The Google Chute or a Freudian Slip?

Although I had mentally outlined the article for today with a focus on the Community Garden (which I will touch on about 565 words from now), my Write-On-Site mentor, Meggin McIntosh, ended today’s warm-up greeting with “Don’t get lost in the google chute.”

How timely as this chute often grabs most of us as we set out to explore one topic or read a news article and soon discover that we have plunged on through 8 or 15 other sites, finding interesting segways and off-shoots. Now, oh dear, a Freudian slip. I deduced “chute” when Meggin spoke, but now reflect, “Did she mean shoot?” when what to my wandering fingertips should appear but “off-shoot”. My mind is whirling.

Back to the chute. Whether your drop-off point is internet meandering, text message muddling, email wrangling, or sashay shopping, time spent in any of these endeavors usurps a few minutes or perhaps it commandeers the entire day.

A couple of examples… I have two emails (actually more but I never check them as two is already two-too many!). The first is an old sbc account. After being hacked a few times including begs for gift cards that some innocent souls bought and delivered, I moved to gmail. In trying to cancel the former, I ran into snags and so I figured I’d just leave it. When I do make the unsatisfactory mistake of checking it, I wade through a minimum of 100 per day. 

Delete, delete, delete, with maybe three that are something I really need to attend to. While I have requested that these senders use my gmail, the sbc continues as the preferred contact and so I maintain this irritating source. Yes, I can unsubscribe, but I am certain you recognize the time wasted here and the determination of sellers to create new ways to contact me.

Every morning I peruse the Apple News dispensed via my phone. I try to scan headlines to discern what articles I really want to read, but once I click one I tumble down the rabbit-hole chute as new subjects grab my attention. 

When I finally check the time, inevitably 45-60 minutes have elapsed and while I may have learned a thing or two to broaden my enlightenment horizons, I must hit the brakes and move on to other urgencies of the day. At this point, after many an off-shoot scan, I mutter “Shoot!” and strive to redirect my energies. Some might quip “Don’t shoot the messenger” when referencing my roaming, but perhaps I should to thus rid myself of all-absorbing technology. (OK – Freudian slip 2 – I type “techknowledgy” thinking tech and knowledge operated in tandem).

A third Freudian slip occurred in a discussion on our medical care for older individuals. My friend said our system is “feudal”. My ears heard and my mind translated “futile”. If you have navigated the health care system recently, I think you will agree that both words fit perfectly. 

Other nations have established, affordable care for all, but here so many cannot pay our extremely expensive premiums. Those with insurance often retort, “These people should get a job and buy a policy!” Funny how minimum wage, minimum hours, minimum ability to pay disrupts this possibility.

What is something that pays back time and energy expended? What chute offers physical, psychological, and social rewards? What opportunity motivates people to eat healthily, without preservatives or pesticides? You guessed it! Your own plot at the Community Garden! I began efforts there serendipitously when asked if ADF-Winnemucca would be interested in helping. On my first visit (and several ensuing visits) I encountered weeds, geysers, and a jumble.

However, with an ARRP grant and enthusiastic volunteers, I am becoming deeply engaged in refurbishing this garden to its former glory. For $20 and a little labor, you can take a raised bed from weed-infected to healthy production. With fresh vegetables, vitamin D from the sun, and a bounty of flowers, you will unearth (Freudian?) the vitality to add another bed or help clean up debris and straighten confusion. 

This year gardening the lower beds is encouraged not only because these are close to the front gate and management will prove easier, in the fall the City plans to clear and restart with new raised beds and unwanted jumbles removed. 

There’s a number on the fence to call and reserve your spot. Your work will pay ample dividends as gardening is never a crapshoot.