I arrived at the Halifax airport two and a half hours before my departure time for Toronto; but as you can see below, have had no problem figuring out how to pass the time:
I must recharge my Apple. I must post my blog.
Finding a place to do so was like rolling off a log,
but connecting to the wifi was by no means easy.
After five attempts I was feeling flushed and queasy.
Two hours before my flight would leave. I had the time to do it.
If only my computer had the wifi to imbue it!
The man who said he’d help threw up his hands and walked away.
“Oh, a Mac!!” was all that it seems he had to say
when two more tries and shutting off my Mac had no effect.
Yet still I do not rue the day I joined the Apple sect.
Their air ports may be iffy but they’ve other saving graces.
Somehow my mind just clicks with how they put me through my paces.
Once more I clicked “restart” and crossed my fingers and one eye.
Such rituals are Mac-like and might just serve to buy
admission to the Internet, along with one small oath
without which often my Mac Air, I must admit, is loath
to do what I direct it to. It has a stubborn bent.
But somehow sometimes it complies when I choose to vent.
Getting through security was navigated with ease.
And getting to my gate, again, was really quite a breeze.
But though I finally got online. (I’m talking to you now.)
Please do not inquire about precisely how.
Macs are a fraternity with secrets we can’t tell;
but if you are an owner, I’m sure you know them well!!!
The prompt word today was “Recharge.”Thanks, WordPress, for once again fitting the prompt right into my life experience.
I fear the future will not stand
for communication writ by hand.
E-mail, Instragram and text
is current and what’s coming next
could well be texting brain-to-brain.
Practice your penmanship in vain,
for in most schools, it’s been junked.
Writing by hand has gone defunct!!
New Year Wisdom
After going to a New Years party for a few hours, I came home to welcome in the New Year online with okcforgottenman. I was railing on about the fact that a prompt site for which I wished to download an app only had apps for phones and tablets. When I asked if they had an app for my Mac computer, they said no, the place they went to set up the prompt site didn’t have a setup for a Mac computer. This, in addition to the fact that more and more apps and software are being set up to accommodate the tiny screens on cellphones and tablets without taking into consideration that some of us are on computers has caused me to wonder if computers are becoming obsolete!
The fact that many baby boomers are now well into their sixties and approaching their seventies means our eyesight is not going to get any better, and frankly, I need the bigger screen. In addition, somehow those born in previous generations (at least mine) seem to have been born with larger thumbs than more recent generations, for I find it is physically impossible for me to navigate a phone or Kindle or tablet keyboard with even my fingers, let alone thumbs.
I then mentioned how everywhere I went, people were all on their phones—playing games, talking to people other than the people they were with, reading the news or blogs or email. No one was where they actually were! He replied that this didn’t bother him but then seemed to do an about-face by admitting, “I think something big is going to happen that will bring about the end of civilization, but I don’t necessarily know what it is. It might be Isis and it might be iPhones!”
What he has just said has the ring of truth to me. I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing, but never put it so well. I am frightened about how smart phones have taken us away from our surrounding people and environments. We are no longer one place at one time. Even if we are not talking on the phone, there is the potential of every person we know calling us at any time and any place. And most of us make that call a priority over whatever is going on at the time.
Okcforgottenman then told me about a new app that photoshops the faces of those talking on the computer, fixing the glitches, covering up all those details that Photoshop is so adept at covering up. Again, I had a feeling of déjà vu, because I’ve been reading Ultimate Jest by David Foster Wallace, and just today, he talked about a time in the future when people on social networks are able to download an app that Photoshops their faces.
Eventually, the app makes changes to the point where people no longer really want to meet in person, because they feel they have become the false representation of themselves—or at least prefer it. No need to put on makeup, comb your hair, get dressed. Virtually, they will be perfected!! The trend reaches its zenith when in time, the app doesn’t even bother to start with the real image of the speaker but instead uses the image of a movie star or other “beautiful person” who most resembles the speaker–eventually coming to the place where what they have in common is four limbs and the same color of hair!
What he describes is so close to what okcforgottenman describes to me that I get a chill down my back and the brain freeze I always get when I’m faced with a startling truth I’ve never thought of before. Is there any science fiction that will not eventually become fact????
David Foster Wallace describes a turn that eventually makes people reject their fake personas and to go back to voice-only conversations that do not even present any images at all. In time, those who use the visual phones with face and body altering apps come to be seen as narcissistic, gauche and behind the times. This is something I cannot imagine happening as our dependence on cyber unreality becomes more and more prevalent.
As we retreat more and more into fantasy and living in the far distance, what will happen to the immediate world around us? Will it cease to have importance as anything other than providing for our immediate creature comforts such as food, bed, warmth, water and medical attention? Will all of our psychological, artistic, amorous, social and familial needs be met through our online devices? And as these devices get smaller and smaller, will we ourselves evolve into miniature beings capable of managing them? Are we evolving back down to subatomic size, and is this a cycle? Has it happened before?
Ridiculous. I’m being ridiculous. And yet who among us, born in the forties or fifties, would have ever imagined we could communicate with both words and pictures through the air, watch a movie on a device smaller than the hand piece of a telephone, or that people would be living their “real” lives out and even choosing husbands and wives on TV for all to see? How do we tell the difference between what is possible and what is impossible anymore? I’m afraid it is hard to predict with any confidence at all.
Recalculating: Berkeley to Livermore and Back
Who wanders for pleasure, wanders alone
marking no boundary, barrier, zone.
The earth has no limits and time has no chime,
my steps undetermined by schedule or clime.
This used to be my modus operandi—
travel my sweet tooth and freedom my candy.
No email or Google, no iPad or phone,
without Internet service, I rolled like a stone.
But today I am traveling from town to town
with heavier luggage–more weighted down.
And though I go singly, I’m never alone
thanks to my computer, my Kindle and phone.
Right now I’m imprisoned and my progress is bound
by the cords of my ear buds confusingly wound
round my camera charger and Ethernet connector.
My GPS determines my vector.
No more do I travel unfettered and free.
Cell tower to tower is where I must be;
so every person that I’ve ever met
has me perpetually in their debt.
Birthdays to remember and twitters to answer,
queries of grandchildren, hip sockets, cancer.
Traveling with this extra weight is not pleasant.
I much prefer traveling just in the present
unfettered by email, phone calls or that voice
calling instructions at every choice
of northwards or southwards or eastward or west.
Yes, I know GPS directions are best,
but if I’m never lost and never alone,
I might as well stay home and talk on the phone,
for most of adventure has come when I’m lost
from all of my past, whatever the cost.
Still the ways of the present make planning much easier,
finding my next destination much breezier.
These tricky freeways have changed in past years
and I find my memory much in arrears.
So perhaps for today I’ll turn on GPS
so I won’t get so lost and I won’t have to guess
which freeway to take: eight-oh-eight? eight-oh-six?
Getting myself in a terrible fix.
Tomorrow’s the time to become vagabond,
using personal radar and my fairy wand
to maneuver through life by the skin of my pants.
Just for today, I won’t take the chance!
P.S. Thanks, Patti, for the loan of the GPS!!! Actually, it has been a Godsend.
The WordPress prompt: The Happy Wanderer–What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide?
(This is a follow-up to Judy’s computer is kaput for awhile.)
I finally got on as an administrator of my site but it is slow going on a Kindle which won’t charge as I type and when it gets low on battery, starts substituting random letters for what I type. The truth is that I tipped a full glass of Diet Coke on my Mac Air and after 4 hours of watching a young Mexican man removing 222 microscopic screws and then disemboweling my most treasured nonhuman essential element in my life, I was given the sad news that by my careless action, I had slain my motherboard! Somehow, in spite of not being able to post, I had the second highest number of viewings ever, so I am hoping folks will still view me—either randomly choosing a past posting, or perhaps Duckie would assume a roll of blog jockey and post a link to a past post each day. Can it be that this is nature’s way of telling me to get a life? I must admit I was utterly traumatized by this all day yesterday. Today I have chosen to wax philosophic. Let us see what happens, but please, please continue to visit. Keep Duckie busy and away from the bottle and if they ever publish another prompt, will someone send it to me? In alternate states of shock and mourning. —Judy
DUCKIE, please edit and add tags? Kindle instructed people to rabidly choose a.post to read. You didn’t catch that, ed. I Changed to randomly.
(Edited by Duckie)
The Prompt: Buyers, Beware? The year is 2214, and your computer’s dusty hard drive has just resurfaced at an antique store. Write a note to the curious buyer explaining what he or she will find there.
If you long for mystery,
poems, facts and history,
and wild exaggerations,
recipes and letters and
episodes of Homeland,
Elementary, Sherlock, Friends,
a blogging site that never ends,
Emails, Youtube, Facebook notes,
starts of novels, copied quotes,
OkCupid pictures of
possibilities for love,
notes from nice guys, threats from creeps,
notes from guys who play for keeps,
friends who only write when drunk,
chain e-mails, jokes and other junk,
two hundred drafts of my third book,
(each one different, have a look),
kids stories and their illustrations,
the Christmas plans of my relations,
photographs of my whole life—
its happiness and pain and strife—
some successes but also follies,
fireworks, insects, gardens, dollies,
travel snaps and friendly faces,
rooms at home or foreign places,
birds and children, beaches, skies,
the camera lens is true and wise
and not as given to fraud and lies
as writings filtered through the eyes
of one who feels the joys or pains
of what she witnesses, then deigns
to try to change her reader’s mind
to accord with the type or kind
of thoughts she carries deep inside:
pride’s cutting edge, love’s waning tide—
things lovely, funny, jarring, rare.
So read this hard drive if you dare,
but if you fear a life laid bare,
I have one word for you. Beware.