I have a reproduction of an old Eastern Airlines poster hanging in my kitchen, the one pictured. It has a great retro-flavored picture of Miami Beach on it circa late 1950s and the pitch line says, “Miami Beach, Florida—Just ten hours from New York.” Today, you can fly that trip in less than three-and-a-half hours.
I got to thinking about this wonderful thing we call technology in the wee small hours this morning. I’ll tell you about that in a moment, but first this announcement: despite my “senior”status these days and despite my desire to keep things simple in these same senior status days, I made a big change in my life last week. I finally turned in my 18th century cell phone that doesn’t do much more than call and receive calls, and I picked up one of ‘dem fancy iPhones that the fruit company makes. Now, if I need to find out where the closest mocha frappe is, I can verbally ask my phone and it will quickly give me several locations to choose from. Ain’t technology great! It just takes me a little longer to take advantage of it these days.
When I was working it was a whole different story. Then, I had to keep up with–even stay ahead of–the the latest technology. It wasn’t difficult since I was already in the communications business and most of the people in the department I led were young enough to be my kids. So, being around young people kind of rubs off. Now that I am retired a lot of that rubbing has disappeared and I rely on my grandchildren to keep me from becoming what is commonly known as an old fart. In fact, learning this here new fangled tellyphone has been speeded up a little because the kids will show me how to do something on it if I’ve failed to figure it out myself. Consequently I am learning to use my new phone more quickly than I would on my own, plus the kids and I have pretty much memorized all the words to Uptown Funk. Ain’t Bruno Mars great!
Okay, I’m ready to explain what was going in the wee hours of the morning today. Since I began writing books and blogs I have gathered up some new acquaintances via my activities on the Internet. A lot of these young folks (and yes, they’re all young) live in other parts of the world and they are mostly young ladies. Yeah, I hear you…now I am no longer an old fart. Now I am a dirty old man.
One young lady in particular wound up with a copy of my first novel, THE POPE’S STONE, and she liked it. She published a blog which focused on book reviews and had befriended a bunch of others doing likewise. TMALSS, she arranged a “blitz review” of my book by the entire group and the book got a lot of publicity as a result. Meanwhile it evolved that I “adopted” her as an unofficial granddaughter. She crowned me “G-Pop” and we’ve been Internet pals for a couple of years now. She speaks four languages and is in graduate school and plans to be a diplomat. We have Skyped a couple times as we were doing for about an hour at 4am this morning. It was 4pm her time. “Where’s that?” you ask. “In the Philippines,” I answer, “Manila to be exact.” We were literally half-way around the world from each other and there we were chatting back and forth with a clear picture and voice as if we were just next door neighbors.
Afterwards, I got to thinking about how cool all this is and I pondered to myself: “Self, if we can make that kind of quality link half way around the globe at no cost to the callers, it just seems to me that not only should we be able to fly from New York to Miami in, let’s say about an hour…but in addition, there should be some way we can do it without having to pay a fee for booking a bag!”
A BIG thank you to the following people for stopping by marc’s blog this week: Raymond from Encouraging Life, Del Nolan, Nina Karadzic, Damyanti, Ntina, Tom Duffy, Mike Fuller, Keith Garrett, J.D. Landis, Ron Carmean, Kathleen Neiman, Antoinette Prato Shreffer, Teri Griffin and Frederic G. Martin.