Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Gramping Cramping Blogging

My granddaughter and I made oatmeal.  We ate strawberries.   We did some juggling.  Lots of giggling. We even made a video and used the slow motion to see better how to throw and catch the juggling balls.  She's working on juggling one ball right now.  We Walked, ran, hopped, skipped, sashayed, and piggybacked to the paper store.  Where we met J.

Since I may not put images of her up (not a bad rule in the age of face recognition and massive data gathering and sharing).  If I did, you'd all melt and understand my affliction.    So, I have to find other ways to convey how much fun we have together.

It's really wonderful to have someone else who is willing to spend so much time looking at cracks in the sidewalk, feeling the bark on the trees,  and examining and touching and smelling the camellias.

I'd note there was one area with a bunch of camellias bushes, but only one bush was blooming.

She also pondered with me the flies that seemed to be taking advantage of the sunshine that broke up the days of Seattle area rains.

We could feel and hear the wind.  We couldn't actually see it, but we could see the branches and her curls moving in the wind.  And I only consciously considered  today the fact that we can feel with more of our body than we can hear or see or taste or smell.  And my sunshine first touched the edges of the camellia leaves with her fingers, but then tried it on her forehead, and it worked there too.  She's so lost in concentration, and then she giggles.

And we've been watching the daffodil buds for the last few days and I've been predicting they would open soon.  And here's the first one we saw.  We had to look and touch and smell.

Later, after I wrote a long overdue letter on one of the cards I bought, then put a photo on the cover, we walked down to the post office.  $1.20 to Japan. The clerk pulled out a beautiful swallowtail butterfly stamp - $.71.  I wondered out loud what you could do with a $.71 stamp and she said they had stamps of all sorts of amounts.  She added a $.39 stamp.  Then to the market next door because someone wanted some strawberries.  Then off to another nearby park where there was lots of time on the slides and swings and other interesting ways to climb and move.

Finally, she climbed back into the stroller, clipped herself into the safety harness, put on her gloves, and we started home.  She stayed awake about 3/4 of a mile.  Then just as we got almost home her neck muscles relaxed and her head nodded down.

You'd think I could gramp and blog.  But blogging requires time to think, time to write, time to reconsider.  Gramping requires paying attention, not to the computer screen.   She's pulled my fingers away from the keyboard a few times and closed my book while I was reading so we could explore together.   And I know that before too long, she'll have lots of friends and other things to do, and she won't have time to spend all day with grandpa.


  1. Steve, about face recognition and all that. It's a new world of non-privacy. Hey, what's not to like? And soon enough, your grandchildren will be posting their pics on so many devices of sharing their lives, you'll have to laugh at the days you agreed to their invisibility.

    I know, their choice. Not yours. But I will say it: It's hopeless. Give up. One would have to be unplugged to not have data collected on their life now.

    Me? I have a phone that I cannot have the services I want without agreeing to have any number of data-aggregators collect my every move by GPS each and every moment 0f every day. My transit card is tracked. All my on-line and in-store data is collected and sold. All my searches, all my phone calls, all my international mail, is recorded and retrievable for a court of law or any other number of government and non-government purposes. We have items in our homes that will respond to voice command (and when are they 'off'?|. We'll do away with all cash and from that point all transactions will be immediately known. Our images are captured several hundred times a day in London due to ubiquitous CCTV originally placed during the Troubles, now so handy for catching the garden-variety burglar in our homes.

    You and your family are fighting a war that cannot and will not go to the opt-out. It won't be allowed.

    And hey, all the best. And so good to hear you're having a great time seeing life in your grandkids. Good stuff. What I wish our lives could have held but was denied because of timing as a gay couple and ancient prejudice.

    But that's rain in your happiness. Not my intention, but my loss. Be well, friend.

    1. Jacob, Living in Thailand back in the 60s with electricity, but no glass or screen in the windows, running water from a hose outside, I learned how much technology was unnecessary. I tend to pick those things I really want because they help me do what I need to do better, and leave the rest. So I have my MacBook (but I'm still on Yosemite), write my blog, use Photoshop, have an old cell phone, a bike I use more than my 19 year old car. The picture ban comes from the kids. Whether it's futile to fight or whether they are part of a vanguard that will effectively push back on invasive technology is yet to be known. At the very least, as I argued in my dissertation long ago, we have to keep access to the info equal, so people like, back then, J. Edgar and Kissinger, didn't have one way access. They have to be equally vulnerable. And maybe hackers will make that possible. The tools of oppression are all in place and we've set ourselves up willingly, even eagerly. So, I hear you, but I also learned that I can do without a lot of things. I also realize one day I'll probably have no choice but to have a phone that can track my every movement. Maybe I'll start raising pigeons then. But, my friend, your view is far more prevalent than mine. Perhaps it will be the billions who can't afford gps tracking phones who will lead the revolution.

      And I hear your resigned regrets about grandkids. And I almost feel guilty for posting about mine. Not ever knowing any of my grandparents, I didn't know until now, how much I missed.

  2. "Cramping requires paying attention" -- actually, I've always found cramping gets my attention and I can pay attention to naught else!

    Lovely post: you are in love with your little grandchild and you portray it superbly: it's not cramping your blabbing (auto correct! -- s.b. blogging) at all!


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