Is It Plugged In?

Nerdguy is a Computer Engineer, and once upon a time when I had brain cells I ran the network at an accounting firm.  So one would assume that we could competently run the equipment around here right?

Well, you know what they say about assuming.

I’m afraid that time has arrived.  (Or I think it has…I can’t tell you the actual time because I can no longer set my own watch.)  The time when we need our kids to show us how to use the computer, or work the TV arrived much sooner than either of us expected.  We knew it was coming, but we thought we still had time.  I mean, we’re dealing with people who still can’t manage to flush the toilet consistently.  What does that say about our level of functioning?

Molly is working on a school project, and she decided to do a presentation, using whatever the Google equivalent of Powerpoint is.  Because she uses a laptop at school, she was able to attend a free computer camp in the summer and over March Break, where she learned how to use the program.  Most of the programs that she uses are on the cloud, so she doesn’t need to bring her laptop home, but she was concerned about not having the “Snipping Tool” on the home computer.  I had never heard of it, and didn’t see it installed on my computer, so I shouted to Nerdguy about it.  After he unbunched himself from the protective fetal position that he instinctively curled into upon hearing “snipping tool” he gave a dismissive snort – “Never heard of it” – as if I was clearly making things up, or had forgotten the name for “scissors.”

Molly came over to check it out herself, showed me where to search to see if I had it on my laptop.  I did.  And then she put it on my toolbar because I had slipped into some “In MY day…” monologue, and she showed me how to use it.  When I snapped out of the fog I sat there in complete amazement.  It was as if I was just finding out about oxygen.  Or cheesecake.  Where had this tool been all my life?  Hidden in my start button?  There needs to be an awareness program!  Do you know about this tool?  It lets you take a screenshot of ANY PART of the screen you want!  Just think how much easier collages and ransom notes will be to pull together.

I told Nerdguy that he is fired as tech support, and he reminded me that he had already declared that anything made after the year 2000 is Molly’s territory.  I guess that leaves him with 8 tracks and punch cards.

Still reeling from the knowledge that our daughter would soon have to re-teach us how to use the microwave, we were sitting in the family room discussing our day, and preparing to watch a show together.  But before we could get to that, Spanish Caillou appeared on the TV screen even though no one had touched the remotes.  And just so you know, he is no more delightful en espanol.

It seems that Maggie had figured out how to stream YouTube from the iPad to Apple TV.  This led Molly to do the same thing with her American Girl video.  They were having a TV turf war without even touching a remote, while Nerdguy and I muttered “my program” in a barely audible whisper from our barcaloungers.

These days, I try to add a contact to my iPhone while in a meeting and end up fumbling around like it’s my first time using a non-rotary phone, because Maggie regularly rearranges my apps.  I didn’t even know you could group them until she did it for the first time.  It took two of us, google, and a good half hour to figure out how.  She switched our TV to French mode once like Ross’ monkey on Friends.  And last week she showed me that there are interactive games on Youtube.  News to me.  Nerdguy once again thought I was lying.

I think it’s time for me to make some apologies.  To my grandpa, may he rest in peace, I am sorry we all snickered every time Dad had to show you how to program your Casio watch.  I now need someone to first locate my watch, and then set the time, and that’s its only function.  To my mother I apologize for mocking you when you declared “I’m online!” about your banking, when you didn’t own a computer.  We should have just agreed that phone banking is the same thing.  And to my father I am sorry for taking away your garage door access because you kept sitting on the remote in your pocket and opening the door without realizing it.  I now regularly leave my van door open by accident.  Not unlocked.  Open.  And to my mother-in-law I am sorry for insisting that my home phone did not forward to my cell phone.  It probably did.  Maggie probably set up call-forward.

Now if someone could just show me how to publish this…


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