Sunday, March 8, 2009

Technology is driving me batty!

OK...I admit it. In many ways I'm a luddite. According to Merriam-Webster a luddite can broadly be defined as a person "opposed to technological change". It's not so much that I'm opposed to it; I just can't handle the encroachment of technology on my everyday life.

1. I have a cell phone but it's pre-paid (at a rate of 25 cents per minute) and I very rarely use it. I bought it for emergencies. I almost never give out the number and don't answer calls unless I recognize the name or number on the caller-id.

2. When I want to listen to music I turn on the radio in the van or the radio in the house. I don't have an I-Pod or any such device. I'm not entirely sure I could download songs from the internet even if I wanted to.

3. I don't have a Palm Pilot; I have a calendar on the wall next to my desk.

4. Speaking of desks...I do have a computer. It's a desktop computer that's probably outdated but it works for me. We do have a laptop computer that we bought used from my brother-in-law but it mostly stays in the closet.

5. Speaking of outdated, I LOVE the version of Quicken that I use to keep track of our bank accounts and investments but it's from 1999. I haven't bothered to update since then because what I am using works just fine for me.

6. We finally caved and got high-speed internet through AT&T. Really, the only reason we did that was because it was bundled with the cable channel package we wanted. Before that we had dial-up internet because there wasn't any DSL service available in our neighborhood.

As much as I do love certain aspects of technology, I find that it can easily get in the way. I've recently signed up for Facebook and before I knew it I had over 100 friends there. I didn't realize that I even knew that many people! I have to limit the time I spend on Facebook because I know that I could easily become addicted to it. In fact, I have several friends who have given up Facebook for Lent. I like Facebook because I've been able to reconnect with friends from high school and am able to keep up with people easily through the website. E-mail is another part of technology that I really do like. I do business for my organic meat co-op through e-mail and also find that it's easier to send someone a quick note rather than call them and sometimes end up on the telephone for 20 or 30 minutes. But at the same time the e-mail is so informal and seems to distance us from each other. Hmmmm....that's an entirely new blog topic and I think I'll save it for tomorrow.

I sat down a little while ago to check e-mails and saw that I have 588 unread e-mails! How does that happen? Well, I don't always have a lot of time to sit at the computer and read/respond to them so I will skan the subject lines and only open the ones that I think need to be dealt with right now. Sometimes I will open one, read it, and then mark it as "unread" so that I will remember to respond to it later. I do that because I often am nursing the baby while checking e-mails and have a hard time typing one-handed!

Back to my original is driving me batty! Too many e-mails, too many electronic devices, too little time spent just playing with the kids and reading books to them. It's probably not driving you's probably just me. I think I'll write more later on the idea of technology putting us in our own little bubbles. Right now, though, I want to to and read books with my kids.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Birthday Project

Yes -- I chose a project for my birthday. Don't most people do that? No? OK...I never claimed to be like "most people" anyway. I chose to empty out my bedroom and paint it today. Then I went ahead and pulled up the carpet so I could decide what to do with the floors. I thought I might like to live with the concrete floors and even considered painting them. Now that I've had bare concrete floors for a few hours I'm already planning on saving up for laminate floors. LOL! I am just so tired of dealing with carpet that I would rather deal with the concrete for a while until I can get the money together. Below are a couple of BEFORE and AFTER pictures of parts of the room. Before we painted, the walls were white (except for inside the windows which my dad had already painted when I replaced the blinds) and the carpet was 11-year-old cheap builder's grade tan. Now the walls are sort of a slate blue and the floors are...well...concrete. The blue showed up much brighter in the pictures than it actually looks on the wall. The best part about the paint is that I am now ALMOST DONE painting the entire house! I still have one more coat to put in our bathroom and a little bit of touch-up here and there. We had the builder just paint all the walls white when we built the house almost 11 years ago and finally started painting about 2 years ago. I was so tired of white walls that I have created a very colorful (some would say too colorful) house. But I like it and I enjoyed my birthday project. I especially enjoyed having a babysitter come over and keep my 4 children occupied for a good chunk of the day while we worked!

The dresser where we usually have a 10 gallon fish tank.

The corner of the room right next to me VERY yellow bathroom.

We messed up the vinyl a little pulling up the carpet tack strips.

The blue in this picture is fairly accurate. I can't wait to get all my books back on the shelf!