“A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child.”
Whether the origin is an old Russian proverb or a Hint from Heloise, the poignancy of the unending love and concern for a child even after the kid retires and moves to Boca Raton is heartwarming. To my knowledge I am the first to be so materialistic, self-absorbed, and gadget obsessed to apply it to a relationship with electronic devices. I have real children, now adults, but they do not need me the way my iPod, iPad, and Kindle do. A crackling in my earphone or a slow podcast download is as unnerving as a CROUPY COUGH low battery signal.
The little scamps frequently need downloads, uploads, updates, operating system upgrades, and a new app, not to mention battery charging and screen windexing. It takes considerable work, but the rewards! I can walk down the street to “Saturday Night Fever”, play Words With Friends, or watch a short video of a duck mother and a baby kitten, all while waiting to have my teeth cleaned. I have no idea how I stumbled through life without these necessities.
A toaster makes toast (or in my case melts plastic bread bags left in its path) but it is (no offense) an appliance. My little Kindle and Apple friends grow and learn. Whether it is a stimulating new podcast, or a bug fix for a favorite app, it is as if they go off to school in a Wi-Fi cloud and come home bursting with new information, just like human children.
What, no iPhone? As crazy as it sounds, I gathered my little electronic family and we discussed having podcasts, music, Internet, e-mail, photos, and video on a telephone. My trusty iPod was strangely silent. Intimidated? Jealous? We, I mean I, am so used to my iPod and earbuds that a new device would jeopardize our bond.
My usually reliable iPad II froze when I attempted to download articles about the new iPad Air. In my defense I never used the phrase “relatively clunky;” that was a reviewer. I admit I was curious about the retinal display, impressed by the weight, and momentarily seduced by the pixels. As I said to Mona, I mean my iPad II, hadn’t I stood in line for five hours in the bitter cold the first week she/it was available? She said we met in Manhattan Beach, it was 60 degrees and the wait was more like four hours. I replied that I am loyal and never even considered the iPad mini. Still, my downloads were slow for a week.
There were no objections to the Kindle joining our family. It is interesting to browse Kindle Buffet for free e-books, although most are categorized as Bulgarian Women/ Christian Fiction/Romance/Adventure/Amish/Coming of Age. The Kindle is lightweight and backlit, making it possible to read even heavy books in bed with the light off. I have borrowed some e-books from local libraries and I may even buy a few to help support the fledgling company Amazon.
My editor (JoAnne) is often in Atlanta with our granddaughter Charlotte (HLP 10/13). A great night for me is not networking at Chateau Marmont with industry types or doing shots with my bros in Hermosa Beach, but early bed with dogs for warmth and my Kindle and Apple buddies for entertainment. In The Usual Suspects, the phantom world of Keyser Soze, the devil’s greatest feat is convincing people that he doesn’t exist. My electronic friends have us believing they are not real.
Tom H. Cook a former local has moved far west of Hennepin Avenue. He has come a long way from his acerbic suggestion that computers make the unnecessary possible.