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  • Dan Marich

Zooming Into the 21st Century


It finally happened here at the Marich household. On this day in April, in the year of our lord 2020, we conquered technology, and held our first family Zoom get together. By conquered I mean we were able to occasionally see people, mostly hear them, and they could see us for 45 second stretches.


Having been in the consumer electronics industry for about 20 some years, you would think that I would have this technology stuff under control, and you would be very wrong. As anyone who really knows me knows, if I can't plug my 8-tracks into it, it is of little or no value to me.


Zoom, Facetime, and whatever others are out there, might as well be performing open heart surgery for me to figure out how to connect. Honestly, I can barely get Twitter right and have given up on Facebook. Instagram is like learning Latin, so that's out.


Today, Linda and I, along with her 93 year old mother, spent one delightful hour seeing, and speaking, with two nieces, a nephew, and their kids. It was fun, it was cool, and nobody got hurt, which is always a good thing when I'm involved with electronics.


Because my office computer does not have a camera or mic, we were able to see people, and hear them, and they could hear us, because we called into the phone number my niece sent, but they could not see us. I then remembered that Linda's laptop had a camera so I called up Zoom from that machine, also, and now we could be seen by all too.


Linda's mother was gobsmacked that you could talk to people and see them at the same time. Linda and her kept waving to the wrong computer, but whatever, they were having fun. Towards the end the batteries ran out on the laptop, so we lost our video feed to the rest of the family, but really who wants to see three old people anyway?


I know that this is going to lead to Linda hinting that we need to get a camera, and mic, for my desk computer, and holding her at bay will be my May challenge, and give us both something to do, and look forward to, as we remain in isolation for our sixth year.


One niece has a son, and the other has two boys and a girl. The niece with three little ones, works from home, teaches them at home, now, and then has time to play with them too. She pointed out today that one son has had to visit the principal everyday. We are thinking he may have an issue when school restarts and it will need watching. On the other hand, real teachers may know how to handle him and it won't be a problem.


The niece with one son, you would think, would be having an easy old time, but apparently it is hard to maintain an attention span for school, when you have every Lego ever made close by. She hinted that five o'clock wine hour sometimes arrives around one thirty or two. Like she's the only one for that to happen to.


Anyway, I digress. Back to technology. Obviously the best part of today was getting to see everyone, especially the little ones, who are growing up so damn fast. The worst thing about today is how do you ever go back to talking on the phone only now? This is the Jetson's stuff. Imagine what Linda's mother is thinking, who grew up with radio only, and where people mailed letters to each other. She can't understand email let alone video conferencing. At breakfast this morning she was unsure what virtual meant.


I know for most of you this is all yawn, yawn, and boring, but it is a big day here on the Ponderosa as we finally reach the 21st century. Will we do it again? I'm sure we will and I bet we get better at it the more we try it. Are we going to go out and buy a bunch of things to make it easier? I highly doubt we will because the one thing I do know about technology, is that it changes every five minutes.

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