Monthly Archives: November 2009

Autumn Bike Ride

I just finished a solo bike ride through the hills near our home in the country south of Nashville and west of Franklin, Tennessee. We live in an incredibly beautiful place!

My ride only lasted forty minutes, but this time of year, it gets dark so quickly that it felt like I left in the middle of the afternoon and returned after dusk.

The leaves were red, orange, brown, a little green and a lot of yellow. I was serenaded by a chorus of crickets and enjoyed the sounds of river rapids along a short stretch of the West Harpeth River. The animals were out today, I passed redbirds, chipmunks, squirrels, dogs, sheep, a donkey (not me), cows and horsesl. I saw no deer or wild turkeys. I waved at several walkers and runners–we commented on the hills as we passed each other. I also passed a recording studio owner who was out for a horseback ride (welcome to Music City.)  I tossed out silent prayers on behalf of several friends and neighbors who I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately as I rode past their homes.

One of my favorite parts of my route is near the end of the trek, when I ride past a natural labyrinth landscaped into the backyard of a prayerful neighbor. We’ve talked to her once or twice over the fence, but I always enjoy passing her little sanctuary. I can’t help but think that the world is just a little more peaceful because of the quiet prayers prayed in her backyard chapel. I’d like to have a space like that one day.

It was a beautiful day for some outdoor exercise. Maybe I’ll take my camera out tomorrow.

on multi-tasking

Today as I was cleaning up the kitchen, my son wanted to use my laptop for a game on the internet. He’s 9 1/2 and he’s pretty computer literate. He asked my permission and since I had a work-related document open in a word processor, I asked him to minimize it.
Then I followed up with, “do you know what minimize means?”
He said, “of course.” He said something like, “didn’t you know what minimize meant when you were my age?”
And I said, “not like you do–I don’t know how old I was when I learned what minimize meant.”
He asked if I was in school. (I graduated from high school in 1980). I told him that the word has been around a long time as a non-computer word, but he and I talked about it’s origin as a tech-related word. “Computers didn’t always do a bunch of things at one time. You had to only do one thing at a time.” In hindsight I guess I could’ve told him it was more like my cell phone worked, but without all the icons.
(I didn’t make him listen to this reflection, but I’ll let you skim it: I think there may have been one high school in town that had a computer or two, but it wasn’t mine and computing was really primitive compared to what we do today. We had punch cards in college and I typed one long paper on an apple II in the spring of 1985. Not long after that I did some desktop publishing on an early mac, but you had to switch those floppy disks, between the application disc and the data disc, until later when you got dual drives and subsequently a hard drive. At work in the late 80’s to very early 90’s we had an IBM mainframe and later dos PCs. It would’ve been between 90 & 93 when windows first appeared on my desk and I owned my first mac sometime around then. Real multitasking on a computer began happening in my world sometime in the 90s.)

My habits evolved as the tools did.

On the other hand, my son has never had access to a computer that didn’t multitask. Sure he can focus on one thing at a time, but he always has the choice. He has so many more options than I did.

I wonder how all of this will make him (and his generation) different than I am and ultimately how the world will be different? Surely they think differently. I don’t have any earth-shattering thoughts or judgements to pass along. I could speculate, but I’ll save that for another day. Mostly it was just an interesting conversation that got me thinking about him and me and our world.