Cambrian: Opinion

Typing and more make website less of a chore

Up through the ’70s maybe even the mid-’80 s, two elective courses often offered in high school were typing and shorthand. Young ladies were expected to choose one of these as well as home economics that they may become useful members of society. Honest, that is what I was told. It was emphasized after I signed up for electronics. “But, she’ll be the only girl!”

Typing skills certainly did not guarantee your future as a secretary or related employment but, lo and behold, here I am sitting at my computer tapping this column out. (Honestly, I loved and excelled at typing! Whatever.) I’m saying, who’d have thunk it — all these “feminine skills” would someday be used by almost every “civilized” citizen on the planet.

Which leads me to computers. More specifically, websites. And building them. I’d say it’s all Greek to me but, really, it’s C, C-plus, Java, etc., etc. Its very own language. Names with which I’m familiar due only to my son’s career path. And there are some programmers and builders that excel. I know one.

I had a remarkable day yesterday. I’m sure so many of you would have loved it: 14 hours via Gmail video conference — one day — building my new website from the ground up. Mind you, I had an old one I liked but no longer functioned because the program I used to build is obsolete and doesn’t play well with the Internet. Kind of like many of us, eh?

Through a referral from my recent Esalen retreat, I hooked up via email, then phone (yes, there was one throwback technology involved) and finally our computer screens, with this Web engineer in the Bay Area. Absolutely delightful, skilled, creative and patient soul.

I was in awe. And confused. And confounded. And lots of other adjectives as I watched the mirror of her computer on my home screen, cats in my lap, tea in hand, the ocean roaring through my open door. One could liken it to a techno Aurora Borealis of sorts, lines and boxes and color swatches appearing and disappearing rapidly. Thankfully, we both had a certain sense of the “feel” I wanted (well, basically like my other site! Wah! But wait. …).

My old typing teacher would have been blown away by how fast not only hundreds of words were hitting the page but photos landing in PhotoShop, colors and all. I was. Lunch break, “biology” breaks, dinner break, Internet-down-gotta-run-to-Starbucks break made it more physically possible. That and, what else do we do while programs or documents load? Wait. And wait. It did offer us a bit of time to share our love of cats, discuss life, get to know each other. That was nice.

Wow. By golly, I can quit my whining. My photos, my endless patter, my color schemes: The new and improved came alive. I will mention at this point that any typos were my own doing, as they were often captured from my old site and plugged into this one.

All in all, a grueling day but an immense amount of respect was built for this virtual being five hours away. A being who could easily been expected to conform to society’s norm — now she kicks ass. Right on! (Thanks to Kaiya at for the build out!)

Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at ltd@ lady tie di .com, or visit her website at www .lady tie di .com.