When Good Technology Happens to Inept People

Posted on September 2, 2010


LBL’s Now Husband is in Greece and Turkey for a month.  Family in Turkey, good friends on Rhodes in Greece.  Since NH is, among other things, LBL’s Go To Guy for technology, LBL was a bit apprehensive at the thought of his being gone for so long.  LBL knows her track record, and it isn’t pretty.  LBL fully prepared herself for
1. things breaking down that she couldn’t fix
2. things doing strange things that she couldn’t undo
3. things she wants to do but has never understood because she never had to do them

LBL started with #3.  She told NH to show her how to play a DVD.  LBL has played DVDs in the past (maybe twice) but she suspected that there was a more scientific way to do it than to push anything that had buttons on it and to keep pushing all of them until something happened.

LBL got a pad of paper and a pen.  She had NH go through the sequence several times and she wrote everything down.  They had a lot of false starts, like NH using words that weren’t actually words in the 1950s (her default) and referring to the remotes by “who they talk to.”  After LBL insisted that the remotes be referred to as “the big remote,” “the medium remote,” and “the little remote,” things went more smoothly.  LBL wrote everything down.  They had a trial run.  They had a second trial run.  LBL put in a DVD and played it.  Now LBL has a ten step and three remote process to play a DVD and a three step and one remote process to turn it off.  Not bad.

A couple days before NH left, LBL’s printer ran out of ink.  They don’t buy cartridges.  Instead NH fills the empty cartridge.  It saves a lot of money.  NH filled the cartridge.  Then the pull chain on the fixture in LBL’s clothes closet ceiling went out.  Even NH couldn’t fix it.  LBL needs a new fixture.  LBL has a dark closet.  NH left.  LBL was starting to get anxious.

NH has been gone for six days now.  Here is what has happened so far:

The temperature on LBL’s dashboard now tells her the time, instead of the temperature.  This happened overnight, when the car was all by itself in the driveway. LBL doesn’t need the time, because there is already a clock on the GPS console.  In an attempt to get the temperature back, LBL has pushed every button there is to push, with the exception of turning everything into German and having the GPS Lady give her orders in a very scary accent (“Macht schnell! Oder du wirst bestraft warden!”).  So, no temperature.

LBL’s bathroom scale weighed in lbs yesterday.  Today it switched to kgs.  You would think LBL would be happy, because kgs are smaller numbers.  But instead, LBL Googled how many lbs her kgs would be.  The answer was that LBL weighs five more lbs in Europe.  But LBL is here, so she doesn’t want those extra five lbs.

LBL changed the filter on her Brita but it still registers as “This water is toxic because you need a new filter.”  LBL thinks about this every time she pours a glass of water.

After taking two photos, LBL’s digital camera said, “Change battery pack.”  How does that happen after taking two photos?

None of this is earth-shattering.  It’s not even teacup shattering.  It’s really not even worth talking about.  It’s just that LBL knows that if NH were here, none of it would have happened, or it would have happened, and, after LBL would have told him, he would have said “That makes no sense,” and then he would have made each thing be the way it should be.

LBL has three weeks to go until NH comes back.  Oy vey.