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By Staff | Aug 1, 2014

We have so many gadgets we use to make our lives better and more convenient.

The obvious ones are the smart phones that, where-ever we go, we see people staring into the palm of their hand, seemingly oblivious of their surroundings.

I have yet to get a smart phone of my own, but there will be a day sometime in the future when I cross that threshold.

I just haven’t felt the need yet.

I am not anti-technology and am grateful for the all the jobs computers and computer-based tools have made so easy that we can’t imagine a life without them.

I have been trying to think of anything we use that, by its design, there is no point in adding a computer to improve it.

For example, how would adding a computer improve a flyswatter?

Flyswatters may vary in appearance, but they all accomplish their job the same way – whack.

I bought a couple flyswatters just weeks ago to add to the ones we already have that seem to be in the wrong place when I need them.

The chances of making improvements on a flyswatter are close to zero. As long as we have flies, we will need to swat them.

They are environmentally safe (the flies would disagree) and no batteries are required.

That should be good news to those who manufacture flyswatters that there will always be a demand for their product.

They may wear out, but will never be obsolete.

Basic hand tools could be added to the list of items that the addition of a computer will never happen.

I can’t imagine a computer built into a hammer or screwdriver or pliers.

I have saved the best for last.

What item is in every home, has been for hundreds of years and will be there for years to come with the only changes in its appearance?

Its basic function is timeless. No directions or owner’s manual is needed. It is an essential part of everyday life and no computer could improve it.

It is the kitchen table – one of my favorite places in my home and anyone else’s home.

Think about it. This is the place where most days begin (well, after the bathroom), is in use throughout the day for any of many uses, and is one of the places where we will observe the end of the day.

It is where meals are served, people talk, projects are laid out, homework is done, and plans are made. How could a computer improve that?

The table in our kitchen was bought nearly 20 years ago after it had been refinished by a woodworker. It is probably 100 years old by looking at how it is designed.

It is a round oak table until the leaves are put in and then can hold 12 people if they all get along with each other.

We have grandchildren approaching adulthood who were at that table before they were born.

I am sure there are more items in our lives that adding a computer is pointless and unnecessary; a rocking chair comes to mind.

These are the things that if a power failure occurs, they remain unfazed and fully useful.

In a world where we look for a wi-fi connecting point and a place to recharge our batteries, that seems quite impressive, doesn’t it?

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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