Monday, December 23, 2013


When I was a kid, my best friend and next door neighbor Andy got the first computer on the block.  It was a big, clunky thing that needed a cassette tape player thingy that acted as the dos.  (I really don't know what that means.)  We played games on it that by today's standards were pretty primitive.  (Pong.)  One day he said that I should get a computer and so being close to Christmas I went and asked my Mom for a computer for Christmas. 
"What on earth would we do with a computer in this house."  It was a statement, not a question.  It was kind of a "You'll poke your eye out" kind of kill statement.  (Remember this was before the Internet and when the typical phone was still leashed to the wall like a disobedient dog.)
So I went and asked Andy, my friend, what we could possibly use a computer for besides games.  I needed to sell my Mom.  He gave me some ideas and so I went back to my Mom:
"Mom!  Andy said you could write your letters on it or even store your recipes!"
Mom's eyes narrowed and she placed her hand on a wooden box.  "Here are my recipes," she said.  "No wires, portable, instantly accessible, and I can store it anywhere.  I don't need a computer to store my recipes."
My family was doomed to the stone age.
So I blame my parents for my lack of technical savvy.  Recently I was gifted with an ithing.  (I think it's an ipad but don't take money on it.  I don't really know an ipad from an iball.)  The problem is I can't figure out what to do with it like my Mother couldn't figure out what to do with a computer.
Fr. Pfeiffer (who helped me get it up and running) suggested that I do my Liturgy of the Hours on it.  (That's the official prayer of the Catholic Church to be prayed throughout the day.  Turns out it's a free download.  Try it.)  He said, "You know how you have to check an ordo to know what to pray and then flip pages like mad?  Everything is just laid out for you on the (ithing).  It helps you just focus on actually praying."
As it turns out, it did help me pray more:
"It's very intuitive," I was told.  "Just play with it.  It is very easy to figure out."

My liturgical underwear it is.
It just sort of happened and I have no idea why.  I figure I accidentally must of hit something on the screen and so spent the next hour torturing the thing trying to figure out how to get my prayers back into an language I could pray.
I finally find a help button.  Do you know what it says?  "Hit the flag button to change languages."  Sounds easy right?  I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE HIT THAT BUTTON A LONG TIME AGO IF I COULD FIND IT.  How this is supposed to be intuitive I don't know.  I'm turning the thing, rebooting, hitting every button that I can find and GUESS WHAT!  The FLAG BUTTON IS INVISIBLE UNTIL YOU HIT IT!
Well, now it works.  And has been sitting on my desk for a few weeks while I've returned to my book.  I'm trying to figure out what to do with it.  Maybe I can keep recipes on it.


Anonymous said...

recipes? . . . . . I didn't know that you can cook.

Michelle said...

Books, books and more books, many spiritual classics are free and delightfully searchable, when I can remember who and in what, but not just quite where

I have the breviary app, nice for when I want to pray the office in Latin, but have to say that despite my icomfort, I am like your mother in this, I really do prefer the low tech book for prayer -- after 30 years, I rarely need an ordo to figure it all out, even on a many fingered day.

Fr. V said...

That's the idea!

lgreen515 said...

Ha! I had to help my husband get his phone screen back from Chinese to English last year!

Pat said...

Putting my recipes on the computer never sounded like a good idea to me. I'd have to type every single one. And then, when the computer dies, what would happen to my recipes?

For new recipes from the internet, I do store them on the computer--but I work from a paper copy.

W.C. Hoag said...

Pater reverende, I love my iPad! I have separate apps for the breviary in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms. Awesome convenience!

Elena LaVictoire said...

Father, you have a school! Just ask one of the 8th graders how to do stuff on the new technology and they'll do it for you! That's what I do! :)

Andy Weaver said...

Padre... As the neighbor in question and after a 25 year career in information technology all I ca say is... Your mother was right ;-). Seriosly, thanks for a hearty morning chuckle.