Saturday, June 16, 2012

Re-entry Impressions

After having been away from a homebound routine for three weeks and instead traveling in mostly wide open spaces, I experienced the difference rather quickly upon my return to home. 
It wasn't very pleasant.
Hard to imagine how much a daily routine filled with Internet, TV, mail, phone calls and household and yard work chores tends to dull one's senses and lightness of spirit. 
The difference is most noticeable upon re-entering an atmosphere of artificial urgency, routine banality and unwanted noise.
Although I noticed these changes almost immediately, I haven't bothered to take much notice until now - a few days after returning home.
Clutter from unnecessary mail, packaging material, uncut grass, unranked leaves, all registered rather quickly. 
But, most annoying were the stories and reports that competed for my attention, whether written, heard or seen. 
The TV has turned out to be a major disappointment, even as seemingly necessary as it has become. 
Offensive ads appear at frequent intervals, even on PBS channels. 
Many are designed to appeal to 'upscale' tastes that emphasize luxury and conspicuous consumption. 
Others talk about medical products that would have shocked my mother years ago, then quickly whisper all the things that some liability lawyer advised as cautions before using them only with your Doctors permission. Huh? 
Then, there's the constant banter from political parties, candidates, handlers, talking heads, pundits and who knows who behind the various PACs and cleverly acronymned think tanks and organizations designed to mislead for their cleverly disguised causes.
The Internet isn't much better either as more publications experiment with making money from viewers like me who willingly expose themselves to stuff written by unknown persons for sometimes hidden purposes. 
Wandering in the web can often result in unwanted surprises like folks knowing more about you and your buying habits than you might like. 
Ever gotten an e-mail out of the blue from folks you never knew -or wanted to? 
Ever innocently opened one to discover you've released malware into your computer? 
The mail brought more trash, some of it posing as upscale ads. 
My Volkswagen dealer wants me to test drive a Jaguar! 
That mailer looked expensive itself, but merely upgraded the quality in my recycle bin.
My alma mater continues to send slick glossy brochures replete with upscale real estate ads, testimonials from the rich and famous, plus solicitations for contributions to a constant building program. 
That approach doesn't work too well with me either.

Local and regional campaigns are ever present in my mailbox and voicemail, all asking for $upport. 
Why, a person could go broke even by responding at all, especially since that verifies your current existence and address, which gets shared with other lists.

But wait! This just in! National Geographic has sent me a color brochure announcing a 24-day trip by private jet for only $75,000 per person [double occupancy]! Of course, I must find extra shekels to get my wife and me to and from here to London. 
Oh well, maybe not this time....
Even answering the phone is another adventure that is getting very old; too many unwanted 800 and computer generated calls, from people or machines with funny accents 
I thought of getting rid of phone land lines in favor of mobile phones, but found that folks making that choice come to regret it shortly thereafter. 
Seems the calls are merely redirected to cell phones that follow you everywhere AND get charged to your account! 
Heck with that.
All of the above complaints seem to be coming more frequently these days, but at least none are fatal. 
Maybe it helps to vent every once in a while, but I'll probably get over it, at least until the next time I get away for a while.
Come to think of it, getting away is a habit I might cultivate now that I'm considered a senior. 
Not just physically, but in developing better habits concerning the daily media and other petty annoyances.
Wish me luck.