Friday, March 16, 2012

So, the other day, without warning...

it happened...I got the dreaded black screen on my laptop. No red flags, no funny noises, nada. Well, maybe there was one or two things that seemed odd. But with a click here, scan there, yes to repair, this baby should be running like a well oiled machine. Think again.  Do you sometimes feel you're at the mercy of all these great technical toys and absolutely necessary mechanical concoctions that are your life. It's not hard for me to stroll back in time and pinpoint all the inopportune times that something I needed to work didn't. Like the day I had dinner all ready to go in the oven and to my chagrin the ignitor decided it had its day. Or when I reached into the fridge and things seemed awfully warm for having been in a cold environment. Then there was the night that the furnace said goodnight. There weren't enough layers to keep us warm. Oh yes, the hairdryer that starts with a 'poof' and burns out, the television that gives me a colour show and zaps out like a scene in Matrix, and let's not forget the car...insert key, turn ignition, ixnay on the start your engine.

We buy warranties that somehow miss their mark because the object in question knows when it expires and bides its time to spring its worn out, broken part.  To fix or not to fix? That is the question. These days it seems almost pointless to repair your stove, fridge, laptop, washer, dryer (you get my point) because for a few more hundred dollars you can buy a new one. The old adage that 'things are not made like they used to' is not an adage.  The pride in workmanship, longevity and after service has gone the way of the dinosaurs. You gotta wonder if life would be simpler without all these toys.  Let's not be silly. The reality is that we need all this stuff to function.  Whether it is to store, prepare and cook food, clean, dry and press clothes, trim, style, buff, shave, brush, wake up to, text, call, type, socialize, watch, play, drive (whew!) our lives have become entrenched with it all. 

This got me thinking. A number of years back we experienced a black out for three days. NOTHING worked. Habit commanded that we flip a light switch, open the fridge, dial a number, press the on button for the TV but there was no juice...electricity that is.  How surreal it was that night (and nights that followed) to step out in the middle of the street with total blackness, only the stars in the sky allowed you to see the silhouette of someone standing in front of you. Only candles to light your way around your home. The worry creeping into your mind of all the food spoiling and what would happen if the problem could not be resolved right away. Truly an eyeopener.

Funny, I was watching a BBC Planet Earth episode which highlighted a tribe that lived in the rainforest. Didn't see any phones, computers, ipads, refrigerators, washers, cars, television set, but yet, they all appeared happy. They danced, they smiled, totally oblivious to the technical world that existed just outside theirs.  Wonder if I could step into that world and feel the same; or would I be itching to answer a text, reach into a fridge, throw a load of laundry in the washer. Don't think I'll find out any time soon.  I am a city girl (well suburbanite) through and through. Kudos to those that can block it all out and life as close to nature as possible. For me, I appreciate earth, I speak up for the animal kingdom and our planet and do my best not to leave a ridiculous carbon footprint. In the meantime, if the worst I have to deal with is a broken laptop then I shouldn't complain. Life has doled out a lot worse things.

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