A collection of holiday Tech Frustrations
Tech Frustrations at the holidays are generally kept to a minimum around our house with three notable exceptions; 1. Christmas tree lights, 2. Addressing Christmas card envelopes, and 3. Timers.
Lights on the Tree
In an attempt to “save time next year” we had been leaving the lights on our artificial Christmas tree each year when we put it away. That was a bad idea. Most years, as we attempted to re-light the tree, the lights didn’t work on one strand. And most often it was the strand in the middle, of course. This time saving technique turned out to be more (as in way, way more) trouble than it was worth. Last year we took the lights off the tree before we put it away, and this year all strands, which were stored separately, magically worked when we plugged them in. Go figure. And, problem solved.
Years ago, and I’m sure this was more than 20 years ago, a person very close to me commented that Christmas cards that were not addressed by hand might be considered somewhat offensive. Goodness knows that the last thing I wanted was for someone to find my Christmas card offensive in any way. Yet, I was harried. Very harried. Christmas has always been the one time of year when I’ve claimed that being a good working parent just isn’t possible ... at least for me. Especially when one is concerned about offending people. Long ago I ran a failed personal campaign to update expectations and traditions which went over like a lead balloon. But I digress. So, way back when, I cleverly found (or more likely, my husband cleverly found me), a way to order a computer font with my own handwriting! I was so desperate for help during the holidays that I still remember what I paid for it: $100.00 (USD)! While that may sound like a lot, especially 20+ years ago, I will tell you that it has been worth every penny. (This was so long ago that the font was provided on a floppy disk. Click here, kids, if you don’t even know what I’m talking about.) To this day the font enables me to fake people out in the spirit of Christmas. Or maybe it just enables me to think that I’m faking them out which clears my conscience. Either way, and unfortunately, the font didn’t completely eliminate all frustrations associated with addressing envelopes. Since I paid $100.00 for the font, I feel compelled to use it every year. Even now when I’m guessing that people are so surprised to receive a paper Christmas card that they wouldn’t remember to feel offended by the way it is addressed. This year, I think I managed to address my envelopes using the computer and printer in only five hours. That’s probably about two hours longer than it would have taken me to address them by hand :) BUT … one reason it took so long is because I documented the process in excruciating detail AND the other reason is that I figured it out all by myself (i.e. without help from any other tech expert except “the Google”). Use the Contact link on this site if you want a copy of the instructions I created for myself.
Interestingly, I just used the Google to see that there appear to be free and cheaper ways to get your own font these days. Let me know if you’ve tried any of them.
Finally, because I am chief decorator, energy conscious, and delighted by efficiency, I like to put some of the holiday lights around the house on timers. My frustration with timers has to do with their size and odd design. Do they need to be big or are ours just old? Maybe my husband, who bought them, likes them big. For all I know, he paid extra for the big ones. I have a cool lit tree from Restoration Hardware that has a built-in timer. The timer is built into the on/off switch which consists of two buttons. I have no idea how this thing works, so just randomly start pushing buttons in early December until I notice that it’s going on and off at reasonable times. What’s that about?
Christmas morning can bring its own Tech Frustrations, depending on the year, but somehow the cookies, fire, and tech savvy recipients seem to make them feel more like fun challenges. As you play with your tech gifts this year, please be sure to report all of your Tech Frustrations via this web site. We’ll be eager to hear about your experiences.
Until then, I’ll be writing Christmas notes and hoping to receive some too.
Do you have any Tech Frustrations? If so, tell me about them on the Tech Frustrations web site.
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