The Wider Angle / Everything Has a Purpose

A little glimpse into the mind of Jeff James!  Oh, and by the way, I LOVE my iPad!  Today I ran/walked on the treadmill for an hour while watching a commercial-free episode of 24 with Jack Bauer!!  🙂

So, I’ve been told I’m a pretty handy guy – and I must admit that fixing, building, demolishing, improving, cleaning, refurbishing and trouble-shooting are all things that make me happy.  Give me an afternoon off – and I’ll go tinker with my motorcycle, or wash the cars, clean out a closet, or hang that book shelf.  I love to tinker with stuff … but I’m also very practical.  I try not to have two of anything – either the first thing is good and does the job, or you better have a very good reason for replacing it. I just replaced the belt on my vacuum cleaner for the second time. It’s an 89 dollar Hoover Elite I bought in california in 1994 – you know, the kind with the bag? It works great, so $2.29 for a new belt, $3.29 for a new light bulb and viola – good as new!!

So when it comes to technology I don’t just buy stuff because it’s cool, it must have a purpose.  I upgrade the home network to make things run faster, we buy more backup disks because we need more space (or you accidentally delete a bunch of your wife’s stuff, but that’s another story) … it has to be put to use and have a purpose.

Well, I bought Crystal an iPad 2 for her birthday and i have to say – it’s pretty cool!!  But I’m not quite sure what it’s purpose is yet? It has spawned a whole new set of functional, home-based IT projects for me, so that makes me happy. The kids have also fallen in love with it – like a new puppy you bring home from the pet shop.  Which brings us to a scary chapter in parenting – how do you introduce a child to technology without it becoming too important in their life?  I have nightmares of my son becoming some “world of warcraft” junkie – eating twinkies and gulping 2-liters of JOLT in our basement.  Or my daughter thumping away on her cell phone at the dinner table, texting her girl-friends – or guy-friends? – gasp!!. My disposition of being a practical person (everything must have a purpose) will surely rub off on my children, right?  They won’t use these practical technology devices to dissolve into this world of virtual reality we call the internet – will they? Not if I have something to do with it.

Now, finally, I’m not all that naïve – I know the day will come when I lose the technology crown in the family. They will bring home new cars, new portable music devices, new cell phones that appear to do just about the same thing their last one did – and when I ask “why did you need a new one?” their reply will echo very clear as if it came from my own voice 40 years earlier – “Oh Dad, your just too old to understand.”

For now we will have FUN with our new widget – explore, create, learn, laugh, read, listen and watch what we can do and its purpose will surely come to light. Here’s a collage I built with some funny stuff we did this week on our new iPad.

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by Crystal

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