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Monday, January 11, 2010

Just pull that right over here

I just got back from a trip. Some things struck me (as usual) as I was out viewing the world. Here are some thoughts... I wonder how we ever got along without one of the most annoying and yet helpful inventions of my lifetime - wheeled luggage. I am really surprised at how civilization advanced to the point that we have with this technological marvel only being around for a short while. Everywhere you looked there was luggage (and backpacks, and briefcases, and computer cases) on wheels. In a crowded area, I would get my toes and feet run over multiple times. I was waiting in a cab line with several hundred other people going up and down through the maze of ropes, all of us pushing or pulling our wheeled marvels. In fact, the one guy I saw that was NOT equipped with wheels was quite noticeable. We of the wheeled wonders would whip wildly through the winding path while he kicked, slid, tossed, dragged, and otherwise schlepped his belongings a foot or two at a time. By his lack of luggage technology he was an outcast. An object of our scorn; and for the empathetic among us, possibly even pity. One other invention that has become almost as wide spread is the "smart phone". I remember travelling in the 80s. I worked for a company that sold cellphones, so I had one provided to me. As is so common now, I would take it out and check for messages and/or calls as I got off the plane. People would look at me and make snide remarks as to how "special" I thought I was; or gasp at the fact that I had a device to make a call that did not require quarters to be inserted. Now, as we are approaching the gate the Backberrys and iPhones come out for email, texts, tweets, and yes even a call or two. The person that is handicapped with just a cellphone is looked upon with almost as much pity as the non-wheeled luggage guy. The only other device that is used (sometimes in conjunction with the smartphone) for contact is the laptop/netbook. These too are becoming quite common as people are searching for internet connections and power outlets with their portable computers. Again, I wonder how we ever advanced to the point we have without instant communication and access to data 24/7?! More later, got to go. My Blackberry is calling.