This is no Safari you would want to be on


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By Lori Clinch

Well, it’s January and you know what that means … It means don the wool stockings and chain your portly, “I ate too much over the holidays,” self to the desk. Or you could simply grab your Sherpa coat and go out and put your head in the snow.

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It’s awful. All of the paperwork I have been postponing all year has come back to bite me right in the keister. There are deadlines for this, filings for that and if I don’t have my ducks in a row in the next week or so, the insurance auditors are going to be breathing down my neck.

I knew that time draweth nigh, so I put my on big girl britches, armed myself with a cup of coffee and braced for impact as I prepared for a long and miserable stint at the home computer.

I don’t approach it blindly. I ascertain what needs to be done and then I put me on a tight schedule and sternly set deadlines for myself.

This would all be fine if the gods of technology did not decide to throw me a curveball. It is not uncommon for this time of year, you see. In fact, if accounting software and the lords of the Internet did not throw a wrench into my January days, it just wouldn’t feel right.

This year’s curveball, however, was a doozy. For some reason, Safari decided to take over the computer screen. There was no way to shrink it down, size it up or to return to any other application I may need to access.

I did the only thing I could do and Face-Timed one of our techy sons. Thankfully for me, not only was he available, but our Charlie and a techy buddy were all there at the ready in their campus home.

“Huh?” they said in unison. “Where is her bar? Does she have no icons?”

They looked like a bunch of fish in a bowl as they came in for a closer look before throwing in the ever-loving, “I’ve never seen that before!” and “What did she do?”

With few or no answers from the experts, I decided to throw in the towel. Since we were not only out of milk, but coffee, too, I tossed my taxing schedule aside, gave up on my computer-solving ways and left the house.

But this morning there was no more postponing it. Quarterly estimates were due, deadlines needed to be met and doggone it, those pesky credit cards were not going to pay themselves.

Yet, there I was, with that full-screen search engine and no way out of it. The computer had long been encouraging me to update to the latest upgrade and I figured, “Well, if this upgrade won’t fix it, nothing will.”

My first bone of contention was that the update took over an hour. The second irritation was that I could not balance the checkbook while the computer was doing its thing. And the third, and most detrimental, situation was the moment the new update informed me it not only disliked our accounting software, but was incompatible with it.

Smack dab in the middle of tax season, mind you.

“You didn’t realize how long it would take to update when you saw how big the file was?” our Vernon asked when I phoned him about the dilemma.

“It’s all just a bunch of letters and numbers to me. MB, GB, who knows what the heck that means?”

Generally, one can’t hear an eye roll, but if one could, it would have come across loud and clear.

Having been down this path with me many a time, Vernon did not address my ignorance, but went straight to my crucial issue – the incompatible software.

“Welp,” he informed in his matter-of-fact manner, “all you have to do is…”

“Blah blah blah” he explained in something that sounded like Gaelic. “This is an easy fix.”

Yeah, right! Now seems like as good a time as any to don the Sherpa coat and go out and put my head in the snow.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her by sending an email to

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