Now here’s a first. I’m writing this blog on my f.r.e.d. (Freaking ridiculous electronic device) Yep that tablet thing I was foolish enough to indulge in. I feel like a gorilla trying to order lunch on a typewriter. Ba…bana…b…na. What’s a typewriter you may well ask and if you don’t know I’m not sure how to explain. It was a writing machine. You inserted a single blank sheet of paper into it by manually winding a roller. Then you began pecking at the keyboard to produce letters and words. Each letter or symbol would fly up on a small lever as you pressed a key. It would imprint through an inked ribbon onto the sheet of paper. The ribbon advanced itself the width of a lettter each time you pressed a key.
It was a very complicated and fascinating bit of machinery. Yes, there were typewriter mechanics. There was no backing up or deleting if you made an error while typing. You could either try to erase the word or pull out the sheet, insert a new one and start the whole page over. Then you’d need to change the ink ribbon when it came to its end and if you were cheap you’d try to rewind the ribbon and use it until the letters were too faint to see clearly.
Those machines were heavy and cumbersome. They were mechanical and required a heavy touch until electric machines came along. Those were definitely NOT portable and the concept of a tiny device such as I am cursing at and poking with my bent old banana fingers would have been considered hilarious; a Dick Tracy idea. When laptop computers first became available to the general public I swore that all I’d ever need was something called a “Word Processor.” It looked like a large laptop but would only write and store documents, revolutionary at the time.
Some people could type prodigiously. “Words per minute” were a prized secretarial rating. Spelling errors and other typing mistakes were inconceivable. Nobody looked at the keyboard! In some schools typing was a class taken very seriously. I chose welding instead. Enough said.
A few nights ago, in the wee hours, I sat unable to sleep in my old camper. I’d parked back in the woods. The darkness was inpenetrable as was the silence which weighed the night down.
Finally a Barred owl called and added a dimension to the void. I was trying to work out a poem on my tiny tablet. I operate on a premise that if millions of other folks can use one of these things, so can I. Bugga! It must have a ‘Beat the geezer’ mode because absolutely nothing works for me. The thing can change screens simply by me looking at it and do not make the mistake of putting your hands near the wee devil device. Pigs in space! I’ve spent labourious hours pecking out a story only to have it vanish while being transferred to the big file.
Outside it is the first clear, warm day day of spring. Bugger the claptrap of this nonsense. This old boy is taking his dogs to find a flower-filled meadow.
While watching my dog it occurred to me that if only the generals understood… all they have to do is wag their tail!