Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

C: Information, Please

How did we live without the internet?  (Oh, thank you, thank you, Al Gore). Okay, the thanks are sarcastic and the question is rhetoricallogo-trivial-pursuit, but  for me the internet has become really important.  Always I have been an information hound.   There are only two people in my circle whom I fear in Trivial Pursuit games—I have so much useless knowledge stuffed into my head that I can usually more than hold my own in the trivia department.

A function of that quest for knowledge is a HUGE library.  I’m telling you, I have all the classics, many bestsellers over the past thirty years and non-fiction books on almost any topic. 

For example, my neigbootyhbor’s child had a project on jet engines—I had two books in my library on them.  I can’t tell you beans about jet engines right now, but I sure have something in my library to help.  Recently my little  niece had a pirate project due—I had several books worthwhile, including one on women pirates called (I love this) “Booty.”

I am very proud of my library, and once a book makes it to my home, it is here to stay.  I cannot boast having read them all, but I know them all.

I’ll never forget one day about four or five years ago, coming home from some errand, and strolling through the living room.  I stopped in my tracks, because lying on the coffee table was a book on Celtic monks.  I stopped because I did not recognize it from my library.  I was right.  A friend had stopped by while I was gone and left it, thinking I’d enjoy adding it to the shelves.  He was right—he knew of my interest and my several books on Celtic spirituality.  It has fit right in.  My husband was shocked, wondering how I could spot a newbie to my huge collection—just call it obsession.  The obsession was mine, not his, so he left all the books—thank goodness.

So, you can imagine how I have taken to the internet.  Oh, my!  Information at my fingertips!  I have used it to fix the tractor, to research for my work, to find song lyrics, as a dictionary/thesaurus, and to keep up with the Ashton/Demi drama. 

The other day my 89-year-old law partner was at the office—er, this would be on Sunday, with both of us there.  She is remarkable and I will write about her some day.  She has practiced law 55 years and is in the office every day.  She has taught me much.  But the internet?  She just can’t quite get to using it.

She came in asking me exactly how much a stamp is now for first class mail.  I am embarrassed to admit that I did not know exactly; I just send someone down the hall to use the postage meter when I need to mail something.  (I told you it is trivia I’m good at—not really useful stuff like how much postage is).

I’ll check the internet for you,” I said.

What?! You can find out about postage on the internet?” she said.  Remember, this woman was born in 1921—she has seen lots of change in this world, and I’d venture to say that the last 20 years have been changing at light speed.

I explained to her that you can find anything on the internet.  She was amazed, “Who puts all the information in there?” She asked.  This woman is not dumb.  She was Phi Beta Kappa, graduated at the top of her law school class, and scored the highest on the bar exam that year—nope, not dumb.  it’s just a new day, and she is amazed.

To tell you the truth, I am amazed, too.  You may recall from my earlieriPad-NYT post that I have obtained an I-Pad; and let me tell you, it has become an appendage.  Long ago my I-Phone became a usual accessory, but this I-Pad is so easy to get on the internet and so easy for my aging eyes to read, that I use it daily to surf the web.  I believe I would go through withdrawal without all that information at my fingertips.

Just the other night Son and I were at Best Buy buying the movie “Gran Torino” (which you all must see if you have not yet).  As we turned toward home and our movie night, Son came up with the bright idea that we could call in supper at our favorite Italian restaurant…I pulled over and pulled up a menu on the old I-Pad and voila! (that may, actually, be French…I’ll have to get on the net and look it up) we had dinner.

So, for me there is no going back.  Oh, I’ll keep my library, and I have an order ready for Daedalus, my favorite off-price book catalog, so the paper  library is going to keep growing.  I have tried my e-books on the I-Pad and, neat as they are, there is something missing for me without the paper page.

And I can’t go without saying that the internet is responsible for my introduction to many new friends—you! 

So, for once, here’s praise to technology!  C


Vee said...

It is great comfort to know that one can find anything. Its accuracy or depth may be at question, but it's there. Oh I am looking forward to hearing more about this remarkable law partner of yours!

While I am certain that we both share a love of books, I long ago decided that books would not be taking over my space. So we have eight bookcases and when they are filled, something has to go or else we have to get another bookcase. ;>

kath001 said...

Oh, C! We are birds of a feather! I always say my head is so full of trivia that it squeezes all the truly important information out! And amoung my circle, I am known as the Google master. :)

And when I mentioned my ongoing packing of books (for the move) at the office today, my boss chided me for not donating them all and buying a Kindle...but there's nothing like the hefty weight and delicious smell of a good ole, honest-to-goodness book!

kare said...

Hello C, i used to know much trivia but lost that talent somewhere down the road...probably around the same time i had to let go of a large portion of my library due to moving more than once in the past couple of years. i have a few books still in storage..some from childhood..my "old friends".
i love your blog!

KathyB. said...

I don't have an I-pad yet. I am scared if I get one I'll consider it another appendage too. Yup, when I have a question I check on-line too.

Gran Torino is a great movie!

Zuzana said...

I agree with you, the internet is amazing. I recall as a child when we had a project for school, I used to look for information in libraries. This was very problematic as it took so much time consuming searching and researching, even if that kind of information gathering does have a certain charm. Furthermore our libraries were not opened at night or late evenings.
I too love my computer and can find answers online to any question, all made possible by a few keystrokes.

Happyone :-) said...

I had to get rid of a lot of my books when we moved. Just no place to keep them. I am always at the public library though. I love books.

I don't think I could live without the internet!!!
Me who at one time actually said, why do we need a computer and email? I'm never going to use that!!! :-) If I only knew!!

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