Monday, February 11, 2008

Writer's Island - Changed - 2/12/08

I am a dinosaur. The world has changed around me and I have tried my best to stay the same. Some call me old school. I think it is more like old fool.

Although I have always known I was behind the times, it was never more evident than a few days ago when I went to a Best Buy with a friend. I often go to Best Buy, but I hardly ever venture into the bowels of the store. Luckily for me, the DVDs are right in front of the store.

This particular day we had to go back in the computer section, as my friend was looking to buy some hardware to make her computer wireless, or hairless, or something. As the computer tech conversed with her in computerese, what I heard was the same thing Charlie Brown hears when a teacher or parent talks: "wah wah wah wah wah" (I may have spelled that wrong). Soon tiring of feeling like a moron I roamed the store. I was confronted with items that I not only had no use for. I did not even know what they were. I am not talking about a few items. I am talking about aisles of merchandise. If a Best Buy store was designed with people like me in mind, it would be the size of a 7-11.
To say that technology has passed me by is an understatement. It has passed me by faster than a Corvette passing an Amish buggy.
My microwave and VCR still permanently flash 12:00, keeping me in a permanent Twilight Zone episode.

My son recently gave me his TIVO, as it was already obsolete to him. He had upgraded to the Time Warner Cable HD Digital Video Recorder, whatever in the hell that is. Whatever it is, it has superseded a technology that I didn’t even have yet. I hooked it up and I can play the programs that he had already recorded but there is no hope of ever recording any of my own. The instructions are only slightly less technical than those to disarm a bomb, and no less tedious. The TIVO has a bright future as a dust magnet and may soon be featured on EBAY.

I do own a cell phone, but resisted it for years. I am certain that there are Bushmen in the Kalahari that had cell phones before I did and probably more bars than I have in South Carolina. My son has an I Phone, which does everything except perform fellatio. I think that feature is available as an add-on. My phone has a piece of tape holding the battery compartment closed.

It is not only the changes in technology that confuse and irritate me. It is the 21st Century life in general. I think it was Ben Franklin who once said: “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” He was way ahead of his time. With programs like Photoshop and airbrushing, I can’t believe anything I see.

I have to run anything I read through Snopes to authenticate it and who’s to say Snopes is not corrupted.

I love sports, but with steroid abuse, referees and umpires on the Mob payroll, and cheating scandals, I have no faith that results or records are not tainted.

The changes in our lives resulting from the attacks on 911 are too numerous to discuss here but one that has affected me personally is that air travel is no longer enjoyable. It never was never really a pleasurable experience, but know it is downright unfun. Gone are the days of arriving at the airport 20 minutes before flight time, curbside check in, and casually walking to your departure gate.

Now I have to be sure to wear my good socks since my shoes will definitely be coming off. I want us to be safe, but until there is a documented case of a fat, 55 year old blonde haired, blue eyed, pasty skinned, man involved in air piracy, let me keep my damned shoes on.

I am so tired of our politically correct existence. I am fat. I am not gravitationally challenged or horizontally skewed. A janitor is a janitor. He is no type of engineer. It is a noble job but no one goes to MIT and gets a degree in custodial services.

And don’t get me started on press 1 for English.

I watched the Grammy Awards and it is my learned opinion that today’s music sucks. We have to worry about: global warming and dirty bombs.
Sport sex has horrible consequences making it not worth the trouble.

You have to shred your trash to keep someone from stealing your identity. Anyone who would want mine is a sad case indeed.

Kids can’t just go outside and play. They have to be watched every minute and equipped with tracking devices. Everyone from the clergy to educators are potential pedophiles.

This has really turned into a rant. I guess the bottom line is that I was born in the wrong generation. I would have been more at home typing this on an Olivetti.


Little Wing said...

Oh My God, I am laughing so hard at this post but I am also going to start crying very shortly because everything you said is so true!!!!!!!
I actually figured out how to reset my microwave and thought I was some kind of IT person!!!!!!
Well at least look at the bright side, your microwave and VCR are showing the correct time twice every 24 hours, LOL!
What a totally honest and sadly true account !!!
When I fly now, I just wear thongs (the foot kind) to the airport and carry my shoes with me and pass them thru the x-ray bin!!!!!!!
I love this post, I can so relate.

Remiman said...

Ah, A wonderful review of the changes in our time.
It seems to me that the things change, but the people don't. ;)

Lucy said...

Rick, we are two peas in an old fashioned pod!
At least you know what snopes is! This is the first time I've heard of it! Your bit about your sons I-phone and the bushmen was killer. The whole rant was hysterically funny yet sadly true! Great post!

anthonynorth said...

That was brilliant - from one dinosaur to another :-)

giggles said...

Aren't we old...yes indeed!!! However frustrating I am so glad to be alive during this era of information highway! Hilarious post!!! Well done.
Enjoyable reading as always!

Little Wing said...

I can also relate to the snopes!
And I am not even old, lol!
I run EVERYTHING thru snopes now, because I have been called out on so many things!!!!!

keith hillman said...

A fabulous romp through the technological minefield. Just wonderful.

tumblewords said...

Probably my keyboard will short circuit due to laugh drops and coffee snorts. Funny, funny rant with more truth than fiction! Wonderful!

Redness said...

OMG hysterical and TRUE! Is it Baby Boomer Sydnrome, you're not alone, and a resounding YES to all you say. I'll post the Aussie version one day soon - WELL DONE!

warriormare said...

That was wonderful! I loved all the illustrations you included. Bravo!

Um... from a confirmed technophile and geek-of-all-trades,
warriormare :-)

P.S. Welcome to the Island - hope you stay a while!

Inland Empire Girl said...

I was laughing so hard by the time i got to the cartoons about fair and balanced and the "couch potato". This is priceless. I can't even walk in Best Buy now because the last guy there made me feel technology challenges. So many of these items in your post ring true. Thanks for making my day!

Naturegirl said...

This post was so funny!! You must be a baby boomer ..sure hope that I have not offended you by assuming..but I'm one and I feel the same as you!
Blogging and posting photos and downloading and making photo mosaics for my blog is a ((((HUGE)))) dive into the techy world for me!! I don't even know how to text message in fact I don't know how to change the phone numbers on my dated cell phone! Why upgrade when all I use it for is emergencies when I'm alone in my car!!Why do people have to talk on their cell phones during a meal in a restaurant!!I don't want to learn all this new techy age stuff
but I sure feel dumb when my 4 year old grandaughter can play games on the PC on the Disney site!!
Loved reading this post and I am so glad that you stopped my blog and made a comment!! See you again as I love your ramblings and sense of humor!! :)NG

myrtle beached whale said...

Yeah, I am that generation. We went from not having Interstate Highways to the Information Highway in my lifetime. I went from having one TV for picture and another stacked on top for sound to a situation where next year my perfectly good TV won't work anymore because it is not digital. I went from LP, to 8track, to cassette, to CD, to MP3 and I am still listening to the same music. So I have had to buy the same albums over and over.

rebecca said...

as usual, hysterical! you are such a witty, funny writer. i'm so glad you came over to writer's island to show off your humorous skills....ALL OF IT, ALL OF IT I related! i got a microwave probably ten years or more after it came on the market (and at that it was a gift, i didn't buy it!); cell daughter hooked me up finally because she got frustrated with me not having one (i still don't use it - only when i have to -- don't ever expect me to call you on it and if you think i know how to retrieve messages, HAH! think again); a phone at home that takes messages (again....about a decade later it came into my life...i have still yet to use those phones that tell you who's calling....why? if it's important, you know what, call back, that's my motto)! as you can see, i'm purely simple and stone age and i like it that way. too much technology and i get dizzy and foggy and fuzzy.....HUH?

Robin said...

Great Post, I love it. I'm right there with you. Baby boomers unite and try to figure out how an ipod works and text messaging from our cell phones.


Robin of mytwoblessings

Anonymous said...

Loved the whole story!
But come on...that old saying read the directions really works.
Funny! Funny! Funny!
Miss Rose