Spring, technology and other thoughts of the day

092710rain1Rained overnight.  According to the  National Weather Service, it may rain again around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday for a couple of hours and then then we get diminishing clouds and a sunny late afternoon.

The rest of the week brings sunny skies and increasing temperatures with the thermometer hitting 70 or so by Sunday.

Ah, Spring — finally.

Weather, when it is unsettled, also leads to depression and aches and pains for those of us up in years with arthritis.  My arthritic knees, ankles and other joints tell me rain is coming long before Doppler radar shows up on a TV, computer or smartphone screen.

Our technology keeps us in touch with weather, news and more at a touch of the screen on our Apples or Android phones.  My iPhone gives me a pollen alert this morning.

Didn’t need it.  My nose tells me pollen is in the air and up our nostrils.

In many ways, our technology tells us when more than we need to know at all times of day and night.  I can bring up a weather radar screen from the National Weather Service or WDBJ Channel 7.  A news bulletin might cause my iPhone to vibrate while I cover the Floyd County Supervisors meeting today.

Weather alerts flash on the screen of my Garmin GPS on either our cars or our motorcycles.  The Garmin on my Harley also provides traffic alerts  Phone calls bring up the Caller ID number on the Garmin while riding and I can let it go to voice mail or answer it through the headset in my helmet.

A debate among motorcycle riders over breakfast one morning concerned whether or not technology (1) add yet another hazard to our riding and/or (2) hurts one of the joys of cruising main and back roads on two wheels.

While riding, I seldom answer my iPhone unless it is from Amy.  A call from her is usually important.  If I can, I stop alongside the road and answer the phone.  In a full-face helmet, I can easily hear her and talk with little problem (assuming there is a cell tower in range).

I don’t have to wander out to the back porch this morning to know that the thermometer rads 55 degrees as I write this on a Tuesday at 6:33 a.m.  The Bluetooth on the thermometer sends the reading to my computer screen.

I still venture downstairs most early mornings to feel the temperatures on the back porch and check the thermometer reading.

The wind gauge shows a steady breeze of 4 miles per hour this morning.

On the computer screen shows today’s Roanoke Times reports a new owner for Tanglewood Mall.  I remember when developer Ted Steele built the mall more than 50 years ago.  I knew his daughter.

The mysterious odor in the Dan River has returned.  Columnist and friend Dan Casey wonders if a zombie affliction is spreading among Virginia Republicans.

“Nobody has ever compared certain right-wingers to cannibalistic zombies,” Dan writes. “Until now.”

The Washington Post discusses HBO’s movie about Anita Hill and her accusations of sexual harassment by judge Clarence Thomas before he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As a newspaperman, I realize that the papers we subscribe to are read online, not on paper that comes from processed wood pulp.  I wrote about Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s fraud about his claims of charitable giving on a web site that doesn’t even have a paper edition. It went online last night and has been read several hundred thousand by by this morning after Google News and Yahoo linked to it.

Each morning, I also check the online edition of The Telegraph, the newspaper where I wrote and shot photographs for from 1969 until 1981.  I saw an obituary this morning of a friend from our time there.

How in the hell did I start writing this morning about Spring and end up with a piece about technology?

That’s the nature of life today.

Technology dominated our lives.

Some call it “multi-tasking.”

Others call it a pain in the ass.

 

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