Posts Tagged ‘George Jetson’

A Future Addiction

May 7, 2014

Monday May 5th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

The last thing I need is another time sucking vampire in my life, but said life rarely if ever lets me have even a little say in much of anything. I can see myself hopelessly falling farther behind in my pursuits more than I already am, and on one hand it scares me to death. On the other, I am thrilled to have discovered online Scrabble through Facebook. I can’t believe I hadn’t played it.

I have long said there are just too many things to do in the 21st Century, and I’m not sure if it’s good or bad. It’s the most amazing time in recorded history while simultaneously being the most frightening. Things are evolving so fast, I don’t know who can keep up. I’ve been lost for years.

Revolutionizing gadgets, gizmos and electronic miracle machines come out seemingly by the day, and most of them are absolutely mind blowing. I have enough to do every day struggling to avoid sleeping under a freeway bridge that I haven’t let myself get sucked up in the technology that only BILLIONS of others sharing this planet use every single day. I am borderline Amish.

I resisted for years to even get a cell phone, but now I can’t live without it. Even though I know the government knows where I am at all times, the advantages far outweigh that pesky little fact. I’m not involved in any criminal activities, so they’re not going to see much other than poverty.

How many billion trillion dollars are spent on video games in modern times? I wouldn’t hazard a guess, but it’s a lot more than kids in my generation spent on baseballs, gloves and bats. I know I’m officially the last of the old school generations, but things really were different when I was a kid. Who can say if it was better without all these George Jetson toys or not? But it is different.

I have loved Scrabble since I was old enough to know what it was. I didn’t have many to play it with then so usually it was my Uncle Dave aka “Hogie” and his wife Charlene aka “Mack”. How the nicknames “Hogie” and “Mack” derived from “David” and “Charlene” is still a family secret. They’re all dead, so nobody is going to be giving it up any time soon. You’ll have to believe me.

“Auntie Mack” as she was known was a wacky cracker from my earliest memory. She was out there way past Uranus and drifting into uncharted space territory. She was one of those that had a better relationship with dogs and cats than with people. When we played Scrabble I would smoke her like a picnic ham from about age twelve on, and she would think I was trying to show her up.

I wasn’t trying to show anybody up. I just loved playing the game, and I wanted to play against the best competition possible. I didn’t care if I lost, I just loved the challenge. Scrabble was made for people like me, as were crossword puzzles. I have loved them all my life, and can’t see losing interest now. It’s probably what will carry me through my pudding years if I hold out that long.

It eventually becomes an issue with any woman I happen to be interested in. If she doesn’t like Scrabble or at least crossword puzzles I’m in for a lonely ride. It keeps the brain sharp, and it’s a lot of fun to compete with someone that’s really good. That’s part of it too. Playing someone just so-so isn’t fun either. I want it to be a challenge for both of us, and it’s tricky to find that person.

There’s a woman I’ve known for a few years who lives in Michigan, and I saw her for lunch on Saturday when I was in the area. She asked me if I liked Scrabble and she had my full attention. I told her I did, and she asked if I wanted to play on line. I had no idea one could, and I’m in it up to my triple word score. I don’t need this distraction, but then again I totally do. I love it already.

Booze? Cocaine? Not interested. Scrabble? Call the Betty Ford Clinic.

Booze? Cocaine? Not interested. Scrabble? Call the Betty Ford Clinic. I’m hooked for life.

Crossword puzzles are my thing as well - but only the hardest ones. I like it when they make me sweat.

Crossword puzzles are my thing as well – but only the hardest ones. I love it when they make my brain sweat.

Twitter Shmitter

February 1, 2013

Wednesday January 30th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   There comes a point when I think it’s acceptable to ask just how much technology do we really need? I think that point is now. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve been deeply over my head with all of it for several years now. Five year old kids can run circles around me, and I know it.

Email was pretty cool, I must admit. I think I bought my first computer in 1996 or right around there, and it was a desktop behemoth somewhat akin to the old wood grain TVs our grandparents had. I had a dial up AOL connection and I thought I was George Jetson. The future had arrived.

I reconnected with old friends online, and made new ones. I was fine with that level of business and had it not gone any farther I would be a happy man today. I was never into video games or at the cutting edge of needing to have the latest gadgets and that’s where I got trampled by the herd.

Cell phones were another hurdle. I scratched and clawed against getting one for years, as I just couldn’t see a practical need to carry a phone with me for any other reason than my car breaking down. With my luck with cars I should have been one of the very first on the planet to have one.

I finally broke down in about 2000 and signed up for a cell phone when I was working in radio in Salt Lake City. The station had a group discount plan, and I still remember joking on air about how stupid I thought it was for everyone to have to haul them around like modern walkie talkies.

I found nothing wrong whatsoever with how the old system was of a phone at home and others located at strategic locations that could be used by anyone who needed them. Why would we all need to carry our own? Well, I guess none of us actually need to but it sure has caught our fancy.

Who walking the earth in the 21st Century could imagine life without a cell phone? I left mine at home the other day and needed to call someone, and actually tried to find a pay phone. Good luck with that search. I might as well look for two, and if I’d happen to find them I’ll bet Jimmy Hoffa will be talking to Amelia Earhart. I am officially a member of the last dinosaur generation.

That’s funny to me, as my grandparents used to look at me as Mr. Spoiled Brat with all the new technology they never had – including indoor plumbing and running water. I heard about all their struggles growing up ranging from milking cows to cutting wood for heat and I’d laugh about it.

Now everyone is laughing at me. I was at the cell phone store the other day because my what is supposed to be a smart phone wasn’t functioning properly. It turns out the phone was totally fine but I was the moron for not knowing how to program it. Phone – smart. Owner – not. How ironic.

The latest obstacle I’ve been fighting is Twitter. Everyone seems to be on it, but I can’t for the life of me see why. Short blasts of meaningless tripe from Ashton Kutcher or Nicki Minaj aren’t a priority in my life, but neither was all the other stuff I now couldn’t live without. I think I need to be very careful before I totally poo poo the idea, but I’m too busy with Facebook and Linkedin and trying to keep track of everything else I’m not able to keep under control. Life passed me by.