Sunday, December 9, 2012

Me and Machines

Machines hate me. I've always known it. Ever since I was a little girl, machines have refused to work properly in my presence.

Does this sound paranoid? Irrational? So be it.

Just yesterday the following three things happened in rapid succession:

  • My DVD player decided to spit out every dvd I put into it. Nothing I did would persuade the bloody thing to accept and load any of the four exercise programs I offered it.
  • My Kindle Cloud Reader did away with four or five books I had recently uploaded onto it--one of which I was in the middle of reading--and decided to substitute the many books I had put on the old, regular, Kindle reader two or three years ago.
  • The list of recorded programs on my television's DVR mysteriously disappeared. Designated programs are still being recorded--the little orange recording circle comes on in the program guide--but no list can be coaxed from wherever it is hiding in the land of digital happenings. So I can't actually click on a pre-recorded show to watch it.
I know what you're thinking: I must be one of those hopelessly inept creatures who cannot deal with all this modern technology. 


I was actually one of the early adopters of all things computer back in the eighties. The dark ages, I know. Nevertheless, I did develop end-user training programs for many of the early software programs developed by Microsoft and others.

So, no! It's not me. It's machines. Like I said, they hate me!

And that includes cars, sewing machines, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers and even electric can openers. I swear they work for other people, but not for me!

Here's what I think it is:

 Everything in existence is made up of energy as well as matter. In fact, energy and matter, under some conditions, can morph into one another. We know that from physics. Some energies are simpatico--I get along beautifully with animals and plants, for example. I easily befriend animals. I can usually keep my plants alive.

But some energies repel one another. Machines and I, for example, know each other to be natural enemies. Machines sense my energy a mile off. They hate me before they get to know me. It's a perfect case of contempt prior to investigation.

I'm not too crazy about them either. I try to avoid messing with them whenever possible. Which isn't very often in this over-technologized (is that a word?) world.

But here's the thing: We need each other.  I need my computer to write my novels. I could no more write longhand than I could swim the English Channel. And I depend on all my machines to help me complete tasks efficiently so I have time to write. My machines need me too. What good are they sitting silent and unused in a corner?

So I would like to call a truce. To quote Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?"

I promise not to slam my fist down on the top of my DVD player if it just promises to accept my dvds. I won't throw the remote across the room if the list of recorded programs will simply show up on my TV screen. And I promise to read kindle books in preference to IBooks if my cloud reader will give me back the five books I just bought and paid for.

Maybe I'm asking for too much. Maybe peace is a pipe dream! But surely it's not too late to make a change!


  1. Ha Ha you are so funny Lee.Dont you know machines arent alive,so my opinion is "ITS JUST A COINCIDENCE.I think its just allowing yourself to be frustrated causes you to feel that way.Look on the brite side.Its a blog well written.

  2. Enjoyed your blog! Maybe it is a control issue? LOL

    Actually, for me, one of the surprises of my aging years was the discovery that I am actually good with machines. I am the one who sets up the network and programs the remote! Never knew I had that gene. :-)
    However, I have never tired the cloud Kindle 2 works just fine for me.