Friday, February 17, 2017

Confessions of a Technophobe

                                                        




It made more sound than I had expected.  It was remarkably satisfying to hear. It helped that the windows were down and the sun roof was open on my rental car as I pitched it. I had reached the end of my tether; I could no longer tolerate the evil machine's random beeps and chimes. Of course, each sound is part of some elaborate code, but I am unable to decipher their meanings.


The devise had already ruined my relationship with my older brother, a technophobe in his own right. Somehow he took to the smart phone like a lamb to the slaughter and now takes it as a personal affront that I don't respond to his text messages in three minutes or less. The smart phone screen, however, does not reliably respond to my touch. My thumbs are evidently too transparent, to compose even the briefest replies, so I have stopped trying. I told my brother that if he wants to communicate with me, print out his text message on twenty four pound card stock and put a stamp on it.


I'm driving this rental car because my own car is in the repair shop.  I backed into some poor slob’s car in the grocery store parking lot while distracted by the unrelenting chirping from the Beast. It was still ring-toning (or whatever one calls the incessant noise it generates) as my stress level shot through the roof. After impact, I pulled forward, disengaging from the original damage, dropped my transmission in reverse and hit the car again. I knew that my insurance would go up regardless of the number of dents I inflicted.   It felt good.
Perhaps it is cosmic irony, but the last thing I used the damnable device before pitching it out the window was to watch a YouTube video of Stanley Kubrick’s movie "Space Odyssey".  In the scene I watched, Dave, the astronaut, has a disturbing conversation with HAL, the shipboard computer. HAL, having greater intellectual capacity than Dave, decides that the mission they were on was too important to be left to fallible humans. Dave, floating outside the mother ship in his little pod, pleads "Open the pod bay doors please, HAL. Open the pod bay doors."  HAL was not going to let Dave ruin the show. Dave was going to float in his little pod until he starved to death.


 In the end, our human hero found a way to gain entry and dismantled HAL’s memory. HAL was defeated.


That’s how it happens in the movies. In reality, I'm not sure humans will prevail. Smart phones are the latest attempt by machines to ensnare the human race by making it acceptable to bend to the will of the machine.  Just look at a queue of commuters waiting for a train. Most, if not all, are ruining their posture and delivering their souls to the electronic leash. The technology is training us, not the other way around.


 I do not want to be a Luddite, casting spanners into the looms of progress.  I use word processing software to my advantage. I'm not going to go back to clay tablets and chisels to tell a story. I'll even post this rant on the internet. Like the Amish, I pick and choose which modern innovation best serves me.  I refuse to submit to the hive. Knowing who the enemy is, I exploit existing technology for my convenience and do not let the “soul of the machine" co-opt mine. 




Leave your message at the sound of the beep and I will get back to you…. when I feel like it.




 


Author’s note: This is a work of fiction. No automobiles or cell phones were damaged during the writing of this story. 


                                                                                                Michael Young      February 7th 2017


 


 


 


 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Martha goes to Washington


As an advocate for those living with Parkinson’s disease, Martha recently had the opportunity to serve as a consumer reviewer to evaluate research applications submitted to the Parkinson’s Research Program (PRP) sponsored by the Department Defense. She was nominated by the Parkinson's Disease Foundation in NYC. As a consumer reviewer, Martha was a full voting member, along with prominent scientists, at meetings to help determine how the $16 million appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year FY16 will be spent on future research to address Parkinson’s disease.

Consumer reviewers represent the collective view of patients, caregivers, and family members as we evaluate the strategy of each application. As a consumer reviewer, Martha advocated for Parkinson's patients in a room full of scientist's who welcomed her input.

You can get more information on the PRP, including how to serve as a consumer reviewer, on the CDMRP website:
http://cdmrp.army.mil

This is a test

This is a test. I lost access to blog for a week and now think I am in control again.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Move to Keep Moving P.2

Move to Keep Moving. It seems that no one but me sees potential or truth in this slogan. I bought the URL. I've always wanted to learn to create a web site, but until now, I've not had a compelling reason to do so. Plus...Now I have my own slogan! I can have writers compile information on proper exercise. I CAN sell t shirts. Maybe a line of fitness clothes just for parkies. Make money! Donate monies to research AND pay for my drugs. Hey, a fellow can dream. That's all for now, got to get back to my book "Create your own website using Wordpress in a weekend. Please leave comments to help me on my way.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Still Parky, Still Optimistic

Hello again, Dear Readers.
I dropped out of the blogosphere a year ago and retreated into a darker, smaller place that I did not want to write about. And yet, looking back over the year of 2014, I realize it was a year of personal growth, understanding and acceptance. Wonderful and wondrous things happened in my life and in the lives of my family and friends in 2014.  Why be so glum?


Simple. I crossed the point where P.D. was a  nuisance, and  future disability.  P.D., until then,  was more concept than reality. I've now gone  to a place where P.D. has gained the  power to make decisions for me.  Mordred (see post January 21, 2013)  is my constant companion and I lost the will to do battle with him. I put a wheel chair on the first and second floors of my house and I use them.  Ditto the walker. ( A jazzy, sports car red, shock corded folding beauty that I found at the Goodwill. I find everything at the Goodwill.)




And yet, LIFE GOES ON! I'm still expected to pull my share of the load. I'm  still expected to be parent, son, husband, friend.  I'm sick, and people are blind fools. Why won't they  LEAVE ME ALONE!


And why should they. They are selfish and it is not in their best interest   Despite my heroic  efforts to give up, be sick, fade away, I can't. There is just too much love in this world. It swirls around like dust devils, seeping under the door jambs of my hidey hovels and chase me into the alleys where I try to disappear. So now after a year, I must re-access. Self pity is a lot of work, and I am tired. I  surrender to loves force.


Love does not always heal, but it does sustain.  So today, I will  get up and do the next thing. What ever that is. Tomorrow I'll do the next , next thing. And so on until I do the last thing. And, mercifully,  I'll never know it was the last thing.







Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quote for Today

Wellness is not related to the condition of one's body but to one's state of mind
We become healthy when we accept our mortality and begin to live our life.


Bernie Segel

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm Not Sick, I'm Experiencing a New Normal !

Whenever I think I'm being clever, I'm just a Google search away from confirming that I've not had an original thought in my life. So it is with the concept of "New Normal". It's a well established phrase that sounds cool, and I'm using it. Sue me.


Which sounds better? I don't sleep well these days due to my sickness. OR It's my new normal to sleep less than I used to.  I think you get my point.


It's difficult staying upbeat and enthusiastic all day if one must use words like sickness or disability. So, DON'T. I'm convinced we are what we focus on. I'm living today as if it's the new normal.