Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Know my Thoughts Are In There Somewhere….

Along with the new desktop (that continues to be a joy - NOT!), I also had bought a digital recorder, with the logical thought that audio tape was becoming as scarce as blog sites without advertising… and now instead of just a record-stop-play process, I have fallen into Beginner’s Binary Bewilderment, as I push beeping buttons with increasing frustration, looking for the notes that I am sure I taped during my last car trip -- I know I saw a red light at the top of the little machine, dagnabit!! It’s not that I’m computer illiterate, it’s just that I don’t have several hours to learn the many, varied (and I’m sure, delightful) new features of this sophisticated tool that is the size of a pack of cigarettes, (and at $29, costs about the same amount). And there’s also the fact that my own organic “processor” seems to have flaked off enough cells that erasing old procedures and recording new ones takes as many tries as getting this old body out of bed in 20 degree weather. Basically, I forget the damn instructions as fast as it takes to tuck the recorder into my purse, and so when I‘m driving, eyes (mostly) on the road, I‘m squeezing buttons, hearing beeps and feeling like I wandered into Candid Camera.

Back at home, my summer garden grows weeds like the castle in Sleeping Beauty as I waste precious hours trying to get my new digital “toys” to behave. The digital recorder has four virtual “folders” in which you can “tuck” the individual “recordings”. No longer can you just back up the tape and find what you’d said just before screaming and slamming on your brakes… now you have to find the right folder and the right snippet to play back. Supposedly, I can download any/all of it onto my new computer now, and sort it all out with the mouse and keyboard… if only I knew how. Honestly - what I said wasn’t worth all this!! But it’s all part of the Revolution that will Make Our Lives Easier (yes, and there is no global warming…. and the Brooklyn Bridge is still for sale). There comes a time when even the most enthusiastic technie begins to wonder if the digital devices have deliberately created a world where it take 15 minutes to input/read/print a paragraph that could be handwritten in one. Oh, yes, you say - but after it’s input, you can do so much more with it! Yes, but do I need to? Or was that “need” created to fill the existing capacity, just like appliances were made to go obsolete in order to fill the need to sell us more stuff each year? Ah, dang it - I’m starting to sound like a Luddite.

But I know I moved here to live more simply and to spend more time in the garden, or working to make my little bungalow a cozy nest… so I’m gonna give up on whatever witticism is parsed in the tiny bowels of this contraption, and go out and hoe weeds. And I’m gonna bring a notepad and pen. It fits in my pocket just as easily as the digi-taper, and if I turn my back on the sprinkler, it’s not as big a disaster.

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