Do you ever stop to marvel at the inventions of the last 100 years. I do, almost daily. Now, I’m sure most of you are thinking about automobiles, medical advancements, the internet and all the technology associated with it, etc. I’d like to dial it down a notch or two and ponder those less obvious things. I realize that some of you will think me quite the simpleton for my choices. I, however, will stand by them as they’ve greatly improved the quality of my life. This is just a sampling.
1. The new hot water dispenser I had installed at my kitchen sink. Being able to get BOILING WATER immediately for my ramen noodles and my tea, has changed my life quite profoundly.
2. On Star. The idea that I can press a button when my car is acting funny and have someone diagnose it right then and there, while I’m driving, is amazing. It must cost a fortune for the people of On-Star to employ so many psychics — I assume that’s how they know what’s going on, right? Very impressive and worth every penny.
3. Crest whitening strips. Back in my day everyone walked around with yellow and gray teeth. It was grotesque, but we didn’t know better. Thank heaven for the advent of superficial whiteners. Actually, thank heaven for the advent of anything that helps me to deceive the public where my appearance is concerned. I believe Spanx falls into this category.
4. Satellite Radio. My daughter has this in her car. I’m jealous. I’ll be ordering it soon. The idea that I can listen to my beloved 60’s and 70’s music without commercial interruption, even if I’m driving through the desert, (which doesn’t happen often, well, almost never. Actually, never…), is simply amazing. In the past, before cell phones, satellite and 4G (whatever that is), driving through a bad reception area, for any length of time, was enough to make you contemplate pulling a ‘Thelma and Louise.’
5. Zumba. I don’t know how I lived without these dance moves for so long.
6. Bottled Water. I don’t even remember what we used to do before bottled water was invented? Weird…?
7. Toll Road Transponders – This may be the only thing that redeems Rod Blagojevich and makes Illinois a cool place to live. (Don’t tell me if your state has this – I don’t want to know. I’d rather believe we’re the only ones.) You’ll never sit in a line of traffic at the toll booth with one of these puppies.
7. Words with Friends – I had no idea how much I enjoyed the game of scrabble until I found Words with Friends. Now, I find I’m using words like, Qi, Aa, and Xi, and Za, all the live long day. (circulating life force, basaltic lava,the fourteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, South Africa – international vehicle registration)
THINGS I MISS/ THINGS I HATE –
1. Normal brakes on a car. Anti-lock brakes are the bane of my existence. You might not understand this particular grievance unless you live in an area that deals with snow and ice. In the past, if you had to brake on a slick surface, you pumped your brakes gently and you would come to a halt. With “Anti-lock brakes” you don’t pump. Basically there are no brakes. When you put your foot on the brake pedal it will feel like metal on metal, the car will not slow down, BUT, you will have control over your steering! I ask, “How is this an improvement when you’re only option is crashing into the car in front of you, or careening into the ditch on your left or right side?” Give me back my old pumping brakes!
2. Full Service Gas Stations. I know they still have them in places like Oregon – that was one of the few reasons I was interested in moving there. (I’d also move there because Maggie of, “Something Fat Happened,” lives there and she is one of the greatest people I’ve met in the blogosphere.) Honestly, it’s so much more civilized. Pulling up to the pump and having a friendly face greet you and wash your windows, while dispensing gasoline, is so much nicer than doing it yourself. Wouldn’t you agree?
3. I hate the Genius bar at Apple. It always reminds me of the bar scene in “Star Wars.” Do these employees think that their cool factor or genius quotient goes up if they dress like a confused dweeb? Last week I had Chewbacca waiting on me, and the week before, it was R2D2. I also hate the word, “App.” I hate that things break and you need a “genius” to tell you there’s nothing you can do except buy a new one. I hate that I’m strung out on Apple products. I hate that my smart phone thinks it’s smarter than I am, and probably is.
4. Hostess. It’s not that I ate Hostess products with any regularity. It was just nice knowing that they were there in my supermarket in case I needed a Ding Dong or Twinkie fix.
5. I miss rotary phones, vinyl records, and old single lens reflex cameras. I like to do things manually. I like rolodexes and keeping records by hand.
6. I hate the security procedures and rules at the airport. I miss the old days when you could just walk right up to your gate with your family. I hate having to read how many ounces something has before I can place it my carry on bag. I hate travel size products. I hate not being able to pack my travel knives and box cutters… Just kidding! Who knew that one day we’d look back at that simple, innocent time with such longing.
7. I miss BlockBuster. You read that right. I miss Blockbuster.
Other than the obvious (internet and related technology) – what recent inventions or new ideas do you most enjoy? What improves the quality of your day-to-day? Any changes you hate, or find incredibly annoying?