Photo by cetteup on Unsplash

Red hates technology. That's an understatement. So, she's been "clinging" to her old computer which, since it was purchased in 2012, makes it a dinosaur in computer years. But with increasing "issues" with Outlook, especially as email's the "life blood" of Red & Black, and a few scares … it was finally time for Red to once again take her ostrich head out of the sand and admit that she needed a new computer.


Luckily, many years ago, we were introduced to an amazing IT and computer expert, Shawn, who we've turned to for all things computer related. (This is one of those areas where Red has convinced herself she doesn't have the ability to understand when, in reality, she just prefers other people handle it for her.) Anyway, when Shawn started speaking in a foreign language about CPU's, RAM, OS drives, and a bunch more gobbledygook, Red knew this was far beyond her "pay grade" and was happy to turn over the conversation to Black. And while Black wasn't happy to have this new task added to her "to do" list, even she had to admit that it was easier than trying to explain to Red what it all meant. Especially as it would be years before Red would need to buy another computer, and she'd have forgotten everything by then anyway.

There was no way for Black to know that the bigger conversation was going to be about the price tag. Red went into shock when she saw the Dell shopping cart and although Black explained it was an essential business expense so not to worry about it, Red was still doing her quiet "freak out" about the cost. Especially as for her a computer's just a way to do emails, Word documents, and the occasional spreadsheet. She didn't need the latest and greatest – just the basics.

Once Black could get Red to calm down, she explained things in a way that even Red had to admit made sense. (And, by the way, was once how she answered a question about her expensive red-soled shoes to an auditorium full of high school seniors, but that's another story for another day …)

I know that you think the computer is too expensive for your basic needs, even though you use it for business and personal purposes, but that is because you are looking at the total cost. But I look at it on a cost/hour basis. I am going to use round numbers to simplify the explanation, and use a total cost of $1,000. If you use it 50 weeks/year x 40 hours/week that = 2,000 hours. Over 5 years that = 10,000 hours. Pull out your calculator and you will see that if you spend $1,000 for a computer that you use for a minimum of 10,000 hours it works out to 10 cents an hour!
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It's a little thing – just three letters – that can make a big impact. At least, it has for Red. Ok, that may sound like a bit of an exaggeration. But the reality is that once "discovered", it can be used in many ways that you may wonder how you ever lived without it.

For Red, it all began years ago when she turned to Black looking for time management advice, and Red, in her usual fashion, could have kept the email stream going on and on (rather ironic given the topic). Black, running out of patience, but knowing that Red can be overly sensitive (trust us, that's an understatement), simply ended her email with "EOM."

Black figured that would get a response but hoped it'd ultimately reap long-term benefits. As expected, Red was clueless about what "EOM" stood for, not even sure whether it was an acronym, abbreviation, or technical term, so when she questioned Black, she called it "alphabet soup", although she was pretty certain the "M" stood for money …

EOM = End of message. Internet slang so that emails or IMs or text messages do not go on needlessly. If used properly, they can increase productivity so you do not continue to babble back and forth. If it used in the subject line, it means the message does not even have to be opened; i.e., there is no message other than the subject line.

Even with her love of blah-blah-blah, Red immediately "got it", loved it, and agreed that EOM made a lot of sense, so immediately started using it. Not only with Black, but with other people, who, she discovered, started using it.

So, now that you've read this post, all we can say is … EOM.

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Did you know that April's Autism Awareness Month? I wasn't aware (pun intended) of it until I read our local homeowner's monthly newsletter and it caught my eye.


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Actually, last month the founding organization, the Autism Society, changed "Awareness" to "Acceptance" to foster inclusivity, as knowing about something is very different from accepting it. But I am guessing that is not the point of this call.


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Although it isn't autism, it reminded me of years ago when we found out that Natasha has learning disabilities.


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I think you mean DIFF-abilities.


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Of course, that's another thing I remember. I was focused on the negative aspects of her diagnosis until you asked me, point-blank, "Why are they called disabilities?" And proceeded to explain that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.


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Exactly! Imagine the world if everyone excelled at math, but flunked English. Or, a world of lawyers, but no musicians. Some people are better at social skills, while others excel at handling technical data. Why not just say that people who have different skillsets and abilities have DIFF-abilities versus making them feel like they have shortcomings?
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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Well, the Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was over a month ago, but I still see plenty of articles about it. It's really "stirred up" things in the Royal Family.


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Well, I guess it put "a bee in the royal bonnet." Although, I would not believe everything you read. Right after the interview, I read several articles suggesting the monarchy should end with Queen Elizabeth. I cannot imagine that happening.


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Oh, that isn't anything new. It's been going on for a long time; there was even talk of it when I lived in England decades ago. All the interview did was further encourage those who are already advocating it.


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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, but as I said in our Banter Bite, Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment, the Royal Family does seem to have "issues" in terms of race relations and dealing with mental illness. I can understand why people are questioning whether the monarchy, with its "old-fashioned" traditions and beliefs, is still relevant.


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But it's not like that's the only place those issues exist. Just pick up a newspaper, turn on the news – it's everywhere! Unfortunately, the Oprah interview put a very public face on it – The Royal Family, or The Firm, which is how the family and institution refers to itself.


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Who nicknames themselves The Firm? It sounds like a Netflix series, but with less class than " The Crown."
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