Useless-Time Sucks-Aggravation by Cher’ley


This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Seems,  every time I find something I really like, it gets discontinued. There have been several programs over the years that I used a lot and then they were no more. Remember the sheep?

Image result for computer monitor sheep?

I want you to know I spent a half hour trying to download a version of the Scmpoo Sheep. I was unsuccessful. Yesterday I was trying to find a Google Calendar that would work on my sidebar. I used to have Google Desktop, and I loved it, but of course, it was discontinued—I imagine it’s at the sheep farm where retired computer programs and games go. I spent a couple of hours trying to find a sidebar that would have a notepad and a calendar. I wanted them both to stay open when I was working on other things on the internet.

Then what happens, I end up downloading all these zip file openers, and download managers that I don’t need, so I have to waste more time taking them back off.

Why-O-Why can’t you just get what you ask for or get a no way answer? What would you rather get, a stumbling through of all kinds of programs that unrelated to what you are searching for or a plain old No-No Way Jack-Nope-Not Possible-Thanks, but no thanks? Technology Woes and Time Sucks.

And why would you ask about sheep and your search gives you wild and crazy zig-zags? How are they related?

Family Tree Maker, I bought the original, the Family Tree Maker II and then III, IV, and V. Now it’s  useless. I’m hoping I can get my family tree information which I saved on a CD (before DVDs), to transfer to my computer so that I might update it someway. I gave a couple of feeble attempts and didn’t get anywhere, so I know this is going to be a major time suck.

I did find a program that would allow me to upload my videos from my Camcorder after the original program discontinued. It took me a while, but at least I can still use the recorder. I figured out a workaround for my very expensive digital camera that is only a few years old because that program discontinued too.
Records, 8 track tapes, cassette tapes, micro cassette tapes, VHS tapes, CD’s, DVD’s, Flash Drives, External Hard Drives, Cloud Storage, and so it goes. I’m not sure if there is something newer, perhaps you know.

Normally I try to find solutions to the Woes, but in this case, I think the solution is, don’t try to bring the past back. What’s gone is gone. I even donated things from my garage yesterday, a perfectly good microwave, because I updated to a built in one, my TIVO, my Qualcomm communication system, a GPS, and some other old electronics. Maybe some Geek can revive these expensive electronics that have been discontinued or replaced by newer models.

How many old cell phones do you have lying around?Magellan Blazer12 GPS Receiver.                                              How about Wireless headsets? What programs did you love that are no more? Do you spend a lot of time trying to find comparable programs? 

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. Her newest book is an Advanced Coloring Book and she has one that is freshly published with 11 other authors.

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

Four Moons and Fair Ladies Four Moons and Fair Maidens

Memories from Maple Street U.S.A: Pawprints on My Heartlink coming soon

Wonders of Water      Advanced Coloring Book

And please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE

Make a Connection

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

We are having internet trouble. It started last week. One evening the internet just stopped working. It was right in the middle of kid TV time (they were watching Netflix) and I am positive you could hear the kid’s cries of dismay from a state away.

After verifying that it was a service provider problem and not a “dog knocked the cord out of the box” problem I reluctantly called our provider. I am sure I am not the only one who really, really-I mean really doesn’t like calling a company for technical service.

The irony in this situation is I have paperless billing so I really needed to go online to find the provider’s telephone number. Thank goodness for internet capable phones!

While the service was down we all experienced the “boy I’d like to *_____* insert internet based thing, only to remember Hey! We don’t have service.file3881264104997

I remember using dial up, back then you couldn’t talk on the phone and be surfing online at the same time. Now, I can’t believe how ubiquitous the internet is, I can watch TV, talk on the phone and surf the internet all at the same time (and sometimes from the same device).

I do all my writing research online. In fact, without internet I can’t do anything work-at least from home-related, as all my files are in the cloud, same with the kids. Their school requires them to use Google Drive for school-based projects.

After the obligatory stop in on-hold purgatory, I was transferred to technical services. To my surprise, it wasn’t a human being but an interactive computer program.

Yes, it was cool and yes, it meant I didn’t have to actually talk to anybody but it made me realize that this particular problem happens so much that they can automate the process to fix it. This is probably not a glowing endorsement for the internet provider. What was nice is the robot didn’t have tone-oh you know the tone all help desk representatives get-the one that says “are you sure it’s plugged in/turned on….really, really sure?

Naturally, the call only solved my problem temporarily. The connection remains spotty so I will have to call again. Meanwhile, my son put himself in charge of monitoring the modem. He shouts out “It’s ON” when the online light comes on and then everyone races to get their internet related work done.

I am avoiding calling the service provider, because now I know the robot won’t be able to help me this time. I just know the service reps first question will be “is the cord connected”.

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My Pants Will Say What?

by Neva Bodin

Recently I received a magazine in the mail know105182105411111CDPn as Website Compass. It is touted as “The World’s #1 Internet Magazine.” And it’s scary!

It says, in the future, my toaster will be able to communicate with my refrigerator, which will then tell its secrets to my smart phone. So far, I am not smart enough for a smart phone, and I’m not sure I want to invite one over if it’s going to share all my secrets! I bet it doesn’t stop by sharing with just the refrigerator!



The article,  Smart Revolution, page 2, says “And that’s just the beginning. Some researchers predict that by 2020 there will be 50 billion connected objects—about seven times more than people on the planet.”

I’m beginning to believe we don’t need to worry about revolutions between humans, but revolutions between our appliances! Perhaps that’s fodder for a new sci-fi story. Only it won’t be sci-fi.

Connecting all things virtually is termed “the Internet of Things, (IoT).” People will be able to interact with objects “in helpful ways,” the article contends. My refrigerator will be able to phone me at work and tell me what to pick up on the way home. As if I don’t have enough interruptions!

Benefits touted for the IoT are no more passwords, messages telling me when air quality is poor, sewer information, (like when it’s going to back up maybe? I hope it leaves out the details), advance information about car crashes to emergency responders, pill bottles that will flash me (okay, light up) when I forget my pill, and buildings that will warn me to leave if an earthquake is happening. Will there be no peace?

And who’s going to pay for this technology? Not only will I have to support myself, but a bunch of clamoring inanimate objects who will no doubt have attitudes!

They even predict garbage cans and clothing will communicate problems. Actually, having the garbage can remind someone when it needs emptying sounds okay. But imagine shopping at Walmart, and the noise of multiple electronic voices screaming, “It’s too tight! Take me off! You’re busting my buttons!” breaks your concentration and competes with the instructions your refrigerator is giving you. I bet my tranquilizer pill bottle will be flashing, “Red Alert! Take one now!”

A subtitle in the article says, “Get Ready for Smart Everything.” Baby onesies will monitor my baby’s breathing, pulse, temperature and activity and send it to the doctor, distracting him or her too. My shirt will tell me my heart rate, my pants if I am moving; my jacket will light up, I don’t know why. Contacts will monitor blood sugar, glasses will film videos and send messages, (future romance novel—“her glasses took pictures of his biceps”), and homes will send their information to a cloud system. Some watches already monitor the wearer’s time in the sun and communicate with smart phones. Who needs a mother? Or a brain?

Since civilizations seem to cycle, do you suppose we’ve been this advanced before and that’s what started the caveman movement?


Make The World Go Away!

 This Post by L.Leander

Calgon Take Me Away…”  Remember that popular catchphrase?  It’s
a plea for time away from everything, the constant barrage of information and interaction that occurs in our lives on a daily basis.  The world has changed.  We are privy to information in a heartbeat on the Internet.   News stories splash across the screen.  We carry cell phones that link us to friends and families.  Television keeps us up-to-date on what’s happening in our world.

As authors we need information.  Ideas and research come from the most unlikely places.  But I wonder if it’s too much?  Do we place undue stress on ourselves by not taking a “time out?”

I became ill over the weekend with sniffles and a sore throat.  I had several things scheduled, not the least of which was a gathering of friends that only happens once a year.  Know what I did?  I called and emailed everyone.  I explained that “I am very sorry, but I am sick and I don’t want to run the risk of others catching it.”  Then I went to bed.

The support I got was amazing.  Friends emailed me on Facebook to let me know they were thinking of me.  A few called, but my beefy security guard (husband) told everyone I was sleeping.

I slept lots, and wrote when I felt like it.  I read books I’m reviewing for my blog.   Both my body and mind are thanking me for the rest.

Here are twelve things you could do to de-stress your life.

  • Get a manicure/pedicure (there’s nothing like being pampered).
  • Pick up a book.  Set fifteen minutes to read.
  • Pay it forward.  Do something nice for a fellow author.  It only takes a minute to re-tweet or like a Facebook page.
  • Meditate or pray.  Just a few minutes of deep breathing and quiet helps.
  • Take a day off – it may give you a new perspective on your writing.  My favorite is going to the ocean with my girlfriends.  We play cards, swim, eat and have fun.  I am always rejuvenated.
  • Shut off the electronics – give yourself a break from the computer.
  • Get out the Calgon and take a bath.  Don’t forget a neck pillow and some soothing music.
  • Take a nap.  A twenty-minute rest mid-afternoon does wonders.
  • Write about something different.
  • Take a walk.  Exercise ups your energy level.
  •  Engage in a hobby – I pick up the guitar
    and play for a while.
  • Play with your kids or grandkids.

Here is an interesting article on Killzone regarding stress relief for writers you may want to read.

Do you do other things to relax?  I’d like to hear about them!

L.Leander Blog 
L.Leander’s Reviews and Interviews

Watch the Video Trailer for INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders

Look for L.Leander in these places too!

L.Leander Books Facebook Page

L.Leander Website

L.Leander Amazon Author Page


Antennas Up

This post by

Frank Larnerd

“Where do you get your ideas?”

This is my favorite and least favorite question. On the one hand, I love to talk about the writers, films, and experiences that shape my stories. On the other hand, I usually find that what they’re really asking is, “where can I find ideas?”

For me, getting ideas is like finding mint condition print of London after Midnight.

In case you didn’t know, London after Midnight is one of the most sought after lost films in existence (or nonexistence). Filmed in 1927 and staring horror icon Lon Chaney, the film tells the tale of a vampire stalking the streets of Victorian London. The last known print was destroyed in a fire in 1967 and all that exists today are a few tantalizing stills of Chaney, dressed in tails and a top hat, sporting a mouthful of razor like teeth.

I’m always on the lookout for this movie. When my wife drags me to yard sales, I scour the tables, hoping to find this lost horror classic. Someday, maybe I will.

I find my inspiration much the same way. I scour, hunt, search, and explore. I examine all the hiding places and make sure not to overlook anything. My antennas are always up.

It’s simple really; you can’t find something, unless you’re looking for it. I’m always looking for ideas. I look while I’m driving to school. I’m hunting for them in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, while I push my buggy. I’m scouring the internet for them, surfing from one minor piece of trivia to the next.

The thing is you won’t know your next great story idea until you find it and you’ll never find it if you’re not looking for it. I’ve found ideas in the strangest places: wedged in-between song lyrics, passed back with change at the Speedway, and even just watching the sun set over foggy mountain tops.

Keep your antennas up and you will find your ideas too.


Frank Larnerd

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