Friday, August 26, 2011


My wife's plan for world domination took a few evil steps forward this summer. Over the Christmas break, she supplanted our Xfinity boxes with Tivo brand DVRs. They talk to each other and make cute booping sounds when you toggle from one screen to the next. It's all about the interface. That left the very unseemly and ancient combustion engine in her car. The one that she treated like a hybrid by turning off the engine at every idling potential over thirty seconds. It was her way of adapting to her circumstances. Now that she has a Prius that shuts itself off at stop signs, she squeals with delight at most every intersection. This is somewhat upsetting if you happen to be in the car, but she is considerate enough to keep the windows up to limit her embarrassment.
This wellspring of technology was not complete, however, until she had received her Kindle. Now she can read dozens of books at a time. Not that she wasn't already reading dozens of books at a time, but this allowed for her to read a dozen books at a time while appearing to be reading only the slimmest of volumes: "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot. It's not really a thin book of poems, It's one of those e-lectronic digi-tal reading de-vices. It's oh-so-sleek and smooth. The other day she informed me that she was fifty percent through "A Tale of Two Cities." To me, that meant she had one more city left to go. It also reminded me of the way that kids no longer refer to time as "about eleven," or "quarter past three." That's okay. It's progress and I'm all for progress.
The one piece that is still missing from her over-arching scheme is a Roomba. You may have seen commercials for these robotic vacuums that follow programmed paths to keep your house free of dust and dirt, at least from the floor level. I have looked at these machines with a mixture of quiet awe and disdain. This job that I have done for so very many years could be done by a disc of plastic and metal not much larger than a dinner plate. I still have the edge, of course, since I'm able to do it much cheaper than the robot. Still, I am counting myself lucky, and hoping that I will remain viable for the next few years. I'm still under warranty.

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