Tee off early morning

It is testimony to the alacrity and pertinacity of the membership of Mississippi Golf Club that when we arrived there before 9 o’clock this morning, in spite of the parking lot being already filled to capacity, we were the only ones sitting on the flagstone patio awaiting the arrival of our breakfast. Presumably all the others were hard at it on the links. Meanwhile as we nestled in and prepared to put on the nose bag, the view from the patio adjacent the first tee was divine! The greens had just been manicured. The river sparkled in the distance sedately wending its way ’round Glen Isle and through the Village of Appleton.

While languidly sipping our coffee Dr. H paid us the honour of an abbreviated visit before joining his confrères on the fairway. He is a longtime acquaintance from nearby Town of Carleton Place. He positively bubbles with raw intelligence mostly surrounding a mutual friend (a lawyer) and his reportedly knavish son; as well as quips relating to the doctor’s estranged spouse, all the while rendering glowing compliments for his own male off-spring. Family is clearly a provocative and enduring subject, one which only yesterday had been echoed with equal vivacity by my sister during a late afternoon confab with her and my brother-in-law. I confess to having a secret – though unambitious – admiration for parents and parenting, a lifetime devotion I wager to be utterly consuming and not always in a good way.  The deprivation of parentage is I find enough to make me at the very least apologetic; or in circumstances requiring more contributory expression, I acknowledge the propriety of beneficence either inter vivos or testamentary. Those silly old uncles!

Our breezy matutinal congregation was but the prelude to a more engaging appointment adjoining the Almonte General Hospital at 11:30 am.  You will no doubt be familiar with the stock agenda of old people with various members of the medical profession, a divergence expanding upon family practitioners, specialists, surgeons and technicians relating to vision and hearing. Today’s syllabus united with the hearing specialist who had recently proposed a new device to enhance this particular sensory perception. From all subsequent reports, it works! We’ve come a long way from the erstwhile hearing horn (ear trumpet) used by Her Ladyship in the ‘drawing room. It is in my assessment but part of the remarkable evolution of technology. When reading the History of England by Thomas Babington Macaulay I marvel how little the world has changed in many ways in the past four hundred years say from the Glorious Revolution.

The Glorious Revolution refers to the deposition in November 1688 of James II and VII, king of England, Scotland and Ireland, and his replacement by his daughter Mary II and her husband William III of Orange, stadtholder and de facto ruler of the Dutch Republic. A term first used by John Hampden in late 1689, some modern historians suggest it can also be seen as an invasion and an internal coup.

But apart from the on-going political and religious contradictions, so much else in our last fifty years has improved in our daily lives much of which derives from that catch-all called technology.

Technology is the result of accumulated knowledge and application of skills, methods, and processes used in industrial production and scientific research. Technology is embedded in the operation of all machines and electronic devices, with or without detailed knowledge of their function, for the intended purpose of an organization. The technologies of society consist of what is known as systems. Systems operate by obtaining an input, altering this input through what is known as a process, and then producing an outcome that achieves the intended purpose of the system.

Technology is to us what running water and indoor plumbing were to our ancestors. And though we have predominantly become accustomed to the novelty of technology I confess I continue to marvel at its achievement. Nor is this at all frivolous.  I recall for example the appearance and facility of my first computer (the big box thing with the flashing green and black images). Not to mention the subsequent smart phones and whatever it is they put into modern automobiles. Honestly, I am reluctant to imagine what else they may discover! At the same time I see myself watching for the first time the peacock in living colour on a television; or, poring over my late mother’s Smith-Corona portable typewriter as though it were jet propelled.

Smith Corona is an American manufacturer of thermal labels, direct thermal labels, and thermal ribbons used in warehouses for primarily barcode labels. Once a large U.S. typewriter and mechanical calculator manufacturer, it expanded aggressively during the 1960s to become a broad-based industrial conglomerate whose products extended to paints, foods, and paper. The mechanical calculator sector was wiped out in the early 1970s by the production of cheap electronic calculators, and the typewriter business collapsed in the mid-1980s due to the introduction of PC-based word processing.

Smith Corona addressed this by manufacturing word processing typewriters such as PWP 1400 model. Its competitors were Brother, Olivetti, Adler, Olympia and IBM. In late 2010, Smith Corona entered the industrial ribbon and label market.

The company no longer manufacturers typewriters or calculators.