My first encounter with technology came a long time ago. If memory serves me right — and there are a lot of years filled with a lot of memories to get in the way — I was 10 or 11 years old and a huge fan of the “Dick Tracy” comic strip.
One morning I opened the local newspaper to the comic page to find the famous police detective had come up with a two-way wrist radio.
Nobody, including myself, had never heard of such a thing and a lot of minds, young and old, started working overtime.
I lost faith in Dick Tracy and that thing he wore on his wrist and still don’t understand how it worked. There was no telephone-type wire connected to that gadget and his words could go nowhere but into space.
All I could say to that was “mule muffins.”
And before I could digest the two-way radio, a real radio shows up in my home. From it came a lot of talking and music.
But where did it come from?
We had an electric wire running into our house but it didn’t talk or sing. I spent a lot of time looking through holes in the back of that radio but never saw anything that looked like a human being.
And Mom told me to stop looking and my life continued on a path of questions.
Along came television and with it a huge truckload of mule muffins.
There was no way pictures off people doing various things could be made to pass through an electronic wire and into a box-type thing with a screen on it that we could watch.
My first experience with television came when I was in the U.S. Navy and found myself walking down New York’s Fifth Avenue.
A Yankee baseball game was being telecast and the balls being tossed to home plate looked as big as an average cantaloup. I couldn’t imagine what the ball would have looked like if it had been a basketball game.
But, television was new and so was the equipment and mule muffins.
But again, that was all a long time ago and yet to come was the likes of cell phones and global positioning systems.
Cell phones are a lot like Dick Tracy’s wrist radio. With no electricity source and no wires to carry the sound of voices.
Somebody please tell me how the voice on the other end of a GPS can know where you are before knowing how to tell you to get someplace else?
Just think about the other possible millions of other people wanting to know how to get to their destinations at the same time.
And it’s been my experience that the voice you always here on the GPS comes from the same woman.
I do have one thing in my electronic — numb brain favor. My late bride and I were in route to a city in Tennessee several years ago when a GPS operator took us off the then Green River Parkway and put us on a gravel road leading up to a farmhouse.
A farmer stopped me a short distance from the house and asked where I was going. I asked him if he could tell me the way to Jackson, Tennessee and he readily said no and told me to get off his property.
So there you have most of my trials and errors with technology.
To be truthful, my only success with mind-boggling was flying a homemade kite. And that only worked if the wind was right.
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