CONFESSIONS OF A TECHNOLOGY DENIER ASPIRING TO BECOME COMPUTER LITERATE
This is both a thank-you and an explanation of my entry into the blogosphere. It has been wonderful to find some readers who have been kind about my “homilies” even though I have not known how to put my words out to be more easily found. So “THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND WORDS.” Since one is never too old to learn, I hope to do better in the future, but some explanation for my lack of savvy is required.
I was born in 1940, so, there, I have given my age away. For the first thirteen years of my life my family lived a generally more late 19th or very early 20th Century lifestyle. Just before I turned 4 years old we moved to the country. We had electricity, which meant one bare bulb in the middle of the kitchen ceiling and once or twice a week we listened to my grandfather’s old cathedral shaped radio. There was no indoor plumbing, in fact no running water except for an artesian well just a few steps from the front door of the four room “house” we lived in. We did have a party line where the operator still said, “Number Please?” And certain neighbors always listened in.
Some of the things we took for granted seem almost bizarre today. The outhouse was dark and grim, with hairy wolf spiders and black widows in warm months. It was also freezing in the middle of winter. We heated and cooked with a wood stove, so wood had to be constantly split and chopped, and bringing in the wood meant there were all kinds of the above-mentioned spiders ready to bite. Water was hauled in on Saturday night, heated on the stove and poured into the tin tub. We were bathed according to our sex and age, which meant that I, as the only girl, at least got clean water, then the boys were bathed. We washed our hair with soap, with the final rinse having vinegar mixed in the water. We put on clean pajamas and were sent off to bed in one bedroom. How my parents then took care of their own needs I never thought about. How would they even fit in the tin tub? Hmmm. Maybe they stood up and poured water over each other? Some things were rather primitive even for the time.
On the brighter side, we were always busy with hard work and play. My parents always made sure we had things like bicycles, roller skates in summer and ice skates in winter. We were all taught to swim at a young age. I had lovely dolls and an even lovelier aunt who had only boys, so she taught me to embroider, crochet and sew.
The boys worked with my dad to build a new house. Even with the shortages and hardships of the war our father found ways to get lumber and nails (even if they were rusty or needed straightening) for construction. My brothers always had Erector Sets, Lincoln Logs, model airplane kits and new Lionel Model Train additions to their set every Christmas. We all went bird watching, horseback riding, hiking and camping. We also had both indoor and outdoor chores and chickens and other animals to care for.
One thing I always seemed to lack was any concept of future changes. We finally moved into a fairly modern house when I was 13, but I was always surprised by technological advances. The first time a B-24 flew over our house I was totally astounded. How could anything so huge fly? And when my older brother told me that someday we would be able to see movies in our own homes I wanted to beat him up for lying to me. How could that possibly be? The first time I saw a TV it scared me to death and our first Mixmaster and steam iron were incredible inventions to me.
When I married my husband, Bear, who loves technology, he concluded that he had to drag me kicking and screaming into the 20th Century, just in time for the 21st. When he bought his first high end computer, a Mac LISA, I thought he had gone completely insane. He told me it was important for our little children to learn computer skills. Why? He told me that people would one day have computers controlling their homes and businesses and we would rely on them for everything. Says who? Why would anyone even want that to happen?
Al Gore invented the Internet (!) and it grew up around me while I paid no attention at all. I got addicted to PAC-MAN, learned to do letters at work on a computer and had to admire the ease of change and correction. Before I started this blog I had used e-mail and had a personal junk file. I read Frank Hebert’s DUNE books and still didn’t understand the possibilities of the “gom jabbar.” Was that man prescient or what?
So here I am today trying to catch up to my kids and grand kids and do a blog in cyberspace on what I consider to be important things. I am learning, but I have a long way to go. Bear and I will try to make this blog become more convenient to find and follow if you so desire.
My advanced age must be one of my excuses, even though my late father-in-law and his brother bought into the computer age long before I did. Is it (mostly) a guy thing?
I’ll go now to find what an RSS thing does.