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Can These Gizmos Be Saved?

My husband spent a happy morning this morning… acknowledged and appreciated for the great Dad he is. Things were not however, as sunny as they might have been. Once again he was betrayed by one of his cherished Gizmos.

This time it was a single cup coffee maker thingy that is only about 4 months old. As a tea drinker I have no use for this invention and when I drink tea…I want it the way my Canadian Mother made it…5 teabags in a brown crockery teapot…dark as espresso. When our friends are visiting, I prefer to resurrect the old banished coffeemaker and make a full pot…rather than dart back and forth…full cups sloshing…to get another single serving every two minutes.

Truth be told, I am not enamored of many of today’s highly touted new fanged inventions…but my husband certainly is.

Sometimes it can be an issue.

The uber-romantic gift of something called a “roomba” a few years ago did bring this schism to a critical turning point. For those of you still suffering in the dark ages without one, a “roomba” is sort-of space ship shaped little vacuum cleaner…that left to its own devises…will whirl through your rooms…picking up dirt and dust without any supervision. Obviously, we gave ours a little too much freedom, because I haven’t seen the thing for quite a long while. It may be wedged under a bed somewhere, or it may have made a break for the open road. I don’t know and I don’t care.

Perhaps there is a culture where a roomba is an appropriate Valentine’s gift but I was raised with differing folkways. I think my husband understands that now.

A month ago I was “provided with” (being clear it was not a gift) a humongous blower that will free me from the indignity of using a broom to sweep the patio and deck. All I need to do is transport it from the barn (it weighs about as much as a screaming nine year old child and is about as easy to carry), find an extension cord, and press a button. I must also wear funny eye shields because the power of the gale force gusts now at my disposal… require extreme caution. When finished, I must retrieve every object weighing under forty lbs that now lies scattered about the surroundings and return what’s not damaged to it’s normal position. Then, heave-ho…back to the barn I go.

Or I could get a broom and sweep.

If I knew how to contact the Roomba , I would ask it to return…not to stay…just to facilitate another disappearance.

Then there is the GPS gizmo.

We have lived in this town for over twenty years…and with a few wonderful additions…have the same friends. We pretty much go to the same places. This is not a great meandering metropolis. Yet every time we go out, I am asked to retrieve an address….so we may program our route. Let me throw in here, that my husband is a highly trained, former U.S. Army ranger…one of those guys that can not only survive for months on twigs and insects…but can find his way out of a jungle by analyzing shadows and observing water-run off .(okay, I’m making that up) I don’t quite get the concept of why I have to read off Golfing Buddy’s census-correct address before every exit…when we go there 14 times a month?

Anyway, yesterday, I sat in the car as we programmed in a church for a wedding we were about to attend. “Do you not know where this church is?” ask I? “Oh yeah,” he says, ” You know, it’s that huge red one we always see on top of the hill off Main.”

Oh. I say nothing else.

So…he programs.

Five minutes into the drive…. the Gizmo speaks…”Make a legal U-turn. Make a legal U-turn.”

He shuts her off! (I shouldn’t add an exclamation point…this is so frequent an occurrence…there’s nothing exclamatory about it.)

Nobody would go the way “she” picked, he explains…too many traffic lights.

So-o-o we are early for the ceremony. (remember I told you he’s an ole ranger captain) As we sit in the pew I observe his church program deliberately skewed in a strange away. Apparently, I’m not to notice, he is reading emails or playing bingo or something on anotherof his Gizmos….the one with the phone and the map and the “aps.”

He sees I see.

Smiling, he shuts it off.

Driving home, I bring up, in a civil, nay…delightful tone …his unusual obsession with all this gadgetry.

He answers that there is no point in discussing it. Do I not KNOW that he KNOWS my car has been flashing a message that it is 75 days overdue for its scheduled maintenance? I have “no respect for machines, for technology.”

I inform him coldly that respect or not…I have made that appointment for the car service…so there.

And I have.

The radio stopped working Wednesday.

No oldies. No country music.

Now THAT is an emergency.

And that is one gadget I profoundly “respect.”

2 Responses

  1. My father was a mechanical genius and I am truly being honest. Although I had a degree in Civil Engineering I couldn’t hold a candle to his understanding of the real world. He could design tools, machine parts, assembly them, and they would work.

    However he called the computer, the “Confuser!” He didn’t have much use for them, he had his mind and his hands.

    The older I get, although I am good with computers, I am understanding his viewpoint more & more.

  2. Dear Marco, you are right on track as always. My main problem is learning to operate all these gizmos. LOL!

    But that being said……you and I and our Hooligan friends have had an amazing cyber-journey …overcoming whatever we had to…because we were doing “work” we believed in.

    And we’re still not done.

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