πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει


I know, right…it’s all Greek to you.

FYI, the above phrase translates to “Everything changes and nothing stands still.” According to Plato in his dialogue titled Cratylus, this was written by Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (535 BC – 475 BC)

AGMA is aware that this is pretty heady stuff. Thank you Wikiquote.

I was going for “Nothing is constant except change.” but there seems to be some dispute as to who really said that. AGMA tries to avoid conflict at all costs.

Aside from having a name that 14 year old boys would love to make randy comments about, Heraclitus was a very wise man.

He was all about change.

And it’s more of a constant in our lives now than ever before in human history.

Just when you think you’ve mastered how to take advantage of the “smart” in your smart phone – or at least the 10% that you actually know about – an updated operating system downloads and boogers everything up.

“Rizzle frazzle what the hell sh*t frack damn now what??”, as heard in AGMA’s house after such an update.

Or SmartPhone V108.5 comes out. Now you have to go back to the very beginning and learn  the new 10% of the new phone that doesn’t operate at all like your old one.  Yet again.

Some of us have children or grandchildren who can help us. The lucky ones have children or grandchildren who actually do help us. There’s a difference.

AGMA’s still waiting for her younger son to reprogram our universal remote because we changed from cable to satellite. Over a year ago. In the meantime, our coffee table is once again littered with remotes of various shapes and sizes that don’t get along with each other at all.

Kind of like Congress.

There are dozens, nay, hundreds, of other examples of the constant changes in technology, meant to make our lives easier, that actually screw it up. At least in the short term.

Please don’t think AGMA is a “Make America Great Again” type who wants a general store/soda fountain on every corner, a black and white television with rabbit ears in every living room, and telephones connected to walls. With cords.

On the contrary, she has been known to be an “semi”-early adopter.

We bought our first PC in 1984 and had an email account shortly afterwards. We also had a Betamax back in the 80’s. I know, AGMA was young and foolish about the Beta thing…

I bought my first Prius in 2006 and got the first Google smart phone, the G1, when it came out in 2008. Both went better than the Betamax debacle.

AGMA also uses cloud storage for her pictures/videos. I just need to remember where they are – Dropbox, Amazon Photos or Google Drive.

I’m hoping the dementia onset will be delayed until I can figure it all out.

But there are times when AGMA takes great comfort in the unchanging nature of some things. Familiar things.  Things that I grew up with and have basically stayed the same my whole life.

The flush toilet for example. Invented by John Harington in 1596, but bought into common use in the late 1800’s by Thomas Crapper (14 year old boy alert!), the flush toilet is brilliant piece of engineering. Other than the occasional need for a plunger, it’s the execution of a near perfect concept in public sanitation that has withstood the test of time. And Hub’s occasional splurge of pork and beans.

And the iron. While the design has changed a bit over the years, it’s still basically a water chamber and a metal plate that gets hot, and is used to get wrinkles out of fabric. And, if too hot, as AGMA learned the hard way, melts synthetic fibers together into a disgusting lump that has an alarming smell. And sets off the smoke detector.

But that’s another post…

Other than setting the correct temperature (see above), there aren’t many tricks to the iron. You fill the water chamber (if you want to generate steam that can burn off your face), plug it in, and press it down on the wrinkled fabric strategically positioned on an ironing board.  The ironing board – yet another comfortingly unchanged household item.

AGMA is, of course, assuming that the iron hasn’t changed over the last 10 years or so. It has been that long since she has actually used one, but she’s pretty sure they’re still the same. She believes that if God had intended for her to continue to use an iron, God wouldn’t have put the $1.99 dry cleaner so close to her house.

And then there’s the toaster. Again, simplicity that’s hard to improve on. Bread, a heating element and time = toast. Pretty damn basic. And comforting.

Just make sure you unplug it before you stick a fork in to pry the toast out that got stuck.

So the next time your head starts feeling like it’s going to explode learning yet another “indispensable” app, or programming your new Nest, or figuring out the difference between Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and 10 other social media sites AGMA doesn’t even know about yet, go back to basics.

Think of the simple, familiar, unchanging, comforting toilet, iron and toaster.

You’re welcome.


30 thoughts on “πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει

  1. Wow… synchronicity. Who’d’ve of thunk that on the same day two posts could be published which refer to “heady” things and also defer a topic to a post yet written? We’re obviously drinking from the same water tap. Let’s just hope we don’t live in Flint.

    I’m slowly giving up on the whole keeping up with technology thing. What really bothers me is the whole pressure to even care what the new iPhone has vs. the old one. I choose to believe Thomas Crapper wouldn’t rush out to buy the new phone, and that’s good enough for me. Namaste! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my gosh – you made me LOL with that Crapper comment!! But you are totally right – he wouldn’t have had time for that nonsense. He was too busy inventing the toilet so we could accidentally flush our phones down them!

      I’m actually surprised more people don’t write about “heady” topics and future posts. It’s just such a natural combination! Yeah – we be drinkn’ the Kool-Aid…


  2. Wow, 1984 was early adopter for you re PC. (no, not politically correct :D)

    I bought my first home computer around 1993 and felt very pressured I absolutely had to master that thing because it was going to change my job. I created a business case at work, and got lst computer for my dept., an engineering library in 1988. I was working at the DOS level and typing out DOS commands and string searches before Windows. True geek stuff.
    And the computer did revoluntionize my jobs onward.

    How about an egg beater/small batter electric mixer, with beaters that I can remove and collapse the handle and cord? Very compact and handy. I don’t have the stand table model. It’s not worth the space it occupies for little use frequency. But I’m so glad to have it when I need it.

    Or a non-computerized sewing machine which I concocted 80% of my wardrobe for 10 years after I finished university. I honestly don’t know what I would use a computerized sewing machine for. No difficult embroidery/stitching to be stored in memory. Both above appliances I’ve had for last 30 yrs.

    Now, re home computers. I just replace mine. It’s my 4th computer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We bought the first IBM PC and it was primitive compared to what we have these days – like a chalkboard and chalk! Ha! I’m pretty sure that it worked with floppy disc’s and I used to have to put and take out multiple discs for the operating system and storage. But we thought we were hot stuff with a computer at home! We’re on the umpteenth iteration now… I’m using a Mac now and probably won’t ever go back to Windows. Did I say that out loud?

      Egg beaters are good and so are sewing machines! Still the same basic functions – a rotating mixer and a needle and thread!

      I used the same small portable mixer for years and years and years. I bought a stand mixer about 7 years ago because I got a big discount (I was working at an upscale cookware store.) on it. I use it around the holidays when I make cookies and love it! And it makes whipped cream in like 30 seconds. Other than those uses, I still use my portable mixer!

      I was always a horrible seamstress but still had a basic sewing machine until about 12 years ago. I have to say I haven’t missed owing one. Is that horrible? Would Thomas Crapper be disappointed in me?

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’re beginning to sound ancient. 🙂 I’m glad there is a do it yourself movement on the sewing, knitting, gardening and food preservation side. It’s important to have some hand-oriented skills ..even if it’s just cooking from scratch. Saves loads of money and ultimately healthier for mind and body.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Luckily, for me, my wife is “tech savvy.” So, we don’t have to wait until hell freezes over to get our children or grand-children to help us. I know about 5% of what my phone and computer can do, whereas my wife is up around the 20% – 30% level, and that works just fine for us. Excuse me, I need to go use the crapper.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m reminded of the “Seinfeld” episode where George is so proud of himself after he confidently tells his new girlfriend that toilet paper hasn’t changed, only to find out from the gang that he’s wrong:

    George: Yeah, I told her how toilet paper hasn’t changed in my lifetime, and
    probably wouldn’t change in the next fifty thousand years and she was
    fascinated, fascinated!

    Jerry: What are you talking about?

    Elaine: Yeah.

    Jerry: Toilet paper’s changed.

    Elaine: Yeah.

    Jerry: It’s softer.

    Elaine: Softer.

    Jerry: More sheets per roll

    Elaine: Sheets.

    Jerry: Comes in a wide variety of colors.

    Elaine: Colors.

    George: Ok, ok, fine! It’s changed, it’s not really the point. Anyway, I’m
    thinking of making a big move.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. When I was very young I used to laugh at my Great-Grandfather when he frequently exclaimed, “Progress! Bloody progress!” Whilst at the same time banging his walking stick on the floor. This man recounted tales of the days when the streets of London were more populated by horses than people, the electric light was a mere novelty and the automobile would never catch on …..and you know, I think he had a point!

    Liked by 2 people

    • But the question is, did he have a problem with indoor plumbing (i.e. the crapper?) I hear London was a mess until Thomas opened up his plumbing business!

      In all seriousness, I bet his stories were totally amazing! Your fortunate to remember him. When I was born, I only had one grand parent living. All of the great grands were long gone. That’s what I get for being born to older parents who were born to older parents!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t do well with technology. I used to laugh at my Mom when she couldn’t get the VCR to work. What goes around comes around I guess, cuz I suck at learning new phone and computer technology.

    I feel the need for a piece of toast.

    Liked by 2 people

    • At least you listened to your granddaughter… I’m pretty sure, after multiple explanations, that Hubs still doesn’t understand the difference between the data signal, the wireless signal and phone/cell signal. And he’s a very smart man! It’s just not intuitive.

      I’ll still accidentally hit a key on my phone and I’ll get a screen with functionality that I’ve never seen before (I’ve had my phone for nearly 4 years…) And I have no idea what key (or keys I hit) so I can’t repeat it. Grrrrr…


  7. I enjoyed your post, and I’m sure it accomplished smiles on many faces in addition to mine. The amazing part of texting, FaceTime, email, telephones, is while I can reach out and exchange information with little regards to distance, I am more convinced than ever of the value of vulnerable time one to one connecting. Everything else is bandages. However I am also surprised at the many kind people who I feel connected to despite the fact that my only contact has been via keyboard, surprised and thankful. Nice when we can do both, type and have tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I used to be able to keep up with technology. I considered that I was doing so well, and then it got more complicated and I can’t do it anymore. There is just too much coming at me and I have a bade case of over-lap over-load. I give up.

    Liked by 1 person

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