rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “computers”

The Satellite Dish

Several years ago, I wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper in Eastland County, Texas.I lived on Lake Leon and since that was my residence, I titled my column, “Puttering Around Lake Leon. I have since moved on to East Texas, however, ”In re-reading some of those columns, I decided to publish a few of those that seem to continue to have relevance today. I have listed a category on Rancherwriterpoet that I have named “RETRO”.

In my column, each week, I attempted to make certain comparisons to life’s circumstances by using a bit of humor as well as reminiscing about the “Good Old Days.” They also include my opinions concerning Christian Life. I confess, I am not theologically trained, thus I choose not to engage in any back and forth discussions. I accept your comments gratefully and appreciate them very much.

This first “Retro” post seems to fit right in with the most recent rains we have had lately.

Puttering Around Lake Leon

Satellite Dish

Satellite Dish

During the recent rains and for that matter every time it rains, my satellite dish goes on the fritz. The box tells me the signal has been lost. It occurred to me that no matter how far technology has come in my lifetime, I am still technologically (I can type it, I cannot pronounce it) challenged.
When I was a kid, I think thirteen or fourteen; I was a huge fan of the rock and roll music during that era. Actually, I still am. Maybe you remember those records, “Wop Bop A Lu Lop… Good Golly, Miss Molly… Move Over, Beethoven…”  If you do, then you are as old as I am and maybe as technologically challenged as me, but who am I to throw stones.

Anyway, I lived in a small town in East Texas and as I recall, the local radio station never played such “outlandish” music, “music of the devil” I was told. That would be my dear grandmother, God rest her soul. It was left up to us boys to find it wherever we could. I had a small radio with a dial that required very fine-tuning to locate a station. This is when I began my technology training.

The radio station, WLAC, Nashville, Tennessee, played MY kind of music. The only problem was I could not pick it up until very late at night. That time of night as well as the type of music was unacceptable to my mother. I failed to see the enormity of it. But, then, I discovered that if I tied a wire onto the window screen and attached it to the back of the radio I could pick up the station more clearly and thus I could play it more softly, thereby not disturbing my mother. It worked! Soon my friends around town were attaching wires to their radios and we were dancing the night away to Little Richard and Bo Diddley. That is, until my mother confiscated my antenna. I suffered a jolt to my system from which I never fully recovered. Lest there be any misunderstanding, though, I carry no grudge or ill will concerning my mother. I simply moved on with my life and got my music fix down at Buddy’s Dairy Bar.

Fast forward to modern days. Time moves on and with it, advances in technology. I was left in the cold; somewhere back in Eight Track Days.

I received my first cell phone in 1985. It was called a mobile phone in those days and weighed about three pounds. It certainly wasn’t very mobile. It was more like a suitcase. But, I never learned to program it. I enlisted my enlightened co-worker to accomplish that task. Newer phones became smaller and smaller, even fitting into my shirt pocket. I retired in 2006 and retired the phone as well. After all, I never did learn to use all the features that came with it. And today, we have txt msgs, whatever that means. LOL.

I got my first computer in 1990. I almost ruined it the day I plugged it in for I knew nothing about a computer. I have not advanced much since then, either. I am in awe of the meteoric advances in technology, today, even though I have been left far behind.

Programming the VCR was a hindrance to me as well. My son in his early ages conquered that problem. Then came the DVD player. My grandson accomplished that task. The digital camera was next. My granddaughter was responsible for that programming. On that subject, I fail to see how those pictures come out when there is no film inside.

Last year, my house flooded and I had to replace the electric range. It had to be programmed as well. Fortunately, the customer service technician was very helpful. It required only two phone calls, thirty-seven minutes on hold and about an hour later, I could boil water.

However, my most serious problem arose with the satellite dish. This thing sets on my roof, facing the southwestern sky and when I turn on the television, (which I might add, I needed the assistance of my eight-year-old nephew to program), I usually receive a picture.

Except of course, when it rains. The screen tells me the signal has been lost.

rain
There is absolutely nothing I can do to retrieve a picture until it quits raining. Then the thing does it completely without my help. I am thankful for that.

This thought occurred to me. You see, all these other devices, the radio, the camera, the VCR, the DVD, the telephone, the electric range, my computer, the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, the microwave oven, all electronic devices for which I needed help to program, ALL of these items continued to work in the rain. But not my satellite dish.
This is the only device I own that must be pointed to the sky in order to work properly. I know that signals must be received from that orbiting contraption if I am to view any program on my television.

Human intelligence, human ingenuity, although given to us by God, nevertheless, is hampered by our reluctance to acknowledge the Creator and His total creation. These magnificent devices that we cannot do without, pale in comparison with the wisdom that comes from God.
On good days, the signals from the satellite are received without a thought. It seems that way in our ordinary life. Only in the rain do I complain. Yet, God’s signals are never lost. We may tend to ignore them, to turn the set off, but they are not lost. In fact, it is a two-way communication system with Him.

The Bible is the complete communication device. The only programming I need to use this device comes from the Word itself. “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13.

If I point my heart to the heavens, communication is instantaneous. I may be technologically challenged, but God is my programmer. He can be your programmer. Just point your heart to the heavens and ask. More information can be found in His Instruction Book or through Customer Service.

Biblr

I cannot pick up WLAC, Nashville, Tennessee. Not even with a copper wire tied to the window screen. Besides, they don’t even play MY kind of music anymore.

Pete Robertson, August 2008
Lake Leon

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Catching up with Technology

Finally, the day arrived. The “Rancherette” and the “Rancherwriterpoet” both made an important trip to Dr. G., the dermatologist. There was much trepidation in the eyes of one of the participants. That participant shall remain nameless for fear of retribution if her name is revealed.

In researching for this article, I find that those who eventually will become more, shall we say advanced in age, usually are the ones who will make this journey to their own personal Doctor G., the dermatologist. That age falls somewhere between puberty and senility, and not to be confused with virility.

So off we went. We live in a rural area, so it is about an hour’s drive to his location. We usually make a day of it and visit the local shops and restaurants that are not available to us where we live.

Since the “Rancherette” has been having difficulty with her cell phone not charging properly, she decided to check in at the phone store. On a side note, remember when they were actually called mobile phones and rested in a bag and had a cord? For that matter, remember when there were no portable phones at all? And what ever happened to the “tele” part of the word? Television is now TV, telegraph is now IM, (I looked that up, Instant Messaging.) and telemarketer, well, that is still used, however at one time they were called aluminum salesmen. No offense to any retired aluminum salesmen. But you get my drift.

Anyway, as we entered the “phone” store, there were several sales associates standing at the door. Very courteously, they opened the doors for us. Our time was limited because of our appointment with Dr. G., the dermatologist, so when we entered I remarked to the “Rancherette”, choose a sales person who looks “geeky”.

“Why?” she asked.  “They will know much more about what you want” I replied. I mean no disrespect for “geeks” are very intelligent when it comes to electronics, computers and all that nerdy stuff.

A very nice young man, probably in his early twenties, very early twenties, volunteered to help us. The “Rancherette” immediately began her requests. She asked questions that I did not know and he gave answers that I did not know. It was very clear they were speaking in a language of which I was unfamiliar. I learned later it is called “geek” language.

At this point, let me inform you that I have an old “flip” TELEphone. It rings with an actual TELEphone ring. It does not have a QWERTY keyboard, in fact, no keyboard at all. I have a computer for that. I am not profoundly literate about that either. I learned to type on a Royall typewriter, before electricity. My flip TELEphone does not IM or TEXT or take pictures. I have a Kodak
camera for taking pictures. It does not play music. I have a transistor radio for that. It does not have the capability of playing videos. I finally broke down and bought a used VCR for that. That set me back 20 bucks. I understand there is now a device that plays something called DVD’s.  I’ll discuss those inventions at a later date.

The “Rancherette” and the “Geek”, (sounds like a movie or country music song) must have hit it off. I remember she called him a geek and he took it as a compliment.

Once she made her choice, he whipped out his trusty tablet, (I do not mean the Big Chief tablets I used when I was much younger)

Big Chief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and begun touching symbols and icons and lo and behold, her TELEphone information was staring us in the face on his tablet. After much discussion, they made the deal, and he began moving her data from her old TELEphone to her new TELEphone. Most people use only the …phone portion of the word. AND he saved her three bucks in the process. I knew this kid was good. I liked him.

So, I have a new respect for “geeks’. They have such knowledge. For example, they can form a series of binary digits on a physical storage medium in order to manipulate the data in any central processing unit even though the executable programs are stored in separate location, especially in the clouds.                                         And I have no idea what I just said.

We finally left the store to make our way to Dr. G’s office, but stopped for lunch at a local “Cajun” restaurant. Delightful and spicy, just what we needed. The “Rancherette” was so excited about her new TELEphone, she was beside herself. Could not put it down. One would have thought she had just got a new Barbie doll for Christmas. I was never that excited on Christmas morning.

After arriving at  Dr. G’s office, and being seated in his special recliner, the participant who previously was distressed had an epiphany.  Dr. G. informed that person that there was absolutely nothing to worry about, for whatever was concerning that person, was of a benign nature. It is related to heredity and basically comes from the aging process. You know, somewhere between puberty and senility, not to be confused with virility.

Phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, it was a good day. It also helps if one gets a new …phone.

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