Computers, Audio Books and Hamilton Pool.

It was a little chilly outside so I sat indoors this morning and worked on my computer trying to locate some audio books that I had downloaded but not yet installed onto my smartphone. I was concerned that they were on one of the audio programs that I have just cancelled due to the expense of that particular service. I listen to books from several different sources and the cost can be expensive, depending on your choices.

It took me a couple of hours of fiddling around and getting sidetracked here and there as I found things to read or others things that caught my eye but I finally located the books and am happy to say, they are not on the service that I have just discontinued.

It occurred to me just as I was about to shut down just how much times have changed. Fifteen or more years ago, a retired person like me would not be messing around with a computer spending time on trivialities. There may have not been such thing as Audiobooks and the only books available were those that required sitting still and reading and although I still do that when I need to, I much prefer to listen to someone else read me the story especially if I am in the car and even more so if the narrator happens to be good at imitating voices and dialects. I have a 2015 car that I bought January 1 this year and I have managed to put 26000 miles on the clock  a lot of which I spent on just driving around and listening to good stories. I’ll bet I have put several thousand of those additional miles by doing that.

I enjoy working out at the gym and do so pretty regularly every couple of days just so I can listen to whatever book I happen to be on at that particular time. The time flies by and I don’t notice it and in the meantime, I am either on the treadmill walking 3-4 miles or exercising my muscles. I use a set of Bluetooth earphones when I am in the gym.

The one thing I have not done and never will, is to listen when I am outside either working on the house or on the ponds and garden. I much prefer the solitude of nature or the sound of the running water. Neither do I listen if I am out hiking for the same reasons. In my mind, there is a time and a place and for me, it is mostly when I am driving although if I happen to be at a very interesting or exciting place in the story, I may listen while I am in the house where I use a Bluetooth speaker. I can often be seen sitting in my driveway after arriving home and not making any attempt to get out. If anyone happens to be watching and wondering, they are not to know that I have arrived at a very interesting part of a story and just have to know how it plays out.

Like I say, times have changed. Whether it is for the good or not is a very debatable subject. One thing is for sure, there is no stopping progress and what I did as a kid to keep me amused is nothing like what today’s younger generation has. For me, it was the great outdoors and sports.

Who knows what it is for today’s kids…For example, I visited Hamilton Pool in SouthWest Travis County yesterday and as is often the case, paused to let others by as the trail was narrow and difficult. A large family of several generations came down the rocky steps as I waited at the bottom. In the group was a young boy of about 12 or 14 who had brought an electronically controlled model car with him and was driving the thing over the rocks as he came down the steps. Maybe I am old fashioned, no change that, I am old fashioned but it seemed to me that there is a time and place to drive a model car and going out with the extended family to view one of the wonders of nature at Hamilton Pool was neither of them. Obviously, his interest had nothing to do with Nature or the beauty of what he was about to see. Such a shame  as he was missing out on a valuable learning experience of both the beauty of the place and the appreciation of the natural world around him. Oh Yeah, Don’t get me started on if he should have been allowed to bring it with him on the trip.

You could say that I have the best of both worlds. As a child, I grew up with a much simpler life with none of the modern day distractions (as long as you don’t count World War 11)  as compared to today’s kids whose very existence is governed by computers in both their personal lives and in everything that goes on around them. Today’s world is computerized and even old men like me have had to at least learn enough to get by.

The truth is, I like computers and what they are able to perform and I am lucky enough to have a good working knowledge of how to make them operate.


And I like to spend a couple of hours just checking things out that I randomly come across. Like I said, times have changed…

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