Upward for 2007
by Peary Perry
New Year….Ok, so that's out of the way. Onward and upward for 2007.
Let's get the Christmas and holiday stuff stashed away neatly, so
we can find it again next year without any cussing and griping.
As always, I have a standard set of resolutions for the coming months.
I suspect they are the same as yours.
2. Lose weight
3. Watch less television
4. Read more
5. Lose weight
Did I mention that I need to lose weight? It wouldn't hurt the majority
of us to do so. Myself especially.
I started off telling myself that my attitude was going to be different
this year and I wasn't going to be so cynical, but that didn't last
until the water got hot. It's just simply too easy to look at life
with a cynical perspective than otherwise. Perhaps when you are younger,
life if viewed with not as much skepticism. Who know? Who cares?
Anyway, bear with me a moment and think about what you either bought
for yourself this holiday season or something that was given to you.
Now, with that image in your mind, look at the instruction book which
probably came with whatever item you have just acquired.
If it's bigger and heavier than the item, then something is terribly
For example, I just bought a new (at least to me) hand held calculator.
My old one finally gave up the ghost a few weeks ago, besides I had
lost the instruction manual for it years ago. The new one weighs in
at, perhaps 10 ounces. The manual weighs in at a couple of pounds.
The manual has over 225 pages. I will use about six or seven of them.
I realize the things we buy often have features we won't ever use,
but sometimes they get a little ridiculous. My oven has at least three
sets of timers on it. Why do I need three timers when I only have
one oven? My computer has stuff on it that I'm certain I'll never
use or even need, but I am afraid to delete anything because it might
do something to what I do need.
Bill Gates is a genius. I just wonder if he really knows all of the
features of his software and what it can do. Truth be known, he probably
doesn't. I don't understand radios and how they work, much less computers.
I just know they do …at least most of the time.
We used to use a phone for talking to one another. Now we use one
to take pictures, movies and write messages to people and send them
around the world in a matter of seconds. My cell phone weighs a couple
of ounces as well, but the manual is much heavier and larger. What's
the sense of having something that weighs in about the size of a deck
of cards if the book showing you how to operate it is the size of
an encyclopedia? It kind of defeats the purpose of having something
smaller and portable in the first place, doesn't it?
Today, I have spent more time than I should just throwing away manuals
and warranties on things I no longer have. As I sort though the stack
of trash to put out the door, I cannot help but wonder what happened
to all of these things. I know that they weren't stolen, but they
have disappeared over the years. Where is that waffle iron? And the
nifty juicer I bought from some health guru on television? The waffle
iron I can do without as well as the instructions, but I sure would
like to have the instructions for the weed eater. I can't figure out
how to reload the string line that goes in the thing and can't find
Now we come to another problem in today's society. If the instruction
book doesn't come with the item you bought, then you can download
it from your computer. The only trouble with this idea if the fact
that the instruction manual might have a couple of hundred pages and
you only need to see one or two of them. So, then you go on line,
print the pages you need, then find yourself wondering what to do
with them once they are in your hand.
I'll tell you what you do with them, you staple them together, throw
them into a pile and then a couple of years from now, you think to
yourself…..now what was this for and where did it go?
Life goes on…..Happy 2007.
Letters From North America
January 4, 2007 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to www.pearyperry.com
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