Tech Times

Why, Mr. Winters, are you hitting on me?

I thought, Holy crap!

When I look at this 2018 Long Beach phone I feel the nostalgia of those phones, the calls I made on them, asking for dates, telling news on them of births and deaths. Phones like these have all been replaced by “Smart” Phones.

The phone on the Long Beach boardwalk, lost to Smart Phones; my bike and the old boardwalk, lost to Sandy

People of a certain age, like me, enjoy a delight that the younger among us lack—tech-amazement. Sure, the young might find novelty in tech updates. But to us seasoned simians—we’ve arrived in the future.

It’s because we are new to the wizardry of the times, rather than being born into it, like you youngsters, that we enjoy this awe.

Cheryl and I hardly ever go to Manhattan, so it was an event when we went to have brunch with my grandson, Conor for his birthday, along with my daughter, Kathleen (his mom) and her husband, Joe.

We even went by car, something Cheryl and I hadn’t done in decades. We’re railroaders.

Cheryl and I have older cars, mine a 2009, Prius, Cheryl’s, a 2013. My son-in-law’s nifty Kia Telluride SUV had all the tech goodies we’ve only heard about: Auto control that keeps the car in lane and stops itself if the driver ahead slams on the brakes, etc. You new car owners find this passé, I know, as even newer options are available for a long time now. But Cheryl and I are still easily awed.

The Manhattan car ride was an adventure. I was like a tourist from Boise weaving the streets of the Big Apple, even sticking my cell phone out the window:

Grand Central Terminal entrance, bottom center

We went to Tanner Smith’s on W. 55th, and when we were seated, we learned we had to scan the black QR code: on a table coaster to get the menu (FYI: on our phones. Wow, no sticky menus to crack open? (You might note I used a tiny URL maker to insert in that sentence, another awe for me.)

Of course the birthday brunch was captured on our cell phones, a cliche these days, but still an awesome photo “development.”

A pic of the birthday brunch attendees, with the help of our waiter

This routine cell phone is still magic compared to a trip to the drugstore of my youth when our family would drop off Brownie camera film and return a week later to pick up the pics.

Little Lee, at his 1940s Play Station

Paying the brunch bill was easy, for my son-in-law: a tablet was brought to the table where his credit card was entered.

After brunch we GPS’d home across the river and into the trees, petals and pets of Long Beach. I alway have my phone with me and when needed—just whip it out:

Our pet, Scout on my walk with her

This morning as we read Newsday, yes, the actual paper, (we get the NY Times paper too on weekends), Cheryl told me about an article in her Newsday’s Explore section on wisdom. It sounded interesting so I read it too. It was about a book on the neurological foundations of wisdom, “Wiser…” By Dilip Jeste MD, sounded cool, so I considered buying the book.

I looked it up on Amazon, saw the 4 1/2 star rating, read the reviews, and bought it with one click for the Kindle edition. In moments, I was able get the book on my iPad, where I can now read it, look up new words in it, even hear the pronunciations—all on my iPad. If a page of the book motivates me to share, I might take a screen shot and send it via a cyber moon circling the globe to my nephew, Michael, in Italy.


As I say all this is “old hat” to you younger readers of my humble blog. But to us it’s still awesome. It’s all relative to the times, of course.

Today, electric cars have arrived which will soon replace our gas powered autos. These EVs are said to be clean and fast. But there was a time in the history of cars when “electric motorized” meant a different big change for car owners:

In the sepia days of my dad, the new electric, motorized gas pumps would soon replace these hand-crank gas pumps:

My dad hand pumping gas, circa 1920s. I guess that cigarillo wasn’t lit, if it was you’d be reading words of another essayist right now:

Of course in these modern tech times there is always the chance you might leap from—awesome to—aww shit!:

I rarely use the voice command of Siri to send a text, but sometimes I find it handy when biking the boards.

A bike, though analog, beats all computer fun

When I biked one morning this week I thought Cheryl and I might go out for our second cuppa Joe when I got back. (Yes, we still say cuppa Joe) So biking along, I one-handed my phone and voice-texted Cheryl: “Hey Siri, text Cheryl: “I can meet you in ten minutes if you want to go for coffee.”

I felt a vibration on my Apple watch, looked down and saw a reply:

I thought, Holy crap! Siri texted a similar name to Cheryl’s in my contacts! Who got that coffee offer, and calls me—Mr. Winters!?

I jumped off my bike, looked again, and saw the reply was in fact from Cheryl—my Cheryl. She never responded like that before, she later told me she was just flirting with me.

But, she did have me slamming on my bike brakes and wondering, did I text a Sheryl, a Sharon, a Shirley? Well—never mind.

Be well,


9 replies »

  1. Florence, thank you so much for those kind words. Yes a trip to Manhattan now and then is great fun nice change too. But it’s always good to come back home to Long Beach. thanks again.
    Be well,


  2. This was a fun read! Glad you enjoyed the Manhattan experience, but happy to return to Long Beach! Keep writing!


  3. Annette,
    Thank you so much. Glad you liked it. I thought we could use a smile or two these days. Yes, times they have changed. Thank you again for your very kind words.


  4. Love this that’s so great ! Your writing is beautiful and always interesting ! Times have changed for sure ❤️


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