Try Turning it off and On?

Jack gets there just on time again –

My recent experiences trying unsuccessfully to deal with technology –

  1. We were more or less gifted a twenty year old riding mower three years ago. We got it with a flat battery and flat tire but managed to deal with that. However this year time and age finally caught up. After a few weeks of ever increasing problems it’s time had come. I spent a couple of days rehearsing and honing my speech to Wendy justifying the purchase of a replacement. Finally I summoned the courage and said “ about the riding mower, dear’ and she said “yes, get us a new one”!
  2. My four year old laptop finally gave up the ghost after two keyboard replacements so I went on to the dreaded Amazon and ordered a new replacement. It arrived a week later and worked fine for the first few days. Then completely died as I was in the middle of something. I messaged the seller and got a helpful set of instructions which I’d already tried to no avail. Their second response was a link to HP’s warranty page and their return policy, which showed we’d get our money back less 20% and less a further 20% because we didn’t report the fault within three days. When we went to the HP site we discovered our new laptop was over a year old and out of warranty. Sigh!
  3. Wendy lets me out of the house during the current lock-down every two weeks to do the garbage run to the local re-cycling place. As there are usually a number of sacks, I take our SUV “Black Angus’ (a Dodge Journey). Today I went out, loaded the sacks, got in and turned the key – clunck! It seems that modern cars run stuff in the background even when parked and switched off. So not designed for lock-downs when they might not be run for a couple of weeks. Luckily we have a charger and a long cable!

I remember being quite enthused about new technology when I was younger – cars you could work on yourself that didn’t need a computer to be plugged in, cassette players, open reel tape recorders, LPs that had sleeves you could read, dial up internet with that crazy sound. But it began to suck us into an over dependency – – –

On technology!

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Filed under bad writing, between books, Big Stone Gap, blue funks, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Wendy Welch

Are the Times A-Changin’?

Jack is still covering for Wendy who is writing frantically to meet deadlines – –

The current concentration on equal rights and treatment got me thinking back to how I’ve related over my life with folk from different cultures and colors.

I grew up in a small town in Scotland which, when I was a bairn, had really only two minorities – Italians who owned the fish and chip shops and ice cream parlors, and Poles who ran the barber shops. There was one black guy called Gillette (a French name) and that was pretty much it. I don’t remember any anti-immigrant sentiments, although I’m sure they must have existed.

This is Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government’s Justice Minister.

Later as I entered adulthood the first Chinese restaurant opened and my ‘gang’ were regulars. We became friendly with the owner and staff and would often spend time with them after hours.

Even later the first Indian restaurant opened and the same gang became good friends with them too.

We were all mostly ‘folkies’ and sang ‘We Shall Overcome’ regularly, so that tells you something about our political sympathies.

But when Wendy and I married and she came to Scotland she abruptly saw things differently. She encountered a good deal of anti-Americanism and there could be many reasons for that. Regardless of the reasons, it happened and it wasn’t about color or even language!

It’s about planting fear of the ‘other’ in fertile ground. Here in the US it’s been about Poles, Irish, Italians, Hispanics, Catholics, Muslims and on and on.

But in Scotland twenty-five years ago – – –

I have known two Scottish policemen throughout the years; one was a bully all his life and the other was a perfect gentleman. So I don’t doubt that there are good and bad just as in society generally.

We’re a’ Jock Tamson’s Bairns – aye, maybe – – –

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