Computers — not for everyone

TV Hagenah

I am not good with computers. For heaven’s sake, the only web I know anything about is Charlotte’s.

I admit it. I am not computer literate. I’m still trying to figure out how to work the little paddles in Pong. When it comes to using my fingers on a keyboard, my wife says I am digitally challenged. which to me sounds as if I have a finger or toe missing. But my wife assures me that it merely means I’m an idiot in things like typing (somehow that doesn’t sound a great deal better than my original misinterpretation, but at least I have all my fingers…and toes).

I think everyone knows we are in an increasingly computer-oriented society today, and I’m not overly happy about it.

For instance, the other day, I noticed that the guy checking the gas meter in back of my house had a little electronic looking gadget on his hip, and I asked him about it.
(Isn’t “The Net” something you use after you’ve hooked a fish?)

“It’s a computer uplink to a satellite feed to the home office,” he said.

Take into consideration that this was a young man that I happen to know flunked ‘Stove’ when he was in Home Ec. class in high school and now he is talking about uplinks to satellite feeds? How did I get left so far behind?

Granted, they wouldn’t even let me near the stove while I was in high school.

My wife contends there were no stoves when I was in high school. She says back then everyone in Home Ec. class cooked woolly mammoth meat over campfires. Which I think is a mean-spirited exaggeration (although I will say woolly mammoth is really good when grilled).

Cars have long been intellectually out of my league (not to mention financially) but recently they have gone completely high tech.

I was looking at an SUV the other day and the salesman made it a point to tell me the car had a Global Positioning Device installed. (Isn’t “RAM” the Colorado State University mascot or is it a Dodge pickup?)

Yes, I know I get lost easily, but a Global Positioning Device? Let me get this straight, I am going to buy this car so I can bounce a signal off a billion dollar device hovering hundreds of miles above the earth so It can in turn call up a complex electronic map and bounce a message back to me to tell me I am stuck in a ditch in a cow pasture near Franklin McCasland’s place? or that I just hit a moose somewhere south of House?

The only thing such a device could do for me would be to settle my arguments with my wife, which is the last thing I need.

Now, when I am lost, I drive around in circles until: (A.) I find myself and thus I can claim I knew where I was all along, or (B.) my wife falls asleep, and I flag down any approaching vehicle or go to any nearby house and get directions and thus when my wife wakes up, I claim I knew where we were all along.

“Look at the GPD,” she would say if we had the device. “We’re lost!”

“No, No,” I would say trying to look knowledgeable. “That’s sunspot interference. It often happens this time of day.”

“It’s the middle of the night!” she would respond.

“Oh,” I would riposte. “Then that’s really dangerous. Yep, obviously we’ve established contact with an extra terrestrial, a UFO. We had better keep driving in circles, it will probably confuse them.”

(I do know that “hard drive” is any trip to visit my wife’s family.)