Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Diane to the Rescue ... again

It's ever so much fun pulling your hair so much that only tufts are left, because you are at war with the computer.

We ran such-and-such a story not too long ago and it should be available, with the photos I took, in our virtual library. But lo, it has vanished into the ethernet. Just gone.

I am typing along and hit such-and-such a key and suddenly am looking at four or five boxes on the computer screen, instead of the one I’m concerned with.

I hit another key and the story I’m working on vanishes. Probably into the Ethernet along with the other story.

Hit something else, and a new application or whatever it is pops up, blocking the screen, and won’t go away no matter how much I pound on the desk and tear at what hair I have left. 

Or I get the dreaded Wheel of Death, the little wheel-shaped something that circles endlessly because the system is frozen up. 

So thank gosh that, when all seems hopeless, I can ask Diane for help and she comes once again to the computer rescue.

That would be Diane Erickson, veteran DCI graphics specialist all-around computer genius and ultra-kind person.

Diane is a guiding light in my day-to-day computer battles, kindly and patiently assessing the problem.

“Huh,” she’ll say in her kindly tone. “I’ve never seen a flashing blue screen with air-raid sirens going off and a robotic voice announcing the imminent arrival of alien storm troopers. But let’s take a look.”

And Diane will consider for three seconds before touching a key.

“Storm troopers have been annihilated,” the robotic voice will announce. “There is no further threat. That is all. Carry on.”

She will search for a DCI photo from 1967, 30 years before the Dawn of Newspaper Computers, so of course it was never entered into the system, and …

“There it is,” Diane will say, kindly.

“But I …”

“I don’t know either, Richard. It’s the miracle of technology.”

It’s the miracle of Diane, is what it is. She has been with our company for more than 30 years, the guiding light who can find and fix anything and never hesitates to answer when I’m lost and wheedling.


She comes through virtually every time. So kind, so patient, so good.

And now, unbelievably, she’s leaving us. Going out to work on her own, no doubt to dig up photos from 1910 and push the button that instantly restores copy written on papyrus by Aztec warriors in 2,000 B.C.

We will miss you, Diane. Wish you weren’t going, but I understand.

Before you go, what can we do about the aliens on the roof? Their foosteps are thudding. They’re sliding down the drain spouts. We are cooked.

“Let’s see … maybe push A13 and ‘option’ at the same time …”

And all is quiet. 

There was no A13 key until just now. There is no A13 key. But Diane found it – “See? It’s right over here” - and stopped the Computer-Generated Apocalypse, as she has 86,472 times in my year or so here at the DCI.


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Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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