Sunday, July 22, 2012

Getting an Education in Modern Technology

My MacBook is a little more than four years old, now, and I discovered on the Apple Store today that it might not even come in under the wire for updating to Mountain Lion later this month. Not that it matters—I never got it updated to Snow Leopard, so I’ll probably need help just getting less far behind.  Since I live about an hour’s drive from an Apple Store, I really should get a back-up computer just in case mine dies at a very bad time.

So I opted to get an iPad instead.

Yeah, I know. It’s kind of like going to the grocery store for a gallon of milk and coming home with a pint of ice cream. But it does give me an alternative to my BlackBerry, especially since the BB is also on its last legs.

The BB does a good job on two of my four (yes, four) e-mail accounts and on one of my two Facebook accounts, and can do it anywhere I can get a phone signal. But it doesn’t go to the internet well, and there’s always that other Facebook and two e-mail accounts. Oh, and it also does well on phone calls and texts.  : - )

The iPad does a great job on all the e-mail accounts, all the Facebook accounts, and internet, but it needs an internet connection. It works great at Panera, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and about any hotel. I could get phone calls if I signed on to Skype. But I haven’t found a way to get text messages yet—so it might not be possible.

And that brings us to this week’s blog prompt—education.

I really get a kick out of learning new technology, but it seems to take me longer than it used to. I refuse to believe that’s because I’m older. I think it’s because no body prints user manuals any more. They try to tell you it’s “intuitive,” and some of it is, even if you’ve never owned an iPod. But how is it intuitive to draw four or five fingers together on a screen to close it? And after years of moving your cursor down a screen to go down, it’s hard to remember to move your finger UP the screen to go down.

So now you know why I’m so late with this blog. (Ok, I’m nearly always late.) I’ve spent the entire week getting an education in the care and feeding of an iPad. (Yeah, feeding—that’s another matter. But I’ve spent less than $10 so far on aps. And one of them shows me the phases of the moon every day of the month. How cool is that?) I still have a lot to learn, but I’m well on the way.  Hey, maybe my next blog will be written on my iPad!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Captain Marvel and the Seven Deadly Sins

Does anyone else remember reading Captain Marvel comic books, or am I the oldest codger in the group?

I LOVED comic books when I was a kid. Spent HOURS reading them and more hours with those I was tired of reading in the basket of my bicycle, riding around the neighborhood, trading with my friends for comics I hadn’t read yet.

And the adults all said, “Tsk, tsk, tsk. What are these kids nowadays coming to? Those comic books are eating their brains and morals.” Well, except my parents. Not sure what they thought of comics, but they realized that I read ALL THE TIME, and was reading real books at least as much as I read comic books. They just wanted to get me outside in the sun so people would quit asking them if I was anemic. (Now I pay the price for their good parenting by having occasional skin cancers. It’s OK—they aren’t the scary kind. Just leave my face with white polka dots when they're removed.)

Anyway, the Captain Marvel comic books were my introduction to the seven deadly sins, though according to Wikipedia, I don’t have it quite right. First, they say Captain Marvel had lost most of his popularity by the time I was old enough to read. Then, though I remember greed, gluttony, envy, sloth, hubris, wrath and lust, they list a slightly cleaned up version they call the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man: greed, envy, laziness, pride, hatred, selfishness and injustice. (Wouldn’t want to expose the kiddies to the word lust, right?)

I also remember Billy being a crippled newsboy. Wikipedia says he was homeless, but doesn’t show him with one crutch as I remember.

The one thing Wikipedia and my memory agree on is the origin of the word SHAZAM. It’s an acronym for six legendary heroes who grant attributes to Billy to turn him into Captain Marvel: Solomon for wisdom, Hercules for strength, Atlas for stamina, Zeus for power, Achilles for courage, and Mercury for speed. When Billy says the word, a bolt of lightning transforms him into Captain Marvel. Unfortunately, it didn’t work that way for me or Gomer Pyle. (Actually, Gomer Pyle pronounced it SHAZAYUM, but I pronounced it correctly, and it still didn’t work.)

So most of my childhood memories have been rent asunder by research into the seven deadly sins. Man, I just KNEW I learned the word hubris from Captain Marvel. It’s such a cool word.