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Columnists: Computers and other complications

So I'm sitting at this computer in my office, trying to get Windows 8 figured out. This new computer home page, as most of you PC owners will sooner or later find out when you have to change to Windows 8, is modeled like information signs on the interstate highway. Instead of seeing trademarked notices like: Subway, Camping, McDonalds, or Camping, you will see on your Windows 8 homepage the same signs, or "tiles," as they are called now, touting Office, Microsoft Word, Explorer, etc.

Only just like the new washing machine downstairs taunting me each time I try to get it open to add clothes, Windows 8 does the same. Won't cooperate. Get ready. Or go Mac.

Anyway, I'm sitting at my computer, when all of a sudden a naked, shrieking woman comes charging around the corner, hollering "Get out of the way!" as she hurtles through the kitchen.

"I'm on fire!" yells this undressed apparition as her bare feet slap at the kitchen floor for traction. She skids through the kitchen, yanks open the door to the outside, and stands panting on the deck, fanning herself with her hands, holding her hair away from her shoulders.

It is like the banshees of hell are on her tail, the way she tore through here. It is 20 degrees outside; the wind is blowing; snowflakes are falling; yet she stands out there with a blissful sigh of relief on her face.

And me? What notice do I take of this sudden, naked, NASCAR-like demonstration of human velocity? I try not to notice. It is, after all, likely my fault. Somehow. Most certainly, I do not hoot and holler, as I might have were I much younger and saw such sudden nakedness. I keep my head down, and try not to notice, or be noticed.

Such is the life of women who have reached that age wherein they have hot flashes so extreme that, indeed, I once had a woman tell me that each time one of these heat demons takes her, she has to rip off her clothing to see if her skin isn't really on fire.

I once went on a service call because the woman of that house said her thermostat must be sticking. At times, she said her furnace wouldn't shut off, and it got extremely hot in her house.

I went down into the basement. Poked and prodded. She sounded convincing enough that I suspected a sticky gas valve, perhaps an errant temperature control. I could find nothing. I recalibrated the temperature control, talked to her some more, and left.

She called the next day. "You have to get this furnace under control," she said, a certain note of desperation in her voice. This time, she said, it went crazy at night, heated the house up until,"I'm afraid there's going to be a fire."

This time I put a data logging recorder on to measure the temperature swings in her house. There were none when I went back a few days later to read the results, although at that point she was pretty apologetic, saying that she had been to the doctor, who informed her that life from this point on was going to have a lot of hot spells for her.

And what do I do about the naked woman on the front deck?

Or about Windows 8?

It's all so complicated.