In one of my favorite musicals, a bemused Tevye turns to his wife, Golde, and mutters "it's a new world, Golde." My husband and I have used that phrase many, many (many!) times over the past thirty years as we raised our children in a world that was changing faster than we could keep up with.
And certainly this Christmas was no exception. My husband and I tend to gravitate towards a simpler 33 RPM world (I won't tell you how long it took for us to figure out how to access Netflix on our television, and I certainly won't mention that I JUST THIS MONTH discovered Pandora radio...).
But this Christmas was filled with bells and whistles we now need to figure out. Please don't get me wrong...the gifts are all lovely but the instruction manuals are just a tad daunting. I gave my husband a valet box from Monticello for his dresser top...that includes slots for cords so that he can charge his smart phone and his MP3 player and always know where his chargers are. (Do they mysteriously disappear in your home, or is this a phenomenon that happens over and over at just our house?)
I received a Trio mini-tablet that is tiny but oh so powerful--it links to wi-fi and allows me to check my email, and facebook, access the internet, watch movies and you-tube videos, take pictures and download music and books for my reading and listening pleasure. It's basically a smart phone without the phone part. I don't have it all figured out yet, but I did manage to download the free books that I could access..."great literature of the Western world" including almost all of Jane Austen's works. My family was not surprised that Jane Austen, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were the first downloads. If you are going to build an online library, you still want to choose carefully, right?!
And our daughter now has a nifty new tablet that attaches to a mini-keyboard so that she doesn't have to lug her laptop to school and work:
So while tradition (tradition!--sorry, Tevye's theme song is playing in my head...) calls for us to all settle down with our new books on Christmas afternoon (and there certainly were new books a'plenty--everyone received at least three and I was the lucky recipient of six new books!) this Christmas found us poring over instruction manuals and charging up our new little engines of information. We may always be Tevye and Golde, but we are trying in our own slow fashion to change with the world!
And miles away, my sister was busy setting up a Skype account on my mother's computer so that we can all check each other out. I'm not sure yet how I feel about this technological advance...I'm often in a fuzzy robe and no makeup when I talk on the phone--not exactly "company" ready. And as for my mother? She told me last night that her new year's resolution was to "not be like my husband's sweatshirt." It is indeed a new world, Golde!
I think poet James S. Huggins also lives in my 33 rpm world...
A Poem About Technology
A computer was something on TV
From a sci fi show of note.
A window was something you hated to clean
And ram was the cousin of goat.
Meg was the name of my girlfriend
And gig was a job for the nights.
Now they all mean different things
And that really mega bytes.
An application was for employment.
A program was a TV show.
A curser used profanity.
A keyboard was a piano.
Memory was something that you lost with age.
A CD was a bank account.
And if you had a 3 1/2" floppy
You hoped nobody found out.
Compress was something you did to the garbage
Not something you did to a file.
And if you unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for a while.
Log on was adding wood to the fire.
Hard drive was a long trip on the road.
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived.
And a backup happened to your commode.
Cut you did with a pocket knife.
Paste you did with glue.
A web was a spider's home.
And a virus was the flu
I guess I'll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head.
I hear nobody's been killed in a computer crash,
But when it happens they wish they were dead.
Have a lovely start to your week, and stay warm. It's -20 degrees wind chill outside this morning. Brr!!