I’m definitely becoming addicted to technology. And like any addict, when I am deprived of it things just seem to get a bit stressful. Part of my job involves traveling back and forth to Brussels and a fair amount of hotel stays, and the way I usually deal with that is a few cans of Belgium beer and technology. The iPhone for a FaceTime session with the Lovely Wife and streaming UK radio, DVD drive and computer for catching up with stuff either I do not think the Lovely Wife would want to see or in some cases I think have just sat in the massive to be watched pile(s) at home and I am taking it upon myself to see if it really is worth it at some point us both watching it. For the record, current entertainment is 2006/7s Life on Mars, and the answer appears to be ‘yes’ – I had managed to avoid spoilers for 10 whole years in the case of this show but felt leaving it any longer was really pushing my luck. The Lovely Wife is safer – she doesn’t read SF press so is less in danger of someone blowing the joke.
Anyway, rely on the technology and so my laptop bag is a mess of power USB leads that all look the same superficially but are all – and here is the annoying bit – completely different and incompatible with each other. Usually I am quite careful to make sure that the most important ones are in there – notably the iPhone – but there has been a lot of moving stuff between bags recently and departure on Sunday was somewhat flustered and needless to say the only important power lead that has made it is the laptop one.
Once I had finished uttering the ineffectual words of annoyance – whose only power is to make you feel a little better in your state of frustration at your own carelessness and stupidity, you start running through the various permutations of problems that will now arise and how to combat them. While the phone has battery now, it will be gone by the time I have to travel home. So that’s going to have to be switched off until then, and/or maybe hope the Eurostar lounge has a charger. Luckily I have the work phone – and the lead for that – so no problem getting emergency calls and sadly informing the Lovely Wife that she only gets me in audio now. No access to my podcasts and music when passing the time on the Brussels Metro. But, hey, I have brought a good old fashioned book to read, and that doesn’t need to be charged to be of use. It does not help with shutting out the excruciatingly bad fiddle playing of the buskers on the Metro (I thought nothing could be worse than the accordion players; I was wrong) but at the same time I suppose some suffering is required in order to stop this happening again. I’m off to get some extra replacement leads thanks to the wonders of the internet for a start.
Of course none of this is actually important and I’m streaming now the radio through the laptop of course. But it does worry me just a little bit how much I enjoy my computer comforts and how many more people are even further under their spell.