Does not compute

I don’t know what your week was like but mine was strange.  It started with the home invasion scare (all this time later, nothing new, except we changed all our locks to key only and are just paying more attention when we are outside).  Then I had the silliness with magazine subscriptions.

Next, as I was checking all my balances, I saw a weird notice on my PayPal account, something to the effect of, ‘your account is frozen unless you complete your profile’. Say what? I have had the same PP account for ten years or so (can’t remember).  I started it so I could buy things from eBay, and then it became a convenient way to pay for other things.  Some of my clients use it so they don’t have to write checks.  I am not wild about it, because PP does take a percentage, but it has worked effortlessly.  One thing the instructions told me to do was link another credit card to it. So, I did that and I still got the same message.

Now, I would not fall for any of that if it came in an email.  But, as things go according to Murphy’s Law, for the past few weeks I had been getting all kinds of spam telling me my account was about to be frozen.  So, when this was actually a message in the account itself, I took it more seriously. Long story short, I gave it a couple of days and then called them.  It turns out to be a software glitch and they are supposedly working on it.

When you get up at 4 am every day, you are not in the calmest, most rational state of mind — I don’t care how much sleep you get.  I try to get no less than 6 hours of sleep.  All my life, I have been a light and minimal sleeper.  There were times in college and grad school where I was existing on four or five hours. When I go to visit Deanna, Al and Annabelle I get about that because they go to bed late and I get up very early.  Plus it is three hours ahead there and I never seem to adjust while I am with them.

What getting up at 4 means is, the first thing that happens or goes awry starts the day off in a panic.  Well, if you are high strung and maintenance as I am.  Plus, when I wake up, somewhere around 3:45, I immediately start to anticipate what I need to do and any issues I am grappling with at the moment.  You know how people say everything seems worse and more dramatic at 3 am? Well, that applies to 4 am as well.

The Perfect Office - Samsung Door Lock, LG UltraWide Monitor and more

So, anyway, yesterday, I get up, go brush my teeth and hair in the semi-darkness with a nightlight (not ready to see myself with no makeup at that hour in the a.m., lol), and get settled at the computer to see what has come in since the evening before.  This is a lot of email because I have two accounts, work and personal, and I usually don’t check email after 8 pm the evening before.

I sit down, Geoffrey hands me my mug of coffee as he always does, and, being pretty much on auto-pilot, I get ready to tackle whatever inquiries came in during the night, update today’s to-do list, etc. OK! Tap on the keyboard in the office to wake up my main computer. Tap, tap, tap, tap-tap-tap.  Nothing. Ugh. Nightmare.

Since I have a five year old computer, and I have only about 70 gigs of available HD space, it is not unheard of for it to be sluggish.  But this time it seemed to be frozen.  I had left a lot of large files open and some web pages so I could begin without too much prep time (by now it is only 4:15, so who has the brain for a lot of extra work?) so I was really not happy at the prospect of hard booting the computer.  Which I did.  And still, despite hearing that happy Microsoft tune, the screen was black. Re-boot. Ugh, painful. Nothing. Black.

Nooooooo! I have so much to do.  Geoffrey sat down at the computer, even though he was trying to take care of everything he does before he goes to the train. Oh and now he is taking a bus to the train because I don’t like leaving the pets alone (ala Bunny and my suggestible mind) in a dark house while invaders are lurking about.  Poor guy! What a princess I have become (yes, always been, I guess). While he did that, I ran up to the solarium computer and got everything cranked up there except I didn’t have the photograph series there that I am posting on Flickr right now.

Then, long-suffering saint that he is, when he couldn’t solve the problem, he offered to run the tower and monitor over to Staples, where they have free diagnostics (lord, how I pray that store doesn’t close) the minute they opened up, even though he would be late for work. God bless Staples, it was only the monitor. Fried somehow.  They told him that a five year old monitor might as well be a senior citizen. Geeze. Cheap at the price, though.  I feared it was my HD and even though I back up periodically, I am not up to date completely and would have lost some prepared JPEGS that I didn’t feel like re-processing.

Now I have a nice, new, bigger monitor and everything is back to normal.  But, yesterday, the minute Geoff pulled the computer equipment and all its tangled nightmare of cords out of the office, I got to see how dusty the room was. Yech.  In 105F heat (40C+) — even with the AC going full blast, the office is smallish and my vacuum cleaner was putting out BTUs (therms?) like a madman.  Once you change one thing in a space as limited and “arranged” as my office (and by arranged, I mean, filled to the ceiling with bookcases and shelving and files and books and equipment and framed photographs, etc.), it is like that little plastic game where you have only one open space and somehow have to make a sentence with the scrambled letters.

It was exhausting and I was cranky and sweaty as I started filling up bags to toss.  Things like miscellaneous paper goods that I forgot I had and saved.  All kinds of post-it note packages, boxes and boxes of unsharpened pencils.  A huge collection of white-out that is mostly dried up. Useless glue sticks, old, same thing. Packages of markers, boxes of ball point pens we got by the gross at Staples.  To say nothing of three old computers — my precious Vaio from 2007, Geoffrey’s Acer laptop and his older Mac iBook.  Why don’t we recycle these guys? Because they not only have old data that we have never transferred, they have the old programs that open them.  Geoffrey uses Filemaker, an older version that he likes for work.  If there is a newer one, I don’t know but it probably wouldn’t open his old files. Same with some old version of Peachtree.  Geoff has never used a desktop.  He only likes things that he can carry around with him and even though he bangs them around, especially at job sites, they seem to last forever.  I baby my computers and they are as hypersensitive and fickle as I am.

While I am at it, I have to mention that, good as he is about solving problems for me, especially practical ones like changing all the locks or deciphering computer problems, Geoffrey is too casual about security. He took my precious tower and monitor to Staples yesterday and while he was going out the door, I offered to go with him, figuring he would need me to carry one or the other.  He declined. Turns out, he took the monitor in first and left the tower in the car, on the seat, in plain view! Yikes, typical California laid back.  I am the kind of person that won’t even leave a tissue on the seat inside the car because it might attract attention and lead to a costly break in.  It has happened. Deanna left a cheap pair of sunglasses on the dash of her brand new SUV last year and ended up with a huge bill after someone smashed in the driver’s side window to get the glasses and rifled through the other compartments in the car and stole Annabelle’s backpack, which was stashed under the seat.

Not only did I not want a break-in, I sure didn’t want some stranger having access to all the info on that HD, including financial and personal stuff.  What was he thinking?

My biggest peeve is the way you need to keep upgrading everything in order to use it.  I spent a fortune on that Vaio and now it is a dinosaur with Vista OS on it. Why buy an expensive computer when it becomes obsolete within a year? That is why we stopped buying Macs.


Anyway, the week isn’t over yet, so we shall see. Oh, and I would love it if you experts out there could settle an argument G and I have over spraying equipment with compressed air.  I worry that it will drive dirt into the computer and gum up the works and Geoffrey feels it is mandatory to keep the computer clean.  What do you think?

Also, now that I have two new monitors, this site looks more greenish than orangey as it did when I had my older monitor.  I want it to be a soft Buttercup yellow. Can you tell me how it looks on yours? Thanks!


These are all ideal images, except one, of what I am aiming for in every room of my house, especially my office which is now clean and orderly once again, thanks to this upheaval. 😀



22 Comments on “Does not compute”

    • Rebecca, you are very kind. My small home office looks fairly like the sixth picture from the top, with a view of my backyard/pool. These are pictures from decorating sites — I have a nice home and furnishings my grandmother left me but these are from the pros — just home office ideas I like and am trying to incorporate.

      As for PayPal emails, I have always just discarded them unread, as spam. The problem earlier this week (up until this morning, in fact) was an actual message on my account page, which I check daily first thing in the am. It was really frustrating but now resolved by their IT department I guess. PP said on the phone that all customers and PP employees had the same erroneous message this week. Glad that’s all it was!

      Thank you for reading and commenting so thoughtfully, Rebecca.


      • I LOVE your images – thanks for sharing. I pinned several to a couple of my Pinterest boards – so maybe you’ll pick up some new readers from there 🙂 — but that’s not why I did it. I’m finding that site a handy “bulletin board” on my computer.

        Since I just moved, I’m trolling for ideas – (but then I hyperfocus on trolling vs. doing, more’s the pity!) I’m especially alert to office pics – currently mine looks more like the messy photo — but then, so does the entire apt. (I hate moving – unpacking and re-organizing a new space EATS my life!)
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
        – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
        “It takes a village to transform a world!”


        • Madelyn, I am so glad you stopped by and commented. I am always trying to get more and more organized. Moving always helps me get rid of things but then again, I always seem to run out and buy more (that I really shouldn’t need) whenever I am in a new place, even if it is smaller! I don’t know why that happens. Offices are hard to incorporate into a living space because really good desks are a fortune, I find. My husbands builds things for me like cabinets and books shelves and so we tend to have them all over the house, which helps. Congrats on your new place! I am planning to redo my Pinterest page. It has been two years since I even looked at it. 🙂


          • My P-boards languished from about the time I set them up. I JUST began to focus on populating them and, since my 4th iPhone is a doorstop again (in 2014!), I hyperfocused on something I could do that would STAY done. That’s sort of the ADD way.

            I have a theatre background and was required to take stagecraft in my training – thank GOD! Everything I know about power tools and building came from that exposure – but my homes end up looking theatre sets. lol. Don’t look backstage!

            The last time I had a beautifully crafted piece of “bespoke” built in furniture was some time ago, when I was engaged to an actor/stage carpenter.

            I sew, fortunately, so understand upholstery construction — even when I take shortcuts, fabric hides a lot of sins. Plus I always move my “collection” of salvage doors, shutters, etc. – and tend toward the “beat up” look by necessity.

            I sometimes think that others might consider my digs “bricks and boards” — but function is foremost for me. Which is why, I suppose, I am strongly drawn to photos of the lovely homes created by those with the budget (or a great hubby with building talent.)

            It does seem to take forever to set up a home when one must do it ALL oneself, however.


  1. Beth, first – the background does look like a soft, buttercup yellow on my screen. Sounds like your monitor may need adjusting.
    Second, it took me a while to get my “office” adjusted and operational just the way I wanted. With the move, it was an excellent way to do just that. Wish I could post a photo here to show you. It turned out great.


    • I would love to see it, Susan or have you describe it!

      I have had this office for ten years. It was really well organized when I started, but as we have added things, it got crowded. We reorganized half of it when we bought the new computer for the solarium office earlier this summer but the half I work in, had not been change for five years, since we bought my main computer and monitor, etc. So pulling out the monitor and its wires forced me to put this area in shape again. Given that it is a small room, but one with vaulted 10 foot ceilings, I chose to have bookcases on either side of my desk that go up to the ceiling. That means, of course, I filled them! In front of me are my two printers and a floor to ceiling wall to wall window with sliding glass doors that look out onto the pool area. But I have sheers there to filter the sun out, otherwise the room would bake.

      I am so glad the color comes across properly. I have to adjust both monitors to reflect the more orange end of the spectrum. It is funny, they are two different brands, the new one in the solarium and this one we just got this week for the main office, but they both cast a greenish tone here.

      Tell me about your office. Moves can be a blessing. 🙂


      • It’s in the living room, which I’ve visually broken in half. I have an “L”-shaped glass desk – my big splurge. The computer is on the part against the wall that the sliding glass door is on that goes out to my patio. When the door is open, I get a nice, cool breeze, I can hear the birds chirping and see my plants and the occasional visiting hummingbird.

        The part of the L to my left is for open books (Bibles, research notes, etc…) so I have them at my disposal. I also have a second monitor on the corner piece to the left of my computer.

        Above the monitor and above the left part of the L are three, small “invisible” book shelves. They contain the books I use most in writing my blog and my devotional writing (Branches). They’re right at my fingertips. I bought a small, industrial hanging lamp thank hangs over the corner unit to provide light mornings and evenings.

        Behind me is my old, wicker desk that contains my calendars, pencil sharpener, paperclips, etc…, so all I have to do is swivel around and they’re right there.

        The “living room” furniture is to the right and behind the wicker desk. It all fits in somehow, comfy and cozy. A rocking chair behind the wicker desk, and two upholstered chair on the opposite side of the room across from the rocker with an ottoman between them.

        Makes for a great commute! 😉


        • Oh, it sounds so beautiful, Susan! How lovely. You have a knack for design, it seems. And all so efficient. I have to force myself all the time to get rid of superfluous things because all the rooms in our house are from the 1980s, size-wise. Lots of rooms but each one rather small. Except they splurged on the master bedroom/solarium suite, which is huge and for whatever reason, a huge foyer! What makes up for it are very high ceilings, most of them vaulted up to 12 feet.

          I love that you kept the older desk so you have both. Love the “at your fingertips” economy of motion. I wish I could open my sliding glass door but this insane heat we have had has made that impossible. I am wondering if we will ever get cool weather again. I envy you your breeze!


  2. I am still using the old Dell Inspiron I got right when I started grad school – I know it is a dinosaur but it keeps on working so I keep on using it. Even though trying to run PS on it is slow as Christmas. And I use Mozy Home to backup my files – twice a day it sucks everything off my computer and stores it so I don’t have to think about it. If anything happens to my hard drive I can get it all back easily!


    • Maybe it is time for me to look into a Cloud backup like that. I will check that out. Geoff was against that for the longest time because of security breaches (funny how he is selective in that regard!) but I don’t want to go through this again and apparently my Maxtor stand alone is not backing up automatically as it is supposed to do. I have to drag things over to it. I want this particular computer to last forever, so I have to be careful. Thanks for that tip. Good to know someone else doesn’t run out every year and buy the newest computers. 😀


  3. I thought the office with the ocean view WAS your office Beth 🙂 Each image is a convicting one to me – I need to organize my space better. And I can sure relate to the “change one thing…” experience. Well, with all the excitement and challenges of these past few days, there’s nowhere to go but up (ie., better). Right? I hope so!


    • Would that I had a view like that one Vera! Only when I get fed up do I completely reorganize a room. It is so much work, especially in this heat down here, but once it is over, I realize how much better it is. I cannot believe I got rid of two big bags of office supplies that were useless, in the process! :-). Now I guess I will just keep on going. Neatness is next to Bethliness :-D.


  4. I loved your pinterest like images (I like 7 and 9 best), my bedroom doubles up as my office with Ikea furniture an Expedite box unit with some draws and doors to shut up and empty space for box files and a large full length desk that really needs draws too for my printer/scanner and computer. Its like a cheap copy of the Neville Johnson one my Mum has at home. Oh and its deep pink surround and table legs and white 😀


    • It sounds very efficient and pretty, Charlotte. I love pink too! If I had not been given most of my furniture, from the early 20th century and late 19th, I would have more pink. It just seems to go with dark reds and greens and mustard instead. 😀


  5. Except for the morning part, we could be twin souls. Similar take on life, similar things make us crazy – and similar taste in offices FOR SURE! (you get up as I am going to bed! I’ve written about my sleep disorder on ADD-and-So-Much-MORE)

    My entire **y-e-a-r** has been strange: no hot water, kludgy internet connection, inadequate parking, moving, mugging leading to 3-months in a cast & replacing all cards, keys, etc. – you name it!

    I’m feeling like my life is no longer about anything bigger than putting things BACK in place.

    The biggest problem currently is that I have no telephone (on my way to pick up my FOURTH iPhone replacement in 2014). I’m hoping that THIS time they’ll upgrade me – something is clearly wrong with the latest iteration of this particular model.

    =====> Do NOT, anybody, *NOT* go for an iPhone 4S. (Not just me – thousands of complaints online.) My last became a doorstop in less than a month! <====

    Your husband sounds like a doll – and, after my recent experience, it doesn't seem to me that you are over-reacting about leaving your animals alone. Losing stuff is bad enough – losing fur-babies would be a life-long heartache!

    I hope your "strange" is behind you now – and that we are similar in that respect as well!


    • Oh, thank you Madelyn! You make me feel normal, LOL. No, the strange hasn’t stopped. I will eventually be blogging about our water issue now. Sigh!

      Geoffrey is really a sweetheart even though he sometimes drives me crazy. I am not easy to live with being so high strung and OCD, but he manages somehow. Luckily we are strong in complementary areas and in things I care about, like being a vegan, he accedes even though he probably wouldn’t do these things on his own.

      A mugging? Oh dear, my worst nightmare. I am glad you are OK. Luckily we are too cheap to use iPhones. We have LG Optimuses from Metro PCS and they really are wonderful. Never had one minute’s problem with them. The people at the Apple Store here in Valencia were rather indifferent to our business so we took it elsewhere.

      Thank you for the term fur babies (and feather babies). They are our children and we do protect them incessantly. You and I do seem to be sympathetic souls! 😀


      • Twins except for the OCD of course – my ADD stagecraft look would probably drive you nuts.

        I hired an OCD buddy to help me clean the apt. I just left, and I finally had to say to her – “STOP! It is not mine to sell or rent, leaving now was not my idea in the first place, and it’s already cleaner than when I moved in!!”

        She was not happy with me (and considered the baseboard heating and the bazillion louvered blinds still “filthy”), but I simply had to move ON (no pun intended). It was almost impossible for her. It was the first time I got an accurate taste of how difficult it is to live with OCD.

        The iPhone was a b’day gift (11/29). It never really worked right – but I thought it was because it was my first smartphone and I didn’t know how to use it. Then was stolen when I was mugged just after Xmas. So replacements seemed to be the cheapest way to go, ironically. False economy in this case.

        Thanks for telling me what YOU use and are happy with. I am going to keep making Apple replace, but I am also seeking an inexpensive backup so I am never again stuck without being able to make a phone call.

        I miss the olden days when all was BELL and always worked.
        PS. Same with my Shih Tzus. My last died several years ago now (at 19), so I’m hoping things are settled enough for me to get a puppy for Christmas (thus all the puppy pics on my “Deck the Halls” board)


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