Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode 189 An iPad?


An iPad is in the mail. My son made his yearly visit and our trip to the computer store was replaced by an online order. Do I need and iPad? Do you need an iPad? The question accompanied me to bed last night; at 3:30 in the morning sleep ended. The arguments circled. “I don’t have enough money for that”, usually provides the answer when we are younger. As we age our usual response is “I don’t think I need that”. My son’s reply, “You’re falling behind dad. You don’t want to do that do you? There’s no future there”.


This is Retirement Talk.


Ever feel like you’re loosing the race.  You just want to scream, “Leave me alone”.  I mean this technologically oriented culture just never stops avalanching stuff on us. On one hand it offers new ways of dealing with life that are appealing. On the other hand it demands that we constantly lean new things and many times leaves us feeling like a fool. I’m good at this last one.


In the last three weeks. I have had three major technological questions with which to deal. One was an invasion by some Chinese company who threatened me with buying up extensions for my web site name – Retirement Talk. I didn’t even know what they meant by extensions but the email came from someone who appeared to be a lawyer from some place in China I never heard of. HH        e said they were going to file for the extensions and advised me not to protest. I called my web hosting company. They advised me to buy them first: cost $550.00. I reluctantly bought them for one year figuring that I can somehow find an answer to what in the world I was buying by next year. Then I can make an informed decision instead of leaping into a void. There I was playing the fool again. Not a good feeling.


Second question: how do I market my web site so I can make it self-sustaining.? Another call to the web hosting company. “We can do that for you” came a quick reply. “I’ll just bill you credit card for $350.00” Will this be worth the money? I have no idea.


Then came the iPad. My son and his wife each had one. I played with one for an hour or two but couldn’t see that I would really use it. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about folks that didn’t think they would ever use a computer. They were left behind clinging to their typewriter. That just didn’t work. I thought about all of the technological purchases I’ve made over the last thirty years and can think of none that didn’t enhance my life one way or another. I decided to trust my son’s judgment.


Then I heard the cash register ring again: $730.00. It would be a lot cheaper to just hunker down and keep a tight grip on the wallet. In the space of three weeks I had been nicked for over $16 hundred bucks. If this keeps up I’ll have to come out of retirement. Maybe the Luddites do have reasonable arguement.


I’m sure we all face these predicaments one way or another. I think about all of the people that have been forced to buy an HDTV. Luckily we have never developed the TV habit. Our old TV is used for only DVD movie watching and still serves our need. Of course, we are shut out from seeing Blue Ray productions.


Retirement is a time when established habits are continually challenged by the forces of change. If you stand still the rest of the world will role right away from you. I like to sit in my rocking chair but I don’t like to sit there all the time. Soon I’ll be able to sit there and do whatever people do with an iPad. Maybe read the New York Times or write a podcast. It will be like sitting still and yet keeping up at the same time.


The bright light in all of this technological turmoil came with  my 15 year old granddaughter's annual summer visit. She completely redesigned my web site in three days. How can she do that? I’ve been working at it for four years. It worked – most of the time, not all of the time. It was not artistic and not easy to navigate. It took her three days to make it a lot better.


We got to work together on the project. We talked, laughed, puzzled and deliberated. She learned how to build a web site and put it up on the web.  I got a new web site and returned the favor with two gelato ice cream cones of her choice. Alls well that ends well.


This is Retirement Talk.




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