Monday, October 27, 2008

How Many Army Wives Does it Take to Screw in a Lightbulb?

Technology waits for no man, and this weekend marked a new scientific breakthrough for me. For the couple of you following my little blog, you may note that there has been a layout change, and I've also learned to include photos in my posts. While these skills are certainly basic, for me they're actually pretty exciting. But, as ever, my quantum leap also brought with it the inevitable frustrations that made me want to throw a lamp through a window.
The Captain usually takes care of things like setting up the stereo system and fixing the computer when it unavoidably starts crashing every 4 months or so. So, when he's gone I like to steer clear of rocking the boat. If I can just keep the computer on an even keel, I figure I'm doing okay. But being a military spouse is about being independent, being able to fix problems yourself, even if they are what I like to call "Man-jobs". So, this weekend, I decided it was time to stop namby-pambying around and figure out how to personalize my blog a little.
It turns out that, for the few rudimentary changes I wanted to make, it was a pretty quick and easy process, but I only figured this out after about 2 hours of screaming at the screen and seriously considering just deleting the whole thing altogether when it looked a lot like my only other option was to live with a lime green background and neon pink script. It turns out that if you're bringing your layout in from elsewhere, it comes up as its own post and all you have to do to get rid of it is delete that post. Elementary stuff, people, but for the technologically illiterate (ie. ME), it took a little work and panic to figure that one out.
Once I'd surmounted this monstrous hurdle, I felt, as Firstborn would put it, invincible, and I moved on to another mechanical task that I'd usually leave to the Captain. This one wasn't so hard, but it did end up warranting the same anger-management breathing exercises as the computer job.
After spending the last year or so in a very dim living room, I splurged at Wal Mart and bought myself a set of 4 lamps. It was a good move, and I'm very pleased with the result, but it took a little while to get me there. First was the packaging. Upon opening the box, I discovered that all the pieces were individually wrapped in plastic and then taped inside a giant molded piece of styrofoam. Styrofoam itself was once considered a mark of technological progress. Now we know it simply as an environmentally destructive eyesore that kids love to break into tiny pieces and spread all over the house. But we use it anyway because we are too lazy to do anything else.
To make a long story short, by the time I had it all (or all the stuff that didn't crumble and magnetically attach itself to me) in a large garbage bag, I was swearing through gritted teeth. I got the lamps themselves together with little problem, found one piece missing, replaced it with a suitable substitute, realized I'd forgotten to buy bulbs, scoured the house and found a few, fumbled and broke the only 3-way bulb I could find in the tightest corner possible, swore some more while sweeping it up, and eventually ended up with 4 very nice-looking lamps and a living room that no longer has the atmosphere of a funeral parlour. Me: 1, Technology: 0.
So, while I'll probably never learn how to install a new video card in my computer (and why would I WANT to?!!), and I'll always grapple with lightbulbs and extension cords, I'll ride this high for a while and feel just a tad more capable, knowing deep down that I can handle the problems that come up in the Captain's absence.
That is, until the computer starts crashing again.

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