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Local resident talks about how she's 'a derelict abandoned by the Cruise Ship of Life' in this Community Soapbox piece.

BETTY JUDEVINE - Columnist Betty Judevine says she's "a derelict abandoned by the Cruise Ship of Life" when it comes to technology.Hey! I wasn't always that way! I had a great introduction to the computer at the Riverside Resort Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, working as a temp hotel reservation clerk during the '80s. I bought a Dell PC and left it only once, for a remodel, thanks to a guru friend. You see, I was not yet into "planned obsolescence" that soon dictated to the markets.

For 10 years, then beyond, after we bought a house, my husband and I lived on the road "Willie Nelson style" with RV and tow car. I taught drawing and painting classes, with lots of paperwork attached, in the RV parks but never did color work (first bad move). Thank goodness for the Kinko's printing companies on the road.

But I was losing momentum with the computer. Then, on top of that, along came the cellphone. Technology grew and I went out of style. Drawing, illustrations, brochures, portrait paintings, even business cards I had always designed and produced were replaced by the Mechanical Monster! Very angry — no, MAD — I left the scene in a hurry, thus becoming a Computer Illiterate. Mastery of the new devices couldn't and wouldn't stay in my head.

My husband's illness then death, and my own personal illness followed for several years. Eventually I did get well with a whole new lifespan ahead of me. It was unnerving, after 80-plus years had already passed! I thought I'd be gone by now. God's will be done.

I'm a derelict abandoned by the Cruise Ship of Life. Still attached to my remodeled Dell and crippled printer. Not a Facebook, Twitter or whatever fan — I always forget how to use them. Hopelessly Old School, a way of thinking before the '80s. But it feels so good! Computer Illiteracy is my new disease and remedies are increasingly difficult. I can't even find a typewriter! One day at a time may be for many days ahead. But hope abounds and while I may never fully recover, I'm on the fast track — no, make that the slow track — to recovery.

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