Saturday, 11 December 2010

I'm Walking Backwards For Christmas.

The visiting list ominously lessens. Presumably my posts have become increasingly boring. Plus I lay awake thinking 'Have I anything else to say.' An empty head, a blank page. Then, hey presto, the snow vanished overnight and the postman reappeared. Plus my new 'machine' arrived. All's well with the world.
Now I'm the world's most 'nontechnical' man. I have no Mobile phone (how on earth do they carry the miles of cable around) and I've only recently mastered the light switch. This technology thing creeps on us, surreptitious, like fog on moorland, and before you now it, you're surrounded, lost and ever crying out for help. Even silly old Grumpy cannot help but get involved.
I have a 'digital voice recorder'. An Olympus DS-50, or is it a 40 or a 30. Old tape recorders had reels and were so big you fell over them in the dark. This DS whatever is so small (fits in a shirt pocket) that I've only just re-found it after twelve months of searching and having bought a replacement. ( I'd put it in a wooden wine box for save keeping.) Senility, tell me about it!
In a rash moment I bought a 'USB Turntable' that will convert my vinyl records to my MP3 player and thence to my Juke box. Or at least it will when my wife (note my wife not me) gets the hang of the 'Audacity Software' 'USB Audio CODEC' and 'additional software lame_enc.dll0'. WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT!
My new cameras wonderful. A Canon S95, referred to in one revue as the best compact camera in the world. I'm determined to master it but oh boy, don't they assume that everyone in the world is a young wizz kid, IQ of 140 who 'did computers etc' at school as a matter of course. Me, reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic plus learning about the British Empire was my lot. So learning what C, M, AV, Tv, P and AUTO mean doesn't come easy. As for talking about, 'default settings' again WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT!
The list goes on, you get the message. Then it arrived. My eko-mania paper log maker. Simplicity itself, 'it does what it says on the box.' and it took even me only five minutes to work out how to operate it. Soak newspaper, junk mail etc for a day or two, put it in the 'machine, use some 'elbow grease'. Dry the 'bricks'out, (can take days so best stock up in summer) and 'Bobs your uncle', briquettes for my wood burner, very cheap and environmentally sound I'm assured. Messy, wet, but extremely satisfying; and practice will make perfect. I remember making briquettes from coal and cement in the past, not unlike the way my newest toy works. Hence the title of this post. Briquettes partly made out of cement don't burn too well by the way. But briquette making with Grannie looking on whilst she knitted socks, dish clothes and the odd balaclava (always using grey wool) was a way of life fondly remembered. (I still have the Bakelite ball in which you put wool in my 'museum'.) Does anyone knit nowadays.) I do not yearn for the past but it definitely had its moments.
Do you have memories of 'chores or pastimes' that have long since gone. Have any stayed or perhaps returned. And are there any parts of the past that would enjoy a revival.





33 comments:

Bernard said...

Funny you should mention USB turntables - I have just bought the very same. :)
It is easy to use Ken, the only drawback I found is, that it is a rather slow process. You have to play every LP at LP speed! So two 25 minute sides takes you nearly an hour to record. An ideal way of passing the time when you are snowed in, I suppose.

the fly in the web said...

Technology puzzles me...either there are no instructions...apart from the one telling you not to put a baby's head in the plastic bag...or they might as well be in double dutch for all the sense they make to me...

My job as a child, well, one of them, was cleaning and grating the suet for the Christmas puddings and mince pies.

Valerie said...

You have an MP3 player? Gosh, I'm impressed. But I do know what DEFAULT means or, as some people call it, factory settings. I laughed through most of your post, Ken, so I don't think you can describe it as boring.

Pearl said...

I'm picturing the USB turntable and how much time it would take to move my thousands of albums...

Pearl

Mark said...

I have just bought a USB turntable for my son - we shall have to exchange notes on how effective they are

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

I let my KIDS figure the stuff out for me...but...er...don't know what I am going to do when we move to Japan...

slommler said...

What I remember was a spring ritual my mom did every year. She got out the Spic 'n Span and we preceded to wash every wall in the house. Including baseboards and in the bathrooms we did the ceilings as well!! The Spic 'n Span would clean off anything and it took layers of skin off your hands as well. Then, while we washed...all the draperies were in the washing machine...getting their cleaning.
Nowadays no one that I know of does this anymore...and there is no Spic 'n Span on the market shelves. Ha!
Do I miss this....ahhhh...NO!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Kath said...

Hello Ken, thanks for your comment, I often follow Uncle Bernard over to see what you are up to. You might be surprised to hear that knitting is the new rock and roll and has become extremely popular again, as have many other hand crafts. I was brought up in a family where everything we needed was made, passed down or repaired and improvised and it has stood me in good stead.

Desiree said...

Just doing a lightning visit this time, as my family are all home today to celebrate my daughter's birthday. I'll be back to check out your photos though. Need to see what I'm up against ;)

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a charming comment - much appreciated!

Shrinky said...

I refuse to carry a mobile phone, too - all my kids have one, I can reach them if I want to - emphasise on IF (grin). Both Twitter and Facebook scares the bejesus out of me, I'm simply not cut out for these hi-tech malarkies! I do like the idea of this brickette thingie of yours, though - it sounds oddly comforting in a laborious type of way, to create your own fuel out of what is usually thrown out.

My old Da used to darn his own socks, nobody does that anymore either, do they?

Expat mum said...

I would have given my eye teeth for that wool ball last week when I was knitting. Although I have a feeling it would be far too tempting for the dog and it would all end in tears.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

oh man..you sound like me..I can take out a water pump in my truck, rebuild it and put it back, but can't figure out how to work my cell phone(which I only have because it's free with 250 free minutes a month) or thread the bobbin on my now(4 year old) sewing machine because it doesn't have a carburetor..
thanks for stopping by and saying howdy..I'll blog roll you and stop by and see what your into..js

Maggie said...

In answer to your question, does anyone knit these days.... yes. And you are not alone in being a technophobe... what annoys me is why we have to name everything. Why can't someone who just doesn't like modern technology be called an old fart?
Thanks for popping into my little blog, don't know from whence you came, possibly via Mark, but always nice to see a new face, yes, even a grumpy old face like yours!
Goodness, hope you have a sense of humour......

Keith said...

I bought one of those "press-wet-paper-until-it-screams" brickette makers, but I couldn't get the blocks to dry out in the wet, dank miserable summer.

I made some brickettes in August and by November they were still damp and had a funny blue moss growing on them. Even in the greenhouse they wouldn't dry out.

My senile female friend came up with a good idea. "Why don't you light a nice big fire and stack them on the hearth for a few days?" she suggested.

Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? Use 20kgs of house coal to dry out a few paper blocks for the winter!

Rock Chef said...

Been a long time since I heard that song!

Had a thought the other day - when Charles is finally crowned, I think he should do his speech in a Goons voice - Eccles perhaps?

Gaston Studio said...

Knew I should have saved those old albums...

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Bernard
It might be easy for you but you have no idea how bad I am re technology! I',, get there, but slowly!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

fly in the web
I had to look up what was in suet!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Valerie
But how are you supposed to know a word like default! Am getting worse I suspect!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Pearl
Quite right, mine is as yet unused!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Mark
Yes, have you used it yet. Let me know, please when you do.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Nakamuras
Keep us informed. It might be worth keeping a diary of your daily thoughts, but time consuming.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

slommler
Crikey, there's a product for sure!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Kath
They say what goes round comes round. (My wife has bought me a modern soda stream for Christmas!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Desiree
hi and welcome.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Shrinky
Either you are young (photo on blog) or' young at heart' but you are well tuned in to the past!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Expat mum
I wonder if they still make them, not in bakelite of course!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Yellowdog Granny
I have a superb 'industrial sewing machine in my 'bar' but as yet don't know gow to thread it!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Maggie
Hi and welcome. Another year, another blog beckons!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

keith
Keith, you crack me up! Man after my own heart.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Rock Chief
Hope he's never crowned. Bet mother outlives him! How sad to wait all those years for the bosses job!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Gaston Studio
Or maybe not. Mine have been carted to at least eight homes. And I reckon theres some in the loft of the last house!

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