Amazon swag arrived yesterday. One of the items was a magic sonic toothbrush, specifically the Phillips Sonic 732 Healthy White toothbrush. It cleans your teeth with sound waves, it seems. Also vibration. It goes automatically for two minutes, and you are to pay attention and make sure that you are in each quadrant of your mouth for 30 seconds. If you get the angle wrong, it changes pitch to alert you.

I first used it last night, and it seemed efficient enough. An observer might have noticed some sudden leaping about on my part while using it. This is because I incautiously allowed it to touch my skin. You totally do not want this thing vibrating away on your gums. I can’t even describe the sensation; not painful, but very unpleasant. Just keep the thing on your teeth. My mouth felt clean when I had finished, and it was quite an interesting experience.

First thing in the morning was a different story.

I’m a morning person. I don’t need a whole lot of time to wake up. But being pummeled with sound waves from the inside of your head when first arising is a bit much.

The instructions for this item, after they explain how to avoid electrocution and burns, tell what to do if you feel you need to take a break during the two minute toothbrushing experience. I think the people who write these warnings have lurid imaginations, so I didn’t think much about why a person would want to take a break, but I could see it at 5:30 a.m. It was like a jackhammer.

I changed the setting to “sensitive.”

There is also a whitening setting. I don’t know what it does. I don’t even know what the “sensitive” setting does, frankly. It my be that the effort of concentration required to change the settings woke me up enough to be able to handle the sonic goings-on better, or it may be that the sensitive setting  is actually less ferocious, but I survived the remaining seconds.

I needed a new toothbrush, but I am not sure that I needed quite such an exciting one. Perhaps I will get used to it.

The other item was the Microsoft Office accounting software.

Accounting is not one of my skills. Indeed, counting is not something I do frequently or well. Paperwork gives me the willies.

And yet I was able to set up the software and do some rudimentary stuff with it without difficulty. My recollections of That Man talking about applying payments to invoices came back to me when I needed them, and the drop-down menus did the rest.

I can imagine someone really enjoying filling out all the little boxes in this software, and getting a sense of satisfaction from the tidiness of the thing. Not someone like me, of course.

This is very bossy software. You have met bossy software before, I’m sure. It springs up with little pinging and beeping noises and yellow achtung! signs to warn you that you haven’t been properly introduced to the website you’re visiting or that you haven’t added the person to the contact list or that a window is trying to close or something.

I get exasperated with bossy software, usually. So often it is merely that it doesn’t fully understand about restrictive relative clauses or has the attention span of a gnat and can’t recall that you have used Spyglass every work day for a month now for heaven’s sake. I tend to wonder what kind of ninny that stuff is written for.

Ninnies like me, thank you.

Did you know that you are supposed to create the invoice before you put in the payment? And that “June” is not, from the point of view of proper accounting, a good thing to bill someone for?

This software, if it had thumbs, could do everything for you.

It sets up PayPal accounts and remembers to bill your clients and would directly deposit my employees’ paychecks if I hadn’t already admitted that I don’t have any employees. If I ever wanted to sell anything on eBay, it would guide me through the process and keep track of it for me. In fact, it includes Point of Sale and Inventory Management elements, so if I wanted to sell things IRL, I could. Except for “June.” It really doesn’t want me to sell June.

It claims that it’ll do my taxes for me. It may actually just be promising to gather up the data and send it to my accountant, or perhaps to some other member of the Microsoft Office family. The instructions that came with the software are big on integrating it with other Office products. I have quite a lot of other Office products, so I am letting it integrate all it likes, but I think there may be other things it is offering to me. Like it said it would make me a website, but so far I don’t see it whipping out any code. The instructions may just be getting my hopes up, so that when I ask it about making that website or doing the taxes, it can say, “Oh, no, that’s my big brother that does that. Available at!”

I haven’t yet found where it will keep track of my billable hours, but I bet it will.

I also got my new assignment from Client #2. This is more difficult than previous projects, because I don’t fully understand what the thing is that I’m writing about. It is a new and revolutionary type of managed hosting solution, for what that’s worth.

It involved boxes on the marker board, but everything involves boxes on the marker board for Client #2. I kept asking whether we were talking about a physical object or just speaking metaphorically. When clouds were added to the marker board, he paused for a moment to explain that they were metaphorical clouds.

Once I fully understood the functioning of the thing, and had pressured him mercilessly to change the name of it, I came home and learned that the name is in fact the generic term for the thing. I no longer understand what is new and revolutionary about it. I have until tomorrow to figure that out and write a press release on the subject.

I also have my regular four or five hours for Client #6 and some reviews to write for Amazon, followed by dinner with the bells and then choir. At some point I will need to go acquire money for the bell dinner, and I think I will hit the gym at that time. Somewhere in there I have blog posts to write and must check on all the web sites in my purview.

#1 daughter is thinking of going up to visit #2 daughter tomorrow, and I am thinking of going with her. The thing that makes me hesitate is that I also have to go down and get #2 son a week from today, and then of course take him back after the weekend. I don’t know about spending that much time in a car.

What a wimp I am! Unsettling toothbrushes, fear of accounting, hesitations about taking road trips when I am in a business that allows me to work anywhere at all as long as there is a computer there — I sound downright neurotic this morning, don’t I?

Clearly, I need another cup of tea.