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Showing posts from 2012

Planned Obsolescence

The other day when I tried to use my printer, it said, “check your color cartridge.”I had recently installed a brand new color cartridge in it.I followed the instructions, but it continued to tell me to check the color cartridge.I figured maybe it meant the black cartridge so I installed a new black cartridge.No matter, the instructions wouldn’t go away.I unplugged the printer and plugged it in again.Slowly the printer began to print.I’ve noticed this happening more and more frequently.The printer would take minutes to print out a page, sometimes not completing the job at all.I was fed up.“How long have I had this printer?” I wondered.It didn’t seem that long ago when it was brand new. I was elated with its many features.Unlike my old printer that only printed, this one copied and scanned in black and white as well as color.Five years had passed since I’d replaced my old printer with this one.Because having a working printer is essential to my work, I went out and bought a new one.Wh…

Travel Lessons Learned

I’ve learned from the many mishaps I and others have had traveling around the country and around the world.Here are a few anecdotes and tips to help you avoid making the same mistakes.
Years ago, when I went with my aunt to Nigeria, though we were required to have a small pox injection prior to leaving the U.S., my aunt decided she wouldn’t. We spent two weeks in the country having a fine time. However, when it was time to leave and return home, she was stopped by the customs official. “Where is your certification proving that you’ve had a small pox injection?” the customs official asked her. "We cannot let you leave without it!" She was dumbfounded. I’d been cleared and anxiously waited for her near the exit to the field.Fortunately, the doctor, a friend of the family, had accompanied us to the airport to say goodbye.When the officials took her into a room, he went with her while I waited, wondering if I’d see my aunt again. I imagined her being taken away in handcuffs to j…

An Evening at Madam L's Soiree

I know you’re tired of reading about my Paris adventures.This is the last one, I promise. I’d like to move on to other things.It deals with a very interesting evening we had at the home of a Paris resident and an ingenious though not original way of surviving in the City of Lights.To protect her identity, we’ll just call her Madam L.An evening at Madam L’s Soiree.Before leaving home, a friend suggested that when I got to Paris I must contact this African American woman in Paris who hosted soirees for visitors. “She hosts parties for artists of all genres at her home.”While my friend hadn’t been to one when she visited Paris, she had heard about her from a friend.
One day during our stay, I called the number my friend had given me. Madam L told me she was having a soiree that evening at her house and gave me directions by train. Her apartment was located on the Left Bank. My sister and I took the train to her stop and followed directions to her apartment.By that time, night had fallen…

Paris in August Part Three

My sister and I anxiously waited in the lobby of Unk’s hotel. We would finally get to meet our cousin, Lynette (not her real name). Unk had returned upstairs to his room and said he’d be back down shortly.The lobby was filled with crowds of men and women, dressed in business suits and a few tourists dressed in shorts, tee shirts and sunglasses. Enter Lynette with her manager/boyfriend. How did I know it was she?In her mid thirties, Lynette is tall, over 6 ft., statuesque, and possessing an aura of “I know who I am.” She wore no make-up; short dark curls framed her smooth, heart-shaped face. She wore a short black mini skirt and a turquoise tee shirt. On her long shapely legs, she wore black flats. Her manager, Lorenzo, 5’4, was an olive complexion, medium built Italian, his curly black hair sprinkled with gray as was his scruffy beard and mustache. He looked to be in his forties. Hesitant, we walked over to them. Just as we reached them, Unk suddenly appeared and dispelled any doubt.…

Paris in August Part Two

Unk invited my sister and me to the Foliere’s Begere for dinner and a show. He picked us up in a taxi and dressed in our finery, we rode across the city, now bathed in bright lights, for an evening of fun.My uncle who is known for his frugality, especially when it comes to his nieces, was particularly generous that evening treating us to a seven course dinner, a stylish show, and to top it off, a bottle of champagne. The evening ended on a high note.
The next day, Sis and I decided to explore the nearby neighborhood including Place Pigalle. Coming out of our hotel, one of the first things we noticed was the gentlemen’s club right across from us. Down the narrow block, apartment buildings and small hotels like ours were intermingled among these clubs.Throughout the day and far into the night, women, heavily made-up, scantily clad and wearing high-heeled shoes stood in the doorways of the clubs, - young, old, shapely, and shapeless, blonds, brunettes, and redheads. They called out to mal…