Ok, I admit it. I’m technologically and culturally spoiled. I like my conveniences and my gadgets.
Today I rented a compact car from Enterprise to come visit my mom, and I got a Ford Escort. It has no cruise control, no CD player, and the mirrors and windows are manually controlled. The engine is loud and the entire car starts to vibrate even at just moderate speeds.
Earlier this evening, my mom, sister, youngest nephew and I watched Finding Nemo. Mom does have a DVD player, at least, but her television is a smallish set with standard 4×3 resolution, so we had to watch the movie in full frame (pan and scan), with sound coming from the TV’s built-in tinny speakers, rather than the widescreen and Dolby 5.1 surround sound to which I’m accustomed. And while Mom had the news on earlier in the other room, I heard a feature on tonight’s lunar eclipse; I got up and ran in there to see the segment, but it had just ended. No TiVo to immediately jump back and catch it again.
And now I’m surfing and posting from an America Online dialup, to which I’m never able to get connected at higher than about 33kbps; it’s so agonizingly slow. It’s like driving backwards in time as I head from Arlington here.
On the other hand, there is one benefit to being here. The night skies here are so relatively unpolluted by light that the quantity and quality of stars visible during moonless nights and eclipses–which I did observe live from the sun (moon?) room, as the moon cleared the trees in the woods in which Mom’s house sits–are just breathtaking. I don’t get starry skies like that back at home (“Mac” discussed something similar in her entry on Go Fish about tonight’s eclipse).