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Qwerty and Omot


"How can you type so fast?" Richard asked from his computer where he was faithfully playing Spider.

"I dunno...50 years of doing it? QWERTY no longer slows me down? And my old standby, I like to hear the clicking of the keys."

"Letís go back to QWERTY."

"You know, the letters on the keyboard for the left hand ... the top row. They were designed in that way to slow the typist down, so that the hammers of the keys on the old time typewriterís didnít get stuck together when they hit the strike plate on the roller."

"I knew that!"

"Yes, but donít you think some computer scientist would have come up with a better scheme by now? Even though the keyboard is so much the same, they have added keys like the Ďtildeí that I have a hard time stretching for with my left pinkie. Same with the backslash. Youíd think that if these are going to be used in all the urls and addresses that the Ďgeeksí could have put them in a more accessible place."

"What? And teach all the world how to type in a new way? I think not. Imagine how long it would take to universalize a new keyboard? For the remaining people who buy typewriters, for PCís, for Labelmakers, for all those hand-held computer dictionaries and Bibles, and Spell Checkers and Language translators."

"I guess it would be impossible."

But then I got to thinking about all the other meaningless and outmoded things we do in the 90ís at the approach to the proverbial bridge to the 21st Century.

It reminded me of the old joke about the young bride who asked her mother how to cook pot-roast.

"Well, first you cut it in half, brown it in two pans and stick it in the oven. Cook it slow..."

The new, young son-in-law asked "Why do you cut it in half?"

"My family has always done it that way. Thatís the way I was taught by my mother."

So, the young man, very curious, calls Gramma.

"Why do you cut the pot-roast in half to cook it?" he asked.

"Thatís the way my mother taught me." She replied.

Undaunted, he called the great-gramma and asked the same question.

"I had to cut it in half," she remarked, "we didnít have a pan big enough to hold it."

And the beat goes on!

My mother pinned the baby diaper to the kids undershirt. She expected me to do the same. Her first child and her motherís children were born in colder climates. Perhaps it helped keep the baby warmer.

My feeling was, when the diaper got wet (on a boy in particular) the wet crept up onto the front of the undershirt. My kid was born in a September heatwave in La Jolla. I refused to continue the tradition. It didnít work for me.

Gravy making was another dispute my mother and I had. When flavored gravy packets came out I was the first to buy! I add a bit of drippings from the roasting pan, and nobody knew the difference. My nerves were no longer shattered over whether the gravy would have lumps or not. Occasionally I make it from scratch but I use Wondra Flour from a shaker.

My friend Billie still cooks her own starch to do her husbands shirt collars. Why cook when you can spray! Ginny cuts up her own chickens. I love the new boneless, skinless packs! They cook faster and have less fat.

To each his own! For me, a 90ís Great-Gramma, whatever is quicker and easier and less stress is the way to go. It frees up time for other more meaningful things. Like exploring Cyberspace!

I would dispense with QWERTY and OMOT (Other Meaningless Outmoded Things) in a nanosecond, if it allowed me more time to write my memoirís, or learn another computer program! That also has to do with my being ESFJ...but thatís another story!

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