Friday, July 11, 2014

Why Mrs.5000 Shouldn't Get Me a Birthday Present This Year

I don’t like to use telephones for anything except what they were made for, which is to say text messaging. If I have to, although I really don't like it, I’ll use them to have a remote voice conversation. But that’s it, and for the other esoteric electronic business of Modern Life, I use task-specific tools. This makes me one of the last people still using, for instance, an MP3 player – my “stories” makes it possible for me to be reading at all times, never wasting a speck of attention on time-wasters such as focusing on routine tasks, interacting with the people around me, driving, or spiritual development.

The other key portable electronic device in my life is the “gadget” – a GPS receiver. Not one of those street-map jobbies, mind you – life is dull enough already without taking the fun of navigation out of it – but a sturdy little machine that can tell me exactly where I am on the planet, how fast I’m going, how far I’ve gone, and how far I am as the crow flies from Bozeman, Montana. The gadget serves three vital purposes. First, I use it to track my running mileage. Second, it is an essential tool for geohashing. And thirdly, it lets me see the difference between the direction my vehicle is pointing and the straight-line direction to my destination. This last item may not seem important to you, but for me, well, I was pining for such a device long before the advent of consumer GPS equipment, and can scarcely believe my luck to be able to own one now. So let’s say I use it for “running mileage, geohashing, and spiritual development.”

I wrote about my first gadget when I first bought it back in aught-ten, and it made a major cameo in my niche-famous geohashing primer. It served me stoutly and well for almost three years.

One day early last summer, I went for a run immediately after work. When I got back to the truck, I cooled off for a few minutes – it was a hot day – and then headed for home. Later, I would remember a peculiar thumping sound as I drove off, and realize that it was the gadget, my beloved gadget, rolling from where I had placed in on the truck roof and falling off into the void. By the time I put this together, lamentably, it was two days later, and naturally I never saw the first gadget again.

Mrs.5000, being swell, encouraged me to get a replacement gadget as an early 2013 birthday present. She is very supportive of my running, and even my geohashing, and even my spiritual development for that matter. Plus, I was about to take one of my big sprawling roadtrips, and she knew that to be truly happy on a big sprawling roadtrip, I would need to be practicing spiritual development.

On that road trip, I went on a geohashing expedition in Yellowstone Park in which I kind of scared myself by climbing up a hill that I wasn’t sure I could climb back down. I was pretty jumpy and jittery when I got back to the truck. I assume that is why I didn’t think much, for an hour or two, about the peculiar thumping sound I heard as I drove off. By the time I put two and two together and realized that it was the gadget, my beloved replacement gadget, rolling from where I had placed it on the truck roof and falling off into the void, it was far too late to go back on the remote chance of finding it still waiting for me.

Since then, I have become something of a fanatic about never putting anything on the roof of the truck. On the hood, where you can see it, fine. But never on the roof! No matter how convenient! It is a sanitation that I now follow very strictly.  I've learned my lesson the hard way.

In the short term, there was nothing for it but to hide my shame like a pathetic skulking weasel. I scoured the outfitters of Bozeman, Montana, until I found one that sold the exact same gadget as the one I had just lost, and resolved not to mention the incident until next summer.  (Which is to say, now.) Then, I programmed in the location of Bozeman, Montana. And then, still alive and regadgeted, I went geohashing again.

So that is why Mrs.5000 shouldn’t get me a birthday present this year. She already got my 2014 birthday present back in August 2013, in Bozeman, Montana. She just didn’t know it until now.


Nichim said...

I also greatly enjoy owning and using task-specific gadgets. Teletext(/phone), mp3 player, camera, GPS, recorder, notepad, planner. I'm even considering a mobile internet device. Whenever I have to replace one of these gadgets, however, there's more and more of a frustrating overlap. My new phone can take pictures and play mp3s, for example. But why would I do that? It's like making a spreadsheet in Microsoft Word.

Rebel said...

Nichim... the only thing worse than making spreadsheets in Word is using Word for fill-able forms when Acrobat is available!

M5K - You still deserve a present, if only for the entertainment value your adventures provide!!

nrs,5000 said...

Wow, I don't know what to say! When you told me the title of this post, I assumed it would be about the amazing new board game you just purchased! However, I continue to be glad you survived your iffy little expedition to Yellowstone.

Judy Ross said...

Thoroughly enjoyed reading the blog and the comments! Yes, I am having a "slow" evening, but that is a great story-and it even has a moral!!

gl. said...

*slow clap*