I’m Feeling Guilty

I’m feeling guilty about my response to a friend’s question. I really hate it when I feel regret for my behavior and I try to avoid those feelings by thinking carefully. I didn’t mean to be judgmental but I’m sure I came across that way. I even thought about what I said before I send my email response back. I sent it anyway.

Here is what happened. My friend sent me the link for a new MLM business she is excited about. It included this phrase “Anytime someone buys a coupon – not on Groupon, but on a whole new idea that will blow Groupon away – YOU GET CASH???? “ I was pretty skeptical but I love my friend and I wanted to support her. So, I went to the website – which guess what? – is by invitation only and you have to have a secret pass word to enter (how many times have I seen that new sales tool!). I looked around the site and it looked about the same as most of these sites do. Then I went to the founder’s video and that is where I got in trouble.

I was so turned off by his improper use of the English language that my teeth hurt. I couldn’t get past it. What to say to my friend? I pondered this off and on for over a week. I hate it when I send an email and someone doesn’t respond. So, I felt I had to say something. But what? I want my friend to have success. I don’t want to be negative and make her feel badly. At the same time, I don’t feel that this site, or any like it, is going anywhere.

Eventually I wrote and told her that I had seen so many things similar and I didn’t really think they would amount to anything. I wished her the best with it, even though I wasn’t interested and said I knew we were all looking for ways to gain more income. I also said that I hoped he was better at running his site than with his skills in English. Now that was snarky, wasn’t it?

I don’t know why I felt compelled to say that. Is it because I think I can do better? Actually I’m pretty sure I can. But on the other hand, he is probably a good programmer and good at math. I am pathetic at both those things! So why did this really set me on edge? I think it is because, in my experience, when things look unprofessional, they probably are. I’m not proud of myself and I’m sending an apology to my friend. I guess I’m just sick of all the hype.


Fettigrew Hall Awakes

When I first felt the stirrings I thought it was birds or rodents. They had been here before and there was nothing to concern myself with. But out of the cobwebs memories started to stir. Questions came to me.

What was the faint noise stirring at my feet? I finally discerned that it was a woman. She was walking around slowly, peering at my walls and floors, moving inward to my heart. There had been a few before from time to time. I had paid them no mind while I slumbered through the ages. Why I should awake now was puzzling. I shifted a bit, just slightly. It was uncomfortable and unusual for me to notice. And so I waited. . . .

A storm gathered from afar and still the woman was here. She sat on a window sill and looked outward, while the rain began to fall. She had a blue bell tucked behind her ear. It was rather nice to have the company. Something about her soothed me. Oddly, she seemed to emanate love. And yet I could feel great sorrow. I could hear her gentle breathing and then she slipped into sleep.

Not since Millicent, had I had these feelings of respect and love. Ah but that was three decades ago and nearly forgotten.

Sometimes the man came. He was filled with anxiety and his own kind of love. He came to visit the skeleton.

Things you can’t buy w/o Government Intervention

Things you can’t buy without government intervention

Several years ago, I had been suffering with flu for a week.  By Saturday I was well enough to drag myself to Costco and purchase day time and night time flu medicine.  Now, everything Costco sells is put together in big packages.  But guess what.  You can’t actually buy what they are selling in bulk.  I could have purchased the day time or the night time but not both.  Why?  Because these products are used in illegal drug manufacturing.  I have never been arrested or even suspected of being involved in drug traffic.  But I’m still presumed guilty and am not allowed to purchase both products.

I sent my teenage son to K-Mart to buy a can of spray paint for something we were doing around the house.  They wouldn’t sell it to him. He might use it to graffiti a building.

This past week I was astounded to find that I cannot purchase Slim Fast unless I am over a certain age.  Excuse me?  It is a legal product and it is sold in grocery, discount and drug stores.  Now you have to show proof that you are of a legal age??!!!  I guess Slim Fast has entered the realm of alcohol and tobacco.  But seriously.  Slim Fast?  I guess my government wants to protect me from becoming anorexic.  If only!

There is STILL no free lunch

Yes, everyone is supposed to be doing this, now days.  According to the experts you can’t sell a thing unless you develop 100,000 followers so that 100 will buy from you.  It’s a tremendous amount of work to get just a few sales – if any.

In principle I think it is a great idea to develop friendships and trust.  But you have to remember that people can say anything on the net.  There is certainly no guarantee, even though we would like there to be.

It just amazes me how many people blog about the most boring things.  All they are really talking about is the product they want to sell.  If they had a very viable product and no one else did, this might work.  But just putting your stuff out there in that manner will never interest people.

I also notice that websites have hugely long pages that go on and on and on, usually with accolades about how great their product is.  Well, anyone can make up dozens of people and post some pictures to support how great they are.  Frankly, when I see a long page like that my eyes gloss over and I click out.
Then there are the dreadful videos to sell a product.  Yes, it is another thing the experts say you must do.  But, if you are selling a internet system or any product, really, should your girlfriend and your dog be on the couch with you?  Should your camera man be holding the camera so that you have an unsteady image of yourself, as you are plugging away? This isn’t rocket science.  When I see something like this I know this person is just hocking junk and wouldn’t back up his product or behave in any way professionally.

I’m not a genius and I’m not the only person who would get these impressions.  It floors me that people who do this don’t understand how pointless this is. It also puts a very bad image out there on their brand.

Then there are the videos or websites that don’t actually tell you anything.  They go on and on but never tell you what the product actually does, how it applies to you, why you need it, etc.  Everyone thinks they are going to get rich on the internet.  Everyone thinks you can quit your day job and work 2 hours a day, while making millions a year and traveling the world.


When your prayers ARE answered

As I became middle aged I had hoped to retire at 55.  That didn’t work out.

Recently I heard on the news that our city of Colorado Springs, Colorado is the worst place in the state to find a job.  No news to me.  I never found a comparable job for my skills when we moved here 5 years ago.  It has been 2 ½ years since I worked at all – not even temp jobs.  I now understand how it is that some people just give up looking for work. I have.

And then I realized that in a back-handed sort of way, I had actually retired.

Now, let me explain what retirement looks like for me.

I tend to do things in spurts or as the mood strikes me.  So adhering to a schedule and doing what someone tells me, when they tell me, doesn’t really make me happy.  What I want to do for retirement is work the work I want to do in the time frame I want.  And all this falls into not having to worry or think about income any more.  I’m sure not there on the income part yet, but I am blessed with a husband who has a good job.  So, I’m warm, too well fed and safe, unlike so many in our world these days.

But because of being unemployed, I had time to write a mystery and publish it.  I’ve had time to travel.  I have lots of time to myself, which I need.  I’ve also had time to help my friends and do some volunteer work.  Now what could be better than that?  I actually have gotten what I asked for.

Sometimes it helps to turn your thinking upside down for a different focus.

Fraud, Fraud, everywhere

A cautionary tale.  This has happened to me twice in the last couple of months.

First I ordered a test sample of a skin product.  It was free except for the shipping and handling of $4.95.  I got the product and I tried it faithfully for several months.  It was certainly nothing special.  I decided I would not buy it.  Suddenly I discover that I am being billed by this company for $100 a month.  I called my credit card company and they said they would investigate my dispute.  In the mean time, I was billed another time.  Now for my $200, I had not received anything.

I got on the phone and called this company Dermitage and asked what they thought I had purchased and why they were charging my credit card, especially since I was not receiving anything.  I was informed that by ordering their sample I had agreed to be billed $100 every month.  I said I had not agreed to anything of the kind.  And if that was the case, why was I not receiving something from them each month to justify my $100 charge.  Then I was told that though I was being billed $100 a month I would only receive their product every two months.  I informed them that should I receive anything from them, I would refuse it.  NO, you cannot refuse it because it is delivered by UPS and they no longer accept refusals.

After another week I received a box from them which I did not open.  I’m well known at the local UPS store, since I mail books to my customers.  I asked her about returning it and she told me UPS would not do that.  She also said that you can’t pay to ship it back to the company yourself, because where it ships from is not where they take returns. If they do take returns you have to get their authorization and a new address.  Of course Dermitage was not about to give me that.

More conversations took place with the credit card company and I won the dispute.

Next I had ordered an old movie that I really wanted.  It was $4.94.  All of a sudden I’m being billed $10 a month.  So I called and asked what this was all about.  According to them, when I placed my order I was enrolled in their “money savings program” in case I wanted to make more purchases in future.  I told them to stop billing me immediately and then called my credit card company.  Again I won this dispute.

I guess this is the next wave of cons and it is very unfortunate.  Now I’m afraid to buy anything over the net unless it is a very well known company.  And worst of all, legitimate companies may miss sales because more people will decide it isn’t worth the risk.

The Miscreant

I have a good HP printer but most of the time I don’t need it.  Yesterday I was printing up some info I wanted on hard copy.  Then, one miscreant piece of paper decided to slide through at an angle.  The printer was thoroughly jammed, so I removed the paper and got all of it out. But evidently my printer did not care for the manner in which I performed this necessity.  Every zigwing light, warning and button went off, flashing back and forth and running up and down the panel. Clearly the world was coming to an end!

So, I opened the back cover to make sure there were no bits of paper still there.  I opened the top cover and pulled out the tray.  Then I pushed all the buttons in and out and some at the same time and the off/on button (which wouldn’t go off no matter what I tried.  I went into the printer queue and deleted.  I tried sending a print order again.  After variations of same, I pulled out the power plug and let it sit for 45 minutes.  I restarted my computer.

I plugged it back in and it still remembered the holocaust had arrived.  I have a wonky cover so I got messages to close it.  Closing required a great deal of banging on one side, which I did –  not that it helped.  So I went to the control panel and tried to delete the printer.  Though it told me it was deleting, it never finished.  Then I had to hunt up the disk for reloading my printer.  After I finally found it, my computer still said it was deleting the printer.  I tried reinstalling the driver but the computer wouldn’t accept it because it was already there.

So I called in the big guns – my husband.  He is a chip designer and sometimes knows more than I do about computers (but not always).  He went into all kinds of nooks and crannies I did not know existed. Nothing he tried worked.  Eventually we figured out that documents I had reloaded were still in a queue so we deleted them.  FINALLY, the printer disappeared from my computer.  It was past midnight by this time and I gave up for the night.

First order of business this morning was loading the driver again.  You must have it disconnected from your computer when you start.  The disk came up and started to load.  We came to the part where you plug it in and turn on the printer.  A box comes up and tells you it may take some time for the computer to recognize the printer.  Is 20 minutes long enough?  The only option is to cancel.  I can’t see how this circuitous route is going to get my printer driver loaded.  I try to remove the disk so I can go to the internet and find the drivers.  The disk will not come out.  Finally I get it to release.

I’ve never had much luck downloading the drivers for this printer so I’m pretty leery that this is going to work but what choice do I have?  HP wants my valuable information on their survey before they will allow me to down load the driver.  As usual HP is so very helpful. I get these two options

>>HP DeskJet Full Feature Software and Driver2003-12-30 , Version:, 15.33MHP DeskJet 5600 Series Full Features Printer Driver – for USB or parallel cable (American English) This driver is designed for use on Windows 2000 or Windows XP computers that will be directly …

>>HP Deskjet Basic Software and Driver2003-12-01 , Version:, 7.41MThis driver is designed for use on Windows 2000 or Windows XP computers that will be directly connected to the printer using a parallel cable. Note: This driver does not contain Program Group …

I select the first one because I see USB and that is what connects my printer.  BUT before I can down load this HP AGAIN wants my valuable input.  Finally I see it loading but the window is gone. I forgot that something has reset in my computer and when I do downloads they disappear into space.  I have to go hunt up where it went.  Be right back.

After doing a computer search I find where I think it is and click. That takes me to an HP page on the net I’ve not seen before.  I don’t think that is it.  I try another folder.  I’m not sure what it is but I’ll see.  This one has to unzip and I have to wait on that.  That too disappears.  I’m not finding it so I try a search on my computer with HP 5650 but nothing is found.  In the mean time my computer has decided to do a security scan, which I have to cancel.

I try an advanced search of today’s date.  This ought to do it because I’ve not down loaded anything yet today.  Evidently I’m wrong about that because my computer tells me I have down loaded 87 things since I turned it on this morning.  But I do find something that looks like it might be the drivers.  When I click on it the loading starts and I feel vindicated.  But wait . . . it is exactly the same windows that come up when I use the disk.  And that means I’m back in that circular cycle again.  Gosh this is fun!

Now I return to the webpage with HP drivers and try the other one, but first I must give my valuable input to HP.  Then I can’t find that one.  Next I go to the HP trouble shooting and these are my options

Solution one: Clear your computer and reinstall HP software

What does “clear” mean?  I read down and see this

  1. Run the Disk Cleanup utility:
    1. Click Start ( ), click All Programs , click Accessories , click System Tools , and then click Disk Cleanup .

Lovely, I’ll try that.  I HAVE NO “SYSTEM TOOLS” when I do that.

It is now 10:45 and my printer still isn’t working.  If I can remember what I was trying to print I’ll email it to my husband and ask him to bring it home from work.

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