Saturday, August 21, 2010

Texting to the Future

Sometimes I get in a persnickety mood and I loose interest in writing. My wife suggests that this is Writer's Block but I think that is wrong because if I had The Block I figure I would try to write and be unable to but this can't be correct because I wasn't even interested in trying so it is simply a classic case of persnicketiness.

At the moment I am just a little bit persnickety so that means I will write a little bit. So there.

Yesterday a momentous event in my life occurred which will actually prove to be a lot of ado about nothing. I sent my first text message from my cheap cell phone. I wasn't even sure that my little phone could do this. So I spent fifteen minutes screwing around with my phone and yep -- I found that I could text with it. It took me a while to figure out how to get the correct text letters. It seems I that you have to punch in the number keys over and over until you hit upon the right letter. Punctuation was a problem until I stumbled on the number 1 key and learned that if you jammed it over and over I could come up with all sorts of punctuation. Here is the message I sent: "ELLE, THIS MY 1ST TXT MSG AND I AM SENDING IT 2 U. LUV, DAD". I have yet to figure out how to type in non-caps. I typed in her cell phone number and hit send and it told me that she received it.

I haven't received a reply from my daughter. She usually keeps her phone turned off until she needs to use it, and second I'm pretty sure she thinks texting is stupid. I'll probably get a call from her whenever she turns her phone on and she will ask me why I am sending her a text message when I could just call her on her office or home phone.

I see no practical application for this new found talent over than to prove that I can do anything a fourteen year old can do.

I've been pondering as of late. The awesome thought occurred to me that 1,000 years from now someone could do a DNA analysis of one of my way-far-off-kin and come up with a string of ancestors and find me. When I think more about it I figured out that I would be responsible for a long list diverse people. Maybe there will be a king or queen in there somewhere and surely a scoundrel or two and I figure about 90% of them will figure that they have contributed little to humankind but just made their way through life and maybe 10% will know that they had a positive impact because of their dedication to others or to science and maybe there even be a family on Mars who actually did this DNA analysis and will trace their genealogy all the way back to me. It is pretty heady stuff to think I will have been responsible for so many folks with talent and passion and fear and love and bravery and sadness. I never thought about this awesome impact I will have on the humankind when I had sex those couple of times and ended up with kids. It is probably good that I didn't think about it at that time or it might not have happened. When my martian DNA researchers pinpoint me in their history, what will they know about me? Somehow with their technological prowess that will pluck my text message to my daughter out of the either and study it. Kinda' makes me want to resend that message.

I have a lot to do today. My goal is to start digitizing some of my old audio tapes....magically transforming songs from cassette tapes into a format that I can actually listen to them. I have all the ingredients to do this -- I just have to sit down and get busy. The second thing I want to do is do a little research on that new fangled Nu Wave Infrared Oven that I see advertised on TV. They take frozen food, like a rock hard turkey, and cook it in this thing and it supposedly comes out perfect in a really short time. It is easy for me to get suckered in to these things so I want to read some reviews about it. Does anyone know anything about these ovens?

Now, back to my persnicketiness.  


  1. Congrats on your first text, Jerry. Before long you'll be texting like a pro. I could only resist for so long as that boy of mine will not answer his phone (he claims he doesn't hear it, hmmmph) but will respond via text (like that makes any sense).

    I've never thought of genealogy in that spin - going forward so many generations. Until you mentioned it, I never thought past the possibility of grandchildren (some day in the far, far, far, far future)'ve given me something to chew on.

  2. What the martians will find out is that your daughter was important enough to you to send her that first text, and that you were sending it with luv! As for future generations, I've thought about that often, and have wished that I was in that 10% that 'will know that they had a positive impact because of their dedication to others or to science'. Alas, they will find that I was among the 90% who 'will figure that they have contributed little to humankind but just made their way through life'...and that I loved my family and critters.

    As for the oven, that sounds way more new age to me! How about if you just take it out of the freezer the day before? And the digitizing - whew, that sounds like a lot of work! Let us know how it goes. Will it do 'albums', 8-track tapes AND cassette tapes? (Well, I guess that would be assuming that you still had an 8-track player and turn table!) We have some stuff from the 70s that haven't come out on cd's, and we'd sure like to be able to re-do them.

  3. Hi Jerry! Glad to see a post from you. I was not a texting person at all, but now I find I sort of enjoy it. I need it for my son who believes that talking on the phone is old fashioned.

    No info on the Nu-Wave. I am sure there are lots of reviews on-line though.

    Loved your thoughts on the impact we leave on earth. It's both awesome and scary too!

    Thanks for visiting me this morning. That alien growth was a growing pomegranate --getting ready for the fall!

  4. Congratulations on the texting! I, too, was a late text-bloomer. On my old phone, it would take me fifteen minutes to write a tiny one-word sentence. I've since moved on to a Blackberry (which has a full keyboard) and while I'm still not very fast, texting doesn't take up half my day now. I especially like sending picture messages back and forth with my friends who have new babies. :)

    Don't forget, in case you become a regular textor (texter?), if you don't have unlimited texts included in your cell phone plan, it will probably cost you $.10 every time you send or receive one.

  5. You are a braver man than I with the texting; I'm still trying to figure out how to make regular, old-fashioned phone calls.

    Since they'll probably have Google on Mars, future generations will be able to trace you back to this blog. They'll find out that you were a bit persnickety at times, but aren't we all?

  6. Hey Jerry! Before you know it, you'll be posting to your blog directly from your phone!

    I don't text and I don't answer them either. Because of texting, email has become the new "snail mail." AMAZING...

  7. Jerry, after wanting one for a couple of years, I finally bought a turntable with software to link it to my computer, intent on digitizing all of my old LP records. I got a couple done and haven't touched the thing since.

  8. Jerry, I've missed you so! And look at you, texting and everything, it brings a tear to my eye. My parents have one of those ovens and my Dad loves it, especially now that he is retired and does most of the cooking, my mom hates it- because it sits on the counter.

  9. Good stuff. All capital means you're shouting. Find the arrow key at the bottom and click until you see the mode you want at the top. My daughter is in Morocco doing research on her MA and we text twice daily. She leaves her phone on most days. I'm glad we connect so easily. I go back to the days of telegrams from overseas.I prefer this. Happy digital....... Can't imagine doing that.

  10. Hi Jerry... persnickety is one of my favorite words, so I understand. Not only will you be found through DNA, you will also be found on the world wide web! Not too long ago, I began kids are tech savy so I must do my best to keep up with them.

    Good luck with your projects, you are very ambitious as well!

    Please stop over to my other blog, Mystical Journeys ( as I have something for you...

  11. Jerry, you certainly did much better with your first text than I did with mine. Forunately the person it was sent to was very understanding at my attempt.

    Lady in L.A.

  12. For the life of me I can't see the advantage of texting; you can convey so much MORE information in a SHORTER period of time actually talking person to person. Why text??

    When this topic comes up I like to share this little video from the Jay Leno show: Morse code vs. text messaging

  13. My new phone sent texts very easily. It was talking that presented the problem. I am still unable to turn it off or to answer a call reliably. My kids know to wait when I disconnect them and then call me back. Four or five tries is not unusual. Where is my little princess phone from AT&T when I need it???

  14. I believe you told me you aren't a writer, but I beg to differ.

    My daughter never answers her calls any more. Her message says, "Family and friends are welcomed to leave a text message." Eventually, I passed along to her that following that directive requires that I find my glasses, navigate my way through the little bitty buttons, switch back and forth between symbols and numbers, and turn a complicated set of thoughts into about five words or less. Oh, and retry the steps at least three times when the inevitable something goes wrong. Most of the time, I just settle for "Call me."

    I hate my phone, and, no, I'm not going to spend any of my fixed income on one with a qwerty keyboard. Just call me, dammit.

  15. So, basically what you're saying is that you texted so you wouldn't look bad to the future generations of relatives? That's an...interesting motivation. I'm sure you'll be analyzed as an incredibly witty, forward-thinking not to worry.

    As for the Nu-Wave thingie, go here: so you can read the reviews from REAL PEOPLE. Don't bother reading at their's all PR!

  16. Hi Jerry! I find little value in the whole texting thing other than it is the only way I can get my kids to answer me when they are out and about.I can call and for sure I know the call will go to voicemail. But if I send a text I know I will get a response. The kids are now adults (18 and 20) and being home this summer was different. They are out until all hours of the night and I cannot wait up as I have to get up early for work. So this is where the text comes in handy. I would keep my cell phone on my nightstand and they would leave a text about what time and when and if they were coming home. So for that I am grateful to the texting technology!! It has allowed me to get a good night of sleep if nothing else.

  17. Well your doing better than I am, I still haven't found a reason to text, so I have yet to do one.

  18. I didn't like texting when we first got cell phones. As our teenagers started using it I found I could have more productive "discussions" with them. There were not, "but mom," till they felt that they had used up all there arguments.

    So, I as I use it, I like it more and more.