Thursday, May 5, 2011

Beyond Obsolescence

Ever feel doomed to failure before you even start?

I'm generally a very optimistic, self-actualized person - with rose colored glasses securely in place - giving the benefit of doubt to most folks (as long as they aren't auto mechanics), believing anything is possible, and finding those silver linings despite oft torrential rain.  But one endeavor has me stymied...

It's not that I have yet to get published, even though that road is turning out to be longer and more pot-holed than our twisty, mountain back road, a.k.a. the Boulevard of Busted Mufflers.  And no, it has nothing to do with making my mark on the art world; as long as I can create, I'm good - though getting paid occasionally would be nice...

It's not even raising the Critters into responsible adulthood.  The jury's still out on that one, but I think our chances are pretty good.

Actually, it's figuring out how to remain relevant...

...and by that I mean finding the right niche, so that even when everything else around me becomes obsolete, I won't.  Case in point:

Candles - How many years since electricity was discovered? Notice they don't have light bulb parties...

Bacon  - Who cares if it's bad for you?

Wine - Ditto.

Toilet paper - Well, you get the picture...

This came to my attention when I cut a deal with our Most Determined Critter. (Remember I told you that the third child feels like thirty?)  We were discussing, among other things, poor eating habits and why we couldn't afford to get her an IPad. Husband tried to warn me, but brazenly I threw down the gauntlet -

It has now been 5 months, 17 days and some odd (at times, extremely so) hours and counting...

{Note: She does get an occasional break - 1 piece of birthday cake per immediate family member birthday, a scraping of jam on toast, a dribble of homemade maple syrup or honey.  But Easter held no chocolate bunnies for her this year, even though it hurt not to give her one. (It was delicious...) However, I did cave in and fill a few plastic eggs with [blech!] sugar-free candy.  I could have filled a basket to overflowing with saccharin and aspartame goodies, but crummy after-taste aside, I just can't believe  substitutes are any better for her.}

Before I even have a chance to start double-pinching pennies to pay for the stupid thing, she has a revelation-


How does technology become obsolete before any normal person can afford it?  And why is it that a kid who doesn't even have something yet, wants an even better one?  Nothing we own is state-of-the-art, let alone new, but most of the time it works - even the Van-O-Nator, despite the BBM's best efforts.

Husband's ancient tractor, which has had it's guts splayed under a tarp in the yard since it died last fall doesn't count.

I take a look around the room.

{Okay, our house is almost never this neat and tidy, and nowhere near as spacious, but I can't deal with other people in my clutter, so just use your imagination...} 

At first glance, our house contains an eclectic array of tastefully arranged furniture and other belongings.  But believe it or not, there are only three items in this picture that are not obsolete, aside from aforementioned candle (wall sconce on the right).  Can you guess?

Okay, let me help...

Starting upper left and moving approximately clockwise:

Phone - Who needs a land-line?
Games on disc - Flash drives are quicker, have more capacity and are infinitely portable...
Computers - Anything older than a year and it actually costs money to throw away.
Windows (not the computer kind) - The only screen kids look at these days is digitized.
The great outdoors - Casualty of the previous...
Houseplant - Plastic never dies... or needs watering. Strike two against it? (It's a peace lily.)
Bookshelf - Kindle
      (Top shelf) Cassette tapes - Are they collectors items yet?
      (2nd shelf) CD's - ITunes
      (3rd shelf) VCR tapes & Cookbooks - Dinosaurs and Take-out.
    (Bottom shelf) Books -They've been through five kids already: how much longer do you think they'll last?
Wall color - Pastels are in, earth tones out.
Globe - Half the countries on our junktique model no longer exist!
Dining room chairs - Most of ours are beyond repair, but regardless, who has time to sit down to eat  anymore?  They do get used at the computers however...
Dining room Table - *See Dining room chairs
Old growth, wide pine flooring - Bamboo is where it's at...

Which leaves...

Cigar box - perfect for holding now-obsolete computer games - plus it smells good!
Antique piano, gutted - Handsomely crafted by Husband to accommodate two now-obsolete computers...
Websters Dictionary - You would think with a name like Websters it would still be around... unfortunately, the local Critters would much rather look up definitions online. These volumes do, however, make excellent blocks for holding furniture off the floor...

(By the way, in answer to Most Determined Critter's question: The alternate title for this post was "Out-Moded & Out-Sourced vs. Out of Touch & Out of Luck "!...)

1 comment:

  1. Your third child is a cheat, sneak, thief, scammer, etc.

    Your First Child