy of a typical cliché New Year’s post about resolutions, weight loss goals, and new beginnings. I might get to those things later and I will be able to only because of our NEW internet service! I had all but given up on blogging again due to lack of internet and lack of time to linger at my favorite coffee shop and mull over my next blog post.  I’m one of those that takes advantage of insomnia and early morning quiet to write so even when I have managed to scurry out for internet usage, it was for business. I also got a NEW used phone (LG G2) this past year and that has kept me connected with my business and some marketing. But blogging over the phone is a pain. I hate texting and I hate, loath and despise autocorrect. I’m pretty sure I have lost years of my life just fixing words that were fine until they were “corrected.” I did get a NEW Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard so I can now TYPE on my phone(I love this thing!)…SO much faster for me. It’s still not the same when trying to manage a website, invoicing, blogging, and, dude, Pinterest.

We live in a little bowl of a valley and all attempts at internet service, thus far, have ended in disappointment. Our first internet was dial-up. Nuff said. Next was Bridgemaxx which worked great at first but then bogged down. They kept coming out and resetting things and troubleshooting. We realized later that we had it installed in the winter and as leaves grew in on the trees that surround the giant dip we live in, connectivity was comprised. Bridgemaxx had great customer service and refunded us everything we had paid for our attempt. They were also straight up honest when they came out again a few weeks ago to see if their new tower they put up would work for us. The apologized and said it wouldn’t work for us rather than tell us, “Oh, yeah! You have a signal! That’ll be a $50 installation fee with 6 months of customer service headaches.” Kudos, Bridgemaxx! We tried the Verizon Mifi Hotspot after that first attempt with Bridgemaxx. It kinda worked but the terrible customer service, overcharging and terrible customer service were enough for us to willingly pay the early cancellation fees and rid ourselves of that pestilence.  The other problem with Verizon was the terrible customer service. Did I mention that already? Boo, Verizon.  The last service we employed was Frontier. It was adequate but it was SO slow all of the time and EVERY time I called they said it was because we had reached our data limit so our data had been toggled. It could have been day two of the monthly cycle and they still told us that. Finally, we were told that it did appear that we might have an alignment issue but for an additional $6.99 a month, they could come out and take care of that for us. Say whut? The dish is on our roof. We didn’t cause any alignment issues but WE have to pay for THEIR alignment issues. Sorry, we don’t pay for sucky service like that. Boo, Frontier.

FINALLY, after the Bridgemaxx tech failed to get a connection for us that last time, he recommended Exede. If there are commercials for this service, I missed them as we don’t get TV.  I’d never heard of it! We had it installed Saturday on a cold, windy, rainy, cloudy day and it worked great from the get-go. I’ve been holding my breath waiting for it to stop working…. It’s still working…and it’s FAST! I have yet to have to deal with customer service as it’s still early in the game but they did assure me that all of their customer service representatives are in the U.S. Suweet!  Nothing against anyone outside of the U.S., it’s just hard to work out a problem when neither person can understand the other.     If this continues to work, I will put up the 12 or so blog posts I tried to post through my phone but…did I mention my phone signal in our giant pothole is a little slow, too?   SO, unless my propensity for jinxing technology (as anyone who knows me knows I have) shorts out our service, you can look forward to (or dread) NEW posts  during this NEW year.   I’m back!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

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Pictures are worth thousands and thousands of words

After receiving the news that my 2-Terabyte External hard drive with all of my photos since 2004 is toast, I find myself looking for a back-up plan for any and all photos I’m able to scrounge to save somewhere. I *had* backed up my photos on the Creative Memories Digital Center site. Creative Memories rewarded their loyal customers, some of whom had been with CM since it was Shoebox to Showcase over 20 years ago (ahem, I for one), by claiming bankruptcy (again) and giving us precious little time to purchase any needed supplies for finishing projects (I’m broke so a moot point) and precious little time to salvage any photos or finished digital albums saved on the site. From what I could tell when I did check the site this summer to see if my photos were still there, my only option for saving my photos was purchasing photo CDs. Again, broke. No option to download my own photos and albums for safe-keeping? Thanks a lot CM. The way I understand it, they are “reorganizing” and have “great things in store.” Newsflash Creative Memories, your consultants and loyal customers are ticked off. Good luck with that.

Anyhoo, enough of me venting. The finality of pictures of births of my precious babies, vacations, cute candids, birthday parties, zoo trips, road trips, homeschool field trips, crafts, messes, cooking together, lego constructions, Christmas, concerts, starting our business, foodie pics, friends, family gatherings, et al. being gone forever provided for a restless sleep as I quietly cried myself to sleep Monday night (okay, I whimpered a little). I keep telling myself this world is not my home but I am sentimental and I’ve seen my kids pour over the scrapbooks I have completed. It’s a huge way to pass on the story and the love. I am the curator of the museum of memories and I have failed.

Creative Memories did drive home several points that I did take to heart and need to put back into practice:

  1. Print your pictures. Even if you can’t get to scrapbooking them, print them before you can’t. I took this more seriously when I used film and became lax when I went to digital. I either need to get those digital scrapbooks done or get those photos printed. Backing up isn’t enough. I backed up my back ups and my pics are still gone (did I mention one laptop crashing and then next one being reset to factory settings? I didn’t think so.)
  2. Back up. Nuff said.
  3. Journal. We all have a story to tell and no one else can tell it. Pictures in an album aren’t enough. Example #1: I have a photo of my great, great, great grandmother in one of those old, pretty but deteriorated albums. She was a Cherokee who walked the Trail of Tears, married a white man and here I am. All I have is a photo, which is awesome but I’d give anything to know her story. I wish someone had written it down. The hard times in which she lived and how she overcame would be a story of bullying this culture can’t appreciate. She had to have been a strong woman. I just wish I knew the tale so I could pass it on. Example #2: I have another old scrapbook that I believe my grandmother made. She did some pretty creative stuff, cutting photos into shapes, arranging some on one page into a star shape, but rather than journal who’s in the photos and what’s going on, she cut quotes and captions from magazines and pasted them under the photos. I look at it and get so frustrated because I don’t know why the pictures were taken, who’s in them, what’s going on. SO many cool pics, and I can tell who my dad is and his siblings and parents, but that’s about it.
    4-IMG_20131016_132157

    No…no I cannot identify these. The irony of this page’s title confounds me…Such cool photos, though!

     

Back to backing up, I’m now reviewing all of the reviews for best photo storing/sharing sites and I will come to my own conclusions and get back to you. If anyone out there has a favorite, let me know! In the meantime, learn from my mistake. Back up your backed up back ups.

What’s not shared (and thank you, God, that I have shared photos on Facebook and my blog) is lost, lost, lost… 😦

Michelle

Just keep blogging, just keeping blogging….

It is exceedingly difficult to maintain a blog when you don’t have an internet connection to call your own. It is also challenging when you don’t really know if anyone is reading so why bother? I have many demands on my time. Am I wasting my time trying to keep up a blog when I’m not sure I’ll ever have a readership? Well, if I bless just one person, it’s worth taking the time to figure out a system to keep the word flow going. So, here I am, starting a sentence with so (something I was taught not to do) and trying to figure out how I am going to get this here post from my laptop to WordPress while in a coffee shop or at Wendy’s where I’ll be next Tuesdaywhile my cadets are at Civil Air Patrol and schedule at least few more posts to go out in the same period of time I need to reconstruct our business website. No stress.

“Squirrel” moment: I’m hearing the buzz about how PCs will be going by the wayside and I-Pads and the like will be “it” with handy-dandy accessories like wireless keyboards to go with them.

  1. An I-Pad with a keyboard may as well be a laptop. I’m sure there will be or are cases that will hold the pad and the keyboard together like, um, a freaking laptop so what’s the dif?
  2. The keyboards I’ve seen so far are tiny. The designers are, obviously, men who have never typed with wet nails. Some of us multi-task so fix this issue. If you’re going to make the keyboards that small, it’s texting, not typing.
  3.  It makes more sense to me to just make an I-Top: a laptop with an I-Pad screen. This stuff is out there already, I know, so don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. I love laptops. I will dig my heels in and make mine last as long as I can while all the fad-followers throw theirs out then suffer the small screen and smudged nails then they will look at me with envy and wonder “where did I manage to find such a wonderful relic?”

Back to the subject at hand. I love to write. I love to learn. I enjoy sharing what I learn. Therefore I shall blog. If, ever, anyone out there profits from my Wild Thyme, do comment! Bloggers are affirmed when they see comments and know they should stick around! If you think this blog worthwhile, send others this way!

I have some other posts ready to go; I just need to get the photos that go with them in order. I prefer to take the photos, arrange them while I write but I can’t do that with this situation. I’m going to have to prep my posts, order my pictures and have them in files on my flash drive which means transferring them from my external and blah, blah, blah…I’m going to have to be all organized and stuff. But the posts aren’t happening so that’s what I’m going to have to do. It’s just one more thing I have to devise a system for…sigh. I, obviously, haven’t done that, yet, so I will get on the stick! Hang in there with me!

Thanks for stopping by!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle