Zoom for Seniors

Zoom for Seniors

Dear Senior Citizen, Welcome to the exciting world of Zoom. If you’ve never had a Zoom video call, don’t worry. It’s easier than beating Betty Smith at BINGO, even when she plays with 10 boards.

Dear Senior Citizen, Welcome to the exciting world of Zoom. If you’ve never had a Zoom video call, don’t worry. It’s easier than beating Betty Smith at BINGO, even when she plays with 10 boards.

Welcome to today’s lesson: Zoom for Seniors. If you’re 65+ and would like to learn how to turn your computer into a videophone, this will be an exciting adventure. However, if you thought you had signed up for Zoomba for Seniors, you’re in the wrong class. And it’s spelled Zumba. You might want to consider our Spelling for Seniors class, as well.

What exactly is Zoom? If you ask my 24-year-old tech-savvy daughter, she’ll tell you it’s a video-telephony and online chat service using a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform for teleconferencing, telecommuting and social relations. My daughter is a geek. In case her explanation is a tad too technical, let me simplify: with Zoom, you can see and talk to your friends on your computer.

Everybody’s doing Zoom, even Zumba fans. This is thanks in large part to the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent shelter in place mandates. If you’re not familiar with the “Coronavirus,” may I suggest our introductory lecture series, What’s Been Happening Since You Crawled Under a Rock. Employers use Zoom to conduct team meetings, professors to deliver classes to their students, and the rest of us to complain to our friends that there’s nothing to do – all without wearing pants.

Zoom is surprisingly easy to use. Let’s first talk about system requirements. I’m not talking about your digestive system, though you could talk to your doctor via Zoom about your acid reflux. I’m talking about required devices: a smart phone, an iPad, or a computer with a web cam. No, a web cam is not for detecting spiders in your house, though I can envision a market for that. A common question I hear from seniors is, “How do I attach my rotary phone’s twisty cord to my Zenith TV’s rabbit ears?”

I now realize there should be some pre-requisites for this course, such as a rudimentary knowledge of life and technology in the 21st century. In short, no, you can’t use a rotary phone. You need one that can connect to the Internet. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “Internet,” how exactly did you find the website for this class?

If you are still using a phone like this and planning to place a Zoom call, let me just say, you’re adorable. However, may I suggest upgrading to a phone that was not in use when Ozzie and Harriet were still the rage on TV.

If you are still using a phone like this and planning to place a Zoom call, let me just say, you’re adorable. However, may I suggest upgrading to a phone that was not in use when Ozzie and Harriet were still the rage on TV.

Next, you will need a Zoom meeting invitation. Anticipating your next question, no, it won’t be delivered by the USPS or UPS or even the USPCA. It will come in an email. The invite will give you a link that you simply click on to join the video call at the appointed time.

What’s so great about Zoom? For starters, you can actually see the person you’re talking to! And the call is free – even if the other person is across the country, across the world, or in your garage, borrowing your power tools without asking. That’s because you are talking over the Internet. I know, it’s almost as amazing as the Ronco Pocket Fisherman you bought your wife for her birthday in 1984.

Another cool aspect is that several people can be on the call at the same time! So if you and your Elks cronies – all 67 of them – want to have a virtual hangout, you can with Zoom. That is, assuming you all have email and a Wi-Fi or broadband connection. Clueless about the terms “Wi-Fi” and “broadband”? Might I suggest you switch to a bird watching class instead?

Zoom has some handy features including “chat,” which lets you type messages to other people on the call. But remember when you type a chat message to Charlie about how Archie cheats at golf, Archie will be able to read your message, too – unless he left his glasses in your garage when he borrowed your power tools.

Some pointers about using Zoom. First, you want to adjust your camera so the other person can see you. As interesting as your ceiling may be – or your boxer shorts – most people prefer looking at your face – and by your face, I mean your entire face, not the top of your receding hairline.

Second, be sure the microphones are ON, unless you all are versed in lip-reading.

Third, know how and when to turn OFF your video. Just as you can see your grandkids or your buddies or your boss on Zoom, they too can see you. So, if you feel the need to pick your nose or get up to grab a beer, wearing nothing below the waist but a pair of black socks and Crocs, consider pausing the video first.

Which brings me to Zoom etiquette. Newbies tend to talk over each other, especially if there are a bunch of you on the call. It’s best to wait until the other person has stopped talking before you begin your diatribe on the demise of the nation at the hands of our youth (your grandkids excepted). Also, you might want to shave. The grunge look doesn’t work for seniors.

For the adventurous Senior, try a group Zoom call. Together you can discuss fascinating topics like, “Anyone having trouble with their dentures?” and “Whatever happened to Carl? He was here a minute ago.”

For the adventurous Senior, try a group Zoom call. Together you can discuss fascinating topics like, “Anyone having trouble with their dentures?” and “Whatever happened to Carl? He was here a minute ago.”

Don’t worry if your first Zoom experience is a bit bumpy. That’s normal. It’s daunting to figure out any new technology, like Zoom or a plasma TV or your 10 ft. inflatable snow globe. That’s why I recommend recruiting your seven-year-old grandson. He can ensure your maiden voyage goes smoothly, helping you log into the session, testing your audio, and reminding you to put on pants.

Finally, just remember, if you’re struggling to navigate a Zoom call with your old pal Benny, you’re not alone. He’s every bit the technology rookie that you are. Benny too is confused why he can’t hear you and wondering whose forehead he’s seeing on his computer screen (um, that would actually be Benny’s). He’ll get the hang of it, and you will too – before the next century, or your money back.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020

Introducing the Amazing, Incredible MIRACLE BOX!

Introducing the Amazing, Incredible MIRACLE BOX!

Welcome to the future. Behold MIRACLE BOX – an incredible breakthrough technology that will change your world forever. Imagine having a tidy, organized home, where everything is neatly stored away. Now that dream can finally be yours – unless you have young children.

Welcome to the future. Behold MIRACLE BOX – an incredible breakthrough technology that will change your world forever. Imagine having a tidy, organized home, where everything is neatly stored away. Now that dream can finally be yours – unless you have young children.

Once every generation, an entirely new product comes along that is so powerful, so game-changing, that it redefines how we live. In the 1920s, it was radio. The 1940s launched television. The 1960s introduced the microwave oven. In the 1980s, we discovered the power of personal computing. And the millennium catapulted humanity into the future with the Internet and smart phone.

As life-altering as all those innovations have been – to how we spend leisure time, share information and eat frosted cinnamon pop tarts – perhaps none has revolutionized how we live as much as the latest technological breakthrough. Introducing the amazing, incredible MIRACLE BOX.

Brought to you by VFTB Enterprises, the makers of Placebolax and Dyzastra, MIRACLE BOX can be used for hundreds of applications. So, what exactly is this latest disruptive technology? MIRACLE BOX is an ingeniously designed quadra-sided containment vessel that features a perfectly flat foundation and symmetrically aligned vertical walls. Think of a giant Rubik’s Cube whose internal void can be accessed manually, and you have a vague concept of what MIRACLE BOX looks like. Its unique patented rectangular design allows people for the first time in history to put things away!

Consider that growing stack of Golfer’s Digest and People magazines that you just haven’t gotten around to reading. Insert them inside MIRACLE BOX and rediscover your missing cat that’s been hidden underneath all these years. (I’m sure he’ll be okay.) Don’t know what to do with all your daughter’s childhood art projects? The clay hand print, the Popsicle stick reindeer, the sock puppet? Put them in MIRACLE BOX, and you’ll never have to look at them again!

Still shoving those Playboy magazines under the bed and praying your wife never dusts under there? Improve your odds and save your marriage by making that mess disappear, thanks to the wonder of MIRACLE BOX.

No need to further alienate your teen by hounding him to put away his laundry. He can just stuff it – the laundry, that is, into MIRACLE BOX! [Our top researchers are currently working on a laundry containment version of MIRACLE BOX.]

MIRACLE BOX comes in countless sizes and colors – so there’s sure to be one to suit your eclectic style. Need to conceal a corpse? No problem. Just order our Ultra Grande size (S&H fees apply).

MIRACLE BOX comes in a variety of sizes, colors and textures. Perfect for storing everything from party supplies to towels. CAUTION: Not recommended for storing boys or girls – unless they have been behaving extremely badly.

MIRACLE BOX comes in a variety of sizes, colors and textures. Perfect for storing everything from party supplies to towels. CAUTION: Not recommended for storing boys or girls – unless they have been behaving extremely badly.

For too long, people have endured the hassle and frustration of clutter. What to do with those 5,000 must keep baseball cards that represent every good (and fading) memory of your youth. How to protect your Hot Wheels collection from the sacrilege of being sold at a garage sale!  Your well-meaning wife might protest, “Just throw them out! You’re 52 years old, for God’s sake.” Now you don’t have to. Just cram them (and your emotions) in a box – a MIRACLE BOX.

A basic MIRACLE BOX comes in your choice of cardboard or corrugated fiberboard. Choose from an array of texture upgrades, including plastic, plywood and metal. For the real storage connoisseur, why not impress your friends by choosing our Limited Edition premium model, constructed with 100% Malaysian teak or Amazonian mahogany? They’ll all wonder how rich you must be.

MIRACLE BOX offers a variety of useful options, including a handy feature we call a “lid” – perfect for when you want to effortlessly cover and uncover its contents. Need to quickly relocate some contraband because you suspect the cops are on to you? Why not order our MIRACLE BOX with convenient “handles” upgrade?

And check out our special ventilated MIRACLE BOX – perfect for storing recalcitrant rabbits, when you prefer not to suffocate them (Note: contents may expand without warning – especially if contents contain both sexes).

The response from people who have tried MIRACLE BOX has been overwhelming. Check out these actual testimonials from satisfied MIRACLE BOX customers:

“Before I discovered MIRACLE BOX, I never knew what to do with my extensive bottle cap collection. But thanks to MIRACLE BOX, now I can put them all away. I even saw a YouTube video that showed me how to stack my MIRACLE BOX on top of other MIRACLE BOXES. That blew my mind!” – Justin Idyott, Biloxi, MS

“As the poppa of seven kids, ages 3 through 6, I used to wonder where in our trailer park home to put all their toys. Not anymore. Now I just put them all in 15 MIRACLE BOXES, with convenient labels such as “Lego’s” and “fireworks” and “ammo.” Thanks, MIRACLE BOX!” – Bubba Moronski, Tulsa, OK

Introducing the latest innovation from MIRACLE BOX – The MIRACLE FORT! This easy-to-assemble citadel is the perfect way to entertain young children for hours. (Sharpie, tape and box cutter sold separately.)

Introducing the latest innovation from MIRACLE BOX – The MIRACLE FORT! This easy-to-assemble citadel is the perfect way to entertain young children for hours. (Sharpie, tape and box cutter sold separately.)

“I run insurance scams for a living. I started running out of office space for all the fake claims and bogus receipts. That’s when I discovered MIRACLE BOX. I went for the optional ‘lid’ upgrade. I’ll never go back to using my pool table to store this stuff – thanks to MIRACLE BOX.” – Frankie ‘Fingers” Barbato, Bayonne, NJ

So, what are you waiting for? Why not join the thousands of people who have discovered the amazing MIRACLE BOX? Order your MIRACLE BOX by midnight tonight and we’ll throw in a free set of MIRACLE LABELS. Wonder what’s inside that large box in your storage room? Thanks to the incredible MIRACLE LABEL, you need no longer wonder where you stored your first aid kit – or your medical cocaine.

LIFE IS A MIRACLE – THANKS TO THE MIRACLE OF MIRACLE BOX! 

Disclaimer: MIRACLE BOX should not be used to store children or pets (unless you order the Deluxe ventilated edition). Do not use MIRACLE BOX as a guest room for your in-laws, as they may have difficulty finding the exit. MIRACLE BOX is not recommended as a place to keep expensive jewelry or rare coins, unless you clearly label your MIRACLE BOX with a misleading label, like “Nothing important inside” to deter theft. While indeed miraculous, MIRACLE BOX will not save a failed marriage nor restore hair growth. In rare instances, MIRACLE BOX can be fatal, as when in a drunken stupor, you ingest MIRACLE BOX, take off all your clothes and challenge a gang leader to a duel. If you paint a large black tunnel on the side of MIRACLE BOX, do not attempt to drive a truck through it.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2020

Trying to Go Offline

Trying to Go Offline

I’ve been told that I have a hard time unplugging from work during vacation. That’s an unfair charge. As you can clearly see, I’m all set for snorkeling. Sure hope my laptop is waterproof.

I’ve been told that I have a hard time unplugging from work during vacation. That’s an unfair charge. As you can clearly see, I’m all set for snorkeling. Sure hope my laptop is waterproof.

Life is short – especially for my wife, who’s  barely five feet tall. The years race by, we waste time, and before you know it, we discover we’ve missed out on what’s important in life: pizza.

Add to this reality our obsession with technology, which is constantly at our fingertips. It can be hard to break free from the bombardment of texts, social media and emails constantly vying for our attention. I can easily pull an all-nighter just watching Randy Rainbow videos on YouTube.

That’s why my wife and I have decided to get away from it all. Right now, we’re vacationing on a pristine island paradise thousands of miles from any major city. I won’t reveal where we are, because we’ve chosen to unplug from the hectic pace of our lives.

In the spirit of getting off the grid, I even left my laptop at home (because, frankly, who needs a laptop if you have a smart phone – just ask anyone under the age of 25). For one week, we’re going to focus on slowing down, breathing in the ocean air, and smelling the roses (though I’ve yet to spot a rose). We plan to take long hikes, kayak, and –

… Sorry about that. I just got a text from my sister. Thought it might be important. She’s been going through an issue at work with her boss… Like I said, for the next seven days, I’m committed to getting in touch with myself … just as soon as I get in touch with my broker. Hold that thought….

… Again, my apologies. I realized that there was a voicemail from my broker marked “Urgent.” Had to check it. He advised me to sell all my Sears stock while they’re still worth 15 cents a share.

…. Now, where was I? Oh yes, being totally present with my wife during our special 168 hours alone…. So, this evening, I’m surprising her by taking her to see … a penguin playing the piano! OMG, that’s hilarious. Oh, sorry. Someone just posted on FB the funniest clip of a penguin. You really need to see it. Soooo cute!

… My point is that I really want to slow my life down and be totally here, in the moment, with the most special person in my life… The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Hey, Season Two is now streaming on Amazon! There go my plans for a nature walk this afternoon with my sweetie.

This man is on top of the world, totally present with nature. What’s he thinking in his moment of Zen? If I had to wager a guess, it’s probably, “What the F? No internet? “

This man is on top of the world, totally present with nature. What’s he thinking in his moment of Zen? If I had to wager a guess, it’s probably, “What the F? No internet? “

[Nine hours later] … I’ve just finished binge-watching the second season of Mrs. Maisel. Fortunately, we have six more days here on Fantasy Island to smell the flowers and feel the ocean … BREEZ!!! Are you kidding me? The Saints are seriously considering trading Hall of Fame QB Drew Breez for a 1st round draft pick? That’s what my ESPN alert message just notified me. Unbelievable.

I know what you’re thinking – Tim, you are clearly incapable of unplugging. You need a 12-Step Program. I admit, I got off to a bumpy start, but now I’m even more determined to turn off all devices and concentrate on some us time with my lovely wife. She puts up with so much from me, standing by me through even the most stormy … DANIELS hush money lawsuit against Trump might get tossed – according to Politico. Thank goodness I’m on their email list or I’d have missed this crucial news story.

Speaking of emails, there are 78 new ones in my inbox – mostly from work. Hmmm…. I can power through them in a flash, send out a blast “Out of office” message, and still have time to chillax the rest of the trip. That’ll work.

[Three hours later…] There! Job done! I am SO looking forward to lying in a chaise lounge on the beach, sipping a Mountain Dew from a frosted mug, and reading a good book. Ugh! I can’t see the screen on my Kindle with this blazing sun! Alright, I’ll just close my eyes and listen to the soothing sounds of waves lapping against the shore …. on Pandora. Or how about some Calypso music? That conga beat makes me feel like I’m on a tropical island – oh, right, I am.

That’s it. No more distractions. From now on this week, I’m only going to think about what really matters (other than pizza) and ask myself the important questions, like how to be a better husband and how to do my part to tackle global warming … how many licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? And should The Wall be built of Legos? Sorry, that last one was an insta-poll question from Buzzfeed. How embarrassing. I thought I had unsubscribed.

Look at this businessman. Oblivious to the beauty around him as he checks his email. So ridiculous - using all that data. Doesn’t he know the hotel has WiFi?

Look at this businessman. Oblivious to the beauty around him as he checks his email. So ridiculous – using all that data. Doesn’t he know the hotel has WiFi?

Anyway, I can’t wait to take windsurfing lessons – something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m a quick study when it comes to sports, so mastering this should be a snap… chat from our elder daughter. She sent an adorable video of her two kitties chasing the laser pointer. Never seen that before!

Like I was saying, it’s all about the here and now. In a minute, I’m going to take my wife out on a bicycle built for two. Won’t she be surprised when she learns that … Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France! Okay, I don’t know who he is, so I guess I could have ignored that alert.

Hmm, I think I should just leave the phone in our room, so it can’t distract me anymore. Time to get some fresh air and enjoy the warmth of the tropical sun … which reminds me, my friend Elizabeth has an amazing Pinterest site with tons of photos of tropical flowers and beaches and even videos of wind surfers. And I can view them all from the comfy couch in our hotel room.

Ah, it’s wonderful to unplug for a change.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019

Alexa, Tell My Neighbor to Mow His Yard

Alexa, Tell My Neighbor to Mow His Yard

This is the Amazon Echo Dot – about the size of a hockey puck. Just say a command, starting with “Alexa,” and it will play music, tell you the news, or even turn on your alarm system. But there is one thing Alexa can’t do. She can’t drive your car – yet.

This is the Amazon Echo Dot – about the size of a hockey puck. Just say a command, starting with “Alexa,” and it will play music, tell you the news, or even turn on your alarm system. But there is one thing Alexa can’t do. She can’t drive your car – yet.

Consumer technology has come a long way since Al Gore invented the Internet. Amazon has always been a pioneer – first with its mega-store retail website, then the Kindle electronic book, followed by their ingenious TV Fire Stick. But my favorite Amazon innovation has to be the Echo, which revolutionizes the way people do things, from turning off lights to entertaining your kids. And it is all done with a simple command starting with “Alexa.”

I recently received this handy gadget for Christmas. It’s been a God Send. It’s hard to believe I used to walk all the way over to the radio to change the music, rotating the dial over and over until I found an acceptable station. Exhausting!  But thanks to Amazon, now all I have to do is tell my Echo, “Alexa, play Polka music”, and presto, I am instantly basking in the dulcet sounds of the Beer Barrel Polka – and driving my wife out of the living room. (Not a polka fan. Go figure!)

Initially I used my Echo solely to play music or tell me the weather forecast for places I never planned to visit (“Alexa, what’s the forecast for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia?”). Over time, I discovered she can do so much more. For example, I just asked, “Alexa, tell me a random fact”, to which she replied, “All manhole covers are round, because a square one could fall into the hole.” If I were a manhole manufacturer, that factoid could have saved me millions in R & D. 

I once blew an entire afternoon, just asking my new technological BFF endless random questions:

 ‘Alexa, how much do you weigh?’

‘Alexa, what’s your favorite dinosaur?’

‘Alexa, how do I get rid of a dead body?’

‘Alexa, what sound does an elephant make?’

‘Alexa, who you gonna call?’

‘Alexa, beam me up.’

‘Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya.’

‘Alexa, what’s the first rule of Fight Club?’

‘Alexa, is there a Santa Claus?’

‘Alexa, can you sing in auto-tune?’

‘Alexa, who shot the sheriff?’

‘Alexa, I am your father.’

[Admit it. If you own an Amazon Echo, you just tried issuing some of these commands, didn’t you?]

Alexa had an answer for every query I posed. I mean seriously, how did mankind survive before Alexa was born? Of course, sometimes, Alexa’s response can be a bit unsettling. I just asked, “Alexa, how long will I live?” Her response: “The average lifespan for a hippo in the wild is approximately 40 years.” Did she just insult me?  [Admit it. You just tried that command too, didn’t you?]

But Alexa can do so much more than just play music, tell lame jokes, and occasionally insult you. You can connect her to appliances so you can turn them on from your phone – rather than walking the 20 arduous feet needed to do it yourself. You can also connect Alexa to devices like a robot vacuum. Now, instead of using the robot vacuum app on your phone to tell it to commence vacuuming, you can tell Alexa to tell your robot vacuum’s app on your phone to tell the robot vacuum instead.

You can even connect Alexa to your Amazon Prime account and command her to find movies and TV shows just by saying their name: “Alexa, find the movie, The Notebook” (not that, as a man, I would ever actually watch that chick flick, mind you). And to think there was a time when human beings had to use a remote control and type the name of the movie letter by letter. How barbaric.

I learned that I can use Alexa to find a good Indian restaurant (just kidding, I would NEVER do that – I hate Indian food), schedule a reminder, or plan a vacation. It seems that there is almost nothing Alexa can’t do. Almost….  I recently asked Alexa to give me a million dollars, and she rudely replied, “Hmm, I seem to have misplaced my wallet.” Such a tease. [And you did it again, didn’t you? Don’t lie!]

Alexa sure would have come in handy for Captain Kirk on the bridge. Might have saved a few planets or conquered the Borg. All without flicking a single switch!

Alexa sure would have come in handy for Captain Kirk on the bridge. Might have saved a few planets or conquered the Borg. All without flicking a single switch!

Last week, I installed the Man-Support upgrade onto my Echo. It costs a little extra, but it’s worth every penny. Now, when my kids ask for money, I just consult my electronic in-house attorney: “Alexa, should I give my kids more money?” to which she says, “I strongly advise against that.” Then I tell my kids, sorry, Alexa has spoken.

If my wife and I have a disagreement, I just turn to Alexa: “Alexa, who’s right, me or my wife?” Alexa: “On this matter, your wife is wrong.” And if my wife asks me to make dinner for a change, I consult Alexa as well. She is quick to respond, “Your wife is being unreasonable. Offer to do the dishes.”

I can’t wait for the next series of updates, so that I can start issuing Alexa even more helpful commands like “Alexa, do the dishes for me.” Or perhaps “Alexa, please find my keys.” Or “Alexa, please make our kids call us once in a while.” 

Of course, with technology this sophisticated, it’s just a matter of time before my wife starts getting wise and asks, “Alexa, did my husband order a set of Titleist golf clubs on Amazon even though I specifically told him we can’t afford it?” If so, I’m screwed.

Apparently, there’s one thing Alexa sucks at – keeping a secret. Guess I better get rid of all these Echo devices right now – before somebody gets in serious trouble.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019

The joy of buying a new computer

The joy of buying a new computer

joy of a new computer - frustrated manI recently bought a new laptop because my old one was having problems. From my purchase experience, I want to pass along the following helpful piece of advice: NEVER EVER BUY A NEW COMPUTER.

Limp along with your Apple Lisa for as long as you possibly can – because once you buy a new computer, your nightmares have just begun. The following is a 100% true retelling of my experience.

I chose to shop at one of the major Big Box retailers. I will change their actual name in this column so as to protect their identity. I walked into WORST BUY, and the salesperson Brad was quite helpful. He directed me to a perfectly adequate laptop. It had keys with letters and numbers in exactly the right locations. He told me that it had a 1.33 gigahertz dual processor with 2 GB of memory, 32 GB of storage, and a Windows 8.1 64-bit something or other. I had no idea what he was talking about, but it came in blue. I like blue. So I bought it.

Then I asked Brad if they could transfer all my data from my old computer to the new one – you know, email contacts, calendar appointments, embarrassing photos of my girls naked in the bathtub when they were two years old, saved so I could show them at their future weddings – you know, important files.

For the very reasonable fee of $150, they could transfer it all. So I said “sure.” Brad then passed me over to their tech team, the name of which, again, out of respect for their privacy, I will disguise. After only a 20-minute wait, I was greeted cheerfully by a member of their Greek Squad team named Nick, who was extremely helpful and said the job would be done overnight. So when they finished the overnight job four days later, I returned to WORST BUY to pick up my new computer. When I got home, I discovered just how helpful they had actually been, and by “helpful” I mean they had somehow managed to lose ALL OF MY DATA.

Continue reading “The joy of buying a new computer” »