Saturday, June 7, 2008
Random Thoughts (again)
I have not done a post in while and the clamor from my fans has reached a whisper. So, here we go.... As one that has become much more savvy in the way of handicapperness over the past months, I have a few observations on all things handicapped. 1) I notice a LOT of people ride around with their handicapped hangtag permanently affixed to the rearview mirror. This in spite of the warning at the bottom that states to take it down when driving. This morning I drove by two people that had their tag hanging while driving and it dawned on me; this is their MENTALLY handicapped tag. It is all clear to me now. 2) As one that now has trouble finding a handicapped parking place at times and ends up rolling my wife from the back of the parking lot by a twenty-something lady and her child getting out of the last handicapped space; IF YOU DON'T NEED THE HANDICAPPED SPACE, DON'T USE IT! Just having the sticker in your car does not mean you get to take the space. If you CAN walk, enjoy the ability! 3) Wheelchair-bound people are like motorcycle people. They share a common bond. You have all seen motorcycles pass each other and they wave (even though one is an eighteen year old on a crotch-rocket and the other is a sixty year old on a hog). Wheelchair people don't wave, they mostly stare. They are thinking "am I worse off than them?" or something along those lines. On to other things... We truly live in a new and different world than even a decade or so ago. Computers and the internet are specifically what I am talking about (although more proof would be the gay men's dating service advertisement I saw twice last night during a show on BBC America!). In the morning I usually get up and check my email and the news. Then I surf the web a bit. This morning (as others) I went to check out webcams. I watched the sunrise over Huntington Beach and Pismo Beach California and went to a night shot of Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia harbors. I then watched a shot of the Egyptian pyramids and switched to watching a few ships traverse the Panama canal Miraflores and Gatun locks. My mother-in-law has been visiting. We were discussing certain restaurants the other night and I whipped out the computer, googled them (a new verb - "googled" which almost everyone understands and uses now). We found where they were located, looked at the menu, etc. The last few trips I have taken I booked my flight, checked in, printed my boarding pass and arranged transport from the airport to my hotel (which I had confirmed earlier) all from my laptop. I know I am not telling you anything that most of you do not do as well. What I am wondering is how many of you actually take the time to notice how amazing all this really is. My two grandchildren will grow up in a world where this is as normal as the telephone was to me (landline, and round dial but hey!). The availability of the world and all it's information in truly amazing and is quickly becoming commonplace and accepted. I remember riding home from work twelve or thirteen years ago and hearing two or three radio spots in a row that gave a webaddress at the end. These were national companies like Ford and GM. I was thinking, "Wow, this internet thing is really going to impact lives and business!". I was right, but missed the integration and impact by an couple of orders of magnitude. The internet and it's access to the world has already impacted most Americans (and the rest of the world) in phenomenal ways. In my world, I order my vitamins and supplements on-line. I book all my airline and hotel reservations on-line. I buy electronic accessories and stuff on-line from Hong Kong. I buy pet medications and such from Australia. I go to BBC.com and the Korean Herald almost daily for news. I see the sunrise and sunset in far off foreign lands more often than out my window. I order and play video games from Japan and other places. The world wide web was just beginning to pop up in ads and the periphery of life fourteen years ago or so. In less than a generation it has become a part of life for a lot of people. Think of where it will be when my grandchildren are my age and what we have now is accepted like electricity or phone service is for us. Wow. Gotta go I need to crank the Model T and wind the Victrola.