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Leila S. Case: Stay calm; don’t panic

My first thought is “don’t panic.” I suddenly realize the e-mail remains in the send box and the Internet is down. The four tiny green lights on the router are not blinking, but stare at me like deer in headlights.
“Keep calm,” I say. “Figure out the problem by yourself. You can do it. Be positive. Don’t think the worse.” I can’t help being an obsessive worrier. Besides a deadline is fast approaching.
I absolutely know nothing about Internet technology. Nothing. Except how to use the different programs from Excel to Word to Adobe and all those things listed under programs. Well, perhaps not Power Point. Weird that today’s toddlers even know more about electronic technology than people of my generation. The reason is they were born with an iPhone in one hand and an iPad in the other and by the time they’re five they can take apart the entire hard drive and assembly it again.
Anyhow, my brain doesn’t think in that direction. Or in math either. I can’t add two and two. Where my grandchildren get their proficiency in mathematics is beyond me. I can add bridge scores and I do rather well at figuring out the money rate exchange from dollars to French francs or English pounds. Only while shopping or paying a restaurant tab though. That is easy in any language but not computer talk. I am still in kindergarten when it comes to digital technology even in the early days when this newspaper began using it more than 20 years ago.
When the paper’s design went totally digital in 1993, you either learned the system or walked. So needing a job, I quickly learned.
Now my office is at home and there is no one in the house to yell for “help” when the computer doesn’t work. And don’t call Mark. He’s out of town. So when I was confronted recently with a problem I settled down and tried to remember what my technology guru friend Jimbo and the ATT guy on the phone told me when I couldn’t connect to the Internet.
Look in the back of the hard drive. Unplug the top cord. Hold your breath 10 seconds. Reconnect the cord. I looked at the green lights. Nothing. So, I unplugged the second thing in the lineup, don’t ask me what it is, and reconnected. The tiny green lights were dark except for one. Oh, my land. “What do I do”, I thought, when suddenly they wink and blink, one by one, and boom! I am back in cyberspace! I even changed the ink cartridges in the printer.
I have a new job title. ATT technology engineer! Do you think they would hire me?
Out and about: A week from today, the Friends of the Rylander present its annual gala celebration at the historic Rylander Theatre, bringing back by popular demand “The Elton John Tribute” accompanied by the full power of the Rocket Band. The curtain rises at 8 p.m. and if you have an earlier commitment you can do both and go “on to the next party!” Don’t miss this show stopper. Tickets are available at the box office 229-931-0001 or online at www.rylander.org. Wes and Deanna Beamon were recently in Sacramento, California, where Wes, a senior law student at Mercer University, Macon, and his team represented Mercer in the National Ethics Mock Trial Competition and with successful results. They also enjoyed touring Old Town and dining at some good restaurants. The past week brought beautiful weather and pleasant events, including the Art Council’s Jazz Night, a splendid evening filled with good music performed by the GSW Jazz Band that put Ralph and Nancy on the dance floor, delicious food as well as beautiful artwork by local artists and in all media. The Dogwood Antique Show  and Sale in Leslie was fun — we enjoyed chatting with friends we don’t often see, including Malcolm and Ann Perry and their daughter Andrea Powell. Incidentally, have you noticed the oversized concrete lions that once sat on either side of the front steps at Andrea and Mike Powell’s home on Taylor Street have a new home at the John and Lynn Cook farm in Cobb, where you can wave to them when traveling U.S. 280 East to the rivah? And Dale Undercofler recently returned from a two-week vacation in Peru that sounds glorious. She visited Lima and the immediate area and Iquitos where she went into the jungle that she described as fascinating and interesting. Dale liked Peru so much she plans to return next year. Lori and Andy Shiver’s recent overnight guests were Ray Keyrouse and his wife Sandy of Arizona, and our Easter weekend guests are daughter Margaret and her pet “Miss Penny” of Acworth.

Leila S. Case lives in Americus.