Saturday, July 18, 2009

Paper, Plastic, Or Whatever...?

A friend of mine sent me this, probably thinking it sounded a lot like me! Anyway, it was just too good not to share with all of you!

Electronically-Challenged Seniors

Things are spiraling out of control. I think I have become lost in a world of electronic madness.

One of my sons informed me this week that my cell phone has become obsolete and I must head down to the cell phone store and get a phone that is contemporary with the time.

I pointed out that the fancy razor/slimline phone with camera built in that he made me trade my perfectly good flip-top Motorola cell phone for two years ago still works perfectly fine. Well, except for the camera thing. Never could figure that out. Even the few times I actually did take pictures I couldn't figure what to do with them and gave up.

That is except when I would push the wrong button and take a video of the ceiling or my feet.

Seems the issue is that I am unable to text with the tiny little 3 character buttons. "Hi, son," would come out looking like, "Gh Qmo." My grandkids have even spoken to my wife about Poppa's crazy text messages. Give me a break. Whatever happened to actually talking on a phone? Isn't that what they were invented for?

They want me to get one of those phones that you can turn upside down and sideways and has a typewriter keyboard with keys about one-eighth the size of my pinky finger.

One of my four sons is a realtor whose real occupation is fly fishing. "Way to go, son." Or in my text language, "Xbz um Io, rmo."

We were floating the Yakima River in his guide-quality drift boat south of Ellensburg, Washington. We were miles from anything remotely resembling civilization. Rock canyon walls were on either side of us. Bear with me as I try to explain this strange thing.

His "Blackberry" rang. It was blue and I asked him why it wasn't called a Blueberry. He shook his head with that "dealing with an elder" despair look I get a lot these days. It was another realtor who called to say that the sellers he represented had agreed to my son's client's changes and he had the signed documents in hand.

My son told him to FAX the papers to his office and he would get them signed and faxed back to close the deal that morning. A minute later the phone rang and he hit a few buttons and looked over the FAX, now on the Yakima River with us.

He then called his clients and told them he was faxing the papers to them to sign and asked them to FAX them back to his office. While he was waiting, he hooked into a fat rainbow and was just releasing this 22-inch beauty as his phone rang again with the signed FAX from his clients.

He called the other realtor and told him he was sending the signed papers back by FAX. The deal was closed. He smiled and just said, "You are a little behind the times, Dad." I guess I am.

I thought about the sixty million dollar a year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a Blackberry that played music, took videos, pictures and communicated with Facebook and Twitter.

I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grandkids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.

That was before one of my grandkids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Bluetooth [it's red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Nobles talking to my wife as everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. Seems I have to take my hearing aid out to use it and got a little loud.

I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, "Re-calc-ul-ating." You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then when I would make a right turn instead, it was not good.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven't figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have to run around digging under chair cushions and checking bathrooms and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden "paper or plastic?" every time I check out just knocks me for a loop.

I bought some of those cloth re-usable bags to avoid looking confused but never remember to take them in with me.

Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, "paper or plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am "bi-sacksual." Then it's their turn to stare at me with a blank look.

Now, my friend, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit. We can discuss whether or not I'm really getting this bad!


Kyddryn said...

Good morning, Mister Hermit, sir.

Bwahahaha! I adore this!

I grumble every time I have to trade in a phone because it quit working - all these new-fangled phones have too many features that I don't want. I want a phone that makes and receives calls. That's it. Just...makes and receives calls.

If I want to take photos, I have a camera.

If I want music, I can listen to my iPod (yeah, it's a gadget, but it's an older one, I refuse to update or upgrade it, and I have much love for sue me).

I don't twitter in public - my mama raised me to think that's rude. I don't tweet, either, unless under duress. I might jigger if asked politely and it's after noon, but it's best not to discuss that in polite company.

While I find the GPS useful, I still prefer an atlas - their batteries don't go dead and their memories aren't affected by heat, magnets, or inability to find a satellite.

I DO remember to bring in the cloth bags...most of the time...


Shade and Sweetwater,
K (who hopes you have a fine day)

HermitJim said...

Hey K...
Somehow I had you figured for a plain phone type of gal! Glad to know that you don't twitter in public...but I'll admit to a bit of curiousity about what all is involved with you jigger!

We might have to talk this over...!

Thanks for the humorous visit, my friend!

Dafthermit said...

Morning Jim

I loved this read it a couple of times,thanks so much for sharing it with us

loved the quote:

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation

take care my friend and thanks for popping bye the blackbus off to finish my wee film which i hope to load up next week about highland water

love peace and happiness

Rae said...

Very funny. Thanks for an early morning smile.

Did it MY way said...

Hi Jim;


I still have my Motorola StarTAC since 1993. Still works every where. When my son-in-law is in my shop and receives a call on his fancy do everything phone he has to go outside for his to work. I always ask him if he would like to use mine. Works just fine in my office.

Sometimes old is still good.

See ya

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jim,
This is so so so funny. And I can relate. I'm in my 40s and refuse to get one of the new phones, but kept my old razor. I'd get rid of the cell phone, except for safety reasons. The monthly fees on the new phones are outrageous. I have friends who can barely afford groceries, but each has a fancy phone / plan.

Thanks for the laugh as I enjoy my soon to be too expensive coffee.

Sue said...

Good post Jim. I'd be too embarassed to say I'm bisackual, but what a hoot!

JoJo said...

Good morning Sir, Well that seems to say it all. I don't know how to text never mind twitter and all that other stuff. And don't want to. And the GPS thing no thanks. I was in someones car and I knew where we were going but no they had to set that stupid thing it kept giving the wrong directions and wanted up to turn left, that would have sent us into a wall. If it had been mine it would have gotten smashed into that wall. I will map out my route on paper thank you very much. As for the cell phone it is just a plain old flip, no pictures or any other fancy stuff. It makes and recieves calls done deal.
Now I will need lots of coffee this morning to get over all this info so early in the morning.

Ken said...

...funny stuff Jim,i can little nokia 'stick' fone is about 6 yrs old...young'uns constantly trying to get me to 'upgrade'...hell,i still have my 'original car phone'...remember the big bagged car,anyway thanx fer the giggle this for some java...

HermitJim said...

Hey Andy...
Always a pleasure to see you, my friend! Glad you enjoyed the little piece this morning...and I appreciate you coming by!

Hey Rae...
Glad to help with a smile thisw morning! Always nice to make someone grin...

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Tony...
Just goes to show that just cause it's old, no need to "retire" it...after all, look at us!

Good example of older is better, I'm thinking!

Thanks for coming by, buddy!

Hey Kris...
What amazes me, is that you see people using their cell phones at home where they already have a regular phone sitting there!

I don't know how some of them can afford them, for sure!

Hey, thanks for the visit this morning, my friend!

Hey Sue...
One of the perks of getting older, is that you can pretty much say what you want! I don't embarress very easily any more...but sometimes maybe I should!

I really appreciate the visit today!

Hey JoJo...
Common sense will never be replaced by a gadget! Of course, sometimes it takes a gadget to fill the void where common sense is supposed to be!

I do look forward to your visits, sweet thang...!

Hey Ken...
Had a bag phone for a while when I was in the cab business! That way my customers could call me direct and not have to go through the dispatcher!

Goes back to the old saying..."If it ain't broke, don't fix it"!

Thanks for coming by, my friend!

Gene said...

Sure is an interesting one Jim. Hi-tack and all. (sorry about that)

A local store here is eliminating plastic and says to bring your own bag (BYOB). So it is going uni-sackual. Of course nothing in the sack is no-sacksual.



Degringolade said...

I have one of those "pay as you go" phones with 1000 minutes. I have a year to use the minutes. I sincerely hope that I don't get all the way there.

Mostly a cell phone is a way for you to feel like you are the center of the universe. People can get hold of you for any reason at any time. You can hold the reins of your destiny, controlling the world around you like a conductor in front of an orchestra.

But, curmudgeon that I am, I realized a couple of years ago that most of the calls that I was fielding were useless drivel and the call could have been avoided completely should the person on the other end of the line have spent a nanosecond thinking before dialing.

It is my firm belief that the world was a better place before cell phones

HermitJim said...

Hey Deringolade...
I have to agree with you about the cell phones being unnecessary. I place them in the same category as pagers used to be. In mind, only a few need therm...doctors, police, that sort of thing.

If someone wants to call me, they can wait until I get home!

Hey, thanks for the visit!

Cat Melton said...

Good one, my friend! I have my daughter's old tracfone and only use it when I need to while traveling.
Thanks for the smile today,

Kyddryn said...

Good afternoon, Mister Hermit, sir.

I must cop to the fact that the current nuisance can take photos and play music...but I don't use those features. It was the simplest phone I could find when I had to replace the old one. The one feature I have had some fun with is personalizing ring tones, so I can know who's calling (and if I want to answer) just by listening. Being a musician, it appeals to me, assigning songs to personalities.

I was recently chastised for not answering my cell phone. Umm. About that. The cell is for MY convenience/use/safety, and I'll answer or not as I please. I have voicemail, and I actualy check it, so people can leave a message or call back if it's an emergency...and "emergeny" means blood, bone, or conflagration, thankyouverymuch. When did it become an obligation to answer just because someone yanks the electronic leash?? Sigh...

Shade and Sweetwater,

HermitJim said...

Hey Gene...
Good to see you. Guess it was pretty "high tack" at that. I like the part about going uni-sackual...makes sense to me.

Hey, thanks for the visit!

Hey Cat...
Nothing wrong with having one to use when traveling...I bought my mom one just for that purpose!

Glad you enjoyed the post and that you could drop by!

Hey K...
That's what I'm talking about! Folks think you should drop everything and answer the phone just cause it rings! No thank you...!

I like your idea of assigning different music to different people! That would be interesting indeed!

Thanks for coming by!

Carol Ayers said...

Great read with my morning cuppa, Jim! We recently got a new trac phone with all the bells and whistles but can only get a signal on the back porch steps so I keep it out there and can never hear it ring because I'm on the other end of the house! HA! Fixed them! Have a good un and thanks for the coffee...slurp..:)

HermitJim said...

Hey Carol...
Good to see you again! Pretty good idea about keeping the phone outside where you can't hear it!

If it's important, they know where you live, right?

Thanks for coming by, Carol!

2 Tramps said...

Yes, technology can be challenging. Tramp 1 has his phone filled with pictures of the inside of his pocket!

Ah, the Yakima River - we used to float that river in our younger days. We did it by raft, tube, whatever worked - with friends, the dog and some beer. Almost got scooped up in a helicopter water bucket that was fighting a fire nearby one time... Good memories for a hot day. Thanks, Jim.

HermitJim said...

Hey Tramp...
Taking pictures of the inside of the pocket sounds like something I would do!

Never been on that river before...but I've heard that it's pretty!

Hey, thanks for dropping by!

Dave said...

Morning Jim,
Houstonmoms other half here. I hear her bustin out laughing every morning, so finally took a read...

Anyway, I think I'm a "tri-sacksual" myself... I'll try any sack they wanna put my stuff in, or even no sack at all! Enjoy the day!

HermitJim said...

Hey Dave...
Always good to see the "other half" come by for a visit!

Nothing wrong with being "tri-sacksual", although I would have a hard time if I didn't get something to put my stuff in!

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Aelwyn said...

Awesome, thank you for sharing this! :) It reminds me of my mum (she's 68), who still can't figure out the features on the cordless phone in the house. My dad (13 years her junior) just can't be bothered...LOL!

I reposted this on my Facebook account, with a link to you blog. :)


HermitJim said...

Hey Aelwn...
Good to see you this morning! I am in that gray zone where I'm younger than your mum and older than your this fit me pretty good!

I appreciate the link back, and hope to see you back again. Thanks for coming by...!