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The Simple Life!

The Simple Life!

Sometimes life seems so complicated!

I have a credit card which provides me with points that can be used for a catalogue full of rewards. After several months of using the card, I realized that I had a significant number of points and reviewed my choices with interest. Since I moved into the condo I have been trying to get rid of things and therefore didn't really need anything from the catalogue but did think it would be nice to get a big screen television for my bedroom.

I consulted with my "techie" son who advised me to just purchase the television at a local store as I would therefore be able to choose the brand and type that would be most suitable.

Well...I bought the television and then realized that it hadn't solved the points dilemma.

My son then suggested that I use them to order a GPS for my car. To be honest, I didn't really know what this meant but he explained that I could enter an address and that it would give me directions to that place by talking to me as I was driving. Well, I had been lost once in Calgary so that I decided to order the system.

My doctor has been trying to encourage me for some time to lose weight and so I used the balance to order a bathroom scale.

Well...the items arrived, and I was a little disappointed to see the size of the instruction manuals for each. How hard could it be to weigh yourself?

My son set up the GPS and we plugged it into the cigarette lighter so it would stay charged. It didn't take very long until I was tired of hearing Clint Eastwood's voice say "Turn left, punk!" so I re-read the manual and was able to change the speaker to someone named "Mandy from US".

I thought that I had better practice using the GPS and so one night, when I couldn't sleep, I went to my car to try entering a Calgary address. The GPS was without power! I removed the cord and replaced the cigarette lighter into its proper place only to discover that the slot was also dead.

Now I needed to read the manual for my car. My research led me to realize that fuse #34 might be the problem but rather than try to replace it myself, I decided to visit the car dealership. The technician borrowed my manual to ensure that I knew what I was talking about and then checked the fuse. He assured me that it was still working and indicated that now I would need to schedule an appointment for the Service Department for the next week. Having the car there at 7:30 a.m. seemed early but I was on time. The dealership kindly drove me to the office so that they could work on my car during the morning.

Well, it turned out that the cigarette lighter was unplugged. What a lot of effort for something that had likely not been done at the factory.

Now, back to the scale. It took three reads until I was able to get the remote control set up properly. Even though I live alone, it required that I choose which person I want to be out of the four options. (I chose #1). Then the procedure required that I enter a password. (Remember, I live alone). Next, my height, age and goals were entered along with my choice regarding whether I want results in pounds or kilograms. I kind of like kilograms because it makes me feel lighter.

When I decide to find out my weight, it is quite a procedure. First, I enter Person #1 and my password. Then I wait until the remote states "TAP" and use my big toe to touch the scale. Finally, when the remote displays "0.00" I can step on the scale.

It is amazing what happens next. My weight flashes, followed by the percentage of water in my body, the percentage of fat in my system, as well as whether I have gained or lost since the last weighing. All of this appears in graphs for each on the screen and comparisons for the last seven times that I have weighed myself.

When I look around my condo I am surprised by the number of manuals and the packaging that has recently appeared. It makes me think that I miss the simple life - when you would ask someone for directions and let the doctor weigh you.

And, as I was writing this, I just had a thought - I'm still accumulating points on the credit card

I wonder what new technology I will be wrestling with next month!

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About the Author

Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years...