Tuesday, September 06, 2011


I suppose I must be biased in thinking that Grandson is exceptionally cute. On the whole, he's a very jolly sort of chap, which helps. Just think how handsome he'll be once his hair grows back.
I wasn't feeling jolly this morning when I made the mistake of phoning up the company to which I paid lots of money in AVCs (additional voluntary contributions) to supplement my meagre pension. I was just wanting to be sent some information but the lady kept me on the phone for half an hour, asking difficult questions. Some of these I understood. With the others - there's a limit to the number of times one can say, "Sorry, I don't quite follow that." I did gather that as long as I live to about 150 I might get a reasonable amount of the money back. I was a bit surprised to be told, by the way, that the average life expectancy of a woman who gets to 65 is 89. (Not 65 + 89, you understand. Just 89.) I really don't know if I can be bothered living that long. Not unless I can figure out how to work our new television.

It's annoying (I find) how I've become de-skilled over the years. When I was young, I was perfectly capable of switching on the telly. Now the thing requires the erudition of a systems analyst and I have to get Mr Life to do it for me. Which is why I watch hardly any telly now. No doubt this has happened because lots of smart young men wanted to make the whole thing more technically perfect, while people like me were quite happy just to walk over to the device and press a button to make a good-enough picture appear on any one of three channels. Who needs digital pictures and millions of garbage-carrying channels? Not me, especially since I can't access any of them without the old chap. I tell you, he'll have to live to 152 so as to keep me amused with moving pictures in my old age.

And cars - why can't they make them all the same? Well, ok, they could do them in a range of sizes (big, medium and small) and of course a good choice of colours. But I think that they should all be standard in other ways: all the controls in exactly the same places, for ever, and all with the same symbols so that I always know how to turn the windscreen wipers on. Why do they have to keep redesigning them?

Seems very simple to me. I think someone should put me in charge of Stuff.


  1. I quite agree, they absolutely should put you in charge. Your daughter's little guy is just so scrumptious!

  2. you are officially In Charge of Stuff, by my own decree ... however, since i am No One (and not Someone) this official decree means diddly squat.

  3. Oh yes, you and me both.....just because those young blokes can do something doesn't mean to say that they should.....life becomes so much more complicated than it should be! Your little man is growing up.

  4. Your technical difficulties will be over as soon as grandson is old enough to hold the remote! I think they pre-programme babies these days!
    It was ever thus, though. My Gran was born in the late 1800's, and lived to 93. Sometimes I think about all of the changes she would have seen in her lifetime - a farmer's daughter and a farmer's wife, she had a pony and trap, baked all the bread for the farm in a wood-fired oven set into the massive chimney, lost menfolk in both World Wars, even went on a suffrage march. She did enjoy a TV eventually though, and reluctantly, a phone, but that was for emergencies only.

  5. We could start right here with Blogger and their new interface as an example of the times they are a-changing. I'm perfectly happy with the current one, but every time I visit my dashboard I'm greeted with "Try the new interface." No, no, no, I don't wanna! Yet I'm sure at some point it won't be an option not to choose it. And then of course I'll make peace with it, the same way you will learn to work the tv. :)

  6. I can see daughter and Grandson like stripes - very smart looking cardigan/ jersey there.

    Just as well you have a new family member to give you a new interest.

    I agree that things shouldn't be so complicated BUT you should ask to be shown what to do with the TV SLOWLY - write down each step - practise in front of husband till you can do it. Don't be scared it's only a machine - you are smarter than it! ( Go on; you can do it! )

    About 18 years ago that's how I learnt how to use a computer - which were much less user friendly than now.

  7. Oh, I don't think it's because you're looking through biased eyes, Grandma Isobelle...Grandson is adorable, and exceptionally cute :)
    Those are lovely photos of him and his mummy.
    I learned how to program our TV (which need reprogramming whenever we had a blackout) and VCR (to record) only after our son went off to college, from necessity, don't you know? (the programming, that is).
    How's that for bad grammar and sentence structure, Miss?
    I would definitely put you in charge of "stuff". Nothing needs to be that complicated!
    We rarely watch TV these days. There's nothing on worth watching....so I've mostly forgotten whatever I learned about operating it. And besides, most of the time I can't hear the dialogue well enough to understand it.

  8. I'm thinking small grandson is looking a LOT like his mother in these photos.

    When we visit my in-laws we have to get help putting the telly on for the kids, as they have about 6 remote controls and it is impossible to figure out which does what, and I think I'm pretty tech-savvy! If I was in charge of stuff I'd make remote controls have their function written clearly up top instead of just the brand name. A dvd remote would have to have the words "dvd remote" etched large up top. Save a lot of mucking around, I reckon.

  9. He is such a cutie! I don't have cable tv. I have a convertor box so I just get the local tv channels. You should see peoples' faces when I tell them I don't have cable tv. If I did I would never ever get out of my chair!!!

  10. The Lass: Thank you (modest shrug)

    Dianne: You can be my second in command.

    Jennifer: Indeed.

    Veg Artist: Yes, I often think this about my own Granny. Horse and cart to Moon landings.

    Ann: Yes! I should have mentioned Blogger. Argh.

    Ali Honey: Well, I could do if I could be bothered... Maybe I prefer having a slave...

    Kerri: We think alike.

    Stomper Girl: What an excellent idea - you're right - I never know which remote to use so therefore fall at the first hurdle.

    Patti: Indeed. But you can clearly work the thing, which is impressive.

  11. In charge of stuff? well of course they can't have you Isabelle...that would mean the application of common sense, rationality, easy to understand guides and remote controls with only 4 buttons...on/off/volume/channel....but if you get the job can I sit on the board with you?

  12. I presume you feel the same about phones?? Once a nice simple apparatus which allowed one to talk to someone far away, now a demon device designed to age and irritate you instantly.

  13. You just gave me a great idea... I want to design an entertainment system for tech-challenged folks. A TV/DVD player/CD player that comes in one unit, with only one remote control, with extra-large easy to read buttons, with easily recognizable symbols.

    Now wouldn't that be cool? One slot for movies, one slot for music. Push the movie button, you watch a movie. Push the button with a musical note on it, listen to your music. Push the TV button, watch television! All in one unit!

    When I make my millions, I'll be sure to send you some. 8-)

  14. Oh, what a beautiful world we would live in if you were in charge of stuff. (For starters, I'm pretty sure children would not be allowed to leave home...am I right?)

    Don't get me started on the tv thing. It drives me to distraction that we have umpteen remote boxes and I can't ever get them to do what I want. I've always blamed it on TheManoftheHouse and how he hooks things up. Perhaps I've been a bit too rash....

    Oh! And that grandson just gets cuter!

  15. Isn't it lovely when babies learn to smile!
    And someone loves stripes.
    As for the increased technical complexities I have to write down instructions in my own words. Or wait for a younger member of the family to come and sort me out. Failing that, I have to get the local repairman to cll in.

  16. I was so pleased to read this - I can't turn our TV on any more either and I was worried it was just me! That first photo is just lovely. Would make me broody were I not more robust.......(and if I didn't have two lumps of boy to remind me that the scrumptiously cute stage does not last forever)

  17. When you are in charge of Stuff (you've got my vote), please add cameras to your portfolio. As for that grandbaby, he is delicious.

  18. Libby: Please do. I think this committee is getting bigger!

    Lesley: Yes, indeed, phones. I like to talk, text and take photos. Don't need anything else. (Unless it did the ironing.)

    Marcheline: Send me a prototype, please!

    Thimbleanna: Ah, I knew we had something in common! It's not the sewing skills, alas.

    Persiflage: I feel for you, truly I do.

    Lynda: Surely my bundle isn't going to turn into a lump???

    Love those cupcakes: Very true, I forgot about cameras. I do like them digital but they're fine now - just leave them alone, please, inventors.

  19. Grandson will be sorting out Aged Grandmama's machines sooner than you think . Till then , annoy everyone by playing '60s and '70s music loudly and sing along . Know an irritating amount about Art Deco/Nouveau and Mary Quant , Mini Mokes and Elizabeth David and teeny individual Hovis loaves .
    And just show complete disdain for the five assorted remote controls which allow one access to Big Brother . Too George Orwell .

  20. I should print this post and all the comments to show the MOTH. We had such an argument earlier tonight, when he was snoozing on the couch in the lounge room, and I was cooking dinner in the kitchen. I wanted to watch the news, but could I turn the t.v. on? Nope, not since he'd connected a digital set top box so we could get more channels. I pressed every damn button on the remote, then threw it down in disgust. When he came in to have tea, and tried to turn the t.v. on, it took him 20 minutes to reset everything I'd stuffed up by pressing all those buttons. Poetic justice....