Friday, June 17, 2011

In the Still of the Night

The boys and their dad left late this afternoon to go to El Paso to visit family. They also took the two cats to Jason's sister. It's 11:15 at night and it sure is quiet around here, just Annie and me. I never really noticed the cats making any real noise before. I've gotten used to to the way they slink around the house. Just imagine two black and white cats who think they are in charge. Chloe, the female tries to stay out of the way for the most part. Willie, the "fat cat, does not. Time and time again I watched as he lumbered down the hall to the bedroom. Ever go into a bedroom only to find that a cat has laid claim to it? How many times has that cat climbed onto the dresser so that he could survey the landscape? I don't know how many times I have had to remove him from his perch on top of something or step over him as he lay on his back in the middle of the floor.

I never really thought about how much noise two boys make, even when they are playing quietly. Their latest kick is to run through the house shooting each other with nerf guns. A nine year old, and six year old can come up with some weird sound effects. Now that they are not here it is too quiet.Annie and I are each sitting here, in separate chairs, watching tv and "playing" on the computer. I even tweeted her from across the room. Sad isn't it. Remember I said it is very quiet here. The last real noise we heard was the two boys and two cats getting into the car. Chloe was loudly protesting the fact that she was stuck in the cat carrier while Willie was "free" to roam about the inside of the car. With two little boys for companions one can only guess how that trip will end. One boy wondered what the cats would do on the trip while the other boy complained that he couldn't watch a movie because the Neon didn't have a way to play movies like Mom's Tahoe does. Let me father, two boys, and two cats in one small car for five to six hours. I'm so glad I didn't go on that trip.

Annie decided to let Bailey, the big black lab come inside. So it's a real girls night in for us. The dog came into the room, ambled over to me as if to ask, "What's the plan?" Plan? what plan? We are just breathing in all the quiet, peaceful air. Scarey isn't it? Wonder what we will do tomorrow? Bailey can't seem to figure out where the cats are. But, once or twice around the room and she decided any further investigation was not needed. So begins the long, quiet and dark night. Think I need to go to bed. Maybe I'll sleep a little late tomorrow, say maybe to seven? Try not to wake me too early.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Apps, Internet Dummy Down the World?

We've all heard the saying, "there's an app for that". I have no idea how many applications are available. Some are free and others cost money. Some are useful and others are...well not so much. You can get directions,play games, or be funny by using sayings. We have come to depend on them for so many things. Let your baby cry and an app can tell you why the baby is crying.. Some people use funny sayings apps. I guess they are funny, but from what I have seen some of the "funny sayings" are not especially funny unless your are a 10 year old boy who likes "bathroom" humor. "Angry Birds" is a popular game. I've never played it. I have enough trouble with solitaire. All of this brings up, at least for me. Are all these applications, and the internet itself, seem to make our lives easier but does it really?

Newspapers have seen circulation dry up because most newspapers can be read on line. Every time I see a paper copy of the Houston Chronicle newspaper I cringe. It used to be a large thick paper. Not any more. Is it lack of advertizing or lack of subscribers? No one seems to read a newspaper or magizine these days unless it is on the internet. Sometimes the enternet articles are full length but often they are not. Many newspapers may no longer be in business before long. Is that good? We are a world of instant everything thanks to the internet. Breaking news from anywhere in the world is instantly sent out. Major news networks all have their own websites. We watched the funeral of Michael Jackson and the wedding of Prince William.

We can buy almost anything online. We buy clothes, computers, music and books online. We find jobs there too. We can sell things too. Of course then it really becomes "buyer beware" because not everything sold is "real". We can check on our kids when they get home from school and we can pay bills. Some of this brings possible questions of security. We've all seen stories of banks and companies being hacked. Do you think you are really safe on the net? tAnd of course the net is full of "true stories" which when researched are not true. Example, how many more times will President Obama have to show his birth certificate before some people will believe he is a citizen of the United States.

In the long run, I wonder all the applications and the internet are not lulling us into a false sense of security. We don't call people on the phone. We text. We don't stop at a gas station to ask directions. We Google them. Some of us don't exercise like we used to by going to a store and walking around while shopping. We shop online. And then we sit and wait for our order to come to us. What would happen if we all lost use of the phone applications and the internet for even one day? We've all seen what happens when Twitter goes down even for a couple of days. How many people would be distraught to find that they could not get on the net? When was the last time you used the Yellow Pages books? They still make them - for now. But soon they will be phased out. We check on our bank balances buy calling our phone or checking the account online. Soon the Social Security Administration will no longer send out paper checks. That is supposed to be more secure. Less chance of the paper checks getting into the wrong hands.

Think back to the days when there was no internet. Remember. Computers were the size of an average room. We didn't have home computers. Do you remember. You often had to walk somewhere to buy something. You had to go to a library or school to learn something. You had to physically do things, not just push a button on your phone or keyboard. Most people these days would be lost without all those applications. Just look at how far technoligy has come. What if you didn't have it? What would you do? You won't be able to find an app for that. Think about all we do easily by app or computer. Poof! It's all gone! Now what?