Medicare Part D - Not So Easy After All
19th Nervous Breakdown

Too Old For This...

There is no real post today. Crabby Old Lady is just venting, frustrated to the max. The air around here is blue with language not suitable for a polite blog. Ollie the cat is hiding under the bed and Crabby would join him there if she didn't face a day destined to be entirely lost in computer hell.

The good news is that yesterday Crabby spent big bucks on a new laptop with all the top-end bells and whistles. A screamin' machine that will be delivered in less than three weeks. Whoo-eee. (A big public thank you to Millie Garfield's son, Steve, for talking over the geeky details to help her choose the most appropriate innards of the new computer.)

The bad news is the reason for her purchase: this ancient computer (built in about 1910), has been going all wonky on her for several months, and it went nuts while Crabby was sleeping last night. It deleted everything in her Thunderbird email client. All her archived email is gone along with the recent email she hadn't answered yet and most disastrous - all her email account settings are gone.

Crabby funnels her, her and gmail email messages to her inbox through her main Roadrunner account, which she never displays in email because it's the ugliest and least memorable email address anyone ever saw.

To make this work, Crabby long ago set up email forwarding and then set all those POP and SMTP parameters in her Thunderbird email client and promptly forgot about them. Does she know those settings now? Did she keep a record of them somewhere? Don't ask. By some miracle of bits and bytes, at least her address book survived. But if you've sent Crabby an email anytime since about 8PM on Monday, she can't retrieve it yet and, depending on what time all this data was deleted, is not sure she will ever be able to do so.

This may or may not be connected to the fact that also in the dark of night, Firefox installed its latest version, without Crabby's permission, deleting all her hundreds of bookmarks. That's not so bad since there is a near duplicate in IE Crabby can import, but Crabby had deliberately not installed the newest Firefox because last time there was an upate, it ruined her video settings which haven't worked properly since then.

Every day, Crabby diligently backs up her entire hard drive to another, external, hard drive. She's never before needed a restore and so far, it's a mystery to her how to retrieve only her email files from the backup disc and she's not willing to risk an entire hard drive replacement. Who writes this sh.. (oops) crap? Crabby knows every English word in the meager Retrospect instructions, but still can't figure out how to find the files she wants to restore.

Crabby Old Lady is no computer naif. There are many tricks and tweaks and fixes and work-arounds she is capable of managing, but she is being thwarted by mysterious, midnight gremlins and she's got way too many other things to do than to lose the entire day figuring out how to reconnect herself to cyberspace.

[Insert every possible version of the F-word here along with some new variations of other expletives that would make you blush.]


Sincerely sorry for you Crabby! I have been through this sort of thing several times! It hasn't taught me much, as I keep NOT writing my passwords. Last summer, my brand new iBook G4, a great laptop with a brand new hard disk crashed. The hard disk had to be replaced. As it was brand new, it was a free replacement, but I had a whole lot of photos that I had just taken and transferred to the said hard disk and they got lost forever.
Good luck (and lots of patience) for recovering everything.

And by the way, it's the sort of crap which makes us all equal ;) in a case like this, youngsters are just in the same sort of fix! (Not sure I am comforting you, here)

Hey Ronni, I would call this a very "real post" actually. It is really happening to you and I can't even imagine the irritation and frustration you must be experiencing about it all.

A couple of years ago my old computer crashed and I spent about 8 hours rebuilding it by myself. It was amazing! What an experience. I felt a great sense of achievement but I couldn't get over how lost and vulnerable I felt until it was all fixed up again.

As a former computer professional (starting in 1957!), this post breaks my heart. I didn't want it to be this way, honest.

Have had Firefox from my day one 14 mos. ago. Had downloaded a newer version many months ago, with initial problems, but successfully worked out. Have never had a problem with it since.

Never heard of Firefox automatically installing a version without permission. Didn't know they could do that. I know nothing about all this technically compared to you, so can only imagine what kind of a nightmare situation I might encounter.

What was it Mort might attribute such happenings to, "dybbuk"?

Who was it said, "Write if you get work ... and ... hang by your thumbs!" Sounds like your work is cut out for you if you can cut through all that blue air.

I'll be thinking of you. Am going into immediate ESP mode to send only good positive healing energy waves your way. May work fine for you, but not sure about the computer.

I think you'll get it untangled Crabby. And except for losing the current stuff, what a great way to clean out your email box!

joared: Crabby doesn't mean to accuse Firefox of installing itself necessarily. It's been dinking her for a week or so about updating and she kept telling it no.

Crabby's computer has been doing a lot of unexpected things for the past two or three months and she wouldn't be surprised at all if the culprit were a dybbuk.

Nothing to offer but sympathy, Crabby, my computer knowledge being somewhat less than yours. I have had two seamless upgrades of both Firefox and Thunderbird, with prior notification and full transfer of files, so it sounds like your computer did it on its own.

As for passwords, I have one that I memorized and use for everything. I like living on the edge.

Many years of doing computer stuff has taught me two things. Use pen and paper, and learn to laugh in the face of adversity.

Much sympathy, Ronni-- I'm moving onto a new system myself, and as I seek help, encountering remarks such as "You were on Windows 98? We stopped supporting that years ago." And my good friend Bill still is limping with Windows 95 . . .
The one piece of info I can pass on to Joared and others is that it was Bob and Ray who said "Hang by your thumbs, and write if you get work." They used to be on, among other things, CBS' Monitor in the mid-fifties. A quick Google should get their last names and c.v.
Again, sympathy and prayers that you will find solutions or at least solace in your frustrations.

Keeping a good thought for you, Ronni!
I know it is absolutely no good to you, but it's mildly reassuring to me to know that this can obviously happen to anyone.

Ronni, I totally commiserate with you. I just went through horrible computer trouble of the same kind just a couple of weeks ago...right before your birthday. I had to go out and buy a new one; and with the help of some family members whipped things back into shape in time to post your birthday message. An insane random 10-second power surge blew out both my computer and what was my husband's in his office. I lost everything. I spent the next several days entering things back into files. I'm still doing it. Some things I'll never get back. I think I've pretty much gotten everything I really need to function again. I had some pretty choice words too; but... I even cried. Hope it all works out for you sweetie...I'll be thinking about you. -Joy

Oh your blog is wonderful! I shall return. Stop by mine if you please.

to your good health,

All this "computerese" from you & your friends Crabby, has given me a headache (albeit, not as bad a headache as you have!). After hearing all this from experts I'm feeling terribly computer illiterate, but sometimes ignorance IS bliss! Hang in there. You have so many friends out here pulling for you. Dee

I had simular problems execpt it wiped out my log-on abilities and my e-mail, and a geek type friend in Scotland told me to check here:

I don't know if it's the same trouble, but there seems to be a lot of 'puter problems going around the Net lately.

Dang those techies who bomb us lowly non-techies.

That blurred out word was "showthread". Hope this helps someone else.

Remembering passwords - I use a standard method of construction of a password - a set arbitrary sequence of letters and numbers plus say four letters derived from the site name in a way that I can remember. Combine the two acording to a set rule.

Example: Arbitrary sequence might be pz13k

Site info: Time Goes By - use say 1st, 3rd and last two letters of site name in reverse - so ybmt

Combine: pzybmt13k

It sounds complex but you only ever have to remember the one piece of information, which is the sequence rather than the password itself.

Ian: That's a good password system. I've mostly operated as deejay above, but with half a dozen variations which makes it not too difficult. Unfortunately, passwords are the least of my problems today.

I am so sorry this happened to you. Especially now when you have many other thngs on your mind. I would not have a clue if that should happen to my computer. I would need to enlist my computer literate son to help me and even he may not know what to do.

I wish I could say something techno helpful, but I can only say I feel for you. I lost my email records and address book recently too. I guess my hard drive went, but the computer was only 4 years old. I now try to have back up of back ups but email accounts I'm told are tricky to save and I don't know how.

I am back on track and sometimes miss something, other times I have found tricky ways to find addresses again. Others I just have to say So Be It. I often playout a complete wipe out of everything (my whole blog) in order to prepare myself. Sort of like playing out a loved ones death.

Ah,yes, computers. You can't live with them or without them! i know just enough to avoid any tweaking no matter how great the urge.

Ronni Dear,
Sorry to disagree but I think this post is about as "real" as they come.
And though I have no solutions to offer I can only imagine how horrifying this ordeal must have been.
And may I add---better you thn me:) In the words of Savtadotty, black humor gets us through.
Sending love and best intentions to you and your (mazel tov!)new machine,

I just wanted to add my sympathy to the set. I don't know how your particular backup works so I don't have any advice to give but I am sorry to hear of your computer woes!

I know I should feel sorry for Crabby and say all those nice comforting things, but excuse me while I laugh my butt off visualizing Crabby stomping around with blue smoke curling round her lovely silver head...

Happy Wonderer, thank you for reminding me of Bob and Ray -- how could I possibly have forgotten those funny funny guys from a different time!

A side note to Crabby Old Lady, as surely do hope this has been a productive day for her taming her computer; that the blue air has lessened. Perhaps, the less incoming that ol' computer gets for a while the better, other than blog comments and other business.

I won't panic that my Firefox will go berserk in the middle of the night, but thanks for the reassurance.

Whoa! A f___d up computer really draws it out of us, doesn't it? So you really thought there was "no post today"? Look what you did!
Speaking of crabby . . . I had just finished writing the following before opening up your non-post:


I’m picking it up rather frequently.
“He died yesterday at the solemn age
[slight pause,
time for vocal gravity,
a decrescendo]
of 84.”

I sit quietly.
Not believing.
Hoping I’m not hearing.
The question comes up:
What am I doing above the surface
at two months shy of
[gulp] 88?

Beyond a certain age
one becomes unsexed.
That I am female
is only of quantitative consequence.
There are more of me
than there are of them.
Maybe that’s why I’m almost 88,
and he just 84.

So that explains why you missed my notice on the original posting to the Blog Synergy. There is no good timing for a computer problem.

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