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Friday, January 26, 2007

Spaced Out

My original plan yesterday morning was to post about my dad and his computer use, but that was pushed off the front page by the crime news. For his birthday almost a year ago, my mom bought my dad a computer. He's secretary at his lodge and he spends a lot of time on the typewriter, getting his minutes prepared. I've tried in the past to show him what to do, but he can't even remember how to turn on the computer without my standing over his shoulder telling him what to push. Having someone else teach him is a much better idea. :-) So finally, on Wednesday, he went to a class.

When I called home that afternoon, I could hear how excited he was. Good, I thought, this is what he needs--to be excited about using the computer. Then he asked some questions about some box that had come up and why this and why that. I knew I'd need to look at it in person.

First thing I noticed was that he had the start menu up. I clicked that so it went away. The box that had shown up over his document? A formatting tool bar. I don't know what he'd clicked or hit to bring that up. Then I looked at his document. EEK!!!!

He was writing a letter for another group he's part of, and instead of going with a solid block style, he'd indented. Fine, that's still an acceptable style except that instead of using the tab key, he'd spaced. The left margin looked ragged and ugly. Then there was the really good part--he kept hitting the return key instead of letting the text wrap onto the next line. His right margin looked ugly too. I began to wonder what he'd learned in class.

I began fixing the letter. In the middle of it, he had a list of names and phone numbers. Again, he'd spaced instead of tabbing, although even tabbing might not look right. I created a table and cut and pasted the data into it. He's supposed to go back to class next week. I told him to ask the teacher about a few things because he clearly needs some basics he didn't get. He made a list. Now I can only hope he goes next Wednesday and that he remembers to ask for help on what I told him.

This story is funnier if you were there. Or maybe I would be able to write it funnier if I wasn't so exhausted. I have to send a revamped bio to my agent today and I was up late last night working on it. I loathe writing bios more than almost anything else. The last time I wrote a short one, it was for the back of my first book, and I've been using that ever since. I briefly thought about using it again, but decided it's time to update it and mention a few awards and whatnot. Torture. Absolute, total torture. It still needs some tweaking, but at least it's almost done now.

Update on the theft story from yesterday. Apparently, when they broke into the car a few houses down, they found the garage remote, opened the door and took stuff from inside.

I also found out yesterday that there were two armed robberies not that long ago less than a mile from my home in the little cluster of businesses there. Another eek moment since I knew nothing about this.