Saturday, January 17, 2009

Buying a computer...

I’m in that generation where computers hadn’t been developed and had to learn after l felt too old to attend school. This reminds me of my first encounter with these fantastic home Pcs.
You (sort of!) have to be old enough to remember Abbott and Costello, and too old to REALLY understand computers, to fully appreciate this. For those of us who sometimes get flustered by our computers, please read on... for those who don’t, you are too young anyway.

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, "Who's on first?" might have turned out something like this: scroll down to see the you-tube version.


ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one

COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see? when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?

COSTELLO: For my office?

COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?

COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
Costello: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?

ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real One.
COSTELLO: Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need!

ABBOTT:Real One.
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie, I also want to watch reels 2, 3 and 4. Can I watch them?

ABBOTT: Of? course.
COSTELLO: Great! With what?

ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?

ABBOTT: You click the blue "1".
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?

ABBOTT: The blue? "1".
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue w?

ABBOTT: The blue "1" is Real One and the blue "W" is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there are three words in "office for windows"!

ABBOTT: No, just one But it's the most popular Word in the world.

ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other Words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there.
COSTELLO: And that word is real one?

ABBOTT: Real One has nothing to do with Word. Real One isn't even part of Office.
COSTELLO: STOP! Don't start that again. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you? have?

ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO:? What's bundled with my computer?

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on "START".......

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Starbucks Challenged

To me coffee is coffee as I usually don’t care for the stuff. I only love the smell, because the first time I ever tasted it, that person, gave it to me black. I tasted it and it reminded me of the awful bitter medicine that I had to take as a child in China and I never accepted it again until I ate some over sweetened cake and drank it to neutralize the sweetness.

I have never tried Frappucino or Cappuccino and I don't think I even have them spelled correctly. Just give me some regular old coffee that smells good and I'm content. I don't need anything with stuff on top, or anything that has to be mixed in a blender, but for sure I have to put in plenty of cream and sugar. My friends and family call it cream with a little coffee.

One day when I got in line at Starbucks before a meeting, a young man was in front of me and he ordered something like a "Starbucks moccha latte iced with a double shot with cream whipped shaken not stirred." He said it so fast I didn't quite make out exactly what he wanted but the smiling woman taking his order didn't miss a beat. She put the concoction together in no time.

My turn - "Good morning !!!! Welcome to Starbucks!!!! How can I help you?" "I want some coffee, please." I replied.

She paused and with a confused look on her face asked me if I wanted a "tall." Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure there is a good reason they don't call them small, medium and large, but that is my gauge for drinks. Asking me about tall and short and whatever comes in between is like talking to me about liters and kilometers. I'm just guessing at some sort of conversion into measurements that I didn‘t learn..

I usually frequent those places that gives you a cup and pours it in front of you or gives you a cup and let‘s you help yourself. "What kind of coffee do you want?" She said, the smile now absent.

"Just regular coffee," I said.

"We have a "Wild West Jamaican Dark Roasted Morning Wakeup Call or the Costa Rican Spring Break Restful Medium Blend," she said.

"Just give me the medium thing. A small one."

"OK, I need a short Costa Rican Spring Break Restful Medium," she said to no one in particular but a blond college age girl sprang into action. "That will be $6,359 and 23 cents. Do you want that on your credit card?"

Now I know why so many people get so excited when there is a Starbucks gift card in the gift exchange at Christmas.

They need to have special classes for ordering at Starbucks. How do all these people know what this stuff is? All I know is that you drink coffee and some people put sugar and/or cream in it.

I'm Starbucks challenged. I think I'm past learning how to order at Starbucks. So its back to the old haunts where you just ask for coffee. They don't give you options about the size of the thing. You just get a cup and the waitress comes around occasionally and asks if you want it warmed up. They put a chrome mini-pitcher on the table with cream in it and a glass sugar jar with the floppy lid from which it comes out. Its pretty simple and it usually only costs about a buck and a half. And I remember when it was only a nickel a cup and how everyone howled when it went up to a dime.

Incidentally, I notice that Starbucks ends with a buck in the plural form - "BUCKS." Aptly named I’d say.