Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Technology Time Warp

I've always been one too embrace new technology. I remember my first computer, a Commodore 64. It didn't have a hard drive, but a tape drive. This was back in 1983. Then I added a floppy disc drive and a 300 bps modem. When I think back, I was excited about being able to text message. At the time, you had to dial the telephone number of the recipient. They could accept or reject the call. One thing for certain, you had to be patient. It was a hit or miss situation. More misses than hits.

As I've aged, I still am excited about new technology, however I am beginning too realize that technology is moving at warp speed and I'm beginning too move at snail speed. When I purchased my current computer, I thought 160 gigabytes was an enormous amount of storage. Now computers have at least 500 gigabytes of storage. Of course, that was before the digital camera and iPods became hot items. Not having enough storage on the computer, I purchased an external hard drive with an additional 160 gigabytes of storage. I'm quite sure 320 gigabytes will seem paltry and inadequate in the not to distant future.

Last week I was visiting my elderly aunt. She mentioned she was having trouble with her VCR. She said the tape she was using was producing grainy looking pictures. She only records Regis and a soap opera (she calls it her "stories"). I asked her how old the VCR tape was and she said, "I can't remember how old it is." I told her that nobody is making videocassettes any longer. I told her I would bring a used taped of mine the next time I visited. Well I took a tape to her and tried it out. The picture still was terrible. The VCR isn't that old. I bought it for her when her last one went belly up.

And so it goes. I have a closet full of 8 track tapes, a stack of LP record albums in the basement, and about 80 recorded videocassettes in a cabinet collecting dust. I shutter too think how much money I spent on these once prized possessions. All for naught. I will never again use these items, yet hold on to them like a mother holding her newborn baby.

I know the time will come that I will purchase a new high tech gadget. Our television is an RCA with a 36" screen. I think it's about 8 years old. Still has a wonderful picture, but occasionally the sound shuts off. No problem, just unplug it for a few seconds and plug it back in. Voila! The sound returns. It's not even a flat screen or high definition picture. Why pay a lot of money for a new television when the one we have still has a picture?

I still enjoy new technology, but now live with the motto "If it ain't broke don't fix it". Time and technology marches on. But for me, I've become cautious and feel the technology time warp is passing me by.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Listen People!!!

Well I'm back for another round of hilarity.

Does anybody out there enjoy receiving telephone calls that are "wrong numbers"? Of course not. I can tell you for a fact, we get our share of "wrong numbers" at the Roth Household. Unfortunately, our telephone number is similar to the Erie County Public Defender and the Erie County Humane Society. Go figure. Their phone numbers are 1 digit different than our phone number.

We always check our caller i.d. when someone calls our home. If it is a name or number we don't recognize, we simply let the answering machine handle the call. For years we have been getting wrong numbers, sometimes as many as 5 calls per day. Since I'm on hiatus (laid off) from my job, it has been increasingly annoying.

Let's go back in history for a moment. A few years ago I decided to record a greeting that lets the caller know who they have called. It goes like this, "You have reached 626-xxxx, this is NOT The Public Defender NOR the Humane Society. If you would like to speak to Mark or Jan leave a message at the tone". I have two words, "Listen People".

Okay, back to the present. It amazes me how many people do not listen to the greeting message. Most people will hang up when they realize they have dialed the wrong number. Sometimes they will call back 2 or 3 times just to verify they have the wrong number. For the other people that actually leave messages for The Public Defender or The Humane Society I have two words, "Listen People"!!!

I've come to the conclusion that there are a lot of people that are just plain "Stupid". For example. We've had little old ladies calling and asking if we can spay her cat. Leaving her name and number so we can get back to her. I had a notion to call her back and say, "We don't spay no stinking cats". You are probably thinking that's insensitive of me. No, I'm not insensitive, that's just the way my brain processes information. "Listen, People".

Another instance occurred this week. A young 20 something lady called thinking we were the Erie County Humane Society. She was from the Ottawa County Humane Society and wanted information regarding bingo night that the Erie County Humane Society has, to raise funds for the animal shelter. She said, "My name is Julie with the Ottawa County Humane Society. I would like some information regarding your bingo night". Blah, Blah Blah. I felt like calling her back to punk her too. "Listen People"

Hey, you're probably thinking I'm making this stuff up. Not a chance. I have a vivid imagination, but not that vivid. But I do have two words. "Listen People"