Saturday, March 15, 2014

Where to begin, a rant

Friday I ran 5K in 35 minutes, nice and easy, avoiding puddles. There are still many puddles where the storm drains are frozen. Today I've been wanting to go for a run. I think the extra stretching, rolling, ball rolling, and such has been having a good effect on my legs. Tomorrow I'll find out if that's true. Dawn runs are so nice.

Today was pick up day. The road to Red Deer was full of pick ups. I think the majority of the vehicles I saw were trucks. Most driven fast and aggressively, but there was one driven by a weenie getting in the way. If someone in the right lane was coming up behind him, he would move over to the left lane to get out of their way. Idiot.

The other pick up was wine. Here they are. The first three are the ordered kits. The last is an extra one I picked out because I'd saved so much money. One way of thinking about it is that I paid regular price for the 3, and got the 4th free. The Pacific Quartet is already started.

The kits are complete, coming with their own labels. All I need to buy is corks. I choose to buy shrink wraps for the bottle top for one simple reason. We have a dusty basement, and with the shrink wraps I KNOW the cork has not been compromised. I also buy bottled water from Co-op's reverse osmosis machine because the chlorine that's in the City water supply tends to be hard on the yeast. It also gives the wine a funny taste. 

A few times a year I have to clean out all the containers out of the garage to return for deposit. This turned out to be about $20. Mostly milk containers, lots of juice, and a few beer bottles. I usually go to the Tsuu T'ina (pronounced SootINA) which is sometimes a gong show, but today they were waiting for me. Fast and easy. Love it.

Then geezer hell. Except for the 2 kids I saw stocking shelves, I was the youngest person in the Co-op. By far. The taint of geezer was in the air. One woman was making a nuisance of herself between the fruit & veg section and the dairy section, shambling around erratically, being aggressive with her cart. The guy ahead of me in the water line up hadn't thought it through. He had a big container of water, and couldn't lift it out of the machine when full. I pulled it out for him, but he had forgotten a cart. I put it on the floor, and started on my bottle. He hadn't come back when I finished so I left. Beats me if he ever came back.

Then a couple paying for groceries with a cheque. I couldn't believe it. I thought such barbaric practices had been abolished. They've got the tap Visa machines that I love, why wouldn't you do that? Then in the parking lot, another geezer was wandering around looking for their vehicle, up and down where people wanted to drive. Slowly. I figure if you can't find your vehicle, you don't deserve to be driving it.

It made me think a bit though. Even me, in my youth and innocence, have seen the world change immeasurably in my lifetime. This laptop I'm writing on, and the iPad I'm using to exchange twitter comments and flange up a run tomorrow are amazing. Either would give the computer scientists of my youth wet pants. Our cars can't fly, and just as well given the lack of driving skills demonstrated daily, but I'm just amazed at what they come with now. I'm going to need a lesson on the electronics of it when we buy a new car. Then again, maybe we can keep this one going.

I was thinking of what has to happen for me to touch a small plastic card to a small box to pay for my groceries. In a few seconds there is a very complicated data exchange with computers that live who knows where. Soon I probably won't even need to take the card out of my wallet. The payment machine will talk to my phone. Even now, some people don't use cash. My office roomie doesn't use cash at all. Hasn't carried any for years; he pays for everything with credit or debit cards. 

Even now, what we call a cell phone, is actually used as a telephone only a small part of the time by most people. I use it most as a text machine when I'm on the go. Twitter, email, chat, Facebook, plus Sudoku, when I don't have to pay attention to driving. Turning my parking sessions on and off is probably the most important thing I use it for. I find it hard to believe that something so advanced, that I bought such a short time ago (3 years) is now obsolete. I am eager to see what the iPhone 6 brings this fall. I remain hopeful of actually understanding it.

After getting all that done I settled in. I was seriously considering forcibly cuddling a cat, but how could I disturb him? He was snoring.

I worked on the novel a bit, but mainly I was thinking about today's main errand. We will have driverless cars soon, I'm guessing 5 to 10 years or so. Technically they work fine. Now the lawyers get involved, and all lawyers do is complicate things, and hold them up. Especially the ones acting for insurance companies. The whole situation is calling for a bold stroke to resolve the issue, but the only bold stroke Harper knows is lying to Canadians.

It would be very nice to send a car to drive itself to the wine store. The staff there would load it up, and we'd do a transaction to pay for it. While I had a very nice drive, thinking, and enjoying the silence, what else could I have done with that 3 hours? An attempt at sleeping in might have been nice.

The other thing that will need to change is homes. Right now parcels get left on our door stop. Mostly this isn't an issue for books or DVD's,  but you can bet I made special arrangements for the laptop delivery. The radio was talking about grocery stores thinking again about offering a grocery shopping experience. Presumably the people most interested will be home waiting, but who knows. Even people like me might like to have food waiting when we get home from work, rather than having to stop on the way home.

We will need a way to arrange for packages to be left at a home, with the delivery person getting whatever they need to do so. I suppose if someone really wanted to, they could build a house computer around an iPhone or iPad. Siri is pretty bright in some ways, perhaps she could be trained to deal with people ringing the doorbell. I have to admit what comes to mind is the Star Wars movie where the robots are sneaking into Jabba the Hut's palace. The eyestalk coming out of the door made my week. I'd love, LOVE to have something like that. Something with a spike on it for the religious nut-jobs that come by is a bonus.

In so many ways I'm looking forward to the changes that are coming. It's going to be an exciting ride.


  1. True Confessions time: I have never owned a cell phone. Also, I have been known to purchase groceries with a check. (Never with a "cheque", however. That would be very un-Amerikun of me.)

    1. Good thing I will never be behind you in the food line up. But you have moose-lets to kept fed, and no doubt that requires big expenditure, and it would be unsafe to carry around that much cash. I admire you for not having a cell phone. I periodically consider what life would be like without it.


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