Inconceivably ditzy

“All was well that ended well, until. . .”

Until I learned of something else my Kindle could do.  Now, it seems that it can do a whole heck of a lot of things, many of which I don’t care about, but one thing I read about really appealed to me.  It is possible, at least in theory, to send other stuff besides books to your Kindle and then read them on it.  Like, for example, I had a link to an interesting article about education.  I wanted to read it, but it was fairly long, and I really couldn’t justify taking the time sitting at my desk to read it.  However, I do spend a fair amount of time in the bathroom, and if I could put that long article on my Kindle, I could read it there!  What a thought.

With more delving around, I figured out that the way to do that is to send it to my Kindle via email.  My Kindle does have its own email address, so I copied and pasted the article into an email and sent it to my Kindle.  In the spirit of “a watched pot never boils,” I then stared fixedly at the home screen of my Kindle, waiting to see the education article arrive.

It did not.

Going through a few more help pages, I learned that my Kindle will only receive emails from authorized email addresses.  Amazon has this feature to try to prevent my Kindle from being spammed.  OK.  My Kindle had not been told that any email addresses were authorized, so it wasn’t receiving my education article.  I found the place where it was written that authorized sending emails could be entered, and I entered the one I always use.  For our bloggity purposes today, let’s call that address email A.  Having thusly authorized email A, I then re-sent the education article to my Kindle, from email A.  I then stared fixedly at the home screen of my Kindle, waiting to see the education article arrive.

It did not.

Hmmm. . .

I sighed and told myself that there had to be a way to do this (because amazon said there was), so if I kept trying, surely I would succeed, and then I would feel Most Capable, and I would be able to do this with all kinds of neat stuff, and my, wouldn’t that be something?  Back to clicking around and reading more blurb I went.

My next discovery was that one doesn’t actually send emails to one’s Kindle – even though they go from an email address (email A in this case) to an email address (my Kindle’s email address in this case); one actually sends documents as email attachments.  And there doesn’t even have to be anything in the body of the email.  Aha!  Well, in that case, I would need to re-send my article, which I did, this time as a .docx attachment to an email from email A to my Kindle’s email address.  I then stared fixedly at the home screen of my Kindle, waiting to see the education article arrive.

It did not.

So, becoming frustrated, I did the insane thing again and repeated the same process.  With the same result.  And I did it about three more times for good measure.  With the same result.

Thoroughly frustrated but determined not to cry, I sent a message to Kindle support asking for help.  A few minutes later, some genius replied and said that my problem would best be addressed by contacting the Kindle support team live, either by chat or phone, and he gave me steps on how to do that.  I did not, however, have time to do that just then, so the “problem” sat for a couple days until today, when I did have time.

I called and got Alex, who was probably of Hispanic lineage, but who was polite, understandable, and knowledgeable. Yes, it was possible to email attached .docx documents to my Kindle, and yes, he could help me do that.  Whew!

He confirmed that I was sending to the right address.  He confirmed that .docx files were acceptable.  He asked me to send it.  I did.  It did not show up on my Kindle.  Furthermore, Alex said it didn’t show up in my amazon account at all.  (The way this works is evidently that the attachment goes to my amazon account and amazon sends it to my Kindle.)  This puzzled Alex and for the first of several times in our phone conversation, he put me on hold while he researched the matter.  Side note:  Kindle support has WONDERFUL music-on-hold!  It’s lovely classical music at an appropriate volume, and with no static.  Extremely nice.

Alex returned, confident in how to instruct me, and he told me to press my “home” button.  I did, and suddenly, for no good reason at all, the Kindle started talking to me!  It was reading aloud everything on my home screen!  Now, I have pressed my “home” button many times before, and it never talked to me.  Now it wouldn’t shut up!  Even Alex could hear it talking to me.  He could also hear me saying things like, “Be quiet!  I don’t want you to talk to me!  Dang it!  Why are you talking?  PLEASE be quiet!”

Alex told me to press the AA key and go to “text-to-speech” and turn it off.  I did.  I then again pressed the “home” button, and the darn thing started talking again!!  This was really quite more than I could handle.  I didn’t even bother telling Alex that it’s PMS time, but trust me, I was going over the edge.  What on earth was suddenly wrong with my Kindle?!?!  Could I ever go back to just quietly reading it all by myself? Did this man HAVE to continue talking to me, no matter what I did?  It seemed that if he was talking and I pressed the “home” button, he quit, but if I then pressed any other button, he started right back up.

Meanwhile, in one of Mr. Kindle’s silent periods, Alex told me that he had figured out the solution to my initial problem.  I needed to send my email (with attachment) from email A instead of from email B.  WHAT?!?!  Yes, this ditz of a Walnut Shade Mom had THOUGHT she was sending from email A, when in fact, she was sending from email B.  Talk about embarrassed!  When I did as Alex said, lo and behold, the article appeared on my Kindle’s home page(!!!) – although when I clicked on it, Mr. Kindle started reading it to me (sigh).  And Alex told me he could see the article on my amazon account, as well.  Very odd.

There was one more twist to the whole mystery, and it was also causing problems.  In digging into all of this, Alex found that I actually have two amazon accounts, both associated with email B.  One of them (#2) I use all the time, including ordering several Kindle books in the past few days.  The other of them (#1) hasn’t been used since 2008, but it was somehow (and no one knows how) used to order two Kindle books in the past few days.  Alex suggested that I delete my amazon account #1 and just keep my amazon account #2.  I should then put both A and B on my authorized list, and I would be good to go.

I was fine for that, so I asked Alex to delete my amazon account #1, but he could not do that without a written request from me.  So he sent me an email with a link I had to reply to, asking them to close account #1.  I did that.

Meanwhile, he had put me on hold again to try to figure out how to shut up the man who kept reading to me, and after some truly soothing music, he came back and told me he had figured it out.  It turns out that it wasn’t a text-to-voice issue, after all.  There is a feature on page two of “settings” called “voice guide.”  This is evidently a tool for blind people.  (I guess wearing tri-focals while pressing the “home” button makes one’s Kindle think one is vision-impaired?!?)  Anyway, this feature had somehow gotten turned on (even though I had never even SEEN much less clicked on the screen that it’s on), and once I turned it off, the man did, yea and verily, shut up.  Hallelujah!

A few hours later, I got an email from amazon, saying they had a question about closing my account #1, so I had to re-explain the situation and ask them again to close it.  I just got word that they did.  Hopefully all my amazon stuff will work well now.  I have ONE name on my ONE account with which my ONE email (email B) is associated.  Both emails A and B are authorized to send attachments to my Kindle email, and the much anticipated education article is on the Kindle now, just waiting for me to. . . go to the bathroom.

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