Archive for Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jest for Grins: Technology-challenged Mom appreciates IT son

May 2, 2010


There are 55 million tweets a day on Twitter, and not one of them is mine. Nor likely will it ever be. I admit to becoming a member of Twitter one rash moment after reading in my online newspaper that I could follow a local tornado alert simply by joining. Perhaps some weather watchers could find that tornado on Twitter, but I wasn’t one of them. I’ve heard about some of the tweets Twits post on Twitter about what they’re doing at any given moment. Unless they’re reporting on a tornado, I don’t care and I’m pretty sure they aren’t interested that I’m drinking tea and reading a book.

Once Twitter had my e-mail address, I kept getting messages announcing that people I don’t know were following me on Twitter. Since I’ve never once tweeted, they must be bored out of their skulls. It reminds me of that old Cheech and Chong routine where Cheech comes into a room and asks Chong what he’s watching on TV. Chong says, “Some cowboy movie and it’s really BORING.” (That joke only works if you remember the old TV test pattern with the unmoving facial profile of an Indian wearing a feathered warbonnet.)

Now, to all my friends who have invited me to join Facebook and befriend them, know this: I like you. I really, REALLY like you. I like you more than the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences once liked Sally Field. But it’s not gonna happen. The problem seems to be that, while everyone I know is blessed with a 24-hour day, I got shortchanged and only have 22 hours. If I could find those extra two hours everyone else has, I’d be glad to be your Facebook friend and do whatever it is that friends do on Facebook.

I may be technology-challenged, but I’m not anti-technology. Husband Ray and I have six computers between us if you count his iPod. However, I admit to currently being a bit jaded because an automatic Microsoft update just crashed my computer, wrecked the registry and lost a bunch of my unbacked-up files.

Because of that crash, it recently took me three computers to complete a dance flyer for a non-profit agency. The PageMaker file I needed to update was on my old computer, the font I needed was on another and saving my work as a pdf required the laptop on which I’d installed InDesign. If none of that makes sense to you, it doesn’t to me either, but thank God I know how to use a flash drive.

Once upon a time, parents hoped to raise a babysitter before they had additional kids. Now they hope to raise an information technologist before their computer crashes. Ray and I are fortunate that Ray Jr. (aka Butch), our firstborn son, is an IT. I called Butch in a panic when my computer crashed. He came to our home and carried it away, along with the never used external hard-drive I bought two years ago for back-up.

A week later, he returned a computer that was functioning and backed-up. I had to reinstall programs and some files couldn’t be recovered (or haven’t been yet), but that was way better than my first computer crash when Butch was still a pre-IT. I took that earlier crashed computer to a geek store only to have them throw up their hands and tell me to buy a new one. Compared to those guys, my son is brilliant!

When Butch was a toddler, I wrote the following poem expressing my mother’s pride in our first-born prodigy:

People who brag about offspring

Are people who bore me to tears.

Endless talk of how smart their kids are

Gets awfully hard on my ears.

Now I do not brag that MY child

Is brilliant, a genius, a whiz …

And if I don’t, then they surely shouldn’t

Because my precious child really IS!

All these years later, that sentiment still rings true. Thanks, Butch!

— Marsha Henry Goff is a freelance writer in Lawrence whose latest book is “Human Nature Calls.”


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