The Consumer Electronics Show (CES,) the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow, is here in Las Vegas this weekend. At CES, manufacturers, developers, and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems show off their products and services…
Hold on. I have no idea what I’m talking about. I lifted that stuff off the Internet.
Despite the fact that I make a pretty good living as a technical writer, I’m not exactly into technology. In fact, a lot of the time I have no idea what I’m writing about at work, yet somehow I’m able to string a bunch of big words together in a way that makes sense to someone who cares about what they mean. I sure as hell don’t.
As far as consumer gadgets go, well, um… let me just say I drive a 13-year-old Saturn with a cassette deck. I do have an MP3 player in a drawer somewhere, but I don’t know how to use it, so an Ipod is pretty much out of the question. (Or are they the same things? I don’t know.)
A super techno-savvy friend of mine simply shakes his head at the sight of my televisions. Yeah, they’re both from the 90’s (like my car), but they work great (like my car), so why should I replace them? It’s not like I have to get up from the couch and walk all the way across the living room turn a knob to change the channel, like in the old days.
Though now that I write this, I’m remembering a TV we used to have when the kids were growing up. The knob was broken and for like two years we had to change the channel with pliers until the kids said it was too much of an embarrassment when their friends came over. Finally we gave in and got cable. And back then, it was nothing like the cable I have now, which came with a 125-page textbook of instructions. The only reason I read the damn thing was to make sure I could correctly record the daily episodes of my beloved Guiding Light.
No doubt as a result of their upbringing, my kids are anything but technology geeks. They’re both singer-songwriters, so they know how to hook up microphones and amps, but as you can see from the photo below, those are old-fashioned acoustic guitars they're playing.
In all fairness, I should say they’re not completely back in the last century; Courtney did put up a MySpace page, and Christopher does have a couple of electric guitars, though he’s not at all into computers, which is shocking for someone his age (30). I think maybe Neil Young once said computers are bullshit and so he took his words to heart. Christopher just recently got an email account (which one of his neighbors set up for him), though he checks it only about once a month.
“It’s that or the cell phone,” he told me. "I can't do both."
He’s not kidding. My favorite story is that Christopher and his now ex-girlfriend used to share a cell phone. Except they treated it like a land line--when they went out, they left it home. “When we’re not home, people can leave a message and we’ll call them back later,” they explained.
These days, however, Chris does have his own cell phone (but forget about text messaging) and he actually takes it with him when he goes out. Most of the time.
I took this picture of my boy when I was back in Albany over the holidays. Isn't he so damn cute? He's the nicest, sweetest person I know--such a gentle soul. I'm so proud of him; who cares about his technical acumen?
It’s okay that I talk about Christopher here. Though he'd probably be mortified, God knows he’ll never see it.