A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing. – Emo Philips

aol got mail

The Idler has often heard the phrase “You’ve Got Mail,”, because he still has an AOL account, but no longer hears it because his computer crashed. So it may be true that I’ve got mail, the problem is I can’t read it. And all you young techno-nerds can just stop snickering. The Idler is nothing if not loyal and therefore still has the same AOL account he’s had since about 1985. I still even have my 300 baud modem – go ahead, yuck it up – which is a lot like having a Model-T crank in that it makes an interesting paperweight.

Anybody who has used a computer for some minimum amount of time has experienced a crash. It is certainly annoying, but it can also be kind of tragic because there’s a lot of regret and recrimination. You were all set to get some serious work done balancing your checkbook and reading the latest op-eds from “The Economist” and “Chronicles of Higher Education” when suddenly you’re looking at a blue screen and several paragraphs that begin, “A problem has been detected and Windows has shut down . . .” and that’s when you know you’re finished. OK, you were actually going to TMZ to get a celebrity scandal fix, but the result is the same. You start thinking about all the times you were told to back up your files, and how often you resolved to do so but never got around to it. I’m told you don’t lose the unread mail because it’s stored somewhere else but you can lose your word processor stuff, and your spreadsheets and databases if you’re into that sort of thing. The worst thing, though, is losing your pictures because everybody has a digital camera today and they’re constantly blazing away and you don’t even really know where they go when you put them on the computer. Probably that folder looking thing that says “Pictures.” Why didn’t you just buy new camera card storage thingies? Not only will your spouse kill you but you want to be on your toes at family reunions in case the aunts, uncles and grandparents get wind. Especially Uncle Gus who never liked you anyway and boxed his way through the Korean War.

OR . . . . you can go computer-less!

It’s only been a couple of days but so far the computerless life is pretty stimulating in a primitive sort of way. For instance, instead of checking online for the late game scores this morning I got my neighbor’s paper off his lawn and checked the sports page. You know all those stories you read online about the Steelers and the Pirates? They have them right there in the paper. They have a crossword puzzle in there too that you fill out with a pencil. Seriously.

Then there’s the social aspect. You get to meet your neighbors and discuss things with them such as sports, the weather and how you shouldn’t do the crossword puzzle in someone else’s paper. Who knew? Even the neighbor from across the street was up. He seemed like a nice old fellow at first but then he started to inquire about who was the fellow that parked on his lawn then went to my house to watch the Steeler game. He had that Uncle Gus look in his eye.

They didn’t have the late scores anyway – it said to check the paper’s website. Maybe I better get the computer fixed.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com Also, friend Dick Verbo on Facebook

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