February 27, 2009
How to Fix Your Phone
Some time ago my office installed one of those way too sophisticated for normal everyday use phone systems. All those extra buttons I’ll never use have been blissfully ignored for at least a year.
Then, this morning, I received a call I need to transfer. Now Forward and Transfer are really the same button. Usually the screen shows Forward in the first lovely led title spot. It’s only when you pick up a call that Forward changes to Transfer. Pretty easy to use, right?
Except if that title disappears. Truly, I have no idea how it got obliterated from my screen, because it takes some complicated steps to change the defaults on these phones: permissions, passwords, blood samples, the ability to turn three cartwheels in a row while not spilling your precious coffee, stuff like that.
The bottom line is I couldn’t transfer the caller. I had to ask them to hang up and ring back the other person directly. That usually annoys people, but I did explain why it was necessary. Then, I sent out an email to the most phone savvy folks I have in my office network:
>>> Jodi Korte 2/27/2009 11:13 AM >>>
Good morning, all.
The transfer/forward button has seemed to disappear from my telephone led screen.
Does anyone have any idea how to get this back? The Nortel book isn't very helpful. Thanks.
Sorry, I don’t know, Try the QUIT button, Try the OPTION button, Try the SHIFT key, Throw it against the wall.
All good suggestions, but none of them worked. Admittedly, I didn’t try that last one. Job security/liabilty issues, you know.
Then, to my much too happy surprise, I heard from another unlucky coworker who had this happen to her. She graciously came down to my office and prepared to perform phone repair surgery. Before she could though, I received a call from another coworker.
The calling coworker informed me that particular button only shows up on her phone when someone calls in. I jumped up to look at my office mate's phone, just to be sure I hadn't completely lost it. It was right there on her phone in all it's greyish led glory. So, that wasn't it.
Another look at my phone nearly sent me into a tizzy. Now that I had a live caller on the line, my led screen was frighteningly completely blank. The caller took me through some “re-set” steps. They didn’t work. The patient coworker, who was still waiting at my desk, tried the solution that worked for her. And, well, as to be expected, that did not work for me, either.
What to do? 22 minutes later, out of desperation, I discovered the solution. I have happily shared this with my network of phone savvy admins, so that in the future we can prove our immeasurable value to the company should this dilemma occur again:
>>> Jodi Korte 2/27/2009 11:35 AM >>>
Thanks for the suggestions, all.
Due to desperation, I discovered the solution to restoring the missing Forward/Transfer Button:
When all else fails, unplug the phone from the wall, and seriously consider throwing it away.
Count to 10 to be sure that's what you really want to do, and then sigh dramatically and re-plug the phone back in.
The cute little "Forward" led title returns like magic. I guess it's sort of like a phone "reboot."
Yippee! Now, you know. Now, you’re more valuable, too.
February 24, 2009
Veiled, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 8
2/23/09 TUMC Lay Reader Doug Ketchum started out with: “It’s not just winter out there! It’s the season of epiphany!”
And ended with: “I ask you now, are you living in the Glory of GOD? Unveil your face.”
I have been living veiled. In fact, I have made an extreme effort to do so.
Withdrawal has been my temporary bandage; a small short bit of protection.
However, like any bandage left on too long, the fix becomes something different - a liability. It becomes part of the wound; impossible to remove without breaking open the skin it has so firmly attached itself to.
It’s debatable whether it is better to remove the bandage slowly to minimize damage, or quickly to minimize pain.
A few weeks ago, I let a few trusted friends peek under the flapping edges of my bandage – my personal veil.
I unveiled my true tear-stained face, previously reserved from everyone.
I asked for prayers, but not for help. I claimed no need for intervention.
And then I asked them to help me hold my veil in place. No need to share what you have seen or heard, I advised.
I don’t know if they obliged me or not, and I don’t really want to know either.
Because now, in this season of epiphany, I have realized that not only have I not been living in the Glory of GOD, I have not been living, at all. When I am asked how I am doing, I have prepared stock answers:
“I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” “Oh, you know… good days and bad days, just like everyone else.” “Just fine. How are you?"
Every once in a while, I let the day’s emotions overrule my need to veil. A little something sarcastic pops out, which usually draws a laugh.
But for me, those answers dangle on the edge of unveiling, as I’m silently asking, “Do you really want to know?”
In this issue: Band Aids, Jewish Tradition of Unveiling, Achieving Goals by Conquering Fears.
Worth watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42E2fAWM6rA
Worth listening to: Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, Kaddish, for Orchestra, 1963
February 23, 2009
Elbow Piercing, to a point
So there I was on Friday night, one week after my nose piercing, at home, doing what most fabulous gals do on a regular Friday night: I was plucking my eyebrows. Now, plucking my eyebrows sometimes makes me want to sneeze.
And, I had to sneeze. Since I was up close and personal with the magnifying mirror attached to my medicine chest mirror, and because I didn’t want to have to drag out the Windex, I covered my sneeze with my right hand.
Ok, normally I’m not that much of a sneezer, but this one was relatively strong. Strong enough to jar something loose, anyways. Something shot out of my nose, into my hand, ricocheted off my palm, pinged against my glasses, and arced into the sink, where it rolled to a precarious stop on the metal ring that guards the drain. Hmm… I had no idea what that could have been.
Oh, no! Wait! Could it be? Nope, my nose stud was still in place. What was that little tiny metal thing? Ah, I deduced, after sticking my finger up my nose to investigate: it’s the protective end for the sharp point of the post on the inside side of the nose stud. I closed the drain and rolled the miniscule ball up into my fingers, and dropped it into a waiting capful of rubbing alcohol. After a few swishes, I pinched the little bead between my fingers. I couldn’t really get an adequate grip on it, so I decided to stick it to one of those miniature bandage tabs, and attempted to reattach it to the stud. It’s not so easy to steady a post in your nose while trying to manipulating a tiny ball immobilized on a bandage back onto it.
After a few attempts, and some eye-watering, I decided to see if the thing was even fixable. I imagined taking the “I’m-supposed-to-wear-this-for-4-weeks-before-taking-it-out” stud out for just a few seconds would be ok. And, it was, to a point. The nose jewelry wasn’t repairable. I just couldn’t get the end back on the post. So, I rinsed the stud in alcohol (the rubbing kind still), and reinserted into my nose. It wasn’t a big deal. It stung a little, but nothing worth crying over.
Until, I realized, the stud would no longer stay in. Apparently twisting and stretching your nostril while aiming to put the back on a nose piercing tends to make the inside of your nose swell up… just a bit. The stud would go in, but it would also pop right out from the pressure of the swollen inner tissues. No, problem. I just grabbed another one of those normally useless mini bandages that come in a multipack and taped the stud into staying in my nostril.
Voila! It worked, to a point. The stud stayed in, but did not come out the other side – the side in my nostril. Now, I started to get a little concerned. You see, if the stud was in one side, but not out the other, the inside part of the hole would close up. That would not be good.
At that point I made the decision to suck up my embarrassment and jumped into my car. Didn’t even bother with a coat. The salon is just a few miles away. It wouldn’t take long to get another unbroken stud inserted into my still cute but a little swollen nose.
The salon was closed. 8:15 pm on Friday night, and it was closed! Hadn’t bothered to bring my cell phone – short trip, right? So, home I flew. I dialed the salon as soon as I got home, figuring they would open around 9:00 or even 10:00 pm. Nope – closed on Friday nights at 8:00 pm: wouldn’t open again until 2:00pm on Saturday. If I waited until 2:00 pm the next day to get a new stud, the inner pierced part would be closed up, for sure. Now what?
I became a strong willed woman. I used my ear piercer stud – the old fashioned kind with a sharp point that they used to shoot from staple-gun like apparatuses when you had your ears pierced. It worked like a charm. Except it was too long and too sharp and stabbed the tender opposite inside of my nostril. I couldn’t get the back on that one, either. It’s a really weird angle you have to achieve to get that to happen, trust me. I considered and tried wrapping another one of those useless mini bandages around the pointy part. Uncomfortable and slippery, it didn’t do enough to keep the stud in place. Now what?
Panic-time. I called my neighbor who recently patronized another salon. “Do they do piercings?” I asked. “Yup,” was the reply. Great, I thought. Next on my list, ask a friend to accompany me. After all, I was going to be headed into strange territory as I’m not related by marriage to that tattoo parlor owner. Back into the car, a few miles further, and there we were. I felt a little like I was cheating on my step-niece and piercer, but I got over that and went in anyway.
“I need help,” I announced to the woman at the counter. As I explained my dilemma, she kept saying “I’ve never heard of that happening.” I kept trying to describe the little ball that fell off my stud. “I’ve never heard of that,” she said. After a while, I gave in. “Look,” I said, “All that really matters is that I need a new stud with a back of some sort to keep it in my nose because this piercing is only a week old.” So, we looked at all kinds of studs in different sizes and styles, with screw backs, straight, curled… there were a lot of choices. Due to the swelling, it became clear I could not get a straight bar stud. I needed the curly “screw-back” type. I picked out a teeny-tiny pink crystal. The screw back sort of looks like a spring that has been stretched a little. You actually have to screw it into your nose. I opted to wait my turn to get some help with that. I was feeling a little unsure of my abilities, and didn’t want to get home and find that I was too squeamish to do it myself.
The owner was otherwise occupied tattooing 3 gentlemen in his cramped work space. Still, he interrupted his art applying to call me in. It wasn’t as easy as either of us had hoped. There was a bit of re-piercing involved. But two minutes later, I was plugged up properly, and happier for it. It felt a little weird, but I was told I’d get used to it.
As we got in the car to head for home, 2 hours later, I pulled down the visor to get a gander at my cute pink stud. What? The screwy part of the screw back was sticking out of my nostril. Oh, good grief. I wasn’t about to go back in, so I figured I could live with it until 2:00 pm on Saturday. I planned to be waiting eagerly at the salon door as it opened for business.
In the meantime, my friend who was kind enough to go with me announced she was feeling a bit light headed. I cracked open the passenger side window for her. “I’m afraid I’m going to hurl,” she said, at which point, I began to get a little uptight. Ok, a little more uptight, whatever…. Things went ok, though. I dropped her off at her house, and continued on to my driveway just a few feet up the road.
“Phew, what an adventure,” I thought as I parked the car and tiredly stepped out. Onto ice. Down I went, perfect aim on the left elbow. I now have an idea why they call it the funny bone. That’s because when you’re lying on your back, looking at the clear winter stars as ice melts against your back and butt, you realize that you just spent 3 hours trying to save a hole you purposefully had punched in your nose, and that sometimes your life is kind of amusing. Painful, but amusing, to a point.
My elbow hurt… really bad. I finally got myself up off the ground wondering if any of my neighbors had seen my ice-capades. If they had, no one had come to my rescue. But then again, they can’t be faulted for not wanting to run over and help a newly re-pierced gal who seemed content to be lying on her driveway laughing at the mid-evening sky.
I was thinking of calling the brave friend who went off on this wild adventure with me, but realized that, at this point, it might discourage her from going on further adventures with me. It turns out that she had barely made it to her front steps when she lost it. Her prediction had become true. I’m glad I wasn’t around for that, because I probably would have joined her. I’m really open to suggestion when it comes to throwing up – if I even hear it, I want to do it. And I hate to do it, but that’s an entirely different tangent we're not gonna explore right now.
In any case, I started thinking that alcohol was needed – not the rubbing kind. But opening a bottle would have been wasteful, to a point. Although, the Pentamere Michigan Harvest Apple wine did get opened, and shared, on Saturday afternoon. Yes, I shared it with that same brave friend who now says she knows better than to run off with me when I call and ask, "Hey, ya feel like goin' for a ride?"
All's swell that ends swell. As it turned out, the swelling went down overnight. The screw back squiggly ends respectfully retreated into my nose chamber where they are out of view range. The pink stud is really tiny. Maybe a little too tiny for my taste. You can hardly see it. I’m definitely going to change it, but not for at least three more weeks. I’m only willing to subject myself to pain and stupidity to a point.
You know what the moral of the story is, don’t you?
Only pluck your eyebrows when you are sure the piercing salon is open.
February 19, 2009
Good for you
Good for you
I know it’s hard
To put yourself
So I do
Keep your head up
And on straight.
When you invite
You’ve got to expect
The rain and the clouds,
And you've got to believe
In the rainbow
That will follow.
February 18, 2009
Fogged, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 7
When you’ve been on the same road for so long, you sort of expect that you know what to expect. You get used to feeling the dips and turns in the road. You know where to anticipate ice and blowing snow. You notice when someone plants a tree or adds a fence.
After 9 years of driving the same road, mostly 5 days a week, I expected to know where I was going. So, Wednesday morning’s fog was annoying, but I felt competent . Until, I had to pass up a usual turn. That’s when I ran into trouble. I wasn’t going too fast, it was just that I had a tailgater. Rather than be rear-ended by the short-sighted follower, I passed the turn and started looking for some place to turn around.
The fog got thicker. I wasn’t at all familiar the roads or the driveways past that turn. I couldn’t see them until I was right up on them. Again, because of the tailgater, I kept having to pass up opportunities. I decided to out smart the problem. I flipped on my blinker, and slowed to 5 mph. When I saw an opportunity to pull into a well-marked drive I took it. Yeah, it was about 3 minutes after I engaged the signal. Probably really annoyed the bumper hugger behind me, but at least we weren’t in danger.
Heading back was just as scary. Still not sure where I was, I woke up my copilot to ask for help. We both saw the four letter street sign at the same time. Still didn’t feel quite right, but I had already stopped expecting things to look the same in the cloud soup. We were back on track; at least I thought we were.
At a surprising stop sign, we found ourselves perpendicular to Moon Road. Ok, the good news was, we were back at Moon. The bad news was that by this time, I was completely disoriented. Left or Right? Left or Right? Finally, I took a van poll. Left.
Left turned out to be the right choice. Would I have sat there all day if I hadn’t asked for help? If I were alone, perhaps, I’d have sat a bit longer. But others were with me. Eventually, someone would have demanded that I pick a direction.
Pick a direction; pick a direction. Ok, ok. I get it. I’m supposed to pick a direction. I’m just not ready, yet. Suppose the one I choose is worse than where I’ve been standing still? Things can get worse, and it seems they have been, anyway. So, I know standing isn’t the right answer, either. It’d be ok with me if my life’s fog just rolled away leaving me a clear familiar path. But, I know that’s not likely, either.
"Look here, you people who say, 'Today or tomorrow we are going to such and such a town, stay there a year, and open up a profitable business.' How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow? For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone. What you ought to say is, 'If the Lord wants us to, we shall live and do this or that.' James 4:13-16, TLB
In this issue: Fog, Vision Loss, Achieving Goals, Books to Read
Now published: Lugging It, Slidell, LA, October 2008 & Valentine's Day, Humor, That's Random.
February 16, 2009
Valentine's Day, Taxes & Piercing
I finally figured out what fabulous young widows should do on Valentine’s Day.
My Godiva Blackberry Caramel Dark Chocolate Promise wrapper advised me to, "Be Your Own Valentine."
So, I did my taxes.
And, got my nose pierced.
The truth is I've thought about it for a while. At least 5 years for sure, probably more like 20 years off and on.
I’ve found myself at a stage in my life where nothing I do will have any direct long lasting negative effect on anyone, which is interesting.
Didn't hurt much, at all. At least, not any more than getting stuck in your nose with a needle should hurt.
Actually, having my ears pierced at thirteen hurt way more and for a lot longer, about a week as I recall. My nose never turned red or swelled up, like my ears did. It was only sore for a few hours. My piercer was seriously impressed that I was willing to hold my own pinchers while he punched. No one had ever done that before.
Funnier still, we had a potluck at church yesterday. I sat right next to Pastor and with my fellow members of the outreach committee, and no one said a word. My coworker didn't even notice until about 10:00 am Monday morning. No one else seems to be too excited about it either, which is good. I guess it just looks normal on me. I knew it would.
I was responsible. I went to a licensed salon owned by a relative, and personally observed the piercer using all applicable sanitary precautions. Plus, I made sure I could take it out for my CAT scan scheduled at the end of March. Should be ok. I have a retainer stud to put in. It’s clear acrylic; a simple post and ball, which I partly picked because it seemed that it might be the best choice of nose-jewelry for when I next see my mother.
I had also thought long and hard about getting my eyebrow pierced, but since I already have old lady saggy eyelids I thought I might end up look a little too Deputy Dog-ish in a few years.
Now, I just need to dye my hair blue. Oh, wait … DONE THAT!
I was thinking that I might just go au naturale, however the auburn and grey will probably confuse people.
I truly am trying to be more conservative in my old age, you know.
February 10, 2009
Dear family and friends, and those few coworkers I’ve entrusted with this blog address:
Please note, so there is no mistake: I am not a social toileter.
Ok, except for that one time in Georgia (or maybe was it Alabama) that I was forced to use a public latrine without sectional doors. Unfortunately, I was seated in the second stall from the door, and felt compulsed to greet each new entry. Hi, hi, hi. No one in their right mind would have taken the first one. That would have required a more formal greeter protocol. I couldn’t have handled that level of multitasking.
Anyway, here are my rules for anti-social toileting:
Do not ask me questions through the bathroom door. I have multitasking issues.
Do not follow me into the bathroom to ask me a question. I will not stop and take the time to answer it because there was a reason I was headed in there in the first place.
Do not tell me random facts through the bathroom door. I can catch up on those anytime, and if your brain can’t hold it for 30 seconds it couldn’t have been that fascinating to begin with.
Do not tell me anything you believe could make me angry, because delaying my instinctive throttling response only escalates it.
Do not tell me anything that is going to scare the crap out of me.
Unless I’m constipated, then by all means, go ahead.
Do not ask if I am done yet, as that will only delay the process.
Do not attempt to pass the phone under the door, or even suggest to callers that I will speak to them when I am otherwise seriously occupied.
Do not open the door, throw the cat or dog in and say, “I’m leaving now,” or you’ll find yourself in that same spot later probably somewhere around 3:00 am when I interrupt your pleasant dreams by tossing a cat or a dog onto the bed with you, adding the déjà vu phrase, “I’m leaving now.”
Do not talk on your cell phone in a public bathroom. I either get stage fright, or I’m reluctant to flush for fear of offending your caller.
Do not let your children peer under the divider at me, no matter how interesting my shoes are.
Do not discuss the movie’s details or the ending, because chances are I’m there to see that film. Or you can take that risk of being next in line after I remove the last roll of toilet paper from that stall. I love surprise endings.
Do not engage in any activity that will cause stoppage, because stoppage leads to bladder infections, which tend to make me really cranky. Yeah, ok, "crankier"...whatever.
February 09, 2009
Full Circle, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 6
So, it’s Monday morning, and I’m on the back-roads commute.
Not a full van this morning, only 5 of out 7, and 4 out of those 5 are asleep.
I’m not one of them. I’m driving and thinking and worrying and wondering.
Passing the first open farm field on Ridge something bright catches me off guard.
It’s a crisp full white moon floating in between darkly ghost-grey clouds.
I can’t see a single star, but there’s that moon clear as anything;
circled by a rainbow frame of the palest of red, orange, yellow,
and the subtlest greens and blues.
And, I realize, I’ve seen this before. But, never recognized it for what it was.
Full circle moon rainbows.
Now, I wonder what else I might have missed in my full circle spinning,
Knowing I need to take a step; any step, in any direction,
If I am going to move from this grey space
To a better heart place, and back amongst life’s circles
Continually reminded of the straightforward truth:
“I have set my rainbow in the cloud,
and it shall be a sign of the covenant
between Me and earth.”
In this issue: Biblical Rainbows, Prisms
Now Published: Slidell, LA October 2008, You're IT & Humor, That's Rando, Social Toileting
February 06, 2009
Not an option
is not an option.
In order to fall apart
I require that someone
be within an arm’s length
to pick up my pieces
and since at the moment
there is no one around
I just keep going.
So keep on
if you get
you just may
February 03, 2009
Snow Rainbow, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 5
I saw my very first snow rainbow! Sometimes, it pays to have to wait.
At first it was barely visible, peeking between clouds, the edge just inside the window frame of my dentist’s office chair.
I scooted down chair for a longer, better view and was treated to bigger, brightening hues.
Eventually, the clouds moved on and took my rainbow with them.
Yeah, it crossed my mind… you know, that saying? “It takes both the sun and the clouds to make a beautiful rainbow.”
Lately, I feel a bit like bad luck Schleprock, with clouds always following me around, right?
In any case, even if it seems that all I ever bring to the party is clouds, there is still a chance that someday, given the right circumstances, I’ll run into a bit of sun, and make a rainbow, too.
It’s always about the chemistry, isn’t it?
In this issue: Reducing Stress by Recording and Rewarding, Calcium & Vitamin D, Now Posted: Aldersgate Consecration & Toothsome
A conversation with an acquaintance led to research on a recurrent dream. Since I’ve been about 8 years old, I’ve been having the same dream. Well, it can defined as more of a nightmare, actually. In my nightmare, I dream I am just waking up and notice that my left eye tooth is loose. I decide to test the give by using my tongue to wiggle it. It doesn’t wiggle, but falls out, which causes the chain reaction of all my top teeth falling out. As they hit the lower teeth, those also break and fall out. I am left with a mouthful of teeth, trying not to gag. If know if I throw up, I will have to retrieve the teeth from amongst the vomit in the toilet, wash them off and take them with me to a dentist to have put back in. (Not possible, I know, but this is a nightmare.) This is when I usually wake up, with goose pimples on my arms and sweat on my brow. And, yes, the first thing I do is check the solidity of my teeth.
So, it seems this is not an uncommon dream. Except for the vomiting part, it’s addressed on nearly every dream analysis web site I found. What does it mean? Much like everything else in life, that depends on who you ask. Unknowns are way open to interpretation, so some of the theories were surprising, some were interesting, some were… well, logical.
Not in any particular order, the basic theories are:
1. Anxiety: about appearance, age, respect, transitions in life, revealing yourself
2. Power: situations out of our control, fear of failure
3. Change: fear of involuntary change such as loss of a job or love
4. Abandonment: being left behind, or having to leave something or someone behind
a.Greek: indicates a family member or close friend is sick or near death
b. Chinese: indicates you have been telling lies
c. Tooth Fairy syndrome: symbolizes money
And finally my favorite of all dream theories
6. Biological: subconscious toothache, need to see a dentist.
Hmm. Go figure.