Technical Difficulties

30 Mar

I’ve had a bit of an up-and-down month on the technology front.

Why Hasn’t She Been Reading My Blog?

First, there were the issues with Google Reader. That’s the program used to aggregate the latest posts from blogs that I follow.

Think of it as a subscription manager. You tell it what blogs you want to subscribe to (that’s what “follow” means) and it keeps a list, alerting you whenever new stuff is posted. That way you have one place to go to instead of multiple places when you want to see what all of your favorite bloggers have been up to. You can add and (allegedly) remove blogs as you see fit.

Over the years, I’ve followed various people. Here lately, I’ve come to the realization that too much of my time is being spent on the Internet, and it’s getting in the way of me getting stuff done around the houses that needs to be done. So I decided to whittle down the list of blogs I follow. I only kept the ones that belong to people I REALLY like and really don’t want to lose touch with. I deleted all the rest.

All was good.

Then a few days later, all of the blogs I’d deleted were back. I deleted them again. They came back. I deleted them once more. Again, they reappeared.

What’s up with that?

Apparently, there’s a bug/issue with Google Reader wherein their system cannot distinguish between subscriptions you want to delete and those that are accidentally deleted. So every few days it scans your account and restores all of the subscriptions you’ve “lost.” So you can NEVER get rid of the subscriptions you no longer want to see.

There may be a way around that or some sort of fix, but I’d spent so much time trying to figure out what was going on AND had become rather irritated with it all, that I just decided to kill my Google Reader link and use a new feed reader.

I decided on Feed Demon, a free Windows RSS reader that seems to work pretty well. So now, all you folks who have been missing me, wondering why I haven’t been reading or commenting as much as usual should see me hanging around again.

Why Hasn’t She Been Calling Me/Returning My Calls?

I’m not much of a phone person. I hardly use my land-line phone, much less my cell phone. Yet Hubby has been nagging me for months to get a new cell phone. His cell phone is work-issued, so he gets what they give him. Sure, he could also have a personal cell phone, but that would just be dumb.

He’s been dropping hints to me left and right about upgrading my phone. Not-so-subtle hints like, “When are you getting your new phone? Have you decided which one to get? Did you order your phone yet?”

Last Monday, he sent me an e-mail with a link to the phone he recommended.

Now, I really didn’t need a new phone. But since he’d gone to all that trouble (and to make him quit nagging me), I finally caved and got a new phone. Not just any phone, a droid/smartphone.

I didn’t tell Hubby I had ordered it. So when the phone arrived on Tuesday, he was quite surprised. He activated it, charged it (so we thought), and spent the next couple of hours testing it. Then later that night I drove to our WV place to get ready for my girlfriend getaway “weekend.”

Most weekends don’t start on Wednesday, but my friends were anxious for their break. I had to work Wednesday and Thursday, so they had to entertain themselves. But they managed just fine.

Anyway, Tuesday night I spent a couple of hours checking out the phone’s features and then went to bed. I plugged the phone in so it would charge. Then the next morning I realized it wasn’t charging.

Of course, I was in West Virginia, nowhere near a Verizon store. And we have not established a PO Box or mailing address, so they couldn’t ship anything to me even if they wanted to. The phone had appeared to be working okay, it just wasn’t charging.

Long story short, I received a bad USB cable. I finally got a new one on Monday and now the phone is all charged and seems to be working just fine.

But, I have to say, there’s nothing that makes one feel older than new technology.

The user’s manual for this “phone” is 308 pages long!

So, if you call me and I hang up on you, please be patient. I’ll call you right back.

If your phone rings one time or even half a ring and you see it’s a missed call from me, sorry! I didn’t mean to call you. I was just trying to figure out/manage my contacts list.

When I told Eric about my new phone, he said, “Welcome to the future!” I guess it’s about time.

Why Hasn’t She Been Posting as Often?

Nothing technical about that one. I’m actually very on-the-fence about maintaining this blog. It has no real purpose other than serving as a bit of a creative outlet for me. While I have several loyal followers, most days I feel like I am just talking to myself. And since I have another blog that does have a clear focus, and many of the cool folks who read this blog also read that one, I might just post over there for awhile.

This blogging stuff takes time. And time is not something I happen to have a lot of. Spare time, that is. I do work full time. We’re trying to finish the kitchen project at the WV place. And there are a number of projects at the MD place that need tackling. My office is in complete and total disarray. I haven’t seen much of my family (the ones I don’t live with). The house needs cleaning. Bills need to be paid. I need to find all of those important tax receipts that are floating around somewhere. The flower beds need weeding. The lawn needs some work. I’m losing touch with many people because I don’t squeeze time in for phone calls.

Get the picture?

So, if I seem to have disappeared, check over at my Appalachian Tours blog.

And to those loyal, outspoken followers of mine, you should know who you are. But just in case, so you know that I really appreciate your support, I have to mention all of you. There’s Shannon, ShyBiker, Fuzzy Galore, Jess of Old Nichols Farm, StillMary, Jade, Annelies, and Tiff. Thanks. Your active participation is what’s kept me here this long. My Appalachian Tours blog isn’t all about motorcycles, it’s about local travel with a smattering of personal stuff thrown in. I hope you’ll consider visiting me there.

For now, work is calling. So are those bills. And I know that tax form is in my office somewhere. Sigh…

8 thoughts on “Technical Difficulties

  1. OH NO you can’t leave me blogless….

    I visit each day to get my fill of humor and a pick me up 🙁

    also to anxiously await stories on Meg, Belle and K

  2. When your blog feels like “work” take a break. The people who read you and get to know you from the blog will understand and look forward to your return.

    Are the subs that are coming back Blogger-hosted blogs? I think you might have to unfollow them from your blogger panel, too. I saw a bunch of double-subs in GR. 1 for a direct RSS address if i followed them that way, and then the “followed” version if i happened to also have clicked “follow” on their blog.

    in your blogger dash – try managing the blogs from there & see if that helps in GR.

    Enjoy your new phone-crack 😉

  3. Fuzzy, you’re right. All work and no pay. It has gotten a bit tedious lately. Probably because I’ve just got too much going on right now.

    As for GR, I deleted them from Blogger, I deleted them from GR, and they still came back. Know what’s funny though? When I downloaded Feed Demon, not thinking, I said “yes” when it asked if I wanted to sync with my Google account. No!

    As for the phone, I’m looking forward to using some cool free photography apps. If the weather would EVER get warm. And all my to-dos get done…

  4. There’s an ebb and flow to life. As Fuzz says, if this blog is turning into work, let it go. You can always come back later and resurrect it if you feel inclined.

    Balancing online activity with real life is something all of us wrestle with. I wonder how my grandmother did it back then? 🙂

  5. Wow that is a lot of technical difficulty! Glad you’re back though! (And thanks for the shout-out!) And don’t worry about posting much when you’re uber busy. The good thing about having a feed reader (even if it otherwise gives you grief) is that when you do post, we who have you in our readers should see it! But I’ll definitely add the Appalachian Tours to my reads too!

  6. I tried and tried and tried to delete a bunch of blogs from my google reader too… with no success. Sooooo frustrating! I ended up having to delete a bunch of cookies, and un-follow them in blogger first, then unsubscribe in google reader. I still think there is something weird about it, but I finally did get a bunch of them off of there. Makes it much more manageable to keep up on the ones I really like.

    And I TOTALLY hear you on needing a break. I haven’t blogged at either of my sites in over two weeks. That’s very unusual for me, but I’m just so uninspired lately. I just can’t do it. So I don’t.

  7. As I suspected when we talked about this the other night, people who read you regularly will understand and “get” it if you need/want to take a break for awhile – as they’ve said here. Something you do for fun shouldn’t end up feeling like work; you have a job for that and that one pays! 🙂

    Do what feels right to you.

  8. I can just picture Mike with the subtle hints about the phone. 🙂 And hey, does this mean I don’t need to apologize if i take ages to reply to emails? 😉 Trust me, I know what you mean about other stuff that needs to get done – as organized as I am at work, I’m hopeless at sorting out my personal stuff! One of those people who never finds that one piece of paper she needs, gets reminders about bills,… you get the picture!

    Just make sure your blog remains fun for you to do. Oh, and thanks for the many chuckles you give us! 🙂

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