Technological solutions to common problems

A guy on the bus the other day was openly criticizing those around him for abandoning the world around them in favor of the pale imitation our handheld devices offer up.

A friendly woman next to him unwisely* offered up a different perspective. “It’s interesting to think about whether this is any different from reading a book or newspaper on your commute. Some might be studying or reading the news. I wonder if we have always tended to isolate ourselves in these situations, and the difference now is that anyone who is unfamiliar with one method or the other makes assumptions about what’s going on on the other side of that barrier.”

Early 20th Century commuters immersed in printed newspapers
All this technology is making us antisocial

For a second I thought she was bravely bridging a gap with this old guy who had an armful of old, used (out of print looking) vinyl records and sheet music he’d obviously just acquired. But no. The old guy flew into a rage about how the internet is a “breeding ground for witches and slutty feminists who have no respect for our Christian culture!” He angrily sputtered on about the muslims, the gays, and abortion culture tearing the fabric of society apart until he disembarked at 15th and Pine.

It was sad because this old guy was dressed in dapper digs from the 40s, on the 10, and looked like a Capitol Hill native. He looked like a fascinating old guy and I would bet he has a trove of stories that would enrich all of us to hear, even if it is tinged with bigotry. I mean, Cap Hill has has a much more varied past than you might know just living here now.

Well, it is a free country…

I came home from work yesterday, exhausted from the stress of a few incidents at work. In a bit of a daze, I opened a can of cat food and fed the kitties. The fat one, Screech, who, at feeding time, acts more like a meowing dog than a cat, was still desperately hungry and simply would not leave me alone. So I pulled out the kitty treats, gave him a few, and retired to the couch.

This morning, before work, Kris was prepping the day’s lunch and snack pack when she noticed a bag of kitty treats on the top floor of the refrigerator. Puzzled, she pulls them out and turns to me.

“Hey, do you know why the kitty treats are in the fridge?” she asks.

Stunned, aware of the fact that I actually remember finding a spot for them in there after feeding Screech yesterday, I try to come up with an explanation. “Oh, I must have done that unintentionally after feeding them yesterday in my zombie-like state” didn’t cover the honest stupidity involved in the thoughts bouncing around my head, so I paused in what probably looked like a deer in headlights moment.

About 5 seconds went by.

“It’s a free country!” I shouted, indignantly.