Thursday, February 24, 2011

Google Talk is Fabulous

I've been isolated far too long now. I took that cat up Monday but other than that, nothing since last week. The alleged snow that barely materialized kept me up in the air over my trip today. In the end, I cancelled and it was a good thing. Right before I would have headed up a semi jack knifed on I5 just north of Albany, holding up traffic for a couple of hours. I would have sat there, with cats in the car.

But the slow week has bored me to tears.

I'd have nothing to show for the week, except my de-inflamed spine, if I had not made a very small online purchase. A microphone for my PC.

I hooked it up and had trouble then locating how to check if it worked. I finally found "the way" and recorded a short audio file. I had also purchased a very cheap web cam, in hopes I could better connect with family, like my nephew who asked me why I didn't communicate through Skype.

When I plugged in the webscam, it would not work. I tried opening it in various messenger and chat programs to no avail. I then uploaded new drivers and a video recording program on the manufacturers website. But my computer refused those programs, or placed them where I can't find them, even with search. Somehow in the mess, I deleted all cookies and passwords. Alas, I could not find where I stored a password list. My usual problem.

That left me unable to get back into my usual mail sites or youtube once again. I finally did some meditation and then, trying not to think, typed in my google password with my eyes closed, so I wouldn't think about what I was typing. Autobrain mode. Success!

I had not used gmail in ages, but that was the password gateway. Then I remembered others. I compose complicated bizarre passwords, write them down, lose them, have them on autotype in my brain, but then one day, suddenly, my brain won't type them, when in a flit for usually unknown reasons.

Once on gmail, I noticed their google talk ad. I have a microphone now, I thought. I saw the word "free". Free is really good. Free is GREAT.

I downloaded the plug in and dialed my bro. He came in loud and clear. I watched the clock on the google timer, and we talked 18 minutes, longer than I've been able to talk to him in a year on the phone, due to the cost. This call cost me nothing and the tone was crisp and clear. Nothing like my landline sound or the trac fone bristle, crackle and fade outs.

I was so darn pleased with myself I could not stop smiling and patting myself on the back. The cheap microphone had already, in that first call, paid for itself.

This morning, I used it to call the vet clinic which usually costs me. Not today!

Suddenly, the world feels warm and sunny. Feels like somebody out there is on my side.

Thank you Google!

And then there's this: I got my power bill. It is down almost $100 from last month. Can you believe that? That's due to fixing the broken thermostat, largely, but also my change in habits, which include short showers every other day, hanging clothes to dry over doors, using only cold water to wash, and living mostly in the dark (after dark). The transition to the frontier life has not been that difficult, just need to constantly remind myself what to do, what not to do, because I can't afford my former luxury lifestyle, of showering daily, drying clothes, that sort of thing. I probably never will be able to again. Have to get used to that fact.

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