Re: The technologically challenged?

Subject: Re: The technologically challenged?
From: Jan Cohen <najnehoc -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 05:47:04 -0700 (PDT)

Desiderata Longing

Remember the days when the first two digits of your phone number were called out by exchange names or the abbreviations for them? Like Rockville Center or "R-O," in place of the numbers "6-7." Or perhaps the friendly milk-man, who regularly picked up your empties by your side door, replacing them with full bottles of fresh, white goodness? How about the knife sharpener, who, in his horse drawn cart, would come by once a month and put a new edge on anything that might have dulled itself? Those were the days, eh? And some of us who've lived them sometimes long for them again.

Gasoline was 25 cents a gallon. When you did gas up, that smiling, friendly attendant would also check your oil, tires, and clean your windshield. You could still get a vanilla soda at the local candy store, and drink it up while browsing through this month's latest 10 cent comic books. Shoes were repaired by the cobbler, not thrown away or tossed into some dank, dark corner of the attic store room. And when you got them back, they had a fresh, leathery smell, somehow akin to tranquil pastures and rustic stables of yore.

Ah, days gone by, places been and seen, people come and gone. Max Ehrmann probably said it best in his timeless, _Desiderata_:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

I've probably stepped on a few toes myself in my time, if not here on techwr-l. If I have, please know that it was unintentional, with no desire to harm. It's just that the busy lifestyle many of us seem to lead today often tends to take the reigns. Hurrying through this and that, one sometimes forgets there's a face on the other side of the screen, with its attached smile or frown.

Anyway, I'm curious what other tech writers do to kick back and relax after a hard day's or week's worth of pounding the keyboard. Do you find time to escape today's busy and often indifferent technologically enhanced lifestyles? Do you find a need to do so, or just take everything today as is, kind of like a grain of salt.

Me, I like to reminisce, sometimes with just a dab of Willy Loman. But I bet you wouldn't guess that :).

Oops, gotta go, the phone's ringing... (it's a land-line).

jan cohen


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