22 Comments

PLEASE DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO


Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is

“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It is?” original sculpture & installation by KSR

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is changing around us, and doing so as we speak. A new faster must-have gadget comes on the market hourly. I’m sick of having to learn something new every week or so.

We have a new 55 inch TV in the family room which replaced a perfectly good 50″ one. The small TV in the kitchen gave up the ghost, so we went to the store to replace it, but came home with two new TV’s. Dr. Advice is ecstatic. The big one does things we don’t even need. It has a button that says “Smart” with a picture of a little house. It connects with an HD receiver, and the DVI to the HDMI connection. It connects to your mobile phone. You can even have a Magic Remote control. I don’t know what that is. We have 4-5 remote controls we can never find when needed now. They control Blu-Ray, VHS, surround sound, receiver, and something else I can’t remember. And the ironic thing about it that we don’t really watch TV! We watch PBS and movies. We get all the important stuff from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the lousy local rag. We suffer from information overload. I know this sounds dinosaurish, but one of the pluses of maturity is that your own collection of grey cells contains more than you will ever use in the way of information. The best thing about all of this is that none of it talks to you.

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Everyone around me seems to have the latest edition of computer, Smartphones, or whatever, and many of them talk to you. I don’t want a machine telling me what to do. My dear son-in-law was my guru and go-to guy for whatever was new in the tech world. I didn’t need a talking cellphone or computer. My current cell phone calls in and calls out. That’s all I need it to do. Two of our grandchildren, aware of his store of knowledge had a secret saying whenever things could or might go wrong, “WWUDD?” Which meant: “What would uncle Dick do?”

He was in on the birth of modern technology forty plus years ago, and knew what made them all tick inside and out. Everyone over the age of 50 needs to keep friends at least 20 years younger. Better yet, if you get stuck, call a seven year old. Several nights ago a group of intelligent 40-60 year olds, had trouble removing something from the screen of an iPhone. Our seven year old great-granddaughter took it and after one touch of her finger, she calmly handed it back and said “There ya go.” As she turned away she muttered “I can’t believe you didn’t know how to do that!” One of life’s embarrassing moments.

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Several years ago, grocery stores began offering the option of “Self-Serve” stations, so that you can slip your card in and check out your own groceries by clicking the appropriate space on the lighted screen. If you make a mistake, it throws a fit and tells you to call for help. Once that’s done, you place the already checked items on a lower platform and continue. If you place anything, even a paper bag on the platform too the machine yells loudly to get it OFF! When through checking, you click “Finish and Pay”. It refuses to move until you tell them if you brought your own bag. After you’re through it yells “Please remove your groceries!” in a frantic voice. Heck, I haven’t even had time to put my wallet back in my purse.

The annoying voice on my GPS when we take a direction she didn’t tell us to, disgustedly tells us that she is “Relocating!” Sometimes we change directions just to tick her off.

All of which says “please don’t tell me what to do”! I like to make my own mistakes and discoveries thank you. Better yet, try making things simpler like the old “on-off” button our radios used to have, and we won’t need an instruction manual for every new thing you invent each week.

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22 comments on “PLEASE DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO

  1. from one dinosaur to another…I agree completely! Overloaded on ALL fronts, Love you Auntie dear!!! Linda

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  2. ohhhhhhh how wonderful!!!! your most hySTERICAL piece yet, Kayti..
    This is just “what everyone is thinking” but not getting the WORDS out there.
    You are right ON IT!!..that’s for Sure.
    sending love,
    Joyce

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    • So happy to hear from you!!  Hope you are in great shape and all is well.    Now they have another new phone coming out which is always listening for voice input and waiting to turn on the camera when you turn your wrist!  Scary.  I just bought a wheelchair this morning, and I can hear what might happen “Little old lady just seen wheeling across Market St. in S.F. and seems to be busily taking pictures of everything!  Please detain.  Her husband has been looking for her!”  We are going to try it out in the City next week.  I’m excited.  We haven’t been able to get over there for a year now.   Love, Me

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  3. Love this post. So dang true. People really don’t need the latest. They just think they do. I have very few technical things simply because I think I’d be throwing money away.I don’t think that any of these things make one smarter. If anything they make a person dumber since the brain is getting less exercise.

    This is a vey good post that I found to be funny. Great entertainmnt.

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    • Several years ago my daughter got one of the first smartphones.   She is a very smart and successful business woman, and it took an entire afternoon on the phone with someone from Apple to help her get her business papers loaded onto it.     Since then she has had several generations of phone, etc. and it is no longer a mystery.   No thanks!

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  4. I giggled my way through this one! Everything you say is true.

    Love, love, love the sculpture!

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    • My daughter received a new iPad last year and asked if I wanted her Kindle.  I told her I’d be glad to take if off her hands along with her Amazon account she used when buying the books.  (Just kidding)  But I am usually reading 2 and sometimes 3 books at once, and besides I like the feel of paper.

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  5. You give voice to the frustrations of so many of us and control them with reflective humour.

    The young and the very young revel in noise and mayhem. The world belongs to them, so I suppose we’ll just have to grin and bear it. Novelty is not always such a bad thing, though.

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    • The business section this morning announced that they are about to release a new phone by Motorola called the Moto X.  This phone actually listens for voice input and is always waiting to turn on your camera when you turn your wrist!  Frightening to say the least.   You are right Richard, about the world belonging to the young.  That could be one reason they always seem to be in debt.  There are too many intriguing “toys” for them to buy.

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  6. So many great lines here, Kayti. Laughing out loud. Esp this one, “Several nights ago a group of intelligent 40-60 year olds, had trouble removing something from the screen of an iPhone.” Hehe.

    Intrigued by your installation. Love it!

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    • Now we can laugh in either amusement or fear.  They are about to release a new phone called the Moto X which will always be listening for voice input and always waiting to turn on the camera when you turn your wrist, even while locked and screen if off!  How scary is that!!   This is from Motorola which Google purchased last year.  My god, I have a Jack Russell who watches me all the time; why do I want a phone helping him along?     We didn’t even have a phone when I was growing up!  Of course I’ll admit, in one place we lived we didn’t even have running water or indoor plumbing, but somehow we survived.  Love, Kayti

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  7. So true. Soon we will have saucepans that double as babysitters or TV’s that walk the dog. I have two gadgets that drown out all noise. They are my hearing aids. 😉 (and they don’t take MPG photos.)

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  8. What do we do when there is nothing to do? We make kites out of time and run off into the future, dangling the key to life from its tail!

    I love this piece. What tickles me most is that everyone is writing them, although with far less entertainment value than yours! I try to keep my mouth shut for the most part, but honestly, when hear this person or that bemoaning the ways that technology has taken over life, I was to shake them by their pretty little shoulders and say, “Be in charge of your own life!”

    Two years ago, I threw out my televisions. Well, no. I gave them away, but it felt like throwing them out. I already had left Facebook, after three months or so. When I went to Iowa two years ago to lay my dear mother to rest, I finally gave in and agreed to use a GPS to find a cemetery in rural Kansas. It did a bang-up job, except it forgot to tell us that the bridge was out on the road we needed. It was a farmer in a pickup who drew us a little map on the back of a receipt from the feed store and got us where we needed to go.

    Here’s my list of gadgets: one desktop computer. One cell phone that makes phone calls and will text if I have to. One laptop. One digital camera.

    That’s it. Dinosaur? C’est moi!

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    • First of all, I love your opening line:  ” What do we do, etc.”   It sounds familiar somehow.  Is this a Linda or a quote?  Whatever, it is marvelous.   I could easily throw out the TV’s and the other equipment we seem to have collected.  My husband is fascinated but doesn’t know how to use any of them, so whether I want to or not, I am forced to learn to use the darn things. It’s hard to reason or teach a Dane   because they “already  know everything”, except they don’t.  Half of my family is involved in the tech business, and has tried to educate me.  However, my only gadgets are:  1 desktop, 1 laptop, 1 cellphone between us which only calls out and in  (given by a daughter who insists I need one) 1 digital camera.  I used to do a lot of photography, and have 5-6 cameras and camera equipment in a closet which I haven’t used since digital came out.  1 GPS another daughter gave us when I got lost somewhere down the coast.  It takes me so long to remember how to program it, it is easier to stop at a gas station (except that the attendant just got here from Afganistan)  Sound familiar?   Remember Ann Lindburg’s book Gift From the Sea?  That always sounded like heaven to me.  Lonely beach, small cottage .  No TV, radio or phone, no noise.  Just peaceful coexistence with the sea and the seagulls.              

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      • Oh, that’s just me. I’m full of plain old wisdom. You know, things like “Do what you can, and not what you can’t”. It’s easier to live by such commonplaces than constantly shelling out $29.95 for the latest guru’s tome. 😉

        I not only remember “Gift From the Sea”, it’s one of those books I read at least once a year and often dip into. As a matter of fact, I have my very own moon shell on my desk, as a reminder. I was given my first copy in Liberia in about 1978, and have gone though several copies since. I’m always giving them away, or in a couple of instances just wearing them out.

        I love the book not only for the things you mention, but also for that rhythm she establishes. Work in the morning, relaxation in the afternoon. I have a hard time setting a routine because my work is weather related and that can keep things fairly unpredictable. But her basic point holds, no matter how we work it out.

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      • I’m curious—Liberia in 1978 must have been coming close to the military takeover.  I had an artist friend who lived for a time in Sierra Leon about that same time.  An interesting time I’m sure.   I just finished “My Antonia” for the second time, and I’m sure there will be many others.  Cather’s descriptive passages are so lovely.  Her “Death Comes For the Archbishop” takes me back to all the pueblos in the Southwest  which were so familiar.  There are a number of books in my library which get  reread often.  Like a movie, you always see something you missed the first time.    When I was actively engaged in sculpture and painting, and when I could work on my own things, my schedule was from 9 a.m. on  in to the afternoon.  If getting ready for a show, I many times worked into the night.   Now, there is no schedule!  I’m writing on and off whenever, and but not blogging.  mostly I blog in the middle of the night when things are quiet.  Sometimes it is difficult when there are two of you!  haha.

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  9. It is easy for me, with food, affluence, freedom and leisure, to sneer at the very inventors and pioneers upon whom the continuance of those privileges depends.

    Am I, in my desire to escape from the noise and intrusions of modern life, so very different from those I condemn in their choice of lifestyle? As I travel – or blog – am I not a little forgetful of the constant technological innovation that has enabled me to do so?

    Do I ever reflect upon those whose sacrifices enable me to escape to remote places but do not confer upon them the like privilege? Some will not have the time, or live long enough, even to reflect.

    What if all I take for granted were suddenly to disappear? I am very spoilt.

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    • We live in such marvelous times, and as you say, we must remain appreciative that we have the means to enjoy all these wonders of technology.  As we travel, I often have thought that neither of our parents had those same opportunities.  As a child, we had a radio and a newspaper, which brought us all the news and entertainment available.  A movie or a play now and then, and trips to the mountain on vacations seemed to be enough.   If “third daughter” Cheri had not introduced me to cyberspace, I would not have met so many nice people such as yourself.  Technology enables us to stretch  imaginations, which hopefully gives us more interesting lives. And you are correct; we are quite spoiled!

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  10. Enjoying this thread to the nines.
    What raw talent you are!!!
    We are trying to figure out how to dump Direct TV and still stream college football (Go Stanford) and the Golf Channel.
    Today I investigated the Apple Box.

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    • Good luck.  They all have a gimmick.  Cori wants us to come for either Oregon or Cal game.  After seeing the amount of money Oregon has spent on new facility,  they probably need more money to pay off their loan!!  I wish they would get rid of those stupid feathers on their shoulders.  Let’s go to lunch.  Bisous.  AK

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