Where'd I put that thing?: Wireless and clueless
TOWNER, N.D. - Going wireless was supposed to be a big advance for modern society. I think I liked it better when things were wired at our place. Used to be, when I wanted to find the phone, I just walked over to where it was nailed to the wall a...
TOWNER, N.D. - Going wireless was supposed to be a big advance for modern society.
I think I liked it better when things were wired at our place.
Used to be, when I wanted to find the phone, I just walked over to where it was nailed to the wall and there it was. If it wasn't hanging on the receiver, I'd just follow the curly cord a little ways and find it.
Now that we've gone wireless and cordless, it takes five minutes to find the phone so I can make a two-minute call. Seldom is it on the charger. You can't even count on it being in the house. With 5.8 gigahertz of range, it could have been left in the barn or a half mile down the driveway where we last used it.
That old phone that was nailed to the wall would last forever. I'm sure my parents had the same one for 20 years, and it always worked. Their only investment was one of those shoulder cradle add-ons that let them use both hands for something else while they were talking.
Our cordless phones, if we don't lose them or drop them in the sink, make it about a year, maybe two tops. That's when the battery goes dead, and you realize it's cheaper to get a whole new phone than a replacement battery.
The phones might last longer in a house without little kids. Cordless phones are more popular than lead-painted Chinese toys with the toddlers in our house.
They're really drawn to the beeping sounds, the lights, the recorded message on the other end of the line asking if they really meant to place a call to Singapore. Mostly, they like the reaction they get from their parents when we find them using the phone for a hammer on the floor.
Sometimes I just give up on finding the house phone. I could use my cell phone to make a call if I wanted to go outside, walk up the hill and climb a tree. Of course, I can't find my cell phone. No cord on that thing to help me locate it, and it could be in one of several vehicles, a tractor or maybe in the kids' toy box.
Rather than get frustrated, I take the opportunity to forget about work, people I should call and phone message I should return. I plop down in the chair to watch a movie. The only problem is that I can't seem to find the remote control for the DVD player, the remote for the VCR or the remote for the television itself.
I'd listen to some soothing classical music to calm my nerves, but the remote control for the stereo is missing, too.
Tag readerFinally, I pick up a cattle magazine and read about the benefits of using some electronic ear tags in our calves this fall. To make full use of the technology, the ranch ought to have its own wand to read and scan the tags while the calves are being weighed and worked.
Ranchers have a chute side choice between wired or wireless wands. The wireless wands even have something called Bluetooth that's supposed to make them more valuable.
After spending half my day looking for wireless gadgets in the house, I'm not so interested in whether a tag scanner has Bluetooth.
Forget the blue stuff, just dip my reader in extra bright blaze-orange paint. And, to save a little time, attach a long curly cord to the thing so I can find it when I need it.