rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “Technology”

Pushing Carts

I’m confident that most if not all of my readers have shopped at least once in the “giant ‘big box’, has everything, supercenter store”. If there should be one who hasn’t had that experience, I urge you to venture into that dominion. That should be on your “bucket list”. But be prepared for the consequence.

Yesterday, I accompanied the “Rancherette” on our weekly outing to the friendly supercenter for much needed supplies.  We do everything together. We work together, play together, eat together, so it makes sense that we shop together.

Most of our journey into the realm of our supercenter shopping schedule takes place in the grocery section. “You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b5aW08ivHU

Our path is pre-ordained. We enter the store, proceed to the pharmacy, (at my age there is usually a prescription to be picked up), then on to the Health & Beauty section. The “Rancherette” does not need anything from here, but I do. At last visit,  they did not have any such beauty aids that would be of assistance to me, but I spend a lot of time in the Health Department.

.blood pressure machine

Since the beauty section is on the opposite end from the grocery section, we must then travel through the various departments including the fashion department, and usually with a stopover in each with a detour for a pit stop along the way. (Think health needs).Occasionally, we slide through the craft department, for the “Rancherette” is very crafty.

See the source image.

As we make our way through the store to the foods the travel gets perilous. Pushing a cart through the supercenter is risky to say the least. I have a couple of ideas that might make it a little safer, or not.

First, a pushing cart license should be required before entering the store. They could set up a kiosk at the entry and charge a fee, either for a one trip or annual permit.  Instruction booklets could be found in the Home & Office department. A short one week course with field training could be utilized during nights and weekends when traffic is lightest if there is such a time.

Believe me; many people are in need of a degree of instruction.  See the source image

For example, some use the British model, you know, pushing on the “wrong” side of the aisle, while others use the American model, pushing on the “correct” side of the aisle. Still others use no model at all. Some use the haphazard model. It is very confusing.

driving on wrong side

And there are the “wrong way” pushers. They are oblivious of anyone around them. One can be pushing the correct direction, either British or American and out of nowhere comes a cart from the wrong direction and stacked so high the “pusher” cannot see over the mound of stuff, usually with soft drink bottles hanging off the side. You know, “East is east and West is west, and never the twain shall meet.”(Except in the “Big Box Supercenter”.) As you see, in the photo above, one can find anything in a “Big Box” Supercenter.

And with the “medians” in the middle of the wider aisles one never knows which side to move. The narrow aisles do not have these obstructions, so this is where the motorized shoppers meet to discuss current events.  In fact, the “big box” supercenter could set aside a section like a park, where these individuals could meet. The supercenter could then charge admission. All this could be corrected with “pushing licenses” instruction.

One solution would be to make the aisles a one way direction.  It might not solve every problem but it might solve a few. See diagram below. Notice in the diagram, there is only one check out location. This is controlled chaos. All the stores use this method to keep order.

As we proceed down the aisles we pass all the well known “impulse” items, usually not on our list but placed exactly at eye level. The managerial staff knows when I am coming. Being the sucker I am, I load the basket. But we must also locate the items on our list.  Bottom shelves are not knee friendly nor is the fiber cereal on the top shelf. This is an area where the supercenter needs a bit of instruction. If they would call me, I would tell them where to put stuff. They do not understand such logic. I do.

Eventually, we make our way through the checkout. As we leave the store, we converse about how exciting it is to see the many exhibits (exhibitionists)  throughout the store. Kind of makes your venture worthwhile. Since this is a family friendly site, I will not describe all the varying displays throughout the supercenter. Let just say,  one can see things in there that are not available even in the zoos of the world. Children under 16 years of age should not be admitted, many are simply unsuitable for young adolescents.

But hey, we gathered our groceries, now you gather your courage and get out there and go “pushing”.

See the source image

Have a happy day.

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Update to “The Ice Cream Scoop” and other stuff

Update to “Ice Cream Scoop”. The “Rancherette” went above and beyond the call of duty in loading the dish drainer yesterday and she took a picture of it. Obviously, this is not censored in any way since she shared the photo with me.

Drainer

And while the drainer was piled about as high as usual, she did make a special effort to place the “scoop” in a favorable location. But observe the height restriction of the overhead cabinet; I suppose I could remove the overhead cabinet to give her more stacking room. As I said in “The Ice Cream Scoop”, the Rancherette is an expert at loading a dish drainer. Notice how her little round ball scoop is positioned conspicuously in the flatware compartment. I wasn’t fooled even a little bit. I didn’t take the bait.

Notice also how the “cereal bowl and the ice cream bowl” are partially hidden. She’s still got me. Once again I must at least unload some of the dishes in order to retrieve my bowls. Evidently, this task will require a bit more training.

In “The Ice Cream Scoop” I mentioned that I have an affinity for a particular scoop and bowl. Do you not also have a likeness for something odd or something someone else would describe as quirky  or a “peculiarity of behavior”?

Quirkiness: A peculiarity of behavior; an idiosyncrasy. So says “The Free Dictionary”. To borrow a line from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem, “How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways” of quirkiness. In my situation, I will admit to being guilty of these examples  but I am not admitting to being “quirky”.

First, there are the aforementioned articles, i.e. “scoop and bowl”. But there are others. For example; Identical Bread Slices!

bread slices

When I make a sandwich, the bread slices must be exactly alike. You then place them side by side in such a fashion that they match each other. This is called a symmetrical arrangement, exactly similar parts facing each other. In other words balanced. The ingredients are perfectly aligned. Therefore when the sandwich is made it is balanced. This, of course is not quirky in my opinion, however, “some people” consider it quirky. In a perfect world, everything would be balanced. At my age, balance is important. Fortunately, the dish drainer is not involved in this example. No utensils are required (except for a spoon.) Come to think about it, I may have to unload the flatware compartment to get to a spoon.

Crumbled Crackers in milk is another example of what “some” consider as quirky.           You take an antique beer goblet, hopefully from the cabinet and not in the drainer, crumble saltine crackers in the glass, pour milk over the crackers until covered, retrieve spoon from flatware drawer, (if empty check dish drainer flatware compartment) stir concoction and enjoy. Occasionally when I have had a big meal for lunch I resort to this for my dinner in the evening.

 

.3-bartlett-collins-thumbprint-clear-glass-stem-beer-goblets-16-oz-3-737040a841efb91bd085d02206830e48crackers

So there you have a few examples of what “some people” consider quirky.

If you ask the “Rancherette” I am confident she could list several more “quirky” examples, (in her opinion),  but since this is my blog I reserve the right to choose the items that grace these pages. Besides, she has her hands full with loading the dish drainer.

AND since this is New Year’s Day, I wish all my family, friends and readers a very happy start to 2019.

Ice Cream Scoop

Being a creature of habit, I went into the kitchen, cut me a piece of delicious Apple pie made lovingly by the “Rancherette” , got the Blue Bell from the fridge, looked in the drawer where we keep such specialty items as my special ice cream scoop, and it wasn’t there.  My scoop is not your regular scoop, it is more like a miniature shovel. It removes the ice cream from the carton in a shovel fashion, unlike other scoops that make little balls. It was a free gift from Gulf Gas many years ago.

IMG_7144

The “Rancherette” and I bought this old farm house in 2009. With her design skills and my building skills, we spent about four years remodeling and changing things up a bit. When we got to the small kitchen, it was either give up counter space and cabinets to put in a dishwasher or keep counter space and cabinets and give up a dishwasher. The “Rancherette” decided to give up the dishwasher in favor of the cabinets. Since there was a lack of cabinet space she made a wise decision.

However, this meant a dish drainer would be necessary. As I have learned since the remodel, the “Rancherette” is an expert at putting dishes in a dish drainer. She knows so very well what will fit where. She also knows how high to stack the dishes and the little compartment on the side that holds the flatware until it will not hold the flatware. In that case the overflow will fit under a plate or pan somewhere else in the drainer. She is teaching me the skill. As I said, an expert. You see, everything in our farmhouse kitchen has a specified place.

With that being said, the only problem I have is: “Where is my ice cream scoop?”  I’m sure we all have our little peculiarities. For me, it is my ice cream scoop. Well, I also need my “dog food bowl”. For those of you who do not understand, my “dog food” bowl is a small yellow Tupperware cereal bowl. Many years ago it was placed in a bag of dog food as a gift from the manufacturer when you purchased their brand of dog food. I have several from that time period. My cereal  would not taste the same from any other bowl nor my ice cream from any other scoop.

. IMG_7149

So, I have my bowl, I have cut my pie and taken the ice cream from the fridge. But where is my scoop?  There is no sign of my ice cream scoop. Then I remembered. Look in the drainer. But all the other dishes are piled high in the drainer. It isn’t in the specialty drawer, it isn’t in the flatware container in the drainer and it isn’t in the sink dirty. My ice cream is beginning to melt and I have no scoop. Heaven forbid that I must use the little round ball technique. I asked the “Rancherette” if she had any idea where my ice cream shovel was located. She said look in the drainer. I said, “I did, it isn’t there.” And she said, “Look deeper!” But the drainer is stacked almost to the ceiling. So I have three choices, unload the drainer, use a different scoop or forego the ice cream.

So I began unloading the drainer. I work my way carefully, piece by piece, in case I spot the ice cream scoop before unloading the entire drainer. But to no avail. And my ice cream is melting.

Finally, the drainer is empty and there it is, my scoop, on the bottom. I suspect a ploy here. When the dishes in the sink are washed, my ice cream scoop is washed first. It can then be placed on the bottom with all the other dishes expertly arranged on top. What better way to get the drainer unloaded? I told you the “Rancherette” is an expert.

LETTER FROM THE GOVERNMENT

This is not intended to be any type of political statement. I merely compiled all my tax information to send to my accountant for the preparation of my income taxes. I had this idea to write about it and it is meant to be a humorous article. Perhaps at this time of year, you may also get a chuckle from it. I hope you take it that way. Of course, if you have to pay any additional amounts, then you probably are not laughing. Sorry about that.

To the agencies listed in this poem, don’t bug my phone, don’t track my tweets, don’t publish my private information across FB or Instagram or the local newspaper. Don’t mention it to any television station and by all means do not send this viral on YouTube. Keep my name out of it. Thank you and I appreciate it.

Letter from the Government

I got this disgusting letter from the IRS today
Said I owed them money and soon I better pay
First of all, I ain’t so sure I owe them folks a dime
and what they took from me must surely be a crime.

I called The GAO about stuff their Office buys,
using all my money which ain’t no big surprise.
They offered no excuse and sent me on my way
They said that maybe it’s just time for me to pay.

The DHS is famous for the safety of the land
But they declined to help me with my simple payment plan.
They said that maybe I should call the DOC
But the DOC said not to bother, unless I pay a fee.

So I called upon the FBI to check for DNA
They mentioned I should maybe call up the CIA
The CIA then told me that my stuff is classified
Then they asked me what it was that I was trying to hide.

I hung up my telephone in case I’m being bugged
If I’m thinking otherwise, it’s possible I’ve been drugged.
It was suggested that I could call the DEA
But they’re known to share their files with the CIA.

I could keep this up all day and for many days to come
But all these folks in government, they all think I’m dumb
Like EPA AND FEMA or maybe FANNIE MAE
Then there’s POTUS and FLOTUS and of course the FAA.

And don’t forget the BEP, the most important one I know
They’re the ones responsible for printing all the dough.
Sirs, I need a little more to pay my past due tax amount.
That way the IRS can settle up my account.

ist2_5855720-income-taxes

Pete Robertson
Feb 2017

If you are so inclined you may check out this link to see where the government spends your money. It is a list of ALL (hopefully) government agencies that have a budget.I think you may be surprised at the length of this list.

http://ucsd.libguides.com/c.php?g=90902&p=584912

SHARK ATTACK

The old floor-sucking, thunderously noise making, rolling piece of menacing machinery has finally died. Alfie, the resident Airedale, is celebrating. Before it passed from existence, It was interesting to see her peek her nose through her doggie door and remain alert in case that thing made its way in her direction.

We made our way to the local big box store (no name, they refused to pay for the commercial) for our regularly scheduled food replenishment trip. We stumbled into the housewares section on purpose and studied the shelves for a replacement floor-sucking, thunderously noise making, rolling piece of menacing machinery. The “Rancherette” studied the machinery, the ”Rancherwriterpoet” studied the prices. We eventually came to agreement on which one to purchase.

This got me to thinking. I remember when I was a child (a long time ago) when the Kirby salesman came to the house.  He would break out a fancy machine, colorful and all that stuff. He had numerous accessories to go along with this remarkable contraption. He smooth talked my mother all the while putting a piece of carpet on the floor and then dirt on the piece of carpet. He then proceeded to push buttons and this machine came to life. It sucked the life,uuh, dirt from that piece of carpet.  Honestly I was fascinated. We never had any such mechanism at our house. My mother explained to him that we had no carpet in the house, only linoleum floors. The broom worked just fine.No matter, he said, this modern 20th century product would take care of all our cleaning needs.  My mother did not buy the vacuum cleaner. But the exhibition was phenomenal for this ten year old boy.vacuum-sales

Fast forward to our excursion to the big box store (again no name, i.e. refusal to pay)

With the selection made we made our way to the more important part of the store. The food section! The grocery basket was not as full as usual except for the new-fangled vacuum cleaner. I did manage to sneak in some chocolate without the “Rancherette” noticing.

Obviously, the new machine was in desperate need of assembly unlike the vacuum cleaner of old. In that day, the machine came fully assembled. The salesman made sure of that. He even gave a demonstration of how to use the machine. Come to think of it, most every type of machinery, or furniture came fully assembled. But that was then and this is now. I purchased a new riding mower recently and most of it had to be assembled. Of course by me, otherwise it would cost an additional $75. Well, I digress.

We return home and unload the groceries. While the “Rancherette” puts away the groceries, I remove the vacuum cleaner from the carton with much difficulty. The machine has wheels but only after removal from the carton. This thing weighs a ton. One needs special tools to even open the box. The directions said to read the assembly instructions carefully. The only way you can read them is very carefully. First, you must find the correct language. The instructions are on a folded sheet with four languages. Unfolding the pamphlet is like refolding a map. (Who uses a map anyway?)

Finally I find the assembly instructions in my native language. Once I unfold the map, uuuh, directions, I am told to check all the pieces that are supposed to come with the package. With all the parts scattered across the floor, and needing screwdrivers and who knows what else, I discover I should apply to the local junior college and take a course in vacuum cleaner assembly. It is probably a non-credit course, but I don’t care. I do not plan on making a career of assembling vacuum cleaners.  I don’t think this is as simple as programming an IPhone. If you have reached the age of kindergarten status, then you know how to program an IPhone. Assembling a vacuum cleaner?  College degree!

Eventually, the process is complete.shark-machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m thinking I may very well pay extra for assembly next time, except the big box store (still no pay) does not offer that choice.

And now Alfie, poor Alfie, must now turn her attention to a very different floor-sucking, thunderously noise making, rolling piece of menacing machinery. This one glides across the floor, as if swimming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCfWHqrYUqo

Not breaking the water just gliding along, still floor sucking but swimmingly. Alfie must now be very fearful of this Shark. She could wind up being Shark bait. It reminds me of another shark song. I wonder if Bobby Darin had Alfie in mind?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEllHMWkXEU

Do not go in the water!

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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