My only notion is that my notions are always right

“Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up.” —A philosophy to which I admittedly have been known to occasionally subscribe.

Preconceived notions, I think they are called. Thank goodness I am afflicted with only one: that my notions are always right.

Going through my “archives” a couple of weekends ago, I stumbled onto reminders of my California summer of 1967 during college. Among the treasures were Disneyland ticket stubs where I paid the princely sum of $4.50 for a day at Walt’s World of Magic 52 years ago and an aging checkbook from the Bank of America in Canoga Park, California, where I banked.

Ironically, that same weekend a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me that I was probably courting disaster by banking on the outdated personal accounting software I’ve been clinging to for a couple of years now. My mind was made up that the last “friendly to me” software version was better than the newer iterations. Did I say a couple of years? In full disclosure, I confess it was version 2007.

The software was sold to another company that soon dropped the Mac version. Finding no replacement options of which I approved, I stuck with 2007 insisting the replacements “didn’t work like the one I had been using.” When the software resurfaced as a subscription version “in the cloud,” I tried it. Nope, I thought, “Doesn’t work like the one I am used to using.”

Signs of a perfect storm were gathering in the cloud when an ominous screen started appearing. That would be the one that read something like, “Unable to back up your files.” The company had already announced they were dropping support for 2007 when Mac’s newest operating system turned its digital nose up at it as well. My comfort level was declining in direct proportion to the realization that I was trusting my personal finances to 12-year old software with no technical support running on a computer operating system that had also disowned it.

But I didn’t let facts or fear interfere with my notions that the online versions not only looked different, but they also operated differently. Plus, the learning curve looked pretty steep to the baby boomer brain under my gray hair. They still didn’t work like the version I was used to using.

Version 2007 did continue to work, but I knew I was gambling with the odds and a day was looming when I would roll the wrong number. Begrudgingly, I bit the bullet, downloaded the new version, and paid the ransom for the first year all while dreading the hours of work it was going take to get my accounts reconciled. I was still complaining when a screen appeared listing data files on my computer and telling me which one I should select. After I entered the required financial institution login data, I then watched as one-by-one, accounts updated, fields populated, and balances appeared.

“Well,” I thought still harboring a little doubt and disdain, “Those look kinda close. Maybe this won’t be too bad to fix.” A quick check with said financial institutions revealed perfectly matched balances. There was nothing left for me to do.

My preconceived notions were debunked by simply introducing my computer to my finances via the internet and letting them work things out without me. “OK,” I thought. “My mind is not made up yet…this probably isn’t going to work like what I’ve been using, why do they always have to change things.” Then looking around to see if anyone was listening, I whispered to myself, “But, I think I might like this one.”

Semi-related, fun historical footnote: David Brogoitti, my Mount Pleasant friend Randy Brogoitti’s father, was a founder of the Gateway National Bank in Fort Worth that opened for business January 2,1962 and was the first Texas bank to utilize computers.

—Leon Aldridge

Aldridge columns are also published in the Center, Texas Light and Champion  and the Mount Pleasant, Texas, Tribune.

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