Modern inventions ruining 'good old family blue'
I MANAGED to catch up with my son and daughter-in-law last week; they both work full time and study part time, so their busy schedules often don't leave room for family matters.
While eating dinner that night, the topic of technology arose. James is a video editor and is at highly skilled in all aspects of his craft; I've been using a computer for my work since 1987 and I thought I was pretty quick, but his hands by comparison are a blur while he is at the keyboard.
While we talked software and such, I mentioned the fact that, every now and then while I am using my iPad, I am overcome with amazement at what I am actually doing with the device.
It's a camera, a never-ending bookstore, a cinema, and a television station.
And it has enabled me to avoid using glasses to read; if the print isn't big enough, a quick "reverse pinch" enlarges the page in a heartbeat.
And all I have to do is swipe my fingers across an impossibly thin glass screen to achieve it all.
It's incredible, really, and if someone had told me 30 years ago I would own and operate such a thing, I'd have laughed in their face.
My son, after a few minutes, confessed that he, too, is quietly amazed by the technology even though he had access to a computer from when he was only five.
However, there is a recent innovation that I am not so thrilled by - the soft-close phenomenon.
Yes, the nifty hinges that are fitted to modern kitchen drawers and cupboard doors that have robbed us all of the supreme satisfaction of slamming either during an argument.
I grew up in a household that, while definitely a loving and safe environment, was not without its conflicts (like most families, I guess).
My mother struggled with depression her whole life, and my father really had to force her to participate in many things.
She never gave in without a battle, however, and many "discussions" were punctuated by the sound of the cutlery drawer or the pantry cupboard being slammed shut in a fury.
Where's the fun in shoving something like that and having it glide gently to a smooth, whisper-quiet stop?
It's taken all the flair out of a good old family blue.
And don't get me started on no longer being able to slam down the phone receiver after an argument - usually after explaining to a call-centre employee how idiotic it is to be told to look on the internet for information on outages to my, you guessed it, internet service. Really.
How can you express that sort of frustration by quietly pushing a button?