Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Iphone Gone...Life Updated

Not too long ago I got rid of my Iphone. I traded the sucker in for an old flip phone that is best used for conversation...of the verbal kind. Hold on a second -

I hadn't planned on using the word "sucker" until I was composing that previous sentence. "Sucker" is such an appropriate term for the Iphone that the whole premise for this piece just changed.

Hello, my name is Basil Tydings and I was addicted to Iphone apps.

But I do have an addictive personality. I was not strong enough to set my Iphone aside in order to pick up and book and read it. I was too weak to address all kinds of creative projects that were hopeful jumpstarts to a career because I had too many Words with Friends games going on. I was becoming a technological recluse, hiding in any dark corner where I could still see a touch screen yet avoid a conversation. Now I am free and re-entering a society that has its collective head down with its ear buds in. I feel so all alone.

Oh well.

There are perks to being old and outdated. Silence and plenty of free time make for a productive day. I am enjoying being a new member of Barnes and Noble. Books arrive at my door and I don't have to pay for shipping. The newspapers aren't piling up as high without being read. I cooked four out of five nights last week and the apartment is clean. There isn't any reason to check my new phone because texting with that thing is one complete pain in the ass. I am getting a lot done that might help me improve my situation, one would hope.

My local environment is brighter because I actually take the time to look around and see what is going on. The female Downy Woodpecker that came to my feeder...I saw her because I was not engrossed in an application that was draining my lifeblood and furthering the pain caused by TMJ. The local news at 6pm is exciting to watch because I haven't received 14 updates about Kim Kardashian's wedded bliss. It feels like back in the day when the family would gather around the table for dinner and the evening news at my Grandfather's house and it feels good. Now if only the paper would be delivered in the evenings!!

By by 100 dollar waste of money every month. Some of the apps I purchased  were supposed to help further my career. So what if I knew the exact position of the sun on any given day; that $5.99 didn't get my any more work on movie sets. Nobody bought any of the comic strips I created with the photos I took on my phone. All the home movies I took of Boo eating blueberries look like crap on a larger screen. I wish I had a nice film still of Boo taken with my medium-format camera instead of wasting all that time with the Iphone. I am going to have so much money this winter I might be able to buy groceries!

We will see about that.

Don't be fooled by my new found happiness; I still go through periods of withdraw. It took me ten minutes to text Gracie asking her to bring home a certain bottle of wine from Treasure Island. In my old age where dizziness comes quickly, I hate not knowing where magnetic north is. Creating voice memos is a thing of the past. I may have gotten rid of the Iphone but now I might need to buy a man purse in order to carry my compass, notebook, camera, voice recorder, pencils, sharpies, laptop, and sextant. Lewis and Clark did it; I guess I can too.

But I hear the Iphone 5 is going to be amazing...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Technology Makes Me Want to Puke, Especially in Modern Times

Remember when you had a travel agent take care of all your vacation plans instead of the Travelocity gnome?

Maybe many of you don't, but I do. That person was a living breathing human being who had a job and earned an income. When I turned sixteen I used to pull into the Shell station on Route 3 and ask the guy who was attending to all the pumps different questions about the way my car was running. He told me a lot of stuff that I don't remember at all, but we developed a good relationship. I knew my car was in good hands when I left it with the really cool Shell guy.

Now I put my card in the slot, pump my gas and get the change rounded up to the nearest dollar in my Bank of America account. I would trade in my "keep the change" account to interact with a neighborhood gas station attendant that would take good care of the Sapphire Hornet at ANY point in time. Hell, at this point in time I'll take on the job of the gas station attendant!!

Where did the checkout girl go at Walgreens? Why do I have to drive several miles, in a city mind you, to get film developed with care? Is there such thing as an independent bookseller who caters to customer's tastes? The only good customer service left is the pot dealer who delivers right to your front door in 30 minutes or less.

Technology is killing the job market, or at least any job I am qualified for. Yeah yeah yeah, it makes everything easier, but it also makes you dumber and the gift of patience is becoming lost upon us as human beings. Nobody can spell anymore except for the 25 kids who end up in Putnam County. We are becoming too reliant on the ease of things and that is hurting America, socially and economically.

Somebody please tell me what the space program ever done for the greater good of our country...besides heighten the arms race? Get rid of NASA then those folks can go teach math somewhere...but who the hell wants to teach anymore? Very few people I know would be hurt by NASA closing because they couldn't work there anyway! I couldn't. Take that spaceship fuel and convert it to unleaded gasoline and fill up a few dozen cars.

It's nearing election time and I cannot take listening to anyone's solutions to our problems. There are a few easy solutions like take away age limits for some jobs. I could beat out more than half of any group trying out for the military, the police department, or the fire department in both physical and mental challenges, but I am over 40 so I can't even put my genius and somewhat in shape shoulders to work. There are a lot of people over 40 who want steady income who could perform a number of services as an "elderly" civil servant. Make credit cards harder to get. If you want a 2000 dollar limit for a credit card then you better show that you have 2000 dollars cash in an account. It's as simple as that. Less available credit that is killing this economy would force people to pay cash for necessary items and maybe bring about a higher demand for people in necessity stores...like Walgreens. Also, take some of the money from the now-defunct NASA program and fix the infrastructure of this country!! In Chicago they started at the wrong end of North Ave fixing potholes and there is plenty more that needs to be done. Local governments can't afford to maintain, I said maintain not improve, their facilities and roadways.

Hey politicians...come up with viable solutions and create some damn jobs!! And tax the rich so more money can be doled out at the state level for contracts that will make public transportation safer, roads smoother, and classrooms less crowded.

Wendell Pierce, an actor from the Wire and Treme, tweeted that he is part of the very small percentile that makes over 200,000 dollars per year and feels very little demand from the federal government. I applauded his honesty:

WendellPierce Wendell Pierce
Only 3% of Americans make more than $200,000. I'm one of them. For 10 years I have had a tax break. 10 Years. A 3% increase in tax nothing

The solutions seem simple but I have no idea what I am talking about. Hell, I was a theatre arts major. But our county is getting ridiculous and there doesn't seem to be anybody on the horizon who appears to be able to fix things unless you are talking about the distant hoirzon and the Rapture!!:) I will say this: take away age restrictions and I will put out some fires.