Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shira Chess Challenge!

Hola! I still cannot believe that I am doing this. For details, please see "Shira Chess Challenge" at Chessville. I've already run into BIG problems. I am so frustrated, I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs (and drinking lots of wine). Of course that won't solve the issues. My volunteer trainer, Kelly Atkins, has sent me some stuff I'm supposed to use to study. Fine. I needed WinZip to download it. Fine. I had previously downloaded a trial version of WinZip to my laptop before Mr. Don and I left for New York in May. So I fired the laptop up tonight and turned on the program, and tried to download the files Kelly sent me. No go. Seems the trial program has expired. FINE. They wanted me to BUY the program to download the files. No frigging way! I email Kelly - I'm not going to BUY this program to open a few files. Kelly emails back you can download this and that for free. I hunt around on the internet and find that. I figure out how to download that to my computer. Fine. After I get this THING downloaded to my computer and showing on my desktop, I get an email from Kelly with a different thing attached. Here, he says, download this. No thank you darling. Except I cannot get the thing I downloaded to work. I keep getting strange Windows-type messages that may as well be written in ancient Greek, I do not understand them. In addition to not understanding any of the buttons inside this program (Chessbase Lite) and what they are supposed to do or what they mean, and clicking on all of them doesn't do anything except generate more error messages, I cannot find the files that I THOUGHT I had finally managed to download - I saw them go SOMEWHERE on my computer - from the email attachments Kelly had sent to me. So I'm stuck. This is NOT FINE. When things are NOT FINE like this, it's time to pull the plug. I can feel my blood pressure rising rapidly and my ears are burning (always a really bad sign, people). So I'm moving to Plan B. I'll play online chess until the Match Dates and cross my fingers and hope for the best. I was suspicious about being able to learn anything from a database anyway. I HATE databases. The way I learn things is by having a real live person walk me through stuff bit by bit - whether it be learning how to type, or learning how to draw, learning how to smoke (which I gave up in 1989) or learning how to use a comptuer and a mouse. I was the last one at the place I used to work to get an actual desktop computer, and the very last person to learn how to use a mouse - and I was dragged, kicking and screaming and biting, all the way. It was an extremely traumatic experience for all involved. I couldn't even bring myself to touch the mouse thing for weeks, and continued to create documents using DOS. I thought it was absolutely repellant. Whoever dreamed up the horrid name of MOUSE for a computer tool? UGH! I still don't like it. I don't like it so much I use my right hand to use it, because I do not want to touch it with my real hand (I'm left-handed). Yes, I know, that sounds psychotic. I feel somewhat psychotic at the moment. I cannot learn stuff by staring at words on a computer screen or moving chess pieces around on a computerized board. Nothing sinks in, I don't "get" it. I'm just not built that way. Even for Shira, I'm not going to go out and hire a face-to-face trainer!

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