Todays Thoughts

dsc_4746I spent some time just looking out of the window
thinking mostly about the fact that I spent all day
in front of my computer fussing with a blog page
on the other website I maintain
for the Austin Pond Society.

I could not get the page to do what I wanted it to do
and I was getting frustrated
luckily, I am blessed with infinite patience
when it comes to working on a computer
so much different than when it comes to people
who can irritate me no end.

Not all people of course but just a few
those that support Trump for instance
or those whose ideas are really poor
and yet they will not listen
because they know it all and cannot be told.

I patted my dog on the head and talked to him
it was as though he knew that things were not going well
and he looked at me with his big brown eyes
as though to say, don’t worry
I am here for you.

One of the other dogs came over looking for attention
he licked my hand to tell me that everything is OK
I made a fuss of both of them and felt much better
all of my frustrations just disappearing
with their calming effect.

I had plans to do some work outside
but the computer problem took all of my time
and it was late before I had it solved
but I walked around the yard looking at the ponds
and figured that I could do the yard work tomorrow.

That is the beauty of being retired
there is no urgency to perform any task
as long as the task does not have a deadline
I can do it today or tomorrow
either day is just fine.

Most deadlines are self imposed
so even they can become flexible
depending on the time of day
and the urgency of the task
and the mood I am in.

Now that I have solved the computer problem
at least for this time around
I can turn my attention to the simpler things in my life
Like feeding the dogs and the cats
and then feeding myself.

Sometimes the most mundane of actions give the most pleasure.




Computers, Audio Books and Hamilton Pool.

It was a little chilly outside so I sat indoors this morning and worked on my computer trying to locate some audio books that I had downloaded but not yet installed onto my smartphone. I was concerned that they were on one of the audio programs that I have just cancelled due to the expense of that particular service. I listen to books from several different sources and the cost can be expensive, depending on your choices.

It took me a couple of hours of fiddling around and getting sidetracked here and there as I found things to read or others things that caught my eye but I finally located the books and am happy to say, they are not on the service that I have just discontinued.

It occurred to me just as I was about to shut down just how much times have changed. Fifteen or more years ago, a retired person like me would not be messing around with a computer spending time on trivialities. There may have not been such thing as Audiobooks and the only books available were those that required sitting still and reading and although I still do that when I need to, I much prefer to listen to someone else read me the story especially if I am in the car and even more so if the narrator happens to be good at imitating voices and dialects. I have a 2015 car that I bought January 1 this year and I have managed to put 26000 miles on the clock  a lot of which I spent on just driving around and listening to good stories. I’ll bet I have put several thousand of those additional miles by doing that.

I enjoy working out at the gym and do so pretty regularly every couple of days just so I can listen to whatever book I happen to be on at that particular time. The time flies by and I don’t notice it and in the meantime, I am either on the treadmill walking 3-4 miles or exercising my muscles. I use a set of Bluetooth earphones when I am in the gym.

The one thing I have not done and never will, is to listen when I am outside either working on the house or on the ponds and garden. I much prefer the solitude of nature or the sound of the running water. Neither do I listen if I am out hiking for the same reasons. In my mind, there is a time and a place and for me, it is mostly when I am driving although if I happen to be at a very interesting or exciting place in the story, I may listen while I am in the house where I use a Bluetooth speaker. I can often be seen sitting in my driveway after arriving home and not making any attempt to get out. If anyone happens to be watching and wondering, they are not to know that I have arrived at a very interesting part of a story and just have to know how it plays out.

Like I say, times have changed. Whether it is for the good or not is a very debatable subject. One thing is for sure, there is no stopping progress and what I did as a kid to keep me amused is nothing like what today’s younger generation has. For me, it was the great outdoors and sports.

Who knows what it is for today’s kids…For example, I visited Hamilton Pool in SouthWest Travis County yesterday and as is often the case, paused to let others by as the trail was narrow and difficult. A large family of several generations came down the rocky steps as I waited at the bottom. In the group was a young boy of about 12 or 14 who had brought an electronically controlled model car with him and was driving the thing over the rocks as he came down the steps. Maybe I am old fashioned, no change that, I am old fashioned but it seemed to me that there is a time and place to drive a model car and going out with the extended family to view one of the wonders of nature at Hamilton Pool was neither of them. Obviously, his interest had nothing to do with Nature or the beauty of what he was about to see. Such a shame  as he was missing out on a valuable learning experience of both the beauty of the place and the appreciation of the natural world around him. Oh Yeah, Don’t get me started on if he should have been allowed to bring it with him on the trip.

You could say that I have the best of both worlds. As a child, I grew up with a much simpler life with none of the modern day distractions (as long as you don’t count World War 11)  as compared to today’s kids whose very existence is governed by computers in both their personal lives and in everything that goes on around them. Today’s world is computerized and even old men like me have had to at least learn enough to get by.

The truth is, I like computers and what they are able to perform and I am lucky enough to have a good working knowledge of how to make them operate.


And I like to spend a couple of hours just checking things out that I randomly come across. Like I said, times have changed…

Were they the “Good Old Days”…

Hailsham High Street

Hailsham High Street

When I was young many years ago
and growing up in a time so slow
until the War to end all Wars
changed the way we were to grow
the telephone was here to stay
had been for a while and to this day
I remember that I looked in awe
at it when I tried to make a call

Back in those days with no direct dial
an Operator answered your call
and tried to help in any way
to place the call to have your say
not long after the War did end
Television became a household word
and though we could not afford our own
to friends and neighbors we would go.

Time does what it does by marching on
and computers entered into the fray
and the world has changed to something new
at first only just a few
soon everyone now knows how
to type and send e-mails and such
and work out complex theories on life
or do simple math or ledgers to keep.

Every desk across the world
is not complete without a PC
and different skills are now required
for humans with the ability
even the telephone has changed
with mobile devices more powerful yet
that every person in a civilized world
thinks they cannot do without.

People walking down the street
appear to be talking to themselves
as conversation they hold any time
much to the annoyance of their fellow-men
of the modern gadgets of the age
the mobile phone is the biggest bain
it has turned us into an inconsiderate group
as it takes over our lives on a different plane

Some people are so tied to the thing
that they keep checking the phone all the time
for fear they have missed that important call
or are forever messaging
the world has become a sorry place
with humankind a forgotten race
with gadgets taking over the world
face to face conversations being replaced.

Sometimes I wish that many years ago
when this first started after that War
that time had stood still and had not progressed
and had brought us to this day and age
wishful thinking on my part
but life was much simpler then
and it has no comparison to now
but we knew nothing different and yet
somehow we all got by and life went on
kids went to school and men to work
and women stayed home to do their part
and people knew how to read and write
and hold conversations with other folks
and visit each other in their own homes.

People walked everywhere and to their place
and they were a much fitter race
bicycles were the way to go
and even though they may be slow
they cost very little in terms of gas
just a pump with the legs is all they asked
and cars were for the very rich
a luxury for most it has to be said
envied its true but realistically absurd.

Would I really like to wind back the clock
with outside outhouses and a single tap
to provide running water in the kitchen sink
and fireplaces to warm and provide the heat
and everyone knew what was their place
and no one would consider stepping up the pace
as leisurely as those times might have been
for the working guy the pickings were slim.

No, as much as a slower pace would be nice
it’s impossible to have time standstill
and looking at it from a different way
this blog for instance, how could I write
if a computer was not available to me
as pen and paper are romantically nice
is way too slow in our quest for speed
as for cell phones as they are called
as long as an annoyance I try not to be
and get few calls which is what I like
I guess I’m a part of this century…

Laptop.Part of the Modern World

Laptop. Part of the Modern World