Saturday, April 26, 2008

Prior Knowledge

"People born before 1960 don’t have a computer chip in their genes.”

I can’t take credit for the quote. My older cousin told it to me about 20 years ago. I was marveling at how fast my sons grasp all the intricacies involved with day-to-day usage of the computer while I needed tutoring on each new program I used.

Writing a blog is new to me. Friends and relatives have asked me why I don’t have the “thing” on the bottom of each entry that will help them subscribe to my blog. The answer is easy. I don’t have the prior knowledge to understand half the words on the page that tells me how to set it up. An easy way to explain prior knowledge is you can’t teach multiplication and division until students have mastered addition and subtraction and you can’t teach those skills unless the pupils know how to count.

To me, “feed” means to nourish and “burn” means to destroy by fire. Common sense tells me that the directions are not using these two words the same way my 30-year-old Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines them. I wish someone would inform those that write the directions for blog sites that some of the people reading them are the same age as their grandparents. Perhaps my age is why the directions for the blog feed make me visualize a feeding tube. Did my computer come with a DNR?

Many people born before 1960 are still learning their basic numbers when it comes to computers. Hopefully, the directions for the “thing” that let’s readers subscribe will be rewritten with more clarity. Until they are, I have to find someone born after 1960 that will help me feed and burn my blog site so my readers can subscribe to it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Is It a Plane?

Florida cockroaches make their northern cousins look like ants. In fact, their droppings are larger than ants. Officially named palmettos, they grow to several inches in length. They also fly. When my family moved to Florida many years ago, I encountered my first flying monster while my husband and I were playing bridge with our new neighbors. When someone opened the terrace door, a mini-airplane flew in right towards us. My husband and I dove for cover, positive we were in a scene that could be in an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. “What’s that?” I asked my new neighbors.
“A palmetto bug . . . you’ll get used to them when you’re living here awhile.”
“Not in this life time,” I guaranteed her.
Ten years later, I was in front of my classroom opening a wall map – the kind that pull down like a window shade – and a palmetto fell out. I stepped on it without missing a beat of my lesson. That’s when I realized I was a full-fledged Floridian just as my neighbor predicted.

Friday, April 4, 2008

More on Table Manners

Constant complaints by dinner companions about health during dinner, especially if the complainer isn’t really ill, is another way to get put on my mental “do not call” list. After listening to someone spend the entire evening talking about her bowel problems, I could not down my favorite dessert, chocolate mud pie.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Table Manners

Table Manners

One of Hubby and my favorite social activities has always been dining out with friends. We like to laugh and, until recently, all of our friends had great sense of humors. Maybe the acid reflux that plagues many seniors we know is affecting their funny bone. At one time, the only unofficial rule we followed was never to discuss politics unless we knew our dinner companions agreed with us. If our dinner companions insisted on toxic political conversations, we deleted them from our unofficial supper club.

Now that we are seniors and Hubby has lowered his tolerance for nonsense level, I find we are expanding our do not call list to include self-absorbed, negative people. Yes, we want to hear about everyone’s lives, but not if all they do is complain. It’s worse than incessant bragging. How many hours can we long time residents of Florida listen to new northern transplants insist everything was better up North?
“Move back,” my husband tells them.
So far, no one has taken up his suggestion.