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Wanting to see pictures brings on all sorts of grief

September 13, 2009
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

All I wanted was to see Dawn's pictures. Photos from her weekend in the Appalachian Mountains.

Just open this link, it said, or words to that effect.

I love Dawn enough to do that, and I don't open links for just anybody. Dawn, you'll remember, wrote for The Messenger, first as an area reporter, then cops and court, then entertainment. She quit more than a year ago to join the Army.

Yes, the Army.

She got to see firsthand what it was like to be the old woman on the floor. She not yet 36, but in Army time, that's ancient for a new recruit. But, that's not the deal. The deal is, she sent me pictures of her mountain excursion, and I wanted to see them. I love looking at pictures.

But, I couldn't see those pictures unless I gave them my name, e-mail address and a password. Son-of-a-gun, I didn't find the pictures, but I'm now a Facebook person. For the love of stupidity, anyway.

Had I not been so anxious to see what Dawn saw, I might have realized what I was doing. Now I'm signed up for something I swore to myself would never open on my computer. I just got that thing cleaned up and working faster and now it's littered with Facebook messages from tons of people.

I enjoy hearing from them, but I hear - see, really - only what shows up of its own volition. I cannot figure out where to go or what to punch to get to what they call my wallpaper.

The last wallpaper I remember was the stuff my sister, Suzie, and I helped Charlotte Willwerth put in her dining room. I was about 12 at the time, which makes that half a century ago. Half a century is a long time.

Even longer when in that time I've been expected to be smart about computers and all they offer.

I once got 100 percent on a social studies test in ninth grade. I felt smart. In college, I cried when I saw my D for a semester of economics. I felt smart then, too, and was forever grateful to have passed. Other things in college seemed much more important than an 8 a.m. economics class.

I'm of the belief that night people - and I am one - have no business studying business that early in the morning. In fact, night people have no business being awake at that time of the morning.

The first night I found myself a new Facebookian, I rolled around cyberspace until way too late in the a.m.

Oh, I tried so hard to feel smart, even the economics D smart would do. But nothing. I could find nothing I wanted and was totally surprised every time someone new popped up in front of me.

Sometimes I even saw their faces.

My machine asked me for a photo. I tried, but when I punched a button to get one from my computer, the weirdest little box came up, completely blowing my concentration. I backed out of everything and wanted to quit the system, but it wouldn't let me.

I could play FreeCell solitaire, however, so I did - played it until my stress level went way down. Then I hit the button that shut down the computer the bad way, said a naughty word or two, shut the door of the computer cabinet and went to bed.

Where I dreamed of wallpaper all night.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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