I am an anti-geek. Depending on electronics is a worrisome thing to me, I’d probably be better off learning smoke signals. That said, there are some benefits to, say, telephones and computers. And that said, I can always start a fire, but getting a computer to clear its head and do my bidding isn’t always as easy. And the fire can also cook, microwaves are mysterious. (I can boil a cuppa water, tho’.) Oddly enough, I have come to depend on a wireless telephone because I can walk around the house and yak my head off if I want to. So when it stopped working yesterday, and the nearest replacement is 40 miles away on a maybe they have one basis, starting a fire seemed a good idea. The problem is that the person I wanted to talk to is 1500 miles away, plus or minus. The other person of interest is on the other end of the telephone wire, too. All that is not to say there aren’t any replacements in the immediate area, it means that if you want all the bells and whistles, you have to shell out more frns than you need to. I have only two requirements for a telephone; one, make it possible to talk, and two, come with a headphone jack. Caller ID? No need or desire. Call waiting? I don’t care who has to wait, the person I’m talking to is the most important contact I could have at that moment; otherwise it is disrespectful in the extreme. The headset is important because I leaned many years ago that some people like to call while I’m making dinner or something else worth doing, and jamming a handset between my neck and shoulder for a chat so I can use both hands is about guaranteed to give me a crick in the neck. Some other time, I’ll relate how I made that discovery. Then there is the computer. A boon, a boon I say, especially for us olde pharts whose penmanship has decayed over the years. The price paid is crashes. Program crashes, hard drive crashes, virii, Trojans, all kinds of traps you can fall into, just like a carny of 50 years ago. Let us not neglect spam. Used to be, you just took the advertising flyer that magically appeared in your mailbox and used it to start fires. Now, with the magical electron taming device on your desk, you can spend an hour a day cleaning out the inbox and/or spam trap. Time saver? Hardly. Paper saver? Sure, but then I have to wonder how many trees (real and prehistoric) went into the power plant firebox to push those bits and bytes into the wires. Another side to modern life that isn’t a really good thing is that kids don’t get the training they need for A) spelling and grammar, B) cursive handwriting, C) hand printing, (cursive and lettering are both too sloppy to pass a draftsman’s test) difficult to decipher, and D) they can’t do simple math without the calculator function. What’s the gain with computers in the classroom? Learn to do on line research instead of learning to read in the library when the power goes out mid day? (not to mention texting each other during class, if not sharing test answers. Back in the day we had to be pretty creative to hide a magazine to read in class, now every kid has a laptop open on the desk. (And I’m betting a LOT of them have two windows open ---) The guy I bought this house from had a couple of neat lights installed, motion detecting outdoor fixtures, the idea being to light up the deer crossing the yard and visitors in the driveway. The one in the back didn’t work at all; didn’t care if the switch inside was on or off, it was off. The deer he intended to see, nobody saw. I’ve replaced that fixture that I can control, and not depend on the electronic brain to think and fail to think correctly. The two on the garage end are also both motion detecting and photocell controlled. And they don’t control properly, either, their brains are also scrambled somehow. I think I have a way to make them do what I want them to do, but that is yet to be determined; the right test conditions haven’t presented themselves. It isn’t as simple as turning them on and off, and I may need to install a timer to get what I want from them. I’ll let you know if I’m right. If I’m wrong, there will be new lamps on the house fairly soon. Do I want to go back to the 30s and 40s or earlier? No, but I’d settle for the 50s or 60s and be prepared to go to the 20s or earlier. Thanx for listening, I feel better.