So glad you've come...

Welcome to Tigressland, my own personal little corner of the Internet where I hang out expressing my views about the smaller things in life. No controversy here (I'm saving that for the book lol) just the everyday minutiae that add up to my rather unpredictable, but always fun, life! So pull up a cushion and come chill.....and follow! We bloggers love it when you follow ;-) ~Tigress

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Doesn't time fly when you're.....old

My daughter, Miss 18, and I had wee discussion via Facebook ‘tother day about her elderly overlocker (that’s ‘serger’ in North American). She inherited the machine from my mother but of late it had been misbehaving and she wasn’t too impressed with it (though to be honest if I was trying to organize four cotton threads at that speed, I’d probably collapse into a snivelling heap occasionally too.)

“I’ve tried looking it up on the Internet but it’s so old there’s nothing on there!”

“Honey, I was 13 when Grandma bought that thing....the Internet wasn’t even invented yet.”

After what must have been a bemused cyber silence my child replied: “Holy shit, at first it sounds like you're joking but it just literally wasn’t lol”

Not in 1987....hell, New Zealand only just got its first mobile network that year....but the Internet as we know it did officially ‘materialize’ (well as much as thin air can materialize) two years later in November of 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee got all technical with his  Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the World Wide Web was born. It all became very handy dandy....just not when I was a kid.

This got me to thinking about all the other things that are the norm in my offspring’s life but were mere fantasy in my childhood.

(This is the peril of being a writer you know....your brain never just stops at the end of a conversation and moves onto the next thing like normal keeps nagging at you for hours: “Can we stop and write about that stuff we were talking about earlier? Please? Can we? Like now?.....OK after the dishes. What about now? Stop doing that, just stop....STOP EATING AND WRITE DAMN YOU!)

And here I am....

Now take the Compact Disc for example (a strand of technology already becoming obsolete); it, and CD players, may well have become commercially available in 1982 but nothing much reached New Zealand shelves till several years later. I remember Miss 18, just exiting her own tweenhood, being enthralled to discover that I never owned my first CD until I was 18, by which time we could afford something to play the damn thing on. “That was only three years before I was born!” She gasped. “So what did you play music on before that? “On tapes dear child and prior to that, records.”

“Wow, you mean like those shiny round black things??”

I sent her to clean her room before I was tempted to beat her within an inch of her life with a flaccid album cover.

But other similar discussions have been had at various points along her developmental span, usually provoked by random events: I would be mid account of a childhood adventure when she would ask: “Why didn’t you just text?”

“Because I didn’t have a cell phone.”

“You di....oh did you like actually ring people and stuff.”

“Well normal people did, I had a pathological fear of phones so avoided them wherever possible...but yes, telephoning was the norm.”

“So did you have email?”


“A computer??”

“When I was a teenager we got one; we had a Commodore 64 that played arcade type games and stuff.”

“So like Granddad’s Wolfenstein?”

“No those games needed Windows or something similar and that (as you would recognize it) didn’t come out until the 90,s....these games were DOS based.”


“Disc Operating know the black screen you sometimes see when a computer is booting up? We used to play in there.”

“I didn’t even know you could DO that!!”

“Live and learn, Ducky”

It was even more entertaining listening to her discuss these matters of generational difference with my father:

“Your Grandmother...”he would extol, waggling an earnest finger “you’re grandmother will tell ya clear as anything...there was none of this being driven to school in shit weather carry on in her day, no no, she used to have to walk to school, even in the snow and sleet and rain and hail, and it was uphill, she’ll tell ya! Uphill both ways!!”

At which point my mother would bellow from the kitchen: “I do bloody not say that you lying old git!” or words to that effect.

You should have seen when he got to the bit about the dinosaurs!


I’ve discovered that ultimately one does have to accept the transition of life as you know it. It happens to us all; little tell-tale events will regularly remind you that your time of being ‘current’ has indeed come and gone, or is at least slipping ominously from your grasp....all those things you found so super important in your youth are now a foreign language to the next generation.

And if you’re lucky it looks a little something like this...

I found Miss 18 and her eight year old sister rummaging around in the garage one day hunting for God knows what when I heard the eldest exclaim: “OH...MYGOD...look, look at this!!

“What is it?” Lil Blondie’s face crinkled into nonchalant curiosity.

“It’s my Tamagochi!” my teenager squeaked, her face aglow with memories of her deep amusement with the tiny toy. “I use to play on this thing for hours when I was your age!”

“You seriously used to play on THAT!” the Blonde one snorted. “Didn't you have an iPad or anything?”

It was almost poetic...

Thursday, 18 September 2014

I print, therefore I....must've finally installed the damn thing

It looked so innocent, sitting there in its cardboard kennel, peeking out from behind polystyrene with only a tiny black glint from its shiny bits. Printers can seem that way, innocuous, but so full of promise....

Until you actually try and use them.

Now electronic devices in general are not to be trifled with, but printers are just a law unto themselves; you show nary a moment’s weakness and you’re gone (probably insane). Should you ever need to install one of these devices, my advice is to approach the situation in a calm fashion, with stable blood sugar levels and possibly some vodka.

 With this in mind, and supervised by Max, the resident cat, I removed the box

And the polystyrene

And the plastic bag

And the instruction manuals and disc taped to the plastic bag

And the twenty seven pieces of padding and blue tape that held everything to every other goddamn thing.

I’ve seen fewer layers on riot police.

But the naked beast looked impressive, resplendent in its gleaming plasticity and when I plugged it in, little lights came on so I figured things were definitely looking could it go wrong?

I figured, since it could be a wireless type printer that I would test the theory and have it in the office while my laptop remained in the dining room. Thus I sat determinedly in front of my computer with the installation disc in one hand and various sheets of instructions in the other.

Step One: “Install ink cartridges into the printer”

Right, yes...I knew that....

Back to the office I went.

With only slight drama and furrowing of brow I managed to get four cartridges installed into the correct spaces

I returned to my computer prior to reading the next bit which involved knowing what the screen was displaying after said cartridges were in place.

I returned once again to the office and checked that the screen did indeed show the required fields; so far, so good. And pre-empting further shenanigans, I chose to continue reading whilst still standing in the office.

“You may now insert the installation disc into your computer”(Had I returned to the dining room prior to reading this I swear to God it would have said something else....the writing would have morphed like a Harry Potter newspaper into: “Please ensure your printer’s doodah switch is set to neutral” or something)

I returned, once again, to the laptop and inserted the disc into the drive. The disc congratulated me on purchasing the product and then asked me if I would like to install it.

What else do you think I want to do with it?

I click “Install”

“Please ensure you computer is close to the printer during the installation.”

“Oh for f..........fine, just fine”

I detach my laptop from its auxiliary speakers, power cable, mouse and USB hard drive and move it into a snugly position with the prima donna printer.  

“You have 10 minutes to complete the installation before the process will auto-cancel”

Yeah, yeah, all right, don’t get your megabytes in a twist.

Miraculously, also supervised by the cat, the installation goes smoothly. While waiting, I get shown various pleasant pictures including one of a row of five smiling little kiddie faces; no Asian kid or any child with a serious amount of pigmentation, but hey the little pink and coffee coloured cherubs were adorable. It's a nice start I guess.

But I digress.

“Installation complete!”

Oooh look, an exclamation mark, they’re as excited as I am.

Now lemme print something...

“Would you like to print a test sheet”

“Why yes, yes I would” I audibly reply. There is nothing quite like interacting with home computers I've discovered, to get you talking to inanimate objects. Well that and using a self service kiosk at the supermarket.

The printer roared into life with a set of random staccato noises that sounded something akin to a typewriter having an orgasm. I waited with childlike anticipation for the paper to exit out the correct orifice; which, I astutely noted, could only happen if I put some in in the first place. Fortunately, I achieved this prior to the process reaching the good bit.

I needn't have panicked, however, all I got was three dotted, coloured boxes in the top left hand corner of the page. Well at least the yellow, cyan and magenta were playing the game. What the hell the black was up to was anyone’s guess.

After unsuccessfully printing two more test sheets, in a fashion similar to how one repeatedly clicks on a frozen computer screen to get it to work, I decided to check the ink cartridges again; which was a very good idea, but will only work if you can get the carriage to sit anywhere sensible; i.e. not under the side of the printer where it currently was.

With the reluctance of a man, I consulted the manual.

“How to change a printer cartridge”

I got this.

“Once the carriage moves to the central position....”

I don’t got this.

Eventually I find the bit in the bowels of the manual (you know, where they put all the really useful shit) that explains what to do when you need to change a cartridge prior to being prompted. And it is about this time that I discover that the little yellow taggy thing hadn't been removed from the black cartridge....which of course was the cat’s fault, he was supervising.

But at long last I could print.

And I did, apparently a little much.

“Your ink levels are critically low”

Sooooo, about that vodka.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Queen For A Day

I just turned forty.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Indeed, how is one ‘supposed’ to feel at such a supposedly pivotal point in life? Overjoyed? Disgruntled? Or just relieved that you can still pee in the right place and the dementia hasn’t set in yet?

Maybe I should be more into it, maybe I should try harder, but this whole transition to middle age has left me rather nonplussed if I’m honest. I didn’t even bother with a party. No cake, no candles, no otherworldly amount of alcohol that would make even Keith Richards raise an eyebrow. Although, to be fair, most of my friends are still happily ensconced in the Shaky Aisles of New Zealand and at NZ$1200 a pop, I doubt, short of tickets in the post, that any of them would have accepted the invite anyway.

I opted instead for a cocktail or two and sushi with my significant other - a man who it must be said did an exceptional job on the gift front with Queen + Adam Lambert tickets, jewellery and my pride and joy, a singing stubbie holder for the Aussie AFL team the Fremantle Dockers. The former elicited squeals of delight, the latter also elicited squeals of delight and, well, the ring was a damn fine effort too. I mean what more does a girl need? With this I was truly content.

But I can’t help thinking I should have wanted to do something more: Scale Everest perhaps, run a marathon, or at the very least have gotten another tattoo.

But no. I settled, instead, for the annual Facebook celebrity status where birthday wishes come flying at you from people you haven’t heard from since probably last birthday and a rigorous game of Rummiking. Which I won by the way.

I wonder if Adam Lambert felt any of this upon entering his thirties. I bet he had a party; gold lame and glitter flying around, hor dourves in the shape of little microphones, Chianti for all and Jameson’s Irish Whiskey for the inside few.

Really, I surreptitiously slid rather than boldly stampeded from my dirty thirties into my naughty forties; stealthily ambushed the next decade like it was a rogue elephant, albeit a quite one, in the corner of my room. This is not necessarily a bad thing. But. Shouldn't I feel something more momentous about all of this, more exhilarating even? Shouldn't I feel more appreciative of the moment? With all the diseases, natural disasters, political and religious unrest and idiot drivers in the world today, it’s quite the achievement just to have made it this far! Shouldn't I be smelling a new sweetness in the air? Smiling at small children more? Or be bursting to donate time to the elderly and take an interest in politics?

I'm just not feeling it eh.

No, I think I will just have to accept the fact that I simply don’t give a toss about the aging process, or marking particular increments thereof. Don’t get me wrong, I am a jolly grateful type of lass, but all this contemplation and analysis has hardly triggered the endorphin response. Ultimately, I doubt I will remember my fortieth birthday as an epiphany generating day of wonder. Instead, I feel, it will be fondly looked back upon for its Japanese cuisine, exquisite company and a sequinned guy wearing heels that would have me on my ass in five seconds.

And another one bites the dust.