Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Do You Want A Smart House?

That's what he asked me this evening.  It took me totally by surprise.

"Do you want to be able to control everything from your phone?"  Note the use of your; TBG is the proud owner of a flip phone on which he can text and call.  Nothing else. Was he assigning me another task?  Was I now to be in charge of when the lights are off and on? 


A thoughtful pause, a nod, and we went on to other matters.

I don't want my house to be hack-able.  I don't want anyone other than my alarm company to know when I'm not there.  I don't want to be vulnerable to the foibles of batteries or creepy people with evil intent.  But it's more than that.

I like the notion of being hands on.  I like modulating the lamplight, setting the candles in the windows, physically changing my environment.  I don't need a program to announce that the sun has set; I like recognizing the passage of the sun, the lengthening of the days, the time on the clock when I flip the light switch. 

I don't want to say Oh, it must be 7, the lights are on.  I want to make the connection happen myself.

It's like the scrapbooks I'm forever planning to finish.  I don't add to the pile of photographs any more; creating bound books on-line is simpler and easier.  But it's not the same. 

I haven't touched it.  My handwriting is no where to be found.  Someone else fondled the pages and made the book.  Someone else had all the fun of assembling the pieces. 

And so, all those photos going back to the 1980's sit in the closet, nestled under and over the paper and cut-outs and glue dots and tape strips and archival ink pens and the albums.... some started, many still wrapped in plastic, all with a purpose when purchased.  I know I'll get to them.  I want to get to them.  It will be fun once I get to them

There is a lot to be said for simple and easy, which is one reason TBG thought a smart house might be a good idea.  But there's a lot to be said for actively engaging with the world, even on something as small as turning on the lights.


  1. I won't have a smart house for all the reasons you said. Also because that would be one more reason for me to sit instead of move...and I need every opportunity to move I can get.

    1. As long as we can, we should do it ourselves! There may come a time when all this technology will allow us to be more independent than otherwise might be obtainable, but, for now, getting my self up and moving is job one!

  2. I give the smart house a very big no. All of those devices are insecure. And how hard is it, really, to look in the refrigerator and see if you need milk? Our fall project will involve photo albums. We have a giant box of old photos, many of people we can't identify; and there is no one left to ask. Anyway, there will be two albums created and the rest will be consigned to the dust bin of history.

    1. I don't want anyone hacking into my car or my house! If I had a helper, I might make more progress. Perhaps when FlapJilly is a bit older......

      We had "the scary old people" paintings in G'ma's attic. No one knew who they were, throwing them out was painful, but what could I do? "Do you want them on YOUR walls?" T'ma asked me. Out they went.

      My brother brought out family photographs as we sat shiva for our grandfather. All the cousins added names and places and, sometimes, GREAT stories. It made it a lot less sad.


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