What do you do when your dongle dies?

The first time the word dongle came up in conversation was a few months ago in relation to my Firestick streaming device. Prior to that I didn’t even know I had one. And I giggled like a little boy when he hears the word ‘boobies’, or that old sixties joke about the angle of the dangle. Anyway, I’d like to think I’ve matured a bit since then, but apparently not. Then, I heard the word dongle again this week when I took my laptop in for service. It’s actually the little slug that plugs into your computer’s USB slot that sends signals to your wireless mouse or keyboard if you use one. (I’m still not sophisticated enough to use the touch-pad or touch-screen on my laptop.) The girl at the computer store referred to my dongle when she snapped it back into the base of my mouse before turning if off. You’re never too old to learn new things or expand your vocabulary.

Anyway, the point of this story is really about how totally incapacitated I was without my laptop. As a blogger it’s as essential to my daily routine as a pot of tea with my morning paper or brushing my teeth. As soon as I’ve finished both of the former, I head into my sumptuous (!!) office to start work on my BOOMERBROADcast blog. I love doing it and can’t wait to get at it each morning. So when the geeks told me they’d need four days to bring my laptop back to life after heaven knows what plague struck it, I was devastated. It felt like an amputation. I kept making regular phone calls to check on its progress and was soooo relieved to finally bring it home safely last night.

The absence of my laptop reminded me of how strongly and perhaps inappropriately attached I am to it—I’m sure those of you who are fused to your smart phones will understand (which I’m not, she said self-righteously). I stumbled around the house the first day alone and lonely wondering what to do with my time. Then, on the morning of the second day, my brain spontaneously rebooted and reconnected within itself. I wrote out by hand (in cursive, no less) an old-fashioned “To Do” list on a piece of paper and put it on the kitchen counter. That old system still works. By noon on the second day I’d completed a huge pile of ironing while watching the Today Show on television, made my honey a giant freezer bag of his breakfast muffins, did a couple of loads of laundry, prepared five pounds of ground beef and vegetables for dog food and even managed to get showered and dressed before noon. I was understandably rather proud of myself.

In other words, I was productive, actually productive in a real sense not virtual. And, for what it’s worth, I was disappointed to see that Jenna Bush has been chosen to replace Kathy Lee Gifford to co-host with Hoda Kopke on the Today Show. For some reason I can’t stand Jenna Bush and will now have to find a replacement show for ironing days. (And, I strongly suggest you watch the video Pet Fooled; you’ll start preparing your own dog food too. It’s available on Amazon. Shocking stuff about the commercial dog food business.)

That temporary burst of productivity reminded me of just how much time I “waste” on the computer every day doing my blog, scouring FaceBook, emailing and otherwise fooling around in the digital world. It makes me wonder how much more I could accomplish if I also gave up evening television watching. I’m a captive of technology with nothing but a spreading waistline and sore back to show for it. I love blogging but should I channel more time toward more active pursuits? It seems to me that my laptop has become my personal dongle and without it I’m useless and unproductive. I’m open to suggestions and perhaps you have personal dongles of your own that require addressing. Feel free to share.

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