Friday, December 15, 2006

Techno-geek or Luddite?

Several items of technology I swore I had no use for, yet I wouldn't want to give them up now:

1) Keyless remote entry for my car. How hard is it to unlock a car door, I would scoff. And then, when I was about 10 weeks pregnant, we went to a wedding and rented a car with remote entry. LOVED IT! And could totally see how useful it would be once the baby arrived. So while it wasn't on my list of must-haves for a new car, I was very happy it came with the model we picked out. And I actually complain now that our fob doesn't include a button for the trunk.

2) Cordless phone. I know, welcome to the 1980s. But, seriously, we bought a cordless phone, my first one, last year. And really Trillian bought it so that she could use it, with its speaker phone and muting capability, for conference calls. I will admit, however, that it's nice to be able to move it wherever I need to.

3) Semi-automatic espresso maker. Because how difficult is it to grind and tamp some espresso? Not very, and yet we found that part of the process took a while and added to cleanup. Our current machine empties and cleans the brew group; grinds, measures, and tamps the espresso; and sends the proper amount of water through the grounds. We still have to handle the frothing of the milk, but I prefer that bit of control. We make a lot more of our coffee at home thanks to the ease of this machine--we also managed to buy it on sale at a time when it cost much less than now (thanks, I believe, to the thriving Euro).

4) Leap-pad. Do I want a machine to teach my child to read? No! Reading is a special time and activity for us. Then we got one as a birthday gift. And my son loves it. I wouldn't say it's teaching him how to read anymore than anything else we're doing. Rather, he enjoys the characters and games, though not to the exclusion of other things, so I don't yet worry about him becoming a slave to this toy.

Technology I still swear I don't need.

1) Tivo. Not that I ever figured out our DVR before it ignobly died this month, but I just can't justify spending the money upfront and a monthly service charge on top of that to record what I can set my VCR or DVR for. And even though I don't have things set up for timer recording right now, there's next to nothing on TV that I just have to see that badly. Even something like Battlestar Galactica, although I rarely miss an episode, read online to figure out what happened, and rest assured that I'll watch it when we buy the DVD of the season--which we inevitably will.

2) PDA. Trillian has had a couple Palm Pilots, though her second one died recently (lost its charge and won't hold one anymore). I toyed with the idea of getting one on several occasions, but have never followed through; it would take so much work to get it set up. I prefer a spiral-bound school planner. When I was a teacher, I used the homework planner published by my school to hold both my class plans and my out-of-school appointments. Now, I use a university-published one so that I already have a record of university-related dates.

3) Satellite radio. My father-in-law has one, and I can see the appeal of non-commercial radio. But this is another item I can't imagine paying a monthly fee for. There are a few radio stations that don't pay too many commercials, and I have a CD player if all else fails.

I'm probably missing some others, but you get the idea. Part of me wants to hole up in a cabin in the woods (not entirely a joke, that's part of the plan I mentioned yesterday). But I would definitely have my laptop and high-speed wireless internet.


bubandpie said...

Oh, how many times I have longed for remote keyless entry! With two babies, it would make such a difference. My car does have a feature where I can set the doors to lock 5 seconds after the last door closes, which is somewhat useful (I don't have to stop and lock the doors after getting the babies out) - but oh for one of those magical keyfobs!

sunshine scribe said...

I am a bit of a technology looser ... the only thing i have on that list is the remote key for my car. That, my computer and my iPod are the only ones I couldn't live without. But maybe I shouldl break down and finally buy a cordless phone :)

Lisa b said...

oh the keyless entry is great - until the button starts sticking like mine does.

i picked up some of the hot chocolate you and Penelope recommended and am going to try it out right now.