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Travis: Ups and downs of Windows 8
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Last weekend was my husband’s birthday. We won’t say which one. My out-of-town daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren were here to help my local grandchildren and family celebrate.
I did the standard shopping — extra toilet paper and paper towels, chocolate milk, fruit, juice and candy. Four granddaughters and two daughters can go through a lot of toilet paper. The candy is for my daughter. Chocolate milk and juice are for the granddaughters. They went through three cartons of strawberries.

The out-of-towners arrived Friday night and were so excited about my new computer and Wi-Fi. They came with a full complement of iThings.

The two granddaughters descended on my computer. I had had the forethought to download “Flow,” one of their favorite games. Windows 8 did not faze them. They commented that it looked different and then blithely sat down and began to play the game, explore the computer icons and surf the web.

When it was time for baths, I went to shut down all the programs I thought they probably had left running and close the computer down for the night. I took one look at my computer and was dumbfounded. Everything on the screen was upside down.

My first thought was to close everything out and then try to fix the problem. The only way I know to close out a program in Windows 8 is to hover in the upper left hand corner, right click and then click on close.

Well, now I had to hover in the lower right hand corner. OK. I can adjust to that. But when I tried to move my mouse to the correct place to hover, I discovered that the mouse was moving the opposite way since the screen was upside down. If I wanted to go up, I had to go down; if I wanted to go right, I had to go left and vice versa.
I can’t back a car up without rolling the window down and sticking my head out and looking behind me. My husband can look at the rear view mirror and back up just about as fast as he can drive forward. Not me. So my adjusting to the mouse going in the opposite direction from which I moved it was simply not possible.
My daughter took over and closed everything out and then went to “help” to see if we could turn the screen around. But she was having to read it upside down and couldn’t find anything that said it would help with an upside down screen.

We called the computer wizard who said he could fix it tomorrow. (That is one good thing about a laptop. You can carry it to help; not have help come to you.)

Saturday, the computer’s screen was put right. We asked the wizard how it had happened and even he was clueless. He said one of the granddaughters must have hit just the right sequence of clicks. A statistical anomaly.

Of course, neither granddaughter admitted to causing the problem.    

The grandchildren had a good time playing and we all planned to go out to eat for dinner on Saturday, the actual birthday day. So we trooped to the restaurant in two large SUVs. The 10 of us were seated and the orders for drinks and food  were sorted out.

Everyone was having a good time. The granddaughters were happily making a mess dipping (and double dipping) into cheese dip. And the adults were talking when, all of a sudden, my husband got a funny look on his face.
One of his crowns had become unglued and fell out. (If you are our age, I am sure most of you have had this happen to you.) He tried quietly to get the tooth (luckily he did not swallow it) and give it to me for safe keeping.
One of the daughters noticed and asked what was wrong. He explained and showed her the tooth.
The granddaughters were listening, and one of them who is used to getting folding money from the tooth fairy was very impressed.

She looked at my husband with awe and asked, “Granddaddy, how much money will you get from the tooth fairy?
I’m sure she thought anyone my husband’s age would get a very large amount of folding money from the tooth fairy.

Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at