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Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Just lately, I’ve really had something of a writer’s block.  It’s been so odd, just to have my inner voice fall suddenly silent.  My inner voice is never silent.  My inner voice rabbits on so much — every moment of every day — that sometimes it drives me a bit nuts.

But not at the moment.  Well, that’s not true — my inner voice is still chatting away to me, but when I sit down to write, it just shuts right up.  Doesn’t have anything to say, won’t talk.  I sit and look at the computer and… get up and wander off again.  Nothing there.

And yet, when I am away from the computer — cooking lunch, doing laundry, wiping mucky faces — the voice is there, chatting away, and I can compose blog post after blog post in my mind.  Until, that is, I finally get the chance to sit down and write it up and then… I can’t remember it.  Not at all.  Not one jot.  What was I going to write about…?  What was it?  Nope, it’s gone… well and truly gone from my head.  Bah!

Last night, however, I was inspired!  The voice came back and the words flowed.  I stayed up too late writing — far too late — and knew I’d pay for it come morning, but I was so pleased to be blogging again that I ignored all that.   I finished, proofread, corrected… and hit ‘Publish’.

And the little icon spun round and round…  and round and round… and then the computer told me it couldn’t make the connection.  My ISP, as it turns out, was having some ‘trouble’ and I hadn’t been connected to the internet for nearly 45 minutes.  I hadn’t published, and I hadn’t even saved what I’d written.  The voice spoke, and the computer choked.

The internet access didn’t return all day — and I discovered what an interesting world it is without the internet to pull me away.  I spent the day with my girls — really, truly engaged with them: we played, we told stories, we cuddled a lot.  And I got so much housework done!  The place has gone from disaster to shipshape in one day.  I was almost disappointed when I finally saw my homepage pop back up on the screen.  …Almost?  Er, no… I really was disappointed.  I’d enjoyed my little holiday from my demanding taskmaster, and considered whether I ought to extend it further, or take steps to make the internet a less invasive part of my life…

But, it did give me something to write about at last.  A day without the internet, a day of quiet isolation from that unreal world, a day engaged in real life…  Now, that is something to talk about.

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I was surfing the internet today, looking a few things up, and using Hyperwords to no end when a horrifying thought suddenly occurred to me…  some of you may not know about Hyperwords!  And that would be such a crime that I decided I had to make sure that it wasn’t the case.

Hyperwords is a wonderfully handy little tool in which a little menu pops up every time you highlight a word (or words) on a webpage and offers you a variety of things you can do with that word(s).  You can instantly look it up on Google or Wikipedia or Amazon or Craigslist or GoogleMaps, and Hyperwords will automatically open up a new browser window to show you the result.  You can translate it from/to a whole host of languages, or convert it to metric or imperial, and Hyperword will insert it right into the page.

You can even add new searches to Hyperwords — any webpage that has a search box can be added to your Hyperwords menu box.  When we were househunting, I added Walkscore and the county assesment page, so I could easily find additional information about any house that caught my eye on the realtor’s webpage.  Fore househunting, Hyperwords proved invaluable, but really, I use it every day anyway.  It makes searching for anything incredibly quick and easy.

To use it, you have to be using Firefox as your browser.  As far as I know, it isn’t compatable with Internet Explorer but — she chuckles to herself — you aren’t using IE anyway, are you?  (If you are, you don’t have to tell me — you don’t have to admit it to anyone — but just click here and have a little look at Firefox, eh?).

So, there you go.  If you didn’t know about it already, Hyperwords is my gift to you for today.  It’s easy to install, it’s free, and it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing once you start using it.  Enjoy!

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And just when I was losing my faith, I received a gift from a virtual stranger.

Which makes me wonder, in a virtual world, how do we draw the line between stranger, acquaintance, and friend?  When we spend years interacting with people we’ve never met and probably never will meet — as we all do in this cyber day and age — should those people ever rightly come to mean more to us than just a convenient distraction, more than just pixels glowing on a screen?  How much affection is it prudent to feel for someone you don’t really know?  And why does walking away feel so much more difficult than just turning off the computer?  I mean, when it comes down to it, who knows if these people really even exist — they might all be just figments of our imaginations.

Until, one day, one of them suddenly jumps right out of the great cyber-void and leaps into real life, by sending you a lovely package of the tea you’ve been missing so much.

Thank you, Nichole!  I am chuffed to bits!

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