Big Tea: Hey Mark, how are you today?
Curmudgeon: Not bad, but I have been better.
BT: I’m glad it is not going badly in any case. Listen, I want to do an article periodically, called “Ask the Curmudgeon”.
CM: And you are telling ME this why?
BT: Well…I would like to interview you.
CM: As the curmudgeon?
BT: Yes, what do you think? Great idea huh?
CM: What are you trying to tell me here?
BT: Umm, well, nothing. Tell you what, let’s just get started with the first question, ok?
CM: If you must.
BT: Mostly what I want to know are your views on technology and its impact on your life.
CM: Well, it’s not like I am against progress or something. I just want it to make sense. No NASA scientist EVER splashed a space capsule on Mars trying to hit the Moon.
BT: Ooookay. Well, let’s move along then. What has been the most frustrating piece of technology you own and why?
CM: That’s easy, I have this Yamaha surround sound system that I just can’t figure out.
BT: Wow, surround sound, very nice.
CM: Yeah, I mean my old Akai was easy, you push in the speaker wires, turn it on and out come sound. Now, you hook up the wires and then have to dig down into menu after menu just to get something you didn’t even know you had and turn it on so that something else in another menu will allow you to turn it up and then you have to go back to another menu and turn something off that just starts out on and shouldn’t. It is just ridiculous that I have to turn stuff ‘on’ just to get it to work and that other stuff that I don’t need has to be turned ‘off’. Isn’t that backwards? I just don’t understand why they don’t put the basic buttons on the front panel and then have the menus for those KIDS who want to get crazy.
BT: Wouldn’t that make the front of the equipment completely covered with button and knobs though? You need to control overall volume and then the fade or balance of each set as well as the volume for each speaker as well as any equalization you need to have. Also, as you add buttons where are you going to put your readouts so you know what source you are on.
CM: That’s what the little lights are for, if the light on the button is lit then that one is active.
BT: Ok, well how long have you had this receiver?
CM: A year.
BT: A year? Did you call anyone for help?
CM: Well… no, but I did get the sound to come out of the television.
BT: I see… Well, I do appreci—
CM: In fact my cell phone frustrates me too. When I am not paying attention and push the button to many times it opens up ‘media mall’. Then all of the sudden I am paying access fees for something I didn’t even mean to get into. You KNOW they made it that way on purpose. They are just looking for ways to get money from me.
BT: They set up buttons so you would accidentally get charged for stuff?
CM: Yep, and have you heard about living under power lines? Now that is a conspiracy to control the population…
BT: Thanks a lot for all you help today and I will get back to you real soon.