Earth to Dave! (E2D!)

Musings from a warped mind…

An Earth to Dave! tribute to…
The “technologically-challenged”…

Filed under: Mindless Musings... — Earth to Dave! at 8:47 am on Thursday, April 12, 2007

Have you noticed lately that technology seems to be running amuck? Do you wish that everything would just SLOW DOWN long enough for you to learn how to program your VCR? Does changing the batteries in your 8-track player still send you into a tailspin? Do the words “hard drive” still make you think of your commute to work? Well, then, this article is for you!

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But…how did you find this website? Perhaps someone left the computer on and you just happened by. If this is you, see that little round thingy with a a wire coming off of it? It’s right there…near the keyboard. No, not that!! That’s someone’s curling iron. Put that away. (Besides, I’m told “curling irons” are so YESTERDAY. It’s time to get a “Flat Iron”. It’s the opposite of a curling iron, and makes you look like you don’t care about your hair, but I digress…) I mean the oval thing with the two buttons near the top…and a wire that disappears under the desk. Yes, that! Now move it. Look at the screen. See the little pointer deal moving around? Yes, you have just learned how to operate a…”COMPUTER”, which happens to be providing the words you are reading. Okay, then. Go sit down and take deep breaths. You have come a long way. It’s time for a rest.

Some of you may be reading this thinking, “Come on! Who doesn’t know how to use a mouse!” If this is you, step outside your “technologically-savvy bubble”. There are still people out there who look at programming their VCR as an insurmountable task! Operating a computer, to them, is akin to climbing Mount Vesuvius. (I would say “Mount Everest”, but “Mount Vesuvius” sounds a lot better, and makes me think of those Godzilla movies where the words don’t fit the movement of the mouths of the Asian actors). So bear with me as I encourage our reading audience to tackle these challenges, wont you?

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The struggle to deal with new technology is not a new problem. When Adam and Eve got their first mail-order Axe, it was a huge deal. Adam kept grabbing the wrong end and trying to beat the tree into submission with the handle. Not only would it take him MONTHS to club the tree trunk into bits and pieces, Adam’s hands would bleed profusely. Next thing you know, he’d get blood on the hand towels and bear rugs, which would NOT make Eve happy! How’s a girl supposed to keep a cave with her man running around with bloody hands? She’d no sooner clean the windows than Adam would come home, without firewood, and mess them all up again. Not only that, Adam would leave the ax on the floor, which would REALLY tick Eve off when she’d get up in the middle of the night and step on it on the way to the rest room. Eventually, however, they learned to properly use the new technology. Adam became a champion tree chopper and Eve’s feet began to heal. Life was good. Their lives became harmonious again…until the invention of MATCHES. That is another story.

So as you can see, the struggle to deal with “technology” is timeless. Don’t get down on yourself! You’re making HISTORY! Did you know that when “books” were invented, they posed serious challenges to those that were used to what is called “verbal tradition”? Yes! In days of old when information was passed along by word-of-mouth, things worked just fine. But then someone had to come along and, in the quest to improve life, invented the “book”. While you may consider a book to be a simple object to use, this was not always the case. Take, for instance, this video captured during the day of the invention of the book. Please note that this totally authentic video was recently discovered in the dark recesses of a library in Venice, California. Thus the Italian language. Or maybe it’s French? Russian? Whatever. (Do I have to spell out EVERYTHING here??) Subtitles have been added for your understanding. Again, this very rare and authentic video is being shown for the very first time! For you “technologically challenged” folks, move the “mouse” that we discovered together earlier and MOVE IT AROUND until the little “pointer thing” on the screen moves ON TOP OF the “arrow” in the middle of the video below. Once there, STOP! Now, push (we call it “click”…bear with me here) the LEFT button on the mouse to start the video. See? Isn’t that easy? If your computer is now shutting down, thank you for visiting Earth to Dave! and we’ll probably never see you again.

Still there? Okay, then. Let’s watch history being made:

So as you have seen, there are always challenges involved in the advancement of technology. If you are patient, you may even get that VCR programmed. Once you do, throw it away. It will then be time to learn your “DVD Player”, which is being replaced by a “DVR Recorder”, which has already been replaced by a “Blu Ray Machine” which is battling the “HD-DVD” machine for supremacy of the HD DVD/DVR market. It’s really very simple. Hello? Is anyone there?

Just take things one step at a time. You will need to take things at your own pace. Heck, I’m pretty sure my Dad still has his Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 computers. Whether they’ve been turned on or not, I am not sure. Regardless, he’s the MASTER at fixing anything that breaks. He can take a roll of tape, a toothbrush and three wires and somehow create something that will receive radio signals from Senegal. Why? Because he can. But the new technology of today doesn’t interest him enough to want to try to keep up with it all. He once purchased a surround sound stereo system and High-Def flat screen television and left them all in boxes until I traveled to California to put it all together. He was in no rush, and knew that his goober son would take care of putting it all together. Did he know how to connect the DVD player to the 7.1 digital amp using the optical cable? Nope. Did he know not to use standard analog connectors to connect the Hi-Def television to the DVD player? Nope. Didn’t care, either. See, his son had his head stuffed in the back recesses of the entertainment center, where he inhaled three pounds of dust bunnies while connecting the components together and bumping his head repeatedly on the shelving. What was Dad doing? Occasionally I’d look back and see him on the rocking chair with a glass of iced tea in his hand. He had a smug look on his face as he would occasionally say “Hey, you finished yet? Survivor is on in 3 minutes.”

Yes, there’s something to be said for being choosy about your technological know-how. I was like Adam, beating the tree into submission. Dad was there, bandages ready, enjoying the show. Dang, he’s good.

So if you feel lost and alone and completely clueless about keeping up with technology, don’t worry. Find some sucker, er…uh, friend or relative…to help you along. Mix up some tea, kick your feet up, and let them think they’re taking pity on a poor, uninformed and incapable friend. Not only will they leave thinking they’ve done their good deed for the day, but you’ll save a bundle not paying to have done what you probably COULD HAVE accomplished…if you wanted to.

As for those of you who think you have all the technology figured out, be aware of the fact that you will one day be asked to help out someone who just can’t seem to understand the directions to some new “gadget”. Go ahead, do your thing. Just bring the band-aids and plenty of patience. You’re just doing what has been done over the course of time.

Remember, poor Adam could have used some help when introduced to the “ax”! Eve would have been happier, and who knows? Maybe she wouldn’t have gone for that walk in the Garden. Things would have been a lot better as a result. In essence, the FATE OF THE WORLD could be in your hands. So grab the wires and go to work. We’re all counting on you!

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A STRANGE Earth to Dave!
PHENOMENON

& apparent message from
ON HIGH…(??):

“TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT E2D!!”

Filed under: Mindless Musings... — Earth to Dave! at 2:48 pm on Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Dear readers,

A strange thing has happened recently, and one that I became aware of after receiving dozens of e-mails and phone calls from readers all over the country. Before I tell you about this strange phenomenon, I must tell you that I first had to look up the word “pheonomenon” to not only see how it is spelled, but also to see exactly what it means. For this reason, I am sure you will believe me when I tell you that I had NO PART in making up, or creating, this “phenomenon”. Heck, I didn’t even know how to SPELL the word…how, then, could I have made one up??

With that being said, I first learned of this completely real and non-Dave-related “phenomenon” when driving down a country road the other day. As I rounded the corner, I saw this sign:

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Now, when I first saw this, I passed on by. About 3 miles down the road, however, it finally registered. Did I really read that right??

So naturally, I turned around. Actually, the truth be told (which I wouldn’t dare otherwise, concerning the subject matter), I didn’t just “turn around”. Nope. I punched the gas pedal and my 1996 Buick Regal (“Custom” with leather interior and CD player), smoked it’s tires with it’s ferocious 3.8 liter V6 while I whipped it around in between two oncoming cars, which gently braked to allow my overpowered Buick to fish-tail it’s way in line. You see, I figured if “Walker Texas Ranger” could do it in his Dodge pickup, certainly my Buick would have problems here. (How come a detective, bad guy or redneck car, which looks just like any other car, can do all these fantastic stunts, while our “regular guy” cars seem to need 3 miles to reach highway speed? But, I digress….)

As I reached the sign, I realized that…yes, “this must be a sign.”

As I sped home (in my overpowered Buick Regal, if I did not mention this), I called my wife:

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Dave’s wife: “Hello?”

Dave: “Honey, you’ll never GUESS WHAT!”

Dave’s wife: “Hmmm…God sent you a sign?”

Dave: (blank stare into phone).

*sigh*  I hate it when she does that.

Within days I was inundated with e-mails and phone calls as more signs appeared. This one was spotted in Tullahoma, Tennessee:

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Could this be a coincidence? Could this really be…another SIGN? Being very analytical and cautious to not make a quick judgement, I thought “Hmmm…perhaps.”

See, I’ve never really been the brightest bulb in the box. There HAD to be a rational explanation. Perhaps the “sign letter putter-upper guy” was a fan of my site. Yes, that’s it! The sign letter putter-upper guy probably travels around, putting, uh…letters on, uh…signs, and, uh…he’s a, uh, fan. Yes, the sign letter putter-upper guy is a fan. And he, uh, must be ready to retire, so he’s not concerned about putting the required messages up on these signs, because he’s ready to retire. Yes! That’s it! The sign letter putter-upper guy has contributed to his 401k plan for years now, and is ready to retire to Jekyll Island, and no longer cares about getting fired for putting up the wrong, uh…letters…on the signs. Man, I’m a genius.

But what if this sign is to be taken literally? What if God really DID want you to tell your friends about Earth to Dave??!! What if I DIDN’T tell you about these signs? Would this result in something bad happening to…me?? Would this result in my server crashing, or perhaps my web traffic decreasing to all-time lows or…*gasp!*…worse yet…the “I” key, “L” key and number “1″ key on my computer keyboard all getting mixed up?? How would anyone know whether I meant the letter “I” and not the letter “L” or the letter “L” and not the number “1″??!! Imagine the consequences!!

“He11o, 1 wou1d I1ke to te11 you your conflrmat1on code: 1lII1lI1IIl

Do NOT forget th1s code, or you w1II be unab1e to appIy for 1oans, use an ATM, over-extend your credlt and 1lfe as you aIready know 1t w1II certaln1y be cha1lenging to say the Ieast!”

ACK!! No CREDIT??! I cannot take this chance!

What happens if people don’t believe me? W hat if people think I’m just trying to “market” my website??!! What if I’m accused of shameless use of our Creator’s name?? What should I do, what should I do???

(Note the sound of panic here. This is for effect. Please bear with me. The panic won’t last too much longer. Go get a drink, relax, and come back. The panic attack should be over by then. Thanks.)

Then I got a call from my Uncle Wilberforce in Walla Walla, Washington. He was wondering about a weird sign he saw while taking his watermelon crop to the local market. He really grows a great watermelon. Did you know that “thumping” a watermelon really doesn’t tell you anything? Me neither.

Anyway, Uncle Wilberforce sent me a digital photo of the sign he saw at the local church. Here it is:

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Well then, there you have it! I can tell the readers! *sigh* I should never have doubted you. What was I thinking??? You’ve never doubted a word I’ve said, have you? Everything I’ve said, you’ve taken for the “Gospel truth” (wow, that’s a pun. Cool).

I was VERY relieved. BUT…what if you DON’T tell your friends about Earth to Dave!?? What if this site languishes in “blogdom obscurity?” What if I don’t get the book deal, new home on the Inter-coastal waterway (which would need a really great view and boat dock with lift, by the way. And good neighbors. I really like good neighbors who DON’T always want to borrow my tools. Especially my power tools. They never clean them like I like. Don’t you hate it when the tools come back all dirty, with fingerprints and peanut butter and jelly sandwich stains on them? Yeah, me neither.) What if I’m just ignored, made fun of (which never happens) and labeled a “shameless web weirdo geek”? (that never happens too, by the way.) These thoughts began to swirl around in my mind until…yep, another sign.

A news crew from WBLAB, in Poughkeepsie, New York, appeared at my door. They wanted to interview me about a recent church sign sighting in their town. They wanted to know what it meant:

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Well, there I had it. Confirmation that I was just to simply “put the word out” and not worry about things. My mind was at ease. I knew what I had to do, and I bet YOU know what YOU have to do too! (Hey, don’t look at ME. You can read the sign! I wouldn’t take any chances, pardner.)

It was clear to me that I was supposed to spread the word about “Earth to Dave!”, and involve as many people in this as I can. I’m no rocket scientist or anything, but I knew what was expected of me.

But the news crew waited. They wanted to know my answer, so with renewed purpose, I faced them head on:

Newsman: “So…Dave, is it? Dave, what do you make of this sign? There are tens of thousands of people in our viewing area who want to know what this means. People are concerned, and want to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to.”

Dave: “Uh, I, uh , don’t know anything about it.”

Heck, I didn’t want to come off like a “marketing hound”. Sheesh.

Thanks for telling your friends…I know you’ll do the right thing.

Your (humble and unassuming) friend,

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