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My Dad was always a firm believer in self-sufficiency. From the time I was a tiny girl he taught me how to be handy: how to wire a lamp, how to paint furniture and walls, how to correctly use a hammer, what various tools were used for, and how to connect up my own stereo.

He gave me my very first toolbox for Christmas when I was 20 and getting my first apartment. The toolbox was steel, had a bright red tray inside, weighed (empty) around 5 pounds, and was fairly small. He also gave me a large starter kit of tools: screwdrivers of various sizes and types, a level, a hammer, lots of fasteners, pliers, wrenches, a tape measure, and a hand drill with a few different bits.

He lectured me sternly about loaning out my tools ("people forget where they got them, and you'll never see them again, trust me") and then offered to always help me with any project.

Over the next two decades, I ignored his advice about loaning stuff out, learned he was completely right, replaced a bunch of stuff, added to my collection of tools, bought cool gizmos, and generally used the heck out of the damned thing.

Last week I bought a brand new, plastic, shiny toolbox. It's black, with a black tray inside, and has little yellow details. It's a lot bigger than my old one, weighs almost nothing when empty, and holds almost all of my tools with ease. It's nice. Generic, but nice. I'm sure Dad would have approved.

But it's not the same.
llcoolvad: (Default)
So to prepare for my class I've been reading a lot about communication, and it's been pointed out in several places that kids today do not really use email much anymore. They don't like spam, they don't like waiting for replies, and they don't like the formal aspect of email. Everything instead is all texting and instant messaging. Doesn't it seem like a really short time for something as new as email to already be dying? I know, I know, I sound like an old coot. It's just that email was invented in the early 70s, adapted widely in the early 80s, and here it is just 20 years of popularity later and it's already passing out of fashion.

And it's being replaced by what, really? Texting and messaging are as impermanent as talking on the phone; unless you make an extra effort the conversation is lost to the vagaries of memory.

I find that as I get older I wish I had saved more things -- and I save a LOT already. I saved pictures, letters, journals, email. But I have a tricky memory; some things are as clear to me as if they happened today, and other things, things that happened very recently, are just erased as if they never happened. Old boyfriends -- I try to remember what we talked about or did when we hung out together. Friends -- I try to remember what we did together. If I didn't write it down back then it's probably gone. I have one friend who has a steel-trap memory, and she tells me stuff we did together 20 years ago and I just stare at her blankly. She could be making it all up, I'd never know.

I was thinking about this tonight because I re-read some email my Dad sent to me a few years ago. It was funny, and it was very Dad, and it made me sad and happy at the same time. Sad, because he's dead and I can't expect more email from him. And happy, of course, because it was almost as good as hearing his voice again.

So take THAT, texting!

...but then again, is ANYONE going to really regret not saving the chat between 16 year old girls?

"omg! hes hot! lol!"
"hehe i saw him 1st"

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