About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Belated Sunday Singalong - New Stuff


I got a new laptop. Not my idea. Apparently I run a couple of programs that will no longer work when a certain date comes along (allegedly before the end of this year). Initially I thought I'd wait until black Friday (the one in November), but that was bumped up to the "school's back in session" sales, but then it felt imminent (there are the tell-tale hints like, well, not closing down when told to and closing down when not told to). Next thought was maybe a Summer Solstice sale but I'm not seeing many of those and we are just 2 days away from that important date . . . it's just not recognized as it used to be. So I ended up doing my purchase at a Father's Day sale (OK, there was no such Father's Day event and the machine wasn't on sale, either, but it had to be put into play quickly, if I am to keep upcoming bookings), so it arrived on Saturday. It's Monday (you can guess what I was doing on Sunday and writing a blog was still just a dream away, and I was trying not to let it become a nightmare . . . too late - not writing the blog, writing the blog on the new machine). I finally learned how to turn the device off. Well, that was after having to go to Google to find out how to turn it on! First time I've seen a "power" button on the keyboard! And, as usual, that start button also works for "stop." 

And the keyboard. Oh, dear. White markings (letters, numbers, punctuation) on silver keys! Can you say "What genius designed this color combination?" I learned to touch-type a very, very long time ago, but positioning of certain keys makes that education null and void. And it has a 10-key pad, that I don't need, so space that could be utilized otherwise is wasted on me. But, watch . . . I will probably find that number pad handy somewhere along the line. I am glad that the keyboard is backlit . . . I'll probably see the markings better at night. I forgot to double check the size of the computer (I'm terrible at estimating that little detail) and really didn't think how large 17" is. But while having to buy a new sleeve for the machine is annoying, this very, very large monitor is amazing. I think it is going to come in very handy for seeing all the mistakes I make because I can't see what keys I'm actually typing.

I am not a fan of new things. I mean, I understand the concept of "techno-years" (like dog years: 1 human year = 7 techno-years . . . I had my beloved, retired laptop for 4.5 years . . . makes it 31.5 years old . . . that still may be underestimating). And having a nice shiny machine with that "new computer smell" just can't be matched. But I've learned a thing or 2 and don't have time to expound, but will say that if you and the person you spend your life with need to replace computers at the same time, DO NOT get identical machines! Both my computer and the one my husband used developed the same issues at the same time, so when I might otherwise have smoothly and slowly made the transition, that was out of the question. Now I have 2 dinosaur machines (techno-saurs?) from which I needed to snag programs and files from. That's OK, sleep is highly overrated.

So, have you received something new recently, or recall issues with a new item in your life? Any songs that come to mind about new things . . . or old ones, for that matter?

I am partial to this one by Guy Clark (released 1995), recorded in 2016 

Stuff that Works

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