Friday, October 27, 2006

Something New

Two A/M. That's the same.  What is different now is that I am officially on Assisted Living at the old folks home. 

That means a fifty percent raise in my rent, for my board and care.  Fifty percent  Wow. It also means that when I am ready to go back to bed, I pull a cord and a caregiver comes to help me transfer from wheel chair to bed.

It is  tough, and expensive, to lose your independence, but it comes with the age: eighty two.  (Most of the people my age are dead. Now isn't that a cheery thought for Two A.M.?)

I don't remember my birth, few of us do, but I remember the moment of my rebirth. That took place at a Radio Shack Store in 1979

I was idling there, probably buying electronic parts for some project or other and I spotted a computer.  That was new.  It had a keyboard like an adding machine, so I punched in a problem, say, four plus eight.  Nothing happened.

"So what's with the calculator? Nothing happens when I add four and eight," I tell the clerk.

"It did the math.  You have to tell it to PRINT so you can see the answer," said the clerk.  I thought that's pretty dumb. The adding machine on my desk knows to print the answer when you put in a problem. 

"But look at this," said the clerk typing in a line, and presto change-o, the computer instantly prints the times tables from one times one to twenty-five times twenty-five.  WOW said I. 

Before long, and a few visits later I bought a TRS-80,  I took it home and set it up at four pm and didn't move for eight hours.  I was hooked.

Twenty six years ago my computer had four kilobytes of RAM.  It loaded programs, from a cassette tape recorder, at 128 BPS, That's bytes per second, not Kilobytes, not Mega bytes, just bytes.

You had to write your own programs.  Nevertheless, I was hooked and have been ever since. 

That was my rebirth.  Today was my entry into old age.  That;s my life in the old folks home

Three A.M. Time to pull a cord and get helped back to bed.

7 comments:

fisherkristina said...

Oh Chuck.

Krissy
http://journals.aol.com/fisherkristina/SometimesIThink

amiragabrielle said...

Dear Chuck,

I lost my Mom, 72 yrs. old a few months back. My father passed over 10 years ago. I enjoy your entries. It's sort of like a adopted grandpa. When I was a child, I had grandma's and extended family, couisins, aunts, unckles. My children don't have that. They are missing out on so much. I am too.. I am sorry if I made this to personal. I just am missing my Mom. God bless and keep writing.


In Christ,
Gabrielle

tendernoggle said...

I love my computer too chuck...Hey at 50% increase in rent, I'd pull that chain as many times as I needed to and not worry about it either!
Take care,
carlene

plieck30 said...

I hope there is no limit of times you can pull the cord as active as you seem to be. It would be a shame for you to hesitate. Enjoy being waited on, you deserve it. paula

desannie said...

Chuck, how were you classified before?  I came in as a Level 2 Assisted Living and since this is in a high dollar part of town I do PAY for it!  However, this is the safest enfironment I've lived in in many years.  When I lived alone, I was always falling and having to call someone for help.  Home Health Care workers are far less reliable and more expensive than this place.
As for your love of your computer.  You're way smarter than me with them.  I didn't get my first one until 1994.  Then I had to have friends teach how to work it.  I still get stuck ocassionally.
Annie

mavarin said...

Your loyal readers (myself included) are grateful that you and the computer hit it off so well!

I remember when my mom had a similar rent hike because the place where she lived went to all assisted living. We negotiated it down a bit, but she still couldn't afford it and soon moved elsewhere.  too bad - she'd been relatively happy there for at least five years. - Karen

reconcilinglife said...

You are priceless....this entry is a really keeper. Bam