More than likely, there is an app for that

They just came out with the newest generation of smart phones. I will not be rushing to my nearest purveyor of such items to stand in line to purchase one. The last thing I need in my life is another inanimate object which is smarter than I am or ever likely to be.

The ads are enticing, I have to admit. They can do just about anything. You can get aps by the thousand. You can take pictures. You can take videos. You can play music. You can get directions to grandma’s house. They can be used as a GPS. They can become a compass. You can email. You can text message. You can access the internet, the world’s knowledge is at your finger tips. If they could cook and do laundry they’d be the perfect household appliance and I’m not sure but what there are apps to allow them to do that. (I like the word “apps,” it makes me sound techno. It took me a year after I first heard it to figure out that it stood for “applications.”)

I don’t want you to think that I’m one of those old curmudgeons who resist change and the advancement of the human race. In fact at one time, I was considered on the cutting edge. I owned an Edsel that had an eight track tape player and bought one of the very first Beta Max video recorders.

Technology is making such rapid advances that I’m having trouble keeping up with it. I think that might be expected from a person whose favorite hobbies are woodcarving and blacksmithing. It is just the fact that as you age, technology just sort of piles up on you. I can remember being awed by the first dial phone we got and the fact that no longer was it necessary to tell the nice lady that asked for the number you wanted what that number was when you picked up the phone, you could do the job yourself with a few flicks of your finger. I remember when telephone stands, sort of a one armed bandit with a shelf for the phone and a place to sit while using it, were all the rage. The Princess phone came along, it came in colors and didn’t weigh 15 pounds and had a long cord so you could walk around with it. The cordless phones made an appearance and changed everything. You could talk on the phone in your yard for goodness sake. Then came the mobile phone, you could even make calls from your car. They came with a battery pack the size of a large pocketbook and impressed folks just because of their volume and weight.

The cell phone was next. It started out the size of the old Princess phone and quickly decreased in size as it increased in capabilities. They are now so small that when mine rings, it usually caused a panic trying to find the darn thing. In the last twenty years, they have changed our lives.

It used to be that before going out the door in the morning all I had to do was make sure my pants were on and my zipper in place. Now I’m not completely dressed until my phone is in my pocket. I’m then ready to face the world. I can take pictures, check my email, tell the time in all of the world’s major time zones, figure out the day of the week, check on any appointments I might have and even on rare occasions make a phone call if I can remember how.

Thought for the week — There’s an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone. — Stroustrup.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at

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