Dear Friends and Relatives:
Sure hope you’ll receive this. Our server has been a little balky lately, partly because of the big changes around the household. But more about that later.
We've all been in pretty good health this year. In fact, we're positive of that, because of the" vital signs surveillance module" (VSSM) that
came with our amazing "home network." The VSSM keeps track of our temp, blood pressure, electrolytes, air and water quality, microbial infestations and bacterial load. And it puts out a piercing alarm
whenever Dad’s cholesterol tops 300 which is about three times a day. I've taken to carrying ear plugs at all times, just in case!
But golly. What a great system.
For those of you who haven't heard, last year just before Christmas, Dad won a "major award" in an online quiz. The prize turned out that we were chosen as a "test family" for the Acme "Total Home Interactive
Networking Grid" (THING), which for the most part is a real humdinger.
Except for a glitch or two.
Certainly, it's been a blessing to Dad, because he doesn't have to run down to the basement and start cursing like a sailor every time the furnace goes on the fritz. The furnace is plugged in. EVERYTHING is
plugged in! And lately, since Dad's been pretty much housebound, the THING video has kept him occupied. He's able to simultaneously access sports, pornography and martial-arts movies on our all-plasma, three-screen, picture-in-picture, digital-HD home theater. Around the clock! In fact, we haven't seen him
out of his La-Z-Boy since before Veterans Day.
But we know (from the VSSM) that he's happy. And that's all that matters.
The best thing about THING for Randy, our youngest, is the built-in 100-gigabyte MP3 music ecosystem, which he has not left even one minute for more than a year. I don't really understand how it works, but between his portable player and his PC, Randy apparently has a collection of almost 6.3 million songs. I can't imagine where he finds them all! Before he stopped talking to anyone, last February, he
told me his goal in life is to listen to every single song, "even that old-timey crap by Mitch Miller and the Maguire Sisters" before he dies.
After worrying about Randy's grades in school and wondering whether he would ever have a direction in life, it does my heart good to know he's
living his dream.
And I'm sure that, whenever we get out of the house again, the doctors at the Emergency Room can surgically remove Randy’s earphones where
they've been sort of absorbed into his head, and correct that "fixed and dilated" problem with his eyes.
I honestly believe THING has given Ralphie, our oldest, a new lease on life. I can't tell you how glad I was to see him finally quit playing with that dangerous Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB
rifle with a compass in the stock. I lived in daily terror that he was going to put his eye out. Now, he devotes his free time well ALL of his time to THING's online gaming system.
I was a little concerned about his playmates during the six months he was glued to his PlayStation playing this exciting game called "Grade-School Killing
Spree." Some of the players were, apparently, prison inmates and patients in "institutions."