Online Life – Closer to Home


The photos in this post have nothing to do with the subject. I like breaking things up a little bit.

You know I really enjoy the internet. I love facebook, even the political posts. I adore Instagram. I live on Instagram. I have my own account (@yogiab) and I post on two other accounts administered by the Tulsa RiverParks Authority (@riverparks and @turkeymountain). I have a twitter account (@alanbbates) and linked in and so on. Of course I have this blog and I administer the Skywatch Friday photo meme and I just love it all. Maybe too much. I have looked at it as a addition to instead of replacement of a social life. Of course I don’t really have a social life so I may be just fooling myself.


Things though are changing with the internet. We have a President who loves to tweet without too much thought about what he says. He just types it out and lets it fly. We have the new gizmos like Amazon Electra devices that are always on and can supposedly help you out with all sorts of things. I wonder just where things are going. It seems that blogs are getting phased out by twitter and Instagram. I get a lot more people “liking” my Instagram posts than read my blog posts. (I do love it when people read my blog posts and love it even more when they comment on them.)


The internet has intruded on my life (or maybe its the other way around) in new ways this week. I have had a bad hay fever bout the last week and a half and over the years I have figured out how to handle them but this time it progressed to a sinus infection. Okay, still no big deal and then suddenly on Wednesday it got into my ears. Time to go see a doctor. Well guess what, my doctor is on vacation this week and I was told to call the next morning, first thing to see if I could be “squeezed” in sometime the next day. Hmmm that didn’t sound good. I hate urgent care places. My employer sponsors a clinic but it was getting late in the day. So I tried our insurance company’s online providers.


They gave me the choice of two of them so I picked “Amwell” and it took about two hours as somebody somewhere was having technical issues but when I finally hooked up with the company doctor it went fairly well. She was very nice and unhurried and asked a bunch of questions that gave me confidence that she knew what she was doing. So she ended up writing me a prescription that she emailed to my pharmacy. All of that only cost me a $5 copay.


The next thing is that I needed a small job done. The privacy fence between us our and neighbor is wobbly. I got with my neighbor and I was talking to him about maybe we could reset the fence posts and all that and he looked at me and said “Alan, I am not really into manual labor any more.” Which was great news to me because I am not either. I set my share of fence posts 45 years ago working for free for my Dad on pasture in Arizona and then later, getting paid, as a summer roustabout for Mobil Oil in the Permian Basin. I knew that it was going to be a lot of work digging down to the concrete and then breaking it out and resetting the post if the post were good or putting a new post in if the old one were rotten.


My neighbor got laid off and found another job out of state and has a contract on his house and is hip deep in projects he needs done before he can close so I told him that I would find somebody to do the job. Do you know how hard that is now? Used to be everybody knew somebody who could do odd jobs at a fair price. I lived in a town north of Houston and I needed my house painted. Somebody told me to call this guy. The guy turned out to be an undocumented (cuz I don’t like calling people illegal) and he said he would do it for $400 plus the cost of the paint. I asked him how long it would take him and he said one day. So I said okay. Turned out he was an Assembly of God preacher and he and a bunch of guys from his church painted the exterior of my house in one day and did a great job.


So where are these guys? I looked at the online services such as Angie’s list and was a little leary and when I checked further I got really leary. They charge the handyman a stiff price for the “lead” whether I hire the dude or not. So they are not really into estimates. They want hired to do the job and I don’t blame them. I wanted an estimate though since I was representing both me and my neighbor and I don’t mind paying for somebody’s labor. I just want to know what I am getting into. So I found a guy and he came out and made all the right noises and is going to get back with me and so we will see.

This online world is going to go on whether I like it or not and I can tell you that I have been around long enough to know that fighting change is futile. I am not a gung hoe embrace change kind of guy but I am a “choose how you deal with it” kind of guy. It just seems like we are losing the personal touch now days. The glue that binds us together. Things are so contentious and snarky and in your face.

So I’ll go along with these changes but I am going to do my best to make them on my terms and maintain my humanity and concern for others.

Alrighty, I’ll get off my soap box for now.

6 thoughts on “Online Life – Closer to Home

  1. Driller's Place

    I’ve been blogging for 10 years and I’ve seen the change in blogging community. When blogging was relatively new, it was nothing to get 25 or 30 comments on my posts. Many bloggers have quit the blogosphere and moved on to other things. I have Instagram but rarely use it and I don’t even have a twitter account. Snapchat is just something that I know exists. I like blogging though because it is like an electronic journal. I like going back an reading old posts about the grand kids etc. Where is it all going? No one really knows.

  2. Linja

    Yes, things are changing quickly! Only other bloggers read and comment, or so it seems. I use Facebook but it gets overwhelming.

  3. nancy chan

    I still enjoy blogging. I have a facebook account but not a very active user. I find internet very useful e.g. can google on anything I need to know.

  4. Sallie (FullTime-Life)

    I enjoyed your musings and hope you never ever stop blogging!!! Twitter seems thoughtless to me (even before our so-called president’s tweets became daily ‘news’… those sure are good for distracting us from the damage being done to this great country however; i think they know this…we’re living in a Dystopian world).

    I like blogging because it does take a little effort to put a post together — (some of us think more deeply than others but even on a little photo blog like mine it takes a bit of effort and thinking about what I want to say. I think that’s good for the brain — especially an aging one like mine.

    I’m an inactive FB poster, but enjoy being on it as it is a great way to keep in touch with far-flung family and friends and i belong to some groups like birding and travel and restaurants and stuff like that that give me great information and updates. I have learned not to read everybody’s posts every day … especially people who tell me where they are every minute of their lives, cuz i don’t care. And i have unfriended a few RV park neighbors who are too vitriolic for me to handle.

    Can’t imagine ever again being without Google and Wiki and GPS …. all in all i’m in favor of progress ;>))

  5. Gaelyn

    I too have been blogging for almost 10 years and I still enjoy it immensely but find it difficult to make the time to do a really good job, by my own definition. OK, so maybe I’m a perfectionist. I’ve made so many online friends through the blog, like yourself, and have met many IRT. Facebook is still fun but I’m weaning myself off it a bit. Just not enough hours in the day to do all the social media.

    Hope the sinus infection is taken care of.

  6. Ellen

    This summer has kind of brought me back to life before the internet as I have to go out of my way to post on my blog or read yours. Facebook access is sketchy and access to email and texts is almost nonexistent. It certainly is a different way of life and it’s not all bad. It has been nice to not be “connected ” all the time. Please don’t ever consider stopping your blog. I love it!

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