Early last week my favorite computer keyboard died. I changed batteries twice, tried every available USB port, slapped it a few times, cussed it out and finally gave it up for dead.
Then I fetched the keyboard from my backup computer and it worked fine for a few hours before it, too, pulled up lame. At first the spacebar simply stopped working and about as soon as I became accustomed to the right arrow key to space between words, it kicked the bucket.
I started answering email by putting a dash between words before the enter button died, at which point the spare keyboard was essentially nonfunctional.
Then I resorted to making yet another attempt at using the pricey voice recognition software that is designed to enable users to do all things computer with voice commands. It will even allow the user to turn the computer off and on, switch between applications, perform internet searches, read email or documents aloud as well as a host of other helpful utilities for blind or disabled users.
During the months prior to getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when I literally could not use my hands to type, I bore the frustration of voice recognition software but I pretty much stayed violently angry most of the time because I was never able to teach it to understand hillbilly dialect, but that’s another story for another time.
Suffice to say that Sinemet, the Parkinson’s med for which I could be a poster boy, gave back enough use of my right hand that I can now type nearly as fast with the middle finger and thumb of my right hand as I used to do with all 10 digits.
In the meantime we turned the house upside down looking for a wired keyboard and I’d still bet there are several on the place if I looked hard enough. We used wireless computer devices for over a decade but my wife does not throw anything away and there was a time when we had thee computers in the house with wired keyboards.
We checked the Friends of Paint Lick Building, Goodwill and I called several friends. Ordinarily I would have been able to corral a truck load of spare keyboards but last week I couldn’t come up with a single one.
The one I wanted was $89.99 at the office supply and electronics stores but I found it on EBay for $31 and free shipping. I managed to order it using just the mouse It took three days to get here, but I’m now back in business.
I’m reasonably sure that several dozen readers are thinking that I should have called you and you’d have brought one right over. But it never occurred to me that you might have one and I had no way to spread the word. Anyway, the longest three days of this century for me are past now and the crisis is over.
In other news, Loretta and I ventured out to Shell’s Greenhouses, there on 52 about halfway between downtown Paint Lick and Lancaster the day my last keyboard failed.
For the last two years we’ve told each other that it can’t get any better than this for flower lovers and then Gary Shell and his crew prove us wrong by putting on a better show than they had going the year before.
There may be larger collections of flowers at one location elsewhere in the world but I have not seen them.
In fact, I haven’t seen anything in Kentucky that even comes close. Nor have I seen better prices on a vast variety of perfect flowers.
If the wind is blowing eastward, and you are headed west on 52 you can actually smell the flowers at Shell’s for over half a mile before you get there. On the other hand, if you are not accustomed to following your nose, and you can see well enough to drive you can’t possibly miss the conglomeration of nearly a dozen huge greenhouses on the north side of the road.
It’s worth a considerable drive just to go looking even if you don’t intend to spend a dime. I told Gary, while we were there, that he ought to be charging admission because the aroma, alone, was worth $10.
But he assured me that was not going to happen and that sightseers were more than welcome to enjoy the show. So if you are out and about in our neck of the woods, I’m betting you will thank me if you stop by the greenhouses.
Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Ike Adams at [email protected] or on Facebook or 249 Charlie Brown Road, Paint Lick, KY 40461.