Friday November 10, 2006
I have learned over the years to accept and deal with the big problems of life like being paralyzed and living on life support. It's the supposedly simple and small things of life that make me cry out at times, "It just isn't fair!"
For example, my Internet provider for a number of years now has been Comcast. Without consulting me, Comcast sold out to Time Warner, and a couple of weeks ago I got a letter in the mail from Time Warner informing me that some outfit called Road Runner would now be my new cable Internet provider. They told me I had a week in which to convert my e-mail system to Road Runner and gave me the necessary information to get on Road Runner's "easy installation" website.
With some trepidation I accessed the website and my eyes crossed and began to water as I tried to follow the "easy installation instructions". I soon discovered that these simple instructions would cross even a rabbi's eyes and challenge the intelligence of a rocket scientist. You may not know this about me, but I am a hard loser and like a challenge, so I dove into it and tried my best to get my e-mail working once again with the Road Runner service. Conservatively speaking, I spent 15 hours before I admitted defeat. It happened late one night when nothing I tried seemed to work and I just admitted to myself that there was no way I could get this Road Runner e-mail service to work. I vowed that the next morning I would not even look at the Road Runner website nor even think about e-mail.
The next morning my son, Rich, called and wanted me to do a school project for his son Trevor which involved the use of the computer and e-mail. I told Rich I would love to help out but my e-mail was not working right. Well, about noon Rich showed up and I showed him what I had done and was doing to install the Road Runner e-mail program. He took one look at it and said "Dad, I'll bet you that your password is case-sensitive." I gave him my password and he punched it in using uppercase instead of lowercase and it was like hitting the jackpot. 25 or 30 e-mails appeared in my inbox and I haven't had a problem since.
Why are our kids so much smarter than we are? It just isn't fair! Then to infuriate me just a little bit more, the other day for some reason, I went to the Road Runner home page and at the bottom right hand corner in small letters it said something like, "By the way, for you former Comcast users make sure that when you type in your password realize that it is case-sensitive." Have you ever felt you were getting close to being sanctified and translated only to have something like this happen and you think thoughts and mutter things under your breath that are hard evidence that the "natural man" is still alive and well?
And then my voice recognition software began giving me problems. For no reason at all a little sign would pop up and say, "You are having a memory problem." Well, lots of my older friends and I do have memory problems so this was not exactly a revelation. However, Dragon Naturally Speaking 7.3, my voice recognition software program, wasn't working the way it normally did. I had Jo Anne call John Klabius, the owner and operator of a little company called "Voice Solutions". I have been working with John for over 10 years now and he has always proven to be honest and straightforward regarding the selling and installation of Dragon Naturally Speaking products. He told me that the 9.0 version of Dragon Naturally Speaking was incredibly good, and that if I upgraded it would solve all my problems. The next day John came over to install the new version and was surprised at how slowly the installation program was operating. He asked me how much memory I had in my computer. I proudly told him I believed it had 512 megs of RAM memory (whatever that means), which I thought was a lot of memory. John informed me that I needed at least one gig of RAM memory for the new Naturally Speaking software to run well, as well as all of the other programs on my computer. I foolishly stared at him for a moment and then said, "The only Gig I ever knew was a Griffith" (son of Ed & Bunkie Griffith).
Well, I knew I was pushing my luck with Jo Anne. The new upgrade for Dragon Naturally Speaking had set us back several hundred dollars and to upgrade to a gig of memory, whatever that was, wasn't going to be really cheap according to John, depending on how my computer was configured for memory. Thankfully, Jo Anne has lots of faith and trust in John Klabius, so nonchalantly I revealed to her that John said we needed to upgrade the memory in my computer to a gig in order for Dragon Naturally Speaking to work well. Jo Anne got a dazed look on her face and muttered, "The only Gig I know is a Griffith!"
To her credit she loaded me in the van the next day and we paid a visit to Micro Center, a computer store located just several blocks from where we live. We took my Hewlett-Packard laptop with us and told the salesman that we wanted to double the amount of RAM memory in the computer for a total of a gig. As we were in the store I began thinking what an incredible thing it is to be able to go to a store and buy "memory". Wouldn't it be wonderful if when our thought processes slow down that we could go to a Micro Center and have several gigs of memory implanted in our brains. I guess we would be willing to pay almost anything to get just one gig of memory installed in our brain as we get older.
As generally happens, Micro Center sold us and installed only half the memory we needed and had requested. It took us several days to iron out all the problems but now I am the happy owner of a gig of RAM memory and the 9.0 version of Dragon Naturally Speaking. Nothing is ever easy and the "natural man" in us wants to cry out "Life just isn't fair!"
I know we can't go to a "memory store" to upgrade our memory as it goes on the decline. However, thankfully, there is a form of a "memory store" available to all of us at really no cost. The "memory store" I refer to is the Scriptures. In the Scriptures, if we search them each day, we are reminded of the most important things in life, and especially the most important thing -- the mission and atonement of Christ. Incredibly, there are 275 references in the Scriptures that use the word "remember" or a form thereof. There are an additional 73 references in the Scriptures that use the word "remembrance" and if that were not enough, 39 references where the word "memory" is used.
President Kimball once said: "Scriptures are man's spiritual memory. In a very real sense special records, such as the holy scriptures, are the spiritual memory of mankind." (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 125)
And so, as wonderful as it would be, sadly, we can't go to a "memory store" and buy a gig of memory and have it implanted in our brains. However, if we are wise we will be renewing our spiritual memory through the searching of the Scriptures every day of our lives. Ultimately, our spiritual memory will prove to have been a greater blessing to us than our deteriorating physical memory.