Thursday, 17 December 2015

Mum on the iPad

When I went up to the nursing home today I tried as usual to contact my brother in Texas on the iPad using FaceTime. Normally he doesn't answer for one reason or another but today he picked up and seemed willing to talk for a while. I asked mum after we had completed the conversation who she had been talking to and she remembered who it had been. She said, "It was my eldest son."

As usual I gave mum the iPad to hold but normally when I do this she gradually gets tired and lets it drop into her lap slowly. In any case she never remembers that you have to keep your face in the small window on the screen, so my brother usually gets to watch the ceiling all the time while we talk. At least he got a clean feed today; sometimes he cannot see anything at all, and can only hear the voice coming through the device.

I did most of the talking at first. We talked about drones and hoverboards, and how the FAA in the US had just pronounced a regulation that means owners of drones must get them licensed in order to continue using them. The penalty for not registering a drone turns out to be an amount in excess of $27,000. I told him that wheeled hoverboards cannot be used on roads and footpaths in Australia without incurring a fine. My brother has a drone and also gave me one on one occasion, although I have not used it very much (I think it needs tuning). I told my brother I didn't see the point in drones, and in fact I positively disliked them due to the privacy issues. Living in a highrise building you risk being spied on by drones, I said. He said that because of sidewinds and gusts it was difficult to use drones near high buildings, and that you were more likely to be spied on by someone flying a kite.

After a while I took the iPad from mum because she started dropping off to sleep. My brother asked her about the books she read and he got me to run the iPad along taking video of the bookshelf where the books are kept. I noted that mum's favourite series of thrillers was largely missing, so I can only suppose that she has given these books away to other nursing home residents. My brother then produced a cat on his lap, and mum was a bit more attentive once the cat appeared - she likes animals. I didn't take mum out to the park today to see the dogs because we talked for so long on the iPad to my brother.

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