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Let Inga Tell You: My favorite column openers, Part 5: Technology, appliances, travel and more

Inga has had a long battle with computers and other technology.
(stock.adobe.com)

This fall will commence my 14th year of writing “Let Inga Tell You.” It’s been the best retirement gig ever. I’ve covered a lot of topics, some of them repeatedly: technology, kids, husbands, aging, rats, weight, parking, appliances, COVID and a host of local issues.

Over the past four columns, I’ve recapped some of my favorite leads from the time I started this column. (No, I’m not retiring.) In this final installment, I’m covering my ongoing battle with technology, appliances that have gotten too smart for me, travel and assorted miscellaneous topics.

Technology

• I personally think it’s not too much to ask that computers do what you want, not what you say. [Jan. 14, 2010]

• I know some people who can’t wait to upgrade their cellphones when a new model comes out. Personally, I’d rather eat my own organs. [March 29, 2017]

• Welcome to Auntie Inga’s Curmudgeon Hour. Grab your preferred beverage and sit down while I whine again about why life has just gotten too perplexing for me. [Jan. 22, 2020]

• Every election, I conclude that robocalls are God’s way of punishing people who still have land lines. [June 12, 2014]

• As anyone who has read my column for any length of time knows, I truly believe that technology will be the death of me. Probably literally, when I can’t figure out how to call 911 on my cellphone as I’m having a heart attack. [Feb. 19, 2020]

• Technology has just become too technical. [Aug. 16, 2018]

• There are infinite numbers of things that can go wrong with your computer. And Microsoft thinks of new ones every day. [Aug. 27, 2015]

• Being defeated by my new alarm clock was definitely a new low in my ever-deteriorating relationship with technology. [May 18, 2017]

Appliances

• It’s getting harder and harder to find dumb appliances. You’d think that with tens of millions of us Boomers descending into incipient senility, appliance manufacturers would be falling all over themselves to create the Jitterbug phone version of washers, dryers, stoves, microwaves and remotes. [Sept. 21, 2017]

• “Smart” appliances have totally run amok. A friend’s dryer had an auto “wrinkle control” feature that fluffed up dried clothes every 30 seconds until the door was opened. The friends went on vacation to Europe having put clothes in the dryer before they left. It was still fluffing when they returned. [Jan. 24, 2019]

• Most of us are familiar with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ five stages of dealing with death, but I think they work equally well with appliance repair. [April 22, 2010]

Travel

• After our flight to Boston was delayed in 30-minute increments for eight hours only to be canceled, it occurred to us that the reason TSA confiscates guns and knives isn’t just to thwart terrorists but to protect the gate agents. [July 23, 2015]

• Somewhere in our fourth hour as hostages of a major airline at SeaTac, I couldn’t help but reflect that if our captors were terrorists, there would at least be someone negotiating for our release. [Nov. 12, 2007]

• A close friend recently reported that her husband, a 59-year-old senior executive, has concluded that the nearly 10 million miles of business travel he has logged in his career have taken too much of a toll on his health and he is taking early retirement. It could be more of an adjustment than he thinks, she adds. She’s not sure he realizes his only friends are airline personnel. [Dec. 15, 2011]

And now, a few miscellaneous favorites

• There’s probably nothing I enjoy more on the internet than misspelled moral outrage. [April 7, 2011]

• There are two phrases that always strike fear in my heart: “Packed flat for easy assembly” and “It’s a simple outpatient procedure.” [Nov. 6, 2014]

• Recently I hired a local high school kid to help me move some boxes, explaining that my husband was in Saudi Arabia. My teen helper’s brow puckered for a moment before he inquired, “Is that near Fresno?” [Feb. 10, 2011]

• It’s not only modern men in power positions who are clueless about women. If Ben Franklin were alive today, I’d love to whack him upside the head with my Susan B. Anthony T-shirt. [Dec. 6, 2017]

• People often ask me if my husband and children mind that I write about them. Well, they might if they ever read my column. [Aug. 8, 2013]

• Sometimes people ask me to help their kids with their college application essays under the assumption that I actually have any expertise. I’m happy to help but first feel compelled to issue the disclaimer that my sum total of writing training has consisted of wantonly publishing often-ill-considered personal stories in my local paper. [Dec. 1, 2011]

Inga’s lighthearted looks at life appear regularly in the La Jolla Light. Reach her at inga47@san.rr.com. ◆