5 Non-Internet Equivalents to Internet Tools

Found this on a list of blog topics a blogger hoped other people would write. Since making numbered lists has been the fashionably lazy way to construct online articles, let me be one of the last to alight that dusty old bandwagon.

1. The Window
I have a veranda and can see my garden. I can also open the window and wet-finger the wind to do just about as good a job at predicting the weather as my stupidphone did when I had one. Professional weather forecasts seem to be wrong just as often as they're right, and I usually carry a rain suit in my bicycle basket just in case anyway.

2. Handwritten correspondence
I actually do sit down sometimes, with a decent fountain pen and paper rated 45゜so that the left corner points to my chest, and write a letter. Usually it's to my father because, not owning a computer nor particularly enamored of the commucation media on his newfangled telephone, he's the only person who reciprocates. I do, however, sometimes write to other people in the vain hope that I'll get a response. Kind of like the way I write this blog.

3. Pencil calculations
Sure, it's easy to use Google's calculator function when, say, converting Fahrenheit to Celsius. But I'm paranoid of Alzheimer's Disease and insist on forcing myself to do maths without crutches. Most of the recipes to which I resort, being in English, use Fahrenheit, and my oven is a Celsius machine. (To save you the trouble of searching for it, the formula is to subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit number, multiply the result by 5, and then divide by 9. Try it. If you cook a lot, it'll probably keep you at least as sharp as sudoku or brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand.)

4. Verbal directions
There are lots of great online maps, including satellite images of just about everywhere in the allied countries, and I relish them, but they don't actually work for me as well as a map in my hand. I could print one out, of course, and carry it with me, but then it would have too much unneccessary and distracting information on it. Alternately, I could draw my own version, with only the information I need, but being an INTJ I'd still get lost anyway. So really the most expedient course is to ask someone for directions and correlate my physical experience with the verbal description. By doing this I'm unlikely to forget the route if I have to make the trip a second time. (Of course, now that the majority of drivers are utterly dependent on their computer navigation systems, I suspect it's only matter of time before similar devices are automatically installed on bicycles at time of purchase, too.)

5. The Human Mind
Finally, there's this other really odd, quaint habit I have. It's a remnant of the days before search engines, and I think even in my generation I'm unusual for it. The habit is that in conversation, I generally don't pretend I know everything the other person is talking about and privately Google it later. Instead, I ask questions on the spot. In fact, I go further--sometimes, I even refrain from Googling things about which I'm curious, on the grounds that asking someone in person can lead to interesting conversation.

I know. I try to spend as little time in front of the computer as possible, because it gives me a headache and makes me mildly nauseous, and that makes me strange. But someone out there wanted someone to say something, and it's just really pathetic that it had to be me.