Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Rambling

Yesterday was my MIL's birthday, which we celebrated tonight with the traditional cake and candles. I'd tell you how old she is, but a gentleman never discloses a lady's age.

L and I went over to MIL's house for the celebration and we spent the evening in conversation. I fixed a few things on her computer and then we played a new game we invented. I call the game "What does it look like now?" Basically, you go into Google Maps and put in addresses of places where you have lived in the past and then (if you are lucky and it exists) you chose "Street View" to look at what the place looks like now. So we looked at places in Minneapolis from MIL's younger days, followed by places in California and Colorado, etc. Then we decided to visit the pyramids at Giza (along with the Sphinx) and the Taj Mahal. We ended our tour with a trip to the infamous artifact claimed by the insane to be Atlantis. Of course we also watched some videos associated with places and had a blast navigating by hand between several of the places. (You can tell we are an easily amused bunch.)

What started this foray around the world was a discussion about the number of times we had each been to Washington, D.C. and what we had seen while there. That led us question if the underground tram from the senate to the senate office building is still open to guests of the senators since 9/11. Shortly (and after about 13 intervening topics) that led us to question where exactly was Camp David? (How's that for a wild careening ride down the old thought train?) That of course led to the old paper atlas and then on to Google Maps and then to all of the above.

It is amazing what a powerful tool a computer and the internet can be to keep a mind engaged and kill occupy a lot of time. For seniors living alone and not getting out much, it can serve as lifeline, communicator, amusement device, news source, etc. It can also serve as a source of reading material (with font sizings suitable to available visual acuity). Think of even 20 years ago when none of this was available and how cut off and disengaged from the world people could become. Those of us that spend our lives on computers often worry about the possibility of the computer leading to social isolation and a lack of people skills amidst users, but this is the other side of the same coin. The combo of computer and internet can make the world a much more social and engaging place, or it can be used to completely eliminate the normal human interactions. The choice and effect is yours to chose.

I'll leave you with the limerick from my MIL apropos my limericks  in response to a Mama Kat challenge. The background here is that I often tell people that they'll know I'm fed up with being mayor when they find me naked in front of the bar some Saturday night. She couldn't resist twitting me about it.

The MIL's Limerick

There is a mayor named Dan
Voted in by many a fan.
    But if he goes to a meeting nude
    We'll think he's very rude
And run away as fast as we can!



  1. I love that limerick. But, glad now that I'm not in your town. Naked mayors? =)

    And I love doing that google thing! My sisters and I went down memory lane seeing our childhood home a few months ago. It was awesome!

  2. What a cool little game y'all came up with :D and your limerick is great! (I won't mention it's almost Sunday afternoon before I got to your Saturday ramblings. Sorry)

  3. Dan- You're a little game player! I never would have thought of that game but it does sound like fun. Happy B-day to your MIL! And your limerick is ridiculously silly!

  4. Sounds like a lovely game. Amazing technology... the streets and satellite pictures. Sure beats pin the tail on the donkey...

  5. You are putting images in my mind that, by rights, should not be there!

  6. Good to have a MIL with a good sense of humor! And your night sounds like a good time to me!


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