Friday, November 24, 2006

Not Sure What This Says About Us . . .

While we were making the five-plus-hour trek to Palm Springs (that's five hours each way, in one day) to spend Thanksgiving with Peter’s family, I happened to notice something interesting. Three of the four people in the car had headphones/ear buds on. Peter was listening to his real estate classes on an MP3 player in preparation for taking his licensing test. I was pounding away on my Mac (sans earphones, but I had a pair in my bag). My daughter was listening to her CD player and singing along. And Calvin was watching Cars on the portable DVD player (courtesy of Grandma) while looking at the Black Friday toy ads.

Not sure what this says about us, but we have gadgets and we’re not afraid to use them to keep ourselves occupied on a long car ride. Beats singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” or the Christian version that we sang on youth group outings “99 Bottles of Coke.”

But their is cool side of technology too. We took my laptop inside and Peter was able to share with his father a video from YouTube. It was a documentary on famous Hungarian soccer player, Ferenc Puskas. His dad was really impressed.

. . .

Two things I hate about using my computer in the car. One, the glare. I end up squinting because I can’t wear my sunglasses and see the screen. Also the screen is just plain hard to see anytime you use it outside (I have this same problem when I take it outside to work while the kids play). Sometimes, though, that’s a good thing. It keeps you typing away on your WIP without really looking at the words and editing.

The other annoying thing is the trackpad. When the car bounces, even slightly just from normal road stuff, my hand hits the trackpad and all of the sudden I’m typing in another document or a different part of the same documents. And because of the screen glare, I don’t always notice it right away. I can’t always figure out where the cursor is either.

When I had my PC laptop, I would get frustrated at night. The glare was gone, but I couldn’t see the black keyboard. So, when I got my Mac, I specifically got one with a lighted keyboard. That is very cool. Of course I have this odd bluish glow on my face that occasionally gets me strange looks from passing cars.

I still tend to be pretty productive in the car. I’ll never forget finishing my first novel just as we were approaching Phoenix on the way back from California. The scenery between Phoenix and Palm Springs is nothing special. I’m bored, so I might as well write, and I have no Internet connection to distract me. However, if I even get a broadband connection, that might change.


Jenny said...

You are so organized--everyone doing their own thing and you getting that writing done! Wow! My kids would have all been doing the "she touched me," "she looked at me," "she's breathing on me," ad nauseum. I doff my chapeau--you know, that cute fuzzy white one I'm just dying to break out again. :-)
Hurry back! Drive safe!

Abundant blessings,
Jenny Cary

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Ooh, I forgot about your fab chapeau. It hasn't been cold enough here to break that out yet. Shoot, I'm still wearing shorts most days.

Malia Spencer said...

The Nano count keeps going up. That's a good thing. Keep at it! I want something to read over Christmas break. :)

And entertainment devices are a Godsend on long car rides. I did Vegas to LA a few times with a couple of kids. Those portable DVD players are awesome!

Jenny, can't wait to see pix of you with the fuzzy hat again. I know you've got a few outfits in mind already. Am I right?

:-)Ronie said...

Girl--that's exactly what drives me crazy, that trackpad. GRR. :-D I always, somehow, end up highlighting an entire paragraph and deleting in one sweep. Am I good, or am I good? LOL

We drove up to Arkansas for Thanksgiving. THe kids watched a movie on Brian's laptop (way bigger screen than conventional in-car systems LOL). I worked on my laptop, while one daughter cranked up her Aly & AJ CD for both the girls to hear. Geez. Oh, and then at one point, on the way home, we realized we didnt' have any Christmas music. So, the girls start singing What do you Get a Wookie for christmas? Then I remembered I had that album stored on my laptop. So, I connected my laptop to the truck's player and viola! We were singing right along with Star Wars. lol

but I'm with you--beats 99 bottles...

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Ronie, I cracked up at the Star Wars Christmas album. I haven't heard that in years. I think one Christmas as kids we played it nonstop. On vinyl.

And yeah, I think I hit "undo" more than anything when I'm typing in the car. Sigh.

Malia Spencer said...

There's a Star Wars Christmas Album?! I'm going to have to find that! Coolness. :)

Georgiana D said...

Your kids sound awesome! I can't imagine having uninterrupted time to write in the car. I'm with Jenny, my kids are starting to do the "she touched me" thing. Rrr.

BTW, I didn't know the little things that go in your ears are called "ear buds." Learned something new :-)