Friday, March 22, 2013

HELPING THE HELP DESK
I have had the privilege lately to periodically man the help desk on HandmadeArtists.com.  I've had a great time doing this.  But what I've learned in the process is so interesting.  What I've learned from being on the other side is that we can inadvertently be the cause of our own frustration.

All of us, at one time or another, have needed to call, text or email technical support.  Many of us, me included, have become frustrated in this process.  Personally, I get so impatient with the support person when I feel that my intelligence is being insulted.  "Quit asking me these rudimentary questions," I think.  "I'm not a moron with no computer skills," I grumble.  Just tell me how to fix this!

Now on the other side of the screen...  I have no way of knowing what your computer skills are, or what transpired to get you to the place you are now.  I find myself asking a lot of questions to get to the bottom of the issue before I can effectively resolve it.  There's information I need before I can really be helpful.

So I've learned that when I need help in the future, my initial contact will include lots of information instead of just the current question.  I'll be sure to give the details of what led up to the point where I got stuck.  That way, the person on the other end, who is not a mind reader, will be in a much better position to help me and get me on my way.

Monday, March 11, 2013

OUR KIDS

I read an article in the news today about Michelle Obama and a keynote address she gave regarding childhood obesity.  She noted that one in three kids in the US today is obese, and that another third are overweight.  "Hmmmmmmmm," I thought.  That means that only a third of our kids are a good weight.

I set out to verify her numbers and was able to do so.  The fact that only a third of our children are a healthy weight is something I find incredibly scary.

When I was a kid, black and white TV was a new thing that wasn't even in every household.  We rode bikes; we built forts in vacant lots or the woods; we played tag and hide-and-go-seek.  We were always outside, because if we were indoors, Mom would find something for us to do, usually some sort of cleaning the house.  Fat kids were virtually non-existent when I was a kid.

When I raised my own kids, we were poor...  not the dirt-poor, live in a cardboard box poor, but the kind of poor where we had to make sure that every penny was not wasted.  We ate a ton of produce, because it was the cheapest department, as a whole, in the grocery store, and lots of chicken because it was way less expensive than beef.  We had a TV, but our house rules were that it didn't come on until after dinner.  Our house rules were pretty much the same as our neighbors.  So our kids were outside, too.

Although I live in a neighborhood where we are the exception (an older couple), I rarely see kids outside playing, even though I know that houses around us all have kids.  And after reading this news article, I think it's sad that today's kids don't go out and play the way the kids of just one generation ago did.

A lot of people are resistant to something if either Obama says it.  But setting our kids up for a lifelong weight struggle is certainly not a good idea.  So what are we going to do about it?    

Monday, March 4, 2013

LIFE GOES ON

I have been so quiet!  It's not that I have nothing to say; it's more that I have no time to say it!  There's a whole new section in my shop full of colorful, fashionable ruffle scarves, including ones sized for girls - why should the ladies have all the fun!  I still work full time.  I'm the Artist Coordinator and Chair of two regional arts festivals, one of which has an application deadline next week.  I finished a new quilt.  And our taxes are done (whew!).

To those of you following my blog, thank you.  I haven't abandoned it or you.  I just need to rearrange my life so that there's something here to follow!