Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Aug. 6, 2001

The computer and me


I just have to say it . . .

My name is Denise, and I am a geek.

Now, before you get the wrong idea, I need to clarify ­ I am a computer geek. Our office manager, Dale, was a bit kinder in describing it when he said I was a "techie."

I just love my computer and couldn't imagine living without it. I'm considering naming it someday, to make it a bona fide family member.

My husband, Gregg, is in college right now, and will be finishing soon with his Windows 2000 network administrator degree. He is a geek, too.

My seven-year old spent the evening a few nights ago reading up on Pokemon stuff. He wants to have a good collection. So, of course, we turned to the Internet. He is a mini-geek for now, but we are hoping he will grow into a fine, adult geek someday.

We handle pretty much all aspects of life with our computer. We balance and maintain our bank accounts, which we download from the bank web site, and all of our important addresses and phone numbers are stored in an Excel document.

Via the Internet, we purchased many of the things we use in our home.

We even made our own wedding invitations, which I might add, I was very happy with, and I also correct and print photographs on the computer, amongst so many other things.

For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would take the time to handwrite anything when they have access to a keyboard and mouse. To me, writing on paper is a much longer process than typing, and for those of us with atrocious handwriting, very messy.

As it is, I rarely write anything on paper. I figure, why write a letter and send it through "snail mail" when you can send an e-mail and get a reply back the same day?

With our computer, I have made countless gifts and love the idea of seeing something in a magazine and knowing that I can not only make it myself, but personalize it to my taste.

My computer-art skills came in handy last summer when all four of my siblings and our families got together. I have two brothers from out of state, so that doesn't happen nearly often enough.

We wanted a family picture, complete with all of the grandkids, but unfortunately, one was not born yet.

So we took the photo with the people we had there, and I later added my new baby nephew to the photo after he was born. My mom was thrilled.

There are so many things a person can do with a computer now days, with a just little know-how and a bit of guidance.

There are web sites that will teach you to do almost anything, from giving a haircut to fixing a car. And you can buy anything for a fraction of the cost, not to mention buy hard-to-find items.

The Internet is a wonderful thing. E-mail is a wonderful thing, too, and so is the computer in general. Really, why not use those resources? There's nothing to be afraid of ­ it's just a plastic box with a lot of wires.

Sometimes, I would just like to give Bill Gates a pat on the back and a huge thank you for making my life so much neater and more organized.

All of this just makes me come to the realization that I have, in fact, become a geek.

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