Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode 779 Electric Cigarette

Harper's recently published a little fact that there was one billion dollars spent on

e-cigarettes in the US last year. I didn't even know what an e-cigarette was. But now I do. I have never seen one and I don't know anyone who has "smoked" one. I'm not even sure it is called "smoking".

This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery. Ten years ago I wrote that little bit  about e-cigarettes. 

My son told me that he knew people who smoke them or use them. He said that it gives you a jolt of nicotine without any smoke going into your lungs. Today we know that some smoke does go into your lungs. It is electronic: thus the name e-cigarettes. Some of the people in his office use them. I guess you just turn them on and the end glows red like it is burning but it isn't. There's a battery. You plug it in just like a smart phone and recharge it. One cartridge is equivalent to 20 cigarettes or one pack.

My wife looked it up on Google and found it is an electronic inhaler that vaporizes a liquid into an aerosol mist that is taken down into your lungs. I have no idea how much one costs but spending a billion dollars on them last year; that is what caught my attention. That was ten years ago. I wonder how much they spend on them today. 

Just a few weeks after reading that article about e-cigarettes checking through security at two different airports I had to present my boarding pass which I had printed out at home. Then I noticed some people just held their phones up to this little screen and were checked through. I asked the agent what that was all about. She smiled and said that she didn't know how it worked but some people just hold their phone up and all the information appears on a screen for her. Once again I found myself on the outs.Of course today it is rare to print out most things. We just leave it on the phone and flash it at security and at the gate.

Sometimes I feel so out of it. When I stepped into the world of retirement I never thought I was leaving the real world. Now it seems like I see something, read something or hear of something of which I know nothing every day. I’m completely in the dark today about crypto-currency. Also tick-tock, Instagram, snap-chat and all sorts of other stuff. 

Is there a solution to this dilemma of progressively getting farther and farther behind the times: of not understanding the world in which we live? My approach thus far has been to try to keep in touch with the latest technology. Our son has kept us connected. He likes to hang out on the edge of what is happening in the tech world. I'm not sure how long this will last. He has always been more interested in the gaming world of which I have zero interest. Our paths coincide when it comes to reading books, newspapers or magazines with electronic assistance or with music or watching television or movies online.

When I launched into developing a podcast I found myself on my own. It hasn't been easy. I spend a lot of time on google or YouTube looking at how to... do one thing or another; especially  to a web site. I am always needing assistance figuring out how something works. Or why something doesn't work.

One good thing about always feeling "out of it" is that it always gives you something new to learn each day. My old high school psych teacher taught us that we need to continue our learning all the days of our life. Little did she know the kind of world that we would live in 60 years hence.

It is possible to ignore all of these changes in our culture. Life would be much simpler. I'm not sure it would be better and I feel that it would be a lot less interesting. The psych teacher I had in college taught that we could tell when learning was taking place because there was a change: a change in behavior, action, emotion or understanding. I think he was right. Today I am wrapped up in trying to understand the latest iPhone. It seems like it is more of a camera or computer than a phone. I read on it, watch videos, look up information, or do my banking more than talk on it like a good old phone. 

Ten years ago I walked into a Costco store with our son in Anchorage. We stopped in front of the 3D televisions. I put on a pair of glasses, looked at the screen and instantly reached out to catch the baseball that was coming right at me. They laughed but I'm telling you it looked like it was going to hit me right between the eyes. I don’t know what ever happened to 3D television. I never hear about it anymore. Maybe it disappeared. Or perhaps it is all the rage and it has passed right by me just like the baseball. 

It isn't easy trying to keep up. Sometimes it even seems downright dangerous.

This is Retirement Talk.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions contact












Follow Retirement Talk on Facebook: on Facebook