There is a class of retired people who don’t need to do anything but eat and sleep. Their big project for the day is finding something to do between meals. Some get a part-time job or volunteer to help others less fortunate than themselves. The few who are self-centered might turn to golf.

Believe it or not, they are no happier than those of us who are only so-called “retired.” The day isn’t long enough for us, because a strange, new technological world has conspired to keep us so ignorant that we can’t accomplish anything.

If you run hard all day and end up exactly where you started, you’ll find comfort in my words. You’re not alone.

My first crisis for the day had nothing to do with technology. Unable to find my favorite pants, I looked through the entire house because I knew I’d worn them only a few days before. Aged husbands, with a track record of losing cherished garments, should first look in the trash bag.

After taking my industrious young trophy wife, Marsha, to work, I went to the dump with, among other things, a trash bag that was one pair of pants lighter than it was the night before.

We must pause here to spare my indignant St. George neighbors from pointing out that we no longer have a dump but a world-class recycling center. They should remember that I come from an era when most rural Maine families simply trotted out back and threw trash, junk and garbage over the stone wall into the neighbor’s woods. I was well along in years before we drove five miles to a town dump that catered to hundreds of seagulls, attracted by mountains of rancid red lobster bodies.

Port Clyde artist Wilder Oakes says that when he wanted to impress a very special girl on a first date, he’d take her to the dump to shoot rats. My father called our dump “the bird sanctuary.” I still call it “the dump.”

On my way to the dump, I stopped in to see what Jay Cook was growing in his greenhouse. He gave me a dozen eggs, and added a bit of sunshine to my day when, having second thoughts, he wistfully mentioned that the carton cost 35 cents. It was the first time I can remember that I’d gone to the dump and brought home something I could eat.

I was actually multitasking and hit the dump on my way to take pictures of a Tenants Harbor rental property I’m managing this summer. A potential customer wants to see more pictures, but my trusty camera had died. For a year, pounding it on the table would get it to work, but even applied science will take one only so far.

I was carrying the iPad or iPod thing Marsha got from her brother, because I knew it takes pictures. It worked for me the other day, but to be sure, I practiced in the kitchen and managed to get two pictures before I went. A pleasant voice in the thing even talked to me. I don’t know how I activated the voice, but I automatically thanked it for talking to me.

You can believe that when I got down to Tenants Harbor, the thing had written on the screen, “Not connected to internet.” Marsha was working nearby, and I got her to put in her entry code, but it still wouldn’t work.

On the way home, I reasoned that these iPad things must have batteries in them and that they must take pictures when there is no internet connection or else they would be practically worthless.

I also remembered that I have a new movie camera that I’ve never learned how to use and that it, too, would probably also take still pictures. When I plugged it in to charge, it stared back at me on “stby,” which even I have figured out means “standby” in newspeak.

Technical stuff is easy for grandchildren. In two minutes any child could tell me what it is going to take me all day to figure out on my own. On the other hand, is it true that some children can’t read cursive writing?

Over 50 years ago, a man saw two brand-new Model T Fords in an old farmer’s barn. The farmer said that when Henry came out with the Model A, he knew he’d never be able to learn how to shift the thing, so he bought three Model T’s, which would last him the rest of his life. He was still driving the first one.

Those of us determined to get by with Windows XP can identify.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at his website: