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Day by Day: Head in the clouds takes some getting used to

I had thought the day when I found myself in a cloud, I would be dead, resting in peace somewhere. Instead here I am working in one every day -- just wishing I was.

It happened a couple of months back. The Star-Observer is being created in "the cloud," or at least I think it is. I am just old enough to be skeptical of all this stuff and actually catch myself picturing some guy in the middle of North Dakota, hiding behind a curtain, pulling levers like crazy to make believers out of us -- something like the great and powerful Google wizard.

It's not that I dislike technology. While I am loathe to admit it, if it weren't for that first HP computer Kevin bought back in 1985, ostensibly to make me a better businesswoman, I would never have started writing. I mean when I discovered that with a word processor I could make all the typing mistakes I wanted and never have to go near white-out, it changed my life. And then spell check, well, I figured a career change was in the stars, a sign from God.

The problem is that I haven't advanced a whole lot from that point. Oh, you can teach me new things, it is just that at 61, learning is a lot more about repetition than anything else. We have lots of meetings about this Google drive thing. I take really good notes and then return to my desk and forget the simplest things -- like where do I start? Fortunately we have lots of help and for the most part they are patient and not patronizing -- well maybe a little, but they are young and who can blame them. If I got the same question from the same 61-year-old woman at about the same time every week, I might cop a little attitude myself.

But for the most part, there is very little change in the appearance of the Star-Observer, even if it now takes a kind of extraterrestrial journey every week before you get it. As for me, after having a couple of days off last week, I'm afraid I needed a little jet-pack to get back up there for this week's edition.

The truth is I am just kind of technology-weary. I never learned how to use call-waiting on my land-line, who knew I would have anything but that. As for my cell phone, even using the kids' hand-me-downs, I can only place a call, answer one and send a very short text. I can take photos but why? What would I do with them?

They offered to get me a smart phone for my birthday but I really don't want anything with more intelligence than me. And since I can't read anything smaller than half inch type without cheaters, do I really want access to the internet on my phone? No! As for GPS, banking and bill-paying and playing games -- oh my god, getting lost is the only adventure I have left in my life; according to Kev, hackers are perched poised to raid my $300 balance checking account at any moment; and games, really? I'd rather be daydreaming any day.

I still have a lot of the appliances I got when I married 42 years ago and thankfully some of the ones I have replaced actually look like the old ones. But some others -- well it started when my new daughter-in-law said that the crock pot we sent them came with its own Ipad. We bought a new dryer recently and when you turn this dial to set the stuff, not only does it light up like something off the Star Trek bridge but it is accompanied by some very Trek-like digital music. I think that's a big part of why Kevin has taken a sudden interest in the washing instructions on my clothes. He is desperately waiting for me to put something in the wash that needs the temperature sensitive drying rack. I think they play the theme from "2001: A Space Odessy" during that cycle.

I know all this stuff is amazing but there are still some things that could do with a little technological interface. I spent my days off pulling weeds and moving plants around -- projects I have been putting off for years but now take on an urgency with a family wedding approaching. Shouldn't there be some kind of a wand or something that will deliver an ultraviolent wave that will destroy dandelions? I mean I'm having pretty good luck getting rid of my post-menopausal beard with a couple of laser treatments. Why not the "Yard Laser," a quick and easy fix to all those pesky weeds so hard to get rid of? Order now for $39.95 and get a second Yard Laser free, plus shipping and handling. Also suitable for use on unwanted body hair!

I could make a fortune if I could only figure out how to set up a website out there in the cloud.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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