Trina Machacek: Phone-O-Vision

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

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I believe every generation has problems coming to grips with the new things that are invented by the generation coming of age. The industrial revolution was to me the age of invention that will never be out done. There are though some things, now that I am of a certain generation, that I am amazed by. Not only amazed but sometimes a titch uncomfortable with. One of those is the ability to see who I am talking to when I call them on the phone. More so, that they can see me.

In the annals of television one of my favorite cartoons was The Jetsons. Right after Foghorn Leghorn bellowing, “Now that’s a rooster, I say that’s a rooster son!” HAHA.

The Jetsons though put us all into outer space and all the things the creators could imagine. From putt-putt-ing little space vehicles to telephones where the callers could see each other. One of the funniest little scenes I remember vividly. Jane, the wife was getting an early morning call on the family phone-o-vision. She quickly was able to throw on a face, literally a fake face that made her look like she just stepped out of a beauty salon. As she and her friend talked the friend sneezed and her fake face flew off and there stood the poor woman. Hair in curlers, face looking like we all look when we first get up out of bed. I can see that show just like it was yesterday. Perhaps that’s because it could very easily happen with video calls today. Well except for that fake face thingy. But! Yes a pumped up better looking “but.” I do many things to not be seen on any phone or chat or zoom video. Here’s an example.

Recently I went to pick up a prescription and I needed to be counseled by the pharmacist. I have no problem with that because anytime I need medicine I’m all for learning everything about the stuff I am putting into my silly self. So, face-to-face is appreciated with the pharmacist. I also know I live in a very rural area and I am so thankful for the pharmacy we have in our town. It’s truly a blessing to be able to get medicine quickly. Then there is this thing I have about phone-o-vision. For us in Eureka it’s a video call to the pharmacist in another town. I just have to stand off to the side, out of the eye of the camera. I know, I know it isn’t normal, maybe not even polite. I know. I know there are cameras everywhere and we will never know all the places we are being watched. I do though think we can, if it comes down to a choice of being on a camera or not, we can still choose.

I have also been on what is now becoming somewhat commonplace, zoom meetings. Where the members are scattered and the host sets up what long ago would have been a party line call. All the attendees log on via Zoom and the meeting, presentation, webinar, podcast or other gathering is broadcast into offices, homes, cars, even camping sites. Wherever the internet can be accessed we can all Zoom. With audio and video. Luckily there’s a little button I can click to turn the video off. My video off button is well used.

There is of course another side of this conversation. It deals with how easy and popular it has become to make videos. AARRGGHH. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy an occasional video of a cat jumping off the back of a perturbed cow. I mean who doesn’t laugh at the count down of the 20 best sneezes caught on tape. I am slowly though being pulled into the eye of the camera. I’m a co-host with my friend Dana of a weekly YouTube/Facebook video thing telling of events of Eureka. Really it goes along with what I call the “Business of Trina.” As the old folks use to say when I was a youngster, “Ma, the times they are a changin’.”

We all have a Frenchman to thank for the first movie recorded. Talk about a short film! It was made with a single lens camera on a strip of film in 1888 by Louis Le Prince. His creation was a full 2.11 seconds long and changed the world forever. Don’t know about you, but I’d like to see those 20 sneezes in 2.11 seconds. Now that would be funny. Are YOU ready for your close-up?

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her books are available wherever you buy books or email her at to buy signed copies.


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