21 May, 2010

Water Torture

Three straight days of rain means, among other things, no workers, no progress on the guesthouse, TV now and then (frequent satellite pixelation and interruptions), Lots of TV with nothing on, Tons of reading (I started and finished Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol), and when all else fails, some thinking.

During one of those periods of reading and thinking, I read in in the online version of the Atlantic, President Obama warned that using iPods, iPads, and iThis's, and iThats, become distractions and diversions, rather than tools of empowerment.

Apparently some technically minded folks have taken umbrage at his remarks. I have to say that I'm not in that camp. I think the Prez is spot-on. It was such a liberating thing in moving down here, becoming relatively technology-free. It's not that I'm not using technology (elsewise, how would this blog get written all the time?), but, that I, as a result of moving here, have relinquished the hold that technology has over virtually every aspect of our lives up north.

And before you dismiss me as just a plain old-fogey who doesn't like technology, I think that is far from the case. I worked till I retired as an IT Applications Manager, specializing in programming and managing emergency operations web-based software for a state Emergency Operations Center for a little over 10 years as well as being the agency webmaster. I've carried and used my share of cellphones, portables, pagers, totables, Blackberries, netbooks, desktops, notebooks, tablets, and so on. So, I have a little knowledge on the topic.

Granted, I probably have been tainted in that I grew up with my formative years being more or less technology-free, which may have eased my transition back into a relatively technology-free life style now. By this I mean the kids coming along now, and those graduating from university, have always had what we term technology. Very little in their life has had to have been done manually or even with just the power and skill of their individual brain.

Years ago, we didn't have to 'multi-task'. We just had a 'task' that had to be accomplished. Then, there was another task, followed by another. This brings to mind, Charles Emerson Winchester, from M.A.S.H., when he said, "I do one thing. I do it very well. Then I move on." Well, you get the idea. It's interesting, but I think 'multi-tasking' may be more hype than reality.

I recently read on, that a major university had completed a study on multi-tasking and that their results showed that any more than two simultaneous tasks was counter-productive. In other words, effectiveness and efficiency went down the more tasks one tried to do. Hmmm. Then add in the Blackberries, the iPhones and all its apps, all the social-networking sites. One does begin to wonder just how much real work is getting done?

The Atlantic article goes even further to say that in a new book, "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr, that Carr says that access to multitudes of information, hyperlinks, multi-tasking, gadgets, etc., etc., may just be playing havoc with our ability for short-term memory (notoriously lacking in the first place) to convert to long-term memory. The implication being, I think, that 'Short Attention Span Theatre' may become much more the norm than just an old and funny Saturday Night Live skit.

Now, you take the two results, one, that multi-tasking actually results in less efficiency, and two, that folks increasingly can't remember much and forget to pay attention to the really important things, where are we headed? I hope somebody's driving the boat who remembers what course we're supposed to be on and that there's shoals up ahead somewhere.

Well, enough of all that. We've had sunshine, now and then, for the past two days, but still no workers for the guesthouse. Most likely, because it needs time to dry out enough to continue painting. That, and the fact that our louver windows should be arriving this next week and that will cause some more concrete work before the painting can be completed, so I understand the slow-up. Or, is it a 'slow-down'? Is there a difference?

I know some folks have been concerned about the lack of new postings during this rainy period. Normally, you'd think I would be productive and get several postings posted, so to speak. Not the case. It was mostly gray skies and drizzle, which caused our long-dormant webbing between our toes (a common affliction of those who live in the Pacific Northwest) to come back to life. This was disconcerting enough, but, the gray dreariness also brought back feelings of cabin fever (also common in the Northwest). It caused us to do weird things like delver deeper into our books, take more naps (if that's possible), and scan the horizon for signs the sun hasn't totally deserted us.

After three days, the sun did return. What did we do? Jump into the pool, naturally. Oh, it felt good. We also went shopping. We went to Cinty's, Lydia's, Courts, and Lano's looking for kitchen hoods for over the stove, an armoire, fabrics, you name it.

We found kitchen hoods - too big and too small, lots of fabric (Cinty's has a ton), and a nice small armoire for one of the bedrooms in the guesthouse. Dianna will be busy refinishing it pretty soon, so I'll have some photos of it later on.

I almost forgot. The doggies... Just about went stir-crazy because we couldn't walk. Yesterday, I tried to take them for a walk. I wore my old running shoes, thinking they'd give me some traction on the wet and slick marl roadway. Maybe so, but they also gave me a quick heel blister, that was bleeding by the time I got down to Doug and Twyla's place. That was a quick turn-around.

Anyway, I applied 3-in-1 antiseptic, then went swimming in the afternoon. Chlorine kills anything. This morning, we had a successful walkies. I wore my old slick Crocs and everything went fine. I did forget to buy garlic at the market though.

Now it's Friday and we're supposed to have someone coming to measure and give us an estimate for the kitchen counters/cabinets. I'm not holding my breath on that however.

So, we're gearing up for a relaxing weekend. More walkies, more pooltime, and more sun. Yea!

1 comment:

sandy a. said...

I agree with you about technology: it's great, but one should be able to function without it. It's kind of a double-edged sword for me; I get socialization outside of work, but at the same time it makes me rather reclusive.
Hope the sun returns soon for an extended visit!