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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Blog, text or tweet, it's time to accept defeat

Friday, March 25, 2011

What we've got here, with no apologies to Strother Martin of "Cool Hand Luke" fame, is certainly no failure to communicate.

You see, this has become a landmark week for me. For after years of resisting much of the nuvo technology that has taken our society hostage, I was forced into texting my brains out, conversing via Facebook and even tweeting. Yes, tweeting.

Even posted my first blog. And carried on multiple texting conversations simultaneously.

Not bad for a guy whose digital alarm clock is permanently set at 6:11 a.m. because we can't get the minutes to go back to double zero.

Of course, necessity was the mother of these inventions. I was leisurely getting ready for work the other day when my morning was turned upside down. I was brewing my first pot of Steve Fields-inspired Jameson Coffee when I heard "Good Morning America" mention something about Winterset, Iowa.

Until about a year ago I wouldn't have known a thing about Winterset. But since Daughter No. 1 (aka Kara) now resides there, I know it's John Wayne's birthplace and the spot where "Bridges of Madison County" was filmed. Yet neither of those facts had anything to do with the live "GMA" report. Through another miracle of technology, I was able to rewind live TV to learn that ABC was reporting on the tornadoes that had gone through Winterset the night before.

Since it was barely after 7 a.m., it was too early to start making phone calls, especially to the Central Time Zone. So, text I must. Wife Ruth was in northwest Indiana, so I texted her to see if she had seen the report. I fired off another text to Kara and boyfriend Karl to see if they were OK and sent a third down to North Vernon to see if Daughter No. 2 (aka Nicole) knew anything.

Of course, they all started return texting at the same time. "Posted some scary photos on Facebook," Kara responded.

Great, I thought, now I have to go on Facebook. And while you may be addicted to Facebook, I have never had the desire to check out other people's vacation photos and thumbs-up "likes." Not that I mean to sound like mean old Andy Rooney ...

In the midst of my text-by-necessity, comes a random text from the 812 area code. Included is a young woman's photo. Just her face, mind you (and your manners). Her accompanying unsolicited text read: "Here it is!"

To which I respond, "There it goes ... you must have the wrong #."

"Isn't this Austain (cq)," she responds minus the questionmark.

"Not even close," I answer.

"Srry bout that," was her final letter-for-letter text-speak response.

So having blogged, texted and Facebooked (if that's the right term), was there anything left for this technophobe but to tweet?

Thursday afternoon Josh and Jared hooked me up in the newsroom.

Dropped my first Twitter bomb (as Kenny Mayne calls them in the ESPN commercial) about 2 o'clock. Within minutes I had several "followers."

Can't believe people are hanging on my every word --- er, 140 characters.

Seriously though, I hope to use this latest technology to keep you aware of what we are working on and what we see.

Yet all I could think about was the late David Barr, whose old Putnam Patter columns were lovingly pounded out on an old black Underwood manual typewriter in the middle of our newsroom.

One day we replaced it with an almost state-of-the-art IBM Selectric like the rest of us used. Without saying a word, Mr. Barr carried off the new machine, only to return with the old, beat-up Underwood.

Just imagine if I had asked him to blog, text or compose a tweet.

Oh, the technology ...