Friday, December 2, 2011

Speaking of the Hobbit

I started reading The Hobbit to the kids on last week. (Or maybe the week before, now. This draft has been sitting here for a bit.) This, in and of itself, isn't such a big thing. Many people have read The Hobbit to their children, beginning with the author himself. It's perfect for that sort of thing. Some people have even blogged their way through reading it themselves or reading it to their children.

I'm not going to do that. In part this is because I don't think that most of what I have to say would be that interesting. It's well-trodden ground at this point. This isn't to say that I won't have some comment on the kids' reaction to the Hobbit. My kids are both smart and funny (sometimes on purpose), and some of their comments will probably bear repeating.

No, I'm not going to try blogging my way through the Hobbit because I just... well, I don't want to say I don't care enough to do so, because that's not really it. I have a lot of friends that I only interact with via some combination of Facebook/Twitter/Google+/USENET, and I do care about them.

I find, though, that as my interest in Tolkien has reawakened, and I start to read not only the Hobbit but the Lord of the Rings again, my focus is shifting. I don't mean to say "Tolkien is making me not like Technology", but I'm discovering that I don't find as much enjoyment in technology, and I don't feel the desire to fiddle with computers (in particular) in my spare time. It's not an end unto itself any more. When I get home, I just want to play with my kids. I want to read them books, and draw with them, and help them do puzzles. And when they're in bed, I want to read a book.

This also helps to explain why I haven't been doing much of anything on Twitter or Google+ lately. (Facebook I avoid for a completely different reason, which is that it's just too cluttered to be usable for me any more. (Now that I write that, I see that it may not be completely a different reason.)) I think maybe I'm spending more time living my life, and less time narrating me living my life.

I still love science. I made a compass for my daughter the other day with a cork, and paper clip, and a magnet. There was no real reason for it, but she found a cork, and it seemed like we should do something with it.

I still see the value in technology. The kids get to use the iPad, when they've finished their homework, and there's no chores to do. When I read books, it's often on my Nook, because I can carry around a whole library on that thing. But unlike a year ago, I use the Nook in order to read books. I don't read books in order to be using the Nook.

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