Years of speculation that I might be adopted were suddenly halted on Sunday when I watched Bob attempt to use technology. My sister Krishelle and I sat in the back seat of his car while Cathie subtly mocked his repeated failed attempts to use the voice activation mechanisms of his vehicle to prompt it to play such artists as Neil Diamond (a problem in and of itself). With each attempt, however, robot woman spat back conflicting commands, attempted to call people none of us had ever heard of, and persistently asked him to repeat himself. All of this prompted Bob to utter his favorite line of frustration: "for Pete's sake!" while Cathie giggled to herself and suggested that Bob and robot woman go through counseling together to work on their relationship. Bob: 0. Robot Woman: 1. Cathie: ever the antagonizer. I may have clipped a video of part of this thing, which you can find below:

Call off the scheduled paternity test.

Because meanwhile I am engaged in a now one month battle of my own against the computer attached to Paul Cyclemon that is supposed to magically tell me the following things about myself each time I ride my bike: speed, distance, time, altitude, fortune, blood type, etc. If one figures out how to properly toggle through the many different screens, one's reward is finding all of this information. The only problem is, said computer attached to Paul Cyclemon has exactly 2 buttons. Two. Tee. Dubelue. Oh. Yet this thing is apparently able to do somewhere in the vicinity of 60,000 things. Each time I push either of the two buttons, it moves onto a new screen with new information, and I know very well that it will never get back to the one it just displayed. For this reason, I have found one screen that displays information that is useful, and I avoid touching the gadget at all costs, fearful that doing so will move me onto a screen that measures how many dolls I still need to collect to be president of the national doll collectors society (or some other thing that isn't that useful in this context).

What I would really like this computer to tell me: inspirational pick-me-ups.

But distance and speed will have to do until I can figure out how to make that happen.

Why did I invest in such technology? Because I was told that the computer was a necessary component of proper road-biking. (Back in my day we used our five senses to measure things! And our bicycles were made out of jagged edges from broken bottles! And there was no talk of happiness, ever!) So last week I put the computer and all of its alleged super-human abilities to the test when I biked up and down a canyon with the goal of not holding on tightly to both brakes while screaming for the vast majority of the descent. I finally succeeded at easing off of the brakes but failed miserably at the screaming part. You have to start somewhere.

As a result of not holding onto the brakes, I actually reached speeds of 400 mph coming down that canyon. Or what felt like 400 mph. I wasn't able to look down at the computer to verify my speed because I was too busy preparing to meet God, which I did when I got moving so fast that I actually passed through the veil for a moment.

God says "hi" by the way. He also told me to tell everyone, "I know what you've been up to" but when I asked for clarification he just said matter-of-factly, eyebrows raised, while slowly nodding his head, "oh they'll know what I mean."

So by the time I got to the bottom of the canyon, having probably set new biking records so extreme that I somehow achieved world peace, the computer on Paul Cyclemon had already nominated me for an Academy Award, 2 daytime Emmy's, and employee of the week at Truckies. I don't understand how it was able to do this, but I'm grateful for the credit.

And yet, I was still unable to extract any of the information I needed from mr. computer, because, as noted, THIS THING ONLY HAS TWO BUTTONS BUT IS CAPABLE OF DOING 60,000 THINGS! I cannot emphasize this conundrum enough. Could you imagine if an airplane had only two buttons for the pilot? This is the exact same thing. An absolutely perfect analogy.

And so, I'll always just have to wonder. I suspect that taking the time to learn how to use technology would benefit me. But I fear that this information is only available on what the kids are calling "the Internets."

~It Just Gets Stranger