Sunday, 14 July 2013

Help Me Bury This Rock


It is really amazing just how adaptable we are. There isn’t a place on earth that we haven’t explored and no matter how inhospitable that place is, you can rest assured there is someone stupid enough to want to live or work there. It is just the way we humans are wired.


I once asked my grandmother what it felt like to have lived through so many changes that have occurred since she was born. When she was a girl, there were no cars, airplanes, radio, television, telephones, there was no cure for polio, no antibiotics, no atom bomb or atomic energy, no xrays and certainly no computers of any kind. There are so many advances in so very many disciplines that it is almost impossible to list. She looked up from what she was doing, burying a huge rock more than likely, and said “You live and things change.”

I thought it was a pretty flip kind of answer at the time, but now that I am a grandfather and more than likely will be asked by my grandkids what it was like to live in the old days. There is a very good chance that I will tell them the same thing my Gram told me. It is true, there is nothing you can do to slow the change and if you aren’t flexible you will get bogged down in the past. I plan to stay as current as I can with technology, or at least make sure that the kids can set all of the clocks in the house for me.

I was going through one of the drawers in the basement today and I found a Rand McNally street map of Calgary from 2000. It is a really good map and very clearly breaks the city down into page size maps. Once you learn how to use a map, you have no problem finding out where you are going and when you get lost yo can generally find your way home. If Dorothy had a decent map of OZ she wouldn’t have had to follow that crazy yellow road.

You know, I just can’t remember the last time I used a map. Well, a paper map anyways. Whenever I need to find out how to get somewhere, I just Google it and a Google map will come up with map or satelite views and it will even let me virtually stand on the street and look at my destination through the magic of computers. Sometimes, I just use the Magellan GPS, and a lovely English lady will guide me through the streets of any city in North America, turn by turn, street by street. It will tell me the estimated time of arrival and my average speed as well as my actual speed. In the end, she announces that I have arrived at my destination and sure enough when I stop the car I am indeed in front of my destination. The beauty of it is that I have no idea how I managed to get from A to B, but as long as that sultry voiced English Lady does, I am happy.

I have noticed lately that cars are getting smarter and smarter. They can parallel park by themselves (I can’t), they have sensors that will slow down the car if it discovers a problem on the road. I saw a video of a car that will actually park itself at the press of a button on your cell phone and return when you press the button again. These are just new developments, but I would bet the cars will sooner rather than later drive themselves so that we flawed humans can’t kill ourselves.

Yep. Hurricane and Tornado will come to me one day and ask what it was like when you had to drive cars by yourself. I’ll look up from what I’m doing and say “You live and things change. Now, help me bury this rock.”






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