Category Archives: Humor

In Praise of Technology

 On the 7th of January, as we were driving my son to the airport in Charlotte, NC, already worried that we were going to miss his plane for Tel Aviv (where he is doing a six-month fellowship), he announced that he had left a vital sheet of information on the dining table back home.  This paper contained the name, address, and phone number for the person who was going to meet him in the airport at the other end of his trip, so you can imagine my reaction!  But, while his mother (and father) descended into panic, my son calmly called his sister, still at home, and asked her to find the paper, take a picture of it, up close enough for him to read it, and then text it to his phone.  The whole process took about five minutes.  Our car never even slowed down!

Another anachronism: the payphone line!
Another anachronism:
the payphone line!

As we drove on, I couldn’t help but describe to my son how that same set of events would have played out fifty years earlier.  I could see two possible scenarios:  1) a rapid turn-around and drive back home to pick up the paper, missing the plane or 2) a frantic search for a rest area with a payphone, followed by a desperate crawl all over the floor of the car looking for a quarter, followed by someone standing miserably in the freezing cold with a pencil and paper held awkwardly in hand while trying to hear the words and numbers being dictated over the phone, with no writing surface except someone else’s back!  (Not to mention–unless you were lucky enough to have little Wash ‘n Dry wipes in your purse–the lingering fear that you might have contracted something from the pay phone.)

The computer my husband used to write his dissertation!
The computer my husband used to write his dissertation!

And this got me to thinking about some of the scenes from my life that would never happen nowadays:

1) the common experience of being lost in a city, late for some event, and listening to my parents fret over whether they should stop and ask directions (my mother’s preference) or keep driving around looking (my father’s choice

2) the experience of being out somewhere, away from home or the library, and trying to win an argument about some basic historical, literary, or scientific fact and not being able to prove your point without driving back home and pulling out the Columbia Encyclopedia

A manual typewriter
A manual typewriter

3) being completely out of touch with your family, except for letters in your mail box or the collect call home from the “hall phone” in your college dorm, which was usually right out in the middle of people, with no privacy at all

4) typing my senior thesis in graduate school on a manual type writer with four carbon copies and having to correct all four every time I made a mistake

5) running out of “White Out” and panicking

6) shuffling through paper cards in the card catalogue of your college to find a book (I miss this one!)

7) even a more recent change:  calling and embarrassing your child at a party to make sure he/she is alive (texting provides such a better cover for parenting!)

So,  I suppose there are some wonderful things about technology!

My father's first car phone!
My father’s first car phone!

Get It While It’s Hot!

Sadhvi
Sadhvi

I’m going to sign up for Obamacare soon…I just have to send out my Christmas cards and get my real estate calendars in the mail first.

I’ve been feeling like it’s midnight at five o’clock lately, which has not helped to keep my energy level going strong.

But hey, through the darkest time of the year, I have managed not to gain 20 pounds despite the fact that I’ve baked a half dozen poppy seed and nut rolls, a double batch of my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookies with red and green Holiday M&M’s (see recipe below*), a double batch of my yummy Swiss Butter Cookies with Lemon frosting,  a few batches of “Basler Brunsli”, and to make 9 jars of “Marroni Creme” with the extremely tasty chestnuts that we’ve been blessed with this year.

Tomorrow is the Solstice, the start of Winter, the day with the least amount of light, and we all know what the day after signifies don’t we?

That’s right, daylight hours starts to get longer, and before you know it, ta da!  Spring will be here.

If you want to feel something, and maybe even get up off your booty and move it, click on the clip below.

Oh, and Happy Holidays!

 

* My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies*
(from “The Great Book of Chocolate” by David Lebovitz)

I like to soak the nuts for a few hours.  Then I toast them in the oven.

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt or 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (Deb option)
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips, or, Holiday M&M’s
1 cup (130 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped

Adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Pack them quickly and send off to loved ones asap 🙂

 

Getting Back to Simpler Times

SADHVI
SADHVI

Getting older is turning out to be more interesting than I thought it would be.  I’m even calling myself an old crone sometimes, just for fun, so I can start to realize that I’m not the young Sadhvi that I tend to think I still am!  It also makes me feel wise.

If I am going to be alive this long, I will have more things that I’ve seen than someone who is 20.  Simple math, I know.  And that also means that some things that are around don’t really ring my bell, so to say.

I’m all right if you want to pay lots of money for those things.  But if you talk about how much you love your new iPhone, for instance, and that love rant goes on for more than a minute or so, I will probably have to say something like how weird is it to LOVE your new gadget!

Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Snowy

We’ve been watching the Tintin cartoon series lately to wind down at the end of our day.  The animation is really neat, and they are always exciting to watch.

Tintin is a super hero who goes to different places all over the world to rid the planet of bad people.

And he does it without a computer, a smart phone, texting, having a GPS or being hooked up to social media – my type of hero!

While going through a stack of magazine, I came across an old Vanity Fair magazine from August 2011.  While flipping through the pages, a black and white photo of Joseph Heller sitting in his NYC office with his feet on his desk struck me as something that looked funny, like something was out of place.

Then I realized there is no computer, smart phone, iPad, or laptop anywhere around in that photo, just a typewriter with a piece of paper in it, a rotary dial phone, and some pens and pencils in a round holder.  Joseph Heller wrote the novel Catch-22 back in 1961, which according to many is one of the greatest anti-war books ever written.  Maybe you remember it?

Joseph Heller

While I was only a small child in 1961, I do remember the movie, mostly because it came out in 1970!  I’ve also used a typewriter like the one in the photo a lot, and had a rotary dial phone in the house that I grew up in (where the cord can reach across the room with the phone base not moving an inch!).

I even own one today and it’s in my office 🙂

Looking at that photo made me see how far the whole industry has come.  And how expensive these new technologial “wonders” cost to buy, and how the companies who make them have suceeded through colors and marketing that we can’t live without them.

But I’ve started to notice people of all ages say that they are just not into all of it any more.  Maybe the pendulum is moving back to simpler times?

I’ve heard young people say that they are going back to a flip-phone, because the smartphones feel too crazy on their heads.

Or that they hate FaceBook, and don’t ever use it.

Or take the woman the chestnut stand the other day — after we chatted briefly, she laughed and said how nice it was to connect, and not with FB.  I asked her if she was addicted to FB and she said she used to be, but not anymore; she doesn’t want to “like” of “share” what is going on with her life.  She wants to just live it.

You might wonder why I post for this blog, since it is sharing.  Good question:  the only reason is that I send this out to friends and family, and it’s my way of staying in touch with them.

The idea that Oprah or HuffPost would contact us to be the voices of our generation have long dropped away.  We, including me, just like to write!

 

rotary dial phone sweetie2sweetie etsy

 

 

Sadhvi Asks: What is “Labor Day” Anyways?

SADHVI & BELLO
SADHVI & BELLO

We had some friends over yesterday, and I had to find out if anyone knew what Labor Day was for.

They were all under the age of 30, and they didn’t know. One laughed and said it was a day off – Ha Ha! And so it is for many of us.

At one point, at the end of our brunch together, the smart phones were taken out to “share” some things, you know, funny YouTube clips, and the latest and greatest “app’s” for doing things that you can just as easily do without one.

There is one app that if you hold your finger over the place where you look to take pictures, you can get your heart rate.
Who cares?  Then they were asked which were their favorite games, and the energy level went up in the room.  Games. A toy in your pocket or bra.  Nice.

BTW “Labor Day” is:
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country
.

Share it – maybe the meaning will go viral, and it won’t have anything to do with the internet, just maybe it will just make a lot of people informed, and no one will know about it except the ones that got it.

What else? I’m thinking about getting a new car, and all of them have this capability to plug your smart phone into it, and VOILA, you get to hear and talk and speak without having to hold the phone.  I know, this has been around for a while, but now they say, it really works.

I guess I am too connected to a computer with work to want to be connected in a new and questionably better way.

When you think about it, isn’t a smart phone just another computer?

It certainly is not a phone, cuz it turns out that most people I know don’t use it as a phone. No, mostly they play games on them, or visit porno sites.  I don’t know why I was surprised to find out that most internet activity is about sex in some way or another.

Or they “text” or type short snippets of grammar to communicate with someone that is usually a family member, like their mother or father.  And the mother or father has to text, they say, in order to communicate with their children.  And since it is hard to type on a leeetle teeny pad, the smart phones came along, and the iPad’s, to make it easier.  Hmmm.

I have one friend my age who is no longer comfortable speaking on the phone; she said it makes her nervous. She only likes texting and emailing.  Nice.  She doesn’t like to interact in person any more. Awesome.  I hope that we can get her to loosen up in a month or so when we have the annual get-together!  Karen, I hope you are reading this.

I just love my flip phone, and will try to get the same one on eBay, which is where I was gifted the last one (thank you Sandesh).  I am not ready to become number and dumber holding something with a name that is supposed to make me feel cooler and “smarter”!

Ok, I hope you have a good day off, maybe you were able to sleep in like we did; kind of like a lazy Sunday, only it’s Monday – LABOR DAY!

And maybe you will think about how today is the day to be thankful that THE WORKERS of this country got together and fought for better working conditions when what was normal were sweat shops and minors working.  Kind of like how it is in China right now.

I will go relax on a hammock outside and read a book.  Not on Kindle, no, one that I can hold and touch and feel.

Oh, and check out this clip below.  I really feel like the girl who is trying to relate.  It made me happy in a way to see that she was not over 50!

Sadhvi Sez: What I won’t be doing next Friday

SADHVI

Yes, the holidays are upon us here in America with Thanksgiving week already here! This year, we’ll be going over to share food with friends on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the day that some shopper’s venture out early to pick up great prices on things, otherwise known as “Black Friday”.

I saw this clip (see below) and had to laugh! I mean, I bake most of my holiday gifts, and even when it’s not “the season to be jolly”, I really don’t like going shopping in stores, do you? This is an extreme compilation of what some shoppers have been caught doing to get that item or deal. You might start laughing like I did when I watched it.

This year I’ll bet a lot of folks are shopping online, including myself. It’s funny, but I can remember when email came out, and the internet started…maybe in 1994 for me? I remember telling my husband that I would NEVER write someone a letter on a computer, and I certainly wouldn’t ever buy anything on it.

Well things have changed, haven’t they. Maybe I will start to text and buy an iPad and and a smart phone and keep it longer than a few weeks too?!

Happy Thanksgiving!