Random 5 for January 5 – Instructions, shipping, robins, Pinterest, charging cords

Source: pinterest

Thank goodness for YouTube – I bought a technical gadget. It came with a small (2” x 3”) piece of paper that said “download app xxxx” in 87 different languages. That’s all. No other instructions. I downloaded the app and followed the non-intuitive instructions. I fidgeted for a couple of hours. Shazzam! I remembered YouTube! I went there and watched a 15 minute video on how to set up my gadget. Easy peasy. It also explained what it will and won’t do. Funny how the advertisements always tell you something but leave out the critical fact that you have to be within 15 foot of your cell or something similar. ‘splain to me Lucy why the company doesn’t post its own videos? They also kept sending me emails pleading not to return it but to contact their customer service if I had issues. Ha! When you go there and type in a question you get a list of FAQs to choose from. Nothing I want to know was ever asked before! I should be a consultant to techie companies on customer service for the non-intuitive masses.

On a roll here – The other thing that gets me torqued up is “free shipping on $50 (or whatever amount).” I wanted to buy an item that was marked $49.99. Since it was under $50 they wanted $7 for shipping. I would have gladly given them the extra penny to qualify for free shipping. No, I didn’t buy it. It’s not so much that I’m cheap but it was the concept of pricing something a penny under that annoyed me.

Moving to the bright side – Every year sometime in late fall to early winter a flock of robins comes to eat all our holly berries. We have trees all over the yard but three are in front of the office windows. I often get to see this while I’m on my computer. It’s a large flock of 30 to 50 birds and the berries are gone within five minutes. It’s pretty awesome. My cats think so too.

Pinterest – I don’t use Pinterest except to collect haircuts that I like. I have about 15 saved and they all look similar. They are layered bobs on the shorter side. Some are a little longer and some are wavy but all are the same basic cut. There was a new picture with the same cut but the woman was old looking. That’s when I realized I didn’t need a new haircut, I need a new face!

Do charging cables go bad? – One of my charging cables (the one at the most convenient location for my Kindle) has gotten so slow that it doesn’t charge to 100% overnight. I had no idea that they were like eggs or milk with an expiration. So noted!

So how was your week?

79 thoughts on “Random 5 for January 5 – Instructions, shipping, robins, Pinterest, charging cords

  1. I might take a tip from you and try YouTube to solve all my new Windows 10 problems. And yes, charging cables can go bad, but if the Kindle is charging, but slowly, it is more likely the battery (or whatever) inside the reader that is breaking down.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate, You-tube is my constant teacher, too, on everything! Huge lol on needing a new face! I doubt it! Still funny. Re: this week. Great! A future post will explain my absence. I am enjoying the reading, and always your wit, Kate!


  3. Ha ha – I am so with you on the first two items – and you/I discussed the smartphones and if you were supposed to use a smartphone app and I have a flip phone, well I’d be up a creek wouldn’t I? I love YouTube and have used it a lot over the years for tutorials, even for work. When I have had an issue or a question about something in a Word document, it is quicker to Google YouTube to find my answer and I always have had success. For the camera, I hate to read the manual and watching a video is so much easier for me. I learned in five minutes what the camera manual and the “Dummies how-to book” could not get through my noggin.

    I hate when they pull the one penny less than free shipping too and of course tax does not count as pushing it over the limit. Grrr. And companies wonder why Amazon is ruling the online world these days.

    I have a holly bush and I forget what kind, but it doesn’t have berries every year (and now no berries). When we had the Polar Vortex of the Winter of 2013-2014, I lost many bushes, including the holly which was/is my front garden. I planted all the bushes and ornamental tree in 1985 and felt sick about it as I could not buy a holly bush that large to replace it and could not cut the other bushes down to that height as they’d be too much stem and out of proportion. I cut it almost to the ground, intending to have my handyman use an axe to get the remainder and yank it from the ground. In the meantime, on a lark, I poured a lot of Miracid and Holly-tone on it thinking “what could it hurt?” It took a while, and it looked puny and sad, but it is now the same height as before, but the berries never came back. The robins and sparrows feast on the pyracantha berries at the side of the house, but I can’t see them there.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I have a hardy holly, and I one time had a book where I kept all the info from my plants/bushes in it – maybe it’s in the garage. Its name has “Blue” in it, but don’t know if it is a “Blue Girl” or “Blue Boy” – there are male and female holly plants.

        Liked by 1 person

            • Yay! Pink balloons! I only have one male holly and it’s a winter holly that loses its leaves. The landscaper said that I didn’t need a male as there were so many in my neighborhood. I have China Girl hollies in the front and Nellie Stevens (a very large holly tree) in the side and back.

              Liked by 1 person

              • That is interesting and I didn’t know they lose their leaves. I only had the one type. The nursery had some great owners who were knowledgeable and helped us pick the bushes and our ornamental tree we had in the center of the front garden after I ripped out what my father had planted there as everything was overgrown, especially the tree which grew in front of the window and looked bad. I only kept the area and did not enlarge it at all and tried to keep everything small and in proportion. I have only one holly but it has rallied back and is now healthy and has got leaves which are in better shape with no mars on them, very shiny, waxy and more pliable. I listened to a garden show at that time and he said it was the long Polar Vortex had robbed plants and bushes of moisture for the roots, even if you deep watered in the Fall. In the Spring I had lost clematis bushes, butterfly bushes and a cottoneaster in the backyard and the holly (or so I thought) in the front. I lost a lot of perennials … coneflowers, daisies and black-eyed susans and I replenished none of them as I was so disgusted.

                What I did with my holly for years is every Christmas, I had a cute snowman mug – it was the top snowball so the cup was rounded and he had a hat on top. I bought floral foam and put a piece in the mug and soaked it a few days then went and got some snips of holly and some very small pine boughs from a neighbor’s tree and plunged them into the floral foam and stopped at the nursery and got a few red and white mini-carns and a Christmas pick. Voila – instant cheer. I did that every year and the arrangement lasted quite a while. Might be fun for you to try if the cats don’t get sick from eating the berries.

                Liked by 1 person

  4. The variety of instructional information on YouTube is always astounding.
    But it seems if you buy something from a company, it would be logical that the company offer instructions (not just the dumb Q&A’s) First they stop the printed instructions, now you have to download what is usually useless stuff instead of offering a video how-to…they probably consider not posting a video charity work as there seems to be an endless stream of people willing to create videos – with the dream of becoming a social media influencer or internet star? Yes, it’s a kindness from the company HAHA

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My granddaughters are the ones who have encouraged me to look at YouTube for further instruction on so many things. I wouldn’t have thought of it on my own, I don’t think, but you’re right to remind that it’s a very handy tutorial. My niece taught herself to knit with YouTube, and now knits beautifully, and my brother and sister-in-law are learning to play the ukulele with some instructor that apparently is very popular. It’s a whole new world with so many options for learning new skills or figuring out our many devices!

    I have a Pinterest haircut board, too, but I’ve put up some beautiful cuts that I only wish I could carry off. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • There have been a few times that my hair stylist said a cut I liked wouldn’t work for me. As long as it’s layered, I can usually pull off a style although I won’t look as young as the picture! 🙂


  6. Yeah. Somebody like you should be a technical consultant to some of there companies. Either I’m awfully stupid, or their tech support awful.

    It seems like we have more large birds around this winter than I’m used to seeing. Maybe I’m just more aware of them for some reason.

    That Pinterest photo is lovely. I wish I had waves like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I avoid buying things that I have to pay shipping for. I was eyeing a sweater (which is still stalking me on the internet) but couldn’t justify its already pricey price after adding shipping. That 1 cent cut-off sounds kind-of mean. Bah.

    I love YouTube too! I imagine there are some dark corners, just like with all social media, but the videos I watch are usually like taking a bunch of free classes (no shipping!).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think the fast charging cables go bad. I just had one stop working. It seems non-intuitive. It’s just a wire right? As long as the wire is whole, it should work. I’m obviously missing some part of the equation.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Apart from WordPress, I think YouTube is the most beneficial form of social media available. It’s helped me with so many computer issues, household fix-its, etc. I’d like to scratch this past week off the calendar. I’m coming out of the worst flu I’ve ever had in my 54 years…it was misery. I collapsed coming out of the bathroom New Years Eve morning and remained in bed for the next three days. So, is it really 2020? 🙂 Go Eagles!


  10. How awesome to have that many robins visit your garden! We have a family of 6 blackbirds and four fieldfares sometimes. I love to watch them, but we had to dismantle our birdfeeder thanks to Ratilda. Hubby said he might put it back up again though.
    Happy New Year Kate if I haven’t wished you such already. So far we have had 5 good days in a row.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I overheat when I see an offer of “absolutely free” …. but you pay for shipping (which is usually exorbitant for the item). According to my knowledge of English, “Free” means it costs nothing! Why is that concept lost here? Why can’t they say up front … “No charge for the item, but there is an inflated freight charge which you have to cover”?

    We have a sign near us that says “No public access” and underneath it “Public Trail”. Hmmmm! I have to think about that one …. but of course, that is the problem. Nobody is thinking anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I used YouTube to figure out how to fix my double hung window. Very handy indeed.

    My older brother has apparently decided YouTube is so effective he’s abdicated his fatherly responsibility of having “the talk” and expects his son to learn about sex from YouTube.

    I think I’m not going that far.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds worthy of a blog post. We have resorted to using it for a lot of stuff. I’m waiting for the instructions in new things to say “Please refer to YouTube for details on usage.” (It will be in 87 languages of course.)


  13. I love your five! We were gone when son $ and Rose wanted to use a can opener. We had a weird one, and they went to You Tube to find how to use it. Smart!

    I agree with you about the free shipping scam. I have done the same thing — walked away in disgust. As to birds eating berries, I have yet to catch sight of the flock that strips berries at the edge of the property. I would love to see that activity!

    How I laughed that you don’t need a new haircut, just a new face! I didn’t see that coming at all. The surprise factor magnified everything. I’m going to tell your story to David and John. They will find it as amusing as I did if I tell it right.

    Thanks for the tip about charging cables reaching old age. Duly noted!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank goodness for YouTube. It saved me when one of our smoke alarms misbehaved while SSNS was in Alaska this past summer. And I have actually learned a tiny and I mean tiny bit of CSS on a YouTube tutorial. Enough to change the color of the title on my blog with the customizer. Of course I paid to move up to the Premium plan, fortunately I had a credit and they gave me a coupon. I would like to find someBODY that would teach me some CSS here in my neighborhood for my “not blog.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve noticed that most gadgets don’t come with instruction manuals anymore. “Download online” is the norm. Like you, YouTube and google are my best friends, Kate.
    I’ve added free shipping to my Etsy shop – with a minimum purchase. It seems to have actually helped my sales, but many people bypass that by spending less and paying the shipping. Shipping costs are outrageous! I charge the bare minimum and eat the cost of packing and the trip to the PO. I just discovered “buy online, pick up at store” with free shipping. No minimum required. I’ve taken advantage of it with Old Navy and JoAnns.
    I’m not sure if charging cords go bad. Let’s google it! Ha!
    Have a great week! ~Elle

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t know how companies eat the cost of shipping but I expect we pay for it in the product cost. Much harder for small businesses. I do the local pickup when I can. My item was only a penny under and there wasn’t anything else I could add that was less than another $49.99.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I bet the cats love the robins visiting to eat up your berries!! And don’t get me started on instructions from tech companies. We all need a ten year old around to help us with these things.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Amen on that 10-year-old. When my step daughter comes in from Denver she works with my husband on his cell. She set up a lot of stuff for him. She’s not young (40s) but it takes her a minute and for us it takes more than that to find the right YouTube!

      Liked by 1 person

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